Thursday, November 19, 2009

Comic 664: No One Appreciates You

i don't like itOh, poor coders. No one ever appreciates them. They work so hard and get no thanks. I guess?

I guess Randall just wants to shit on some businessy people (I guess he really wants to be hired by some university somewhere?) , because you could totally just reverse this: Academics you spend all this time trying to get grants and stuff and make your papers get published and it takes years and is totally thankless, and you have to deal with stupid students and stuff, and in business, you get paid and stuff and if you work it right you can get famous and invent ipods and stuff (simplified? perhaps. no, on second thought, no. not simplified). Anyway, the point is, this just feels so damn complainy, especially for a guy who has never been an academic, or even gone to grad school, or even tried to go to grad school (as far as I know). While we're at it, isn't a thesis basically what you write at the end of a doctoral program or some other sort of program? Don't you usually write only one? How is that different from a paper, besides the difference in who is writing it?

But whatever. Man, I knew that being an academic was awesome in the math/physics/comp sci fields. You know how I know? Because I read Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, which covered this topic last week. Just last week! Am I being crazy here, or is this a little suspicious?


I am going to try to do a better job of reading comments and occasionally replying...you guys are just writing far too many. Stop writing! only one person has to call me a douche for me to get the picture, not all of you!

96 comments:

  1. Obligatory "new comic is bad" comment.

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  2. Those mundanes will never truly appreciate our genius... *writes crappy code without comments*

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  3. I contend that Carl is not a douche.

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  4. I thought 665 was pretty good.

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  5. I wish Randall wouldn't pander so hard to his audience in lieu of being geniunely funny/interesting.

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  6. I liked how 665 didn't have any fucking awful Randall dialogue. I didn't like how it was a tepid non-joke "modernisation" or some shit of tLtW&tW.

    What IS the joke? How absurd would it be if some random piece of modern technology was put into Narnia? How tragic is it that our children are disillusioned to the point that their first reaction to a mystical land of imagination and wonder is to set up a webcam? How awesome would it be if we could examine Narnia with the scientific rigor that only being a self-diagnosed Internet Ass Pie can bring to bear? All of these things, and more, thanks to Randall's inability to write an actual joke!

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  7. --"Am I bein crazy here, or is this a little suspicious?"

    You're being crazy. The jokes are completely different.

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  8. Also yeah @Carl RE: SMBC and XKCD I think there have been times when SMBC and XKCD have been, at best, deeply intertextual and at worst, outright mutually plagiaristic, but this isn't one of those times.

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  9. --"What IS the joke?"

    One would think the mere juxtaposition of webcams and the Narnia chronicles would be enough.

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  10. One would think the mere juxtaposition of webcams and the Narnia chronicles would be enough.

    One would think that if one is the sort of tool who laughs like a retard every time Randall juxtaposes two recognizable elements of nerd/smart/whatever culture into a single comic without a joke. I suppose you really appreciated that Armageddon/Little Prince mashup, that GLaDOS/HAL9000 combination, and the other times where Randall just clumps two recnogizable concepts together and waits for his fanbase to laugh.

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  11. It is really undeniable that all Randal really wants is a damn blog. This kind of graphic accompanied by a short message would be perfectly respectable as a blog post [if not pretentious, self-serving, whiny, etc.]. As a comic, it just comes off as another one of his autofellating declarations, especially in light of his stunning amount of academic/business world experience.

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  12. The alt text completely contradicts your interpretation.

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  13. 665: Stargate meets TLtWatW. Ha.

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  14. If you guys hate xkcd so much, why do you even bother reading it...

    about the new comic...
    Is that the devil?! why is he holding an umbrella haha~ LOL so randum XD
    The randomness of this comic made my day

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  15. Look, stop complaining about XKCD untill you've eaten squirrel, okay?

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  16. "Is that the devil?! why is he holding an umbrella haha~ LOL so randum XD
    The randomness of this comic made my day"

    This comment made my day.

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  17. what she means by "this will mean a thesis or two" is that one or two phd students will be able to use it as a basis for their theses (often the phd supervisor will suggest a topic)

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  18. I think the idea with the thesis thing is that one or two other people will base their theses (thesises?, thesii?) on his discovery, not that he will write one or two.

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  19. I gotta say, the longer it's been since I first saw this blog (a couple weeks ago) the less I enjoy reading the comics...it's like I didn't see how bad they were getting just because I hadn't thought of it and now that I have...oh man...especially cuz now I'll think back on what they used to be like for comparison.

