Monday, November 16, 2009

Comic 663: Criminal

Sagan-Man? more like...Spider....man
GUYS i felt so bad about being lame these last few posts that I am writing all super early today. Hurrah for me.

This is not so hard a task, because the comic is so freaking dumb. I think the point is to choose a scientific figure who Randall knows everyone will like (and he's got Feynman covered) and make a comic that basically says "Isn't [scientific figure] cool?" So that's what he does. Just by acting like Carl Sagan you can fight crime! Well obviously not really, that's why this doesn't happen, and it remains a cartoon webcomic internet nerd fantasy. But guys! How cool would it be if we finally overcame the bullies and criminals...using science! That is what this comic is about.

Oh, and if he can make his "profound truth" be along the same lines of a previous comic that was oh so similar well then so much the better. Right down to the shape of the comic, with the scene set for us in a box that overlaps the first few panels, some silent panels, and then the Crazy Thought at the end.

Sadly, we still have the xkcd sycophants eating this shit up. for example, a delightful fellow who goes by the name "Steve The Pocket" writes that "I don't even get the joke, and yet I'm laughing." Do you see what we have to work with? How many people get that much slack? How many people can make such crappy crappy jokes and still have people actually admit, "I don't know what the fuck is going on but i will love it anyway!"

this is why i blog, people. this is my sacred cause.

========

oh hey rob finally wrote something about the last comic, you can read it if you want, I GUESS.

181 comments:

  1. This is what the real Carl Sagan would've done:

    http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/190/saganblood.png

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  2. I like how the comic makes it seem like lulz pathetic superpower and then the alt implies success

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  3. Maybe he was just a little behind in celebrating the 75th anniversary of the birth of Carl Sagan..

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  4. 1995 - Carl Sagan is radioactive long enough to bite someone and pass along his mutated DNA.
    1996 - Carl Sagan dies of pneumonia after a long fight with myelodysplasia.

    This seems callous, and probably the worst way to pay tribute to someone. One year before his death in a hospital? But that's not all. There's more to be angry about:

    - Action lines and dust clouds do not indicate changing clothes.

    - The details on the purse disappear in the last frame.

    - When confronted by a superhero, no thief is going to say "What?". I guess it would make sense if that was his purse and he was just on a leisurely stroll.

    - The word "Sagan" was repeated three times in the yellow box.

    - Anyone who worked as an adviser to NASA *after* the moon landing wouldn't act so surprised that we've landed on the moon. What kind of punchline is that? Does Randall even know who Carl Sagan is?

    - "All criminals will quit to work on space research"? Petty crime is not a line of work you are hired into. Also, hearing that we have landed on the moon doesn't give you credentials to work at NASA.

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  5. What the fuck is the point of this comic? That Carl Sagan would be a bad superhero? Or that purse-snatchers can be halted with the phrase "hey you" as they dash wildly into alleyways to escape capture, and that they will be further arrested by a pointless non-sequitur?

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  6. The point is that it's amazing that we've been on the Moon and the amazing powers of Carl Sagan will convince you to drop everything to work in that field. Thereby stopping all crime.

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  7. The point is that Carl Sagan was notable for bringing home just how incredible the universe is to a popular audience. He worked to try to show everyone the sheer scale, complexity, and beauty of the universe we're in, and was enormously successful.

    Randall remembered this about Carl Sagan, and vomited out an update that reminded us of that.

    NEXT UP: Richard Dawkins smugly condescends to religious folk!

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  8. Guys I just checked yesterday's SMBC and I love the votey comic

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1700#comic

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  9. I usually agree with the general criticism of XKCD that you guys do, but I have to say, this comic was funny. I laughed out loud when I got to the punch line. It's not complete comedic gold, but I've seen way worse. It mocks the general stupidity present in most superhero origin stories, and gives said stupidity a fresh XKCD spin. XKCD may be slipping in general, but this is a step above what I've come to expect. If you've got to be critical, that's fine, but be honest with your criticism.

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  10. "It mocks the general stupidity present in most superhero origin stories, and gives said stupidity a fresh XKCD spin."
    Wat. I've seen pretty much that exact part of the joke so many times it didn't even register as somehting I should laugh at. I am numb to it.

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  11. no, the motion and spinning are to indicate that the super hero is turning in circles, which magically changes his costume. Like that wonder woman action tv show. I thought it was a pretty blatant homage considering the rest of the comic.

    Also, I don't think that this comic is about overcoming criminals and bullies with science because that is not at all what happens. If it were what you suggested, Carl, it would be using laser guns or the large hadron collider or something, well, science.

    Not Carl Sagan's enthusiasm. That's not science.

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  12. It would be "fresh" if this was the 1950s or 60s when radiation was a new concept and weird and strange, but as I said in another post, people now know better about radiation. Now the big thing is genetic engineering. Remember the Spider-Man movie? He was bitten by a genetically engineered spider, not a radioactive one.

    Besides, you can't honestly tell me that "superhero powers are kind of stupid, ha ha" is fresh. Seriously? Flaming Carrot and Mystery Men did it during the 80s, and did it leagues better than xkcd could ever hope. The Tick, Too Much Coffee Man...this isn't fresh, this is stale. Old old ground.

    Come on, even Cartoon Network had those Superfriends commercial parodies where Aquaman was like "My ability to talk to fish isn't helping, Wonder Woman!"

    But that's not even the JOKE. The joke is that Sagan-Man's superpowers are SUCCESSFUL, as noted by the alt-text (also by the fact that a purse snatcher wouldn't stop and turn around if someone yelled "Hey you!").

    I guess. I still don't see a joke in this comic to be honest. That's just my best approximation.

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  13. What the hell is the "fresh XKCD spin"? That instead of, like, Bongman, it's Sagan Man? That's not really an XKCD spin at all, it's a Carl Sagan spin.

    And honestly mocking superhero origin stories by having someone be bitten by a radioactive mundane object is like fifty years old.

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  14. Bitten by a radioactive Dane Cook, Randall Munroe has become, The Hack Comic!
    gies am i fresh nw?

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  15. This is apparently something Randall thinks about a lot: http://xkcd.com/307/

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  16. I don't even get this blog, but I'm laughing.

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  17. we don't want your kind here steve

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  18. Yeah, Steve. Why don't you just GIT OUT

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  19. Steve the Pocket sounds like he's part of a 1940's gang of lovable hoodlums led by James Cagney.

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  20. You do realize it's just a comic? If you don't like it, don't read it.

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  21. Guys, If you don't like the comic, DON'T READ IT. It is just that simple.

    I'm not trying to troll here, but seriously. I appreciate Randalls work. So let him be.

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  22. Anon 2:52, do you realize how much of an idiot you are for saying that?

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  23. Same goes for 2:53.

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  24. Anons 2:52 and 2:53: Do you realize it's just a blog? If you don't like it, DON'T READ IT. It's that simple.

