Friday, October 29, 2010

Comic 812: Physical Deformities

shattering
[ALT: I read in this one article that the breaking of electroweak symmetry is the reason we have SOULS. This guy with a degree said so!]

[Universally reviled hell demon "shufti" has approached me again and asked to post a review. I published it because it's actually a law that if someone writes two blog posts to poor reception you're allowed to murder them. -Ed.]

I hate you Randall Munroe.

I tried to be nice. I tried to point out that you were a person that, in the past, had proven some degree of knowledge. I wanted to be Fair and Balanced.

But then you go and fuck it all up. What the fuck, man? What the fucking fuck?

Here's the premise for this comic - "Girl tries to break a glass with her voice, angering physics." Roll that through your brain for a second. Try to grasp why, exactly, Randall thought this was a great idea. Seriously, let's think about that for a second. What could have been going through his head when he dreamt up this trainwreck of a comic? I imagine Randy sitting at his drawing board or his tablet PC or his dung heap or whatever he uses to scribble out his stick figures, and he's got his iPad or his iPhone [I think Randy is too much of a freetard to touch Apple products. Ed.] or whatever and he's all like "Okay, shit, nothing interesting on twitter (tap tap) nothing interesting on my RSS feed (tap tap) nothing interesting ANYWHERE; shit, I've got ten minutes here before I have to post, shit shit shit, how in god's na-OH SHIT I CAN DO A HIGGS-BOSON COMIC."

Okay, a Higgs-Boson comic isn't the worst concept in the world. Not the greatest either, but hey, it's another cheap jab at religion in science, right? Everyone LOVES it when irrational beliefs are endlessly mocked! (that was sarcasm; people, in fact, deeply dislike you when you keep on pointing out their flaws to them) [News to me. -Ed]

So I'm imagining him sitting there, t-minus 8 minutes, and he's like, "Ok, gotta mock religion somehow. Oh, I know - religious people love allegories, so I'll make a satirical allegory. That's what Jon Stewart does!" And thus, Science People treating Physics Like God is born.

See, I count three religious parallels here. There's the reference to Christ turning water to wine at the wedding in Cana, there's the reference to Moses turning all the water in Egypt to blood, and then there's the reference to Lot's wife being turned to ash for looking at Sodom and Gomorrah. [It's salt, actually. -Ed.]

What, you don't see that last reference? Oh, but it's there. I mean, it's the only explanation for why there's a pile of shit on the table in the last panel. It's a brilliant supplement to Physics' declaration they should stop looking for the Higgs-Boson. If they don't stop LOOKING for the Higgs-Boson, THEY WILL DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH AT THE HANDS OF GOD. OR SCIENCE. OR SOMETHING.

See I don't get why Physics is God here. Well, let me rephrase that. I get how someone like Randy would approach Physics with the reverence of a Servant of the Almighty; I don't get how he can bypass the cognitive dissonance of mocking religious people while simultaneously propping up his Beloved Field with a platform typically reserved for people wearing Members Only togas issued on Mount Olympus. What would be hilarious is if he was actually trying to say "my religion is better than yours", even if it he was saying religion super-sarcastically.

"My religion is better than yours - because my religion is SCIENCE." - Randall, 10/29/10 NEVAR FORGET.

Also, why the fuck are they trying to break a glass with their voices? And why would the glass be full of water? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that interfere with the sound interacting with the glass? And why the fuck would they try to break a glass with their voices? Is this just Randy trying EVEN HARDER to make them straw man stand-ins for fundie scientists?

Also also, I want to point out that someone on the forums compared this to Monty Python. The only thing that gets me through nights like tonight is a healthy dose of Peter Gabriel and MURDER.

T-minus 4 minutes and Randy is like, "Shit yeah, I'm going to put that last line on a t-shirt and make MILLIONS."

God and Physics damn you Munroe. God and Physics damn you to a Scientifically-Accurate Hell. [Do you remember that clearly false story about proving that hell is exothermic or endothermic and the punchline was that dude fucked this chick who said she would fuck him when hell froze over? Yeah, me neither. -Ed.]

79 comments:

  1. BOOOOOOOOOOO

    does that count as poor reception?

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  2. Yes. I am dead now. Rob wastes no time.

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  3. Yep, shufti's going to pull a Dr. Horrible any day now.

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  4. Huh? Her voice doesn't anger physics. Physics is just being a bitch about people looking for the higgs so he fucks with people who expect physics to work properly.

    Physics isn't god, where'd you get that? Because it's talking from the roof? It's just anthropomorphized as a voice rather than something with a body. The prank's he is playing are ones that refer to religious events, why? "Stop fucking with us physics" to fuck with them. As characters in xkcd comics they're almost certainly skeptical about religion and so that was the best way physics could fuck with them.

