Monday, February 15, 2010

Comic 702: I have heard of a thing you have also heard of

Why hello there, xkcdsucks. As you may have read in my previous critically-acclaimed post, "placeholder," Carl is basically a lazy puddle of sludge, and he's drafted me to guest-post for him for yet another week. I feel the need to repeat this because there are apparently some of you who can't tell when someone is guest-posting, despite the large "posted by Jay" text at the bottom. So for those people, this is Jay, NOT Carl, if you have hatemail please direct it to JAY, that's jay (at) jay (dot) jay. This is my real email address.

Look, I'll be honest with you: I'm not sure I want to be here right now. This comic is not interesting to me. It just struck me that there are more important things I could be doing, for instance, anything, and I would be happily doing them right now if only Carl would let me out of this basement. But alas, I'm stuck, so we're going to break this comic down, panel by panel, cause that's the Jay way.

The references in this comic are as follows:
Panel 2: Rocky and Bullwinkle
Panel 3: 4chan meme
Panel 4: Ralph S. Mouse (shouldn't that be 'motorcycle'?)
Panel 6: Lord of the Rings
Panel 8: Chess
Panel 9: Calvin and Hobbes
Panel 10: Calvin and Hobbes (because all that hilarity couldn't be contained in one panel)
Panel 11: Current events
Panel 12: The Large Hadron Collider

Panel 1 is a setup, and panels 5 and 7 are just retarded.

Now, what you've probably already noticed is that most of these references don't even contain an attempt at a joke. Show of hands if you're surprised? The two Calvin and Hobbes panels, for example, are one degree of effort above drawing a picture of Calvin and Hobbes and labelling it "Calvin and Hobbes." What is there to say about this that we haven't already said? No, references do not count as jokes, and no, they are not an acceptable substitute. Everybody already knows this, except of course for Randall and his fans, so let's just move on please and talk about longcat.

For the none of you here who have never heard of him, longcat is a 4chan meme that made the rounds a few years ago. It consisted of a picture of a white cat that was slightly longer than average, which the internet thought was just the most hilarious thing ever. Cue: photoshops. Five short years later, enter Randall Munroe.

As people have pointed out, it's longcat's body that's long, not his legs, so his footprints would actually be spaced out normally. To this I say: who gives a shit? No, really, guys? The problem with this panel isn't that his footprints aren't spaced normally, it's that they are. They're barely distinguishable from the prints in panel one, and without the caption I wouldn't have been able to tell they weren't left by a normal cat. You know what would have been (slightly) funnier? If Randall stretched the panel out to huge proportions, so much that it broke the format of the comic, and put longcat's footprints at opposite corners. Picture it. Don't you agree?

Panels 5 and 7 both capitalize on the theme of "animals using objects meant for humans" (technically, so does panel 4.) This is meant to be funny. It is not. Panel 5 is just a setup for the pun in the alt text, and panel 7 is random wackiness, which after pop culture references is probably the lowest form of humor.

The knight panel is the cleverest in the comic, but it fails for one simple reason: those look like normal footsteps. Especially on the left. Honestly, is there anyone here who thought, "my, that thing certainly is moving in an L shape"? No, you thought, "why the fuck would a knight have round feet?" Here's what I would have done instead: given the knight two footprints, made him walk like a normal human, but in a clear L-pattern. I tried to do a mockup of this in paint, but it turned out to be a lot of work, so instead I invite you to use the magical tool known as imagination.

I don't have much to say about the remaining panels. In the further interests of being topical, we have a Lord of the Rings reference, which I maybe would have chuckled at in 2003. Neither the Prius one nor the Higgs Boson are particularly funny, but they're a cut above the rest, which pretty much typify xkcd's usual tepid lameness. In fact, as the good folks over at xkcdexplained pointed out, this comic is very representative of xkcd as a whole. We have a meme, pop culture references, physics, and whatever current events happened to be linked on Randall's news sites three weeks ago. We just need a couple breaking up. How would you show that with snow prints?

On a scale of one "meh" to five, I rate this comic the wholly unremarkable number of three. Stay tuned for the next one. Until then, keep on rocking.


  1. It was bad enough when we had a chimp in the White House. Now we have a fucking monkey. Notice how we are sliding down the evolutionary lader here? I suppose the next president will be a spineless slug. And after that? Well, I nominate Carl for Prez. He seems next in line.

  2. Cats don't move like that, don't they?

    Captcha is "clerec". I'd make a DnD reference but I can't think of any that wouldn't make me come off as the kind of person that likes xkcd.

  3. Append: And his nappy-headed ho, too

  4. You put up a placeholder? But that'll screw up Rob's RSS reader!

    Rob is such a shit head.

  5. (actually anon, a chimp is a type of monkey)

  6. Only some freak cat walking only on its front legs would walk like that.

  7. Hell, a human is a type of monkey, if you're going to go all technical on us Jay. i found this forum post slightly funnier than the comic itself.

  8. I actually thought this one was pretty funny. It doesn't try too hard, except I don't get the last joke.

  9. jay you miserable shit i will stab you in your sleep

  10. The comic has 2 pannels i like, 4 i dont get, 5 that are meh and 1 that im furious about.

    And no, i dont fucking care for the C&H reference, its in bad taste, yes, but i dont care.

    For some reason i cant get myself to rage on this one, its just so...devoid of everything.

    Game over man! GAME OVER!

  11. Yesterday I said this comic wasn't terrible but the more I think about it the worse I think it is.

    First of all, cats don't leave those tracks like that, so he fucked that panel up. Second, knights in chess don't move like that (and the guy on the forums who was all "If you make a chess board that looks nothing like what a chess board looks like it totally works!" can suck a dick) so he fucked THAT panel up. Third, I can only assume the "Mouse riding bicycle" was SUPPOSED to be a reference to the Beverly Cleary book "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" meaning he fucked THAT PANEL up too.

    Of the ones remaining, one is an internet meme reference (that he also fucked up), three are "HEY OLD THINGS ARE NOSTALGIC" references (two of them on the same damn thing), one is an "I know some current events!" reference, and two are just nerd cred.

    This leaves two panels, one of which was done JUST for a shitty title-text pun, and the other which is so nonsensical that it's just stupid (maybe it's a Bubsy reference or something I don't know I didn't play those games).

    So I take back my statement of apathy from last night. This comic is absolutely terrible in every way.


    Just thought I'd add that.

  13. @Nate

    Look closely. The knight's dots are all 2 up, one to the side from each other starting at the bottom of the panel. The over-all pattern is just a knight taking a corner.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Indeed it actually works, its still a stupid VISUAL pun that doesnt work because Randall was too stupid to put a grid in.
    And dont tell me he wanted to be super-duper subtle with the joke, because he slaps you with the joke in the face in the Prius panel!

    Incidentally the movement is convoluted to hell. (yes i know the circled one can be displayed differently, but thats VISUAL for you.)

