Thursday, February 25, 2010

Comic 706: I am Going to Punch You In The Face

freedom to suck
This is a pretty boring strip, which is odd because it features a dude getting punched in the face. And still, boring.

Probably it;s because it is so horribly predictable - a sort of Checkhov's Fist that is mentioned in the second panel and unsurprisingly used in the last. It's not just that, though; the dialogue is also really stilted and awkward. "Sometimes I'm shocked to realize how many options I have" is just a stupid way to start this conversation. What would be more natural? Maybe something skipping most of the first panel and starting with the second, like "Do you realize that at any moment, I could..." etc. As is, the first panel is just a dumb set up to make the second character demand a further explanation.

Anyway, the other thing that annoyed me about the comment was how clever the first character things he's being, woo, no one has ever thought of that stuff before. "It's only my mental rules that stop me from punching you" is so stupid too, there's plenty of good other reasons not to punch someone - they may be stronger, they may have a more powerful weapon on them with which to get their terrible revenge, also you might get arrested. Or the word may go out that you are a douche. That's a lousy result too. Basically what the character wants to say is "people take long term consequences into account because they aren't idiots. But they could ignore them if they wanted!" GENIUS!


ok, that's it. i am offended at how boring this comic is. maybe tomorrow will be more interesting. Also, looks like you should start paying more attention to who writes each of these posts, because other folks are writing sometimes. keep an eye out.

Hey, it is almost time for the CONTEST TO START! almost.



----------------
holy CRAP i mean, I know Zach Weiner loves xkcd for some reason, but my GOD today's SMBC Comic is so damn close to this xkcd from a few weeks ago, right down to the "we have only the barest amount of certainty in this case" punchline. I basically do not know what else to say. We all know that Zach adores xkcd, so I really don't see what his excuse is here. Link

139 comments:

  1. first post! now i've been creeping for a while and now finally commenting.

    1) this blog is infinitely more entertaining than xkcd, and that realization killed my waning appreciation of the comic.

    2) oh wow another smug cartoon person telling us about how our social programming limits us from realizing our full potential.

    randall you have such incites. one day maybe i could be a revolutionary writer just like you...
    not.

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  2. I was about to claim the first post but was foiled by the CAPTCHA.

    I will get my revenge, Rachel.

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  3. tragically, yesterday in my philosophy class, we basically had a discussion exactly like 706. it was like "people are really predictable, isn't that, like, sad, or something" and "do you ever try to be unpredictable" and i was just like "urrrrrrrrrrrgh philosophyyyyyyyyyyy"

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  4. I just realized. This comic could mean Randall just played Mass Effect 2, since at points in conversations, you can choose to do things like... punch people in the face! I honestly think that'd make the comic worse, if true.

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  5. Coming from an university psychology background, i cannot help but notice some transference here happening between

    a) this site's author's relatedness to the world

    and

    b) his anger towards a particular part of the world, namely xkcd.

    What is so remarkable however, is the intensity with which this author makes as the object of his negative affect discourse what are certainly a peripheral or tangential set of observations, namely those of xkcd.

    xkcd is written tongue in cheek, almost as if every cartoon is preceded by the emotional and conceptual undertone of "isn't it funny how sometimes...[object of cartoon]". These are the peripheral musings of an undoubtedly trained observer of the human condition, in its myriad random ways of instantiation.

    the explicit identification of the xkcd author with his representations is limited to the extent that one identifies with a peripheral thought, a musing, a sidenote, an observation that put in some context gives rise to a passing smile - and that's all.

    however, the author of this site seems to be unable or unwilling to reproduce this implicit "conceptual mood" of the xkcd cartoons. this does not point so much to an intellectual superiority or inferiority to the xkcd author, but to a difference in the set of "conceptually empathetic" states of mind available to this site's author.

    in particular, it seems that the peripheral character in the nature of relatedness to the xkcd cartoons cannot be reproduced, probably because it's not sth this side author uses in his own relatedness to the world. he thus appears to make a peripheral object a central one, namely the target of this site's extended discourse.

    the central question that comes to mind is one of emotional motivation, as this site's discourse certainly seems punctuated with negative affect (anger/bitterness), though not without at attempt at humor itself.

    the question then is what this set of negative affects stems from, or put differently, what it is in the xkcd cartoons that causes this site's author's brain's emotional centers to get so fired up. and it is here that the transference stems its explanatory load - sth in the xkcd cartoons strikes a chord, resonates an at least partially unsublimated part of this site's author's personal history - that much is psychoanalytic consensus.

    what exactly it is that on a preconscious (unsublimated) level stirs the negative affect ("pisses this site's author off") I could only speculate on.

    Here is a purely speculative proposition: it is the tone of the xkcd cartoons themselves that this site's author responds to affectively. In particular, the xkcd cartoons have an ease to them, namely the ease of the high-functioning well-adapted mind that joyfully observes the world around it with a sense of humor and only soft sarcasm, admittedly distorting the world's objective composition somewhat on occasion.

    - that ease does not seem to come to those who are limited to engage with the world ("relate to the world") in a way that is much confined to explicit focus, or narrow attention. it is thus that I propose as a second step in speculation that the author of this site has gone through a development of mind which limits him (to a significant degree) to see goings-on almost purely as they most overtly seem, almost if understanding them as focused, explicit propositions with all the gravity of factual declarations.

    thus it seems that the emotional affect displayed on this site is much more a statement about the particular relatedness to the world of this site's author than it is a statement about the truth-propositional content of a bunch of geeky cartoons.

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  6. FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK 707 is so stupid.

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  7. it's funny because they're both douchebags

    Here is a purely speculative proposition: it is the tone of the xkcd cartoons themselves that this site's author responds to affectively. In particular, the xkcd cartoons have an ease to them, namely the ease of the high-functioning well-adapted mind that joyfully observes the world around it with a sense of humor and only soft sarcasm, admittedly distorting the world's objective composition somewhat on occasion.

    is that another way of saying "asperger's syndrome"

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  8. Are you kidding, Anonymous?