    I'm totally trying to troll here. I appreciate Carl's work. So let him be.

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  25. Rob, if you don't like Anon 2:25 and 2:53's comments about not liking the comic, so you should just not read your blog, so DON'T APPRECIATE It. It's just that troll.

    I'm not trying to be Carl here, but seriously, just let him read.

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  26. Interpreted, if you don't like my comments about Anon 2:25's comments about not liking the comic, you should just not read my comments.

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  27. Rob, you can't claim dislike Anon's comments because we all know you can't read.

    Not after.. that day

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  28. #663 Head Report: Seven head instances. It is hard to tell without magnification, but the head in panel 3 is detached. Score = 6/7.

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  29. It might be an issue of not reading this blog, if this blog didn't have the stated agenda to

    "get Randall Munroe to shape up and make better comics, admit that he's lost his touch and stop, or make enough fans see the light that they stop visiting and Randall Munroe drifts slowly into obscurity like a shriveled leaf in an ocean of forgotten love."

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  30. Ryan, your analysis would have been interesting and insightful if the ridiculous hyperbole at the end of that statement was not an obvious clue that said statement is not meant to be taken 100% seriously, but rather, like much of the rest of this blog, is meant to be sardonically humorous.

    In other words, die in a fire, you pseudo-intellectual fuck.

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  31. ahhh P you always know just what to say don't you :D

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  32. Depressing statistic: Ryan Learn has made 90% of all comments on xkcdsucks in the past week.

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  33. 70% of all statistics are made up, and solid lead is 86% as dense as Ryan Learn.

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  34. Carl Sagan fanboys are the dumbest faggots on this gay Earth.

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  35. Not even pretentious loser nerds shy away from being cocksucking hero worshippers.

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  36. --"Carl Sagan fanboys are the dumbest faggots on this gay Earth."

    You need to get out more.

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  37. It would get out more if I didn't have it locked in a cage with a laptop with connection to the internet in which it can use contact some form of authority to come help it escape. Mwahahahahaha! (note that fish cannot survive in a cage, and can only survive in bowls [which I believe bowl is a russian word])

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  38. I do what I can.

    In related news, nothing is funny and everyone is terrible.

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  39. omg I was GOING TO SAY THAT TOO

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  40. Thank you for proving my point.

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  41. Guys, we're not living up to poore's high standards for comedy.

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  42. Guys, I'm totally living up to poore's standards for not being terrible.

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  43. Even if you have no idea who Carl Sagan is it is quite possible to enjoy this comic.

    The scenario is obviously silly, and being silly is a valid way of securing laughs. Yeah, its not the highest level of humor, but it is definitely a few notches above the stuff you accuse him of.

    My favorite part was just the parody/homage to old super hero cartoons/comics/whatever. Yeah its been done to death, but the stereotypical, "OMG BAD STUFF JUST HAPPENED", followed by a costume change spin (probably most famously featured in the live action Wonder Woman TV show), followed by the dramatic dash to the rescue is enough to make a number of people chuckle. The follow-up, promises to subvert the whole build up, and it does not dissapoint.

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  44. Yeah its been done to death, but the stereotypical, "OMG BAD STUFF JUST HAPPENED", followed by a costume change spin (probably most famously featured in the live action Wonder Woman TV show), followed by the dramatic dash to the rescue is enough to make a number of people chuckle.

    The sort of Pavlovian "Holy crap! A reference to my childhood/the 80s (not necessarily the same thing!) I MUST LAUGH MY FUCKING DICK OFF" response exemplified by tools like Steve the Pocket is exactly what we hate.

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  45. If "being enough to make a number of people chuckle" is ever the standard by which I determine what is good and what is bad, I have left specific instructions with my closest friends to come find me and put a bullet in my head.

    Seriously. I don't give a fuck if it's good enough for some people. I am not some people. I am a person with high standards. Since when did elitism become an insult? I admit that I'm an elitist, and I'm okay with that. I expect the things I call myself a fan of to be awesome, not just mediocre. What's wrong with that?

    (Protip: the answer to that last question is "nothing".)

    P.S. - from what data I've managed to gather, the amount of time I spend on xkcdsucks is directly proportional to the amount of time I spend drunk.

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  46. Guess what everyone, Randall thinks Academia is better than the business world!

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  47. GUNSTABBER

    FIRST HE SHOOTS YOU IN THE FACE
    THEN HE STABS YOU IN THE NUTS
    GUNSTABBER

    original character do not steal

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  48. So, I guess the joke in this week's XKCD is that academics fail to understand real-world scenarios?

    'cause the business panel seems pretty reasonable to me. No one cares how elegant my code is; all they care about is whether their product listings hook up to PayPal correctly. And why should they?

    If it works, it works. If it doesn't work, it should.

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  49. The idea of "No one cares how elegant my code is" is undercut by the fact that there are people who care how elegant the code is, i.e. academics (in this comic).

    Some people (quite a lot, in fact) appreciate elegance even when it is not coupled with an obvious performance increase.

    It's not so much that businessmen are facile about these things, as the comic insinuates, or that academia is removed from reality, as you insinuate, but that the two milieu have different standards and goals. You can get into a pissing contest over which is better (cf. that comic about disciplines purity for the general idea) but fundamentally some people will enjoy designing circuits and some dissecting Derrida, and only very rarely at the same time.

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  50. "Ryan, your analysis would have been interesting and insightful if the ridiculous hyperbole at the end of that statement was not an obvious clue that said statement is not meant to be taken 100% seriously"

    You can claim that defense if you want, but there is definitely a grain of truth to their "mission statement", which you evidently realize because you qualify it as "not meant to be taken 100% seriously".

    Randall stated criticism such as this makes him not want to continue the strip, a statement the operators of this blog seem rather proud of. So if you want to delude yourself into thinking this is merely sardonic humor, by all means do so.

    The point I brought up remains even if this blog is meant to be 1% serious. I could dig through post by post and demonstrate numerous instances of genuinely angry ranting, which is in fact not sardonic humor, so your argument doesn't hold any weight anyway.

    "In other words, die in a fire, you pseudo-intellectual fuck."

    Congratulations, you know how to change the meaning of a word by adding a Greek prefix to it.

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  51. Woulda been funnier if he used an actual quote from Sagan in the last panel...I didn't even crack a smile at this one :-\

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  52. Anon 7:46 -

    Being "enough to make a number of people chuckle" is not a good standard of what is good or humorous. Hell people laugh at that godawful "My spoon is too big" video on Youtube. That should be proof enough.

    "Being silly is a valid way to secure laughs" is also not true in the least. Yeah some people may laugh at it but that doesn't make it good. People worship that terrible "Chef Brian" CAD comic because it's "RANDOM AND SILLY OMG" but it's still horrendous.

    I'll prove it right now. A giant purple pumpkin wearing a chicken suit singing showtunes carrying a doorknob stops at a florist and says "My son is giving birth to a stick of butter, I need deodorant!" and then bounces out on his head.