    I liked them more when they were deep...at the very least every once in awhile...(and not just attempting to be deep)

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  20. The joke to 664 is that worthless college students will read it and nod approvingly at Randall's self-congratulatory nerd wank.

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  21. If you thought today's strip was funny you are a fucking moron.

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  22. Can we get a new list for copied comics now?

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  23. >Am I being crazy here, ...
    You are

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  24. In response to the alt-text: Yeah, I did notice that when I read it. I had thought maybe I was the only one. I feel vindicated!

    I was also amused by the fact that on the xkcd forums there was not overwhelming praise for 664, and a lot of people were like "Well, it doesn't work exactly like that."

    Then I decided to look at the thread for 665 and well...it really just baffles me how anyone could like that comic. There's just no joke there. A few of the positive comments are "I love Narnia!" or "This is brilliant because Narnia is a great book series!"

    That bugs me. They only appreciate his comic because it references something better than what he has created. It is a pretty bad idea to remind people of other, well-written things that they could be reading instead.

    And really, only liking it because it references Narnia? That's a ridiculous reason to like that comic. The exact same response could have been achieved by just posting a stick figure saying "Hey, the Narnia books were really great!" And everyone would have said the exact same thing. "Narnia FTW!" or "Man they really are great, I should reread them!" If nothing else, hasn't Family Guy alone taught us that a reference does not equal humor?

    Ugh...and I guess a lot of other people are reminded of Stargate, but I haven't seen that and have no plans to (sorry Roland Emmerich, but I already know what your movies are like now, you can't fool me again).

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  25. Carl:

    I'm going to agree with everyone else. It's at worst inspired by SMBC, and more likely completely unrelated.

    Anon 12:06:

    You are a hero.

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  26. I dunno, I thought today's comic was kinda darkly humorous, in a way I'm sure Randall didn't intend.

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  27. My understanding (maybe incorrect) is that Randall hasn't actually worked in the "business" world either, (except in so far as he currently is, and being your own boss selling t-shirts for a living is a very different kind of business) and his main work experience between college and being a professional webcomic guy was working in the government sector at NASA. For the purposes of this comic his job was probably more like business than academia, but it is very distinctly neither.

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  28. Someone hung this in the breakroom at the engineering firm where I work.

    The ironic thing is that we're all shitty programmers in the first place.

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  29. 664 seems to prove that Randall reads The Daily WTF, but he doesn't read PhD comics.

    665 might've been worth a chuckle (personally I think the concept of sending a probe into Narnia is fairly humorous) if I hadn't had to reread it 10 times before I realised what it was actually about.

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  30. I like XKCD Sucks because it's about XKCD.

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  31. 664 means basically nothing to me. It's just a waste of internet space.

    665, I liked. I'm bringing a *lot* of my own subtext to it, and I know that. But I like it. It's not particularly funny, but I still like it. To me, it speaks to the loss of adventurousness in children. Rather than rushing in to a new world, the child would rather interact with it at a distance, through a screen, rather than go and experience it first-hand. It's a sad commentary on how technology removes us from experiences.

    Of course, in true XKCD fashion, it still has to screw stuff up. Of course it's a case of the girl being smart enough to quickly construct a remote-controlled probe. Of course the White Witch becomes an idiot AND intelligent at the same time (if she's never seen high technology before, how's she know what a firmware update is? If she HAS seen it, why is she trying to bargain with the probe, instead of the person controlling it? Stupid alt-text.)

    And we draw ever-closer to the dreaded #666.

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  32. I got out of business to go into academia, so now rather than a manager or VP, I report to a department chair or principal.

    Guess what RanDULL, not much difference between the two.

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  33. Actually depending on where you are in your business world it's a lot easier to get people to think you're the best ever. Have you ever heard of startups? They are companies which have terrible ideas and convince people whose sole purpose it is to give money to people with bad ideas that their idea is fucking awesome.

    Or private research groups? If you can show someone a pretty graph, you can get businesses to fund you.

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  34. Noz, I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw the Stargate reference in 665 and Nate, when we talk about Stargate, we're not really referencing the movie (as great as it was) we're referencing the show Stargate SG-1 where whenever they were going to go explore another planet they would first send a probe to see if it was hostile, inhabitable, etc.

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  35. Ohhhhh, it's a webcam. Thanks whoever said that in the comments

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  36. # 665 Head Report: 8 head instances, all on. 8/8

    655 Personal thoughts... meh. This sort of "old story + new tech" mashup is really cookie-cutter by now. Like a joke pattern, after the first couple of proof-of-concept jokes that show some pattern can be used to produce tons of jokes... you can't just say them all and expect it to work. You have to find a really good, unexpected one. Hell, putting a probe through just seems like a modern variant on Theseus' thread in the maze, and I know that is what I thought of when I first read TLtWatW as a kid.

