Friday, March 4, 2011

Comic 868: No Diamond, Just Rough

[Self-proclaimed heroic troll "The_Autodidact" has sent me this guest review. I haven't actually read it so whatever. -Ed.]

nolan chart

THE PLACE: the bedroom of a one-man apartment, somewhere in Massachusetts.

THE TIME: Thursday, March 3, 2011, between the hours of 11 PM and 12 AM

A young man sits alone at a desk, watching his favorite video series: an internet atheist who makes video responses to Youtube comments written by creationists. He chuckles as the video comes to a close. “Looks like science once again has triumphed!” he says aloud. He closes the tab, opening the one for Facebook. It is, of course, on her page. The one who denied him. The only one who didn’t appreciate his genius (Besides that one fatass). The one who never laughed at his sex jokes, even when they were about her. The one who, for reasons he could never fathom, seemed offended by his constant requests to drink her breastmilk. That ungrateful bitch. Doesn’t she know how great a compliment that is? He is of course not her “friend”, and can unfortunately not see her pictures, but the very sight of her name makes his penis turgid. He can’t help himself. His hand, seemingly of its own accord, slowly works its way into his stained briefs.

“OK, no more mister sadsack,” he says as his tearful masturbation sessions comes to a close. “Time to remind the world that you are Randall Motherfucking Munroe: Internet Comedian”. He pulls up Weechat and reads through the last few pages of his favorite chatroom. He cracks his knuckles (taking a moment to laugh at all the gullible fools who have never read Wikipedia’s “list of common misconceptions” and believe this causes arthritis) and delivers a barrage of witty one-liners, one after the other. Chortling at his own wit, he copies the brilliant zingers and posts them on his favorite fora, for posterity’s sake. He then opens up TV Tropes Wiki, his second-favorite wiki ever. He reads through trope after trope, guffawing at his fellow tropers’ wit, or at least what is left of it after the fascist admins decided the wiki should be a Wikipedia clone. He comes across a familiar article, and notices something missing. “The page image”, he shouts. “They changed it, those damn bastards! I had uploaded that image myself, as it was my favorite comic! Wait a minute. Oh no, the comic!”

He suddenly remembers the comic, that thing that makes it so he doesn’t have to go to (or goto, as the case might be. He snickers as he writes that one down for later) work like some kind of common pleb. He pulls a sheet of white paper out of his printer and gets to work on the latest t-shirt ad. “OK Randall, you can do this alright,” (he stops to laugh at the thought of all the pedantic English majors squirming at his misuse of the word, if only they could hear it) “Just put something down and I’m certain something will come to you”. He haphazardly scrawls the first shape that comes to mind: a diamond. (Being a scientist, of course, he knows it’s just a square rotated 45 degrees, not a carbon crystal. Silly plebs.) “I always can fall back on a chart,” he says, and draws an “x” to denote it as such. “My audience, being geeks, of course loves chart humor. It takes a sophisticated mind to appreciate. Now what could this be? A Punnett square? No, I of course already made fun of biology yesterday. But who else does use this kind of chart? Wait, libertarians! That’s it!” He scrawls the word in his semi-legible print in the top quadrant. “I am sure many of my compatriots have encountered libertarians who care about charts! So obviously that makes the first axis ‘politics’. The next one can be…meta humor! Yes! Something that only sophisticated geeks like myself can understand! The other axis is ‘people who like diamond-shaped diagrams’! So that puts libertarians at top, other politicians on the left, but who else cares about diamond-shaped charts? Wait! What’s that thing that jocks like, that is on a diamond-shaped thing? Base…ball? Yes! ‘Baseball’! Now for the last quadrant. Um…people who don’t care about politics or diamonds….screw it, I’ll just put ‘other’! There! Now all that I need is a title. What are those charts called again?” He browses Wikipedia until he finds the article in question. “Yes, Nolan charts! That’s perfect! Surely no lowly sheeple will be getting THIS reference!” He scans the comic, cleans it up in Photoshop, and uploads it onto his site. “Oh Randall” he says, shaking his head in disbelief at his own brilliance. “You are definitely a genius!”



PS: Ayn Rand was an incompetent hack and all libertarians are BASICALLY sociopaths. Discuss.

74 comments:

  1. Ayn Rand was actually a very competent hack.

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  2. No, all libertarians are elaborately socipaths. They're basically stupid. They're also Soylent Green deniers.

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  3. I can't believe I'm saying this, considering the quality of his latest work, but this might be his worse "comic" yet. AND I like graph jokes! Why is Randy wasting his and our time with this bullshit?

