Sunday, February 21, 2010

Comic 704: xkcd is not real life

Well, if there was ever a comedic trope that deserved to be shot in the head, this is it. I'm actually not talking about the your mom joke, although that one too, I mean the - the other joke. Something happens in fiction that would not happen in real life. That's not an inherently funny idea, god dammit.

Hey! Read this Penny Arcade. Do you notice a similarity between it and this xkcd? You should, the two jokes are similar. In both of them, the punchline is something impossible (or extremely unlikely), and that's the only punchline, the impossibility. "This is not how it would actually happen." In real life, you cannot use the principle of explosion to derive somebody's phone number, and real life, no one would care about Gabe's birthday. The absurdity is supposed to be funny.

Why isn't it? (because it's not, in either of these) First, let's look at why it's supposed to be. Humor usually - maybe always - comes from the unexpected. In theory, the sudden appearance of something that is literally impossible should be the most unexpected thing in the world. These two comics fail because, in them, the impossible's not unexpected - the worlds of Penny Arcade and xkcd are already bizarre and nonsensical. When the impossible happens, it's just another day.

This is a very common device in comedy, and if you watch sitcoms you've probably seen it a thousand times. Penny Arcade just happened to be the one example I thought of. It works in shows, comics, whatever, that usually are realistic and believable, so when wackiness rears its head, we genuinely are surprised. This comic didn't surprise anyone.

That aside, yeah, this comic is pretty lame. We have a your mom joke, cutting edge of humor right there, did you know that your mom is a classless whore? She goes out with strange men and drinks boxed wine out of waffle cones. Thank you folks, I do sell t-shirts and I'll be here all week.

You know, I have this idea that Randall never deletes anything. Like, he'll be sitting at his comic desk at midnight or whatever, reflecting back on whatever wikipedia article he read that day. He writes "principle of explosion," circles it, and draws an arrow across the page labeled "joke??" Then he plays with a paperclip for half an hour. He thinks to himself, maybe I should just shelve this one, but then he thinks: no, I am a professional. I can do this.

Honest to god, that's what this comic feels like to me. This comic isn't about math at all. The setup isn't connected to the punchline. You could replace the setup with one of a dozen others, anything that gets the guy the mom's phone number (or more accurately, anything that shouldn't.) Maybe he's a mind reader. Or better yet, he's not, but he somehow guesses right anyway. This comic only contained math because it's xkcd. Think about that.

You know how I'd change this comic? I'd make it play out like it would in real life: it doesn't work. He doesn't get her phone number. Sometimes the expected can be more unexpected than the unexpected. Geez that's convoluted. Here's my edit, what do you think?

99 comments:

  1. Hold on folks. This comic ACTUALLY LOOKS PRETTY GOOD! (Or at least not overly bad) Though I myself cannot see anything glaringly bad, I trust that Carl or Jay will be happy to point out why I should hate it. Most likely it will be "WAANHH! He made a comic about computer nerds!! WANNAH! He is appealing to the gamer crowd!!! WANNAH! Its not realistic!!"

    Just you wait...

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  2. I think this is the kind of place where "Show, don't tell" would come into play. It'd be funnier to actually SEE the guy doing all of this, possibly with internal monolog about how he's bound to duty, and in the three panels he sees the hostages, goes over to the server, reconnects it, and walks away. Last line: "I'm a god damn sysadmin."

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  3. yeah, but the exposition explaining why he is sneaking into the building would be too contrived or something.

    Or at least Carl or Jay would say so.

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  4. Not really...you show a hostage standoff (police with bullhorn, etc), and then you show a guy coming in the back and reconnecting things, including his thoughts. It's a good concept and not difficult to execute, even with stick figures.

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  5. "Do you notice a similarity between it and this xkcd? You should, because the similarity's there."

    There is a rock solid argument if I ever saw one.

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  6. now I know you didn't finish the post, nobody reads that fast. do you actually think I didn't explain the connection well enough? that's a genuine question, dude.

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  7. Yeah, there's practically nothing at all to hate about the new one, and Carl and Jay will only manage it because their souls are so twisted.

    Seriously?