  16. Fanservice, Fanservice, Meme, Fanservice, Fanservice...

  17. I could have liked this comic, if (a) it didn't exist just for Randy to show off that he has some introductory understanding of how a Higgs Boson should move and (b) it were put together in better order.

    Reason (b) covers all the things that Randy needs an editor for:

    b1: The leap from set up panel to first joke panel is too vast. He either needs two set up panels, or for the first joke one to be a similar animal to the set up one.
    b2: Long cat should come right after cat. Note that this would solve b1.
    b3: The knight takes a less than optimun path, why?
    b4: There are multiple duplicators, why? The caption only mentions one, Calvin only has one, and if Randy only drew one, he'd have room to better express the idea by making multiple sets of tracks come out of it and go different directions.
    b5: One panel, and only one panel, has a speech bubble. It is unnessecary, unfunny, and upsets the motif.

  18. I don't get the Kid ones. I'm guessing he's using a device that changes him into an animal and duplicates him, but why? Is this some reference I should get?

    I didn't get the knight one at first because of how poorly it is drawn. It just looked like a bunch of dots and i'm trying to figure out why an actual knight (as in somebody wearing armor and shit) would leave little dot footprints.

    Why is it a bobcat on the pogo stick? Why not another kid?

    Also, Randall, you suck at drawing tire marks.

  19. You know, the knight panel might have been a very good stand-alone comic. Where the chess-knight iterates its movment into infinity (fractally).

  20. Ken & Adam are right: while it is obviously a chess knight and anyone who disagrees is objectively stupid, the weird little dance it does in the circle sacrifices clarity for, well, nothing.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. "Hell, a human is a type of monkey, if you're going to go all technical on us Jay."

    Evolutionists believe that humans and apes share a common ancestor, not that humans are/came from monkeys.

    Do some research next time.

  23. If he wanted to make a reference to something with peg-like imprints in snow, a Prinny would work better than a... bobcat? I have no idea what's up there.

    And the knight threw me off completely. It's not that hard to play with it a bit by having the black squares show up faintly underneath the chess prints. After having it pointed out, it did show up better, but that rather defeats the purpose of a joke.

  24. You know, I had trouble thinking of it as the chess knight even though I played competitive chess for many years. This is mainly because I always imagined the horses as leaping to their new spots, not politely trotting. That is why they are able to jump over other pieces to get there.

  25. Anon 5:32, Randy doesn't strike me as a Disgaea player.

  26. I think the bobcat may be referencing and

    I'm surprised he didn't do 'velociraptor'.

  27. The kid ones are definitely a Calvin and Hobbes reference. Still a pretty shitty comic though.

  28. Captain Cook,

    there is no such thing as an "Evolutionist".
    There are evolutionary biologists.

    If you want to talk about heritage and human ancestry, watch this first:

    and then STFU.

  29. "joke" = moose and squirrel tracks labeled moose and squirrel.

    "thing that would have actually been funny"
    moose = moose tracks
    squirrel = squirrel tracks
    moose and squirrel = moose tracks

    I guess three panels would have been too much for that, though.

  30. R.
    I think Randall just likes the word "bobcat"
    Just as i do tomfoolery.

  31. wait, so which ones are memes? That and do Priuses have bar traction or something or did I miss that one as well?

  32. Cam,

    Yes, yes its that stupid

  33. Long cat is a meme.

    There's a recall on Prius brake software, because the version in a lot of recent cars can cause the brakes to go out momentarily in certain conditions.

  34. neither humans nor chimps are monkeys. Sharing a common ancestor with monkeys does not make one a monkey. If it did, then all life on earth would be monkeys, and that would be dumb.

    As for the comic, I thought placeholder was a brilliant name for this comic's criticism, becase that's what it feels like.

  35. longcat is epic lulzzzzzz

    but seriously, I didn't mind the 'hare dryer' joke - it was amusingly bad in a Horatio Caine kinda way.

    Captcha - 'uppiti'. A Scandinavian children's book about said hare.

  36. I thought the Prius panel was a reference to the current Toyota controversy surrounding their accelerator pedals.

  37. how - or maybe why - is this blog still going?

    it's not the comics fault if you don't get something, it works with an assumption of knowledge

  38. i like this comic

  39. This may be the only place in the world where people are furious about the Higgs boson. That's actually sort of charming, I think.

  40. This comic had waaaay to many frames. It totally diluted the joke with shitty memes and silly "observations", and the end punchline was far less effective because of it.

    Okay idea, terrible execution.

  41. Giant Squid,

    Human (homo sapiens sapiens)

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Order: -PRIMATES-
    Family: Hominidae
    Subfamily: Homininae
    Tribe: Hominini
    Genus: Homo
    Species: H. sapiens

    A primate (pronounced /ˈprаɪmeɪt/, us dict: prī′·māt) is a member of the biological order Primates (/prаɪˈmeɪtiːz/ prī·mā′·tēz; Latin: "prime, first rank"[2]), the group that contains lemurs, lorisids, galagos, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes (including great apes such as HUMANS).[3]

    Now shut it

  42. i guess this xkcd was just too BRILLIANT for all us liberal arts faggots. obviously once you get intelligent enough, you no longer need jokes; you only need blatant acknowledgements of your own erudition

  43. AdamTM:

    Humans are great apes, which are apes, which are NOT monkeys. Chimpanzees also are great apes, without being human. It's not an uncommon mistake, but it's a mistake, and your classification doesn't actually help your case.

    There are lots of other primates that are neither ape nor monkey too, eg. everything else in your quoted list.


  44. Blah blah blah blah blah. (This is you guys)

  45. I decided to do my own version of the latest xkcd. Randall already used up Calvin (like a true fanboy he is), so here are snowtracks from a bunch of other newspaper comics: Yeah, I'm not bored enough to make 12 of these...

  46. Timofei, in regard to the Jackelrod reference...are you, perchance, a goon?

  47. No, but I read their comics thread for inspiration.

  48. OK guys, let's summarize:
    some banter (4 posts)
    confusion about the classification of humans (3 posts)
    banter (2)
    rage (3)
    someone explains the joke (1)
    a removed post
    banter (2)
    constructive criticism (1) *
    banter (3)
    another removed post
    more about humans (1)
    banter (5)
    MORE about humans (1)
    banter (5)
    humans (1)
    banter (6)
    humans (1)
    banter (1)
    humans (1)
    one very childish insult (kinda self-referential, actually) that ... well, doesn't change the tone of the conversation
    and finally, more banter.

    Isn't the point of this blog to discuss how XKCD could be better, not to simply ridicule it? If that is the purpose, I count one purposeful post out of fourty five. Good job, Ken. If the rest of the blog were like this, perhaps Randall wouldn't hate it too much to learn from it.

  49. 10:44: True, true. More constructive crit would be useful. A little venting is necessary now and then, but outright ridicule can be problematic. Even so, I'd say there's some useful notes to be found in the ones you marked "banter."

    The primary problems with this comic are in its pacing, lack of organization, and overreliance on references. Not much else to be said.

    The childish insult is just an example of GIFT in action.