    She's trying to break the glass with her voice because... people sometimes do that and some people think it's cool to be able to do that.

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  5. I realized that this was going to be a failtastic rant when one of the first lines

    Here's the premise for this comic - "Girl tries to break a glass with her voice, angering physics."

    completely failed to correctly analyze the comic, as 9:41 said the voice has nothing to do with it, its apparently a prank physics made because it was upset over the higgs boson. Not saying the comic was great, but this rant wasn't even technically about the comic. Also, water in the glass may make it more difficult to break but you can still do it, I'd imagine people would do it to be extra-impressive.

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  6. The reason physics is acting like god is because the Higgs boson particle is often referred to as "the god particle." It's a horrible joke.

    And yeah, physics is angered that people are looking for the Higgs boson particle, though I can't really fathom WHY physics is angered by this, unless Randy is trying to state his support for Higgsless models. So yeah if that part is supposed to be funny or something then I don't get it.

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  7. Maybe it's a reference to that paper that claimed that Higgs Boson goes back in time to prevent people from discovering it?

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  8. FOR FUCK'S SAKE

    Okay, to begin with, the very fact that there is debate over the premise of the comic means it isn't at all clear. The rant itself is not, as you put it, "failtastic"; instead it is one of possibly many possible interpretations one might derive from this horribly written comic. When an xkcd as ambiguous and horrible as this comes about, the poster can't spend the whole time trying to think of what Randy could have meant. The work is supposed to speak for itself, right? So he/she analyzes what they see and gets the fuck on with it.

    I can't understand the comments that are saying "it's not that the girl is trying to break the glass and physics is angry, it's that the girl is trying to break the glass and physics is playing a prank on her". What is the distinguishable fucking difference here, because I don't see any.

    Either way physics is being personified as a higher power and if "personified" and "higher power" don't set off at least a few of the neurons in your head wherever your knowledge of "God" is stored there is no help for you. The physics/God parallel is no accident. THEY ARE HAVING A FUCKING CONVERSATION WITH A VOICE FROM THE CEILING.

    Okay, maybe, MAYBE the water into wine was an accident. No, fuck that too, I find it pretty fucking impossible that you can read about water turning into wine and not think of one of the most well-known moments in Christian mythology.

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  9. i have a sneaking suspicion that rob get guests to post because it makes his own reviews look okay in comparison.

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  10. Today was rather astounding. I'm a Christian and I must say, this didn't even aspire to be insulting or offensive. This is just... random. It felt like three different things were going on here, and aside from the god-particle pun (which I didn't get until a commenter noticed it) I don't see any reason for this comic to exist. Other bad ones, I can at least say "aha, here is the kernel, the central idea that he is playing with." Today had no such train of thought, even with a few explanations. This is a new low.

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  11. This was a bad xkcd; on the other hand, it didn't make my blood boil like 810 did, so I didn't mind it so much.

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  12. [...] I don't see any reason for this comic to exist


    And we have a winner.

    Captcha: nerdic. Heh.

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  13. @Lint of Death

    Why would I kill Nathan Fillion? He's one of my heroes!

    @cuddlefish 9:52

    Clearly you've never heard of the phrase "straw that broke the camel's back". If physics would have been angry enough when they were first looking for the Higgs, perhaps it would have, you know, turned water to blood then?

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  14. The "physics talking from above" is a complete ripoff of Dinosaur Comics' god character, who frequently speaks from above, out-of-frame. They've been doing that for years, and it looks like Randy is trying to pathetically piggyback on the success of a comic that's actually witty.

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  15. @Technician Fry

    Yes. Clearly he's trying to rip off Ryan North with this comic. It's not that having the text above is the most obvious place, and gives the most gravitas to incorporeal beings. No. He decided that he'd rip off North in the most subtle and pointless way possible.

    No wait! You're right actually. Think about it: a male character talking to a female character? Clearly Randall is trying to rip off T-rex's interactions with Dromiceiomimus! You have pierced the veil Tech.

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  16. That girl could most certainly never ever dream of breaking the glass. Randy seriously failed on the research on this one. I spent three minutes on Google and can already point out these flaws:

    1. The girl's head is tilted upward. If you're trying to shatter the glass, you're going to want to be facing it with your mouth so as to focus the sound as much as possible.

    2. The girl's head is, what, at least two feet away from the glass? I'm bad at estimations, so it's probably more like three feet. To have a chance at breaking the glass, you want your lips to be as close as possible. It is optimal to have your mouth right next to it but several inches away is fine too, it's just a lot higher.