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  9. someone want to tell me what the fuck that anon is talking about?

    All I'm getting are words words words words words and no real information.

    Yes Psychology is about speculation, but the real Psychs also use facts

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  10. "an university..." well, they're british so.... Just kidding of course. Anon 8:59, I don't see where in xkcd you see evidence of a "high-functioning, well adapted mind". I sense an imature, socially maladjusted mind every frakkin time I read one of these comics. Also, "ease"? They're so stilted!

    Off topic: Clearly by "university psychology background" you mean you're an undergrad that hasn't yet learned how to communicate in a casual setting.

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  11. ^^same guy^^

    Also, what does "sth" mean. YOu use it twice so I assume it's not a typo.

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  12. I think it's official (again), Randall isn't even trying.

    That's all I have to say for now.

    Also... congratulations Cuddlefish #8:59, you're the first person on the whole internet to get a "SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY, DAMN IT!" from me. I'm dead serious.

    Mole out.

    CAPTCHA: essen. Really, Psycho-Anon, fuck you.

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  13. "In particular, the xkcd cartoons have an ease to them, namely the ease of the high-functioning well-adapted mind that joyfully observes the world around it with a sense of humor and only soft sarcasm, admittedly distorting the world's objective composition somewhat on occasion."

    and where does comic 631 fit in amongst this

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  14. funny, this is also a symptom of OCD ...

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  15. @Anon 8:59
    You type like a middle schooler with a thesaurus.

    Anyways, have you seen the latest comic (707)? What the hell does that have to do with "looking at the world with a sense of humor and soft sarcasm"? It looks more an old sitcom joke to me. Also, that comic with the snow footprints was just a string of references to nerd culture. No soft sarcasm here.

    I would say that your argument would be a better defense of Marmaduke than XKCD. Maybe you should try trolling Marmaduke Explained instead.

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  16. "sth" is a lazy way of not typing "something"

    Anon is trying to impress us with his vocabulary and failing. (Hint: make sure you make sense - there is no "psychoanalytic consensus" when it's just you talking; also, this site has more than one author.)

    707 is really, really awful.

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  17. @Anon 8:59

    Coming from both an engineering and a military background, I cannot help but notice that my bullshit meter is pinging like crazy.

    Seriously, if it takes to 50 words to say what could be said in ten, you're better off shutting the fuck up. Don't feed me that 'I'm a philosophy major' nonsense, either. Every philosophy/ethics class I took, the professors made it a point to make MAXIMUM paper lengths, instead of minimums, just to make you cut the bullshit and get to the point.

    On that note: TLDR.

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  18. Holy shit, even I can tell that Anon 8:59 was joking...

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  19. "maybe tomorrow will be more interesting". not only was it not more interesting, it was the most aggressively uninteresting xkcd I've seen in a long, long time. A pure white background, no details of any kind. two stick figures that stay frozen in place the whole time. dialogue that did not amuse me or interest me, but actually made me furrow my brow in disgust at what I was reading. absolutely atrocious.

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  20. @Anon 10:07

    Perhaps he was, but I wasn't about to wade through bullshit to find out. Again, TLDR.

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  21. Yes, xkcd is getting even worse. Since 694, every single comic has been horrible. It's unfortunate that Carl got caught up in such trivial issues in the past (e.g., so-called post-punchline dialogue), since it's just making it that much more difficult to express the utter waste that is xkcd right now.

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  22. http://xkcd.com/386/

    thats how psycho-anon must have felt.

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  23. I have to admit, I really need "xkcdexplained" on this one. "Joshing"? At first I thought it was referring to Josh Whedon, but then I realized that he is actually Joss Whedon, so that doesn't work.

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  24. timofei: joshing = kidding. as in "I'm just joshing ya!" Which is basically saying "I'm joking".

    Where I live people say this all the time. Regional thing?

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  25. Joshing? I haven't heard that since elementary school, over 15 years ago. Jesus Christ.

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  26. I think 706 would be funny, if instead of being just super predictable, the joke was about how predictable it was. For example, someone suggested this edit, in the last post:
    http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/1866/freedomv.png

    707 was terrible. I too, was looking for some sort of connection with http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Jossed. But it seems not. After looking at it longer, I think what he is going for is that the first panel is a standard joking reply, and then the last panel shows that he is not actually kidding in this case. The problem is, that the line he uses for this purpose, muddles it, by raising too many questions. (Eg Why does he have to kill him already? Does he want to kill everyone in the world? Whats going on?) Also the "ha ha ha" should be over the left guy, not both. And the question in the first panel, should be something that it could possibly hypothetically make sense to kill someone over. Actually, this is so badly carried out, that I'm starting to doubt if I am correct in my guess about what the joke is supposed to be. But then I remember it's xkcd.

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  27. Realize that this strip's announcing the punchline in the beginning is the sort of stupidity Yahtzee Croshaw pointed out about CTRL+ALT+DEL OVER A YEAR AGO: IT HURTS

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  28. 707 HO. LY. FUCK.

    panel 1: ugh that old joke. man was that ever funny in the first place? but ok next panels will subvert it fingers crossed.
    panel 2: ok building the tension for the subversion.
    panel 3: ugh that old addition to the joke. man was that ever funny in the first place? but ok next pane...what.


    the art was awful, really embarrassingly awful. two sets of 5 lines with a circle attached stand there unmoving, not acting, not doing anything. and that's all you get to look at. the circles aren't even attached to the lines either!
    in fact...http://147.tinypic.com/2v0ihcl.png.
    that, y'know i actually think that improves it.

    and as for the joke? :-| there's as much humour there as saying "that's what she said" after every sentence containing a potential double entendre.
    if you think it's funny, boy you're worse than this guy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J0nOUeNQbM


    so no art. no joke. which leaves us with holy shit, absolutely nothing. not even - believe it or not - any evidence of a high functioning mind easily making joyful observations about the world with a sense of humor and only soft sarcasm.

    unbelievable.