  50. Ens

    I admit I went a bit over my head here, I'm not an expert on taxonomy and clasification. Its just that I read this essay

    also this

    however compelling the arguments are, its not a science resource.
    But I would argue for this kind of taxonomy, as the layperson that i am.

  51. Oh no, the comment police has arrived. Maybe people talk about unrelated things because the suckiness of xkcd is self-evident and the review is not up yet? Jou ma se poes!

  52. Timofei: That's not true, that's impossible!

  53. Randall Munroe apparently does not like hearing positive or negative comments about his work. So even if we changed the blog's name to "xkcd is so awesome but maybe it could be better" and super-sugarcoated all the criticisms, he still would not read it. Maybe if we knew he read this blog or could read it, we'd be more cordial and less off-topic, but he doesn't, and never will.

    The purpose of this blog is for fun, to vent perhaps and to maybe educate ourselves about the medium.

    Since what we are doing now is more fun, I see no reason for it to change.

  54. Childish I may be
    But an insult it was not
    Simply stating fact

    My time is precious
    I am kind of a big deal
    On the internet

    No wasted effort
    Efficient conveyances
    Three haiku is all

  55. The "hare dryer" joke would have been funnier if Warner Bros didn't make a similar joke about 60 years ago.

    Bugs Bunny was falling out of an airplane and at the last second drank an elixir that stops "falling hare" or was it spelled "hair"? Anyways, RanDULL decides to be clever and use a joke decades old.

  56. @Saint Cad
    To be fair on Randull, the whole hare/hair thing is very common/old. I'm pretty sure that Warner Bros didn't create it. There are countless jokes relying on this play on words. For example "Why do you have a rabbit on your head?" "Because from a distance it looks like hare" I found that bad pun the only mildly amusing thing in this comic and was the first thing to make me smile from Xkcd in ages.

  57. @Anon 1:35 - Pointing out that the joke is even older than it seems doesn't actually defend Randull. I mean, what?

    Saint Cad: This joke is outrageously, painfully old.
    Anon 1:35: In Randall's defense, actually this joke is way older than you think.
    Femalethoth: Buh?

  58. I actually like this comic decently, until the last two panels. I didn't get that the moose and squirrel was Rocky and bullwinkle, but it's all fine. I do like the calvin and hobbes reference.

    I mean, I didn't get the prius one immediately (I now see the brake recalls or whatnot mentioned above). But what the fuck? "My vegetable garden?" Who the fuck grows vegetables gardens outside in the snow? And how is a vegetable garden funny? That panel sucks.

    Then the higgs boson- I just don't get it I suppose. Is it just because the higgs boson hasn't been found or whatever? Or is there something Randal learned on wikipedia about some guy scientist named Snow that might be on the LHC. I wouldn't be surprised.

    And now as I looked at the xkcd forums, I guess the bobcat is a reference to tigger from winnie the pooh. I guess that's cute. Even though I don't know the mouse reference, a mouse on a motorcycle is actually cute enough.

    But the problem still remains- Randall has his two crappiest pictures saved up for the end. Which means that he probably thought those were the two funniest. And it's clear how he took what could be a cute and moderately funny comic (rocky and bullwinkle, calvin and hobbes, chess knight, even the longcat is nice to me) and thought "this needs something science! um...uh..HIGGS BOSON LOL."

    And I liked the hare pun. Yeah, it's corny, but it fits with the rest of the comic. Randall was so close to having a comic that can be cute/bring a smile to everyone, then decides to fuck it up with vegetable garden. The fuck.

  59. @anon11:29 -- Two things: vocabulary is obviously not your forte; "insult" and "fact" are not mutually exclusive concepts. But even your (spurious) definition relies on one basic, faulty, assumption: that this blog operates on a "lack of knowledge" of the comic, it's subject, intent, subtext, etc. This is unequivocally false. While some, on some occasions, might not "get" something, the majority of us do. XKCD is far from subtle or esoteric, if it ever was.

  60. Anonymous from 1:58February 16, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    just continuing on my comment: god damn xkcd forums suck. Fuck them. I hope these people were trolls:

    "Get out of my head, Randall! I'm in a speeding, out of control Toyota right now." Me: Fuck you.

    And especially this person:
    "As far as the Prius being on the wrong side of the road, and although I love that explanation, Felona, has nobody noticed that Prius owners *always* get left to turn right?"
    Me: An extra big GTFO to you my dead!

    And the art also sucks. Randall *almost* ruined the knight one, where he had to draw an L. And as people point out, the skid marks don't make sense for someone driving and turning right(which is where the forumite above is discussing with someone else)

  61. A mix up perhaps
    My original comment:
    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    Apologies as well
    A grammatical mistake
    Haiku hard at times

  62. I hate to admit that the Legolas one made me laugh. The others really sucked though.

  63. @ AdamTM:

    "there is no such thing as an "Evolutionist".
    There are evolutionary biologists."

    Really? Then explain this:

    Dictionaries are your friend...

    "If you want to talk about heritage and human ancestry, watch this first:
    and then STFU."

    And how am I supposed to talk about anything if I'm supposed to STFU?

  64. (This is the 2:00 anon)You certainly forced me to revise my opinion of you; that was a very classy reply. I thought you were just a troll, but it appears I was wrong. Which makes me feel rather bad about nitpicking on grammar...

  65. I'm aware that the hare/rabbit thing has been done in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

    So tell you what. As soon as Randall gets even 1/4 as funny as a Looney Tunes cartoon, I'll take back my criticism of the pun. Until then, I stand behind it.

    @ Anon 11:29/2:11:

    Those are not haikus. Nice try though.

    I'm still not sold on the knight tracks, even with AdamTM's picture, because of the circled area. I guess it COULD have gone down, back to its original position, up, back to its original position, and then down and continue on but it's still stupid and convoluted.

  66. damn, son, the haiku-squad has arrived.

    The big-leagues of the xkcd fandom's here.

  67. No, that'll happen when they start posting ASCII art.

  68. So have I in my ignorance of physics just never encountered the fact that bosons move in almost-but-not-really straight lines and logarithmic spirals, or is Randall just terrible at drawing stuff?

  69. I made a revision. yeah, its mspainty.

    I don't think he should've put a road in the prius tracks - the fact that a car is driving on snow is good enough. Perhaps he could've made it swerving around and stuff. The blood is what I thought was funny because of the only use of color, but you can ignore it. If he really HAD to put the veggie garden thing, I would've put it in a separate panel underneath.

    As for the weird knight tracks, the random white dots are to be like, snow is clumping together as the knight tries to make another move, you know? bad art, but if it were more detailed you'd see it.