    As far as 664 being ripped from SMBC, the topics seems different enough, but if Randall is going to steal, he might as well steal from someone way better at making funny comics than him.

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  37. I sort of think there's a problem of interpretation on 664. The way I read it, Randall wasn't commenting on the programmer's personal gratification of his work, but on the effect that a groundbreaking idea has on the WHOLE field of computer science. It shows even more through the alt-text: Randall is lamenting that there might be a lot of untapped potential in the business world because the people handling business fail to see computing like a proper science, NOT that in business is hard to be seen as smart. I can agree that Randall's argument is severely flawed, and I guess that since there's been so much dissent, he definitely failed to deliver the idea well.

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  38. Like I said in my 10:54 comment, I don't think it's reaching way too far to see this as a sort of maudlin demonstration that oh the kids of today they are too jaded with their computers and the video games.

    Although weirdly, the typical "the video games and the internet are becoming a surrogate for reality" arguments become extremely weird when computerized interaction becomes a surrogate for a fantasy.

    So, I guess this comic succeeds at clumsily managing to evoke some relatively interesting concepts. Mostly by accident, I think. Freefall is way better at it.

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  39. Fernie everyone knows that if you don't perfectly understand what a shitty writer is saying it's your own fault for being functionally illiterate. HAVEN'T YOU BEEN TO THE RYAN LEARN SCHOOL OF LANGUAGE

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  40. The Ryan Learn School of Language: now with less learning.

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  41. Comic 664: I was going to jest about the woman representing academia and man representing business before, but the comment box ate my comment and I was too damn busy to care about putting it up again. Anyway, I don't even know if the comic's supposed to be funny, but I know Randall is definitely pushing the rope too much to one side, and it annoys me a little... I like the change in layout, though.

    Comic 665: either this is pure "old story revisited, LOL" or a crossover(I've seen here it's a reference to Stargate). I'm not sure. I'm sure, though, that the lack of dialogue made it easier to avoid the usual stilted Munroe-ian dialogue, and Randall shoud avoid drawing satyrs. I'm slihtly happy that he drew a cool background on the last background, though.

    And the alt-text... meh.

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  42. I just learned today that two of the Professors in my department are millionares, through shrewd application of scientific concepts to the buisness world.

    I also learned that my prospects working in research and development involve slaving away as a pHd Student, after which I may have a slim chance of making a distinctly average wage with little recognition.

    LESSON- Randall is bitter and uninformed- if you're good and can be smart enough to apply what you know; then buisness is far more rewarding than academia.

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  43. Cam: I realize that people were mostly talking about the Stargate TV series, but Stargate was still created by Emmerich (or half-created), so it still has his touch all over it and I will avoid it like the plague.

    Besides I'm not too keen on the concept in the first place. My loss I suppose?

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  44. Nate, watch MacGuyver and TNG simultaneously and you will have a better sci-fi viewing experience than about 90% of all SG-1 episodes while still getting to enjoy watching Richard Dean Anderson.

    Or, for the later seasons, you can just watch Farscape instead.

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  45. "HAVEN'T YOU BEEN TO THE RYAN LEARN SCHOOL OF LANGUAGE"

    I have! But I'm a dumb, inferior being who does not appreciate xkcd, you know? There were no hopes for me! *sob*

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  46. All right guys so I just watched Primer and read the timeline linked on the Wikipedia article. It was pretty good!

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  47. P, TNG sucked ass. Telling anyone to watch it is like recommending they go out and get a scorching case of herpes. B5 is the better recommendation.

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  48. Mike, did you watch anything beyond the first two seasons? Yeah, the show took a while to hit it's stride, but once it did there were a shitload of awesome episodes. I don't remember the exact titles, but "Darmok and Jelad, at Tenagra", "There are FOUR lights!", and the one where Data's sentience is put on trial immediately come to mind.

    Also, any episode where Riker doesn't have a beard isn't canon and I refuse to acknowledge its existnce.

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  49. i have only ever seen one episode of any star trek show ever and it was "Darmok and Jelad" and while i hate to disagree with you P, i thought it was probably one of the stupidest things I ever saw.