    Come on, guys. It's a reference comic, and a computer geek comic, and nothing else. It's Randall saying "Hey guys, I like Die Hard and I know a bit of computer stuff!" and forgetting to tell a joke.

    whatever cicero you're dumb

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  8. "now I know you didn't finish the post, nobody reads that fast. do you actually think I didn't explain the connection well enough? that's a genuine question, dude."

    Other than conflating reductio ad absudum andnon sequitur, no.

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  9. So you were expecting the unexpected, so when you got the unexpected, it was expected? How unexpected!

    Anyway, that's all I've got.

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  10. 'Other than conflating reductio ad absudum andnon sequitur, no.'

    I don't think that's what reductio ad absurdum is, but yeah, I misused non sequitur. I couldn't think of a better term, any ideas?

    Anyway, I actually went back and changed the post a bit, cause I decided it was a little unclear. So, yeah.

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  11. Maybe it's because I don't read Penny Arcade, and am not familiar with how grounded (or ungrounded) it is in reality, but I actually found that comic pretty hilarious. The notion that some unimportant dude's birthday is inexplicably cause for mass celebration is pretty funny because it's bizarre and unexpected; the joke comes from the "huh?" factor. The xkcd one isn't funny because it's a lame retread (mom jokes, pandering math refrences, unwarranted assholery).

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  12. also a little postscript: I like Penny Arcade and I'm ambivalent towards that one at worst, but the punchline is pretty lame. the humor all comes from the setup dialogue and the art, which is something a lot of people miss about Penny Arcade.

    I'll shut up now.

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  13. The principle of explosion holds that anything can follow from a contradiction. Logically, character #2's mom's phone number can follow from the intial conditions, but as it is so absurd as to be practically impossible, it's a reductio ad absurdum.

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  14. It's not a reductio ad absurdum, it's a bad pun on "derive".

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  15. Except I just explained why it was.

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  16. I thought this was for the most recent comic.....oops

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  17. Of course, you wouldn't want to say how, just that it is.

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  18. new one smacks of "LOL NERD PRIDE" shit.

    Randy just keeps going back in time with his references. Die Hard right now, maybe Citizen Kane will be next.

    Rosebud isn't a sled but instead is the label some mathematician put on her favorite graphing calculator. GENIUS.

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  19. Actually, I'm pretty sure the phony derivation stunt isn't supposed to have worked at all; here's how I think it's supposed to have went down:

    He writes down a whole bunch of mathy-looking derivation, and a previously known (phone book, maybe?) phone number, and pretends to talk on the phone, making a "hilarious" your-mum joke. Dude-with-the-mom is pwned for life. Because, as we all know, xkcd occurs in an alternate universe. Where jokes about one's female parentage are still funny.

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  20. Anon 9:46 does not understand how logic works.

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  21. Well, first of all, "reductio ad absurdum" doesn't mean "a joke where something absurd happens." That's the main reason you're wrong. Second, there is no "Logically, #2's mom's phone number can be derived"--it's only "logical" if you make a bad pun on "derive" and ignore what the principle of explosion actually means.

    Randall hasn't made some sort of argument against the principle of explosion by demonstrating its absurd consequences. He has made a shitty "your mom" joke that relies on the principle of explosion as the setup to a bad pun on the word "derive". That's why this comic isn't a reductio ad absurdum.

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  22. I like the Penny Arcade, but only because I love the image of the Gabe balloon. I don't like the pacing of it; starting in the middle of the conversation has the energy level begin too high, I think. Or something. And then the punchline comes much too fast. And I am a pretty big Penny Arcade fan.

    The xkcd was dumb because it followed the "here's a math thing I learned about...and here's a joke based off it!" formula that he uses too often. Also, a your mom joke. God, who even laughs at those? WHO? they are ruining life for the rest of us.

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  23. Wow. Making a deravitive XKCD comic. That's the height of humor here, is it? Working off of the back of someone else's genius makes you neither creative nor talented.

    Jay = Paris Hilton of webcomics.

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  24. Not sure if anon 11:59 is retarded or a troll.

    I will assume the former: he is not trying to prove he is creative or talented. Instead he is suggesting improvements that could be made to the comic.

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  25. Paris Hilton improved on Twiggy. Still, the comparison is unfair because Hilton has money fame and respect. Jay will never have those things.

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  26. the edit reminds me of how xkcd used to be funny before it became a shrine to autism and terrible writing.