  70. Ok, I'm relatively new to this website. Thus, I'm assuming that rants about how this comic is GOOD, FUNNY, and other positive adjectives, will not be posted on the main page. Nonetheless, the amount of stupid attacks on this comic is incredible. I will therefore try to address EVERY SINGLE LAST DAMN CRITICISM on the comments section so far. Not all will be refuted, but many will be. So for all you cuddlefish out there that are too scared to talk out, this is for you.
    The analysis will attempt to go panel by panel, when possible.
    BUT BEFORE I START...Do not say that any panel sucked because you did not understand it at all, or you did not understand it right away. What made this comic enjoyable was the "aha" moments when you realized what is going on. Not everyone was able to have that "aha" moment with every panel, but the satisfaction of thinking about and understanding the ones you did made up for not understanding the ones you did not. SO just because you don't read C&H, or you don't read current events, or you haven't watched Lord of the Rings, or you were born after Rocky and Bullwinkle were popular, DO NOT COMPLAIN. Thanks.
    Panel 1-Cat
    A) "That's not how cats it?" I highly doubt anyone pays that much attention to how a cat walks. The uncertainty in the question basically proves this point. Assuming it is not how a cat moves (I don't know either), it is nonetheless perfectly understandable that it is cat footprints.
    Panel 2- Moose and squirrel
    A) "He started with the jokes too soon after the opening panel" That's really an opinion- more of an opinion than other complaints. I personally did not feel the jump was too strong. Others might. Fine.
    Panel 3- Longcat
    A)"Hey, a longcat has a long body, not long legs. Thus, it would not walk like that!" Seriously? You were seriously confused about this? You see footprints relatively very far apart, you see that they are the same tracks as the cat, and you see it's a longcat. It's all clear now. I found that amusing (though of course the humor is completely subjective). Unless you feel this actually detracted from the humor of the panel when you first read it, it is unfair to complain about it (I expect to get attacked for that line, and am prepared to defend it).
    B)"Longcat should come right after cat" Very fair point. Would add consistency.
    Panel 4- Mouse riding bicycle
    Unfortunately, I did not understand the reference here (Ralph S. Mouse? The Mouse and the Motorcycle?). Thus, I will not attempt to defend it.
    Panel 5-Rabbit stopping to use hair dryer
    A)Wow, that pun sucked I personally don't like puns, so I did not really find that funny. If you do enjoy enjoy puns, you should have.
    B)"Hares and rabbits are two different things, so the pun doesn't even work!"...Just shut up. That is a pathetic argument. Because it's so pathetic, I'm going to publicly acknowledge that it was given by Nate. Good job.
    C)"That joke was used decades ago. Good job stealing it!" Has it ever occurred to you that Randall might not have seen that many people do you think know that this was already used in the Bugs Bunny cartoon. Seriously...

    Continued in my next post

  71. Panel 8-Knight
    A) "Knights in chess don't move like that" Um...yes they do. Ok, so it's not a perfect "L" every time, but it's still an "L". Even if you did not understand that right away, I doubt it was because you said "Hey, this looks like chess pieces... but it can't be, the "L"'s aren't uniform length!" I thought this panel was very witty.
    B) "But still, the third to last dot and second to last dot are completely off! Granted. Nonetheless, you should still easily be able to tell that it's an "L" shaped motion from the other dots.
    C) "So he should have put a grid in! And don't tell me he was trying to be subtle..." Of course he was trying to be subtle! You see any other explanations to any of the other panels? He simply wanted you to work a little to understand it. The fact that other people understood this panel (and some immediately, I might add) shows that the lack of a grid did not make the panel impossible to understand.
    D)"Why is the knight traveling in the less than optimum path?" That's really not important. He wanted to show the movement of a knight, so he showed the movement of a knight.
    Panel 10-Kid with duplicator
    A)"Why are there multiple duplicators? Calvin only had one! It's not multiple duplicators. I immediately understood it to be that Calvin duplicated himself, picked up the duplicator, walked a bit, set it down again, did it again, etc..Ok, that might not be the most logical way of thinking about it, though the increasing number of footprints as he passed each box print was funny.
    Panel 11- Prius
    A)"Why the speech bubble? It's so pointless, and kills the continuity! No. I found that the speech bubble adds to the humor. You may not. But then we are just arguing about the subjectivity of "funny". Assuming that others like me found the addition of the speech bubble funny (which I would imagine is true), this argument is mute.
    B)People don't have vegetable gardens in the snow, retard!" I cannot defend this, but I still that it's being much too nitpicky.
    C)"God, Randall sucks at drawing tire tracks" Were you confused about what they were? Did you read the word "Prius", look back to the Panel, and not understand the joke? If not, then SHUT UP. UNLESS THE FAULT IN THE COMIC IS SO BAD THAT IT DETRACTED FROM YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE COMIC (or your understanding of it), DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT IT!
    Panel 12- Higgs Boson
    A) Obviously an attempt by Randall to show off his scientific knowledge. Or he needed to put something scientific in it, because he has mental disorders, and Randall sucks, etc..." In spite of the fact that I'm new to this blog, I've been reading XKCD for a while. Whenever I do, I notice the subtitle calls it "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language". Now granted, science isn't one of those, but that isn't the point. The point is that these are themes that very well might not appeal to an average comic reader. But this you just have to deal with. If his comic acknowledges that it often will have math/science themes, then if there is math and science themes, why are you annoyed? That's the comic. It's like being annoyed at the Doonesbury for being too political.

    Well, I'm done. That took longer than expected. Please feel free to continue calling Randall a retard, while I continue to enjoy his comics.

  72. ^ obvious fanboy fag is obvious.

  73. retarded 4chan meme is dumb and not funny anymore.

  74. Oh wait sorry that "any more" isn't really necessary.

  75. It's like being annoyed at the Doonesbury for being too political.

    No, Doonesbury is political around 98% of the time and is usually clever about it (which is why everyone likes Doonesbury FOR the politicalness, or hates it) whereas xkcd used to be grounded by those 4 pillars of "romance, sarcasm, math, and language" now the sarcasm is... kind of non-existent (I don't think the Valentine's Day was sarcastic and if it was, then Randall failed big time on that) the romance is infantile humour revolving entirely around sex now, the math is easy enough for High School kids in the 14 classes to get them and the language... let's not even go there.

    Sorry but your argument doesn't hold up, Randall includes something relating to the Higgs-Boson? That's about as relevant to Math as the Scribblenauts comic where the girl said she could summon the Large Hadron Collider in game. Maybe you have a point towards... random people saying they disliked a specific part of the comic? There isn't even a review up, your just mad at random people's opinions of a specific PART of the comic at large, why don't you wait till the actual review of the comic as a whole by one person before aping out?

  76. To Cam:
    Granted that "science" is not one of the "4 pillars", but there's no question that many, many of the comics revolve around physics. That's just what the comic is. Like I said before, the lack of science as one of the 4 is unimportant. The point is that math (yes, I'm going to look at that one specifically) is not something that would generally appeal to most readers as something that could be funny. Physics is similar in that regard. And it is obviously Randall's intention to include physics jokes as a recurring component of the comics. So the argument of "I hate Randall for having science stuff in his comic" is unfair, because it is similar to saying I hate Doonesbury...

    And even though there is not a review up, it's logical to say that if the review is negative (which it usually is...), it will attack Randall on many of the points that others have brought up. Which are issues I addressed.