    3. Water in the glass would dampen the effects of her voice, I'm thinking, making this situation even more not-happening.

    Moral of today's story: Randy, if you're going to be making a comic involving science all the damn time, then you should really put forth a little effort to try not to wind up on the Did Not Do the Research page. Oh, and I just have a few more things I feel like saying:

    4. Opera singers are the most common class of people with voices strong enough to break glass like that, without the use of amplifiers. Opera singers also tend to be quite substantial, for lack of a better word. So, unless this is just another case of the art failing to accurately portray things (that poo on the table in the final panel suggests to me that it is), then the chances of that scrawny girl having a powerful enough voice are pretty freaking low.

    5. Seriously? He mistook the blood for wine at first glance? Damn it, Randy, even if you're too lazy to do the research on the wine glass shattering you should at LEAST know off the bat that wine does not resemble blood. If any of you have ever donated blood (or stabbed a man), you'll notice that the blood is the opposite of clear. Through a clear bag of your finest wine you could vaguely make shapes out on the other side; it is not so through a bag of your finest blood.

    Okay, so, admittedly, they can resemble a bit in color, but surely he's at least heard the saying "blood is thicker than water." Well guess what liquid is 88.5% of your typical wine!? I'm also pretty sure ethanol is even thinner than water, so go fuck yourself, Randall.

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  17. 6. Is it just me, or should the wine be spilling out of the glass if it's being held at that angle?

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  18. Semen dripping into your teaOctober 30, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    Arthur the fact I agree with you does not alter your reputation as an obnoxious fudge packer.

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  19. Blood, fuck me. Also, here's a re-do of the comic:

    http://www.box.net/shared/xqx7yrsqlk

    I by no means think it's good, but I like it better than Randall's.

    Also, I forgot about this one:

    7. They really should be wearing goggles, lest the glass gets in their eyes. Since they're obviously scientists, how come they aren't practicing proper safety rules?

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  20. @Semen

    <3

    @Cavios

    So we're judging the scientific rigor of the comic's dynamic duo from the one data point shown in the comic? We do not and cannot know if they were doing multiple tests that varied A) water depth, B) distance from glass, and C) head tilt.

    Not that any of this pedantic nonsense matters, as it has nothing to do with the humor of the strip.

    "Seriously? He mistook the blood for wine at first glance?"

    I mistook a running woman for being topless at first glance earlier today. Then on second glance I realized it was a yellow shirt. I know, it's crazy. Sometimes people make mistakes at first glance. That's why we take a second glance. And then a third glance, cause she was still pretty hot despite being fully clothed.

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  21. k, Rob, I have my "webcomics.me sucks" post written. What format do you want it in?

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  22. All lies. You're just jealous of my superior analytical skills.

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  23. Dr. Skullthumper: if you send it to me, I might post it (or at least the juiciest parts) on webcomics.me myself!

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  24. I like how the girl is asking if the glass broke while looking directly at the glass in the second panel.

    Maybe she's blind? Or maybe Randall is such a shitty writer that's the only way he can convey information. I'm guessing it's the second one.

    And the other guy must have really bad vision too to mistake blood for wine. But really, this is just a throwaway joke/reference to not only the "turn water into wine" story of Jesus, but the "turn water into blood" story of Moses. I mean...I guess it's supposed to be a joke? Or is the joke that God is Physics? Or...I'm confused.

    Not that any of this pedantic nonsense matters, as it has nothing to do with the humor of the strip.

    It might not, if there was actually humor in this strip. I'm still not convinced that there is. Even if there was humor in this strip, I'm fairly convinced that the "pedantic nonsense" would still matter. Especially since Randall is so fond of the whole "Ha ha, everyone who isn't a scientist or mathematician is a dumb peon without a real field of study!" when judging from his comics he knows as much (or perhaps less) than those "dumb peons" he enjoys criticizing so much.

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  25. xkcdexplained.com has expired! Time for Randall to snap up the domain name and fill it with delicious porn ads.

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  26. @Nate

    "It might not, if there was actually humor in this strip."

    I have assumed that humor is a variable that may or not may be zero. But saying "as it has nothing to do with the humor (or lack thereof)" just sounds wishy-washy. Yet every time I exclude a piece of information that I think should be obvious it comes back to bite me.

    "Or is the joke that God is Physics? Or...I'm confused."

    That's the real issue here. The idea that Physics is anthropomorphic is stupid.

    I also believe that this comic is supposed to be a reference to the idea that it's impossible to find the Higgs because it would send shockwaves back in time to stop us. This is an equally stupid idea for essentially the same reasons, and I hate that Randall is giving it any credit at all.