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  27. Now you don't need talent or creativity to get riches, fame, and respect. Bill Gates worked off of the creative genius of others and got all three. I'm just suggesting that Jay take his derivation skill to a higher plane.

    Unless all he wants is the respect of a handful of drooling basement bois. Maybe you guys should start paying Jay for his derivation. If you think it good, you should fork over some cash to show your appreciation. Ask your mom for her CC#

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  28. What the hell? This is the second time in a row I write a freakin' essay and Blogger eats it! =(

    You can swap the s for a dollar sign all you want, Anon, but...

    Bill Gates worked off of the creative genius of others and got all three.

    Citation needed. Gates and Allen built the company from scratch.

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  29. I liked the Penny Arcade one but not the xkcd one. In the second panel of the Penny Arcade Gabe seems to accept what Tycho says. Also, if you know the characters, Tycho is usually the more reasonable one. So, I was satisfied that what Gabe was saying in the first panel was nonsense. In the xkcd, the response of the one on the left in the third panel is too weak to be convincing and, if you're familiar with the comic, you know he's probably wrong. In short, the xkcd leads us to expect the punch line while the Penny Arcade leads us elsewhere.

    The other problem that the xkcd suffers is that the situation it set up requires dialog to show how it turns out. Dialog is slow.

    Also, alt-text repeats the joke.

    I made two edits with this in mind.

    In the first, I focused on speeding things up by doing two things. One, I removed the beat panel. Two, I assumed more intelligence on the part of the reader and let them challenge what's the logic of what's happening. This also helps because the reader's thought process is stronger than the weak response of the guy on the left. (alt-text: No, of course, I'd love to help your son weed the garden.)

    In the second, I tried to subvert the joke. I still left out the response of the guy on the left in the third panel to keep things moving, but left in the beat panel because it helps make the guy on the right more convincing. I think this is the weaker of the two because I don't think the story is obvious enough (alt-text: Also, seriously, a corded phone?)

    I also like where Jay was going with his edit. The guy on the left just stays the course, and just watches the guy on the right make a fool of himself. I think removing the word "see" would improve the pace and the dialog after the punchline isn't needed (I left the "Mom!" in one of mine to try to help set up the alt-text). But, I agree, it's good like classic xkcd.

    I think the new one is much improved by moving the question about the hostages.

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  30. '"reductio ad absurdum"' doesn't mean "a joke where something absurd happens"".

    Except I didn't say it was. Nice straw man there. A joke where something absurd happens doesn't have to be a reductio ad absurdum, but this one is.

    The arguement from absurdity is that "derive" in this case has a very narrow meaning. Expanding the defintion of derive (as is done) in the comic leads to absurd results, and is thus refuted.

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  31. Your version would have been funnier, if you made it so that the first guy briefly believed the second guy, before he realised that he was being had.

    I remember reading that Penny Arcade comic and thinking that it was some obscure in-joke I didn't get. Apparently not.

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  32. -We cut all the communication lines like you said.

    -Excellent.

    -But they still can use wireless.

    -Fuck.

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  33. I guess there's a kernel of something amusing in the new one, maybe. However, I really really hated that line "...and walked across broken glass". It makes it sound like that was an element of the plan, like someone thought "right, step 1: climb through air ducts, step 2: walk across broken glass". No. It's either incidental or it's more specific - "walked across THE broken glass [that we put there or stuff]". That line made me hate everyone.

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  34. Jay is by far the worst commentator since xkcdsucks started, who is letting him post updates? He's trying way way too hard, and doesnt seem to even get any of the jokes. Bring Carl back plz

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  35. Yeah bring Carl back so we can bitch and moan about how much he sucks and beg for another guest week.

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  36. Ann: That line exists for only one reason I can think of: the reference. It was unnecessary. 705 actually got a chuckle despite that, which is rare for this comic nowadays.

    704 is nonsense. It's also not a new joke. As for why reductio ad absurdum kept coming up with that one Anon, well, this might have something to do with it. But I'm not sure that applies here, since there was no route to that point, just "P and ¬P. Your mom!"