    And finally, it's difficult to look at the comic as a whole, because each panel is unique in its own right. There are not many things you can say about the comic as a whole. As proof of this, you can look at Carl's initial comments, which were each about an individual panel.

    Coincidentally, you did not like my last argument. What did you feel about the other 20 or so?

  77. Anonymous from 1:58February 16, 2010 at 7:50 PM


    This comic is cute and actually good to great imo until the last two panels. That's the problem. And I am assuming that Randall must have thought those to be two good jokes, considering they are at the end of the comic. Typically that's where the punchlines happen.

    No one doesn't know it's tire tracks, I'm simply quoting forumites from xkcd forums. I told them to fuck off how they hypothesized about this. So I agree with you- I didn't voice it clearly (since I don't see other posts about the tire tracks).

    But the largest problem, vegetable garden, still exists for me. If the last two panels were taken out entirely, and even filled with velociraptor tracks, I'd really enjoy the comic (despite many here probably going "randall always velociraptor, etc, etc"). But the last two panels are really really terrible to me- neither are funny, and it seems he's TRYING to be funny there. He was so close to creating a cute comic that makes me smile. So so close. And it still does, but the end it terrible.

  78. ugh, grammar errors in that post above ^^^^ but meanings should be clear

  79. Cuddlefish, I didn't say I didn't like your post, I just disagreed with your comparison of xkcd to Doonesbury is all, I don't actually care about what you say about other people's opinions (as you may have noticed, I haven't posted my official opinions of this comic, I simply said I didn't get a couple of the references and that Randall fucked up if he was trying to make a reference to The Mouse and the Motorcycle) because people will still agree and disagree on this blog and I only swoop in when I see someone say something that I disagree with and I will say why I disagree with it (although I wasn't really clear with that this time :/).

    Incidentally I did say that I thought you should've waited till an actual review was up to start arguing and disagreeing with points, but I did not ever say I didn't LIKE your argument.

  80. hey um I'm posting now but is anyone else unable to access

  81. i can access it, maybe it's shitheads only?

  82. huh, IE was blocking it. internet explorer is wiser than you'd think.

  83. Would you like to touch my long hard meme? I assumed not, because it has a large soar on it. Like an airplane!

  84. Rob are you calling me a shithead?

  85. Randall recently changed the <title> tag from "xkcd: a webcomic" to "xkcd: [comic name]". He forgot the </title> part which means that nothing is shown in IE (and possibly some other browsers as well).

  86. oh, NICE.

    OK, to head off the comments: the reason I said the last two panels were better than average was not because I found them clever, they were not, but because they were unexpected. After all the preceeding panels I was not expecting the sudden appearance of a prius, or the Higgs Boson, even though considering xkcd's history I really should have. It took me by surprise. So that is my logic.

  87. I'd like to see "couple breaking up" as footprints. that could be amusing.

  88. Yeah xkcd isn't working for me either (using Opera).

    @ Cuddlefish:

    Hey, thanks for calling me out specifically! Although I stand behind my statement, hares and rabbits are not the same, and really aren't even that closely related! They just look similar which is a really awful way of trying to tell which animals are related. Otherwise we'd think dolphins are fish. By the way,

    this argument is mute.

    You're going to call me for bringing biological classifications into the argument about why Randall's pun is shitty, and you can't even use the right damn word for your post? Psst, here's a free hint.

    Mute - silent, not making noise. This is why sound equipment has a Mute button, to stop it from making noise.

    Moot - debatable or alternatively, valueless/pointless.

    Keep this in mind for next time! I'm glad I can be of some service.

    I also already explained my reasonings for why the knight panel sucks. AdamTM made a really good argument with his image, but I'm still not convinced, as it seems like trying to make the facts fit the theory instead of the theory fitting the facts.

    At any rate the movement shown in his image was VERY convoluted with the dancing around of the knight near the end, which is pretty silly and only serves to prove in my mind that Randall fucked it up.

  89. Okay, it's after midnight and I'm a bit tipsy for reasons I won't get into, and I admit that the statement about dolphins/fish was a gross oversimplification and it's not like that at all(at the very least, rabbits and hares are more related than THAT). So, I rescind that part of my statement.

    I don't see how Poore maintains his level of coherency while he's drunk. I need to take lessons from him.

  90. " Okay, it's after midnight and I'm a bit tipsy for reasons I won't get into"

    do those reasons involve having imbibed alcohol?

  91. I don't think randy understands the correct definition of "tautology"

  92. Okay, well no one else has said this and it's really bugging me so:
    Legolas would leave footprints. I know what Randall's referencing here, the attempt on Caradhras, where he runs on top of the snow while everyone else has to slog through it, but it's physically impossible that he's not leaving footprints.
    I want to say at least he didn't just say "Ninja LOL", but that would at least have made sense.

    Also, CuddleFish: We are explicitly NOT saying we hate Randall for having science stuff in his comic. We like good physics jokes, or good math jokes. We get them. It's not that Randall is too sciencey for us, it's that he thinks he is, and then makes basic mistakes in really simple mathematical proofs (for instance). "Higgs Boson" is not a good physics joke because it is not a joke.

    And the latest one: a reference to facebook groups AND Fight Club! Two things no one else would ever think to reference! Note the continued focus on highschoolers as the target audience.

  93. About the Knight panel: on the sixth move (starting from the bottom) It goes to the right and up, then the 7th move is down and to the left. That's why there are two dots spaced so close together. I checked it real quick on my board. It actually works out if you don't include the first and last positions, which are both off the sides of the board. Neglecting the erroneous first and last position, the movement goes: 1.Ka3 2.Kb5 3.Ka7 4.Kc8 5.Ke7 6.Kg8 7.Kf6 8.(resigns?)

  94. ^^Assuming an empty board or nearly so, of course.^^

  95. I also don't think he has a grasp of what Honor Societies are for, assuming he's talking about ones through Post Secondary, those you usually had to be an honorable person (volunteer, high GPA, involved in extra curricular activities like Student Union and stuff) but heaven forfend that Randall actually KNOW what he's talking about

  96. Tuesday, February 16. Randall Munroe discovers the Wikipedia article on the word "tautology," after getting in a heated internet argument where he makes repeated tautological claims and is called out on it. An idea is born.

  97. New comic is really terrible. News flash: (good) Honor societies don't just let any asshole in! That's why its an honor.

  98. Yes consumption of alcoholic beverages was definitely a factor.

    I just wish I could blame all my other stupid posts on alcohol too. It would be a lot more convenient let me tell you.

    I had to go to the forums to see today's comic because the main site still isn't working for me and I didn't get the comic because I don't know what tautology is I guess. On the other hand, I was glad to see that the one guy on the forums who declared he added the comic to the wiki page got his edit removed with a simple "no" along with a note on the Talk page to protect the page before the xkcd fans got to it (they're getting smarter about this).

  99. Concerning the new xkcd:

    The comic has been out for what, an hour, and an edit war has already started. Most of the other examples in that article are okay, but this comic is in no way worth a mention, considering it's just saying "x is x."