    As retarded as that was I bet at least one person would laugh at it and say "Ha ha that's so random and hilarious!" No, it was stupid and horrible and I purposely made it stupid and horrible. Whether someone laughs at it or not is inconsequential; it's still crap.

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  53. ryan, what was that that you had said? something like since you were the one doing what you were doing, you are the only one who really knows what was going on in your head as you were doing it? so explain to me how you would go about finding instances of genuinely angry writing if the closest that YOU can come to knowing the emotion of the author is pure conjecture.

    you are possibly the biggest hypocrite this blog has seen

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  54. I find it odd that a man who writes stick figure comics for a living, and (this blog excepted) gets massive respect and, I'm certain, his work in at least one textbook, would write such a comic as today's.

    ASIDE: "Chef Brian", at least the first few of them, was the only tolerable part of CAD. Now, of course, he's trying too hard at not trying. My opinion is right and yours is wrong.

    BIGGER ASIDE 2: Anonymous at 9:45 doesn't understand (good) business any better than Randall's caricature. There really is more to it than "it works" and the example given is unreasonably soul-destroying, trivializing and ignoring his amazing work and relegating him to the status of geek squad first-day kid.

    And something that works but isn't understandable, isn't good enough. Something that works but isn't maintainable, isn't good enough. I'm saying this from a business perspective.

    I don't know where the idea comes from that academics value elegance in programming type problems more than businesspeople anyway. In my experience, academics are the ones who only care that it works. It might be an abstract thing that works rather than a practical thing, but it has to work and no further. In business (businesses I've worked with), you have a motivation to make something that is GOOD, and "it works" is never good enough, and only making things that work is a good way to get managed out or fired.

    I've never seen code in the business world that even approached being as horrid as the stuff I saw in academia.

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  55. Amanda, you do realize there is a section of links on this page entitled "Angriest rants", yes?

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  56. ASIDE: "Chef Brian", at least the first few of them, was the only tolerable part of CAD. Now, of course, he's trying too hard at not trying. My opinion is right and yours is wrong.

    Hardly, man. Even in the beginning, it was shitty "SPORK CARROT POOP URETHRA" tripe.

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  57. "Pseudo" is an English prefix, derived from Greek. I'm not sure why you think identifying the etymology of select words is the same thing as disproving a statement/writing a scathing response etc.

    "prefix"

    Well done, you know how to use a word derived from Latin to describe the function of a certain combination of letters!

    See, it doesn't really make sense.

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  58. Why would I feel the need the disprove/write a scathing response to his opinion that I am a "pseudo-intellectual fuck"?

    You seem to think that calling someone a "pseudo-intellectual fuck" is some sort of argument that needs to be addressed.

    I was merely pointing out it wasn't exactly the most brilliant of insults from a self-proclaimed elitist.

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  59. Why do you feel the need to disprove any of our opinions? My theory is that it's because you're a pseudo-intellectual fuck.

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  60. Another case of guys being jerks and girls not?

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  61. Haha, I've started reading the comments on this blog just to see what Ryan Learn's up to.

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  62. Well I'll keep that in mind, next time someone insults me, I'll just quietly outline the etymology of all the words they used. Discombobulate the hell out of 'em, eh!

    (Although why is using words derived from Greek a bad thing/ why would it render something a non-brilliant insult?)

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  63. Dude, EVERYONE knows that you're only brilliant if you are WAY more creative than just appending a Greek prefix to some word.

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  64. "Why do you feel the need to disprove any of our opinions?"

    Ah, but I don't.

    If you hate xkcd, more power to you. I happen to like it, but I don't claim that all intelligent people have to like it, it's a matter of opinion. I'm not in the business of disproving opinions, as its impossible. I can refute individual reasons for opinions, but not opinions themselves.

    Randall has the capacity to make dud comics, that we agree on, but I don't think all of them are duds. I happened to like this one for example, and my favorite xkcd (618) received a similarly negative review on this site.

    What I oppose on this site is the attempt to force your opinions on others and the consensus that liking xkcd is indicative of low intelligence.

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  65. So do you also go to the XKCD forums and try to dissuade XKCD fanboys from coming here and posting "It's just a comic, you don't have to read it"/"You are not the target audience"?

    Or is it only bad when people 'force an opinion on others' when it's a different opinion than yours?

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  66. I'll give some motivation for Ryan Learn's fascination with the origin and etymology of insults by calling him a "pseudo-intellectual pendejo".

    Also today's comic, well, the faults I can find in it are mostly that it's a quite ordinary observation, and the joke might be overexplained. It's the sort of thing that gets the fans "OMG, only Randall Munroe could make something as BRILLIANT as this", but then again, I shouldn't let my opinions be poisoned by the fans.

    But regarding the message of the comic, I'm pretty partial. Maybe it's the abhorrence I feel for the "religion" that says that everything is always better when it's handled by business. As I see it, the message isn't very cloudy at all: it's saying that business treats programming as a very banal tool, similar to fixing Outlook problems, when it's actually an extremely complex science which is applied everywhere. I don't think it means academia is "better", but simply that computing when treated as a science makes a much bigger change in society than when it's treated like a business tool. And I can't help but agree.

    But as for the comic itself, it's a very lacklustre way to deliver the message, but it could have been way worse.

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  67. Didn't care for today's comic. It feels like a stereotypical nerd fantasy of finally being a hero in his field surrounded by like-minded individuals at school. This is little more profound than if the branching lines went to "College" and "High school" and the high school one showed him getting stuffed in his locker by jocks.

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  68. 664 is just more self-congratulory wank for wannabe-hackers.

    "Being so smart is fucking tough man... All those plebians just DON'T GET IT! Hackers should rule the world!!11"

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  69. Okay so business is more focused on the end result while academia is more focused on the content.

    Is there a joke here? Even if it's meant to be "interesting observation" as opposed to "ha ha that's funny" it still fails because there is no interesting observation, just observation. Maybe next comic Randall will show us what the deal is with airline peanuts.

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  70. "So do you also go to the XKCD forums and try to dissuade XKCD fanboys from coming here and posting "It's just a comic, you don't have to read it"/"You are not the target audience"?"

    No, their agenda doesn't lie in direct opposition to my agenda (reading xkcd three times a week).

    If this blog were used merely to air criticisms about his work as opposed to "Lets all get Randall to stop. Randall has obviously lost his touch and needs to stop" , I wouldn't have even bothered to start posting.

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  71. I was unaware our goal was to get Randy to stop. All this time I thought it was for him to get an editor or to start listening to criticism.

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  72. Ryan, you make it sound like you're posting here as a "moral duty", not out of amusement or anything like that.

    That's seriously, seriously, sincerely, honest-to-goodness-and-everything-that-is-sacred, plainly pathetic.