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  29. bah that first link should start with i47, not 147.

    ooooooops.

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  30. Good news, everyone! I'm still technically alive!

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  31. Coming from an actual university psychology background, I call bullshit on Anon 8:59, as several others have before me.

    Apart from the fact that there is a difference between "psychology" and "psychoanalysis" (the same difference as between "mathematics" and "euclidian geometry"), any real psychoanalyst should have learned that this kind of blog is not sufficient data for any kind of inference. Babbling about sublimination and transference on that kind of basis is ridiculous.

    Also, regardless of how stupid and scientifically irresponsible it is to draw "conclusions" while neighing about one's unsubstantiated qualifications, this is not how one would talk to any "patient", or in fact to any layperson one wished to help (helping being assumed not to be synonymous with trolling). This kind of "purely speculative" statement would, if anyone were actually taking you seriously, be dangerous - one does not suggest one's own theories to a credible audience unless one enjoys inducing problems that may never have been there.

    Luckily, this being not only an internet board, but a fairly insightful community at that, nobody will take you seriously. Most people will ignore you. More the fool I, that I haven't!

    I doubt I'll rise to further troll bait, but I do feel the need to defend my profession. Idiots like you give psychologists as a whole a bad name and I won't stand for it. If I were affiliated with the "university" you claim to have a background in, I would be ashamed of your conduct as a representative of that institution. I'm most likely not, so I'll simply feel disgusted instead.

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  32. Tune in on Monday when xkcd brings you a new twist on, "Guess what? Chicken butt".

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  33. 707: it's one of those "mildly amusing in conversation, but not worth drawing" doohickeys. Alt-text is awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful. It adds nothing. What is it for? Nothing. No. AAARGH.

    That said, "joshing" obviously means joking, and it's fairly clear what the dude on the right is doing. If you didn't get the joke, you're a moron. If you liked the joke, you're also a moron.

    (I am not a moron BTW)

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  34. Like I said, Randall isn't even trying. I think the lack of buffer is taking its toll on him.

    Look at 707. It won't take much time, I know. What does it contain, visually? Stick figures, white backgrounds, and lacks some panel lines, which is the least of these infractions. Rather, let me spell it out: STICK FIGURES ON WHITE BACKGROUND ON THE SAME DAMN POSE DO NOT REQUIRE ANY KIND OF EFFORT! Why, then, do their heads not connect, and even the circloid shape their heads have fail in connecting with the other end! Randall Munroe: effort! Just show me some effort!

    About the joke... is it even a joke? It's more like... a mild twist. I gave myself some time to think over it, and the best I can think... is that SickRight is implying he'll have to kill StickLeft anyway. That. Is. Not. Funny. And for any of you saying "Ooh, but comics aren't alyways supposed to be funny!" well, it isn't depressing. It isn't heartbeaking. It isn't interesting or compelling in any manner!

    It's a fucking bland xkcd, which sends me into a rage fit, because all the hope I've been having even since I joined the xkcd sucks crowd is in vain.

    There: Randall stopped trying. Or he'll come up with a poster comic soon, but I won't be impressed, not even in the least, this time I promise.

    That's all for now. Mole out.

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  35. ahahahaha 8:59 anon is the best ever

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  36. "sth in the xkcd cartoons strikes a chord, resonates an at least partially unsublimated part of this site's author's personal history - that much is psychoanalytic consensus."

    Okay, *pretending* that everything else you said makes sense, you definitively jumped the shark here. I don't think the word "consensus" means what you think it means.

    Also, how lazy is it to write this whole shit completely lowercase and let people guess what "sth" means. It just doesn't add up. All this effort and it's not even a good show. Fuck you.

    707: No art, joke is just too short. Maybe a punchline where we see (i.e. "show, don't tell") that, yes, actually the other guy is secretly a spy and his co-workers mysteriously died once they asked him too much. Or some shit. Replacing the current punchline with some action might have made this comic a whole lot better.

    - Anon 06:21

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  37. so what do you guys figure? is 8:59 an actual Freshman psych student who believes his bullshit?

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  38. The new comic shows how far XKCD has truly fallen. Randall's now degraded himself to making jokes of the "Cyanide and Happiness" variety...

    What's next? Will we see Randall making fart jokes? Or maybe he'll write another "Your mom" joke in the next update.

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  39. I can't believe you'd actually read past "university psychology background".

    What kind of weaselly bullshit is a "university psychology background"? They're obviously not a psychologist, because they'd just say that. If they had even a degree in psychology, why wouldn't they just say that?

    Some fucktard took a course or maybe two and thinks that makes him an authority on the "psychoanalytic consensus".

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  40. Because, uncivlengr, when I read "university psychology background" I knew I was in for a treat of the douchiest proportions. I'm guessing he's a Freshman-level psych student, though it's possible he's just read the Wikipedia articles on psychoanalysis.

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  41. Am I the only one who thinks that Randall is probably a relatively normal, well-adjusted person who just isn't that skilled at writing?

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  42. "What's next? Will we see Randall making fart jokes? Or maybe he'll write another "Your mom" joke in the next update."

    What?? "Your mom" jokes are EXTREMELY highbrow!!

    ... for xkcd's standards.

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  43. "These are the peripheral musings of an undoubtedly trained observer of the human condition, in its myriad random ways of instantiation."

    LOL.

    Anyway, is it just me or is today's SMBC a funnier and better version of XKCD?

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  44. "'It's only my mental rules that stop me from punching you' is so stupid too, there's plenty of good other reasons not to punch someone - they may be stronger, they may have a more powerful weapon on them with which to get their terrible revenge, also you might get arrested."

    But those ARE mental rules. If the guy you're thinking about punching has a gun, your mental rules say "Don't get shot."

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  45. I think 8:59 is having a little joke.

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  46. I humbly put forth that 707 gets an "angriest rant" by Carl.

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  47. But those ARE mental rules. If the guy you're thinking about punching has a gun, your mental rules say "Don't get shot."

