Thursday, April 22, 2010

Comic 731: Stranded

stuck
This should be short, it's a simple comic and I'm way behind on everything.

The point of this comic seems to be rather poorly thought out - the idea is that he thinks the ocean's all boring and empty but really it's full of pirate ships, squids fighting whales, submarines at 20 feet underwater, and jellyfish, etc. I guess it's try to say "guys! cool stuff is all around you!" which I find a little patronizing and annoying. It also reminds me a bit of the point of the There's Treasure Everywhere calvin and hobbes. [that was originally just a link to wikipedia but a kindly anon forwarded me the link to the actual comic]

The reason I think it's fundamentally a confused message - and i recognize that this is a case of me thinking too much about the comic , but hey, it's what I do - is that none of this actually helps the dude on the island. He isn't going to go exploring for ruined ships or dangerous huge animals. He wants normal sized fish and people to rescue him. In other words, I imagine Randall sort of talking down to this character and saying "don't you realize how much awesome stuff is around you!?" but of course, the response is, "that's lovely to think about for you non-trapped people, but I'm stuck on a shitty island. either rescue me or shut the hell up." And what do you say to that? What's the message of the comic now?

I also want to note that I am really sick of hearing about how damn much Randall loves Minard's map of Napoleon's Forces moving around Europe. I understand that it's a cool map, i know that Randall's hero likes it, but why the hell does he keep bring it up to us? I think this is the 3rd or 4th time.

also: guys, it's comic 731! Do you remember what was exactly 100 comics ago??

187 comments:

  1. Nice comic today. Even though this is just a statement, it does make one ponder.

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  2. The ocean is pretty cool. Someone should make a documentary about that.

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  3. once again randall states the obvious while offering nothing new or interesting about it.

    im sure the fans will go apeshit over this one though.

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  4. Forum excerpt : "The Tacoma Narrows bridge! Woo hoo! That is one of those pet things I have where I cherish knowing it because no one else I know knows about it. But it's nice to be reminded that there are plenty of online nerdy types who do. What about you guys? What are your such cherished knowledges? Things you know about which are uncomplicated but admittedly kick-ass in some way and somewhat obscure to the normal eye?"

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  5. @Peter Dais' forum excerpt dude: xkcd. Normal people don't see what's cool about it at all and sometimes even write big articles demonstrating that they don't get it.

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  6. Well, you have to admit:
    The ocean is a dessert with its life underground
    And a perfect disguise above.

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  7. Who the fuck -doesn't- know about Tacoma Narrows? How is that a nerdy thing?

    Comic: stating the obvious. Also, while interesting, how is any of that stuff going to help him, with the exception of possibly the sub.

    Also, the dialogue is infuriatingly contrived. Nobody says "Flat, empty water." The only reason the word 'empty' is shoehorned in there is because it makes the guy wrong. If he had simply said "Nothing but flat water as far as the eye can see." he'd be right, because he can't actually see any of the stuff in there. My theory is that Randall originally wrote it like that, realised the flaw, and then changed the dialogue instead of rethinking the idea.

    Also this comic instantly reminded me of a comic by Sergio Aragonés about a bunch of archaeologists who find a bone and dismiss it as a cow femur or something, when it's actually the finger bone of some giant buried among fabulous treasure just below their feet. It's too obscure, so I won't call plagiarism, but it's essentially the same joke, but done way better.

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  8. This comic might work better if it was instead about someone who lived near the ocean gazing out at it and thinking about how boring it is. As it is, someone stranded on a desert island probably has more pressing things to worry about than whether there might be a squid and a whale having an epic battle way below him where he can't possibly go and see (seeing as he's, you know, stranded and probably doesn't have any equipment or anything that would help him dive and see any of this cool stuff in the water).

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  9. But Randall, huge stretches of the ocean ARE big, boring, and empty. Especially near the surface.

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  10. Ok, now THIS is poster fuel.

    Also, this:

    "Well, you have to admit:
    The ocean is a dessert with its life underground
    And a perfect disguise above."

    Yep, the ocean is pudding. Yum.

    And just because I like it: Mole out!

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  11. I fucking hate when he does this. Is it supposed to be funny that this guy is trapped on an island and will most likely die alone and undiscovered? Thanks for making me feel so goddamn great about being a nerd, man, I hadn't contemplated suicide for a couple of weeks this time.

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  12. Yeah, tragedy is never funny.

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  13. In regards to the alt text: Randall waxing poetically... EWWW!

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  14. "Who the fuck -doesn't- know about Tacoma Narrows?"

    I think this is confirmation bias by the fact that you know about it and maybe don't consider yourself completely nerdy. I imagine I could ask 100 random folks off the street about it, and 95 would have no idea what I am talking about.

    Alternate hypothesis, you are from Washington State.

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  15. I actually enjoyed this one. Not "funny" really, but it was amusing. The alt-text was bleh though.

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  16. Is the alt-text supposed to be set to a tune or something? I think i was subconsciously thinking of "Modern Major General".

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  17. Subtext: Ordinary plebs are blind to the magnificent wonders of nature. But we xkcd-folk are so much wiser and more insightful than those idiot sheeple! We know what is really going on!

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  18. further excerpts:

    Day 45,
    still nothing
    Day 46,
    still nothing
    Day 47,
    still nothing
    Day 48,
    still nothing
    Day 49,
    still nothing

    why is the "day 44" needed as well? It just makes everything else sound silly

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  19. I'm anon #3 in this comment thread so I'm by no means a fan but I doubt this comic was supposed to be funny so the fact that there isn't humor in it didn't bother me too much.

    I still find it boring and hackneyed, however.

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  20. I imagine I could ask 100 random folks off the street about it, and 95 would have no idea what I am talking about.

    That's probably true, but I think that many people would recognize it if they were shown the video. It's been in all sorts of documentaries and shows on The History Channel and The Discovery Channel, and I know it's been in at least one commercial.

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  21. redemption for this comic: tomorrow, slightly changed version of what is in the ocean, but only slightly, because a day has passed
    guy writing: Day 45: discovered the ocean is filled with interesting things! Still starving and expect to die today.

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  22. "Also, the dialogue is infuriatingly contrived. Nobody says "Flat, empty water." The only reason the word 'empty' is shoehorned in there is because it makes the guy wrong."

    Maybe, maybe not. I read this as meaning 'no ships or land in sight', which I think is a perfectly reasonable use of 'empty water' that people might actually use.

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  23. HATE!!!!!!!!!!

    I utterly HATE this comic!

    I can't believe this didn't get a full out rant from you guys. Maybe Rob will show up later and agree with me.

