Friday, August 21, 2009

Comic 626: Calculus Puns A-Bound

today we have matt posting (with an extra paragraph by me at the end). Next week is all Thomas, all the time, and then, finally, I will return to you.
Newton and Leibniz
Allow me to repeat John Cleese's Three Rules of Comedy:

1. No puns
2. No puns
3. No puns

And that is what this strip comes down to. It's a pun, and not even a clever one. Puns are the lowest form of humor, and most of Randall's recent work. One might argue that xkcd does not take itself seriously; today's comic is a self-aware, semi-apologetic pun. However, admitting that puns aren't funny does not excuse making one and expecting your audience to forgive it, or even like it. Again, though, this is most of what Randall does, so it's hard to argue that this particular strip is worse than any other. It's just xkcd as usual.

This strip relies almost entirely on niche appeal. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but wouldn't it be better if he actually made a clever joke about calculus, requiring significant knowledge of the field to understand, instead of a terrible pun? Knowing the history of the invention of calculus does not enhance this strip. Beyond the mere fact that "derivative" is a term used in calculus, knowledge about calculus does not enhance this strip. On the flip side of that coin, anyone who doesn't know what a derivative is didn't get this comic. Randall has already accepted that this comic relies on niche appeal, and yet he failed to do anything interesting with it. Most likely, because he wasn't clever enough to. Nope, comics don't have to be funny anymore; they just have to be about something you like.

And then, to top it all off, he closed with a reference to CSI: Miami, which has become another popular internet inside joke. It isn't even that funny: you just make a pun in the first two panels, then the guy puts on a pair of sunglasses, and finally, YEEAAAAH. It's something people do on /b/ because they aren't funny or clever and it doesn't take much effort. The original comic was funny, but none of its derivatives were. And Randall's derivative is no different. If this were any other situation, I would be struck with the absurdity of Newton doing the CSI Miami meme, but not from xkcd. Randall does stuff like this all the time.

What's else to say? The art is terrible, as always. A stick figure with white hair and a stick figure with black hair? He honestly would have done better to use the original comic as a template, as this guy in the forums did. It would have worked best if he had redrawn the template to put Newton in it instead. But no; Randall only does stick figures. At this point, Randall would be better off doing a sprite comic.

You know what the worst thing is? I got the calculus joke, including the history of its invention. I got the internet joke. I'm a perfect example of the very niche Randall is going for, and I hate him. Why? Because xkcd isn't funny or interesting. It's as simple as that. And yet, as a computer science major, I'm surrounded by people who love the guy. If it weren't for them, I would have simply decided I didn't like xkcd anymore and stopped reading it. It is because of them that I hate it enough to write a guest post for xkcdsucks. And why do they love it? For half-baked puns like today's comic. Either make xkcd a niche comic, Randall, or don't. You can't have it both ways.

====================

Carl again: I actually do like puns, but I feel like calculus puns are really old (we'll get there in a second). And it was delivered better than most puns he gives us (see the infamous classic Uterus-Hertz). So honestly I think I should be a little nicer to this one. I guess that means we are grading randall...on a CURVE! ZING! ha ha, oh man, ZING! ha ha, is there no LIMIT to the puns you could make? oh man i did it again! this post is turning so funny you might not be able to DIFFERENTIATE it from xkcd itself! my my, now I've gone off on a TANGENT of my own! oh! heavens, this is amusing! ok i'm done now.

MARRIED TO THE SEACANT. ok now we're done.

121 comments:

  1. The nice thing is, the CSI: Miami reference forces Randall to use a beat panel, which is pretty useful in giving the pun time to settle in so that the punchline actually works. This beat is the difference that ruined 463 (the teacher with a condom joke).

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  2. Honestly, puns are hardly the lowest form of humor -- that is clearly a distinction reserved for fart jokes and other bodily noise humor. Nice try though...

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  3. OK, in the original comic template you linked to, why the fuck is the guy putting on a SECOND pair of sunglasses? He's already wearing sunglasses. Is this a CSI Miami thing?

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  4. @Jay: I have no idea. It's probably a /b/ thing. What's more awesome than wearing sunglasses? Wearing two pairs of sunglasses.

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  5. Shit guys, he's right. Guess it's time to close up shop.

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  6. Like Carl, I love me some puns. However, this would have been better with a string of them, like Carl's paragraph. The more, the better, especially if they get cheesier as they go.

    If there's just one pun, it'd better be good.

