Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Comic 775: Psyche!

Savannah moon
[alt: She's a perfectly nice lady from a beautiful city, and there's no reason to be mean just because she thinks a quarterback is a river in Egypt.]

I know in general I usually post about comics after you all are done talking about them, but in this case, I really couldn't wait. This comic is so weirdly confusing and terrible.

First, to get this out of the way - yes, the art is basically the same as yesterday's. It's not exactly the same - I checked, very meticulously - because as you can see in this comparison, the man is clearly raising his arm in one drawing and is not in the other. Let's look at the two with the dialog removed:

the same!!Anyway. The joke is, the boy says something about the girl's math skills. The girl think that he is saying "it's not your fault you are bad at math, evolution made women worse at math than men." So she gets offended. But then he clarifies, "No no, you are not bad at math because you are a woman, you are bad at math because you are a stupid fucking southerner and they are all inbred racist hicks. " So you see, he is not being offensive at all, ha ha!

Now, there was some confusion here, as I had not been previously familiar with the nickname "evo-psych." I knew it had to be bullshit, as the girl so helpfully reminds us, because it was not math or physics, and therefore, it is bullshit (there are only three categories). So I don't understand why he is teaching her "abstract math" is he is an "evo-psych" person. Surely a person wise enough to study math wouldn't sully his reputation with fake science? I AM CONFUSED.

I'm also confused as to why the girl didn't realize what he meant. If she was from Savannah, Georgia, and told enough people about it that her math tutor knew that she was from Savannah, Georgia, and he mentioned her "savannah ancestors," wouldn't she assume - given that it is her HOME TOWN or at least her ANCESTRAL HOME - that is what he meant? but of course i forget that she is an inbred southern hick like all of them so that is why she is DUMB.

I mean, this is like a person from Turkey hearing "well you are bad at math because of your turkey ancestors" and them saying WHAT, HOW DARE YOU CALL MY ANCESTORS TURKEYS! THAT IS SOME GRADE A BULLSHIT RIGHT HERE and then the guy is like, dude! I meant from the respectable nation of Turkey. You are dumb because your family is from the respectable nation of Turkey. And then, yeah. the rest of the conversation after that.

I also dislike this comic because it goes against the spirit of two other, far superior comics he's made in the past - there was "communicating badly and then acting smug when you're misunderstood is not cleverness" except that that's totally what he's doing here, and then there's "girls are treated to a different standard in math" one. That second one's a little different but the point of the comic is still, "you are bad at math because you are a member of a group that is stereotypically dumb" so i think it counts. (and thank you, gamer 2k4 for reminding me of that first one).

Also, series of years shouldn't have apostrophes in them. The apostrophe is not standing for a missing letter or letters, it's not signaling a possessive, and it's not part of a name like O'Reilly or O'Malley. For a guy who claims to like language, he really should know that one. Just because a lot of people make that mistake doesn't make it ok.

Moving along to your mom jokes, this comic ends with a your mom joke! HUZZAH! the highest form of comedy is once more, against all possible odds, achieved!

Unless, of course, you stop to think about it. Because, it's not a your mom joke at all, it's a guy saying, "your family is stupid and they raised you stupid." And she takes offense because he has mentioned her family, which does, it must be admitted, include her mom? i guess she's just so STUPID that she thinks that makes sense! And i guess randall munroe is just so STUPID that he thinks that's a good punchline!

Look - if you think that this comic has a good Savannah/savanna joke, ok, fine. You are wrong, but whatever. The point is, if that's the joke, make it the end of the comic! Make it have the emphasis that the end of the comic. But the last line as it is now, that's just a let down.

Don't even get me started on the alt-text. let's - let's just leave it at "makes no sense and when you finally understand that it's just a combination of two unrelated your mom jokes you wish for the time when it was something you assumed was a reference to a song or movie or some nonsense like that." Yes, let's leave it at that.


  1. Well, good to know that I wasn't missing anything. I thought I just didn't "get it." No, it really is that confusing and pointless.

  2. Addendum: I even went to the forums to seek some "wisdom". But posters there either seemed to be just as confused as I was, or they were claiming that there actually *was* an extremely funny joke (without explaining what it was) that went over the heads of the mouth-breathers who just thought it was lame.

  3. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 4, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    my favorite thing to do is use homophonic puns in a visual medium because they are so much more funny when people can tell which word i mean ahead of time

  4. I thought the joke was weak, but I think you were a little harsh. Unless he actually meant the slam at Southerners (I only started reading XKCD/this recently, so Idk if he does) there's no reason to be offended.

    Your rants do crack me up though, despite the fact that you've ruined XKCD for me.

  5. Why is there such a large space between 1950's and GENDER ROLES? It's like he decided after the fact to replace dialogue, and badly.

  6. This scores pretty well on xkcd bingo: contrived premise, awkward unrealistic dialogue, jabs at the "soft sciences", white-knighting.

    But we can always do better. For your consideration:

  7. Evolutionary psychology isn't a "soft science", it's just sexist bullshit wrapped up in sciencey-sounding terminology.

  8. sometimes it's not sexist bullshit. sometimes it's racist bullshit, or sometimes it's just bullshit bullshit.

  9. I agree entirely, Carl—we cannot let popular usage affect our orþografye. Þe Æglisc tong is nobel and gud, and neuer shalle we aloue it to degrayd!

  10. um
    where did carl talk about popular usage

  11. Guys, science is real.

    Calling it racist or sexist bullshit is basically making Randall right about you. Please don't do that.

  12. If you can't see the sexism and racism in evolutionary psychology then you're a fucking sexist and/or racist scumbag. No compromises.

  13. @Anon9:38:

    There is a difference between "'Google' is now officially a verb because of common use" and "'you're' is now officially a possessive because everybody fucks it up anyway."