    I mean, most cuddlefish who come here are either motivated by anger, or boredom, or for need of amusement (which sort of was my case back in the day). You make it seem important. Please, don't stoop so low.

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  73. I come here because I like to argue.
    There is plenty of that to be had here.

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  74. Ryan Learn is rolling with the punches like a champ.

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  75. Ryan learn is complimenting himself.

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  76. Randy seems to have some crazy utopian ideal of what academia is.

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  77. I like how Ryan makes up a new reason to post here every single time he posts something.

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  78. No, their agenda doesn't lie in direct opposition to my agenda (reading xkcd three times a week).

    hahahahahhahahaolychrist

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  79. I know it's not up on this site yet, but man, today's is classic. Yes, how dare those ignorant fools care more that a program was fixed than how it was fixed. Idiots, caring only for their ability to get their work done! What is this, a business or something?

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  80. LOL GUYS MANAGEMENTS DOESN'T UNDERSTAND TEH CODERS we are soooo smarts but they don't get it

    FOOLS

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  81. "I like how Ryan makes up a new reason to post here every single time he posts something."

    Am I not allowed more than one?

    I don't see why are you all are opposed to having a serious voice of dissent around. Unless of course you all gather here to reassure yourselves about how much better you are than cuttlefish.

    Don't feel too special though, I hang around Ray Comfort's blog quite a bit as well, though the shear number of different posters precludes me from saying much.

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  82. We're not opposed to a serious voice of dissent, we're just opposed to dumbasses.

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  83. "though the shear number of different posters precludes me from saying much."

    That's because they're all sheeple? *TA-DUM, PSSH!*

    OMG I'm the next Randall Munroe

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  84. Man even Fernie is getting in on the action. HI FERNIE

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  85. Ryan, I would be interested in a serious voice of dissent if I were truly serious about my opinions.

    You state that you're here because you like to argue. Argument for the sake of amusement is, in my mind, not serious. You can be serious about ARGUING, but if that's what you're focused on, the SUBJECT MATTER of said argument is largely unimportant. I know this because I also like arguing. I am also self-aware enough to realize that sometimes I argue points I don't care about because it is the act itself, and not its subject, that I care about.

    So which is it - are you a serious dissenter, or are you someone who seriously likes to argue? If you are both, then your two interests are at odds with themselves - the attitude of arguing because you enjoy it inherently causes people not to take the content of your arguments seriously.

    In other words, you're an idiot.

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  86. He's someone who likes to argue but doesn't like to admit that he is only arguing for the sake of arguing because he lives in a high school debate club mentality where making such concessions means that you lose points and you might not get to go to the national tournament in March if you keep losing.

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  87. Wow. You know, anti-fanning anything is possibly the worst waste of time in the world. If you don't like a comic, even if you think it's your duty to launch a righteous war against it, your best course of action is to just...oh, I don't know...not read it. Apply your energies to making a comic more famous and better than his, or curing cancer, or stamp collecting or something. Anti-fan rantings are just as dumb a concept as fan-fiction--a waste of potential, of talent. You obviously know a lot about what it means to write a comic. So write one.

    This website makes you look like petty children on the playground, which is not exactly helping your cause, because by not reacting to any of this, Munroe just keeps on looking cool and rich and above all of you, both the fans and the anti-fans.

    You're letting it consume your life. That seems just as mindless, to me, as reading it religiously and laughing at every joke.

    And, P.S., there is such a thing as artistic license. Art doesn't have to be as "by the book" as you imply. Some of the things you've said here are pretty close-minded.

    Also, ad hominem attacks have about the same level of effectiveness as "neener neener neener," so the above "debate-club" comment, though a dashing attempt at witty, is not easily taken seriously by anyone.

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  88. "...Sadly, we still have the xkcd sycophants eating this shit up...."

    Please, Randall, for the love of the divine being(s) of your choice they are not sycophants. They are toadying sycophants.
    Don't get me started on your splitting of the verb phrase: 'eating up'.
    Ending a sentence in a preposition is just something up with which I will not put!
    Innit?

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  89. "...your best course of action is to just...oh, I don't know...not read it."

    Make it POSSIBLE for me not to read it by getting xkcd fans to stop cross-posting it on every single web forum in existence any time something marginally related to it comes up. Oh, and get my coworkers and friends to stop emailing it to me. If it wasn't shoved in my face all the time, it'd just be another crappy webcomic I don't give a fuck about.

    "Apply your energies to making a comic more famous and better than his, or curing cancer, or stamp collecting or something."

    "You're letting it consume your life."

    Hyperbolic much? Or do you really have such a scarcity of free time that you actually consider taking 5-15 minutes to vent about something annoying to be a life-consuming endeavor?

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  90. "You obviously know a lot about what it means to write a comic. So write one. "

    Actually, I think most of us here know a lot more about what it means NOT to write a comic, which is why we don't do it. Besides, what do you know about the personal lives of the people in here? You don't know, maybe we only take a minimum amount of time to post here and do all sorts of neat things in the mean time. I write music, for example. And posting here does not reduce my potential or talent because this is a necessary *distraction*.

    "(...) because by not reacting to any of this, Munroe just keeps on looking cool and rich and above all of you, both the fans and the anti-fans."

    Actually, if you read a little more about it, Randall does not react to this because he's UNABLE to do it. He actually looks pretty awkward and uncomfortable when it comes to the fandom and the anti-fandom. Not that we feel joyful knowing that -- it's a personal problem of his. Also, at least for me, Randall would gain several points in my book if he came to react to this blog in a mature, intelligent way. Of course, ignoring it is far better than whining and wrist-slitting (all the way to the bank), so more power to him.

    But, gee, if we are wasting our times so much by posting here, how much time are YOU wasting for pointing that out so painstakingly?

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  91. "Also, ad hominem attacks have about the same level of effectiveness as "neener neener neener," so the above "debate-club" comment, though a dashing attempt at witty, is not easily taken seriously by anyone."

    Oh fuck, you mean I'm not going to win at your high school debate club either? God DAMN it.

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  92. This is fun. And ocassionally educational.

    How am I wasting my time?

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  93. Because we could be doing something more VALUABLE with our lives, like... stamp collecting. Apparently collecting arbitrary little bits of glue-backed paper is a much more noble use of time than critiquing things. I'll write to my alma mater immediately and request a refund for those 2 semesters of Art & Literary Criticism courses I took, to be paid in unused 1840 Penny Blacks.

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  94. You're absolutely right, Mary. Ad hominem arguments are not logically valid and should be ignored. In light of that, it's a good thing Rob didn't actually commit ad hominem.

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  95. Sam said:

    "Okay so business is more focused on the end result while academia is more focused on the content.

    Is there a joke here?"

    This is one step away from "White programmers code like this, black programmers code like THIS."

    It's looking increasingly likely that we'll have an airline food = Microsoft joke soon.

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  96. Rob, let's start our own debate club where you only get points for drinking and insulting people.