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  50. P, sadly, I had to watch it many times, due to my father being a huge fan of the show, so I've seen pretty much everything. Encounter at Farpoint, Locutus of Borg, Four Lights, up to All Good Things. Even the cloned Riker episode. Lt. Riker. Jeez. And the MOVIES?! Oh my GOD. First Contact? Nemesis? They make the original Trek movies look like high cinema (which they weren't, apart from II, despite being a good time).

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  51. It's actually quite funny that you made a website SOLELY to try to degrade another, far superiour website. Perhaps this is becuase Mr Munroe is funnier, cooler and smarter than you? This is an emotion known as jelousy, and you feel it when someone is better than you, or they have something you want.

    Maybe you should try something else, becuase what you're doing at the moment. Lucky for you, you have big 'net-balls,' and can try to insult people over the web.

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  52. "It's actually quite funny that you made a website SOLELY to try to degrade another, far superiour website. Perhaps this is becuase Mr Munroe is funnier, cooler and smarter than you?"

    Um yeah because otherwise we would have made a website solely to try to degrade another, far INFERIOR website. DUH.

    "This is an emotion known as jelousy, and you feel it when someone is better than you, or they have something you want."

    It's actually spelled jealousy, but yeah! I'm glad you have just discovered it, though. Learning is pretty fun, and it is really fun to share! But uh you should probably check to make sure something isn't basically universal knowledge first!

    "Maybe you should try something else, becuase what you're doing at the moment."

    Oh dear, this is not actually a complete thought! I was about to go find something else to do but then you went and forgot to provide a reason! Now what am I supposed to do? Also it is spelled because.

    "Lucky for you, you have big 'net-balls,' and can try to insult people over the web."

    Yeah my testicles are fucking huge.

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  53. There comes a time when even the trolls who deliberately rehash the tired arguments of obnoxious XKCD fans become tiresome, and not even the perpetually historical-destructive irony can save them from the tepid morass of apathy. That time is now.

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  54. new comic needs less panels

    maybe it would be funnier then

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  55. I judge the movies as separate from the show because, well, then they stop dragging the show down. They are very mediocre, those TNG movies.

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  56. well what do you expect? Star Wars wasn't exactly Citizen Kane either you know

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  57. Who brought up Star Wars? I mean, I loved those growing up, but nowadays, I see them for what they are. Special effects-fests with a hack plot. Pure escapist fiction. Doesn't mean I don't love them still, but I know they're far from per...

    DAMMIT. "X wasn't exactly Citizen Kane" is like #538 on "cop-out excuses," and I fell for it!

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  58. I was saying it because people were knocking Star Trek films (I don't like all of them but I do like First Contact) so I just said that for every bad thing they say about a Star Trek film I could probably find for Star Wars because they both kind of suck when you really look at them

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  59. Carl, did you watch said episode drunk and with friends? If not, you watched it wrong. Inebriation is required for TNG appreciation. In related news, I am often inebriated.

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  60. prof mole: what browser do you use? the comment box works much better with google chrome.

    anon 5:15: WOW it's known as "jelousy"? shit, i didn't even know that was a thing! and carl, your 'net-balls' are huge as hell and i want you now. rob, yours are a little too big and a sort of morbid curiosity leads me to wonder just how you manage to walk around with them crashing into each other like that all the time

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  61. amanda: I basically have to tape them up.

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  62. Rob, I think you are joking but I must warn you that putting tape on your genitalia is a dangerous course of action that I regret to this day.

    I mean, that you will regret to this day. The tape thing, that is. I think it's bad idea.


    I accidentally got tape on my balls once.

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  63. Carl,

    "Darmok" was the first episode I ever saw, as well. I actually watched it as part of my sci fi class back in high school. I think the culture of the alien's people - specifically its manner of speaking - is brilliantly conceived and a fascinating observation of our own language.

    Beyond that, yeah, that episode is hilariously cheesy and, in my opinion, moronic.

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  64. And yet, a couple of those silly poetic phrases have remained endeared in my memory. Shakka, when the walls fell. That and the titular one are most easily recalled.

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  65. I have to say I have been reading SMBC over last few weeks and there is definititely a very repeditive pattern to those comics too.

    Show you something strange to make you think one thing - explain it with some absurb situation in the text. This is pretty much the majority of the jokes.

    Not that I don't enjoy it. Just saying.

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  66. This thread owns.

    In related news I am going to let Randy off about having a girl in the new comic being the clever one becuz it was Lucy who discovered Narnia.

    The comic still needs way less panels and I think we have seen the faun before, isn't he Mephistopheles?

    664? All I can say is that it is annoying again that Randall's misandry has shown up again.