    Yes, a language should change as words and phrases are invented/repurposed by society, but we should not just make concessions every time some idiot does something that makes no sense, even if a bunch of other idiots are doing it too.


    It was the "Just because a lot of people make that mistake doesn't make it ok" thing. I think the response was really just an excuse to type like a condescending fuckwit, but I'm responding anyhow.

  14. @9:25
    GOOMH! I watched Lord of the Rings last year, and I also code Python!

  15. Evolutionary psychology is not science.

    Carl it makes me happy to have on time hate.

  16. "it was not math or physics, and therefore, it is bullshit (there are only three categories)"


  17. Pretty sure the joke is supposed to be that her mom's name is Georgia.

    Still doesn't make it funny, though.

  18. I think the apostrophe should be there to indicate possessive, just not where he's put it- "1950s' gender roles". Unless, of course, he means the gender roles specifically in the year 1950...

  19. I <3 this rant and I <3 this thread

  20. The attitude of evolutionary psychologists is typically that social science is crap and needs to be informed more by evolutionary biology. The people who do evo-psych do not think of it as a soft science.

  21. @AC 9:38: If you're going to be a prick at least be an accurate prick -- Þ is unvoiced and ð is voiced - the -th- in "orthography" is unvoiced and the -th- in "the" is voiced.

    So what we have here is that either you tried to look clever, and fucked it up because you're a retard, or you already knew this and were playing some fantastically clever meta-game by using what looks like old English conventions but deliberately changing them to back up your point! I get it! Ha! Ha! Ha!

  22. Oh wow, he really just copied and pasted the last comic and replaced the dialog? That's lower than CAD standards

  23. @Anon 2:54

    Are you sure that rule applies in all instances? The following is from "Ubi Sunt Qui Ante Nos Fuerent", a poem in Middle English. "Þe riche leuedies in hoere bour". That looks mighty like a thorn being used for the "th" in "the".

  24. I find it kind of funny that he might as well have just copied and pasted the last comic, but the shapes are ever so slightly different, suggesting he did redraw it.

    Specifically, the head of the girl looks a lot less sloppy in 775. But the stance is so spot-on similar except for the fact she's a bit shorter than the guy now...

    Maybe he just copied and pasted her a bit shorter? And then redrew the head cause it looked even more sloppy and crappy shrunk down? The guy's head is also a slightly different shape.

    To think that he actually went to the effort of redrawing their heads (and moving the dude's arm) only to have it still look like copypasta is so silly.

  25. Anon 2.54,

    That's not true. That distinction exists in the IPA, but not in Old English.

    However, 9.38:"Æglisc" is etymologically bizarre. Pretty sure it would've been "Englisc" from a very early date.

  26. Cuddlefish are missing the point -- either he's correct, in which case you all are morons. Or he's teaching you that language is fluid and can change to suit his needs [retroactively or otherwise], in which case you have no sense of humour.

    That said, Þ -> Z ð -> T. Zee Ortagraphy. I dunno what ze fuck you are all speaking.

    Oh, and J +1.

  27. Pretty sure there is no reason on earth to think that the mom's name is Georgia....

  28. Apparently, I'm dumber than most or just didn't listen to enough yo momma jokes in elementary school, but can somebody please explain the alt-text for me? It defies my comprehension.

  29. @Alex: It's a desperate attempt to find humour. Sort of like a hallucination of water when you're thirsty, except instead of fluids we have humour. Well, that is to say, we DON'T have humour...

  30. @Ravenzomg - I think you are right. I actually don't think this comic is meant to mock Southerners, either, despite Carl's post and the desperate flailings of the xkcd forumites.

    I think this comic is nothing more than "look at the homophone I thought of today!'

  31. @Ex-ambivalent
    "went to the effort"
    Huh? I don't know if you guys have noticed this but the characters in this comic are stick figures.
    The first comic you cited doesn't really apply unless you interpret it as a denouncement of puns. It is not a denouncement of puns.
    "I think this comic is nothing more than "look at the homophone I thought of today!'"
    CORRECT! You are the winner. All other arguments need not apply.

  32. Am I the only one who doesn't actually mind that the art is so-close-it-looks-like-copypasta? This is xkcd, remember? The comic that isn't about the art because art isn't necessary to the jokes it conveys*?

    I really don't mind that Randall spends so little time on the art. It's a comic that, at it's finest hour, has been stick figures talking to each other, sometimes wearing hats as distinguishing marks. If Randall was feeling extravagant, he put in a line drawing of a tree or a wall as the background**. And it was still a good comic.

    The problem, of course, is that the jokes aren't actually funny any more.

    *Well, it used to be like that, anyway.
    **Not counting those early sketches (which weren't funny) or some of his later experiments (which weren't funny either).

  33. Holy crap, it is just two random "your mom" jokes smushed together. I thought there was a reference I wasn't getting.

  34. It's totally a "Southerners are idiots" joke, why else would her family being from Savannah be related to her incompetence at math?

    As far as evolutionary psych, a lot of it can be sexist or racist, but not always. There are very real differences between people related to evolution. The average man is stronger and more muscular than the average woman; you can argue this is sexist, but it's also true. Things like this stem because because of evolution. Back in the days on the savanna (ha), males took the hunting roles and thus stronger more athletic types were selected for.

    It's unfair to say that the entire idea is sexist or racist just because it can be used by some sexists or racists to justify themselves. Remember, Charles Darwin's writings have been used similarly to justify racism and murder.

  35. What does muscle mass have to do with evolutionary psychology, 9:18, you fool?

    Also, here's some reading for you fine folks:

  36. The fact that Charles Darwins' writings are used to justify racism and murder is another reason how the "theory" of evolution is disprooved.