    OK, first off, the joke doesn't even make sense. The whole point is "HAHA, he thinks there's nothing there when really there's a ton of cool stuff". But actually, he said "as far as the eye can see". He can't fucking SEE the squid under the water! And even if he could, why would he care? HE'S TRAPPED ON A DESERT ISLAND!!!!!! HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE FUCKING JELLYFISH!!!!!!!! Now, if this was a set-up to a second panel where some idiot tried to point all this 'neat stuff' out to him, and the guy responded with something along the lines of "Yeah, thrilling, take be back to land now", the comic would have been almost passable. But instead, Randall has to make his stupid point about how we don't stop to smell the roses in life, even when we're at death's door. By the way, everyone know that fact about icebergs only showing 10% above the surface? Of course you do. Well, that was the first thing I thought of when I read this comic, and not just because of the water theme. That saying/fact is the whole message of this 'comic'. The only thing is, WE KNOW THAT! There are COUNTLESS annoying phrases and sayings with the same message, it's ingrained in our collective conscience, and we don't need any MORE of it! And another thing, are we supposed to dislike this guy on the island? Does the fact that he doesn't notice the poorly drawn wildlife make him a jerk who deserves to starve to death on an island? Is the whole point: "you'll never be rescued with that attitude"?

    I say we drop Randall off on a desert island with no food or water and see if goes scuba diving to see fish.

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  24. This is maybe my least favorite xkcd ever.

    Also, Fred, I remember that comic. Good call. It was clever, though, because they were ironically dismissing the very thing they were looking for. Today's joke only makes sense if the thing underwater was a giant crate of supplies and his loved ones and a functioning plane to take him home.

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  25. The dialogue was definitely trite, but I liked the comic as a whole. The ocean is a damn big mysterious thing even when you have Science(TM) on your side and *aren't* stranded on an island. It's easier to map the surface of Mars than it is to study the bottom of the ocean. The ocean cover three-quarters of our planet and we often don't have a clue what sorts of cool things it contains, because it's so huge that it's impossible to see everything about it unless we keep exploring. And exploring really only increases the *probability* of seeing everything that the ocean has to offer, since it might change before we get there. If the sub had started out on the other side of the island, it would have seen the kelp forest and the airplane, but it would have completely missed the whale vs squid showdown nearby.

    tl;dr I just implied that Randall thought this comic through enough to put an interesting metaphor into it. And I like the comic even if he unintentionally made it interesting to think about.

    tl(tl;dr);dr I overanalyze things.

    As for the alt-text, I thought the poem was cute.

    Also: lololol wut, coral and kelp do not belong together, lololol

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  26. "The whole point is "HAHA, he thinks there's nothing there when really there's a ton of cool stuff""

    Is it? I'm not sure I see this as neccessarily being a deliberate attempt at a joke, more just a comment on the nature of perception. I don't think we're meant to hate, dislike or laugh at the guy on the desert island, just be mildly amused at the tendency of people in general to ignore things that aren't relevent to them.
    I don't think it's funny, but it's relatively interesting and undeniably nicely drawn.

    6/10, maybe? The art goes a long way, for me. That is something that Randall could learn from: you can have mediocre jokes OR mediocre art but not both. The worse your jokes, the better your art needs to be, and vice-versa.

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  27. I can't abide the use of 'empty' as an adjective to describe water itself. Something that contains water, perhaps, e.g. "empty water bottle", "empty swimming pool", but who the fuck ever looked at the sea or a water cooler and exclaimed "damn dog that is some empty water!" or similar variations thereof? No fucking body. It's forced and contrived nonsense used solely to prop up the 'AHA BUT IT IS NOT EMPTY, BECAUSE IT CONTAINS THINGS' reveal.

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  28. "I think this is confirmation bias by the fact that you know about it and maybe don't consider yourself completely nerdy. I imagine I could ask 100 random folks off the street about it, and 95 would have no idea what I am talking about."

    Let me rephrase that: "who the fuck -doesn't- know about that wobbly bridge from Eerie, Indiana/that Mythbusters episode where they try to destroy the bridge/every Discovery show about bridges." Or is it nerdy to know what it's called?

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  29. Quite possibly, I only know about it because of Wikipedia.

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  30. OMG guys why don't you like this, you must hate science or beauty or something!! can't uyou see how randall is just trying to help people like you see how cool everything is that's all around us and the alt-text poem has a super nice rhyme-tune to it too :)

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  31. Look on the bright side guys, at least there is come color and actual art to this one. It's not just stick figures and ill defined areas like the Inspector Gadget one.

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  32. @ JB: Well, seeing as how this is a webcomic, I kind of expected there to be a joke, and that's the only one I could find. But knowing xkcd, you could be right.

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  33. It's too bad, really - the stick figure is the worst drawn thing in this comic. Everything else, from an aesthetic standpoint, is either good or passable, with the exception of whatever that squid is eating (is it supposed to be a sperm whale? a manatee? Moby Dick? WHAT?!). No complaints on the art, then.

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  34. "OMG guys why don't you like this, you must hate science or beauty or something!! can't uyou see how randall is just trying to help people like you see how cool everything is that's all around us and the alt-text poem has a super nice rhyme-tune to it too :)"

    WHO ASKED FOR HIM TO PREACH TO US? The message is cliche and redundant! And I, for one, won't be impressed with "how cool everything is" when I'm starving to death. I think I'll have other things on my mind THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

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  35. It's about the irony in the subject perceiving his world as barren and devoid of life or variation, when mere inches away from him there's a place that's filled with interesting, varied things, living and otherwise.

    I don't necessarily see this comic as groundbreaking, but if you people would stop making conscious efforts to misinterpret XKCD, you might actually enjoy it a little more, even if you don't fall head-over-heels in love with it (hell, I'm not really a die-hard fan of it at all; I just read it and make a new decision for every comic instead of going to XKCD's page every morning thinking, "I wonder what piece of shit Munroe's made now!").

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  36. And the art sucks. Granted, for xkcd, it's above par, but still looks as if it was drawn by third-graders.

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  37. "It's about the irony in the subject perceiving his world as barren and devoid of life or variation, when mere inches away from him there's a place that's filled with interesting, varied things, living and otherwise."

    The 'irony' isn't funny. It's pointless. The only 'irony' present is that sharks and jellyfish can survive in water while humans cannot. That's just stupid.

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  38. Only redeeming point in this comic is color, but if color is your saving throw you have a sad sad comic...

    I could give Randall some credit if the things there had any sense of scale, but they don't. That submarine is almost the same size as the school of fish in front of it, and those jellyfish look gigantic. Perspective could be at work, but the colors are so flat I couldn't say it.

    It's mildly cool, but I think Randall could do better. Also, the "as far as the eye can see" rant from Ishmael up there. So true.

    Mole out, once again!

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  39. Holy shit. You people.

    "Empty is invalid word usage." Moron.

    "He's preaching." Moron.