    Personally I think this comic would have been funnier if he referenced some random God. For instance: "Ok, Thor, quit fucking with us." "You stop looking for the Higgs and we'll talk."

    Why does Thor care if we find the Higgs? I DO NOT KNOW BUT IT IS RANDOM HUMOR.

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  27. Rob, sent you the review in DOC format. Hopefully the links and italics will carry over into Blogger.

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  28. @Arthur Considering people already have broken glass with their voices and physicists understand the physics behind it than it makes no sense to assume this is one trial from some larger study. Especially since they lack goggles.

    Also this comic makes no sense and is awful

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  29. @Anonyfish

    Right! Because there's clearly no precedent in science to replicate other's work independently.

    Also, which is the most fun? Reading about the physics of glass breaking, watching a youtube video of glass breaking, or actually doing it yourself? Also there's the mythbuster's mantra: If it's worth doing it's worth overdoing.

    "Especially since they lack goggles."

    They lack eyes too.

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  30. Lacking eyes hasn't prevented Randy from making them wear goggles in the past.

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  31. Okay. Yes, that's supposed to be God, as physics. Water into wine heavily implies this. Randall could've easily chosen any other random fluid, but chose two with heavy, heavy Christian implications so it's supposed to be God. Apparently we forgot about what some people believe communion is (the wine literally turning into Christ's blood.)

    What really gets me is, how does this make any sort of point whatsoever? Physics/God does not want them to find the Higgs Boson. Why? Who knows! Maybe Randy's just saying "the Boson is hard to find because Physics is being a dick about it!" Sorry. God is. Or whatever

    As for all the discussion about how stupid the trial is: yes, people independently replicate scientific tests. However, this one is the sort of thing you're shown in a high school physics class to demonstrate how resonance works. When an experiment has hit that sort of level, there is no reason for presumably high-level physicists to test it. It is more likely that the two are just seeing if the girl can do it.

    If she is not an opera singer, then no, she most likely cannot.

    but it will turn the water into wine because physics is so wacky

    next comic: gravity stops working! oh physics

    what a charmer

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  32. Hey, DrSkullfuck, I'm serious about sending your criticism to me. I'm kinda short on the material for the latest digest so if I could pad it with some quality hatin', that would be sweet. It doesn't matter if the hate is actually directed at myself.

    Captcha - Midedu: Some Seattle columnist that Rob is a big fan of.

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  33. Didn't the Mythbusters do the glass breaking thing anyways? Pretty sure they did.

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  34. "it's another cheap jab at religion in science, right? Everyone LOVES it when irrational beliefs are endlessly mocked! (that was sarcasm; people, in fact, deeply dislike you when you keep on pointing out their flaws to them"

    Well, no mockery attempts to please EVERYONE... The mockery attempts to please the mocker at the expenses of the mocked. So I guess the comic was directed towards secular people, and religious people like Rob are just the butt of the joke...

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  35. Hey, I'm serious... xkcdexplained.com has really expired. This is an important development and we need to start talking about it.

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  36. "Captcha - Midedu: Some Seattle columnist that Rob is a big fan of."

    that is so incredibly insidery

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  37. "So I guess the comic was directed towards secular people, and religious people like Rob are just the butt of the joke... "

    not religious, dude.

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  38. but he's not irreligious either, remember. rob transcends the debate on spirituality

    (by 'transcends' i mean 'envelopes')

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  39. Timofei feel free to repost it and respond :D But it makes no sense why it would appear on webcomics.me first, I mean what would be up with that?!

    Shenanigans is what

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  40. Rob, you aren't religious? You're a walking medical miracle! Well, not so much walking, but you get the point.

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  41. "not religious, dude."
    not religious in the Evangelical sense (I have no religion, I have Jesus) or in the reasonable sense (I don't feel attacked in my irrational beliefs when someone mocks Christian miracles)?

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  42. not religious in the sense that i believe in nothing.

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  43. I don't believe in anything either. In fact, I don't believe in xkcdsucks. I don't believe in physics. I don't believe in liberal arts. I don't believe in Rob. I don't believe in Jesus. I don't believe in beatles. I just believe in me. Yoko and me. That's reality.

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  44. "not religious in the sense that i believe in nothing"
    But you seem to take offense when beliefs are mocked. Why?

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  45. ...i didn't write this post, you illiterate fuck

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  46. Really?