  100. New comic: Tautologies and circular arguments are now the same thing?

  101. @anon 10:16 - I think circular arguments are way closer to being a tautology than what the comic says. At least circular arguments usually say the same thing a DIFFERENT WAY instead of saying the same thing THE SAME WAY.

    As anon 10:14 said, all Randy is doing is saying x = x.

    But the people on the forums are eating it up and perpetrating the idea that repeating the same exact thing is a tautological statement.

  102. Today's xkcd sucks something awful.
    It's completely geared to high school students,
    and even then, it doesn't make any sense.
    There's no tautology in the idea of honor societies.
    Dumb, yes, but they act as a certification by judging their membership...just like colleges.

    Damn it's bad.

  103. @anon 10:23:You're right. I was thinking that the first panel was a circular argument. But re-reading it, I'm not sure what it is. The first part of the statement says he should join the honor society, then the second part says he's already in it. I'm not sure I'm explaning that correctly, but doing so would probably take longer than it took Randall to formulate the statement in the first place, and I have actual work to do tonight.

  104. Oh also I liked Jay's post. I thought it was funny, still had some criticism in it and applying a final rating to the comic was a nice touch.

  105. I can not rage about this comic, as i dont get the joke.

    However i will rage about the HTML formating of the site that made me install chrome to just view it.

    What Randall, you're being browser-selective now? Not even Comic JK with his windows-bashing does that.

  106. 11:01 - OK, fair, but I called it banter so that my post didn't get obscenely long.

    R - Also fair. I thought that the criticism was the most interesting part, but yeah, the rest is fun.

    11:29 - My apologies. But note that despite calling you childish, I also said you didn't change the tone. So, uh, apologies to everyone. I misread the community.

  107. "high school honor societies aren't always the most honorable? surely i can find humor in this situation. in the most asinine way possible of course."

    a thought from Randal's sad mind.

  108. honors societies (in both high school and afterwards) are indeed very tautological in purpose, and all you pedantic niggers can suck my dick
    this was one of the better comics recently which isn't saying much i guess

  109. Captain Cook

    I already explained i went in over my head with attacking established taxonomy.

    "Really? Then explain this:"

    Yes the word does exist, however it only is a description of belief in evolution, its not a job-description.

    I find the word personally ridiculously stupid, after all i dont call myself a gravitationist, a wave-particle-dualist, or a 2nd-law-of-thermodynamicist.

    Declaring a form of "belief" in a scientific theory is an oxymoron.

    The word is so old and outdated (first used when Darwins book came out and biology/science was treated as a hokey-pokey dance around facts) it has no place in our language anymore.

    It does exist, yes i admit that, but its meaning and context is outdated to the point it might as well not.

  110. "Tautology (rhetoric), repetition of meaning, using dissimilar words to say the same thing twice, especially where the additional words fail to provide additional clarity and meaning.:

    only, the people in the comic don't do that, they just say the same thing twice, especially in the last panel. jesus is randall stupid. i mean, what the fuck.

  111. 703 is final proof that Randall has absolutely no right to claim that his is a comic about 'language'. How can someone who does this thing for a living, who clearly thinks himself a pretty clever guy, so profoundly, so absolutely misunderstand what a tautology is! It boggles the mind. ... It churns, uh, the stomach.

  112. Something that's bothered me for a while, whenever anyone on this blog references in a positive way xkcdexplained.

    The narrative of xkcdsucks is nothing like the narrative of xkcdexplained. More specifically, they have polar opposite, mutually exclusive narratives. It seems to me you guys should hate them even more than you hate actual xkcd.

  113. @anon 1:59: Are you maybe looking at a different xkcdexplained? We're talking about It's true they're more about subtle (and some not-so-subtle) satire, whereas this site is more about open criticism and mockery. However the message, to me at least, is the same: xkcd sucks.

  114. Rob, i am disappointed my man!
    For Randall mutilating english language you seem pretty mellow about it.

    Isnt this your schtick?

  115. Oh so apparently it doesn't matter that I don't know what tautology is because apparently Randall doesn't either and he screwed up the comic completely. That works too.

    And yeah, I don't know what Anon 1:59 is talking about. If nothing else, this post about the science valentine comic should make the sarcasm and satire and hatred for xkcd clearly obvious.

    In fact if you read the comments on that post a few xkcd fans are actually annoyed at the bile of the authors, with a couple of them whining "cut out the snark, it isn't appreciated."

    Another big clue on xkcd explained is the Micro SD card comic where they ask "what other computing devices do you think the Author has inserted into his rectum?"

    I think that the anon is perhaps looking at instead. They're not snarky or sarcastic at all.

  116. AdamTM: Well, yes and no. I mean, this one is pretty dumb, and it seems really obvious that someone just used the word and Randy had to look it up, probably on Wikipedia, and read some of the examples and was like "pah, I can come up with tautologies, too!" The idea is just so useless, and isn't too original--there's a joke which goes something like "This redundant statement has been brought to you by the Redundancy Department of Redundancy, which this redundant statement has been brought to you by."

    It'd be pretty easy to mock and get worked up about it, on so many levels. But having seen the Valentine's comic, it's not a festering shitpile, either.

  117. Anon 1:59 here.

    Yes, you both feel XKCD sucks, but your reasons, i.e. your narratives, are mutually exclusive. XKCDexplained has a few points they make frequently. These are just from the most recent few entries:

    1: Randall is a geek and geeks are complete and utter losers.
    2: Randall has never had sex or a girlfriend. (see 1)
    3: Randall wishes he was still in High School and/or IS still in High School.
    4: Randall spends all of his time engaging in pathetic geek activities like Settlers of Catan (see 1)

    XKCDsucks takes the opposite approach. That, rather than being a pathetic nerdy geek, Randall only PRETENDS to be a geek to appeal to his audience. And pretends badly, at that.

    Here, you guys tend to criticize him for, rather than making truly interesting, science/math intensive geeky comics, making comics with wikipedia science, references, and memes. Several posts have essentially said that Randall is probably having TOO MUCH sex, and poisons his comic with unfunny vulgarities.

    You assumed he used Settlers of Catan in a strip for geek cred. XKCDexplained assumes he was playing a rousing game of Settlers of Catan, and laughs at him for it.

    Put in their most basic terms, XKCDexplained reads like it's written by a jock, who hates Randall because he's a geek. XKCDsucks reads like it's written by a smart geek, who hates Randall because he's a retarded wannabe geek. Yes, I know XKCDsucks is written by several people, I'm speaking in generalities here.

    I personally enjoy XKCD more than most people on this blog. But overall, I think your narrative is a lot closer to the truth than XKCDexplained.