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  7. I thought the comic was so-so. I liked the example of a better-done comic, that one with the hunchback, that someone posted on a previous thread. For some reason the CSI part of this comic kind of ruined it for me. Agreed about the positive aspect of the added beat, though.

    Anyway I enjoyed Carl's puns far more than the comic. As usual.

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  8. Linear Algebra puns > Calculus puns.

    Although, you know, this is a bit orthogonal to the discussion.

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  9. I personally found the comic strip to be quite punny.

    I don't see what your problem is.

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  10. If he had made a more in depth, sophisticated calculus reference you would be complaining about how the joke is too esoteric and nobody gets it, and how it's just fan service for a bunch of sheep who laugh at references they don't understand. So what, precisely, type of comic is he supposed to draw?

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  11. uh. a good one?

    ZING

    just kidding. I would enjoy a comic that relies on a specific mathematical formula or term, but that would not be a mere reference to it. I really enjoyed that Kepler one from a long time ago. ("New janitor?" "Yeah, nice guy. Sweeps out the same area every night.")

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  12. No, the right answer is 'a good one.'

    A lot of the time I disagree with the criticism on this blog. I think people feel pressed to come up with REASONS the comic sucks, when the reality is usually much simpler: it lacks humor. It contains no funny words, pictures, or ideas. So it seems like we're impossible to please - we slam the comic when it's simple and when it's complicated. It's because it just sucks, in both cases. Sorry.

    That said, I'll abstain from commenting on this one because I know fuck all about calculus or CSI: Miami.

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  13. Carl's post is way better than the xkcd strip. It was certainly a solid pun, even an acceptable execution by xkcd standards-- but the thing that irked me was that Randall makes money off the things that me and half of my friends came up with in calculus class. He's not at all clever like he used to be...and it makes me sad.

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  14. There are worse things than puns. Internet memes, anyone?

    "A stick figure with white hair and a stick
    figure with black hair? He honestly would have done better to use the original comic as a template, as this guy in the forums did. It would have worked best if he had redrawn the template to put Newton in it instead. But no; Randall only does stick figures. At this point, Randall would be better off doing a sprite comic."

    This is terrible criticism.

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  15. I lol'd at carl.

    Pretty solid post, only lacking the fact that randall already did this meme

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  16. Oh Carl my love, you may have failed in your attempt to bring about the revolution which will force Randy's back against a well-deserving wall, for I must confess to you, I only read xkcd so I understand the wonderful, effervescent litany of well-composed humor and wit that flows as a fountain from your luscious keyboard.

    Hearts and giggles,
    Anon

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  17. There was a pun that wasn't entirely terrible, there was a beat panel, and it made sense.

    This was a decent comic.

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  18. I think the only thing that makes this strip SOMEWHAT work is the CSI même thing; even though it's older than walking forwards, the absurdity of the situation sort of makes up for it. Other than that, the pun is very bland. Heck, I think even the "uterus-hertz" is more creative than this. This joke is the sort that you hear from Calculus teachers in their vague attempts at being entertaining. If this were done two or three years ago, it would have been a very, very subpar strip.

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  19. FACT: Putting the accent on "même" automatically makes you a jerk.

    You could tell me that it's derived from the French blah blah blah but then again you didn't capitalize Hertz

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  20. It's not derived from the French. It's derived from the Greek. Meme has never had a circumflex, ever. Unless you're Fernie, who is a dumb shit.

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  21. 'même' is a French word but it is completely different from the term we are all used to (source). I'm inclined to go with the 'dumb shit' theory put forward by Rob.

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  22. The effort put in this blog to talk trash about XKCD is sad. Don´t like it? Don´t read it. Or better: do something yourself - if it is 50% as good (or crappy), maybe you can get some money too!

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  23. i make lots of things myself. more discrete items this year than XKCD, actually.

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  24. You know what the best way to hurt xkcd would be?

    Stop reading it.

    I know, I know, he doesn't use ads or anything. But still - a webcomic author with no readers will shortly give up on the comic.

    As it stands, all of the people who like xkcd (I do - I came across your blog, stopped, read a few of your posts, took some time to think them over, and realized I still enjoy the comic anyway) and now all of the people who DON'T like xkcd (well, those of them that read your blog) read xkcd. Because YOU link to the comic in every blog entry. So he is seeing artifically inflated readership numbers from all of you people coming to read it for the purpose of tearing it down.