    "Okay, a Higgs-Boson comic isn't the worst concept in the world. Not the greatest either, but hey, it's another cheap jab at religion in science, right? Everyone LOVES it when irrational beliefs are endlessly mocked! (that was sarcasm; people, in fact, deeply dislike you when you keep on pointing out their flaws to them)"
    (...)
    "Posted by Rob"

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  47. really. opening text:

    "[Universally reviled hell demon "shufti" has approached me again and asked to post a review. I published it because it's actually a law that if someone writes two blog posts to poor reception you're allowed to murder them. -Ed.]"

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  48. http://www.box.net/shared/xqx7yrsqlk, referenced above, could be further improved by removing the last line of the comic.

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  49. Oh, got it. It was posted by a Rob, but there is an opening comment indicating that a Ed was going to post it under request of a "shufti". Indeed, I feel so illiterate for not picking immediately that... what, Ed is Rob? Ed was going to post but eventually Rob did it?

    Anyway... I guess I understand now why the reviewer got so upset with the mockery of the religion. It is a demon from Hell, it is as if his very existence was being mocked by Randall.

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  50. nobody else seemed to have any problem figuring it out. not sure why you are still having problems understanding! maybe you have never heard the word "editor" before?

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  51. @anon 3:56 P.M.

    I was trying to improve upon it with minimal effort while still maintaining the basic premises (trying to break the glass, water is transposed, physics is fucking with them). This is my excuse for why yours is better.

    @Eikinkloster

    Just admit you were wrong and back down. Seriously man.

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  52. I used to think this guy "Ed" kept sneaking into all the agazines and comics I read and leave helpful and snarky footnotes.

    That was when I was four.

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  53. @Rob: "not sure why you are still having problems understanding! maybe you have never heard the word "editor" before?"
    @MINGE "I used to think this guy "Ed" kept sneaking into all the agazines and comics (...) when I was four."

    ESL.

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  54. Oh no, uh-uh. You aren't getting off scot-free just by being foreign. That would be too easy.

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  55. I have this rule for dealing with ESLs. if you're going to be an asshole about how you don't speak the language, you don't get a pass. when you get all sarcastic and act like it's totally unreasonable for someone to understand it, instead of just saying "oh hey my bad English isn't my first language," you deserve all of the forthcoming abuse.

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  56. yeh Rob remember wen ferney was bein a doosh cause he thot "cute netbook" ment date rape?

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  57. @Rob "when you get all sarcastic and act like it's totally unreasonable for someone to understand it, instead of just saying "oh hey my bad English isn't my first language,"

    It seemed at first totally unreasonable to expect people got that the text wasn't yours. Then I realized I had been had by one of those quirk uses of language by natives. My rule with native speakers is that if they are going to be assholes about the fact that most people who speak English nowadays aren't native speakers is to go on pestering them. Next time at least you are less likely to go all "ZOMG, how can someone NOT KNOW that -Ed isn't a note by an Edward, but by the Editor, who is the guy who posted, who is Rob?"

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  58. not really! actually I'm going to continue operating by my rule that someone who is aggressively illiterate, as in your case, deserves to be mocked, and I will continue mocking them. you have access to google and you presumably are able to piece things together by context.

    well, I guess you, specifically, don't appear to have that ability, but it's not so unreasonable to expect.

    it's not really a quirk use by natives, either. it's an incredibly common use in magazines, blogs, and other things with editors that leave editorial notes.

    and you should probably know that it's not /annoying/ that you're an idiot. you aren't quietly pulling one over on native speakers by not understanding the language. it's mostly just amusing, and makes people think less of you (because rather than gracefully acknowledging your deficiencies you're aggressively blaming your inability to understand on other people, and you're also coming off as a dumbass in the process).

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  59. " it's an incredibly common use in magazines, blogs, and other things with editors that leave editorial notes."

    So should I assume it would be very easy for you to locate an online magazine with an unsigned text posted by someone that we'd know is not the author because there is an -Ed note saying so?

    "you're aggressively blaming your inability to understand on other people"

    Yep. I'm blaming your post for being a mess of clutter. I'm blaming the emitter, you're blaming the receptor. But you feel you're entitled to the language because you are a native. I feel I'm entitled to it because it's the unfortunate Lingua Franca of the age and I couldn't care less about natives per se, specially Americans.

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  60. "So should I assume it would be very easy for you to locate an online magazine with an unsigned text posted by someone that we'd know is not the author because there is an -Ed note saying so?"

    yeah, I can think of several off the top of my head, actually. pretty much any Gawker Media site has one you could find without too much difficulty. I do like that you still think that it's unreasonable to expect someone to understand that when there's a bit at the start that says "someone sent me this and asked me to post it, so I did" that it is probably not written by the original author, though!