  37. Whoo hoo, I started a small flame war!

    I was being a sarcastic asshole. Of course we should have orthographic standards, and we shouldn't change them whenever someone gets them wrong. They wouldn't be standards otherwise. I wouldn't judge someone for misplacing an apostrophe if they were sending me an instant message, but when you're preparing some kind of written work for widespread viewing—say, a comic on the internet—you ought to be familiar with stylistic conventions.

    Also, I mixed-and-matched spellings and orthographic conventions from about a thousand years of English, but they're all attested. Æglisc is given by the OED as a transmission error; the letter Þ was used interchangeably with Ð in Old English, but only until the 13th century or so, and the word 'orthography' wasn't borrowed until (as far as I can tell) the 15th, so there's never a time when it would have been written like I wrote it (it would have been 'ortografye' because it was a French borrowing and used /t/ instead of /θ/); all the other spellings are attested somewhere in various corpora, but range from the 15th century to the 18th century.

    On a more relevant, less trolling note:
    Do people actually say your Savanna ancestors in real life? It took me a moment to process that as referring to ancient human progenitors. Maybe it's because my mental image of early human evolution is more in the dry-summer subtropical regions south of the savanna?

  38. 10:58, it was just bad dialogue shoehorned in to make the unfunny pun work. Pay no attention.

  39. @10:58,
    Considering that a google search for "Savanna Ancestors" results in the top two results being XKCDforum and here, no, people don't say "Your Savanna ancestors" in real life.

    Especially not when referring to someone's parents.

  40. "So I don't understand why he is teaching her "abstract math" [if] he is an "evo-psych" person. Surely a person wise enough to study math wouldn't sully his reputation with fake science? I AM CONFUSED."

    Jesus Christ. Really?

    If only that character had replied with something that indicated he wasn't talking about "evo-psych" in the first place. Perhaps something like, "Evolutionary? What?"

    I get that you don't think the pun in this joke is funny. But sometimes it seems you purposely misread the most obvious of things for the sake of having one more paragraph to pad your content with.

  41. Normally, I wouldn't have participated in the language fight, considering that I know very little about Middle and Old English. However, I had just read that Middle English poem about an hour before seeing someone trying be a pedant about the use of thorns. Chance had just dropped the ammunition into my lap, how could I pass that up?

    Getting back to the comic, it's pretty clear that 775 is not just a copypasta of 774. And no, I don't mean because the arm is raised in 775. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that none of the differences in the "art" have the slightest affect on the actual resulting comic. When you get right down to it, a comic that consists of one expressionless, characterless stick figure talking to another expressionless, characterless stick figure could just as easily be told as a dialogue, without bothering with these half hearted attempts at visuals. Randall Monroe, the next Plato?

  42. Anon139: Carl is all about extra padding. If you know what I mean!!

  43. @7:49 - I agree that redrawing some stick figures shouldn't be seen as much effort, but this is Randall we're talking about here.

    Coming up with an alternative stick figure scene or panel arrangement shouldn't be much of a hard effort either, but here we are.

  44. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 5, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    @gray more like the next play doh

    except without any of the redeeming features of that substance

  45. Just to help the poor souls who hasn't understood the alt-text:

    It's a combination of two "Your mom"-jokes, namely "Your mom is so stupid she thinks denial is a river in Egypt." and "Your mom is so stupid she thinks a quarterback is a refund."

  46. @EA
    I guess what I was getting at was that I think it was a conscious choice rather than "oh man, too much drawing". If I remember correctly he has in the past dropped hard(er)-to-redraw background pieces on extra panel dialogue, so that wouldn't have been out of the question. My theory is that he's been making all these one-panels in order to probe the hivemind and brainstorm for more T-shirts.

    Capcha abugl: A bugle.

  47. wow this comic is just really terrible on all levels, the copypasted art, the inhuman dialogue and the horrible joke. this is really really bad and i wish it would stop

  48. I misread it the first time and assumed that her mom just so happened to be named Savannah Georgia...

  49. The joke can't be that her mom's name is Georgia - the word Georgia has to be referring to the state, because otherwise the word "savannah" is not referring to the city. Also, if it were her mom's name, you wouldn't phrase the sentence that way (unless you regularly call people by their hometown + first name).

    The comic is surely making fun of southerners. Read the first sentence knowing what the man means; Your southern heritage makes you unable to do math. (again, if he meant just her family, he wouldn't have referred to her hometown)

    It's true that if she is referring to gender roles in the year 1950 she could have said "1950's gender roles," I stand corrected on that one.

    As for the Anon who says I completely misread the comic, no, think harder. She says "YOUR blady blad evo psych theories always do this or that." Why would she blame him for evo-psych stuff if he isn't an evolutionary phych person? His original comment was not about it, but clearly the broader context was. try again!

    look at how much responding I can do when I write a post on time!

  50. That fact that "The fact that Charles Darwins' writings are used to justify racism and murder is another reason how the "theory" of evolution is disprooved [sic]." is itself used as an argument that everyone who argues against the "theory" of evolution is stupid and wrong.

    And moral implications of the Bible and the behaviour of its adherents are used as arguments against the possibility of special creation.

  51. The moral implications of (anything produced by the human race) and the behaviour of (everyone) are used as arguments against the (continued existence of humanity).

  52. 776...I'm willing to bet that Randall just saw Inception (although, considering how bad he is with topicality, he may have seen it weeks ago). But making a comic about dreams within dreams would be too obvious, so he changed it to the polar opposite--hallucinations from sleep deprivation.

    Also, wtf is with the first panel. Did he post comics out of order? Or is it a callback to like, one comic from several months ago (which comic? the one with the stick figure in it. How could you forget!)

  53. a joke straight out of the funnies. only this updates less with worse art.


  54. Back to sleep deprivation and hallucination comics. Hasn't he done like ten of those?

    Someone on the forums just called it a "clever" comic.

    Yes, the "oh im not hallucinating now something that never happens in reality just happened." talk about a clever twist!