  118. Interesting take, 1:59.

    I think part of it is that XKCDexplained is satire. (bear with me here, I am not just stating the obvious.) Since they aren't as straightforward, it's easy to get a number of interpretations as to what their exact motive is for thinking XKCD sucks. I read it as more of a satire of XKCD along with his fans--specifically the type who make

  119. Hilarious, the Tautology page on wikipedia is protected from editing in response to the latest comic.

  120. the latest comic sucks because the latest comic sucks (man I am so funny I should make a webcomic)

  121. Jay why don't you answer my emails

  122. ARRRGH: Somebody made "Tautology Club" facebook group, and it has like 300 members already!

    Anyway, I study mathematical logic and strictly speaking Randy's examples are not tautologies. Tautologies are statements that can be proven true in pure propositional logic. For example "If A then A" is a tautology for every yes/no statement A. "A or not A" is also a tautology (in classical logic, at least).

    However let's look at the examples from today's xkcd: "If 1000000 people join this group then it will have 1000000 people in it" - "if x in g then g has x". The truth value of this sentence depends on how predicates "in" and "has" are defined. This is a theorem in some first order theory that defines these predicates.

    Similarly, the truth value of the sentence "The first rule of Tautology club is the first rule of Tautology club" depends on how the predicate "is" is defined. It is also a theorem that follows from reflexivity axiom for "is" ("for all X, X is X").

    Anyway, I understand that "common meaning" of the word tautology is slightly different, but since xkcd is supposed to be a math webcomic it would be cooler if he used some actual tautologies in the mathematic sense of the word.

  123. xkcd is sucking more and more at faster speed.

    captcha: duche

  124. Cuddlefish,

    >Were you confused about what they were? Did you read the word "Prius", look back to the Panel, and not understand the joke? If not, then SHUT UP. UNLESS THE FAULT IN THE COMIC IS SO BAD THAT IT DETRACTED FROM YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE COMIC (or your understanding of it), DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT IT!

    No, I was not confused by what they were.

    Yes, the shittiness of the art detracted from any enjoyment I might have possible gained from that panel.

  125. Throwing in arbitrary references to something science related is not the same as making a comic centered around a science topic.

    The Higgs Boson panel is clearly an example of Randal going "Oh shit! I forgot my mandatory science reference! uh... how about something LHC-related? Yeah! I'm so witty!" It was desperate and weak.

    He should change the site's subtitle to "A comic about memes, old news, sex, and pleas for attention."

  126. @Anon 1:59 -

    There is no way that XKCDExplained is written by a jock. It's clearly written by a geek - but a social sciences geek, probably a linguistics nerd.

    XKCDExplained is also saying that Randall pretends to be a geek, especially in the Valentine's comic. And even if I did think they held all geekery in disdain, I wouldn't give a damn because of their fine work on comic 699.

  127. Wow. "Axe Cop" really sucks the rod ... but not in a good way.

    In the spirit of tautology, Carl = Jay

  128. It seems like in the first panel he is trying to construct an argument, so logical tautologies come to mind. The best I can get from his statement is P->Q ^ Q->P where P is "I am in an honor society" and Q is "I am honorable". This simplifies to P=Q, which is not a tautology. Remember, he can't possibly be talking about rhetorical tautologies, since that is the domain of the liberal arts student.

  129. I think we've all learned something from the latest comic:

    Randall failed to get into any honor societies in high school and so knows nothing about how they work. He still feels bitter about this.

  130. I think Randall's scheme is to piss Wikipedia off enough so that they pay him to stop making comics. I would endorse that.

    Regarding the blog post on 702, I think a couple breaking up would be two sets of footprints that diverge, and the caption says, "She found out I make a shitty webcomic."

  131. So the first panel is clearly an example of circular reasoning, rather than a tautology, but what is an 'honor society'? I gather it's an American thing?

    There were advanced courses, which were basically university-level courses, at my high school, and they were called "Honour" courses - "Honours Chemisty", "Honours Physics", etc. If you excelled in those courses you graduated with "Honours with Distinction", but there were certainly no societies involved. Is that the same thing?

  132. 8:27 - I lol'd. Hard. On that note, I have an old log to share:

    (06:15:35 PM) me: You know what would do the world a favor? If you told your fans to stop vandalizing wikipedia every monday wednesday friday.
    (05:38:30 PM) him: wikipedia editors live empty, soulless lives
    (05:38:59 PM) him: and their only pleasure comes from righteousness in the face of adversity and incorrect ideas
    (05:39:12 PM) him: who am I to deny them an extra dose of that

  133. HOLY SHIT. :/

    Randall Munroe: Evil Genius

  134. I used to think he was an ok guy who just made a lot of bad decisions and had somehow manage to garner an insane cult of personality
    I've lost so much respect for him

  135. uncivlengr, I'm guessing what Randy is referring to by "honor society" is some sort of social or accademic club at school. This could include an "honors club" consisting of students who are in the types of classes you describe (we have them as well), or maybe a competitive team like Debate Team. My university has "Euclidean Society" which is just a math club - composed of students who enjoy math. When I was in high school, I was a member of the school's French Honors Society. I took three years of French, enjoyed it and excelled in it. I got to wear an extra cord at graduation.

    Basically, they're just clubs that recognize excellence or interest in particular accademic areas, and it's common for universities to look at your participation in these extra-curricular activities in determining your admittance to their institution.

  136. ok xkcdexplained said that Jason Fox was present in Randall's Tautology Club. That strikes me as wrong and that Randall doesn't read enough Foxtrot. Jason may be a geek, but he is more likely to join the Star Trek club than the Tautology Club (what campus doesn't have a geek club that loves Star Trek? Mine does and I almost joined it) mainly because Jason isn't into tautologies, unless they revolve around Paige's ugliness and he could form his own club for that. In fact, Jason wouldn't join Randall's club, he'd make his own club and it would have him as a member, Marcus and maybe a few other nerds he found in high school (and his bitter rival would be Morton Goldthwaith as usual)

  137. That's not Jason Fox, it's that kid from Compu-Toon! (warning, that comic is super-horrible). Or maybe Jason Fox after intensive chemotherapy (Foxtrot is not a part of "Funkyverse", is it?).

  138. R: To be fair, this is only a single quote of him mostly joking around. He is a pretty ok guy when you speak to him.

  139. @Cam:
    Jason's rivalry was with Eugene, not Morton.

  140. As for this comic, it bothers me (as a member of the National Honor Society) that Randall thinks that honors societies are just there so that anyone can join and say they're in one. The NHS, for example, requires community service, leadership experience, a high GPA, etc. You can't just put your name up on a signup sheet and get in. The reason that colleges and companies look favorably on honor society members is because the members HAVE done something noteworthy.

    But never mind that; Randall either ignorantly or willfully misunderstands the point of these groups just to get a few laughs from the people who couldn't get into them. Observational humor is one thing; contriving an inconsistency where none exists and pretending it's funny is something different altogether.

  141. i remember when i was 4 or 5, i discovered the phrase "no i insist" and spent the day applying it to every statement i made and laughing away like a...well, a 5 year old.

    randall has discovered the word "tautology".

    how is the first panel even circular (forget tautological, it's obviously not)?
    seems a perfectly sensible linear situation.

