Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Comic 783: Lost the Plot

make me a taco
[Alt: Yes, I understand that the turn is half a mile past the big field, but my GPS knows that, too. This would be easier if you weren't about to ask me to repeat it all back to you.]


Hi there. I am Aloria, here to comment on xkcd 783, and I hate you all.

Can someone explain to me what the fuck Randall Munroe’s problem is? We get it dude, you’re super smart and tech-saavy and doomed to live in a world populated by morons who just don’t get technology and science like you do. Maybe if you weren’t such a condescending douche, you could try educating some people instead of constantly portraying them as clueless retards in your pictoblog, erm, webcomic.

This is essentially an artificial, unrealistic scenario for GOOMH fodder. Not true GOOMH, mind you, but that special brand of xkcd-fanboy GOOMH, e.g. “wow, I have a GPS and some of my friends don’t, too! lololol Randy is such a mindreader.” I dislike the implication that not knowing about GPS technology is commonplace; ads for TomToms and the like are everywhere, rental cars often come with them, and I haven’t had a cell phone in the last 3 years that didn’t have it. Additionally, I can think of only a few instances where someone would incessantly babble directions after being repeatedly told they weren’t needed. They all involve people of diminished mental capacity (elderly, socially clueless, etc,) none of which deserve Randall's condescension. These sorts of folks would blather on regardless of the reason given; you could tell them you’re familiar with the area or have a map and they’d still talk. It has nothing to do with GPS ownership status. Take out the GPS aspect, and you basically have a comic bitching about how some people don’t listen, or like to talk a lot, or are overly concerned about you getting lost.

That last point is sort of important, you see, because GPSes aren’t exactly infallible. I have two, actually (I'm the kind of jerk that carries two cell phones,) and they’ve tried to get me to drive into the Hudson River, make an nonexistent left hand turn, and suggested many creative ways of violating traffic law and/or killing people. They can also be vague or confusing, and sometimes the addition of visual landmarks is helpful in situations where you know the GPS will throw someone off. People cognizant of that fact aren’t deserving of mockery, either. This strip reads to me like a weak grab for smug self-superiority (much like this blog post! wheee!)

103 comments:

  1. your GPSs are obviously cursed
    (has stephen king used this idea yet?)

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  2. If you replace GPS with Map then this comic was still irrelevant 400 years ago.

    And I am also the sort of asshole who carries two cell phones.

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  3. I carry one cellphone and it doesn't have gps. Crap.

    captcha: compu. Which reminds me of COMPU-toon, which is the kind of comic that would make jokes about such "novelty" item as GPS.

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  4. I carry eight cell phones.

    Suck on those eggs you two-cell-phone-carrying-gps-incompetent-xkcdsucks-posting ninny!

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  5. why does he repeat back every line that his "friend" says

    phone conversations do not work that way

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  6. Timofei: you need one cell phone in each pocket to cook each nut.

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  7. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 24, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    the idea that your gps suggests creative ways to kill people is more humorous than anything randall has written in a very long time

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  8. One of the most heart-warming aspects of this comic is the fact that the forum is full of people who think Randall is wrong about GPS techno-snobbery. Isn't that a victory you guys should be celebrating?

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  9. Sam: Because otherwise Randall would have to do something complicated like drawing odd lines coming out of the phone, which would lead us to comment on his poor drawing ability.

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  10. I have never experienced a situation where my GPS tried to send me into a river or off a cliff or anything. Never. I hear these stories all the time, and I just can't fathom how this situation could possibly arise.

    See, my GPS device has me following these roads that may or may not exist. Usually they do exist, and in this case I'm safe because there are no roads leading off cliffs or into the ocean. But even if they did, or even if there was some horrible error in the map that made a phantom road where there is none leading into the river, the software simply wouldn't send you down that road. It GOES NOWHERE. That is not your destination, and even in erroneous map-fantasy land that doesn't lead to your destination, so it simply isn't a road that could -possibly- be part of the route the device has calculated.

    I mean, what happens in these situations where you are being led into the ocean? Is the rest of the route emerging on the other side? Is your destination -in- the river (it can't be, because there's no road there)? HOW DOES THIS POSSIBLY WORK?

    Disclaimer: I have only used Tomtoms and the worst open source navigation software I've ever come across for a month while waiting for a new tomtom. But even that garbage didn't try to murder me.

    Disclaimer 2: I may be slightly drunk.

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  11. Randall apparently has a super magical phone that sticks to his face only when he has to write something down using both hands. otherwise he must hold it like a regular phone.

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  12. What Munroe is apparently too dense to comprehend is this: most of the people who own GPS devices are not tech-savvy people. They're just people with money. It's not like he belongs to some cabal of people with the latest gadgets. In actuality he's about 15 years late on the joke.

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  13. http://www.gocomics.com/compu-toon/2010/08/22/

    http://www.gocomics.com/compu-toon/2010/08/08/

    GUYS! I think I was on to something! Randall is really turning into Charles Boyce!