    It's like how every single action I take is out of self-interest, because even when I act duty it's really so other people will help me! (Or, possibly, because I feel better when I act out of duty. Still, ALL self-interest!)

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  48. 8:59
    william monty hughes ladies and gentlemen

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  49. "It's like how every single action I take is out of self-interest, because even when I act duty it's really so other people will help me! (Or, possibly, because I feel better when I act out of duty. Still, ALL self-interest!)"

    Objectivist nonsense =P

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  50. I can't believe nobody noticed yet that Anon 8:59 just gave the longest explanation of "not being in the target audience" ever put on this site.

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  51. No it's not. It's neither nonsense nor Rand-ish in fact.
    It's just another entry in my "Technically true, but who gives a shit?" list.

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  52. Anon 7:23 - No sher, Shitlock!

    Anon 8:23 - Yes. Yes, I quite got the overall idea.

    He still gets a "shut the fuck up" for the longes, lamest and most incredibly idiotic and over-extended version of an already old and lame argument.

    Also... I'd argue with 7:21, but I'm definitely NOT in the mood for an objectivist argument!

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  53. Am I the only one disturbed by people saying that strip 706 "is so true?" There's so many douchebags on forums saying how, wow, they've always thought this, get out of my head randy-pandy, etc. And they think it makes them clever. Here's an example from one of the forums I frequent:

    "I make it a point to periodically mess with people's perceptions in conversations.

    Big hugs, pulling out a meat cleaver and sharpening it ("No, no, I'm listening. Dooo go onn."), answering in song, doing backflips whenever people use the word "Orange" (that one was in an art gallery). And taking off clothes."

    Seriously. What. That's not clever, or funny, or kooky. That's not "messing with social norms," which I'm sure he thinks it is. That's just fucking retarded. I wonder how many of his friends call him a dickhead behind his back, and just hang out with him for cheap laughs. If he has friends.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the typical XKCD fan. Someone with no ability to engage, socially, on the same level as other people, and who thinks this somehow means that THEY are the clever ones. Someone who tries so desperately hard to come across as "ironic" and "kooky" they end up just being "creepy."

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  54. @Mike: What's wrong with Mass Effect 2? Or is it that if Randall just made a comic based on that scene where you punch a chick in the face for being lippy, that it makes the comic worse for needing to just take a scene from a game almost exactly... in which case I agree with you.

    @8:59 - You just killed more braincells with that one post than I did with a night of heavy drinking last night.

    CAPTCHA:@Anon 8:43 - No, I feel I should clarify, that is the typical XKCD fan that you can read on the FORUM. Their on the bloody forum, of course they're going to be coocoo for KCD! I myself, and many of my friends, are XKCD fans, but we're sure as hell not on the forums talking about how great it is. They read the comic once, go "haha" and then move on for the rest of the week, as did I before I started posting here. Granted, the longer I stay here, the more I feel Carl/et al (this includes commenters) slinking their way into my mind and changing my feelings on the comic.

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  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  56. "Granted, the longer I stay here, the more I feel Carl/et al (this includes commenters) slinking their way into my mind and changing my feelings on the comic."

    You appear to make a peripheral object a central one, namely the target of this site's extended discourse. Oh boy that comment is really the best ever.

    - Anon 09:27

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  57. @Rinnon
    Nothing wrong with Mass Effect 2 apart from the sh!t-tastic game-breaking bugs I've hit several times. It's more that first interpretation is it's at least pseudo-intellectual. Unoriginal thought, but at least thought. If it *is* just copying from ME2, then he put even less thought in to it than usual, and it's just... ugh.

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  58. @Mike: Yeah okay, we're on the same page then. Minus the game breaking bugs I never ran into.

    @Anon 9:27 - Okay, I'll bite, I can tell you're trying to mock me, but I'm not sure how. Could you elaborate for me please? No matter how many times I read your comment, I can't figure out what you are trying to say. You are either suggesting that *I* think the discourse here is peripheral and feel proud of myself that I have brought it to light. Or, you think that the discourse here IS peripheral to something else (I can't imagine what) and find it amusing that I bring the debate itself into central focus. OR some third thing that I am missing entirely. Please enlighten me.

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  59. The worst part was the "punchline" at the end that 1. makes no sense and 2. isn't funny even if you try to pretend it makes sense. A better punchline might have been something like: "But you couldn't because you're such a self-absorbed, egotistical, uneducated, douche that you didn't realize that Rousseau published that shit in 1762." Actually, I'm submitting that to the contest.

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  60. @Rinnon I'm playing the PC version, I don't know if you are. Mainly what happens is every now and then, I'll be walking next to something like a rock, or a computer terminal, you know, something non-interactive, just scenery. Then I'll brush against it and somehow get sucked up on top of it, and since it's not walkable terrain, I can't get OFF it, so I have to reload from the last save point. Can't just save and reload from there, like with some games, because there's no checking I suppose, and it just puts the entire squad on top of the offending scenery, so we're all stuck.

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  61. For the record, I think 8:59 is probably not a psych student, or a freshman at most. And definitely a troll, although I swallowed the ragebait.

    Meanwhile... the "Freedom" comic made me smile, perhaps because it was predictable. I know it could have been done more elegantly (WayWalker's first edit and even my own crappy one were both better than the original, probably). Still made me smile.

    The new one is something from a conversation, as has been said before. The dialogue works. The art is consistent with what has come before, which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on whether you buy into the whole "scrawled, spontaneous comic" vibe. Again, I smiled.

    Knowing that it's not particularly well done doesn't stop me from enjoying the comics after all, it seems. I'm glad. Let's see what Monday brings.

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  62. J, I applaud you for defending Psychology (and because I changed majors, I can't call myself a psych student any more :(

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  63. @Mike: Oh yeah! I had that happen to me, but only once (Also playing PC). It was on a side mission though, that ship that's teetering on the edge of a cliff. I got stuck floating around on nothing. I eventually got off it though and continued on my merry way.