    "It needs to be ironic to be funny! Of course he doesn't care about stuff irrelevant to him in that situation!" Morons.

    xkcd really is simplistic. It really, really, is. Apparently most of you folk are even simpler, though? Protip: Judge the comics on their own terms, not on what you want them to be. Then you might actually be able to understand them, giving your criticism much more meaning.

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  40. so it's simple now to dislike something which is incredibly simplistic for being simple?

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  41. "Holy shit. You people." Moron.

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  42. @ Pete: Want to come up with a logical explanation as to why this comic isn't shit?

    Didn't think so.

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  43. I kind of liked it. Come to think of it I liked the airport one too. I guess Randy's having a good week. Sadly I can't think about the News Reporter one or it drags my vision of the other two down into the dark endless entrancing entrance of an evil abyss that is "Meh".

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  44. I take it back. I re-read it and I can't stand how the survivor speaks. Why would anyone say empty?

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  45. Haha...Ishmael responded to someone with the name "some stupid bitch" as if they were actually an XKCD fan.

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  46. "I can't believe this didn't get a full out rant from you guys. Maybe Rob will show up later and agree with me."

    Carl sometimes puts up placeholder posts for some reason. he'll probably do a real one eventually.

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  47. to be fair, most XKCD fans are stupid bitches.

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  48. @Anonymous No, it's simple to not grasp something that's simple.

    @Ishmael Man, I'm not trying to argue that it isn't shit. I'm saying that most people here have made ineffective arguments as to why it is, some of them based on a failure to read the comic beyond a quick scan for flaws. The best I can say about it myself is that it's mediocre. The most compelling post in this entire thing (of those which are addressing the comic directly) is probably the third one.

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  49. I *think* this comic has a pretty interesting concept below the surface, related to the absurd contrast between the perceptions -- the man is stranded and doesn't care about the ocean, while the ocean is totally fantastic and doesn't care about the man. I think, though, that this comic comes across as pedantic, arrogant and preachy because there's a HUGE space devoted to the ocean and its wonders, and pretty much no space for the man and his endangered life. I doubt Randall would have that mindset were HE stranded like that; if he is the kind who'd think "wow, think about how many cool things are happening way beyond my sight! I'm gonna starve to death but, wow, so cool", he needs therapy.

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  50. This is the same idea as 482 and 485, except with water, guys; try looking at the tag on the blog post above. WAKE ME UP WHEN HE COMES UP WITH A NEW IDEA.

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  51. bleeg bloorg i am an alien

    goop goop goop

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  52. Interesting concept (I don't quite understand what this one has to do with the napoleon map) but its so drastically different from previous comics that it comes as jarring. As a longtime reader of both xkcd and xkcdsucks I'm still confused as to what xkcd really is. Is it a Randall picto-blog, a meme comic or a 'regular' comic. He really needs to decide what this is and stick with it.

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  53. Just read the alt-text, scratch what I said above. The alt-text is pretty stupid. The higgs-boson, fluid flow through a porous media, DNA barcodes: the bounds of human knowledge is limited only by imagination.

    DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I WROTE DOWN RANDOM SHIT FROM MY UNIVERSITY EDUCATION TO SOUND INTELLIGENT. EAT THIS SHIT UP MOTHERFUCKING XKCD FORUMMERS.

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  54. Third (and final) thing (maybe its the wine, I normally just lurk): I think he picks a new academic field to jerk off each week/day. Yesterday: electrical engineers. Today: Marine biologists. The day before yesterday: uh, lonely grad students who own cats.

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  55. Music is a lot like love, it's all a feelin'
    And it fill the room from the floor to the ceiling
    I see miracles all around me
    Stop and look around, it's all astounding
    Water, fire, air, and dirt
    Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?
    And I don't wanna talk to no scientist
    Y'all motherfuckers lyin', and gettin' me pissed

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  56. My point is if you're less insightful than ICP maybe it's time for you to take a break and wait until you actually have an idea worth sharing.

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  57. Man, this site's a bit crazy. It just gives a detailed explanation of every comic, followed by a sneer. It's almost exactly like this one: http://xkcdexplained.com/ except more creepy.

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  58. I'll agree with the other commenters about how the fact that this guy is stranded with no real way to explore the ocean sort of detracts from the message. But I admit I let out a sigh of relief upon seeing that there were no stupid memes or geek references stuck into the ocean.

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  59. I'm pretty sure it's not possible to be less insightful than ICP. Made for a good Cracked article though.

    I liked the comic. Sure, it wasn't the most groundbreaking statement, but it's still a valid one. The world is a pretty fantastic place, and we often miss it. I don't think it's blaming the guy in any way for ignoring all that stuff; it feels to me more like it's saying "Yes, sometimes we have other things to worry about/pay attention to, but that's unfortunate because it means we miss out on all this cool shit."

    I also don't feel like it has to be funny - maybe that means it would make better picto-blog material, but I think it stands pretty well on its own. That said, Chris S.'s idea of a second comic would be more hilarious than any xkcd in the past year.

    Alt text was on the meh side, but at least the rhyming made it seem like he put some effort into it.

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  60. I take it back - I actually really like the alt text. The message rings true to me.

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  61. The problem with the alt text is, as someone on the forums notices, that bathyscope is not a word. He was probably going for bathyscaphe.

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  62. happy tgi friday's comic anniversary everyone

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  63. Newest comic is pretty good. I agree with what somebody above said though, it would make more sense if he were looking across the ocean and thinking about how boring it is, instead of being stranded on an island.

    Also, for some reason the submarine looks like it's begging for a joke. It seems lime something funny is to be said of it, but I have no idea what...

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  64. I liked the art in this one, but the idea is so meh. Okay, so, people overlook the really cool things on the outskirts of their environment because they're lookin' for the cool stuff right in front of them. That's... not really funny, not really all that interesting an idea.

    I am extremely glad that he took the effort to give the poetry quality meter. In the past, he hasn't bothered making his rhymes read nicely, and while it's not perfect, it's certainly a decent attempt.

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  65. Ishmael@8:39:
    'Now, if this was a set-up to a second panel where some idiot tried to point all this 'neat stuff' out to him, and the guy responded with something along the lines of "Yeah, thrilling, take be back to land now", the comic would have been almost passable.'

    I hope you mean 'almost passable' as in 'as a standard xkcd comic' because, to me, that just sounds like 97% of everything Randall's ever done.

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  66. Meh, personally I really like this one. It didn't make me groan and whilst it isn't paticularly funny it does make you think (doesn't it? maybe not). Anyway, better than the usual crap in my opinion.

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  67. How the FUCK can you hate on XKCD for being lazy and at the same time like DINOSAUR COMIX, the laziest comic ever made?

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  68. Oddly, somehow dinosaur comix comes across as LESS lazy than xkcd. Maybe it's all a matter of expectations.

    The art in this one was pretty nice by xkcd standards but I really don't like the way he drew the, what, hydrothermal vent? It looks like a really big rock. The scale on the entire thing is wildly nonsensical and maybe if Randall hadn't made so many gigantic accurate posters I'd be fine with that, but I'm not.