    1: you need to show colleges that you are honourable in order to get in.
    2: these colleges will deem you honourable if you're in an honour society.
    3: so join an honour society and send proof of such to the colleges, and then you will get in to those colleges.

    where's the loop-back? where's the circularity? where's the catch 22 or the tautological implicit-in-the-meaning?

    unless randy's "because" in the first panel should be read to mean "iff".
    which...makes no fucking sense?

  142. This post is really good in my opinion because the "GAHH RAGE" posts aren't that amusing. The "this is pretty mediocre" posts aren't really either in all truths, but it is more intellectual.


    I doubt that Randall is trying to get a laugh out of the luzers who didn't/couldn't join NHS; Randall and his regular assortment of catamites/forumites seem just like the kind of people who would be members of the NHS.

    Also: last panel, is that the first appearance of a person wearing glasses in the xkcd universe? Also: WOMEN WITH DIFFERENT HAIR STYLES?! WHAT.

    Also, here's something funny to do: look at the second panel. That man's body looks like a banana, no? It looks like a banana with a head on it. YES IT DOES.

    Also, first appearance of a person with a buzz cut? WOW. And, is that girl drinking a martini? At a high school? What?

    Aw yis.

  144. Comic 702: The knight comic made no sense, since the "gags" in the panels leading up to it didn't rely on the motion of the paths in order to be funny. The knight panel requires you to think about the order of how the tracks were laid, which is contrary to what the other panels establish that the joke format will be. We weren't too stupid to understand the joke (as some cuddlefish probably have/will claimed/claim) it's that the layout forced us to consider the setup in one manner, then went off on a retarded tangent.

    Also, I'm happy that Randall went for "Legolas" over the slightly more played out "ninja."

    As for 703: You all don't get it. The joke is that Randall was an awkward teen who, now that he is an adult with a website that allows him to pretend to be a celebrity, places himself in hypothetical high school situations to prove to himself that he was not a loser back then, even though most adults have accepted and moved on from that stage of life.

    Thus is the overarching concept of xkcd. The comic is not about romance, sarcasm, math, or language. It's a demonstration of the inevitable deterioration of once-talented people, a warning that anyone, especially people of well-renown, can fall victim to the foibles of humanity. It is a warning to not transform the product that people once loved you for into a meaningless opinion tract, or worse, a self-insertion fantasy, lest you become so tooth-grindingly asinine to your once loyal fans.

    Or it could be that xkcd sucks.

  145. Although it would just be more of a reference, wouldn't it have been funnier/maybe make more sense if he had written "The first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club. The second rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club?"

  146. Gamer, you totally didn't read my whole post, otherwise you would've known why I said Morton would be his rival. Besides, Eugene's been put in his place so many times that it's not a rivalry it's more of a "oh for fuck's sake, not this guy again". Actually, now that I think about it, considering that Eugene was always showing off his "citations from NASA" and shit, it's like Randall's Eugene and we're Jason and Marcus, sure we're nerds but we sure as hell don't flaunt it like the hack does.

  147. Mhm, some more responses. I will try to answer them person by person

    (Sorry, I'm too lazy to look back up to see who you were.)
    I don't think any punchline was intended for this comic, simply because each panel is able to stand alone. He must of course still thought they were funny, but not necessarily more funny than any other panel.
    And if you did not find the last two panels funny, I can see where that would have ruined the rest. I found the Prius one funny, so I was ok.

    Ok, I tried not to imply that you did disagree- was genuinely curious. Nonetheless, thanks for the reply.

    I think it is safe to say that in general culture, hares and rabbits are considered to be in interchangeable. Of course they are not the same thing, but they are perceived to be so a lot more than, say, dolphins and fish. I feel it's a terrible reason to be annoyed with the comic. O, just saw your next post. Ignore this.
    As for the mute/moot, I was completely wrong, and thank you for bringing that to my attention. I will try not to make the same mistake.
    Finally, I agree that the knight's second to last/third to last move is convoluted, but still feel that once you understand that it's the chess piece knight, that single move will not get in the way of the humor of the panel.

    I don't understand how you are interpreting Randall to be thinking he is "too sciency". What about having the Higgs Boson something-or-other makes you think he thinks he knows more science than anyone else. And for that matter, maybe he does?

    Then you and I simply have different opinions. Nonetheless, I am surprised that your first reaction was not "Hey, that was funny" (or even, "Hey, that was not funny"), but rather was "Hey, those tire tracks suck".

    I will be on the Honor Society post next, so I will not reply to any more replies on this thread. Bye.

  148. Keep, the first panel is circular reasoning because of the way he seems to think these societies work. Saying you're honourable because you're in an honour society makes as much sense as saying you're tall because you're good at basketball.

    He's got the cause-and effect backwards, which makes his argument circular.

  149. your mother doesn't love you..

    Now that we've got that out of the way, I would agree that xkcd has a lot of "Meh" comics, but it's comics like #702 that keep me coming back for more. Maybe it's that I live in the midwest, and therefore have a pretty deep seated hatred of foreign automakers, but I laughed harder at the prius panel than any webcomic I've read in a long time

  150. "Maybe it's that I live in the midwest, and therefore have a pretty deep seated hatred of foreign automakers, but I laughed harder at the prius panel than any webcomic I've read in a long time"

    Normally I try not to judge people too much based on what they find funny. Several people have proven that it's somehow possible to enjoy XKCD without being a complete idiot, for instance, as much as I enjoy mocking it for its appeal to complete idiots.

    That said, this is without exception or exaggeration the single dumbest thing I have ever read in the history of reading stupid things online, and I read most of the comments on this blog.

  151. "It just struck me that there are more important things I might be doing"

    Oh, the irony.

  152. Jay, I fixed the Knight panel with the magic of photoshop and single fucking brush.

    Why Randall couldn't do this when it took me 20 seconds I don't know.

  153. @AdamTM

    @Anon say:

    LOL XD
    I thought something like that, especially with longcat

  154. FYI, panel 7 refers to Tigger

  155. he's a bobcat? i thought he was, i dunno, a tiger?

  156. Everyone knows Tigger's a horse.

  157. Wow, you win the award for most pointless website/life ever. I am not anonymous, just not registering for this crap. My name, is Vanessa Krake.

  158. Haha, censorship at its greatest. Congratulations. I can see someone not being a fan of a particular comic. And I even agree that since he went full time comic, some decrease in quality has occured. But to go out of your way to make a whole forum about it, and THEN to sensor comments....WOW. Its not like you are going to get a bunch of AOL'ers that have no clue just posting to see themselves on the list here. Your group is pretty niche. Luckily my office is completely dead today so i get to participate a little. Here are my thoughts, have fun rejecting them. This has been fun, ciao.

  159. wait, how are we censoring anyone?

  160. i think it's cause i took a day to approve his comment

  161. oh that makes more sense. I love when the cuddlefish assume that because we have moderation on we actually censor shit (proving that they are illiterate)

  162. to be totally honest, this is all the ass turds troll's fault. that guy was crazy!