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  97. Let's start a debate club where you ONLY get points for committing logical fallacies. The goal is to cram as many in as possible.

    Of course, Rob would be way too good at it, since he has so much practice cramming as many CAKES as possible down his GAPING CRAW.

    Rob is very fat.

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  98. You people are all very amazing.

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  99. Mal - I literally lol'd.

    Literally.

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  100. Oh no! Randy spelled 'queueing' wrong in Wednesday's comic!

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  101. 664 is a pretty decent comic. Its delivery is pretty great, and the beats are all spot-on. The artwork works with the flow of the comic (unlike most recent productions). However, I do disagree with the central concept of the comic.

    The scenario plays out as a hero fantasy in the mind of an office drone..."my neat coding and hard work would have finally paid off!" However, it's highly unlikely (probably impossible) that a solution to any given problem developed in a non-research environment would be unique.

    Imagine this scenario taking place in kindergarten: one child playing with blocks discovers a world-shattering engineering principle. Seems silly, right? Kids playing with blocks are solving functional problems (how to make this pile of blocks into something recognizable), and aren't going to be looking for unique conceptual solutions. Similarly, programmers solve functional problems (how to make this terrible code more efficient), and don't need to come up with brand-new concepts to get the job done. Both groups use common solutions to solve their problems.

    I think 664 is Randall's complaint that we have so many people working in the computer industry, yet none of these companies seem interested in DISCOVERING anything exciting. That's been true for every industry - changes to the industry are never brought about from the inside - yet the field FEELS so new, hence the complaint. Factory work is relatively new, but Randall isn't complaining that factory workers aren't innovating in that field. If a tech company is run like a software factory, we shouldn't expect too much from the workers - regardless of what hero fantasies may play out in their minds.

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  102. tbh, i do agree with the sentiment of the blog! xkcd is pretty fundamentally flawed. often funny but there's also a HELL of a lot to wallbang about.

    but christ, if anything xkcdsucks has sucked MORE over the past few days. pot, meet kettle! any observations you'd like to make?

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  103. whatever man Rob's post was fucking awesome.

    664! Why the fuck does Randall think that in academia if you write 200 lines of pretty code someone will assume that it is worth all the praise and research that Random Old Academic Lady thinks it is? Academia is highly institutionalized and thickly structured. It's certainly not prone to rash "oh man this is the best ever INSTANT ACADEMIC FAME" decisions.

    I mean, seriously. Is it intended to be a satire on nerds who think that academia is the best ever and that business doesn't appreciate how great they are? If so, why does it come off as completely unironic?

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  104. you all gather here to reassure yourselves about how much better you are than cuttlefish.

    We are always better than cuttlefish. We eat them and they are delicious. Cuddlefish, however, can sometimes be better than us.

    In other words: you're doing it wrong.

    fernie, you are confusing me, i... i am liking you now. what do i do with these feelings, please tell me

    Mary: don't forget that you are browsing the internet too. That might be considered a waste of time. But I'm doing it too! And I waste so much of my time that this might even be considered a waste of my waste of time. Basically what I am saying is I am free to use my time however I please, and visiting this site when I am bored is not "taking over my life."

    Ryan: stop patting yourself on the back. You are welcome to voice your opinions, but you are disliked for your stupidity. Stop trying to make us into a big group of bullies that hate you for being logical.

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  105. WOW! I was just reading the blog and the XKCD fans were gay bitches and the XKCD haters were demanding douchebags. This blog is a fucking joke.

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  106. I don't see how Carl is 'having fun' or experiencing amusement if he posts uberlate and when he does, it's just a suggestion for someone else to be posting. I'm pretty sure you guys asre keeping the blogs going because... well I dunno. You tell me.

    SALSA

    Sorry, did I just ruin my sincerity?

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  107. I've kind of been wondering that too. Carl said that if this ever stopped being fun for him, he would stop. And for several posts now, he's been lackluster. He sounds tired. So, is he just running into writer's block and/or real work, or is he actually losing interest?

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  108. I liked comic 664. It may not be super funny but I can totally relate. Sure businesspeople don't care about "the how" for their solution (nor should they) but I think the point of this comic is to convey the fact that few people seem to recognize the amount of effort it really takes to solve some problems.

    Often times the simplest requests from a users perspective can be incredibly hard to develop.

    But I digress, it could be better! Also the fact that "Queueing" was spelled incorrectly is pretty poor...

    Also, first time poster. I originally thought this site was really pathetic but once I began reading the posts and the comments made by people I actually see what you mean ... XKCD has gone downhill for sure. I am rather indifferent towards the comic but still visit regularly in hopes of seeing a true gem. Interestingly, I sometimes frequent this site more than I do with XKCD...

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  109. I got a chuckle out of 664, for reasons entirely unrelated to the comic. It reminded me of that time a friend of mine wrote a bit of elegant code that met the project requirements the way the professor wanted, while I wrote code that met the requirements but was about as ugly as possible, and got a better grade than he did. The professor found my crazy-but-technically-correct antics amusing.

    Fun anecdote!

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  110. Oooooooh! I have an idea! How about we consider a hypothetical situation?

    Imagine, one day, you wake up to find that xkcd is gone. Oh happy day! You rush to xkcd sucks, post a couple comments on your success........ and then nothing. You're done.

    Now why doesn't everyone here who hates xkcd just pretend like the web site disappeared? What would be the matter with that?

    I suppose my second question is this: Why do you have to ruin others' fun?

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  111. Hey Femalethoth: because you all have a chance of ruining my personal fun, and I won't take kindly to that.

    You all also haven't answered my first question: Why don't you pretend it went away? What would you guys do with yourselves?

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  112. It really hurts you so much that not everyone likes all the same things as you?

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  113. Seriously I'm gonna keep on spewing tu quoque! until you address it.

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  114. I assume, daniel, that you are referring to me.

    And yes, it would "hurt" me, because there is a chance that my enjoyment might cease.

    In a similar sense, I might not like a certain comedian, but I'm not going to go out and actively pursue the end of his or her comic career. Some people think some things are funny. Some people don't. Form your own opinion. Deal.

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  115. In other words, Femalethoth, because you continuously fail to see the point of my posts, this blog has a chance of ruining my (and others') personal fun. However, xkcd has little to no chance of destroying your personal fun, unless you chose to read it. That's the point. You CHOSE to read xkcd. If you don't like it, leave.

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  116. 664 is good, but could have been better with a third scenario - where the business patents thecode, and the programmer is shocked beyond all belief that firstly they'll get no credit for it, and secondly that the company is keeping the code quiet so they can make a fortune in patent claims in the future.

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  117. But YOU have a chance of ruining OUR personal fun. ... did you not understand the point I was making? I wasn't making the XKCD:XKCDsucks::XKCDsucks:XKCD argument, I was making the XKCD:XKCDsucks::XKCDsucks:Mike10010100 argument.