    I'm inclined to agree with the "look at all the cool stuff out there" idea, but the starving island guy irks me because it seems like Randall *knows* he's being ridiculous and preachy. Obviously it doesn't matter to the guy (to humanity?) that there's cool stuff in the water. This could've been a relatively insightful or interesting comic, but to me its message is completely undermined by slowly dying man. There may be neat stuff out there, but does it matter if humanity itself is slowly dying?

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  69. "Haha...Ishmael responded to someone with the name "some stupid bitch" as if they were actually an XKCD fan."

    Crap. I thought that was just their username. So hard to tell...

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  70. "Haha...Ishmael responded to someone with the name "some stupid bitch" as if they were actually an XKCD fan."

    Crap. I thought that was their handle. So hard to tell nowadays...

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  71. Tragedy is funny when it's funny. You falling down an open manhole and dying = not funny. Same thing but in a clown suit = funny.

    Here, we've got some dramatic irony. The dude is so fuckin' bored! But there's a whole damn world underneath him in the water! Too bad he can't see it! Except it's not good irony, because knowing all that shit was down there wouldn't help him in any quantifiable way. It would make him a little less bored but he still wouldn't be able to build a raft. I guess what's supposed to be "funny" is that if the dude were a nerd he wouldn't be complaining as much, ha ha look at that guy he's not a nerd so he's not as cool as us, someone come here and give me a handjob so I don't feel so bad about being a nerd. In order to laugh at this you have to admit that you're a dork. Dorks laugh at xkcd. That's the bottom line here.

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  72. But Pete, you are wrong. You say that we are picking flaws instead of focusing on the actual content. Scratching the surface, if you will. The problem with that logic is that it's based on the assumptions that these (though superficial) flaws don't take away from the enjoyability of the joke. Your assumption is that only the core of the joke itself is relevant as to how enjoyable the comic is, which is false.

    These are things you stumble on, it's the delivery. Comics need a certain level of suspension of disbelief, but this needs to be supported by giving us the ability to suspend our disbelief, which is just harder when people talk like robots.

    Here's the thing, if this guy talks like a moron, it is no longer a casual statement we just accept as a set up, it grabs our attention. This is basically an extension of the law (don't remember the name, can someone help me out here?) that in fiction, you should not put anything in that doesn't have any meaning.

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  73. Simon Roberts: Wow yeah. That's nailed it!

    If there was a "Desert island Rescue Kit" 5 feet under the water, then the comic becomes funny.

    But the way Randy's done it, the only irony to be found is "Most people don't care about the ocean; the irony is: the ocean is awesome!"
    Which is...just real douchey.

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  74. Here's an edit of it; it's still pretty douchey but at least it makes sense as a JOKE now.

    http://i42.tinypic.com/25z6t55.png

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  75. Person #1:

    Chekhov's Gun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekov%27s_gun

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  76. That Tacoma Narrows thing bugs me. It's like someone saying Pink Floyd is their favorite band because "nobody knows about them!" DO YOUR RESEARCH!

    This goes for the whole xkcd experience. People like xkcd because it has an air of smartness about it! RANDALL IS SMART AND I UNDERSTAND HIS JOKES! THEREFORE, I AM SMART!

    His jokes have become very basic, but that MIT-influenced, ex-NASA-contractor air still hovers around it.

    xkcd != smart, peeps!

    Might I direct you to this lil bit o' controversy...

    xkcd reminds me of a happening in my physics class:

    We were building robots and racing them. One team's robot, just before crossing the finish line, started turning off to the right sharper and sharper, in an asymptotic fashion. The teacher said "it's making an asymptote!" (which doesn't even make sense,) and then this kid just burst out laughing "HAHAHA, THAT's GREAT! OMG, LSHMSFOAIDMT!"

    Why did he laugh? Because of the exclusivity of the joke, not because it was funny. Because he felt that only *he* and the *teacher* knew the joke.

    This reminds me of a dinosaur comics comic, but I can't seem to find it...

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  77. the fact that the things around the deep sea vent look like ordinary earthworms instead of the weirdass lipstick-looking things that really live there pisses me off

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  78. I like the art for once - well-detailed. I have always been obsessed with oceans, especially what lives in the depths. I could do without the dialogue, or maybe just the guy commenting, "Gee, I'm bored." while all this amazing stuff happens around him - no context needed.

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  79. By the standards of XKCD this is a fucking masterpeice.

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  80. Wow, the alt text really is a perfect match for 'Modern Major General'. Check out the song if you don't know it, that's kinda cool

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  81. "It's about the irony in the subject perceiving his world as barren and devoid of life or variation, when mere inches away from him there's a place that's filled with interesting, varied things, living and otherwise."

    And this blog is about the irony that, despite all of the cool stuff lurking JUST BELOW THE SURFACE, the guy is still going to die alone on the island.

    As was said before, if the observer was on a mainland, this comic would make sense. As it is, it's making fun of a man about to die.

    HAHAHAHA.

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  82. Can somebody with a lot of hate do a guest post for this comic? (I'll do it if there are no other volunteers.)

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  83. I used to have a lot of hate but the last few XKCDs have taken it from me.

    They've just been so boring and uninspired that there is nothing to get riled up about. It's like how it is unreasonable to be mad at a retard for being a retard.

    I wish he would put out some good stuff, then I could get angry again when he goes back to his regular shit.

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  84. "It's like how it is unreasonable to be mad at a retard for being a retard."

    Is that a little like how unreasonable it is to use the word 'retard' when it's just plain insulting?

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  85. "Might I direct you to this lil bit o' controversy..." I especially like the way that they keep on saying that the XKCD forum is humble and then they go and call it a "fora." It seems dissimulative doesn't it; they lack humilité! It's like Nietzsche said, "All truth is simple... is that not doubly a lie?"

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  86. Also, Alex, is the comic you're looking for THIS ONE?: http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=916

    "I have discovered the ultimate secret to comedy! The more obscure a joke is, the less people there are who'll get it, but the MORE they'll find it correspondingly HILARIOUS! I suspect this law progresses geometrically....Let's say I have a joke about how cats like to sleep. NOT FUNNY, right Dromiceiomimus? Everyone who's met a sleepy ol' cat can get that. But if I have a joke about how, say, an obscure programming language is pretty wacky, then people who know that language will feel like I'm talking to them! They laugh both at the joke AND in recognition. Comedy increases, and the only reasonable conclusion is 'laughs ahoy!'"

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  87. "Is that a little like how unreasonable it is to use the word 'retard' when it's just plain insulting?"

    Different anon here, but I'm sick of people who get offended by the word "retard." What are we supposed to call them? They're retarded. There's a reason it's insulting, not because of the word, but because of the defect. People have tried using new words to describe retards for years. They called them Mongloids, Cretins, Idiots, morons and every one of these words became an insult because being retarded is a bad thing. Even special has absorbed the negative connotations of retardedness.