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  14. The biggest problem with this particular comic is it's painfully unfunny. The "joke" is people give you long directions when you don't want them (because you have a GPS). The punch line is a mass of text about tricking someone so they will finally reveal their address. Yes, we've all had situations where we've gotten directions that a) we don't want, and/or b) are stupid. That's not really LOL-worthy, it's just an observation of a thing that happens sometimes. Only most of us don't repeat ourselves that much.

    A much better version of the same idea would be something where he's repeating directions back. "Uh huh, get on the freeway. Get in the left lane when it gets to the construction.... past the giant armadillo statue... what's the house number?" And then the last panel is a map-style image showing the character looking on a GPS and finding a better route. This is better because 1) it doesn't clog up the white space with repetitive, useless text, it has colorful directions that some people might find humor in. 2) it has a visual punch-line. The image of the GPS illustrates what the character suspected: that the person on the phone sucks at giving directions. 3) instead of the joke being "I have a map/GPS/whatever," the joke is "some people are bad at directions." This is nice because it makes the character seem less like a self-righteous dick and makes him seem clever.

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  15. 11:24 - Non-existent shoulders obviously :P

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  16. @11:24 - bitches don't know bout my sticky-phone

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. Fred: the river incident occurred when the GPS believed I was about half a mile away from where I actually was. So the GPS starts chirping "in 20 feet, turn right," because the bridge it intended for me to turn onto was not actually 20 feet away.

    Other incidents occur when the road it wants to send me down no longer exists and the map has not been updated, or the road goes UNDER another road (like an overpass,) but the GPS thinks they connect. For example, there was a road connecting to FDR drive in Manhattan that my GPS always tries to send me down, but doing so would require driving through a huge building that stands in its place.

    Manhattan also prohibits turns on certain cross town streets between 10 and 6: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/streetprog.shtml, and my GPS doesn't take that rule into account.

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  19. > I haven’t had a cell phone in the last 3 years that didn’t have it.
    My cell phone is 3 years old, and it doesn't have GPS. It also doesn't have text messaging, but that's because I disabled it. It's a phone, dammit, not a do-everything device.

    > I can think of only a few instances where someone would incessantly babble directions after being repeatedly told they weren’t needed.
    My parents do this on a consistent basis. They are fairly normal folks who just don't believe that I find a top-down view of Google maps easier to navigate in my head than landmarks.

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  20. I live in a somewhat rural area and when my boyfriend and I have people over for parties we have to give people some simple directions in order for them to find our place. Occasionally people will say, "just give me your address, i have a GPS" and i tell them, "well there is a bridge out that will render your GPS helpless... please just listen to these easy instructions and you will find my place just fine."

    i dont know if there is a point to this story.

    i don't know if there is a point to anything.

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  21. You could write XKCD comics, Emily. Unfunny existentialist ones from your last sentence, and every other kind from your second-to-last.

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  22. Hey aloria, you keep talking about "your GPS", well guess what. Unless you run your own satellite network, you mean "your GPS device(s)".

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  23. Who is this aloria girl? I like her style...

    783 is just the latest in a LONG line of comics in which Randall Munroe condescendingly sighs and asks: "Why aren't other people as smart as I quite clearly am?"

    That said, it's still the best comic he's done in the last week.

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  24. and the drunkest

    (unless poore is about)

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  25. His comic is appropriate for probably 95% of driving situations.

    The other 5% of the time, you have situations where:

    - The GPS map database does not have the numbers properly aligned on the destination's street. This makes things especially difficult when the destination is on a busy street where the houses/businesses don't clearly display their street numbers, but you can't slow down to look for street numbers without pissing off everyone driving behind you.

    - There are closed roads that still linger in the GPS map database, new roads that haven't yet been added to the GPS map database, impossible turns onto overpasses (as noted above by others), and instructions to turn onto roads that, unbeknownst to the GPS map database, briefly terminate, only to resume a few blocks further (yes, this has happened to me a couple times, normally in bumfuck areas where the people drawing maps didn't want to linger around too long for fear of being lynched, did I mention I live in the South?).

    - You enter a multi-lane freeway and immediately need to get over to the other side of it or you will miss your exit. This happens the most in & around cities and can be really harrowing if it's rush hour and you have to make 20+ turns to get back to where you were going, adding as many minutes to your trip (has happened to me several times, btw).

    Now imagine for a moment that you are one of those hyper tech-savvy individuals who inexplicably owns two cell phones. Due to one of the above situations, at one point you actually do need a human to set you back on course, and when you call your destination's home phone on Cell Phone A they're like "What the fuck area code is this?? Never seen it before in my life. Must be a wrong number or a telemarketer, let it go to voicemail", because you usually call them with Cell Phone B, which happens to have run out of batteries on your way out, raising the question, WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW, TECHNOPHILE?