    I really ought to post here more often.

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  67. P - " did you watch said episode drunk and with friends? If not, you watched it wrong. Inebriation is required for TNG appreciation"

    I think we've found my issue. I'm never inebriated. Thus, it's nearly impossible for me to enjoy TNG correctly.

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  68. say that to my face not online anon 5:15 and we'll see what happens

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  69. will you trip over your testicles

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  70. "...Oh, poor coders. No one ever appreciates them...."

    Nonsense, the codees do!

    Innit?

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  71. Have any of you heard of Brawl in the Family? It's a pretty cute webcomic, not the height of humor or anything, and it's got a really clear target audience. Anyway I came across this on an older strip:

    Starting the week after next–Monday, February 16th–Brawl in the Family will be updating less frequently. I know some of you will be a little disappointed with this, but as some comic ideas get a little tougher to come up with, I truly think it’s for the best of the site. I’m happy with the comics uploaded so far, but I feel that a strict three-a-week schedule could negatively affect the quality of the strip in the near future.

    Just thought I'd share. Also give the comic a read--it's cute even if you're not into Super Smash.

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  72. Amanda: I use Opera. My problem, though, is half my fault and half the comment box fault: I accidentally gone back on the history by pressing backspace with the focus off the textbox and lost the text. Still, the box still annoys me when I have to wait the javascript load the profiles and once in a while I forgot I must submit the comment again.

    And I've just became familiar with BitF. The last strip was quite cool. =)

    Finally, the flamewars are getting boring. I'm sincerely avoiding the comment section these days...

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  73. So is this Randy's female dominant fetish because the woman is the one in the "good choice" or is Randy propogating traditional gender roles by having the woman as the teacher and the man as the successful executive?

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  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  75. What snotty pretentious killjoys you are! DIE! DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE PLEASE THE EARTH DOESN'T NEED YOU! GO CURL UP THEN BURN THEN GET PECKED BY CONDOORS FOR 176 THEN GET EATEN BY Lazor sharks!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    You are whining! Whining! WHINING WHINE WHINERS OF WHINING!!! RED WIIIIINNNNNEEE

    Snotty pretentious killjoys. You are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo kanye west to taylor, but taylor in this metaphor is Randall Munroe. He is genius god of everything. HAIL RANDYYYYYY

    I hope you all die in a fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RAAAAAWWWWRRRR!!!!!!!!

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  76. "I hope Anon is deliberately commenting on the stupidity of assuming the consequent."
    Math Mage's deleted post.

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  77. Careful Anon, we have big net-balls.

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  78. ...which Anon should be careful?

    This is 2:51 Anon and my net balls are huge and with low ping.

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  79. guys, I think in light of our newly acquired "big net-balls" we can now strut around singing this fine tune to everyone

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YUuyzQDmjY

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  80. Mike, why are you never drunk? Have you ever had alcohol before? Please tell me your underaged if that's the case, and it's not for some stupid grade-school reason like, "I don't need alcohol to have fun." That's true, but you don't need toilet paper to take a shit either - it just greatly enhances the experience.

    Alcohol, when enjoyed responsibly, is pretty much the best thing ever. *sips vodka out of a glass skull signed by Dan Akroyd*

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  81. I don't need other people to orgasm!

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  82. I don't drink alcohol because I'm underage.

    When I turn 21 I will probably drink socially. I am too proud of my MIND to ever POLLUTE IT with INTOXICANTS.

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  83. If you're drinking, you're more social. Therefore, always drink.

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  84. P, I'm 26, I've drank on occasion, and only once to excess, and I was only tipsy, really.

    It takes a rather stupid amount of alcohol to get me to even that point. So, it's not economically feasible for me to get drunk, even. Pursuant to that, I don't like the taste of beer, wine, or coolers. Oddly, I like long island ice teas, whiskey, and tequila.

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  85. --""I hope Anon is deliberately commenting on the stupidity of assuming the consequent."
    Math Mage's deleted post."

    Yeah, I realized after posting that 'assuming the consequent' was not exactly what Anon 2:51 was doing. There is the faulty premise that whatever Randall's doing, it can't be good; and there is the false dichotomy between perpetuating traditional gender roles and expressing a 'strong women' fetish, which is a stronger description of the same problem.

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  86. it's called satire, look it up

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  87. Math Mage has demonstrated in the past that, despite having looked up the word satire, he still has no idea how it is used.

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  88. Explaining the general idea of the comic and then saying you saw a similar version of it doesn't count as a review.

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  89. what about that long opening paragraph?

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