    "Yep. I'm blaming your post for being a mess of clutter. I'm blaming the emitter, you're blaming the receptor. But you feel you're entitled to the language because you are a native. I feel I'm entitled to it because it's the unfortunate Lingua Franca of the age and I couldn't care less about natives per se, specially Americans."

    and ESLs wonder why they don't get any respect. thank you for exemplifying the reason! it is because the most obvious and memorable ones online are all assholes about it.

    especially the Brazilian ones. christ, man. you get people from any European country and they'll be perfectly polite and respectful and recognize that they are not always as good at understanding as others. but the Brazilians are just dicks, all "I don't speak your language and it's your fault! it's also your fault that I'm incapable of piecing together meaning from context!"

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  61. "I do like that you still think that it's unreasonable to expect someone to understand that when there's a bit at the start that says "someone sent me this and asked me to post it, so I did" that it is probably not written by the original author, though!"

    If the reader didn't grow up reading American comic books, he can easily skim read the notes inserted by the annyoying Edward and assume the authorship by the guy who posted. What I would do, for the sake of clarity, is to follow the title by the expression "by Shufti".

    You see, I do this for a living. I manage complicated technical email threads in which many engineers discuss things none of them individually fully understand (that's why many engineers end up involved). Most of them are Americans. When you do this for, say half of your life, everybody ends up giving up on the whole "this is my language and that is yours" and start seeing English as just this unfortunate common medium we have to communicate. You are probably at High School, so English is the language of your buddies and you can afford being smug about outsiders. I am telling you the authorship of the text wasn't clear. You don't need to agree or disagree. Unconsciously, you've already taken a mental note about it. In the near future, when you see yourself being managed by a Mandarin speaker, this experience with me might come in handy. "It's not that my manager is illiterate, it is that he didn't grew up reading comic books and gawker media... so when I write informally and he doesn't understand, instead of throwing a fit I'll just write it like an adult and he'll probably understand".

    "you get people from any European country and they'll be perfectly polite and respectful"

    This is a comment thread in a blog called XKCD sucks. The whole concept is a flame bait, and you expect me to believe people come here to be perfectly polite and respectful? I'm a big supporter of what you are doing. Someone had to flame Randall. Someone should flame you too. Being flamed builds character.

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  62. "I do like that you still think that it's unreasonable to expect someone to understand that when there's a bit at the start that says "someone sent me this and asked me to post it, so I did" that it is probably not written by the original author, though!"

    If the reader didn't grow up reading American comic books, he can easily skim read the notes inserted by the annyoying Edward and assume the authorship by the guy who posted. What I would do, for the sake of clarity, is to follow the title by the expression "by Shufti".

    You see, I do this for a living. I manage complicated technical email threads in which many engineers discuss things none of them individually fully understand (that's why many engineers end up involved). Most of them are Americans. When you do this for, say half of your life, everybody ends up giving up on the whole "this is my language and that is yours" and start seeing English as just this unfortunate common medium we have to communicate. You are probably at High School, so English is the language of your buddies and you can afford being smug about outsiders. I am telling you the authorship of the text wasn't clear. You don't need to agree or disagree. Unconsciously, you've already taken a mental note about it. In the near future, when you see yourself being managed by a Mandarin speaker, this experience with me might come in handy. "It's not that my manager is illiterate, it is that he didn't grew up reading comic books and gawker media... so when I write informally and he doesn't understand, instead of throwing a fit I'll just write it like an adult and he'll probably understand".

    "you get people from any European country and they'll be perfectly polite and respectful"

    This is a comment thread in a blog called XKCD sucks. The whole concept is a flame bait, and you expect me to believe people come here to be perfectly polite and respectful? I'm a big supporter of what you are doing. Someone had to flame Randall. Someone should flame you too. Being flamed builds character.

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  63. "I do like that you still think that it's unreasonable to expect someone to understand that when there's a bit at the start that says "someone sent me this and asked me to post it, so I did" that it is probably not written by the original author, though!"

    If the reader didn't grow up reading American comic books, he can easily skim read the notes inserted by the annyoying Edward and assume the authorship by the guy who posted. What I would do, for the sake of clarity, is to follow the title by the expression "by Shufti".

    You see, I do this for a living. I manage complicated technical email threads in which many engineers discuss things none of them individually fully understand (that's why many engineers end up involved). Most of them are Americans. When you do this for, say half of your life, everybody ends up giving up on the whole "this is my language and that is yours" and start seeing English as just this unfortunate common medium we have to communicate. You are probably at High School, so English is the language of your buddies and you can afford being smug about outsiders. I am telling you the authorship of the text wasn't clear. You don't need to agree or disagree. Unconsciously, you've already taken a mental note about it. In the near future, when you see yourself being managed by a Mandarin speaker, this experience with me might come in handy. "It's not that my manager is illiterate, it is that he didn't grew up reading comic books and gawker media... so when I write informally and he doesn't understand, instead of throwing a fit I'll just write it like an adult and he'll probably understand".