    And you know what? It really does feel like you look for reasons to hate these comics (especially when you have guest readers post, because then it feels like YOU'RE out of ideas and really don't have a leg to stand on to keep this blog up with). Yeah, some of them aren't very good. But more than once I've read one that I thought was pretty good, and thought to myself, "Man, even xkcd sucks had to admit this was at least okay". So I wander over here to find everyone going "AUGGGH SO AWFUL".

    You remember the rule about bullies from elementary school? Ignore them, don't give them a rise, and eventually they get bored and go away. Same applies here. Ignore it and the problem will go away. What you're doing here is like hoping to fix a broken arm by hitting it with a sledgehammer every time it hurts.

    I realize that this won't cause you stop this blog (I'd be flattered if it did, but I know it won't). I just wanted to give you my two cents. And I'm posting as anonymous because I don't know what it will display if I use my Google account.

    Oh, and if you want a really shitty tech/nerd comic to pick on, pick on Dilbert. Seriously. You had a choice between trying to kill a serial murder rapist, or a guy who steals spare change out of the register at work, and you picked the guy who goes home with an extra $2.50 each night. Well done. Good choice of target.

    I realize that comparison was more than a little over the top. I stand by it.

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  25. The comic sucked. The guest post sucked. I actually liked Carl/Randy/Willy's post.
    Puns are by far the lowest form of humor. Before I knew about xkcd, I used to say that insults and physical humor were the lowest forms of humor. Now don't get me wrong. A good roast or a guy getting hit in the junks can be funny if done right, but these aren't terribly sophisticated.
    However now after reading xkcd, I know that simply referring to something popular or repeating an older funny joke is a new low. Hell, I didn't even know that these were considered forms of humor before I knew xkcd.
    The first time I read this particular comic, I read it too quickly and somehow, I missed the glasses and the long build up. I thought, 'Hmm, lame joke, boring comic. Nothing to get upset about at least.'
    I read it again more carefully and this time I thought 'What in the hell? Probably some stupid thing from the internet.'

    But then I thought 'Naw, I don't think that either Randy or his fans know about the internet.'

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  26. Oh. My. God. Some cowardly cuddlefish actually suggested that if we don't like xkcd we ought to stop reading it. I can't believe that this is happening. This is turning my world upside-down.

    Although some people struggle to find reasons to hate a comic, I think that most of the regular members here will admit when we like a comic.

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  27. More specifically, Randy is seeing inflated hits from a website called "xkcd sucks," in his Google analytics numbers. Every time he looks at his traffic sources, he's probably seeing a few hundred hits per day: "xkcdsucks.blogspot.com / referral."

    The very most he'll get out of this blog is a few thousand hits per day, which is nothing to him. A lot of us use RSS, so if we stop reading it won't affect his analytics.

    No, the increased readership he gets has to be a sting every time he looks at his analytics. Especially if the number grows over time. Every time he sees it, he thinks, "more and more people think I suck."

    Congratulations on making "serial killer rapist" the new Hitler, though!

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  28. Serial Killer Rapist fanAugust 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    Serial Killer Rapist: Best thing in the comments section, or best thing?

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  29. HEY Anonymous 11:08 and 12:17, it's time for you to read my FAVORITE INTERNET ARTICLE EVER! Go! Pay attention to points 1 and 5.

    12:17, you're less of a fucktard than the other one, so I'll put some time into responding to you. What you're missing is that there's often a surprising amount of disagreement on this blog. Take this comic for example - of course there are people who hate it, this is xkcdsucks after all, but there are plenty who don't. And they're pretty vocal about it. Amazingly enough, we are not all the same person.

    Don't put too much emphasis on the blog post itself. They're more like entertainment. I think the real criticism goes on in the comments section instead.

    Also nobody gives a fuck about Dilbert anymore, seriously who gives a shit. xkcd bothers me because it's fucking everywhere, and everyone seems to love it.

    Also also you don't need a gmail account to sign your name. Go down to "Name/URL."

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  30. @Anonymous 11:55

    No, I personally wouldn't have. There's nothing wrong with a GOOD niche comic. You don't know me. If someone else had guest posted this one, they might have made that point, but I certainly wouldn't have.

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  31. I actually really enjoyed this one. I get the feeling this website sometimes makes fun of XKCD even when the actual comic isn't that bad.

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  32. Pita: Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, people have different tastes?

    Holy shit
    Guys
    People are complicated!

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  33. @Pita:

    I will be critical of any comic, xkcd or not, that uses year old memes as a crutch.