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  4. Ayn Rand was hot, though.
    Discuss.


    Innit?

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  5. Not enough slash -- too much fic.

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  6. Ayn Rand is bullshit. I must disagree with the sociopathic remark because Libertarianism ≠ anything to spew out of her mouth nor any other objectivist (which is actually everything Neitzsche ever said regurgitated in a 'new' philosophy. Anyone who ascribes to Rand's beliefs is either confused or too young to know better anyhow. They're not sociopaths because usually the grow up to learn otherwise. Some of them grow up and turn into Leonard Peikoff and then they are sociopaths.

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  7. How dare you insult the famed Russian-American Author, Philosopher, and sex kitten Ayn Rand!

    Oh, just you wait until I invent my perpetual motion machine! Then you'll all be sorry!

    Also, Anon 9:35, Nietzsche was way better than Rand.

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  8. Nietzsche was waaaay hotter than Rand too. I just can't get enough of that moustache. No-one's done Nietzsche/Wagner slashfic yet, have they?

    I guess I have work to do.

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  9. I actually enjoyed this greatly. Reminded me why I come on this site. (Because honestly, I only read XKCD for this site and its comments)

    Also, in my experience, 'Libertarians' are just people who pretty much don't care about politics, but are chill with gay people and don't want to be called a socialist.

    They also freaking love diamonds. Obviously. Who doesn't know that?

    captcha: nonsi - half of Randall's comics are nonsincical unless you've read a very specific wikipedia article.

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  10. There just wasn't anything that Nietzsche couldn't teach ya 'bout the raising of the afternoon wrist.

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  11. In my experience, libertarians are young men who constantly update their facebooks with links on how taxes are evil.

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  12. So I'm trying to decide which direction my Nietzsche/Wagner slashfic should take. Should I go with:

    A Leitmotif of Love (romantic)
    Ring of the Ubermensch (BDSM)
    An Eternal Recurrence (of Angry German Manlove) (poem)
    Zarathustra's Gape (wrong on every level)

    I just can't choose...

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  13. in MY experience, most people with strong political opinions think that political questions have simple answers; are not familiar with the concept of research; and are mainly voicing their emotions, rather than arguing.

    among these, the libertarians are the ones whose emotions are hatred of people and desire of consumer goods.

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  14. Thus Raped Zarathustra

    Weak, petty and uninventive, the perfect title for slashfic.

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  15. If you move around the letters in "Ayn Rand", it becomes "An Randy".

    Good review btw.

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  16. Meh, this was actually the first XKCD is a long time that got me to laugh out loud.

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  17. How did it make you laugh exactly? I wish i could laugh at stuff like this :(

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  18. I thought I might have worked out the secret, but the drugs don't work. They just make it worse.

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  19. I could not help but notice that Rob has yet to publicly deny that his alleged dislike for XKCD is motivated by his intense Islamic extremism. I would not, however, discount the possible covert agency of one or more of the lesser known malevolent Djinn as the cause of this apparent detestation.
    The fact remains though: Rob hates Randall’s freedom!

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  20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xkcd#Awards_and_recognition

    I am so very clever. I strongly encourage others to edit its Wikipedia page to more accurately reflect reality as well.

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  21. @anonymous 9:03 AM:

    Whether you are clever or not is indeed debatable. I can, however, attest to your ignorance of the Queen's English.
    The phrase 'as well' should directly follow the word 'others'. You have split a verb phrase, ya daft cunt! Besides, phrasal vebs should be avoided when ever possible.

    Innit?

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  22. @9:37

    I have no idea what you just said. Try speaking American; it's the only language I understand, you blimey bastard.

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  23. Anonymous 9:46 AM said:

    "....I have no idea what you just said...."

    I know.

    Although I am a bastard - a fucking cunt bastard to be precise - I am in no way 'blimey' or even 'limey'. An argument for 'slimey' can be made though.

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  24. @9:03

    Come now, you should know better than to try vandalizing xkcd's Wikipedia article. Wannabe wiki admins are like that page's white blood cells. Your edits didn't even last 5 minutes.

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  25. I'd never heard of a "Nolan Chart" so I googled it and found http://www.nolanchart.com/

    That site had to have been created by the Craigslist design team. What a disorganized mess.

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  26. I enjoyed this post The_Autodidact, whomever you are.

    Ravenz: I'd like to see Ring of the Ubermensch (BDSM).

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  27. Hey, I worked out what 'other' is: Neo Nazis, Black Panthers and the Peoples Front of Judea. Also, Libertarianism is a Nazi-Muslim-Judeo-French conspiracy to restore the House of Bourbon to the throne and retake America, you know like the Bible says.