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  88. Special Needs! Special Needs! Nyah nyah, Special Needs!

    The worst part about that one is that now people with stuff like Aspergers sometimes get as much shit as the non-functional. Far more harmful than "retard".

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  89. Responding to that, "retard" was actually a literal description of their condition. To retard is to slow. If someone is retarded, they're thinking is slowed or impaired in a way that could be referred to as slow. Retard is a shortening of that adjective. At no point did that become an insult; it's a literal statement. Calling them something else like "special" is patronizing and would be to me even more insulting. Of course, now that people are changing terms like "alcoholic" and "autistic" to "someone with alcoholism" and "someone with autism" this appears to be the norm. (Personally, the second example there makes sense, it's a condition they can't change. But alcoholism is a problem, which should be discouraged by pointing it out. Glossing over it to help their self-esteem will lead them to not solving the problem, and makes it worse)
    Just my opinion, though.

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  90. I think you're stepping into dangerous territory there, Anon 4:19. After all, "negro" does mean black, but to say ' "negro" is a literal statement [of the colour of one's skin] and so not an insult ' would seem a bit specious. I suspect, however, that you just haven't made yourself clear rather than you being wrong.

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  91. Part of it is that I can draw an analogy in my head with the fact that in the UK "Paki" is a hateful racist term, loaded with several decades of unpleasant connotation, but many well-meaning people seek to say it's not that bad 'cos it's just an abbreviation of "Pakistani", after all. So I may just be preternaturally twitchy about claiming literal truth of a word as absolving it of context.

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  92. this is because literal definitions do not, in fact, absolve it of context. racial slurs usually mean nothing more than "a member of that race." but the connotations are offensive--they aren't part of what the word literally means, but what it implies.

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  93. The thing is, all the offensive connotations of the word "retard" are actually the exact same thing as the denotations.

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  94. Well, in this case, the negative connotation is seperate from the word, "special", originally positive, is now negative, because people use it that way. The term itself doesn't matter, it's how people use it.

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  95. Yeah man, and in fact "special" may be the worst of the bunch, since someone with something like aspergers can get the same shit someone barely functional would. "Special needs, special needs, nyah nyah, special needs." Far more harmful than "retard", you know?

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  96. Speaking as somebody who is mildly autistic I couldn't agree more, Rob.

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  97. Calling someone a retard because you think they are making a dumb argument is very different than calling someone a retard because they are, in fact, mentally handicapped. The latter recognizes their condition, while the former is just an insult. It's rather callous either way, but this is the Internet, so who cares?

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  98. 732 borders on factual error.

    The 1080 in 1080p is vertical resolution.The standardly assumed horizontal is then 1920. Most monitors with native resolution greater than 1920x1080 would likely have been unreasonably pricey in 2004 (fuck if I would know, I certainly didn't try to buy one).

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  99. hey i thought blogspot ate both my comments but, um, ok then.

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  100. soooo 732 is Randall whining and bitching as usual about arbitrary things that people like? Well at least he didn't seal the deal of shit with just making another "oh yeah HDTV is great, and meanwhile we're making artificial hearts so that transplant lines won't be as long and we're working on artificial brains as well. But yeah, your HDTV sure makes those images lifelike"

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  101. This might be the smuggest xkcd in a while.

    Of course, I'm reading into it the subtext of the consoles vs. PCs debate. Who could possibly get excited about high-definition console gaming when PCs have been able to display higher resolutions for years? Only the ignorant plebian masses.

    Seriously, though. There's not a lot to say about this one other than "disgustingly smug."

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  102. Wow 732 is bad. It's not funny, it's not insightful and it doesn't mention anything that his fans probably don't already know. That is, of course, assuming they are the "uber nerds" they portray themselves to be.

    And the title text makes it extra bad. Did he seriously write down that sentence and go "Yeah, that's good." I think he needs to get the idea that he always has to have a title text out of his head.

    It baffles me that people find xkcd funny.

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  103. 732 is definitely one deserving of the smug tag.
    Most people couldn't tell much of a difference between 1080p and anything much higher from a distance, so why make a fuss about it? Try making a 70" plasma with a pixel per inch that's the same as a 24" LCD. It's not going to happen.

    And as for the alt-text, I always thought that the lower frame-rate used in film is far preferable. I've watched films on other peoples' DVD players that upscale the framerate and it's horrendous. The increased framrate seems to be detrimental to my immersion, as it seems harder to suspend disbelief for something without some sort of artificial limitation like the 24-fps.

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  104. 732 is an angry twitter message artificially converted into a comic. It is horrid. It is decline, even by xkcd standards.

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  105. Bllllarrrghh. 732 is just another "HA HA WORLD, LOOKS LIKE RANDALL WINS AGAIN" strip. Stupid and ugly and stupid and blargh.

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  106. Some numbers:
    Let's say I view my 10" netbook with a resolution of 1024x600 from 2 feet away.

    A 12" laptop at 720p or 18" at 1080p would have the same linear resolution.

    If I watch TV from 8 feet away, then a 40" TV at 1024x600, 48" at 720p, or 72" at 1080p would have the same effective linear resolution.


    Also, there's the chicken-and-egg issue where there wasn't as much HD content until HD TV's became more commonplace. It's more the HD content that's impressive.

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  107. Jimbobbowilly (Max William Gore)April 26, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Oh yey, techno-wank. I'm not going to talk about the comic itself.

    The alt text confuses me, I always thought the higher framerate thing was more "real" as opposed to more "fake", because of its use in TV documentaries and other reality-based programs. "Fake" doesn't seem to be the right word.

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  108. You know, some people just want movies to look good and don't care about artificial nerd scores like framerate. Who gives a fuck if the framerate is lower than your camcorder if it just looks better, regardless of how it 'shoudln't'?

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  109. "I think this is confirmation bias by the fact that you know about it and maybe don't consider yourself completely nerdy. I imagine I could ask 100 random folks off the street about it, and 95 would have no idea what I am talking about.

    Alternate hypothesis, you are from Washington State."

    If you went to school in Ontario, ever, you certainly have seen the Tacoma narrows video every year for years, an probably the same is true in much of Canada and the US at least. I will accept that people may forget the exact words "Tacoma Narrows", but I will not accept that fewer than 5% of adults chosen randomly from the US have heard of that bridge that just started bending like crazy. I'm not saying it's 100% or even 80% or anything, but it's pretty common knowledge. Much the same way that many people know Angelina Jolie has a bunch of adopted and biological kids with unconventional names (by American standards), but might not have a clue who "Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne" are (I had to look that up; I knew Maddox and would have recognized Zahara and Shiloh).