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  118. Really, Femalethoth? I by myself have a chance of ruining your personal fun? How? By making you turn your hateful criticism elsewhere? (Or, in a different case, by taking your constructive criticism and posting on the xkcd forums themselves)

    Are you trying to say that you enjoy nit-picking? Hate-spreading?

    When I see a television show that I find boring, I don't instantly go around to everyone saying, "You're stupid for liking that show...there are so many inaccuracies...the characters are vapid." I say, "That's cool." I leave it at that. I don't feel like ruining others fun just for the heck of it. I'm sorry that you do.

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  119. No-one expects that criticism will cause him to stop producing Xkcd. Would you tell AO Scott to stop reviewing films because every lacklustre review he gives might cause a director someone likes to stop directing or an actor someone likes to stop acting? Criticism is part of the equation when you are releasing things to the public. We are not blockading his residence or fire-bombing Xkcd HQ!

    If there are any lofty ideals directly related to Randall, it would be for him to improve, not cease, the comic. But mainly, as The Femalethoth is trying to explain to you, this blog exists because people enjoy discussing and critiquing the comic. What you demand would definitely lead to the end of this blog's denizens' amusement. Why is this certainty less important than the minute possibility that your enjoyment might be affected?

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  120. I don't understand why you people equate criticism with 'hate-spreading'. Have you never encountered, you know, a film review or music review or something? Do you live in a world where apart from this blog, there is no criticism or critique of popular culture whatsoever? Bizarre!

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  121. Mike... Mike Mike Mike. I gotta say. You're a disgrace to my name, you dumbass. The reason we don't, nay, CANNOT simply pretend XKCD doesn't exist is because XKCD is cross-posted everywhere its fans think it fits, and a lot of places they think it doesn't. So if we don't ever go to the site, we still have random assholes going "lol this is just like XKCD 631! *link*" And then no one can actually take it when you go "Ugh, I fucking hate that comic. It'd be so much better if he did Y." So instead we gather here, where we can actually discuss why we dislike one strip or another in relative seclusion. Frankly, I don't think there's a person on this blog who wouldn't be overjoyed if instead of disappearing, XKCD simply _stopped sucking_.

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  122. really mike101010101010 we by ourselves have a chance of ruining randall's fun etc etc

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  123. That's what the forums on the xkcd site are for, daniel, discussion and criticism of these comics.

    However, that's not what I've seen happen at this website. You have a bunch of people surrounding a main poster, all sharing similar ideals. It turns into a circle-jerk fest, followed by some trolls. This entire website seems to be devoted to the complete put-down of every comic. You've even come up with a seemingly derogatory term, cuddlefish, for the people who don't agree with you.

    The fact that you all insult people who like the strip means that you have abandoned all hope for improvement, and simply like to bash the readers as well.

    If you want to make your criticism count, put it on the home website, instead of sheltering yourselves in your own camp, making boogeymen and clowns out of the opposing party.

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  124. @Mike:
    So by posting a link, you automatically have to click on it? You must have a lot of problems when going on advertisement-filled websites.

    Ooooh, and you just fulfilled my point from my previous post about bashing people for what they like. Yay for me, and yay for predictability!

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  125. What, exactly, is wrong with bashing people for what they like? If someone really likes Ayn Rand and Karl Marx simultaneously, I have no reservations bashing her.

    ====

    If you want to make your criticism count, put it on the home website, instead of sheltering yourselves in your own camp, making boogeymen and clowns out of the opposing party.

    Have you SEEN the XKCD fora? We don't have to make them boogeymen and clowns.

    ====

    "Cuddlefish" isn't a term for "people who disagree with us." It's a term for anonymous posters.

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  126. 2038: Last of the original Star Wars cast dies.

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  127. The forums on the site are indeed for discussion. But if anyone tries to say anything that isn't "omg best comic evar" they get shouted down. So if two like-minded people noticed that they were both saying that xkcd was not very good, they might start talking about it together. Then to find other people who agree, they wouldn't be able to use the xkcd site to discuss. Eventually they would move somewhere else, and others would find them.

    Plus the forums are pretty sickening. Did you see the comments for that one "I'm going to pretend to be your friend but really try to undermine all your decisions until you feel like I am the only hope you have" comic? That's why I don't go to the forums. And that is the type of xkcd reader we bash, not just any person who enjoys xkcd. It is in fact coincidence that most of the idiots that have passed by this blog are fans of xkcd. We do have some idiots that hate xkcd, and we bash them as well.

    FYI "cuddlefish" is NOT derogatory. Why do people keep saying that?? It's just such a cute name and we got tired of saying "anon[time]" or "latest anon." Again it is a coincidence that a lot of our cuddlefish posters have been idiots. Notice that Cuddlefish Prime is well liked, despite having the name "Cuddlefish."

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  128. I was banned from tropes for criticizing xkcd. Mouth breathers.

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  129. "And that is the type of xkcd reader we bash, not just any person who enjoys xkcd. It is in fact coincidence that most of the idiots that have passed by this blog are fans of xkcd. We do have some idiots that hate xkcd, and we bash them as well."

    So then what is the casual xkcd fan supposed to treat this website as, other than filled with nit-picked criticism and outright anger towards some strips?

    For the record, I've been called names several times already merely for stating my opinion on xkcd and the state of this blog.

    Keep in mind, that at first, this blog might have been for the improvement of xkcd, but you, by secluding yourselves, have only created the polar opposite of what the xkcd forums are.

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  130. So then what is the casual xkcd fan supposed to treat this website as, other than filled with nit-picked criticism and outright anger towards some strips?

    if you don't like it you can just ignore it, riiiiiiight?

    For the record, I've been called names several times already merely for stating my opinion on xkcd and the state of this blog.

    well, your opinion is stupid, so BIG FETHIN' SURPRISE MATE.

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  131. Also, I have not yet revealed any contradiction in my opinion as of yet. When I do, then you may bash me all you want.

    However, what's the matter with liking Ayn Rand and Marx all at once? You don't have to agree with them entirely. If someone did agree with every Marx and Rand policy all at once, they would most likely have some sort of personality disorder, but there is nothing wrong with liking some parts of each philosophy.

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  132. Mike10010100:

    The casual xkcd fan is supposed to treat this website however the hell they want. Ideally they'd realize it's just a bunch of people who hate a comic and can't complain about it on the forums because the forumites are sickeningly adoring of even the shittiest of comics. We've actually come here to have peaceful discussions, and we do welcome xkcd fans. So I dunno what kind of "seclusion" you are talking about... to me that implies we ban anyone here who says anything good about xkcd, and that is the polar opposite of what happens on the xkcd forums.

    And others have called you names for being pretentious and hypocritical. "i want you to stop ruining my fun so i will ruin yours and tell you to complain about xkcd where you will get kicked out, even though the same thing won't happen to me here" is essentially what you are saying. Keep in mind that the only reason you are able to complain is because we are okay with it, and are actually discussing your complaints with you.