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  37. Ann Apolis, your complaint sums up exactly one reason why Randall is a terrible writer. The unsubtle and awkward insertion of that line shows perfectly how Randall's thought process is: "hey, what if John McLaine wasn't a cop? What if he was... a SYSADMIN??", and from there he didn't know where to go to make the joke work, so he went the dumb, lazy way. It's clear that, for him, it's only important to deliver the reference across, and NOT to make a clever joke. If it played out like Anon 9:22 suggested, in the "show don't tell" fashion (I received that criticism as a writer way back when I was 19, or something; it's a basic thing), it could have been amusing, at least as amusing as a "haha reference" comic can be.

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  38. Except the Penny Arcade comic used for comparison is actually funny.

    Don't give me shit about how "the absurd/impossible is EXPECTED in a comedic fiction, therefore it can never be funny". Did you expect Tycho to be wrong, and for the punchline to be that people actually ARE celebrating Gabe's birthday? Possibly. But did you expect to see a giant Gabe balloon, à la Macy's? No, I highly doubt it. Also, I shouldn't have to point out Penny Arcade's superior art and how this aids in the delivery of the joke. The depiction of the balloon, the view out the window, and Tycho's expression are GOLD.

    CAPTCHA: stabitat

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  39. I actually find that PA comic amusing, but I suspect it's to do with the art. And what Way Walker said.

    705 irritated me - "computer geeks are so much more awesome than anyone else!"

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  40. I liked 705. I think just a couple of tweaks to the dialogue would have made it good. I'd cut out the "killing anyone we sent to stop him" and "shit we're dealing with a sysadmin".

    It'd be funnier (and arguably more realistic) if he was so focused on computers that he was just unaware of the other people around him. The last line doesn't even make any sense - nobody regards sysadmins as particularly dangerous.

    Pushing the guy as being a badass seems like he's just pandering to the teenagers/college kids who think they're sysadmins because they installed Linux.

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  41. Skipper The Eye ChildFebruary 22, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    What annoys me about these bad comics (703 and 704 in particular) is that Randall has demonstrated in the past that he has good ideas and can make good comics. He can also make amusing math jokes (Poisson, Kepler) if he tries.

    It just seems like he's not trying anymore since he doesn't have to.

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  42. Now you don't need talent or creativity to get riches, fame, and respect. Randall Munroe worked off of the creative genius of others and got all three. I'm just suggesting that Randall take his derivation skill to a higher plane.

    Unless all he wants is the respect of a handful of drooling basement bois. Maybe you guys should start paying Randall for his derivation. If you think it good, you should fork over some cash to show your appreciation. Ask YOUR MOM mom for her CC#

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  43. To all of you people bitching and moaning about how editing XKCD comics makes you a 'talentless hack,' I have this to say.

    They aren't editing Randall's comics in an effort to be cartoonists, nor are they turning around and posting up their edits as original pieces. These posters are merely trying to make a point - Randall needs an editor. See, if he passed this comic by a few real people (and not the sycophantic pseudo-nerds he claims looks at his comics), and made these few subtle edits, he could have a decent, maybe even (dare I say) funny comic. So, shut the fuck up.

    Besides, a talentless hack would be someone who took the work, or popularity of said work, of others, and made shitty unfunny comics about it in order to sell T-Shirts.

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  44. http://i.imgur.com/6n4x7.jpg

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  45. ^That is much funnier than any of the last 200 xkcd comics, at least.

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  46. Why does everyone keep saying that there's a bad pun on "derive?"

    Both in logic and in the discovering-the-mom's-number, "derive" is just being used as "deduce," as far as I can see. It's being used as its normal usage.

    So what's the pun?

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  47. Oh, forget it, it was just the same person repeating again and again that there was some pun on "derive:" Malethoth (in the previous thread) and Femalethoth (I assume they're the same person?).

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  48. I would change this comic (704) by NOT MAKING IT. Seriously, it's a pretty fuckin' weak premise to start from, and there's an entire Wikipedia full of ideas that are far more inherently funny. (For instance, any comic based on the Scunthorpe problem couldn't be a total loss, since extremely filthy cussin' is always a little amusing.)

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  49. http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/02/22/1450240/xkcd-Devotion-To-Duty


    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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  50. Yes, I'm the same person. And no, it is a pun, because the meaning is different. In logic, it's used in the sense of a formal derivation, using the rules of deduction and so forth. In colloquial use, it's "to find out" or "to prove causally", or even "to demonstrate empirical validity".