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  26. Also, in british comedy terrible directions are a staple, usually a farmer telling you to go past the field, then turn when you see the big tree, if you see the scarecrow you've gone too far, and you have to carry on until you see Ned, then you can turn right, but only if the moon is in the first quarter, and the stars are right, otherwise you have to carry on until the bridge but not the big bridge.

    if tl;dr, randall sucks.

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  27. Oh patrick, the road terminating thing is a major PITA-- they're all over New Jersey; just another reason why the state is hell incarnate.

    Jughandles (another hellish NJ idiosyncrasy,) can also confuse the GPS.

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  28. We probably only saw half of this phone conversation. Here's the whole transcript:

    XKCD Guy: "Looking forward to seeing your new place! What's the address?"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Well, you take the 495 -"

    XKCD Guy: "Yes, I'm taking 495, but I have a GPS, so really I just need the street address."

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Yeah, same, but not exactly reliable are they? So just make sure you're going south on 18 -"

    XKCD Guy: "Then south on the 18, okay, but I have a GPS, so if you just want to skip to the street address, I can..."

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Jesus, I know you have a GPS, but shut up for a sec okay? Now, Highland Road comes a mile after the big intersection, so -"

    XKCD Guy (in braying, nasal voice): "Thanks, I'm glad to know Highland Road comes a mile after the big intersection, but I keep saying I HAVE A GPS!!! Can you tell me the street address?"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "What the fuck, why are you repeating every fucking direction I give you? Who cares about your fucking GPS? I had one three years ago, what, you think you're flash? Look, I'll tell you the street address, but the street is kinda tucked away and hard to find, so make sure that when you get past the 7-11 you -"

    XKCD Guy: "Technically that's just more information on how to get to your place, not the address itself. If you could -"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "SHUT THE FUCK UP, I was about to TELL YOU THE ADDRESS, are you even listening to me you FUCKING MORON! I am just. Trying. To HELP!"

    XKCD Guy: "I appreciate that you want to help, but I'm IGNORING you and just waiting for the -"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "What, so you're just openly admitting to ignoring me? Because you have a fucking GPS and want to show off about it?"

    XKCD Guy: "Listen, I just remembered I need to mail you a letter. What's your address?"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "You sarcastic, smug little bitch, no wonder I moved away from you."

    XKCD Guy: "Mhm... Okay..."

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Listen. I am going to come down to your house right now. Take your fucking GPS. And throw it out of the fucking window. Then, purely because I want to keep our friendship and I want to stop you from becoming even more of a douche, I'm going to take you to a bar and try to help you meet some actual girls. There's this girl called Megan who I've seen downtown a few times who I'm sure you'd like... Now, say one more word about your GPS, and I'll beat the everloving shit out of you. Just say 'great, thanks, I'll see you in an hour.'"

    XKCD Guy: "Great, thanks! I'll see you in an hour!"

    -click-

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  29. We probably only saw half of this phone conversation. Here's the whole transcript:

    XKCD Guy: "Looking forward to seeing your new place! What's the address?"
    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Well, you take the 495 -"
    XKCD Guy: "Yes, I'm taking 495, but I have a GPS, so really I just need the street address."
    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Yeah, same, but not exactly reliable are they? So just make sure you're going south on 18 -"
    XKCD Guy: "Then south on the 18, okay, but I have a GPS, so if you just want to skip to the street address, I can..."
    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Jesus, I know you have a GPS, but shut up for a sec okay? Now, Highland Road comes a mile after the big intersection, so -"
    XKCD Guy (in braying, nasal voice): "Thanks, I'm glad to know Highland Road comes a mile after the big intersection, but I keep saying I HAVE A GPS!!! Can you tell me the street address?"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "What the fuck, why are you repeating every fucking direction I give you? Who cares about your fucking GPS? I had one three years ago, what, you think you're flash? Look, I'll tell you the street address, but the street is kinda tucked away and hard to find, so make sure that when you get past the 7-11 you -"
    XKCD Guy: "Technically that's just more information on how to get to your place, not the address itself. If you could -"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "SHUT THE FUCK UP, I was about to TELL YOU THE ADDRESS, are you even listening to me you FUCKING MORON! I am just. Trying. To HELP!"
    XKCD Guy: "I appreciate that you want to help, but I'm IGNORING you and just waiting for the -"
    Non-Aspergers Guy: "What, so you're just openly admitting to ignoring me? Because you have a fucking GPS and want to show off about it?"
    XKCD Guy: "Listen, I just remembered I need to mail you a letter. What's your address?"

    Non-Aspergers Guy: "You sarcastic, smug little bitch, no wonder I moved away from you."
    XKCD Guy: "Mhm... Okay..."
    Non-Aspergers Guy: "Listen. I am going to come down to your house right now. Take your fucking GPS. And throw it out of the fucking window. Then, purely because I want to keep our friendship and I want to stop you from becoming even more of a douche, I'm going to take you to a bar and try to help you meet some actual girls. There's this girl called Megan who I've seen downtown a few times who I'm sure you'd like... Now, say one more word about your GPS, and I'll beat the everloving shit out of you. Just say 'great, thanks, I'll see you in an hour.'"
    XKCD Guy: "Great, thanks! I'll see you in an hour!"
    -click-

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  30. fuck doubleposts. fuck this blog pretending to eat my first post. fuck

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  31. Funny. Could've ended a little better. Maybe give him an address in Alaska, or Chile.