    ON TO RECENT COMICS. Television display technology is more than resolution. And a better than 1920 x 1080 resolution LCD monitor in 2004? Expensive as fuck and not a typical consumer item. And it would be a lot worse than the new HDTV. The viewing angle, refresh rate, and colour gamut would probably be ass in comparison. The complaint about 24fps in the alt text has some validity, but then, there are TVs coming out with 240Hz displays which interpolate the signal where it's not available (also convenient for 3DTV).

    Look at the monitor roundup here: http://techreport.com/articles.x/6374/3. Granted, that was March, so there were 9 more months of improvements, but the gist is: $1000 buys you a 1280 x 1024 or 1280 x 720 monitor with, by modern standards, shitty non-resolution specs. You can easily get an HDTV nowadays for less than half that price and with much better specs in every conceivable metric. Extrapolating the cost of something with a slightly better resolution than 1920 x 1080 (probably 1920 x 1200), and this reads as a dickish rich kid pointing out to the hoi polloi that he could casually afford better toys years before it became possible for this guy to achieve them. Myself, I got a 1920 x 1200 LCD monitor in December 2006 (two of them, but I only paid for one: long, boring story).

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  110. 731:
    Actually, I really liked the alt-text. Usually in xkcd if he does something like set the text to a tune, it'll have three massive flashing red arrows pointing at it to make sure we realise and pay him his dues.

    Perhaps my greatest praise shouldn't be "you're less crap than usual, well done!", but meh.

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  111. I can't exactly say that the "blurry, juddery" nature of film has prevented me from enjoying movies. Also, don't people consider home movies and cheap sitcoms "fake" looking because they're filmed directly to video, at a lower resolution than film?

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  112. 732: More unnatural dialogue, this time from Mr TV Owner.

    Check out my new car - a beautiful, powerful V8.
    Check out this new beer - a beautiful, tasty ale.

    It sounds like bad advertising copy or something you'd hear at a tradeshow (or a nerd being ironic and theatrical during a table-top gaming session, which is itself ironic given the context), not what Joe Sixpack would say to his nerdy buddy when showing off a new gadget.

    For a webcomic that revolves at least partially around language, you would think that the dialogue would be less stilted, unnatural and, well, shitty.

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  113. 732 is a direct result of http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/04/23/0012218/HDTV-Has-Ruined-the-LCD-Market?art_pos=1.
    So, not nice, when one rehashes what people say in the comments to a cartoon.

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  114. More unrealistic dialogue, this time from Mr TV owner.

    Check out my new HDTV - a beautiful, high-def 1080p
    Check out my new car - a comfortable, powerful sportscar.
    Check out this new beer - a malty, tasty brew.

    It sounds like bad advertising copy or something from a tradeshow demonstration, not what Joe Sixpack would say to his nerdy buddy when showing off a new gadget. For a webcomic that focuses at least partially on language you would think that the dialogue would be less stilted, unnatural and, well, shitty.

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  115. More unrealistic dialogue, this time from Mr TV owner.

    Check out my new HDTV - a beautiful, high-def 1080p
    Check out my new car - a comfortable, powerful sportscar.
    Check out this new beer - a malty, tasty brew.

    It sounds like bad advertising copy or something from a tradeshow demonstration, not what Joe Sixpack would say to his nerdy buddy when showing off a new gadget. For a webcomic that focuses at least partially on language you would think that the dialogue would be less stilted, unnatural and, well, shitty.

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  116. Hey Carl! Whatever happened to your illustrious career as a WEBCOMIC BOOK CRITIC?

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  117. I speak like CHARACTERS from BENEATH A STEEL SKY.

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  118. WARNING: THIS COMIC OCCASIONALLY CONTAINS STILTED, UNNATURAL DIALOGUE (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors, or, ya know, anyone w/ normal communicating skills).

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  119. Smug. Smug. Smug smug smug!

    And people wonder why Randall is called pretentious and arrogant.

    Mole out.

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  120. Blogspot need to fix their commenting system so that posts that get swallowed don't magically appear an hour and a half later.

    It's quite amusing that several people on the forum are only just realising that full HD "only has 1080 vertical pixels?!" I thought these people were 'in the know'?

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  121. This is one of the few XKCDs in which Mr. Munroe is overtly being a pissant to the rest of the world, simply for being a pissant. Normally, I try to take comics like this at face value, because they are ostensibly taking place within the comic itself (i.e. with comic characters being smug to other comic characters). THIS one, on the other hand, has Mr. Munroe's stick figure persona telling the whole world (by stick figure proxy, of course) that "Ha ha you are all stupid and dumb for liking something that is dumb and I am superior to you FNARR FNARR." Classy.

    I'm amazed no one's brought up Mr. Munroe's ISTP thing yet, because this comic fits the bill perfectly.

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  122. Randall clearly doesn't know how motion perception works. MOAR FRAEMZ MEENZ MOAR REAL!!!!

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  123. HDTV and XKCD have the same number of letters. Coincidence? I think not.

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  124. "Calling someone a retard because you think they are making a dumb argument is very different than calling someone a retard because they are, in fact, mentally handicapped. The latter recognizes their condition, while the former is just an insult. It's rather callous either way, but this is the Internet, so who cares?"

    I'd say you hit the nail on the head with this one. The problem is, retard as a medical definition is archaic. Nobody uses it anymore except as an insult. So unless you find it in a medical journal, it is a slur, and is offensive.

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  125. He's just b-b-b-blogging 'bout our generation

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  126. I liked 731 OK, but the alt-text is godawful. "The most exciting new frontier is charting what's already here". That applies well to not knowing much about the deep sea, but what will further study of the Tacoma Narrows bridge or Minard's map yield? We know why the bridge collapsed (although we didn't know it would collapse when we built it), and Tufte has said pretty much all that needs to be said about that map.

    Also, apropros of nothing, but I'm sick of the hype about Randall's being a "former NASA contractor". Some idiot on Wikipedia was claiming that his comic on centripetal/centrifugal force should be included on the Wiki article as Randall is a "professional physicist", and the first line of the article on xkcd also calls him a "former NASA contractor". How important is some job he had for 6 months? He's also a former college student, former high school student, and probably formerly had a job flipping burgers or doing some similar low skill dead end job.

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  127. 732: Dumb. It's not even a comic. It's just Randall being obnoxious. The pictures are completely unnecessary. The caption punch line is completely fucking terrible, far too obvious, and completely unnecessary--the whole "picture" part of the comic obviously already talks about how dumb HDTV is. The alt-text is even more obnoxious (and stupid and wrong and ughghghgghgh).

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  128. I e-mailed a guest post of this comic to Carl. Please put it up, pretty please!!!

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  129. I would have rather not been reminded of 100 comics ago, thanks :(

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  130. the caption is unnecessary

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  131. the caption proves that Randall is hugely, hugely autistic and incapable of empathizing with other people. it is hugely necessary.