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  34. Ho Fu was responding to Pita.

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  35. I know. That's probably why he said "Pita:" at the start.

    i mean, duh

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  36. look, you have never come across as being the most literate fellow. I'm just trying to help.

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  37. at least i'm not the most FATerate fellow

    (i'm calling you fat rob)

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  38. i mean, you say that pink floyd's the wall is one of your favourite films

    WHY COULDN'T YOU BE BOTHERED TO READ THE BOOK

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  39. listen. reading books requires more flexibility than my massive girth allows.

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  40. Oh boy, good thing our friend Randall has taught us how amazing Kindle is, so now thanks to XKCD you can read books around your moonlike shape. (oh and you can read Wikipedia on it, and I hear Wikipedia is amazing, and hilarious.)

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  41. Too much discussion and bullshit is seriously bringing me down. All I'll say is that puns are actually funny sometimes and I thought it was commendable that Randall finally didn't screw up the pacing this time. The rest was mediocre but not as bad as usual

    Also, I'm too drunk to discuss. Woooo!

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  42. Calculus puns are INTEGRAL to any good humorist's career.

    But seriously, puns rule and John Cleese is wrong. Other than that, it was an okay post I guess.

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  43. Puns can be terrible, of course. There is a way to deliver them that makes them brilliant, and a way which makes them just annoying.

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  44. Some people don't have the capacitor for nerd puns. But it's useless to be a resistor!

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  45. I actually enjoy it when xkcd makes self-aware bad puns, turning their badness into the actual joke. I'm thinking of the "liking fossils when they were underground" one. I enjoyed that. I think this new one strives for either a "fake coolness" or an "absurd coolness". I dunno. The combination of elements is *a little bit* original, but I still think the strip was bland. Not bad, just bland and unenjoyable.

    And I sure as hell put the accent on même for two reasons: I find it infuriatingly awkward when people write foreign words incorrectly, either by lack of knowledge or by keyboard limitation (there's NO CITY called Sao Paulo -- now, São Paulo, that one I know); and I hate the English language, thereIsaidit.

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  46. Crap, I said "Puns are by far the lowest form of humor."
    I meant "Puns are FAR FROM the lowest form of humor."
    But anyhow. Bottom line.
    Puns rock this comic sucked. The internet sucks too. Rob you got burned bad.

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  47. P.S.: sorry for the uncapitalised Hertz. I won't commit that mistake anymore.

    Also, Jay, that was a very interesting link. It was great to fish out some intelligent points among the hypocritical garbage.

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  48. Fernie: meme is not a fucking foreign word. It was coined by an Englishman named Richard Dawkins. Perhaps you have heard of him? See here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/meme

    It originates with greek, and shares origins with the word mimesis. It does not come from the French même. It has never come from the French même. It is a false friend, or faux ami as the French would have it.

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  49. Dawkins, eh? I'm glad I never trusted him to begin with. Seriously, what a stupid origin for a word. Thanks for warning me about that; I'll just use μίμησις from now on.

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  50. Yeah, that's not what that means.

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  51. The Wikitionary article is horrifying. "Memome"? FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

    Ok, I'm done, I shut up now.

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  52. Fernie needs to try just a LITTLE harder to be the most pretentious douchebag ever.

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  53. Why do I still read the comic?

    Because the next best entertainment to a good XKCD comic is seeing a bad XKCD comic be ripped apart by Carl. It is actually whole loads of fun to see him tear down any bad comic for its utter failures.

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  54. I love when all the little white-knighters come out to defend the chastity and virtue of xkcd. Oh, what noble crusaders.

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  55. aloria, you just made my head explode.


    normally, that's Amanda's job.
    (argh! dangit! sorry!)

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  56. "Fernie needs to try just a LITTLE harder to be the most pretentious douchebag ever."

    Now I'm left wondering: how can any person who goes into the Internet to say something NOT be pretentious? Anyone who thinks what he says is worth hearing is pretentious to some degree; being "more" or "less" than someone else is irrelevant enough to make this namecalling very, very pointless...

    ... which, on second thought, is very adequate for this place...

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  57. No, seriously, do you know what pretentious means? You didn't use it correctly at all.

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  58. "No, seriously, do you know what pretentious means?"

    Among the definitions dictionary.com gives me, the one that seems to fit the best is "characterized by assumption of dignity or importance", which fits perfectly with what I said. One only says something on the Internet because he assumes it's important. Period. Pretty much every attempt at being "unpretentious" ends up being awfully pathetic, so I don't stick to that.