    Besides, he doesn't even derive the guy's mom's phone number. He derives the conditional statement "If P^~P, then phone number." Christ.

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  51. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=System_administrator&action=historysubmit&diff=345612073&oldid=344725583

    This is really getting out of hand.

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  52. Jay, as much as I agree that this XKCD isn't funny, I think you are missing the joke. I think we're supposed to infer that he *already* knows the phone number (because your mom is a classless whore!), and he's just using that to screw with the guy.

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  53. It has gotten out of hand about a hundred comics ago. Wikipedia already has a page created SPECIFICALLY because of xkcd-induced vandalism!

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  54. Fernie: do you have a link to that?

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  55. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Xkcd_in_popular_culture

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  56. Yeah, it's... pretty bad. If Wikipedia editors weren't by and large humorless (plus terrible people), I'd say we should reach out to that community. Very few others have as much reason to hate xkcd as they do.

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  57. Fun game: When you see a registered editor adding an xkcd link to an article, go and check out their user page. 9/10 times you'll find it's full of facile equations to show how totally math they are. You'll also find user boxes telling you what physics they know (or more accurately, what keywords they have gleaned from physics articles that makes them sound intelligent).

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  58. "If Wikipedia editors weren't by and large humorless (plus terrible people), I'd say we should reach out to that community."

    I'm sick of people making fun of wikipedia editors for being humorless and pedantic. It's an - encyclopedia - not a reservoir for pop-culture trivia or in-jokes. I'm not going to claim that every editor of wikipedia is objective or fair, but the majority of them at the very least try to maintain objectivity, and are generally rather successful (especially on high-traffic pages).

    When someone cares very much about something, even if it's personally something you find very silly, I personally feel that your first instinct should be to respect their interest instead of mocking it, especially if that interest is benign. I'm seriously tired, not only of people making fun of people's silly quirks or habits, but of people who feel that they are somehow justified because they don't care about the habits in question, or whatever.

    Maybe I'm taking your comment too seriously, but there's a large undercurrent of that sort of feeling (that I don't think is entirely affected) in a lot of American culture. E.g. a lot of people take issue with the usage of the word "gay" as a de facto insult, but a lot of people still use it. It would be trivially easy to stop using it, it offends a large number of people, but it remains in widespread use.

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  59. Nymous, while I agree that wikipedia editors get kind of a bad rap and I really value wikipedia both as a cultural artifact and a research tool, I think that your post is kind of, um. It kind of isn't doing a lot to discredit the stereotype, I guess. I thought I should point that out.

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  60. My point isn't that the stereotype is inaccurate - I don't spend a lot of time in the wikipedia history pages, myself. Rather, it's that even if the stereotype is accurate, that's no justification to take a smugly self-satisfied attitude toward them.

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  61. 8:30 Anon: that made me *actually* laugh. That was great, well done. I hope you're entering some stuff in the contest.

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  62. Aloria, I saw that too, and I commented. Them posting crap in Idle is one thing, after all, Idle is pants. But to then bump it to the main page? Fuck indeed. Unfortunately, someone dropped the link to here, so we're probably going to see a rise in the number of XKCD-tard defenders.

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  63. As a formerly active Wikipedia editor and admin, I think the stereotype is quite accurate. There was once a page on Wikipedia called BJAODN: Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense, which was a collection of hilarious edits people made. Then it was decided that it encourages vandalism and it was deleted by popular vote. Other just-for-fun projects also were deleted. April 1 on Wikipedia used to be really extreme, with fake articles, news, edits of interface and other stuff. Then Wikipedians decided it is getting out of hand, and now it's completely different.

    So yeah, Wikipedia used to be funny and now it isn't. Just like xkcd, amirite?

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  64. Nymous, have you ever gone to a talk page on Wikipedia? Or, even better, a VfD page? I'm not complaining about "pop culture" or any other such nonsense. Some of these people have devoted large parts of their lives to arguing over (e.g.) whether FlashForward should have separate pages for each episode or not, and it's SERIOUS FUCKING BUSINESS. And so talk pages and VfD and really everything on Wikipedia are full of debate from people who are effectively, at this point, high-functioning autistics.