  55. Leonard: The first panel immediately made me think of , which I assume it was meant to.

  56. I actually liked 776. Then I read the alt-text and he made it suck. Re-reading, the period after "Listen" is really irritating me -- can't say why, but it definitely disrupts the flow of the conversation. BUT OMG MAYBE THAT'S WHAT HE INTENDED [of course he didn't].

  57. Ugh. 776 reads like it was suggested to Randall by a squirrel.

  58. Ehhh. There's nothing original about this comic. "Straight out of the funnies" is right.

  59. The girl could -think- he's referring to her mom instead of her home town, because her mother's name is Savannah-Georgia? You know, like how those inbred hicks always have two names.

  60. 776 reads like a common stock moment from something like Discworld or Sandman. Except here, it is the whole comic.

    In Discworld, this would be just a little throwaway line to set the mood and establish the scene. Like "Person A has now entered a strong magic field - expect crazy shit to go down at any moment." or "Person B is actually insane, so you should know this before he starts interacting with the plot." or "Person X is this book's designated foil for the more down-to-earth character Y, observe."

    And then we'd be quickly moving on to the actually funny/interesting stuff. Also it would have identifiable named characters, and we might possibly care about how they render their lines, or what they're hallucinating about.

  61. Without having the knowledge posted above, I actually enjoyed 776.

    With the knowledge posted above, I now wish to know more about this "Discworld" thing.

  62. Terry Pratchett writes Discworld, which has something like 30-40 books by now. My personal favorites are the City Watch series and the Moist von Lipwig books (Going Postal, Making Money). They are comic fantasy, and pretty fun.

    It helps to read the various sub-series in order, but other than that it's usually okay to read from wherever (and even then, they're all more or less standalone, so it's not required).

  63. "I actually liked 776. Then I read the alt-text and he made it suck. Re-reading, the period after "Listen" is really irritating me -- can't say why, but it definitely disrupts the flow of the conversation. BUT OMG MAYBE THAT'S WHAT HE INTENDED [of course he didn't]."

    the "listen"-as-a-one-word-sentenceit's a rhetorical flourish that has worked well occasionally (cf. Kurt Vonnegut). probably Randy is going for that. (I know I am sometimes prone to it)

  64. Going back to 775, is that so obvious for everyone that the guy is actually a teacher? You used the expression math tutor, I didn't read it that way at all. At first I thought he was her boyfriend. I mean, would a teacher really know her hometown was savannah? Would they both talk to each other like that?

    And that lead me to a different understanding of last line, i thought it was about cliché couple conversation, like any couple argument reaches one point where the girl says "leave my mom out of this".

  65. rob you big queer we all know that the hogfather and death series are basically the best discworld books ever written and you're fat for disagreeing.


  66. Come on guys, we're forgetting the funniest part here. The original art was SO lazy-assed that made the girl look like she had a penis.
    I laugh out loud every time I look at it for three reasons: it's funny because of itself (a girl with a penis, lol), it banalizes Randall and his cockiness, and the fact that cuddlefish are so stupid and have such a low self-esteem that are able to allow The Author to mock at them that way. I see it as an insult.

  67. are you sure that's not just the XKCD Explained dudes adding penises to the comic?

  68. I'm also fond of the Death ones, especially Mort. But my favorite Discworld book is The Truth.

    Otto the vampire photographer, now there's a character with true dedication to his art! (No vonder zey don't alvays scream)

  69. @Rob
    Well, that would make sense, Randall is not that dumb, but I thought XKCD Explained was a somewhat serious site.
    Nonetheless, that does not deny my previous statement: Randy is a lazy-ass cunt and anyone who lets him make a living out of his inane comic is stupid.

  70. XKCDexplained isn't serious, they're just subtle about making fun of it.

    they've been subtly adding dicks to a lot of the comics recently. not sure why.

  71. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 6, 2010 at 3:55 AM

    there is nothing subtle about stick figure penises

  72. listen. people read the XKCD Explained commentaries and think that there is no trace of humor in them. these people are hilarious.

  73. oh wait apparently I didn't read my last post. it's very possible to not notice the penises, on account of XKCD's art being so shitty you just kind of don't notice it.

  74. When I first read the comic, I found the pause in the squirrel's dialog to be hilarious. I must have just been reading in my head in the perfect way to add humor to the situation. But now, when I'm re-reading it, I do not find it to be funny. But now... when I am thinking about the comic without looking at it, I find it to be really funny.

    I think this comic in particular should be reviewed based on your first impressions. After all, it is kind of ridiculous to expect a handful of sentences to be funny every time you read it.

  75. I found XKCDexplained is much more subtle and uh... satirical? is that the word I want?

    But yeah, the homeopathy EXCDexplained confused a lot of people, but it was pretty much designed to rile up XKCDfans

  76. It's a perfectly good concept ruined by improper pacing. He should've compressed the "holy fucking shitter of god I think I'm hallucinating" into the first two panels, then stretched the squirrel out over the last two, putting more of a focus on it. The squirrel is the only potentially good part, so there's no point in making it a secondary element at the very end.

    Now, to make it funny he might've considered turning it into something bizarre and/or cute, like a zebra wearing a policeman's cap. But then we'd all be complaining that it was senseless for its own sake, so maybe the squirrel is better after all. Hard to say.

  77. But Carl, you fat, objectively undesirable fuck who is incapable of writing a coherent argument and is really dumb and apparently sanctimonious despite the fact that that's not what the word means, who is also a terrible writer and has the emotional maturity of an eight year old and is incapable of thinking about anything with anything remotely resembling objectivity and bashes literally everyone he disagrees with with nothing but hateful disdain, and also has no life at all apart from hanging out on XKCD sucks and is hated by all the commenters and has no friends and never will and doesn't even know what a vagina is, much less what one looks like, and would probably love the cock if he weren't universally undesirable to men and women alike, you don't actually have talent and critisize XKCD all day! Why not get a hobby?