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  32. That other half of the conversation makes it a LOT better.

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  33. I miss Carl already.

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  34. Of course it's possible that the guy lives in an area where the GPS tends to be unreliable, but that's obviously not the case. Any sane person would tell their friend that fact either before giving directions or right after the other guy says, "I have a GPS." The comic was still awful though.

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  35. aww I hate you too aloria

    It goes without saying that the most recent comic sucks ass, I wonder what fresh hell randy has cooked up for us tomorrow

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  36. FUCK YOU GUYS

    I was fapping away and I read some of this comments post but TOO MANY WORDS so I find this aloria's blog and in a fit of shameful self abuse I attempt to relive myself to the blog picture BUT I CANT ENLARGE IT

    Fuck you and your info-sec chastity belt, I had to google pictures of naked ladies and that took me like, thirty seconds.

    I hate myself, I think I'll go smash some plates and cut my self with the shards.

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  37. It's so nice to see aloria back doing what she does best :3

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  38. Remember when XKCD made kinda funny jokes about GPS?

    Also WB Aloria, I thought your numerous substitutes-for-human-contact cats had devoured you whole or something since your posts stopped happening before I got here.

    That or you and Carl were both sock-puppets of the same cruel web-geek, and "Rob" was actually a housewife in central Montana with far too much free time and a penchant for becoming the next Stephanie Meyers. I'm not certain anything in that sentence is false.

    ...And Randall/Stickman is a jackass, but that's not new.

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  39. >Also, in british comedy terrible directions are a staple, usually a farmer telling you to go past the field, then turn when you see the big tree, if you see the scarecrow you've gone too far, and you have to carry on until you see Ned, then you can turn right, but only if the moon is in the first quarter, and the stars are right, otherwise you have to carry on until the bridge but not the big bridge.

    Randall already did that comic, and it was much better than this latest one.

    http://xkcd.com/461/

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  40. Even if you know the gps will be unreliable, you still give the address, because the gps will recalculate the route every time you miss where it thinks you should go. Not EVERY turn will be wrong. It's still partially useful. So you still start with the damn address.

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  41. 784: Combine the first two panels into one, and it could be A Softer World. Just like his previous Megan comic.

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  42. Bizmit: the 'full transcript' was so great I was happy to read it twice :D

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  43. 784:

    Guess what everyone, Randy broke up with his girlfriend!

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  44. Jimbobbowilly (Max William Gore)August 24, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    With http://xkcd.com/770/ that makes perfect sense, cuddlefish at 9:34 PM!

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  45. OMG I LOVE "A SOFTER XKCD"!

    Last panel should read "To take these sleeping pills".

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  46. Wow just wow 784 is a new low on the depressing scale.

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  47. yawn. doesn't he have any new ideas?

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  48. @10:17, 10:27 - Maybe he's going through some kind of an early mid-life crisis. I would imagine that the condescending attitude embodied in comics like Monday's permeates into his everyday behavior. He acts kind of arrogant and think he's really funny, thought-provoking, and original, while at the same time his peers are becoming increasingly annoyed by his behavior and wish he would just grow up & get a real job.

    Just thinking aloud here is all.

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  49. Color and shading on XKCD, omg! But I'm not sure it makes sense. [url=http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=63651]10nitro's comment in the thread upsets me.[/url]

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  50. Oops, this blog doesn't use BB Codes, sorry for the fail.

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  51. Sorry about the spamming but...

    VOTE ON THIS WEBSITE!!

    http://xkcd.isitfunnytoday.com/

    We need to let the world know that XKCD sucks.

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  52. Randall already did that comic, and it was much better than this latest one.

    That's because Penny Arcade came up with the joke for him.

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  53. I dare say that if 784 came out like 3 years ago, back when xkcd was good, I would have probably enjoyed it and thought it good.

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  54. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 25, 2010 at 4:21 AM

    the art in the latest one is actually pretty damn good for stick figure pictures

    unfortunately it is paired with "you make me want to kill myself" as the entire content of the comic so um

    go for it randy

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  55. the shading isn't actually that good but it looks like it does so uh, congrats
    the joke isn't that bad. it's clearly ripping on asf but whatever.

    it's definitely a theme though. the attitude, i mean.

    goomh randy i had like four intersecting dreams last night.

    oh and i can tell today's goatkcd is great.

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  56. Somebody help me, I don't get 784.