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  65. I cant believe you people have such a crap life you come here to whinge about a web comic.

    Talk about losers!

    XKCD rules!

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  66. Sorry, I forgot to add "if you're 14 years old".

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  67. We'll "whinge" if we want to!

    Also, that example in the post almost makes me want to read PA.

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  68. Latest comic is pretty good joke, eh? Last line sucks though, "Shit, we're dealing with a Sysadmin" is really lame and anti-climatic or something

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  69. I cant believe you people have such a crap life you come here to whinge about a blog.

    Talk about losers!

    XKCD sucks!

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  70. Your edit is great. It's funny, but still very realistic. Also, the characters have a noticeable depth. I audibly, involuntarily, chuckled.

    I used to be skeptical of this blog's criticism, but now that you've shown me that you can, indeed, do better, well, I'm impressed.

    Keep up the good work.

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  71. 'Jay is by far the worst commentator since xkcdsucks started, who is letting him post updates? He's trying way way too hard, and doesnt seem to even get any of the jokes. Bring Carl back plz'

    No, I get all the jokes, and I don't see how in a million years you could think I was "trying too hard" (and fortunately for me, it looks like not everyone agrees with you.) That said, I actually agree that this is a sub-par post, and if you have useable criticism, comment again and I'll give you my email. Though I strongly suspect you don't.

    Not gonna waste time on the Paris Hilton anon, but I do want to respond to the people saying they liked the Penny Arcade, particularly this guy

    'Also, I shouldn't have to point out Penny Arcade's superior art and how this aids in the delivery of the joke. The depiction of the balloon, the view out the window, and Tycho's expression are GOLD.'

    Pretty sure I said that, actully. Search for "I'll shut up now."

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  72. transformers robots in your eye

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  73. transformers hurts you till you cry

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  74. Jay you are stealing all of the haters :(
    STOP IT THEY ARE MINES

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  75. This place was linked to in the comment boards of Slashdot and curiosity got the best of me. So you guys dislike a comic so much that you check it regularly and do write ups about them? There are plenty of comics / television shows / comedians / ect i do not find funny, wanna know what most people do? they just do not join in. XKCD's only crime is writing a comic the majority enjoy / Raising money for a school in Laos. You guys criticize XKCD, but i do not see your three post a week original webcomic? This place is just negative borderline obsessive.

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  76. Don't worry Rob we'll always hate you

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  77. anon 3:44 you're just saying that :(

    Steve: congratulations on condensing every stupid argument fantrolls ever make into a single post.

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  78. HOLY SHIT GUYS, DID YOU SEE WHAT STEVE WROTE??? SHITTTT SHIT SHIT I DIDN'T REALIZE ANY OF THAT


    honestly how can people not see the giant fucking "frequently asked questions" right up at the top? Or do they truly think their "if you don't like it, don't read it" point could not POSSIBLY be frequently asked??

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  79. You guys criticize XKCD, but i do not see your three post a week original webcomic?

    ----

    Why don't you go and direct a blockbuster then before you criticise a film?

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  80. Hey Carl remember that "why I pick on Randall" post you wrote way back I think that should get some mention at least or somebody should do an updated version either way I think the argument it made was good

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  81. "You guys criticize XKCD, but i do not see your three post a week original webcomic? "

    I don't see Randall's either.

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  82. "You don't have to be a michelin star to see the shit on the cupcake."

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  83. So if I'm understanding this correctly, you think xkcd ripped off Penny Arcade because they both use a concept of "absurdity" as humor occasionally in their comics. The idea that no one has ever done this prior to the Penny Arcade comic you link is in itself, absurd.

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  84. Anon 3:53: You aren't understanding this correctly.

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  85. Rob: It is easy and pointless to call someone a troll and stupid when you disagree, but it is really pointless when you do not include a 'why' element.