    Really, that's the only thing that makes any sense whatsoever to me. If he's actually referring to me being "pompous", that's something else. And I can simply pull off the article you posted: I am making ART! This is SELF-EXPRESSION! An artist must pay attention to his IMPULSE, and should never bother with criticism because he has TALENT, and is better than anyone else! And people who criticise are just WEAK and come up with convenient justifications for their lame attempts, exactly the way I'm doing now-- ... no, wait... I mean, if I say I'm being driven by impulse and self-assurance, maybe it's because I'm too fearful to take a look and see all I do is garbage, and I need to justify my actions somehow... ah, screw it, I'm an ARTIST!!

    Thank you, Jay, that article will be more useful than I imagined.

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  59. Fernie has evidently never heard of connotations. I will not try to break his mind by explaining them to him, but I suggest he learn the difference between denotation and connotation before he tries using a dictionary again.

    Also, I never assume anything I say is important, because it's on the internet.

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  60. Here Fernie, I'll summarize your second paragraph for you. BLAHBLABLA BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAHBLAHA BLAH.

    WITHERING, I know. I'm a rhetorical genius.

    Man, "thinking that what you say is worth hearing" (or whatever) does not make you pretentious. That's just... not what the word means. Do you assume that by default or something - that people should naturally not care what you think? If so then we're just operating on different wavelengths. I don't think having an opinion and wanting to express it is an unreasonable thing.

    Hey, you ever seen a Betta fish? Siamese fighting fish, they sell them in pet stores, I had one as a kid. They're aggressive fish - when two males meet, they puff up their gills to make themselves seem larger to each other. Pretension is like that, except instead of seeming bigger, you want to make yourself seem more dignified, or smart. You know, pretending to be something you're not.

    IQ 224. Cogito Ergo Sum.

    Moving on, your second paragraph is pretty much trash. The article I linked was all about how criticism is good - it's RIGHT for people to criticize each other. Apparently you thought it was saying the exact opposite. Christ man.

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  61. i'm so confused, you guys

    what the fuck is wrong with you, fernie? Just when I thought you were done being a complete tool...

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  62. Fernie is OK. We're gradually winning him over to our side. It's been nice to watch the change happen.

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  63. Hang on, doesn't your definition of "pretentious" apply to all communication ever? If you say something, that means you think it's important enough to be heard!

    When your working definition is so broad as to apply to all communication, you're a pretentious douchebag Fernie.

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  64. "This strip relies almost entirely on niche appeal. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but wouldn't it be better if he actually made a clever joke about calculus, requiring significant knowledge of the field to understand, instead of a terrible pun? Knowing the history of the invention of calculus does not enhance this strip. Beyond the mere fact that "derivative" is a term used in calculus, knowledge about calculus does not enhance this strip."

    Are you fucking kidding? For fuck's sake, nothing will make you people happy. I read this site because if the comic sucks, the writeup will be good. The inverse also seems to be true. This comic wasn't bad, and so you're filling space with worthless, unfunny garbage.

    Half of the complaints 'round here revolve around jokes being too obscure. Every single time Randal makes some stupidly obscure reference, he gets railed. Now he finally makes a math joke that doesn't go straight over everyone's heads, and guess what. Yeah, that's right. The second motherfucking paragraph in the writeup bashes him for it.

    "Oh, Randal, I took a couple semesters of calculus and got your joke, so it wasn't obscure enough. Next time, could you please make your jokes require I be a postgrad math major in order to understand? I feel like you really need to alienate 95% of the people that read your comic in order for it to be funny. Thanks.
    -PS
    I'm going to complain when I don't get the joke."

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  65. If you think this comic isn't bad, then maybe you've been reading xkcd a little too much recently, 'cause your standards have sunk pretty low.

    OK, so it's not just a reference this time. It's a lame pun and a reference. Hooray. It even has a beat panel that telegraphs the pun, and a metaphorical 'ka-boom-tish', just to kill off that any possibility that the pun was funny. But I guess that the reference must have made it hilarious if you like that kind of thing.

    I really miss the days when xkcd was all about creativity. He seems to just be pandering to the 4chan audience now.

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  66. The thing that bugs me about this comic is that "derivative" is Leibniz' notation for calculus - Newton used the word "fluxion" for the concept.