  78. Evopsych isn't inherently a bullshit science, it's just that a lot of evopsych scientists - and even more people who don't actually know anything about evolution or psychology - use it to justify bullshit.

  79. Someone on the forum mentioned that it was the tree hallucinating the man and the squirrel.

    That would be rather unexpected, completely absurd and probably much funnier

  80. Evolutionary psychology tells us about trends, not individuals.


  81. Just a small correction to your rant; it appears that Randall isn't in this case bashing a softer science (evo-psyche) since the girl clearly says that the kind of reasoning the man is employing is what leads people to dismiss evolutionary psychology as pseudoscience.

    Carry on.




  83. Dear Mr. Munroe,

    I know that sleep deprivation does funny things to you. Also, I know that a large portion of your demographic wrongfully believes that they are cool because they don't sleep enough, and your comic is now entirely based around pandering to said demographic. But if you are going to make a comic about sleep deprivation, please at least attempt to make a joke that I personally haven't made before. This is not "Get out of my head", this is, I don't make a living by trying to be funny and I expect, or at least hope, for a higher standard from someone who does.

    Hugs and giggles,

  84. "rob you big queer we all know that the hogfather and death series are basically the best discworld books ever written and you're fat for disagreeing.


    the ones from both series that i've read (9 in all) are all pretty great

    this is hard

  85. The joke is that a guy thinks that he might be hallucinating that he's hallucinating.

    Not only does that make no sense whatsoever, but it's also completely wrong. If it was a joke about that he actually WAS hallucinating hallucinating, it'd be at least funny for it's surrealness. But a man thinking about it just makes it sad.
    ...well, if a better webcomic artist made it. Randall would probably just make a character be saying "I am hallucinating this hallucination".

    The talking squirrel part of the joke was just... frankly, unbelievably lame. Like, even Garfield wouldn't make that joke. And that's a comic for two-year-olds!

  86. randall a few hours before an update: man, i haven't even started! this is my job! ok, think. don't procrastinate. don't fall asleep.

    randall five minutes before an update: shit. quick! i've been up for two days! what's funny??

    also randall being almost constantly sleep deprived is a good explanation for his comic's decay. "haha, yes, psychology students should be hit by pendulums by physics students."

  87. This reminds me of Discworld where they "cured" the Bursar's insanity by making him hallucinate that he was sane or something

  88. Oh god, I found the worst website of all time:

    It's like XKCDexplained, except the author LIKES xkcd. It's less funny than the comic, and has more Randall dick-sucking.

    Although I do like how they call the bald stick figure "Cueball."

  89. "I know that a large portion of your demographic wrongfully believes that they are cool because they don't sleep enough"

    Anon; YES, I never fucking understood this- why is abusing your body and staying up all night in your room playing vidya gaems considered cool?

    I mean, you don't see people boasting about being a fat antisocial bastard (unless it's rob).

    You probably won't see a [mainstream] comic on the internet basically glorifying being morbidly obese with a terminal case of cheeto fingers- so why is sleep/dep cool?

    Is it because you couldn't sleep because your backwards baseball cap was getting in the way?
    Or because you have a physics final tomorrow and you never studied because of you having too much FREAKY NERD QUIRKY INTERCOURSE?

    I bet it fucking is

    I bet it is.

  90. @Synonymous

    What the fuck? that's SO BAD.

    I mean, like somone took the stunted horrific writing and extended it out into faux nerd fan fiction that goes on for WAY TOO LONG.

    And I'm disturbed at how they labell megan (MEGANNNNN) as 'cutie'.

    Now, I donno what it's like in georgia (hurrrrr)
    But if a girl has no fucking face I don't consider that cute;
    I consider that a cause for fucking reconstructive facial surgery

  91. or if you're cheap, a pen will do

  92. It can't be called RE-constructive surgery if she didn't have a face to begin with you fat, disgusting fuck of a human being (Zing!)

  93. @Rob 3:57
    Before your comment, I had never realised that XKCD Explained added subtle penises on almost every comic. Holy crap, you're right.
    Now, watching them again, I'm having a lot of fun, specially with #770.

  94. "As I begin writing this post, it's 1:30 in Los Angeles. By the time I finish writing it, it'll be at least 2:00. When I finally stop poring through Google reader it'll be 2:30, and when I've read enough of A Clash Of Kings to fall asleep it'll be well past 3:00. Insomnia and I are bosom buddies, and so I feel that I have a special connection to today's xkcd."

    however i can forgive him for such stupidity because he also wrote this

    "Sure, she may be able to knock evolutionary psychology down a peg or two, but she doesn't understand abstract mathematics after all. Does anybody win? No, not really, but Savannah certainly seems to take an unnecessary beating."

    actually tbh i think explain xkcd may well be non-serious too: overexplaining every detail of an xkcd joke to point out how slight they are.
    i am not sure though. probably because i am sleep deprived LOL

  95. I feel like Randall just watched Inception and then had a mini bought of insomnia

  96. I anticipate another "this comic is boring" post.

    Which it definitely is if you try to analyze it for more than half a minute. Or even read it more than once, maybe twice.

    For the few seconds it took to read it it was pretty alright though. Dialogue better than usual, no glaring faults except insubstantiality.

  97. I probably wouldn't care so much about 776 if Randall wasn't hailed as the god of intelligent and nerdy webcomics. (This probably makes me a bad person)

    There's nothing speical about 776, nothing mind-blowingly clever, nothing above average. It's a guy talking to a hallucation which happens to be a squirrel. Is this all a genius of nerd comedy can come up with?

  98. hmm, could that horrible spelling be of hallucination be a result of my overly sleep deprived mind?