    Carl: i did not look around the entire site, i read a few articles & general front page stuff

    Jonathan: You honestly do not see a difference between saying to someone in general conversation "yeah did not like that film for x reason" and making a website just bash other peoples work continually? ( also if i do not like a film, i do not see the 100th sequel, that would make no sense )

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  86. making fun of things with likeminded people is fun. surely you've done this during your life.

    it also helps to vent and it's educational

    do not see why people can't get this

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  87. Just read the FAQ, will be leaving now, i get it. =]

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  88. clearly the Slashdot newcomers have not read through the comment sections of each post, otherwise they would know that we don't come here for the xkcd bashing, or at least the regulars don't, we come for the off-topic discussions that follow

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  89. "So... what you're saying is that you don't get the jokes? That's ok. Not everyone has what it takes. For the rest, there's always Heathcliff."

    to me, one of the funniest things about xkcd fanboys is their insistence that if you don't like a comic, you simply don't understand it. because xkcd is perfect and every single joke is genius...

    it is baffling.

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  90. Steve with spare time: you're awesome.

    anon who posted the rule 34 comic: funny i liked.
    AND MORE IMPORTANTLY there's a reason you're referencing the higgs boson - it's because the characters want to ensure its existence...which heheh is what the Large Hadron Collider is also trying to do.
    you're not just getting your laughs by saying "hey nerds here's your pavlovian trigger" there's a point to it.

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  91. To all you xkcd fanboys that come here linked from slashdot... Automatic Replies for Automatic Complaints!

    "If you hate it so much, why do you take the work to visit it? Just ignore it!"

    Yep, I think I'll just stop visiting the internet. Also, when friends of mine or my brother come commenting about the latest xkcd, I'll cover my ears and sing "LALALALALALA!" very loud so I don't hear it.

    Also, I don't HATE xkcd. Only when it's incredibly shitty. Mostly, I'm have hopes it'll become good again. It's not my fault Randall Munroe keeps disappointing me...

    ----
    On unrelated news... Anonymous of the Rule 34 strip: good, but, for one, drop off the copy-paste. Dead serious.

    For the rest of the incredibly vague and usual cuddlefish (especially you, who was acting especially stupid and double posting), go back to your usual habitat! I'm too damned tired for this!

    And, Steve with spare time: you really rock. =)

    Later, comments on previous strips... see ya!

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  92. Your edit is better. By a lot.

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  93. Plugging the wiki blog again: relevant to earlier discussion

    http://xkcdwikiwatch.blogspot.com/

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  94. Hello, hello, good morning to all of you usual commenters, newcomers and cuddlefish! It's time to Mole comment on the previous strips, just because he wants to! Anyway, let's do it...

    701: I like this. It's a series of micro-jokes, and though most of them are "meh", they make up for that with number. Also, what's with Randall and bobcats and Prius? And, yes, longcat is just damn wrong. For comparison, I have a dachshund and a yorkshire at home, and the doxy's foortprints are just like any other dogs prints. I know, petty, but I care! And the knight might look better if it wasn't walking in so short steps. Bah, this comic was mediocre.

    702: Oh, look, it's High-Schooler Randy, defying the system once again! Yay! Seriously, what he spoke of in the first panel might be wrong, but I wouldn't know, since this sort of thing is unexistant down here(honor clubs, not the logical fallacy invoked). Anyway, it's not a tautology, it's circular reasoning, which I think is more related to begging the question. I like the tautology club joke, but, here's a nitpicking: why does that woman have a cup in her hand? Isn't this a high school thing? I have no idea anymore. Next!

    703: Oh, look, Randall is misinterpreting concepts again. And it's logic once again! Heck, I was thinking he'd do a "confusing people with the truth value of conditional statements" on 704, but, luckily, he didn't. Still, this one is stupid. I'm not sure if it's the idiocy of the premise, if it's the complete misuse of the rule in hand or the "your mom" joke... Let's just finish this, eh?

    704: I don't quite remember who said it but... yes, a bad case of telling instead of showing. This comic *could* be made awesome if Randall had put on the effort of drawing what the terrorist is reporting, but no! Instead he gives us... a guy with a gun, a goatee and a radio in a white background. With text! WHAT. Mediocrity, mediocrity, mediocrity. And the joke? Mediocre. A steaming puddle of mediocrity.

    And that's it for the last weeks in xkcd, as reported by the Mole. Not that anyone cares, but I'm feeling fine. See you all!

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  95. Of the several 'wouldn't it have been funnier if xkcd had done this instead' posts on this website, this is the first one that actually achieves something funny. Congratulations.

    Still not as funny as the original, but you can't have everything.

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