    "you get people from any European country and they'll be perfectly polite and respectful"

    This is a comment thread in a blog called XKCD sucks. The whole concept is a flame bait, and you expect me to believe people come here to be perfectly polite and respectful? I'm a big supporter of what you are doing. Someone had to flame Randall. Someone should flame you too. Being flamed builds character.

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  64. "If the reader didn't grow up reading American comic books,"

    I've never read a comic book in my life.

    "he can easily skim read the notes inserted by the annyoying Edward and assume the authorship by the guy who posted."

    so what you're saying is you didn't even read the full text of the post--not even the introductory text, at the beginning of the article, which clearly explains who the post was by? it is hardly the editor's responsibility if you're too lazy to even read the text he puts in the post.

    "You see, I do this for a living."

    you must really suck at it if you routinely ignore introductory text! though I get the feeling you do not routinely have to identify the actual author of an email, so you really have no expertise in the field. but congratulations on being the first one to claim special knowledge that makes you right!

    "When you do this for, say half of your life, everybody ends up giving up on the whole "this is my language and that is yours" and start seeing English as just this unfortunate common medium we have to communicate."

    see, that's really an attitude problem. see, if you don't like doing something and see it as an unfortunate chore you really have no drive to be any good at it.

    "You are probably at High School, so English is the language of your buddies and you can afford being smug about outsiders."

    no, I've been out of high school for a long time. and let's recall that I'm not the one who's being ignorant and then acting smug about it. you're the one who completely ignored some text which clearly said "someone sent me this review, so I published it," and then when you were corrected, acted as if--and this despite you being the only one who was having difficulty understanding--it was somebody else's fault that you didn't understand.

    the text is perfectly clear.

    "I am telling you the authorship of the text wasn't clear."

    and I am telling you you are wrong. something which is explicitly stated at the very beginning of the post is not "unclear." sorry that you chose not to read that section though.

    "You don't need to agree or disagree. Unconsciously, you've already taken a mental note about it. In the near future, when you see yourself being managed by a Mandarin speaker, this experience with me might come in handy."

    you're about as good at human psychology as you are at understanding the English language, apparently! having a negative interaction with a member of an outgroup (ESLs, in this case) does not, in fact, make the individual more likely to change his behavior to avoid that negative interaction in the future. rather, they will blame the member of the outgroup for it, probably attribute it to the fact that they are part of an outgroup, and then, the next time they interact with a member of the same outgroup, go into it with negative preconceptions about members of that outgroup.

    the way to break this cycle is to actually have positive and helpful interactions. it goes like this: you apologize for the confusion/inconvenience/whatever, you explain what happened, and, rather than externalizing the blame for it (ie "this is your fault"), you internalize it (ie "this was my bad"). you show the individual that members of your particular outgroup are capable of being polite, understanding, and apologetic. it won't undo years of bad experiences, but it might help break their perception of all members of the outgroup being the same.

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  65. Did he delete his post, or is Rob just predicting what he'll come up with next?

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  66. the post got eaten by blogger's entirely unhelpful spam feature, apparently.

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  67. Are you sure it's unhelpful if it deleted his post?

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  68. it's actually more annoying when they get deleted because i still get them in my inbox for some reason

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  69. Freetard? Why not throw in some other slurs while your at it.

    "Stupid autistic kids are so stupid for giving themselves autism."

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  70. people take offense to freetard? seriously?

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  71. Ugh. In typical xkcdsucks style you utterly fail to miss the point, grasping at straws and pulling /some/ straws out your ass, until you have at least a page of text so you can grudgingly hit the "submit" button and hope that your target audience (read: the creepily obsessed) doesn't abandon your disheartening attempt at fame-grabbing by leeching onto the success of content that's actually readable.

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  72. Also, to be fair, I'm not sure what's going on with the publishment in this article either. Is Ed an editor or a writer? Nothing you think is implicit in the article is actually implicit without a strong and detailed background of xkcdsucks writers, which I don't have and which most people in the entire world don't have.

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  73. it's funny how the illiterate always think that their inability to grasp the english language is somehow someone else's fault, despite the fact that they are pretty much completely alone in their poor grasp of words.

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  74. It's your job to communicate properly. If people don't understand you, you are not communicating properly.