    @J. "Knowing that it's not particularly well done doesn't stop me from enjoying the comics after all, it seems. I'm glad. Let's see what Monday brings."

    You and I are on the same page on that one. For me, if it's so bad that I notice how bad it is while I am reading it... that's a problem. If after I read it, I listen to analysis on why it's bad (or try to analyze it myself), and find flaws, that's fine. Didn't mean I didn't like it the first time through.

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  64. I got ME2 for the 360 because I had ME1 for the 360 and loved my saves. I think I experienced that kind of environmental thing once, and I managed to wiggle my way off it. Plus I save approximately a billion times per second anyway, so it wasn't that big a deal. One weird interaction with the level geometry over the course of a twenty-odd-hour playthrough didn't strike me as too onerous.

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  65. Anon 09:27 here..

    "Okay, I'll bite, I can tell you're trying to mock me, but I'm not sure how."

    Nah, it's cool. I just made it my mission to quote lines of Anon 8:59's post every now and then at the most inappropriate cases. Therefore I commented your observation of mind-slinking by picking a random paragraph from 8:59. What exactly it is that on a preconscious level stirs your negative affect I could only speculate on.

    - Anon 10:36

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  66. @Rinnon @Femalethoth, you've been lucky compared to me, then. There was one side mission to recover a cache of supplies, and a bunch of mechs were destroying the crates. I died about 10 times on that mission because I continually was sucked up on to a rock with no cover, then it happened again getting the IFF. In fact, what happened was I picked up the IFF and then was sucked up on top of the terminal. It's happened other times, as well, but those are the times I was permanently stuck, or killed by it, rather than just being massively annoyed. I've hit a few other bugs as well, though, such as spoken audio dropping out, but ambient noise still working.

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  67. I propose that every xkcd comic can be made worse by adding the second panel of today's at the end
    BEHOLD:

    http://imgur.com/ZNFiP.png
    http://imgur.com/Dv0jG.png
    http://imgur.com/hhLMn.png
    http://imgur.com/4zECa.png
    http://imgur.com/XOCUY.png

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  68. @Anon 09:27: Hahaha, oh yeah, so you did. Didn't realize that was 8:59. That explains why no matter how many times I re-read it, I had no idea what the fuck you were trying to say. Awesome.

    @Fem: Yeah, same reason I bought PC, I had PC save files I was attached to. Question, did you have a limit on how many save files you could have? I also save every 5 seconds, but fricken ME2 had a maximum number of 50 save files! The hell is that? I reach 50 save files by the end of my trip to Omega! (On a slightly related note, DA: Origins had a maximum of 500 save files available, so why only 50 for ME2?)

    @Mike: Yeah, I think you were just unlucky. I didn't have any issues with audio or anything like that.

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  69. You know, I should be highly coveted as a beta tester. I seem to consistently hit bugs that no one else does, and I do it *often.* And in reproducible fashion. Oh well. Game's still awesome enough for me to play it through at least twice.

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  70. Rob are you sure you don't mean "ha ha ha"?

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  71. I encountered that bug zero times, hooray.
    Also, I am someone who should never be given the option to save at any time. Especially when it's a quicksave button. I've been known to save, run halfway across a room, then save. Should I suddenly die I won't have to run halfway across a room again, I guess?

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  72. Great Caeser's ghost, 707 is bad. Its the blandest, dumbest comic that I've ever seen. Randall, give it up. You're done. You don't have enough funny ideas left in that brain of yours to continue a webcomic.

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  73. @Mike: Why not looking into a QA job then? Other than the fact that I have heard nothing but horrible things about being QA for a game company. Well, to be fair, that company was EA, so what do you expect.

    @Scott: On that note, you heard of Heavy Rain? I just bought it, haven't played it yet. Apparently, the only way to save this game, is the auto save. You don't get to save on your own. Here's the real kicker though, APPARENTLY, your main characters (there are 4) can die. And the game continues without them, which means you never discover the part of the mystery, they would have uncovered... the autosave here is apparently evil. It purposely saves almost as soon as someone dies, so that you CAN'T go back immediately, you have to live with your mistake. (Unless you start the game again). Maybe it's because I'm a glutton for punishment, but I am looking forward to this game.

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  74. I rather liked comic 707. Not every comic in a strip must contain an epic punchline (hell, there are even days when I look at the latest dinosaur comic and go "meh"- blasphemy, I know). I may just have different standards, but if a comic is enough to make me mentally chuckle (I rarely laugh out loud), I'll like it. Carl (or was it Rob? Or whoever the hell it was) recently expounded on the idea of using the unexpected for laughs. The real humor I found in this one was in the unexpectedness of guy #2's response.
    But let's be honest, I think there's some unexpectedness that should particularly delight those who read this blog:
    1) Randall didn't keep talking after the punchline! No stupid fourth panel with guy #1 doing something in response.
    2) Guy #2, mercifully, is not Black Hat Guy (who lately has been less a Classhole and more just Homicidal Sociopath).

    So in conclusion, do I think this comic deserves any awards? Christ no. But I think it's a perfectly decent comic.

    Oh, and as a PS: This isn't an excuse for it, but considering Randall's stick figures seem to ALWAYS be experiencing Levitating Head Syndrome, it's probably not simply a mistake of sloppy art, rather something intentional- maybe he thinks it's his "style"?

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  75. @Rinnon Well, I dooooooo live in the same city as Bioware. In fact, upon hitting certain bugs in some of their games, I've resolved to go down and punch some of their programmers, and my old roommate played D&D with some of their voice talent (I never did go down to punch them since it's like ALL THE WAY OVER THERE, and I was too comfortable. And it was cold out.)

    My current position as Editorial Assistant might be up at the end of March. I might end up shooting them a resume.

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  76. Velsfen, this is a joke i would expect to find in particularly shoddy Christmas crackers and joke books.

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  77. @Mike: You definitely should do that. Bioware is pretty much my favourite developer. Well, I guess that's not enough of a reason to work for them on its own, but you should check it out anyways! And yeah, I live in the same city one of EAs mega centers, sometimes I want to go punch them too, but for different reasons.