    Although I like the art. Nice looking but still maintaining that simplistic style. Why the hell can't Randall do that for all his comics? Lazy dick

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  57. @Fred, my GPS has never tried to get me to drive into the river, but it has tried to get me to drive into wire fences along the road, off cliffs, onto countless nonexistent roads, make u-turns on the freeway, and turn the wrong way on one-way streets. Some of the time, I think perhaps there *used* to be an old road there that no longer exists (probably my fault for not updating the software), but other times it is clear that no road ever exists (see: cliff).

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  58. *existed

    CAPTCHA: nopallin: exactly my thoughts on the 2012 election

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  59. Palin came out in public support of Dr. Laura, saying it's unfortunate that she had to quit her job due to her 1st amendment rights being threatened over the n----r issue.

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  60. Most disturbing to me is the comic's silly notion that its protagonist is somehow superior because he relies on a GPS gadget instead of learning directions himself.

    Are children who rely on calculators superior to those who can do arithmetic in their heads? Are people who only use contact lists superior to those who can actually remember their friends' phone numbers? Are people who only watch movies superior to those who read the books they're based on? Are people who ride Segways superior to those who walk?

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  61. Being Finite, I'm gonna answer your questions in reverse order:

    depends on 1) whether your definition of superior includes any sort of ridiculousness factor, 2) the nature of the terrrain; NO (though Randall may believe otherwise); in my opinion, no, and I am always a bit astounded when people don't know the # of e.g. their sig. other, best friend, etc.; most definitely not, b/c they have no fucking clue what they're doing

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  62. Hi Aloria,

    yes I can explain, because I have been in the same situation several times. Recognizing myself in this comic had me chuckle. No, it's got nothing to to with feeling superior. It's just that I'm not very good at spontaneously memorizing a long-winded explanation how to get from A to B.

    "...and after the third crossing, no wait, the second...just after you have passed the gas station...you remember the gas station...blah blah blah" If you get it wrong oder forget a part, you're lost. And want to cut it short "oh just give me street name and number" its close to a personal insult. =:-O

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  63. I enjoy reading this blog, and one post isn't going to change that. It is, however, extremely disappointing.

    In four years of geocaching, first with a Garmin and now my Droid, I have never experienced the hilarious failures you luddites guffaw about. Oh? You don't like being called on your anti-intellectualism? Maybe you should think before you throw "elitist" around like it was applies to anyone who would even consider using technology in their daily lives.

    I'm just going to keep raging here because that's what this site is for, right?

    XKCD is often absolute crap. Most of the rest of the time it's mediocre, now. But if you really think this situation is unrealistic, maybe you should RETURN YOUR GRANDPARENTS' PHONECALLS. Or your parents'.

    Or if you *are* the generation which is still proud of figuring out the this newfangled 'telephone' dealy, then accept this: We will gladly help you adjust to new technology, with the patience you require. We don't look down on you. We know we'll need help adjusting to the technology of tomorrow. All we ask is to be allowed to commiserate about it later. Get the fuck off our lawn.

    This strip is hilarious if you've been in his shoes. Sorry XKCD isn't accessible enough for you - except I'm not sorry at all. Randall's attempts to be more accessible at the expense of the funny *have been decried often on this very site*, and I agree.

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  64. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 26, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    @tratan "agreement chuckles" and luddites on my internet

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  65. yes, someone who thinks that GPS technology is less than perfect is a luddite. that's the only explanation! it isn't that GPS devices are frequently terrible.

    everyone in my family, from the olds to the youngs, knows about GPS and mapping. they have known about it for a while. in fact, even before GPS was commonplace, Mapquest was pretty common, and giving the address was seen as the standard way of telling people where something is. you looked up the address on Mapquest. it sometimes gave you bad directions, but you could always call and ask for help or just pull over to ask for directions.

    indeed, the only time I've had people attempt to give me detailed directions somewhere have been in person when neither of us had a computer or GPS device, or when they knew I didn't have one, or I expressly asked them "how do I get there?"

    people understand that technology exists even if they don't know how to use it. I'm not sure why you're so angry that we dare to criticize Randy's shitty comic which asserts otherwise.

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  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. I agree with tratan, actually.
    This post is filled with amazing amounts of rage and hatred, and it completely misses the point of the comic. I've been in this situation before, where someone insists on giving you directions when you have a GPS and you tell them so. It's painful, irritating, and awkward, especially when their directions are drawn out and filled with doubt as they try to decide which route to send you on.
    So yes, you may not have encountered this. Sorry if you assume everyone else is like you and declare that Randall must be a condescending douche for not accommodating you, but as for the rest of us, a chuckle is in order.

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  68. Just fyi, Andrew, people who have subscribed to receive new comments by email can see the fact that you deleted your post in order to leave it "anonymously," which makes you look like a tool who can't stand behind his remarks.

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  69. For those who are wondering, Anon 6:28's blogger profile is here. His name is Andrew Wiley. Say hello, Andrew!

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  70. Oh dear, he didn't even manage to fully delete the post from the blog. I feel silly for pointing out obvious things now. Maybe he'll figure out how to fully trash it later?

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  71. Wow, you guys really over-analyze this comic.