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  133. When an artist displays their work, there is an implicit contract between the artist and the consumer. The artist gets to have their work seen, talked about, and sometimes they even get money for it. In return, they have to accept that their work may be criticized and in fact probably will be.

    Excepting a few people, the criticism on this site is not that vicious. If it's really enough to make Randall end xkcd, that is his problem. We have no duty to hold his hand or be 'constructive.' I say this as someone who does usually try to be constructive.

    Also, I'm a little floored you WANT us to post on the xkcd forums. I guarantee you most xkcd fans would not agree with you.

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  134. An opinion doesn't have to be internally contradictory to be stupid.

    However, what's the matter with liking Ayn Rand and Marx all at once? You don't have to agree with them entirely. If someone did agree with every Marx and Rand policy all at once, they would most likely have some sort of personality disorder, but there is nothing wrong with liking some parts of each philosophy.

    :\

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  135. Femalethoth, just to clarify, which opinion of mine is wrong, and exactly why is it wrong?

    (Waits for reply just to explain how it's impossible to prove an opinion wrong, as it is just that, an opinion)

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  136. And in reference to my "seclusion" comment:

    No way! You guys are terrific when it comes to not banning people! That's great!

    But when a fan of xkcd thinks, "Hey, I want to discuss my criticism of the latest xckd, but I still enjoy it," they don't automatically google "xkcd sucks". It's that kind of seclusion that makes for a hostile environment.

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  137. Just as a general refresher/ re-badge of my original question:

    Why can you not just ignore xkcd? I ignore stuff that I don't find funny. Why all the rage?

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  138. ah, but this site is not for the average fan of xkcd. It's for people who think xkcd is pretty bad lately, as explained by Carl sometime ago--people who think that are not likely to google "xkcd is pretty bad lately," but rather, "xkcd sucks."

    And I should just remind you once again that a few hostile members is not representative of our entire group. The same is true for the xkcd forums, and any other forum on the internet.

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  139. noted. pretend my comment includes that, cuz i had intended it to

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  140. "ah, but this site is not for the average fan of xkcd. It's for people who think xkcd is pretty bad lately, as explained by Carl sometime ago--people who think that are not likely to google "xkcd is pretty bad lately," but rather, "xkcd sucks."

    And there's where my seclusion argument comes in. Open it up a little more, and it won't just be a breeding ground for hate (if not for the comics, then for the people who post that they like a comic).

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  141. Why can you not just ignore xkcd? I ignore stuff that I don't find funny. Why all the rage?

    to goddamn quoque for FUCK'S sake man holy FUCK STOP IT

    And there's where my seclusion argument comes in. Open it up a little more, and it won't just be a breeding ground for hate (if not for the comics, then for the people who post that they like a comic).

    I have no idea what you're talking about with seclusion. Are you criticizing this site by saying that it doesn't include a way huger portion of the XKCD readership in its target audience? That's a refreshing inversion of the typical "you're not in XKCD's target audience so you just don't get it" bullshit.

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  142. No. I don't want parroting, Femalethoth, I want to know what makes you tick. I want to know what drives you to first go to xkcd, read the comic in its entirity, make criticisms on it, go onto another website, and then post those criticisms.

    And, no, I'm simply saying that by making this website only findable if one hates xkcd, it kinda filters out all the dissent, dontcha think? It's not like that other "bullshit". Good job trying to rationalize and group my statement, though.

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  143. 'No. I don't want parroting, Femalethoth, I want to know what makes you tick. I want to know what drives you to first go to xkcd, read the comic in its entirity, make criticisms on it, go onto another website, and then post those criticisms.'

    Self-expression. I'm interested in webcomics and writing and this is one place to talk about them. I don't hate xkcd. I don't particularly care about xkcd anymore.

    I post on this website instead of any other because I got in on the ground floor, when I was one of like 5 commentators, and nothing has made me want to leave.

    'And, no, I'm simply saying that by making this website only findable if one hates xkcd, it kinda filters out all the dissent, dontcha think? It's not like that other "bullshit". Good job trying to rationalize and group my statement, though.'

    No. There is a fair amount of dissent on this website. And when a fan doesn't make an ass out of themselves, people are more receptive. Some people will still tell them to fuck off, but that's just how the internet works.

    Anyway, I don't see what else we'd call it, and this website isn't only findable if you hate xkcd. You're here, obviously.

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  144. I'm here because a friend of mine showed me this website. Otherwise, I would have had no reason to search for "xkcd sucks", as whenever I don't like an xkcd, I just move on to one of 10 other webcomics I frequent. Seems pretty exclusive if you ask me.

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  145. A Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tralala Band.

    If you look back on the last few comic threads, you can see a lot of people who post negative things about this site. We are fairly open to criticism. Most people who dislike this site either post once then disappear or try to convert us. The few who actually try to understand what we are saying and reason with us are treated well, but then again, reasoning with the enemy is a sign of weakness.

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  146. How'd your friend find this site?

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  147. 'I want to know what drives you to first go to xkcd, read the comic in its entirity, make criticisms on it, go onto another website, and then post those criticisms.'

    It's fun. Believe it or not, many of the people on this blog find this activity enjoyable.

    I understand where you're coming from - I really do. It's a wonderfully optimistic yet hopelessly naive viewpoint whose appeal is readily apparent: Why can't we just ignore all the things in life we dislike, and learn to live in harmony. Why do we have to bash things for our enjoyment?

    In short, why can't we all just get along?

    The answer, my friend, is that the right to express unpopular opinions is fundamental to the ideas of liberty and free speech. Regardless of how much you may disagree with our message, as soon as you appoint yourself the person in charge of telling people what they can and can't say, you become an authoritarian. You are stating that your opinions about what should and should not be said are, in essence, law, and everyone else must abide by them.

    Think about it this way - in a totalitarian regime, where most of the general populace is ignorant but content, should the people who are dissenting the government's oppressive policies just stay silent and fade away because their actions might destabilize the current government and endanger the contentment of others? (Hint: the answer is "no".)

    I realize that is a hyperbolic example, but do you get what I'm saying? I'm not trying to paint us as righteous defenders of free speech - I'm telling you why your enjoyment isn't worth more than any of ours. True, you happiness may be (slightly) endangered by our actions, but our fun is simultaneously (slightly) endangered by your feeble attempts to shut us down.

    Either both xkcd and xkcdsucks have the right to express themselves freely, or neither of them do. Anything else is a double standard, and makes you nothing more than a hypocrite.

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  148. I'm here because a friend of mine showed me this website. Otherwise, I would have had no reason to search for "xkcd sucks", as whenever I don't like an xkcd, I just move on to one of 10 other webcomics I frequent. Seems pretty exclusive if you ask me.

    "Hard to find" and "exclusive" are radically different concepts.

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  149. It's not hard to find at all. Barely a day goes by when someone doesn't drop in and try to Show Us Up.