    People don't understand you. Therefore you are not communicating properly. This is not our fault, this is yours. You can take responsibility for your actions or you can keep repeating yourself until I inevitably give up and start doing things worth my time. But my inevitable forfeit doesn't make you any better a communicator, it just means you're annoying and dishonest.

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  75. It's also funny how I am checking gawker.com and all articles have a clear and standard indication of authorship: They have a title, such as
    "Comment of the Day: Some Advice for MSNBC" and to the right of the title they have the author, in this example "By Richard Lawson". They finally end with "Send an email to Richard Lawson, the author of this post, at richardl@gawker.com.".

    So, Rob, would you mind finding one article in any site belonging to Gawker Media in which the author is indicated in a in note signed with "-Ed"?

    My point is, I seem to be literate enough to get the article of any article in this particular Gawker Media site, and yet, I find your authorship identification confusing. Who is to know that when "-Ed" publishes "shufti"'s article, the article will not show as posted by shufti's blogspot name, but by -Ed's blogspot name? Who is to say that failure to know that is English illiteracy? Because up to now, lack of that knowledge has apparently prevented me from properly understanding only one blog entry, in about 15 years of reading more in English than in Portuguese, and reading a lot.

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  76. "

    People don't understand you. Therefore you are not communicating properly. This is not our fault, this is yours. You can take responsibility for your actions or you can keep repeating yourself until I inevitably give up and start doing things worth my time. But my inevitable forfeit doesn't make you any better a communicator, it just means you're annoying and dishonest. "

    except people do understand me. you and Eikinfucker are unique in finding it confusing.

    this is what happened: I used an incredibly common abbreviation, and you didn't know what it meant. while I'm sure you think that it's my responsibility to use only words that everyone reading will know, the fact is that it is perfectly reasonable to assume that people know the definitions of common words. it's not my fault if you don't know what "reasonable" means, for instance, or "abbreviation." and it's not my fault if you like to create unnecessary fictional entities to explain your confusion. you can, of course, continue to believe what you want to believe. I mean, I'll judge you, but I already think pretty low of you so it's not like you're damaging relations or anything.

    but here's the thing. lots of people skim posts and don't notice authorship. it frequently happened before that when I was posting people assumed it was Carl, or when Carl was posting that it was me, or whatever. and usually we make fun of them for it and then move on.

    it takes a special breed of idiot to, when he is corrected on his assumption that person X wrote the post, go back and read the post again and then say "nuh-uh, person X clearly wrote it."

    worse, this is saying it to the person who allegedly wrote it. when I said "I didn't write this post," Eikinfucker responded with, effectively, "yes you did."

    for a while he was all like "oh my bad ESL" but then he rescinded and apparently decided that, yes, despite the fact that its grasp of the English language is about on par with Obama's ability to get Republican cooperation in the Senate, he knows that it is totally unreasonable to expect all of the people who had absolutely no problem understanding who wrote the post to understand who wrote the post.

    but I'll strike you a deal. find a dozen or so people, and have them read this post, but not the comment thread. tell them nothing about the post--just say, and use these exact words: "here, read this post but not the comments, I have a question to ask you." then ask them, and use these exact words: "did Rob write this post?" if they say no, ask them, and use these exact words: "who wrote this post?" if they say yes, ask them, and use these exact words: "then who is Ed. and who is shufti?"

    try not to use words beyond the ones I've given you, because otherwise, intellectually dishonest as you are, you will no doubt poison the well before you start. you may use additional words as necessary, however--for instance, if they ask why you're doing this just say something like "I just want to settle a bet--I'm trying not to color your impression of it." when you're done, send me a transcript of the conversation.

    you won't do this, of course. I'm sure you think it's a foregone conclusion, or perhaps you're more honest with yourself and you actually realize that this experiment would turn up a lot more "no, Rob didn't write this, shufti did" than you would like, and the ones who said yes would respond to "who is ed and who is shufti?" with "oh, Ed. is clearly the editor and shufti wrote the post. my bad."

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  77. "except people do understand me. you and Eikinfucker are unique in finding it confusing."

    :D

    "for a while he was all like "oh my bad ESL" but then he rescinded"

    Actually, no, I was consistently unapologetic about your reliance on Ebonics and implicit assumption that the standard form of the language of England is the one used in African-America and adjacencies. I answered the question on how can someone has "never heard the word editor" as if it meant "how can someone not seen the abbreviation -Ed enough so as not to promptly read it as editor" with "ESL" meaning "easily when someone doesn't have badly edited comic books as their linguistic background while all proper English media won't use that kind of authorship attribution".

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