    It's a bad comic written and drawn by a douchebag. Is that domain taken?

    "xkcdisabadcomicwrittenanddrawnbyadouchebag.com". It's available. I need to start a fucking blog.

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  72. if writing your blog provides you enjoyment, as it does everyone who writes here, go for it! but uh, we've got the better search term.

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  73. Here's the thing:

    xkcd is mediocre about 95% of the time. It's occasionally funny and this comic is one of those occasions.

    Well, by funny I mean, "I giggled inside of my head".

    The person who wrote the rant on this comic wrote it with a pre-conceived standpoint. This comic could have been pure gold (it wasn't, but that's not the point) and you would have still posted something negative.

    Occasionally xkcd is funny, but you'll never admit that because just like Randal you have a fan base that enjoys what you post, and fuck those who don't.

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  74. we say we like the comics all the time. is it so impossible for you to believe that someone might dislike something you enjoy?

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  75. No, because everything I enjoy is awesome.

    I totally understand your blog, I'm just playing devil's advocate because I'm an asshole. I don't particularly like the writing in this post though, it's preachy without a cause. Most of your posts here have a pretty good point behind them but whoever wrote this one has no good points to speak of, besides the lack of infallibility associated with GPSs. That point can be rebutted by pointing out that the writer of this post is exactly the kind of person who the comic is making fun of, which is somebody who doesn't understand how to update the software on their TomTom. That's probably why she hates it so much.

    I actually run an anti-Twilight site that solely exists to hate on Stephenie Meyer's literary abomination, so I know how fun it can be to be an asshole.

    For the record, this blog makes me laugh more than xkcd. Kudos on a good site. Thumbs down on your default Blogger template though. Boo.

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  76. Anon 7:17:

    It would probably be best if you refrained from trying to read my mind again, especially on what I like to call "futanari Fridays."

    Thanks

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  77. ugh, stop using words like "rebutted." this is not debate club.

    especially when your "rebuttal" relies entirely on false assumptions. aloria happens to work in computer security and knows a great deal about computers and technology in general. I think she's using a Droid or one of the other innumerable Android-based phones. her unwillingness to rely entirely on GPS devices is probably based on experience with them being unreliable before. it happens.

    based mostly on Google Maps and Mapquest directions, it's pretty easy to see why. there are some roads and small towns where maybe the mapping information is incorrect--this road doesn't connect to that road, and so on. and there are lots of places where, even when the directions are entirely correct, the road is just confusing. weird intersections and streets changing names can make the directions difficult to follow, especially if you aren't paying a lot of attention to every detail.

    really all this complaining is doing is proving Aloria correct about Randy being a condescending douche--you just happen to be one of those condescending douches, so see no problem with it!

    I'm guessing conversations with the people who tried to give you directions despite your saying "I HAVE A GPS AND A LARGE PENIS" went something like this:

    Douche: "Hey, what's your address?"
    Normal Person: "500 Fatty Boulevard. Do you know how to get there?"
    Douche: "I'll just enter that information on my GPS DEVICE, which I have, because I am awesome, and it will guide me there infallibly!"
    Normal Person: "Actually it's kind of tricky and the directions are kind of weird. I could help you if you--"
    Douche: "NO I HAVE A GPS DEVICE SILENCE LUDDITE AND STOP TRYING TO OUTPERFORM THE TECHNOLOGY TO WHICH YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY SUPERIOR"

    you, of course, just interpreted their protests as not understanding how GPS works instead of as being someone who, being more familiar with the area than you, understands that the GPS might give you some less than helpful instructions and offering to provide real, human assistance. with that conversation as ammo, you come here to argue that people really are exactly as stupid as Randy depicts them, and that he deserves agreement chuckles for saying that people who don't use technology are stupid and don't understand technology.

    that is pretty much the definition of being a condescending douche. you are mocking and mischaracterizing people who do not use or trust your highly imperfect technological instruments, and calling them stupid and inept.

    back when we still had cars and drove places, it used to be common practice among people I knew to verify the directions Google Maps or a GPS was trying to give you against the actual, reasonable way that people go.

    I still frequently question the wisdom of Google Maps directions when I ask it for biking directions. it frequently tries to send me on routes which, while they exist, are more complicated and circuitous than the routes I usually take (which, I should note, are signed bike routes with sharrows, so it isn't just preferring those to normal streets).

    it's called a reality check or a sanity check. it is actually really helpful to navigation. you should try it sometime.

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  78. I know enough about computers to run Xubuntu and Slackware without constantly pissing my pants, at the very least.

    Oh, and I know how to use the GPS on my Droid and Blackberry Bold, quite well, thanks.

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  79. Oh, and why the fuck would anyone buy a TomTom when GPS software is on pretty much any phone that isn't of the Fisher Price "buh my phone only needs to make calls I enjoy toting around five billion separate devices" variety?