    Also it mildly freaks me out when poore is reasonable.

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  150. @The_P

    Thank you for your extremely detailed and well thought out response.

    I understand. I apologise. I leave this website in peace.

    Now noone can ever argue that people don't learn their lesson. For all those who called me names, all it took was one reasonable, well thought out, truthful statement like, "It's fun." to make me go away.

    Thanks all! Many happy journeys, and hopefully some funnier xkcds.

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  151. not to fan the embers or whatever the phrase is, but

    isn't that what mal told you pretty much right after you left your first comment?

    p.s. poore rocks

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  152. p.p.s. thanks for not being hateful/crazy/condescending/etc, it is greatly appreciated

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  153. Mike, I know you have left in peace but I want you to know I appreciate it when people respond positively to my libertarian ideals. Thank you.

    As for you, Jay - fuck you. Fuck you and your stupid face, I am always the most reasonable and you should die in a fire.

    P.S. - Amanda is awesome even if everything is terrible and nothing is ever funny.

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  154. Also, it is late here on the East Coast and I am now going to bed.

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  155. Well, I'm glad that you understand us a little better, Mike.

    ====

    Hopefully, most people realize that "XKCD needs to stop, Randall needs to die" is hyperbole. However, do they realize what the base statement being exaggerated is? It really still is "XKCD needs to improve massively. Randall needs to get his shit back together."

    All the suggestions for the Picto-Blog? The suggestions to get an editor? These SHOULD be signs that we still think Randall has interesting ideas that are worth being shared. We just think he's really, really fucking awful at making a webcomic out of them.

    ====

    Anyway I finished my big philosophy essay so I ought to sleep.

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  156. I like how Mike acts all graciously and then attempts to guilt trip people in his last post.

    Oh, and Ryan: you're allowed to have more reason than one. It's just that you'd usually list at least a few of them when people ask for your reasons, rather than post just one, wait for it to get shot down, and then post the next one. Because you know, it kind of looks like you're waiting to see what kind of arguments people come up with and are then making up the next one to fit those arguments. Not that you'd do such a thing, of course. That'd be -pathetic-.

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  157. "664 is good, but could have been better with a third scenario - where the business patents thecode, and the programmer is shocked beyond all belief that firstly they'll get no credit for it, and secondly that the company is keeping the code quiet so they can make a fortune in patent claims in the future."

    You don't know how patents work. You've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're not worth arguing to, because you'll repeat and invent imbecilic arguments to fulfill your bias. There are legitimate reasons to be against patents, and you hit none of them.

    FIRST, you can patent code in academia too.

    SECOND, a business may sponsor a patent, and your job contract may require you to assign them a patent, but YOUR name goes on the patent. YOU get credit. A business' name cannot go on the patent, so they cannot steal the credit from you. Then, you sell the patent to the business. Hypothetically it could be as low as $1 (but not lower). Realistically, I got $2000 apiece on my last four patents from my employer (over the course of two and a bit years), as did each co-inventor on each patent. Yeah, boo hiss me, part of the Man and the System. Nobody has ever been sued over my patents and I would be astonished if anybody ever will; and if they are it'll only occur (by legally binding agreement with me) as a countersuit to somebody else wielding their IP hammer in the direction of me or my company or my co-inventors.

    THIRD, you can't "keep the code quiet". Patents don't even cover code, they cover "implementations", which is broader than code but far narrower than the common misconception that they cover "ideas". Patented code is no more likely to never be released as unpatented code, and is probably more likely to be released since if it's hot shit, it'll get released, and it'll get a patent. Also, there are defenses against pure patent trolls -- your patent trolling has to at least have at the very least a publically available prototype that does shit with that patent.

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  158. notice how the smart/sensitive one is a woman whereas the stupid/callous one is a man?

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  159. Thanks for not forcing the narrative this time, Randall. Alt-text was stupid, drags the whole thing down, but taken on its own the comic is at least SILENT so no awful Randallisms and yeah bascically I'm just glad he told a story without dumping shitty words all over it.

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  160. FUCK THE SEXISMS, AMIRITE?? Seriously. I don't give a shit about the witty females and the stupid drunk axe murderers that are men. Randy is just a creepy whore alrite? Now SHUT THE FUCK UP

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  161. This joke plays on the super hero trope of being bitten by something radioactive gives you its powers. This is a well worn joke, and depending on how fond you are of it, this will probably determine you react.

    The main punchline of this joke is, of course, that Carl Sagan didn't really have any super powers, so just runs up and talks to criminals about interesting things. The final line is a little weak, but serves its purpose well enough.

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  162. It's been a while since this has been posted, but I hope you're still open to constructive criticism. For I think you got this all wrong.

    This strip was released a few days after the 75th aniversary of Carl Sagan. It's actually a homage, not just some random science-related joke. And even though some people think the reference to a radioactive Carl Sagan in 1994 is offensive, it is still a homage.

    I can totally understand why people find that offensive. It's controversial. Most people would think that's not something you say about a deceased guy. But not Carl Sagan. You see, Sagan was not afraid of death. He was, indeed, fully aware of his temporary condition as a human being. And he perfectly understood his most important task was passing on his knowledge and discoveries and making his small but important contribution to our species. If he could see a strip depicting him passing on his "powers" like that, I do believe he would find it amusing.

    And what were Sagan's powers? Well, for people who are used to seeing superheroes smashing bad guys, it's easy to hink Sagan Man inherited no powers at all, but that's wrong. He inherited Carl Sagan's unique ability to reach people in an inspiring, thoughtful, passionate way. There have been few scientists who were so efficient as Carl Sagan in spreading science, tolerance, respect and humanism.

    Sagan always defended the idea of science as the most necessay tool for our continued survival. If he could somehow end war, crime and suffering, he would do so with humanistic philosophy (which is very closely related to the scientific enterprise and skepticism).

    The homage go so far that even the way Sagan Man speaks resembles Carl Sagan. It's no coincidence that "[we've] been to the moon" is written in italic. If you were used to listening Carl Sagan, you could almost hear him with his idiossincratic (and somewhat funny) way of emphasizing when he speaked.

    You see, I really believe you totally missed this one, Carl. This is exactly what xkcd used to be: clever, funny, pleasing comedy. And it has to be one of my favorit xkcd strips of all time. I simply loved it! It's flawless!

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  163. "the 75th anniversary of Carl Sagan" is possibly the dumbest construction I have read all week.

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  164. I'll take that as a compliment. So thank you.

    By the way, that's probably the dumbest argument I've seen in a while.

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  165. That wasn't an argument, that was an insult.

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  166. The most childish insult I've seen in a while.

    You're silly. You're ugly. Take that posing away.

    Meh...

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  167. PLEASE stop referring to previous xkcd comics. Unless he copies the exact same joke, reusing ideas is not a crime. Plus, i don't see the point of linking to the 21st century comic. What does that have to do with this comic?

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