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  132. No, the caption isn't unnecessary, because if the caption wasn't there, Mr. Munroe wouldn't be able to sound like a pretentious berk, which was obviously the message of this comic.

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  133. I'm pretty sure the complaint in the alt-text has nothing to do with framerate, but everything to do with motion interpolation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_interpolation

    One of my friends got a new HDTV (120Hz), and movies didn't look right until we turned off the anti-judder technology. Doesn't seem like anyone has mentioned this on the XKCD forums.

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  134. @Anon 9:32

    "732 borders on factual error.

    The 1080 in 1080p is vertical resolution.The standardly assumed horizontal is then 1920. Most monitors with native resolution greater than 1920x1080 would likely have been unreasonably pricey in 2004 (fuck if I would know, I certainly didn't try to buy one)."

    That is correct Anon, however... he states that it is double the horizontal resolution of his phone (he doesn't state that he is comparing horizontal to horizontal, just that he wants to talk about the horizontal resolution of his phone). The horizontal resolution of his phone is probably about 400 (real world Example, iPhone Resolution = 400 X 800). Why he could compare the horizontal resolution of his phone, to the vertical length of the TV is beyond me. Probably because he can't write his way out of a paper bag.

    Next, what sorts of resolution monitors did we have in 2004? I happened to work in a Best Buy Computer Department in 2004, so I can tell you exactly what kind of monitors we had. Widescreen had not become popular yet, so most monitors were 3x4 aspect ratio (not all). The most common resolution was 1280x1024. 1024 is "pretty close" to 1080. Maybe this is what he was getting at?

    One of two things happened with this comic.

    1. He didn't fact check, and in fact doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about.

    or

    2. He knows what he's talking about, he's just a shitty writer, and couldn't express what he was trying to say in a way that a normal person would decipher what he meant.

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  135. 732 is fail.

    1920x1080 = 2073600 total pixels

    monitor he got in 2004 is probably 1280x1024
    1280x1024 = 1310720 total pixels

    the cellphone: horizontal res = 1/2 of the tv's vertical res = 540
    if he has an iPhone, then it would have a res of 480x320

    480x320 = 153600

    so, 1080p HDTV resolution has ~1.58 times as many pixels as the monitor, and 13.5 times more pixels than the cellphone.

    So what randall is saying here is because 1080p has more pixels than either of the examples he listed it is unimpressive?


    Actually, the true impressive nature of HDTV comes from comparing it to SDTV, not to computer monitor specs. Computer monitors have surpassed SDTV for quite a while now.

    SDTV: 640x480 = 307,200 pixels

    so, 1080p HDTV has 6.75 times as many pixels as standard def tv.

    In addition, another important factor to consider is HDTV's 16:9 aspect ratio, compared to the 4:3 ratio of SDTV. 16:9 takes more advantage of the full range of the eye.

    Also in the alt text he complains about 24fps movies.... Make up your mind randall, are you against HDTV's or for them? How can you disparage the 1080p resolution yet praise its framerate?

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  136. 732: Hey, look at me, I'm Randal Munroe and I can turn an argumentative fallacy into a webcomic! And it's not even funny!

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  137. I know we're all talking about 732 now, but I came late to the party, and I'd like to say that RM has already done 731. Remember http://xkcd.com/442 ? It's like this, only with less *meh* and more *blehh*

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  138. Just realized something about 731, 40% is solid gray, YAY!

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  139. 731 comic is still bothering me. Its a decent idea but executed poorly (and too heavy with romantic intellectual bullshit). I've made an attempt at revising it with my sweet powerpoint skillz. I couldn't get the text quite right, but then I'm not a professional cartoonist.

    http://bit.ly/9bLNqs I dunno, I think its more effective at conveying the message and romanticism he was aiming for.

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  140. I like Ian's edit, but even with that setup the comic isn't "HAHAHAHA" funny, it's just kind of "ahah, they don't know what they're missing" funny, but then xkcd has only made me "HAHAHAHA" laugh on like 3 occasions sooooo this was never really a comic with that amount of wit to begin with.

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  141. The LCD in 2004 is plausible. That's the year Apple introduced their 30" Cinema Display, with native resolution 2560x1600. I vaguely recall other brands with similar resolution around that time.

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  142. @Person #1 that's not quite what I was saying. I was saying that you're criticising it without bothering to comprehend the core first, making your criticism irrelevant as you don't even know what you're criticising.

    Apparently I'm the only person in the world who sees the comic in the "right" way though, fans and detractors included, so maybe I'm wrong. Screw it. I tell you one thing: my interpretation is much better than the supposedly-proper one.

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  143. you don't have an interpretation.

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  144. Being almost anonymous I don't have anything to prove, but I'll bite anyway. As I saw it, it is effectively the commonplace scene of a castaway being skewed to allow for a less anthropocentric perspective. The man and his fate don't matter, his statement is simply there to highlight (in an arguably ineffective manner) the usual perspective. That doesn't quite describe what I mean ("anthropocentric" in particular isn't the exact word I'd use if I stopped to think about it), but it's very close and explaining it in full will only look like over-analysis, especially given the fact that I'm wrong. It's the first thing that came to my own mind when I saw it, however.

    I'm aware that there are flaws in that interpretation, but the things that could be said to pull it apart are the same things I would have said in criticism of the comic. I do find it a more satisfying intepretation however, because that guy is certainly doomed and there's definitely no reason for him to personally care about any of the stuff down there. If he's supposed to be making a mistake by overlooking that stuff, the comic's presentation doesn't even begin to make sense.

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  145. Well, even if I slightly misunderstood, my post still discredits yours because my point remains the same. If something stops us from comprehending the core first, it's a problem.

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  146. @Pete: I think I get what you're saying. This is meant to be a standard "dude trapped on a desert island" comic but the punchline is "water around him is full of life", so - in common with other "dude trapped on a desert island" comics, like that Far Side where the couple split up and he goes "But where will you go?" - we're never actually intended to empathise with him. Is that right?

    The problem is that the 'punchline' is so trite and weak that the natural response is to assume there's something more to the comic - that we are supposed to gain something from the empathy. And then we try that and it doesn't work and eventually we just conclude that the comic is rubbish.

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  147. Taking Pete's idea:

    http://i41.tinypic.com/oqzjmq.png

    That's actually...I like that. It's good!
    But uhh...it's not based on ideas present in the original comic.

    So Pete, here is your badge: Randy Needs An Editor (Might We Suggest Pete).

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  148. "The art in this one was pretty nice by xkcd standards but I really don't like the way he drew the, what, hydrothermal vent? It looks like a really big rock."

    Wait, what? It's _not_ a big rock?