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  28. The People's Front of Judea?
    Now you've done it! One or more of you cream of cunts is going to post Python crap now!

    "Cream"! Wonderful collective noun there.
    Innit?

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  29. As a self-proclaimed libertarian, I think Nolan chart is bullshit. Personal and economic freedom are not orthogonal, but lie on the same axis. People who think there could exist personal freedom without economic freedom are simply delusional. In other words, communists are fucking retarded. Discuss.

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  30. Meanwhile, I have found a service that attempts to once and for all settle the question about which xkcd is the best.
    http://heavyconsulting.net/bestxkcd/

    It appears to be a simple algorithm, it just needs a lot of clicking input.

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  31. Timofei said:

    "....People who think there could exist personal freedom without economic freedom are simply delusional....."

    Yes if your economic model is premised on market-based consumption. There are other models where personal freedom can be maximised and the concept of 'economic freedom' is meaningless.
    I've been to places like that and the beer sucks - nothing like the profit motive and invisible hand to make a good beer I say.

    Innit?

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  32. Aquarians Love To Fuck, Monty Python crap started prior to that but you weren't savvy enough to notice it.

    Timofei, collective personal freedom can not exist without a level of social restrictions so take your libertarian hogwash and wash your hog with it. That's a hilarious pun for thos who agree with me because "hog" is slang for a motorbike and motorbikes are endemic to bikie gangs-- an image of sociopathic freedom.

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  33. @1:48:

    Oh fuck your service is broke it's making me choose between 709 and 730 oh god oh god

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  34. Why does the left quadrant only say "Democrats, Republicans"? Doesn't Randall realize that there are other political parties?

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  35. @Emily

    To be fair, Randall lives in the US, so no.

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  36. The bottom quadrant is clearly labelled "Other," so I'm not sure what you two are missing...

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  37. Or maybe I'm the one missing something as I don't really know how to read such a diagram. The way I figured it, the Democrats and Republicans are being represented as over-opinionated, the baseball fans are being represented as under-opinionated, the libertarians are being represented as both over-opinionated and enjoying diamond-shaped diagrams, and every other position apparently takes a balanced view of these things.

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  38. @Anonymous 4:23: Not really an excuse. By "other political parties" I meant American ones: the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the Peace and Freedom Party, and others, not to mention independents... Surely they're just as opinionated as Republicans and Democrats, maybe more so in some cases.

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  39. um
    again, Randall lives in the US. it's just not realistic to expect him to know that there are other political parties out there

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  40. But he could be trying to joke that the two big parties are more blindly opinionated than the others. It might not be true (in fact I doubt it is considering that Democrats and Republicans would be more interested in maintaining power than anything else), but when has he ever let the truth get in the way of his insights?

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  41. @Emily

    In practical terms there are only two parties. This is because the US lacks a transferable vote system- inevitably the votes become polarised towards the two major parties.

    As such it is unreasonable for a resident of the US, such as Randall, to know about other parties because they do not matter.

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  42. I mean, since when have baseball fans loved charts shaped like diamonds? That's just the layout of the field. And do libertarians love any other diamond shaped chart than the Nolan Chart, which appears to only be used with just the one set of labels to make just the one point?

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  43. also is it just me or does Randy's orientation of the chart make it a lot harder to read than the traditional on-its-side Nolan chart?

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  44. Ayn Rand was an incompetent hack. Most of my libertarian friends think the government should pay for shit, too, just not that much.

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  45. What's with all this talk about the comic? What happened to the revolution?

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  46. Indeed Robdall, if you GIS or visit Wikipedia you will find diamond charts in the top results, but in actual real world use the diamond form is rare. Oh and that fucking site is worse torture than xkcd itself, I refreshed a dozen times and just couldn't bring myself to click on anything.

    Oh I had a rant here earlier but lost it, it was like this. 'Other' is fucking lazy and I just spent more time thinking about this sentence than randy did about 'other'. Baseball lovers love diamond charts because... well fuck this is almost as lazy as 'others' and equally humourous, entertaining and competent. It's almost like he imagines baseball fans all suffer from aspergers and obsess over diamond shapes or some shit, oh and they're morons who don't get into politics because JOCKS LULZ! Lastly, haha, yeah wow it's so funny that there are lots of libertarian 'What is your political spectrum' sites that are rigged with heavily biased questions to make it look like every motherfucker who's not Hitler or Stalin is libertarian. Or perhaps he thinks he is a libertatian, sorry INTERNET libertarian on the INTERNET because that makes such a fucking difference as to political views, ahem anyway yeah and he really loves these fucking retarded 'tests', hey and what the fuck is up with dem and repub in the same box anyway and AAARGHHHWBGRBL

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  47. Okay, so until I read this review, I thought the comic said Internet librarians...