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  78. Edit 1: self-referential
    alt-text: Never say never.

    When I tried to edit this, my edit got further from the original joke than I thought. At first, I just simplified what he said in the last panel to "No, seriously." Then I thought it would be better to make it a self-referential joke, but that worked better without him saying "No, seriously". The alt-text is calling back to 33.

    Edit 2: xkcdsucks edition
    alt-text: You're not part of the target audience.

    Leaving in the "No, seriously," but switching who spoke it makes a different tired joke, but it fits in here.

    Edit 3: Put your money where your mouth is
    alt-text: Also, I don't think "Radiohead-style" means what you think it means. I don't think there's enough rage about this.

    It's easy to bash Garfield and call for Davis to throw off his commercial shackles. It's not so easy when they're your own. And, seriously, has the radiohead thing been discussed on the xkcd forums?

    Edit 4: What I would like to see
    alt-text: .
    alternate alt-text: o|-<

    Or, dare I ask for this to be spread out over a week, one panel per release?

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  79. ok, here it is: http://picasaweb.google.com/Flasher702/XkcdsucksContest#5442630907993454882
    Not only did I fix up the lame original "joke" a bit but I added a second joke that was not only funny enough to warrant a strip but poked fun at xkcd fans but also added a science (if social science) reference and a third joke to polish it off. I was pondering alt-text "and he was french" or "sometimes I'm terrified to realize there's nothing forcing other people to behave"... can't think of anything better

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  80. @Rinnon
    I don't know that my skill set would really qualify me to work at Bioware. "I've an Applied Degree in Editing, and I play a LOT of games. Gimme job." But if I'm looking for a job anyway, you darn well bet I'm gonna shoot for the moon.
    And you should go punch someone at EA. Not the programmers though. Usually it's the higher-ups there that need the punching. Heck, we could do a synchronized attack! I hit someone here when you get someone there! Hey, anyone else want in on this? It could be a major event. "Punch a developer Day" or something.

    captcha: wresting. We shall be wresting control of our fates away from mediocrity!

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  81. @Mike: Flash mob of programmer/manager punching? Sounds like a much better premise for an xkcd comic strip than pretty much anything in the past 200 strips.

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  82. @Mike
    Yeah, I apply for lots of jobs I'm not qualified for. Worst thing they'd do is just not call me. Well, I suppose they COULD bring me in for an interview and then humiliate me infront of the whole company, but I've yet to have this happen to me.

    Yeah, it's not the programmers fault that EA is obsessed with DRM (The main reason I don't like EA.) At least when they bought Bioware they didn't try to move the studio or replace a bunch of people. I appreciate that. But yes, you name the time and day, I'll be there to slug someone!

    Captcha: I agree Anon! Someone should make that. =D

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  83. "Captcha: I agree Anon! Someone should make that. =D"
    Wat

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  84. Jay, your post prompted me to actually read Rs comics. Oh man, those were freaking excellent. Kudos! Encore encore!

    Scott: "Anonymous said...
    @Mike: Flash mob of programmer/manager punching? Sounds like a much better premise for an xkcd comic strip than pretty much anything in the past 200 strips."

    I was just agreeing with him that someone should make said strip. Now that I think about it though, I don't know why I typed Captcha. Wish I could tell you what I was thinking at that moment, but I can't.

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  85. Don't really know why, but I really enjoyed Lexa's edit. Something about that last line.

    And, of course, R. made me laugh, too. I think it's because I imagined them laughing like Buckley from King of the Hill.

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  86. I can't even think of anything meaningful to add about this latest meh strip, so instead I'll say this.

    uncivlengr, whenever I see your name I get some kind of situational internet dyslexia and keep seeing it as "un-clevinger", like you're the nemesis of the creator of 8-Bit.

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  87. @Fem: Yeah, same reason I bought PC, I had PC save files I was attached to. Question, did you have a limit on how many save files you could have? I also save every 5 seconds, but fricken ME2 had a maximum number of 50 save files! The hell is that? I reach 50 save files by the end of my trip to Omega! (On a slightly related note, DA: Origins had a maximum of 500 save files available, so why only 50 for ME2?)

    See, I only ever had four individual save files at any one time, and I just overwrote the old ones. I figured that by the time I've saved four times, I haven't made some ****ing huge error that's gonna necessitate a restart--and you can always restart your current mission from the main menu, too. So I didn't hit the 50-save limit. Still, really weird that they'd cap it.

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  88. Even I predicted this. When Carl says a comic is predictable, I usually don't think so. I'm really bad at predicting fiction. But this is an exception.

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  89. @Fem

    Ah, I hear you. That's what I ended up having to do when I reached the limit. I prefer to just save a new one though when I can. I've been doing that ever since I was young and I was trying to play through Return to Zork. I had about 7 save files I would rotate over and at one point I got stuck on an island without being able to get off (turns out you don't give Charon the Ferryman the token, you just SHOW him the damn thing, or you don't have a token to show him on the way back). I had saved over all files prior to going to that island as well, so I had no choice but to start again from the very begining. At my young age, that was about 4 weeks of work too. Even if that almost never happens in games these days, it was a hard learned lesson for me.

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  90. @Rinnon
    I've *still* not learned that lesson. Unless a game has very obvious and visible save points, I'll go for hours without saving.

    Yes, that's destroyed my will to game for days on previous occasions.

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  91. @Rinnon - I think it's a space thing. I know that even if I maintain fifty parallel saves, it won't fill up my 360, but I tend to leave demos on there forever and don't want to cram it with redundant save files.

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  92. @Mike: Haha, nothing worse than playing for a few hours without saving and then dying. Actually, not true, playing for a few hours and then having the POWER go out is worse.

    @Fem: Yeah, on my 360 I feel the same way. I only have the 20g harddrive and it's only got about 2 gigs left. I don't want to waste that on save files. Now that I think about it, I think I only go really nuts on save files on PC games; I only really keep 1 save file for console games. Might just be the types of games I play on console vs. PC requiring different saving techniques though.