    Newton and Leibniz were notorious rivals, and I just can't see Newton using his enemy's words for things, even for the sake of a pun...

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  67. okay LOOK, Adam J, you turd face, I'm going to say it again:

    I am okay with the use of basic calculus knowledge (e.g. knowing what a derivative is) being the basis of a joke. I am also okay with looking up more complex things if they are also the basis of a joke. HOWEVER, I am not okay with looking up some bullshit references that adds nothing to the joke, some obscure references that is basically just name-dropping to make the people who "got it" feel smarter.

    Get it now?

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  68. Amanda: Seconded, but I'll go further and say this: Regardless of the joke's quality, there's a world of difference between having to look up the obscure subject of Fourier Transforms, or having to look up private hobbies of actors who played characters on this one science fiction show which had like 7 episodes way back and died. This has been said before, but I think it would be beneficial for all if Randall realized what set his shitty webcomic apart from the millions of other shitty webcomics on the net is that he respected that difference, and avoided the latter pole.

    Linguaphiles: Guys, come now, this isn't difficult.

    pre⋅ten⋅tious
    –adjective
    1. full of pretense or pretension.
    2. characterized by assumption of dignity or importance.
    3. making an exaggerated outward show; ostentatious.

    See, words can have several meanings. Unless you're getting fancy, you just pick one of those and go with that. Like #3! Hellooo? Exaggerated outward show? As in putting accents on words that sound foreign so you appear erudite and samrt?

    Differentcolours: "Hey Ise Dawg, that cat Leibniz made Calculus yo!" "Really? Guess he must be..." "...inclined towards..." "...the derivative!" [Lame Chan macro meme] Happy now?

    Also, I am jealous of your OpenID account.

    By the way, when I first saw this, the meme (My spellchecker doesn't even recognize that! Ha! Though then again it doesn't recognize "spellchecker" either, so...) thing went right over my head. So I read it as a typical So Bad It's Good thing, math flavored. Plus, there were two sunglasses, which being a mark of blatant and unrealistic sloppiness, contributed further to the SBIGness. Granted, the "YEAH!" was retarded (in that context, but then in every context) but it was the alt text and I ignored it, so overall I kinda grinned at the joke- it was a *bad* joke, but it was a good Bad Joke, you know?

    But turns out he was just playing the /b/tard who lost his way again. What's next? Longcat in Log-plot? Triforce? Cancer? Maybe Randall and moot should just come out with their little intellectual love affair and sticky Randy's crap to /b/?

    And why aren't these going into repeat offenders?

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  69. Oh you know what? We already had cancer. It became /r9k/, so nevermind that.

    (Although maybe Randall didn't go to 4chan before then?)

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  70. Hey Carl. You changed the title; it used to be "Derivative." You posted no comment or note admitting you did so. How... what's the word. Huxleyan? (Wait, no, that word doesn't even refer to Aldous Huxley! Damn it.)

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  71. @Matt

    I daresay it's a very Randall Munroe thing to do. ("Munrovian?")

    I'm on to you, Crandarl

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  72. The post is still called "Derivative" in the URL though. WE HAVE EVIDENCE.

    Also, the word you are looking for is "Orwellian". This is exactly like Down and Out in Paris and London.

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  73. guys i really liked that "derive while you derive" image

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  74. @Mal

    I liked it too, but it's basically an xkcd joke minus the stick figures. So... it's all about the context, I guess?

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  75. This would have worked better without the CSI:Miami Meme being exploited. Still, my rage has dissipated recently and I'll probably keep holding off from commenting until I feel xkcd has made something genuinely awful.

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  76. Hah, the wikipedia history of the leibniz & newton page is great.

    "(cur) (prev) 21:10, 22 August 2009 86.139.135.246 (talk) (14,887 bytes) (Like every xkcd comic added to an in popular culture section is removed as xkcd is not notable. PS Fuck you) (undo) (Tag: possible vandalism)"

    although they still didn't get the message.

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  77. "See, words can have several meanings. Unless you're getting fancy, you just pick one of those and go with that. Like #3! Hellooo? Exaggerated outward show? As in putting accents on words that sound foreign so you appear erudite and samrt?"