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  80. Yeah, even my phone has GPS on it, and I have one of the cheapest models out there. I haven't subscribed to the service, mostly because I have a map if I get lost, and I know the city pretty well otherwise. That and navigating to new places is an enjoyable challenge, rather than an inconvenience to be avoided.

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  81. Rob and aloria:
    I *tried* to post anonymously because my Blogger account only exists because I helped someone else set up a blog, and I didn't want to post here as if it was mine.
    Now that I've disabled my profile, that isn't a concern. Sorry if I didn't understand Blogger after using it for about 30 minutes in total, most of which was spent figuring out the simplest way to get the "someone else" an account in the least confusing way possible.

    But yea, I've been reading this blog quietly for a while now, and generally, I agree. XKCD just isn't that funny anymore, and I, too, would be pleased if Randall went to a pictoblog.
    However, what you posted here isn't really a post or a criticism, it's a rant. Normally, the comics are carefully deconstructed to show flaws, poor delivery, and poor choice of comedic content, but here, you followed the logical fallacy of "poisoning the well," where rather than attacking the content, you attacked the author. The only thing you've really proven in my mind is that you hate Randall.

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  82. that's not what poisoning the well means, kid

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  83. "Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a logical fallacy where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say."

    Opening paragraph: "Can someone explain to me what the fuck Randall Munroe’s problem is? We get it dude, you’re super smart and tech-saavy and doomed to live in a world populated by morons who just don’t get technology and science like you do. Maybe if you weren’t such a condescending douche, you could try educating some people instead of constantly portraying them as clueless retards in your pictoblog, erm, webcomic."

    Seems pretty simple to me.

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  84. that isn't preemptive, kid. that is, in fact, describing the premise of this comic. nice try though!

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  85. One of the few things that makes me hate blogs is when the administrator deletes comments because he doesn't agree with them. You even left a response to a comment that you apparently don't want anyone else to see.

    Ooh, here's an idea:
    Can someone explain to me what the fuck Rob’s problem is? We get it dude, you’re super smart and tech-saavy and doomed to live in a world populated by morons who just don’t get technology and science like you do. Maybe if you weren’t such a condescending (and patronizing) douche, you could try educating some people instead of constantly portraying them as clueless retards in your comment thread.

    I seem to have changed less than ten words.
    Anyway, I'll go back to reading silently now. Feeding the trolls is only fun once.

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  86. commenting on the blog is glitchy as fuck, dude. Carl (the administrator, the only person who can delete comments) is not here, and has never once deleted a comment that was not spam. he usually doesn't even delete spam comments. actually he frequently approves the ones that are obvious spam that are pending on old posts.

    but keep up with the paranoia if you like, it's totally cool.

    I'm not sure why you think I care about people who don't understand technology and science instead of about people who are just fucking cowardly morons.

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  87. Heh. I had fun raging in my previous post, and thanks for the polite response. I do still love your blog, and like someone else said, it is usually funnier than the actual XKCD nowadays.

    I've seen Carl compliment xkcd strips, though I can't recall him really liking any recent ones. I'm curious as to which ones you consider high quality, and I don't see a list for that on the left. Would you mind listing one or two? It's fine if it's old ones. In fact, what do you think of the Centripetal Force strip?

    My calling you all Luddites was... not really thought out. Sorry (: After reading and comprehending (I hope), it looks like you think people like my grandparents don't exist. What I mean is, you *seem* to be saying that everyone understands GPS technology. I'd say the fact that you think GPS's often fail to direct people to their destinations provides a counter-example (since I disagree with that idea) but that's just me. Personally, I have had a conversation with my father's step-father that flowed almost exactly like the one in the comic, except that I ended up waiting until he got to the last two street names instead of tricking him. I asked for the address three times. He wasn't senile, he just had no idea what a GPS was, and was used to giving directions. He literally mentioned a barn and a country store. Now, there is *nothing wrong* with someone in their 70's not knowing about GPS systems. He lived a full life (I miss him). He was a cook in the army, drove trolleys, and amazing at refurbishing furniture. My brother and I have the utmost respect for him. And yet, we did laugh about him trying to give us directions. It relieves the stress of a frustrating situation, and it brings us together by sharing a common experience of our generation. And while it seems disrespectful, I insist that it is not meant that way.

    According to the census bureau, in 2000, 51% of US households had at least one computer.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_US_households_have_a_computer

    While the numbers are surely much higher now, please accept that not everyone is familiar with this fairly new technology.

    I apologize for the above, it's 4:15AM. I enjoy your blog very much.

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  88. "I've seen Carl compliment xkcd strips, though I can't recall him really liking any recent ones. I'm curious as to which ones you consider high quality, and I don't see a list for that on the left. Would you mind listing one or two? It's fine if it's old ones. In fact, what do you think of the Centripetal Force strip?"