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  93. I rarely play for hours at a stretch, so even in games where I only save when I'm quitting, such as MGS, that's rarely a huge problem. MGS itself is a game I tend to play for hours at a stretch, though, and I've been fortunate enough to not have the power go out during my first playthroughs of any of them.
    Oh, and about Heavy Rain - been following news about it for something close to a year. I love the developer, even if it seems they all said "fuck it, let's just get high" halfway through writing Indigo Prophecy.

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  94. @Scott:
    Oh Metal Gear, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...
    Indigo Prophecy... yeah, that game was really good/unique up until about the halfway point. Well, I assume it was the halfway point, I honestly stopped playing around the time the answer to everything turned out to be "Demons" (or was it ghosts...) Despite that, I really respect the Dev team. They're willing to try new things with the medium and even if they fail sometimes, the fact that they try is admirable. Reviews I've been reading have been saying Heavy Rain is a winner though. I'll probably start it on Saturday when I have a whole day to devote to it.

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  95. Re: Indigo Prophecy
    It was AI and Mayans.

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  96. SMBC has been notably bad in a number of the past few comics... I realized this with the masturbation graph comic.

    ...and what the hell is with webcomic writers and this auto-asphyxiation thing? I've never heard of it until xkcd, and then again in SMBC... that's fucking WEIRD.

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  97. I would impotently suggest here that Randall go read "Notes from the Underground," but something tells me he would miss the entire point of the first section. Instead of, "Hey, charting out everything a person could ever do is pointless," I imagine he'd come back with, "Yes, why don't we have endless predictions about peoples' actions? It would be so much easier to deal with the real world!"

    Also I find his alt text, if even halfway serious, alarming.

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  98. Who missed me?

    Also in response to the mention of SA's LNMC parody, the forum's YOSPOS subforum also made a delightful parody version of xkcd called goatkcd (NSFW).

    Classic examples of it include today's, this, this and this one. Obviously these are all also NSFW.

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  99. Did SA just discover goatse?

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  100. Anon 10:34 would like to present:

    Variation on a Theme by Anon 8:59

    I must preface my statements with the clarification that my background is that of an education which was clearly superior to "yours", a pronoun which I here use to refer to everybody reading this essay.

    The author of this site clearly employs a metathaumaturgical symbolon percolating internal concessions to a digressional emulation of fantastical cogitations. As to the specific nature of these cogitations, one must examine the reconciliation between the confluence of transferrence of conscious material from the id to the animus. The unconscious material we will set aside for now as a matter of contention outside of the domain of our current perceptual frame of reference.

    A number of articles written by the author of this site will reveal that the inner motivations pertaining to adulation of figures of popularity originating from the subconscious portion of the conceptual space can be described conversely with respect to the transversal ideologies present in the very words employed by the object of his hatred, i. e. Randall Munroe. This is evident because of argumentum ad baculum. In effect, I am about to club you over the head with a trout, and therefore it is necessary to concede that the uncertainties of ideological perspective evident in the characters of XKCD issue number 702 are representative of the wavering argumentative grounds in the author of this site.

    Nomenclature of this site can further reveal a predilection for particular reasoning in regards to the production of the comic that is called XKCD. Specifically, the fact that this blog is called "xkcd" reveals that contrapositive influences upon the psyche of the author of this site reverse a fnord inverse recapitulation of circular arguments defined within the circles of intellectuals as "begging the question." This is a fact evident in the arguments that can be found in this very essay. In fact, the most important tautology is that Rob thinks that xkcd sucks because Rob thinks that xkcd sucks. Because a tautology is defined as "a statement that is necessarily true," that statement is necessarily true. If you cannot fathom why my previous two statements are humorous, I must whack you over the head with a tuna again. Thus presents the most troubling aspect of the psychological stratus of the author of this site. The ramifications of the prior discoveries with regard to the state of conscious mental environment of the author of the site can be reasonably demonstrated to show that the quality of work written on this site is comparable to that of a whorehouse.

    Q. E. D., bitches.

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  101. GODDAMNIT I would have named myself correctly but the damn review screen popped up so now I will be variously known as anon 10:34, 10:35, 10:36, and maybe 10:37 if this happens again with this comment. Maybe I can be known as anon 10:34-10:37.

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  102. @Anon 10:34 - 10:37 -

    Wouldn't it be easiest for all of us if you just signed in with a real (made up) name? Hell, even if your name was listed as "Anon1034-1037" at least we'd know who we were talking to.

    PS: Are you also Anon 9:27?

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  103. @Rinnon

    You think that's bad? I played that game with my dad when I was little and we lost at the bridge because I had lost enough items throughout the game.

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  104. Bllarrghh, my views on 707 cause me unbearable disdain at what people call comical. I haven't even looked at the XKCD boards for it yet, but if one of those stupid, feeble-minded forumites decides to say "GOOMH Randall..." well, for the most part I enjoyed my optimistic view of humankind. It made me happy sometimes.

    We'll see if it still exists in a few minutes.

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  105. Hey guys, video games, huh?

    Everything I've heard about Heavy Rain makes me loathe it. :(

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  106. So I looked at the forums, and thank god, only one person stated that he found it amusing. My optimism lives on for now.

    Anyway, I decided to take elements of XKCD 706, and 707, to recreate about 40% of all XKCD's. It's still in its fetal stage, so if anyone feels like adding... I dunno, a Megan, a few math jokes, some amateur art, and a graph, we might be able to, by pixel, proportionally represent all of XKCD in one comic.

    Anyway, here it is. XKCD 706-707

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  107. @Anon 10:34-10:37:

    You're doing it wrong. Just hit "Post Comment" when a minute starts and hurry to get the captcha entered on time. I'm a wizard. We know about these things.

    @Rinnon:

    Of course Anon 10:34-10:37 is not me! Look at my signature.