    Since when putting accents on words are attempts at being erudite and samrt (sic)? If that's the case, nobody would be able to write façade or naïve without being "pretentious" -- yet those words belong to the English language exactly like that, though you may as well cut off the accents, since English is such an awful, messy and incoherent language that it wouldn't make a difference. See, I hate the English language. And I just wrote "même" because I thought that's what the word was, instead of that ridiculous term coined by Dawkins. No mystery at all. Besides, I don't see why my "pretentiousness" should be any better or worse than the fake, artificial "hate" people wear on this blog for the sake of maintaining the "attitude", or even more pretentious than the article Jay posted. Ohh, we're doing criticism here not because we are interested on xkcd and what people think of it, no, we're doing ART! This is SELF-EXPRESSION! Oh, for goodness' sake.

    If I wanted to sound important and erudite, I'd do that on a place where people will listen, not in a post from a blog about a goddamn webcomic; and I'd do something a little MORE challenging than two extra keystrokes to place a circumflex accent (I'm a native Portuguese speaker, circumflex accents are ordinary to me, you know).

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  78. man there must be something wrong with the water in Brazil

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  79. See, I KNOW I'm a moron; I just disagree with the reasons.

    (I'm wondering if it's the xkcd forums that left me like this)

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  80. someone should edit the wikipedia xkcd article to add somethng about the vandalism. meta!

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  81. Putting a circumflex accent on a word that doesn't take one, just to make your language sound more foreign, is pretentious and douchey as hell. Being belligerently ignorant about the word and smugging it up about its etymology is similarly unpleasant.

    Also I'm not sure why you think that our hatred of XKCD is falsified. I assure you, the comic is shitty enough to warrant loathing.

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  82. Hmm. I was just thinking "Would a flowchart really help someone that computer-illiterate? They're not really the easiest way to convey information." and then the alt-text was sort of relevant.

    Also, is there any joke in here at all? I mean, even his least joke-y stuff like the Height and Depth posters had puns or snark crammed in them somewhere. This is... this is completely devoid of humor. It's just a marginally useful troubleshooting tip.

    (And seriously, if he's gonna be that unhelpful, he might as well reduce his chart to "Press F1.")

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  83. You know, this new comic isn't a joke, but just Randall begging people to post his comics up on their walls. Oh, and hello again Megan, nice of you to pop up in a comic without reason.

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  84. God, I can see the xkcd Could be Better forum now: "Hey Megan, It's your father. How do I RAPE"

    I look forward with glee.

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  85. I was just thinking earlier this week that computer skills are more about knowing how to troubleshoot and figure stuff out than anything else GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDY

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  86. @Fernie

    People say "naive" and "facade" all of the time. My spellchecker doesn't flag either word.

    On an American keyboard, it's just too much of a hassle to learn the alt-codes for the special characters you want to use. Unless you're a pretentious asshole.

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  87. @Martze -- That's because Americans are intellectually lazy anti-intellectuals who wallow in their inferior bastardized version of English--a language already characterized by its heterogeneous heritage and absurditry.

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  88. I think it's more because, unless you happen to have the keystrokes memorized to add an accent to a letter, it's going to take you a minute or two to type a single letter when all you want to say is 'Yeah, the facade collapsed on a building downtown' when your friend asks if you knew anything about the emergency vehicles.

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  89. Seriously, stop being fucking prescriptivists.

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  90. i dont think the latest comic is funny, by any means, but it IS something i do a lot, so i can relate to it.


    oh dear i just had a GOOMH moment. is there a way to commit ritual suicide on the internet?

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  91. Alt text becomes exponentially more creepy if you imagine it's Randall Munroe saying it.

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  92. @Rob -- If you're too lazy to properly type your words... There's really no hleping you.

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  93. Wow, I really don't get this round of Fernie-hating.
    Yeah, so the guy puts on accents. Big deal! Apparently, in Portugese it's important to have the right accents, so he got in the habit of putting in the accents, even going so far as to *GASP* memorize the alt-codes (like THAT'S difficult), and now he keeps them in even in English cognates. The problem is... ?
    I mean, I don't exactly recall him saying that anybody ELSE needs to memorize the alt-codes and use the accents religiously in order to be a decent human being. If he did, then you guys are all correct and he's being an ass. Otherwise? His habits are entirely sensible and you guys are all asses.

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  94. It's not just using accents, it's using them when they're not called for solely because he thinks it makes his words look more foreign.

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  95. And because he is an ignorant prescriptivist douche.

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  96. Can't start a sentence with "and", Rob.

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  97. You need to put subjects in your sentences, Ann.

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  98. Zing!