    No! I'm just a fucking moron

  99. The "explainxkcd" website is horrible.

    "Cueball has now taken his stance on annoyingness from the hazy, uncertain world of subjectivity and placed it in the magical land of objectivity, where science is king and every question has a correct answer."


    I really hate science nerds. Or maybe science fanboys would be a more accurate term. Jesus.

  100. "As for the Anon who says I completely misread the comic, no, think harder. She says "YOUR blady blad evo psych theories always do this or that." Why would she blame him for evo-psych stuff if he isn't an evolutionary phych person? His original comment was not about it, but clearly the broader context was. try again!"

    Seriously? Are you this stupid?

    Yeah, I saw that she used the word "your." If you think that proves your point, you're an idiot.

    Think harder? How about you think for a moment. How many people have come here and talked about "your" jealousy of Randall? I guess by your logic, you actually are jealous because other people have used the word "your" when accusing you of it.

  101. Actually, the joke reminded me of another joke from a crappy 90s sitcom, Just Shoot Me, where a man thought his son was gay, and the following misunderstanding-by-pun, took place:

    Persky: [sees a bowl of fruit] Hey, fruit.
    Red Finch: [grabs Persky by the lapels] Hey, hey, hey! Listen, you homophobe! The term is gay. Gay, do you understand? Gay! Not fruit, or fairy, or salad shooter.
    Persky: But I was...
    Red Finch: We don't need your hate crimes around here! Who made you God, huh?

    So, Carl...ignoring whether or not the joke is funny: Do you believe that Persky is actually a homophobe because the other guy used the phrase "your hate crimes" in his reply?

  102. I'd say considering we have no actual insight to the characters personalities beyond the scope of the comic, then the use of "your" is very important.

    Coupled with the fact that she says his theories /always/ do that, indicates it's a repeat offence.

    The "your" could have easily been excluded if she wasn't talking about his theories directly.

  103. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM


    is there any person who would legitimately think "maybe i am having a hallucination within a hallucination that would mean nothing abnormal is happening"

    the character might be sleep deprived but he is definitely stupid and it is this issue that makes the entire comic pointless

    good one randall

  104. The sleep dep comic feels like something that would be a perfectly good throw-away gag in a long-form story.

  105. Comic was meh, just one correction to your rant:

    "Also, series of years shouldn't have apostrophes in them. The apostrophe is not standing for a missing letter or letters, it's not signaling a possessive, and it's not part of a name like O'Reilly or O'Malley. For a guy who claims to like language, he really should know that one. Just because a lot of people make that mistake doesn't make it ok."

    That's not entirely true, apostrophes are used in forming certain plurals, most notably plurals of lower case letters; some authorities do suggest the use of 1950's over 1950s, as well as usage for plurals of numbers and symbols; it is, however less popular than it used to be. Randall may just be clinging to the older usage. Wikipedia probably has a page devoted to it if anyone's really interested.

  106. Does anyone else get the feeling that randy is in the middle of an existential crisis?

  107. Shrub,

    If my job was creating a web comic which claims that being involved in a career in math and science is the only way to have a happy, fulfilled life, I might be in the middle of an existential crisis too.

  108. hey carl i'm glad you changed your blog description up on the sidebar to indicate just how awful xkcd has become :)

  109. carl don't just copy/paste your email address

    you horrible man

  110. R - what?

    TO the Anon with whom i have the pleasure of arguing:
    Let me rephrase. Why did the woman spout off about evo-psych? She seems awfully angry about it. She seems to associate the theories with her teacher/friend, and quite strongly. Clearly, they have had this argument before.

  111. I checked out the forum replies on this comic and the first page is almost entirely negative. I think your jobs done, Carl. Haha.

    Randall really needs to take some breaks on writing if he has NO more good ideas. These comics are going south. South. See? Get it?

  112. 1. "Oh, goodness! What a time for this to run. I had my first-ever lack-of-sleep hallucination just a few days ago"

    2. "Randall, GOOMH!
    Nevermind, that was just the squirrel....unless Randall has a bushy tail and loves the taste of nuts."

    3. "I just joined after years of lurking because of this comic. I just worked the overnight shift at my hospital and swore I just saw someone walk in my living room, when upon checking, there was no one there. So here I am thinking I'm seeing things and then read this comic. I love coincidences and random shared experiences with strangers.
    huzzah to humanit-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

    4. "I just saw Inception.

    5. "GTFOOMFHR My two-year-old was up for over three hours in the night (1am-4.15am, since you're asking) and today I am a complete zombie.

    Squirrel = SQL. I read this comic as "I am so sleep-deprived that my internal deliberations about SQL databases with tree-like systems is manifesting itself in hallucinations about squirrels and trees."

    A little IT knowledge is a very dangerous thing."

    6. "Ok, so I'm kinda freaked out by today's comic...

    I awoke after two hours solid sleep (yey) to have the postie knocking at my door with a t-shirt I'd ordered. Whilst opening the package I sat down and started reading todays strip, and lol'd at the fact Randall too seemed to be an insomniac. Then I looked at the t-shirt and I couldn't believe it, this was the top I had ordered

    So should I be scared?

    Is Randall stalking me? :shock:

    I would ask if I should stay at home all day to keep myself safe, but unfortunatly, that wouldn't change my habits one little bit

    I actually signed up today so I could tell everyone how freaked out I am, so hello all! :D"

    7. "Ok, what they say about Randall IS true. Randall IS in my head. I couldn't sleep last night. Doesn't happen that often. Was a very bad case of sleep deprivation. Had multiple weird dreams too. And the next morning Randall publishes this comic?!"

    8. "Randall, GOOM Hallucinations!

    I really felt like that few weeks ago. Broke my own record - 94 hours without any sleep. While I was passing out, that's what I felt..."