    - Anon 05:01

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  108. Anon 10:35 - You lost me at "metathaumaturgical".

    I as well had to tke a look in the forums and, while no one seems to be cheering and chortling and circle-laughing, they are not displaying the amount of rage this comic deserves. Which would be at least enough to burn an effigy of Randall Munroe in dishonor to this. Or Randall himself.

    Also: anons, if you'll start posting regularly, get a damn handle already! You don't even need a Google Account, just use the Name/URL profile!

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  109. @King:
    Haha! Ouch. Another bad one is the damn Bonding Plant. You don't dig that up FIRST thing you do, you can't get into that damn comedy club. They just don't make games as hard as they used to.

    @Jay: Care to share why you don't like what you see about Heavy Rain? (Curious to hear the other side of the argument)

    @ProMole: Hear him, hear him!

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  110. Yeah, I figured the name thing out already but it... just seemed so inconvenient. Well, actually, getting the time right with every comment takes more effort. So, here I am.

    Regarding the xkcd forum, yeah, pretty nice to see them struggle to find the references. They even find references where none are. Thus are the people of the xkcd forum.

    11:59 ?

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  111. Actually many of the people from the xkcd forums are saying it sucks, too. Good to see.

    Anin 12:01

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  112. @Evln: Welcome! Good to see that you have risen out from the primordial sludge which the cuddlefish call their home to join the ranks of Man!

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  113. Uhm, thanks. I liked that primordial sludge very well, y'know. But I see it only takes, like, 100 seconds until another cuddlefish rises to replace me down there, so I guess I'll stay with you guys.

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  114. Pretty sure Jim Carrey did this exact same joke in one of his standup shows.

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  115. ...and the heads aren't attached to the bodies.

    Zach Weiner: Yet another low talent that is making more money than Carl.

    Tell me, what is the point of the internet unless you are making money? Fucking Allah, even I'm geting paid to surf this shit. What have you got to show for all this effort?

    Oh yeah, the mercurial loyalty of 12 basement bois. I'm sure your mama is very impressed. Doing the family proud, are we?

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  116. "Tell me, what is the point of the internet unless you are making money?"

    What is the point of reading a book?

    "even I'm geting paid to surf this shit."

    Cool story, bro.

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  117. Rinnon: The short version is, I don't like Heavy Rain because it looks to me like a video game that wants to be a movie. And it makes a sub-par movie, like most games do, like a mediocre thriller with some holy-shit-uncanny-valley animation. To me, it looks like a game that was designed, promoted, and that will probably be played by people who are ashamed of video games as a hobby, have an inferiority complex over it, and who want them to be something they are not. These are the same people who hold long and serious discussions on whether or not video games "can be art" and complain that there's no "Citizen Kane" of video games yet. So they make (or rave about) self-consciously 'artistic' games like Heavy Rain that, while they might be a cut above the usual for video games, tell stories that would be considered amateurish and unacceptable in any other form of media.

    From what I've heard (and I admit I haven't exactly been seeking out information) Heavy Rain is fairly uninteractive and frequently takes control away from the player, and in most respects is just not a fun game. And it's not a good movie either. But people who are used to games with even worse writing will hold it up as an example of what games can be, and make themselves and video games look that much stupider in the process. You can see the game journalists doing it already, in their unsurprisingly terrible reviews.

    That's just my impressions based on the trailer and publicity, obviously I haven't played the damn thing. I could be wrong and it's actually fantastic, but I doubt it. Let me know.

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  118. "...and the heads aren't attached to the bodies.

    Zach Weiner: Yet another low talent that is making more money than Carl.

    Tell me, what is the point of the internet unless you are making money? Fucking Allah, even I'm geting paid to surf this shit. What have you got to show for all this effort?

    Oh yeah, the mercurial loyalty of 12 basement bois. I'm sure your mama is very impressed. Doing the family proud, are we?"

    LEAVE RANDY ALONE!!!!!!!

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  119. it's pretty amusing how you keep coming back here though
    having your doubts?

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  120. It's like a bunch of 13 year olds who think it's so cool that they know how to use logic and freak out when they see a vagina

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  121. goatkcd #512 is funnier than every xkcd put together times a thousand.

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  122. #503 and 492 are both pretty nice too.

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  123. I dunno the joke I got out of 627 is a little too similar to the original to me.

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  124. well in xkcd 627 Randy is being an asshole.
    in goatkcd 627 it is an asshole.

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  125. haha, I searched goatkcd and was not expecting that picture. I need to stop being such a retard xD Also, this weekend the blog has died or something! No rant from Rob and no review of Friday's comic!! Cmon guys.. poor show.

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  126. Jimbob, you should know already the review of Friday's comic is posted on Monday. The only exception is, maybe, on guest weeks.

    Rob is a fat slacker, though.

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  127. 639. 639 is best

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  128. or http://goatkcd.com/177/
    http://goatkcd.com/176/
    http://goatkcd.com/155/
    http://goatkcd.com/151/
    http://goatkcd.com/150/
    http://goatkcd.com/120/

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  129. http://goatkcd.com/306/

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  130. Isn't this joke stolen from a Calvin and Hobbes strip?

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  131. Randall Munroe
    Freedom
    2010, Digital Ink

    Alternate realities are difficult to explain in layman's terms, so it makes sense that Munroe should pick a high form of expression for his complicated subject matter. This strip invites us to contemplate the variety of parallel realities that occur as a result of each action, both large and small, that take place within: had the first speaker avoided the topic of his choices altogether, the story would have been fundamentally different; had he selected a slightly modified word choice, perhaps he would have not been struck. In a stroke of brilliance, Munroe asks us to take this concept one step further and apply it directly to his body of work as a whole: had he chosen a different path in school, the lives of thousands of his fans would have been vastly different from what they are now.

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  132. the artist has graciously offered to sell the one-of-a-kind, priceless original to any fan who wants it; it has been priced "radiohead style," meaning that the art lover can pay any price he so chooses, above the default $20,000.00

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