    Frogfighter: Well, it's not really hate. I mean, he spelled it with an accent, somebody remarked that it's kinda pretentious, then he disagreed, and after that we're all basically arguing for the sake of arguing. And being pedantic, stubborn... Umm, asses.

    Fernie, nobody ever implied you were pretentious specifically here. I mean, if you say même on xkcdsucks, you probably say même everywhere else. So... Yeah. It's not about you being pretentious specifically to us.

    I think there's basically three reasons you would put accents on words in English:

    (1) The word is not yet borrowed, you are borrowing it from a foreign language (not the case here)
    (2) You speak the originating language (i.e. you are French and saying même) and are simply used to putting on the accents
    (3) You are a pretentious douchebag who knows "how the word is really spelled" and won't let anyone forget it. As in between you and I.

    Since it's more common (if you know enough English to talk about memes you probably have gotten the hang of its orthography by then) people tend to assume 3.

    As for hating English, well, I dunno. It makes writing poems more fun, I think. Anyway, how'd that one go... "The problem with English purists is that English is as pure as a tavern wench. It doesn't simply borrow words from other languages, it chases them down dark alleys, knifes them and loots the corpses."

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  99. This comment thread is a lot funnier than the comic.

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  100. And everyone else here is ignorant for thinking that hertz (the unit) has a capital initial. Units don't. Even units derived from names don't. The symbols for the units do, though, so the symbol for hertz is Hz.

    Like Fernie, I like to use proper diacritics on words derived from foreign languages. Unlike Fernie, I have an Irish keyboard which doesn't make this easy for me, so I sometimes don't bother. And again unlike Fernie, I'm a native English speaker (and I hang around on atheist blogs) and I knew that meme was not derived from the French même. (The two words don't even sound alike: même has a short eh sound. Nor is their meaning similar. Yes, I studied French in school.)

    I think my taste must be different to everyone else's. So far there's been only one xkcd comic I actually hated, and everyone here was saying it wasn't too bad. One of the better ones, you said.

    *shrug*

    TRiG.

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  101. Irregular Webcomic #2404 shows how to do Newton puns right:

    http://irregularwebcomic.net/2404.html

    (Interesting coincidence, as David Morgan-Mar makes his comics a month in advance.)

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  102. Here is an example of how to do the CSI:Miami meme better while also being much more authentically nerdy:

    http://alt.org/nethack/dudley/?370

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  103. man you are a prick. you're taking a comic into consideration and giving it just as much criticism as you would a prolific writer. its like you expected shakespeare out of randall and he failed to deliver. its a god damn comic. its funny, its not serious. its not attempting to deliver something it isnt. fuck off.

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  104. Dear Carl,

    I would like to inform you that this website is garbage and that xkcd is brilliant. It's pretty pathetic how desperately you grope for reasons to hate on the comic. I understand that you have something against cheesy puns, but criticizing the artwork? Honestly? It's xkcd, for god's sake. It's SUPPOSED to look like that.

    In conclusion, you, good sir, are a pretentious cunt.

    Sincerely,
    Anon

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  105. Dear Anon,

    I would like to inform you that your comment is garbage and that xkcdsucks is brilliant. It's pretty pathetic how desperately you grope for reasons to hate on the blog, for example, blaming me for something a guest writer published. Oh silly anon. Can you not read?. I understand that you have something against my guest writer who has something against cheesy puns, but claiming that shitty art is ok because it's "supposed" to look like that? Please. That's a lame excuse. His art, like all art, is trying to convey information, and more often than not, it fails. Trying to make something bad and succeeding is no better than trying to make something good and failing. The subtle bigotry of low expectation, etc.

    In conclusion, you, good sir, are a pretentious cunt.

    Sincerely,
    Carl

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  106. i know a lot of people who like xkcd. this site was my first introduction to those who dont. and from what i've read the only reason this dislike became public bashing was because the comic was popular enough to permeate a lot of aspects of a lot of humorless peoples' lives. i dont see why this blog bashes randall personally, i assume he makes it for fun, he has no obligation to anyone so if it sucks no one lost anything, so i dont see the point. the guest writers and admins are welcome to their opinions, of course but i honestly enjoy a fair percentage of the comics. then again i go to a school where xkcd references are more common than mlia references.

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  107. On a curve? I seriously didn't get that. Explain or die.

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  108. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful new website on the Internet. I will now use it as much as possible.



    Lmgtfy that is. Not Google.

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  109. it is the greatest thing. lmgtfy, that is. not google.

    glad to introduce it to you.

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