    Yes, I am dumb.

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  48. Demrepubs don't love diamond charts at all, dummy. That's what distinguishes them. Of course they're in the same box.

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  49. I like the "tl;dr" comment... it's like a lost person crying

    you're at a site dedicated to ranting. If it's tl;dr then you're in the wrong place

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  50. Maybe the groupings on the chart are intentionally terrible and illogical to parody the real Nolan Chart?

    Or am I giving Randy too much credit?

    Why am I asking a question like that here?

    Captcha: Snulu. Cthulu's cuddly, more lovable brother.

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  51. Don't worry Neal, that wouldn't be giving him any credit at all. It would be an entirely witless form of parody.

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  52. I like this parody. Cuts straight to the original purpose of the Nolan Chart and the smallest political quiz:

    http://billstclair.com/blog/images/NewNolanChart.gif

    I like the blatant propaganda involved in turning the Nolan chart 45 degrees - the libertarians go on top and central, and the standard Liberal/Republican stay lower down and look more like extremists.

    Republicans should change the 'more personal freedom' axis to 'moral fortitude' - then they can go on top. Liberals can switch 'economic freedom' with 'egalitarianism'.

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  53. Anon 10:42, you are not alone.

    By the way, the 'best xkcd' link is great. I just spent over an hour adding 400 votes.

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  54. Well, if statistics has taught me anything it's that 1300 non-unique voters can't be wrong -- top XKCD comics are from the first 250 comics.

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  55. You know what? This blog used to have its moments. It used to be funny, even insightful.
    Carl was good at picking apart XKCD, and he was even able to make good posts about the occasional mediocre-to-good comics.

    Then Carl left, and it's the same Randy's-obsessed-with-meg shit over and over and fucking OVER again. Seriously, Rob, you bitter, obsessive, talentless hack, just let this die.

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  56. but i didn't even write this one.

    bitter? maybe, though not bitter at or because of XKCD.
    obsessive? again, maybe, but not at or because of XKCD. (I'm self-obsessed, obviously, though I don't think that qualifies me for being 'obsessive' by most uses of the word)
    talentless? it's hard to be talented when you are actively trying not to be, so i'll accept that one
    hack? definitely!

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  57. rob it does not count as self-obsessed if your self occupies the entire observable universe

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  58. Note that the worst comics are all ones that are relatively recent. Personally I couldn't stand to vote for any: they were all bad.

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  59. Obsessively obese!

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  60. A lot of my votes to which xkcd I like most are mainly which of the two I hate least.

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  61. clearly, we need to make "which XKCD is worst?" based on those principles

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  62. "talentless? it's hard to be talented when you are actively trying not to be, so i'll accept that one"

    How do you manage that? I've been trying to be talentless for a while, but it's failure upon failure. Talent keeps pouring out of everything I write, paint or compose.

    Captcha: lessers

    I'd like to have the power to sit in front of the world and just be a normal, plain guy, without the urge to magnify through art everything I see or feel.

    I envy you. I envy you all.

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  63. Rochambeau, you will never understand the joy of secreting pure and unadulterated garbage.

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  64. The US needs an actual radical socialist party that shits on everyone else for being insufficiently socialist, and accuses them of being libertarians. That would be effective at catching the radical right with their "accepting that other humans have worth = OMG STALIN" shit.

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  65. I think we killed all those guys like 60 years ago.

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  66. I actually thought this writeup was great. It is probably the most accurate representation of Randal's work schedule ever (the whole not giving two shits about his 'art' thing). With shit like this comic it's hard to believe he spent more than 10 minutes on it.

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  67. Oh hai, there's a new comic, about computers acting like people. Instead of the usual people acting like computers.

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  68. @10:38, I'm not so sure that's entirely correct; it seems like the "phone" character is just Randy, while the "server" character is all the people Randy perceives as assholes, yet they run the servers his phone connects to.

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  69. It's clearly an allegory for the Libyan rebellion, guys -- try to keep up.

    Captcha: mists.

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  70. But Randy's hardly ever topical--He's usually off by 3 months or more.

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  71. OMG RANDY HAS LEARNED TO SEE INTO THE FUTURE.

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  72. Samantha, that's a great idea. Lol @ Anonymous, you are so inconsistent, why can't you keep just one opinion??

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