    I know I've gone on record as saying I liked his ASW parody during his parody week (though I think he could tighten the dialog). I liked the centripetal force one (if you mean "No Mr Bond I expect you to die!"), and most of the early ones are still pretty all right. I actually tended to enjoy his various quasi-existentialist/absurdist "seize the day" types, which is pretty uncommon for the nerds here but they were my favorites when I still enjoyed XKCD, and I still enjoy the older ones.

    I don't recall specific recent ones I've enjoyed but there have been a few of them, and they were never as good as the old ones.

    "What I mean is, you *seem* to be saying that everyone understands GPS technology."

    mostly I'm saying that he's being a smug and condescending douche to people who don't understand it, but also that most people will not continue to attempt to give you directions if they say "it's cool, I can find it."

    it's true I am outright saying that any claims that people, after you have expressly said "I do not need directions, just the address," will ignore that request directly, are probably grossly misremembered or misrepresented. I'm not saying it's dishonest, but people are not that rude, and it's more likely that, if they continue, they are expressing skepticism for your confidence in your machine, or that you were not sufficiently clear in your request for directions.

    memory is an unreliable thing, see. people tend to remember what they want to remember, and they never remember things they didn't think to consider or notice when the event happened.

    "I'd say the fact that you think GPS's often fail to direct people to their destinations provides a counter-example (since I disagree with that idea) but that's just me."

    it's not that they "often fail," it's that they definitely fail on occasions (if you disagree with this you are flat out wrong), and that there are parts which are tricky to navigate with a navigational aid, and that the GPS is unreliable in those areas, not because its directions are wrong, but because computers aren't notoriously good at telling people "this bit is kind of weird."

    "And while it seems disrespectful, I insist that it is not meant that way."

    not to be a dick or anything, but you're aware that bigots always defend their bigotry by saying that it's not intended as bigoted, right?

    like, racists say "I didn't mean to be racist" and sexists say "I didn't mean to be sexist." perhaps that's okay with you, but where I come from you can be a bigot without actively thinking "man, I'm going to be a bigot here." or to tone it down a bit, I would say that most disrespect was not intentional disrespect. most of it is, in fact, people assuming that mocking someone is all in harmless fun. people don't /intend/ to be dicks or condescending or disrespectful most of the time, it just kind of happens. saying you didn't intend for it is not really a defense.

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  89. Thanks for the reply, sorry I rambled so much.

    'it's true I am outright saying that any claims that people, after you have expressly said "I do not need directions, just the address," will ignore that request directly, are probably grossly misremembered or misrepresented.'

    I understand that you believe this. Looking back, though, I'm confident that I'm right. It is very common for older people not to be interested in technology anymore, having seen it change so much in their lives that following it becomes pointless. That's a stereotype, yes, but one that is supported by 3/4 of my grandparents and most of their church friends. These people really do grouse about the internet. They don't understand the limitations of GPS, and they aren't interested. They see me all excited about this latest thing, maybe feel a bit insecure about being in the dark, and fall back to what they know: street-by-street directions. It really does happen this way in real life. At the risk of seeming even more bigoted, maybe it's more common in Southern Baptists who grew up outside of cities (i.e. most of my family and their friends).

    You've convinced me that I was being disrespectful by laughing about it later, though. I can live with that. They don't respect a lot of the things I do, either, but on the balance we value each other.

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  90. Damn, you children are so sensitive for people who make fun of others in their spare time.

    Yeah, I spend my free time poking fun at bad books but I can take a joke at my expense :) I expect it. In fact, I post a lot of the hate mail that I receive because it's funny.

    Is it so hard for you to understand that when you post on the internet people are going to make assumptions about you based on what YOU write? I made assumptions based on your words and it's your fault if you mis-communicated yourself to the point that said assumptions seemed obvious to others and false to you. You must assume that your readers know nothing about you because, most of the time, they won't. All they have to go on is your words, which poorly communicated your stance on this issue.

    Grow thicker skin, kiddos. You run a blog about how much you hate something, be prepared to have people disagree with your reasoning even when they agree with your cause.

    And yes, I know that I'm a condescending douche. It's because I'm better than you. You're probably not tech savvy enough to realize that I'm being sarcastic. Or smart enough to realize that everything I write is steeped in irony.

    /sarcastic douchery

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  91. poor whiny debate club kid, can't handle when people call him on the fact that he's entirely fucking wrong. "it's the AUTHOR'S fault that I read things into the text that aren't there!"

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  92. lol

    You're cute when you're angry.

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  93. Proof that GPS devices are TRYING TO KILL US ALL:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703632304575451411654916060.html

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  94. and you aren't very good at being condescending and dismissive. or at backpedaling, really, but nobody's actually good at that so much as some people are capable of more spectacular feats of idiocy than others.

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  95. Not to mention it's pretty much this:

    http://www.songlyrics.com/psychostick/girl-directions-lyrics/

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  96. Probably the most boring entry I've ever read. We get it aloria, you're all bitter and need to get laid, but people don't come here to see how many swear words per sentence you can crank out. Carl's reviews are a lot more interesting, and I hope this is the last time you write an entry for a comic.

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