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  149. you_know_there's_this_cool_thing_called_html_now_it_lets_you_emphasize_stuff_without_looking_like_a_total_douche_you_should_try_it

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  150. Fixed Ian's:
    http://i42.tinypic.com/xqj2bb.png

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  151. Gee, anon@9:04, that was kind of douchey^H^H^H^H^H^H^H informative. I'll have to look up this HTML stuff.

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  152. and also consider doing ^W to erase your words, not plenty of ^H

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  153. 732 is the nerd's ultimate response to new, unaffordable (to him) technology. I have no idea if Randall can afford a 50" television (guessing at size), but the right-side character in the frame obviously cannot.

    Instead of saying "wow, that's a great picture," he disses the subject, claiming that his 6-year-old product is still better.

    Still better computer-dork? Are you going to have friends over to watch a movie on your 20" LCD monitor?

    Alternate bottom text: "And I wonder why I don't have any friends"

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  154. "Being almost anonymous I don't have anything to prove, but I'll bite anyway. As I saw it, it is effectively the commonplace scene of a castaway being skewed to allow for a less anthropocentric perspective. The man and his fate don't matter, his statement is simply there to highlight (in an arguably ineffective manner) the usual perspective. That doesn't quite describe what I mean ("anthropocentric" in particular isn't the exact word I'd use if I stopped to think about it), but it's very close and explaining it in full will only look like over-analysis, especially given the fact that I'm wrong. It's the first thing that came to my own mind when I saw it, however."

    the best part here is your original argument is all "XKCD is incredibly simplistic" and here you're arguing that this is a deconstruction of the concept of the castaway, as if that's the most obvious idea in the world to come to.

    hate to break it to you, dude, but just because you happened to think something does not make it simplistic; your idea is actually far more complicated (something Randy is mostly incapable of) and off-base than the theories being suggested here, eg "Randy is preaching about how you should always be excited about everything" (which Randy is always doing).

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  155. Always excited about everything, except HDTV

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  156. "Still better computer-dork? Are you going to have friends over to watch a movie on your 20" LCD monitor?"

    Obviously; and not only that, but he also leaves an "Ubuntu" watermark on the corner of the picture for Xtra nerd points.

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  157. instead of being a whiney butthurt faggot, why don't you create your own comic instead of deriding others?

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  158. instead of being a whiney [sic] butthurt faggot, why don't you create your own criticism blog instead of deriding others?

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  159. After spending 30 minutes or so reading through the xkcd forums, I've come to one conclusion:

    They're all idiots ... every last one of them...

    In addition to this, I believe there's an internet name for them, "sheep", or in commonplace, you could call it "groupthink", or the bandwagon effect...

    but in the end... they're all still just idiots...

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  160. Actually, Randall has all sorts of women coming over to watch movies on his computer:

    http://xkcd.com/196/

    It may be a sexKCD comic, but remember when there was at least a modicum of self-deprecation to the humor?

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  161. @Dan: yeah but so're all of us in this blog too.

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  162. basically everyone is retarded.

    i hope this sparks up that retarded retarded debate the retards were having earlier.

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  163. @Leonard: He says "watching videos with this girl"; he means "we sat and stared at strip #631".

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  164. instead of being a whiney [sic] butthurt faggot, why don't you create your own criticism of a criticism blog instead of deriding others?

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  165. Urgh, why did you have to point 196? This is one of my most hated alt-texts ever:

    "When designing an interface, imagine that your program is all that stands between the user and hot, sweaty, tangled-bedsheets-fingertips-digging-into-the-back sex."

    FUCK YOU, Randall. FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU, Randall. Or better yet: DON'T FUCK YOU, Randall, don't. I don't want THAT image stuck in my mind too.

    Captcha: Reduck. Reduck? Seriously??

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  166. Man, why put a link on the reference to "There's treasure everywhere" if you're only going to link to an entry about Calvin and Hobbes on Wikipedia.

    Like we're going to be sitting here going "Oh, what on earth is this Calvin and Hobbes he speaks of?" instead of, you know, wanting to see the fricking strip you're referring to.

    Sheesh!

    http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/calvin-on-labor.gif

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  167. Uh, knowing that there's edible fish and seaweed and a frigging submarine WOULD be pretty useful to this guy. I don't know. Maybe you guys don't like seafood?

    Also holy shit this blog is popular. I'll have to take note: Why make something original when you can attack something that's already popular?

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  168. Jack: There's a difference between an original work, and venting at something simply because we want to. This blog represents a hobby, not a job.

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  169. Hey Jack, what have YOU made that's so original? Yeah? Yeah? Huh?

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  170. Anon - thanks for the link. I'll change it in the post.

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  171. Jack, without any tools he's likely to expend more energy trying to catch than he'll gain by eating the fish he caught.

    As for the sub, there needs to be more emphasis on it if it's intended to be particularly significant.

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  172. Why make something original when your name is Randall Munroe?

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  173. Altering the perspective of a conventional scene for a visual effect is an extremely basic and simplistic technique. It's the sort of thing amateur artists do when they want to pretend they're profound. Nobody will convince me there is an ounce of complexity to it.

    In this case, it would just mean that the point is the stuff below the ocean and that WE should get excited about it, not the castaway. It's much more believable (and hence what one can easily consider the more obvious conclusion) than thinking that even a child would neglect to consider the fact that priorities of survival necessarily take the forefront when you're in danger.

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  174. your interpretation requires you to ignore the obvious message and contrast--the one that Randy is preachy, which he is, all the time, about everything--and instead believe that this is written as a commentary on a common scene, which is also the single dumbest commentary on that scene that it is possible to make. I will stick with the straightforward explanation, thanks

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  175. Once again, I think if any other webcomic on the internet had done this exact same comic, line for line, you would all be pointing to it and saying, "See, THIS is a good comic! xkcd should do something like this!"

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  176. um, really? this piece of shit? the one where Randy is all like 'HEY GUYS EVEN WHEN YOU'RE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND YOU SHOULD BE SUPER EXCITED ABOUT SQUIDS AND SHIT'?

    you seriously think that this is an example which is not only good, but good enough that, were it not XKCD, we would be holding up as a shining example of what makes a comic good?

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  177. what on earth makes you say that?

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  178. Oh Rob, you responded to what I said with the same thing that you had said previously while ignoring what I had said in the interim. Why did you bother?

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  179. Am I the only one who interprets this not just as 'lol there are fishes and you don't see them', rather as 'the world is far more beautiful and creative than you sometimes see' and that it is an invitation to be more attentive? I think you guys are thinking way to rational in this point.

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  180. "Am I the only one who interprets this not just as 'lol there are fishes and you don't see them', rather as 'the world is far more beautiful and creative than you sometimes see' and that it is an invitation to be more attentive?"

    no, that's the reason this comic is so fucking offensive.

    " Oh Rob, you responded to what I said with the same thing that you had said previously while ignoring what I had said in the interim. Why did you bother? "

    uh, I was responding to your latest stuff. sorry you're too stupid to figure that out?

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