    The XKCD forums never cease to make me sad.
    8 GOOMHR people, possibly more but I assumed the other 3-4 were all jokes. I certainly hope they were.

    Also, I love the flame war going on at the XKCD forums. It's far more fun than the comic.

  113. What exactly is white knighting?

  114. If you aren't familiar with that fact that Savannah is a place in Georgia then it could easily read that Savannah is her mom's name and her name is Georgia. Which is why she comes back with her line re: her mom. Because it's also stupid to thin that you only get the genetic material from the parent with which you share gender.

  115. ^^^^---

    So what could Randall Munroe *possibly* be doing, exactly, which results in sleep deprivation?

    I mean, even if he stays up all night playing video games, it's not like he has to be up for anything the next morning.

  116. temp name 10 8:44 AM: "You probably won't see a [mainstream] comic on the internet basically glorifying being morbidly obese with a terminal case of cheeto fingers"

    Boston and Shaun not mainstream enough for you, huh? ;)

  117. @Timofei
    Well, that's aberrant. My usage of aberrant includes glorification of sicknesses, furriness, paedophilia, coprofagy... If I had to choose one of the endless aberrant comics that dwell the Internet I would pick Electric Retard (check it out).
    BUT the difference is that XKCD is not intentionally aberrant. It's just a shitty comic of a man who ran out of ideas (somehow he still gets money for it) and his last stand is this stupid shit. "Oh, sleep deprivation, that SOOO kewl". The problem is that most people see this as cool too (as sedentarism, excessive wankery, alcoholism, smoking, etc.), but that doesn't make any of these less aberrant.

  118. stop using the word aberrant

  119. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 7, 2010 at 4:28 AM

    one might state (as a declarant) that the use of the word "aberrant" is an errantly transparent and inherently apparent mark of pseudo intellectualism

    please do not tell my parents (they would not approve of the forced phrasing)

  120. especially as a contrast to "mainstream."

  121. though really it sounds more like he read the word in the dictionary once and vowed to use it as often as possible, and decided that it means "not mainstream" instead of "abnormal."

  122. My comment revolves around "aberrant" because that is what it's about, if XKCD is aberrant or not. It's a very specific word to use a synonym and must be emphasized.

    Anyway, it's distant the day I'll feel like bragging about some stupid word in an unknown blog with some guys I don't even know and I don't care if they died tomorrow.

  123. how rude

    we would care if you died tomorrow anonymous

    we would even cry a little bit

    (except rob, he would feel aroused)

  124. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 7, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    @anon6:02 it would probably not be an issue except you aberrantly used the word aberrant an aberrant number of times for quite an aberrant purpose

    when you are using a word appropriately you will probably not feel the urge to describe your usage of that word in any great depth because it will already make sense in the context of what you are saying

    @rob my money is on one of those "word a day" calendars

  125. Or he openned up a dictionary, starting with "A"... "A" has a lot of good words. Based soley on aesthetics, I have to choose that one. That or "Acquaintance". Mmmm.

  126. I can't even hate this comic. It's just confusing. First Randall stopped making me laugh. Now he stopped making me vomit.

  127. @TheMesosade

    SQL databases are (trying to be) relational, so they most certainly don't have a tree structure. Get some sleep.

  128. Directed towards the OP of that comment of course. It just stood out as typical xkcd fans who want to name drop nerdy things without committing to knowing what they're talking about.

  129. So you meta-loving people, I'm going to throw you a bone.
    "XKCDexplained" Explained

    Cause it's a totally useful site that is a must if anyone wants to understand the incomprehensible nature of XKCDexplained.

  130. actually "xkcdexplained explained" kind of sucks. she totally missed the homeopathy one in a way which undermines her credibility. also she doesn't capture the tone correctly.

    at aberrant-fanboy: there are lots of words you could have used which would have been infinitely better than aberrant. mostly, they would have been words that actually described what you are talking about, instead of words that you think sound cool from your word-a-day email. (I admit I'm being moderately unfair: it's also possible you fell in love with the word from your D&D books and decided to use it anywhere you possibly could.)


    I admit I could have expressed myself better, but I couldn't care less what a bunch of cocksucking nerds think about me. Seriously, get a life, you're getting this XKCD Sucks thing too far.

    Fuck you all.


  132. how utterly abberant

    captcha: jablist

  133. meh. i have a life. this is what i do when i'm not doing other things.

    you are as bad at insults as you are at language, apparently!

  134. The more I think about this, the funnier it gets. This is what I would call a "layered" comic. Beyond the obvious "The girl is arguing that she's intelligent but can't even get that he's not talking about evo psych but her personal background" joke, there's the subtle jab at the education system in Savannah, Georgia, but probably also the entire Southern education system as a whole, which is pretty bad. (Though, granted, many northern schools aren't much better). Then in the alt text, apart from the combination of two "Yo Mama" jokes, there actually was a quarterback with a first name of Nile, which suddenly makes the girl knowledgeable about obscure facts (and perhaps not quite as dumb as she seemed at first).

    God, I love layers.

  135. ladies and gentlemen, I give you the typical XKCD fanboy! when confronted with something which is incredibly shitty, he fabricates a reality where there is actually layer upon layer of depth to it, that one can unfold like one of those layered cakes.

    none of the layers, of course, are actually funny, either separately or taken as a whole. still they imagine that it is hilarious that Randall combined two "your mom" jokes.

    then the nerd reveals his true nature: he believes that knowing an obscure fact makes someone more likely to be intelligent. it doesn't matter if this obscure fact is actually something normally antithetical to the nerd--a sports reference--so long as it's a nerd who knows the obscure fact (or a character in a nerd comic). ha ha ha girls are bad at math! BUT WAIT SHE KNOWS AN OBSCURE FACT, maybe she is actually SUPER INTELLIGENT???

    indeed, the same fact that a nerd would roll his eyes and say that the "dumb jocks" wasted their time learning, they will salivate over when it is in the mouth of one of Randall's many author-insertion characters.

  136. anon if you love layers you should see rob
    or rob's favourite food: cake

  137. what i'm trying to get across is
    rob is kinda fat

  138. Anon @ 5:47AM on August 6th said:
    "and also has no life at all apart from hanging out on XKCD sucks and is hated by all the commenters and has no friends and never will and doesn't even know what a vagina is, much less what one looks like,"

    We all know what a Vagina looks like thanks to Mr. Monroe's comic! Thanks XKCD!

  139. i'm so glad someone used my paragraph

  140. Disregard that, I suck cocks.August 7, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    I'd just like to point out that whoever posted as Ayn Rand is an idiot. If there's a woman that would agree with evo-psych it's Ayn Rand. She's all about female and sexual submissive.

    Also, just to answer the idiot's question, if someone's selected for based on their physical prowess, it's likely that mental attributes that are optimal with that specific physical attribute will also be selected for.

  141. Ayn Rand posts here all the time. it is what we like to call a "username." this is not the literal Ayn Rand, nor anyone pretending to be.

  142. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 7, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    i submit for your consideration the following anagram

    ayn rand

    na randy

    writer and philosopher or a casual dismissal of all of randall munroes creations you be the judge

  143. Ayn Rand posts here all the time. it is what we like to call a "username." this is not the literal Ayn Rand, nor anyone pretending to be.

    I never fully understood having your user name by a different well known figure's name, such as Ayn Rand. I mean, if you were posting with that name, you'd think it was meant to be Ironic or Satirical based on the content of your post, rather than just "I like Ayn Rand" or "I like this name". Though to be fair, just because I don't understand it doesn't make it wrong.

  144. i think Ayn Rand started as satirical and it just stuck

  145. Ah, I could see that. Especially when you don't plan on sticking around a website very long, and then you somehow get sucked in and start to enjoy it.

  146. XKCD's story is basically a good form tragedy. Now that you go back to look at the early comics, you can see the roots of its subsequent downfall in precisely what made it good.

  147. XKCD is like Titus Andronicus (the tragedy by Shakespeare, not the band), in that it is as funny as raping, dismembering and eating your own children.

  148. Timofei. I read boston and shawn and I was hoping nobody would mention it.

    Thanfully the topic has been derailed by trolling over the use of "abberent" and we're talking about raping, dismembering and eating your own children.

    Thank fuck.


  149. I wish I lived in a world where no one knew what xkcd was.

  150. GUYS

    I only just noticed this, so I'm guessing it happened recently: randy changed a few of the image hyperlinks at the bottom of his page. He took out "My normal approach is useless here," "Bored With The Internet," and the James Bond centrifugal force one, and replaced them with the circuit diagram, the black/white self description one, and the Don Quixote windmills one.

    I don't really care at all, but it's funny to see what comics randy thinks are his best work.

  151. Jesus, the Don Quixote one?

  152. i'm surprised only one is a poster

  153. b, nice catch on that. It is indeed interesting. The old ones made sense because I could see people wanting to go to xkcd looking for, say, "my normal approach is useless here." But who is going to be looking for the circuit diagram?

  154. I think the old ones were the ones he liked the best. they were there so new visitors could click a couple comics and see if they liked his style.

    apparently his style is now "shit pancakes"

  155. Well, the circuit diagram is certainly indicative of the recent trend of quality his comics have been showing.

    (This means that it is horrible)

  156. That's a good catch there /b/. I'm pretty choked he removed the James Bond one. That one was pretty classic.

    I find it interesting that the Circuit Diagram AND the Windmills one are both comics that would have taken him significantly longer to do than his average offering.

    The Windmill one just reminds me of World of Goo, at least in it's style of background. World of Goo was kind of popular around the time that comic was released if my memory serves me correctly. Though it frequently doesn't.

  157. I guess I can see why he would update it--it looks bad for all of your "best of" to be in the early comics, and maybe he's getting self-conscious about people thinking it's gone downhill.

    but he could have picked a lot better ones from later on if he really wanted to do that.

  158. Rob, along that reasoning he also could've made his later comics better.

    We are talking about the man who thought "Joshing" was a good idea for a comic... stop assuming that he ever was capable of filtering his ideas.

    Captcha: enchou. Gesundheit

  159. well, Randy is clearly no longer capable of making a good XKCD. (I think he could make something good that was not XKCD, but that is more speculation.) but maybe he hopes that with some sleight of hand he'll be able to hide that his comic sucks.

    not that the 'best of' is super important, but who knows? maybe it will trigger a 'I like the things that I remember best' reaction in his fanboys.

  160. I think he's getting desperate. But I always think that.

    I stand by the idea that he just doesn't have any sort of "buffer" and this results in his crappy unfiltered products. He should just run a guest-week -- take actual artists and have them draw crappy stick figure comics in their style!!! Haha... that has potential to be hilarious just by the medium. Funnier than XKCD, lately, anyways.

  161. the circuit diagram?



    That comic is an abomination.

  162. The thing that bothers me about this comic is the dialog. It's not just that it's unrealistic, it's unrealistic in a specific way. That is, no one would ever talk about somebody's "Savannah ancestors" in that context unless they specifically meant to set up that joke. It's very obvious that this comic started with the realization that "Savannah" has two meanings and tried to shoehorn the word in a context where he could make a joke about it. And jokes, like sausages and laws, are something I'd rather not see the process behind.

  163. I think it makes sense that Randall would support evo-psych. After all, reading about the Wikipedia article on it, it allows him to say "see? this 'social science' can be explained in terms of biology, which is REAL SCIENCE". The fact that he's making fun of people who think that social sciences are sexist, on the other hand, really is confusing. I thought Randall would be all for women's studies?