Monday, August 29, 2011

Comic 944: Goodnight, Irene

hurricane names

[Comic title: Hurricane Names; Alt text: "After exhausting the OED, we started numbering them. When overlapping hurricanes formed at all points on the Earth's surface, and our scheme was foiled by Cantor diagonalization, we just decided to name them all "Steve". Your local forecast tomorrow is "Steve". Good luck."]

Since your friend and mine Irene recently visited the east coast, Randy spent some time reading about hurricane naming on Wikipedia. Being the sort of person who probably thinks of himself as a "hacker" because he knows what a programming language is, when Randy is presented with a new system, he tries to find the flaws in it, with all the grace and finesse of a three year old pouring his own milk. "WHAT IF THERE'S SO MANY HURRICANES THEY RUN OUT OF THE SECOND LIST" he found himself screaming at the monitor.

It was at this moment that inspiration struck. "I know! I can write a whole comic about how silly it would be! There could be a hurricane, um . . . EGGBEATER!!!" But there was the same flaw in his system: there are only so many words in the English language. (Three, at last count.) But Randy was already on the genius train bound for XKCD, and just decided to write that into the alt text. Because lulz, hurricanes cover the face of the earth!

62 comments:

  1. Rob, if you were paying attention you would notice that eggbeaters are a lot like hurricanes. Randy is a genius, and you are some kind of idiot.

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  2. He copy and pasted all of those hurricanes in PS, did not even bother to draw them all anew. What a sellout.

    May his fiance choke on a thousand dicks and die of super-cancer.

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  3. Rob, this joke is hilarious and you are not. STOP BEING JEALOUS OF OTHER PEOPLE'S SUCCESS.

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  4. raven we have already established that you are a dumb

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  5. The nonsensical name-dropping of Cantor really seals it - this is a pseud's wet dream.

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  6. That was a shit review. Gamer better get on this.

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  7. it's not even as if 'eggbeater' is all that funny a word. if your entire joke is "wouldn't it be funny if there was a hurricane [word]", you could at least pick a better one

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  8. It should have been "clitoris" or something. Naughty bits are always good for a laugh.

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  9. Gamer = every single anonymous that ever talked about Gamer = samefag

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  10. Hurricanes are pretty much the natural disaster analog of cancer.

    I wonder if Randy has a system for naming various metastasizing tumors in someone's body.

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  11. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 30, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    hi nobody cares about me just thought i would drop in to give you all a link to my web site that is the same as this one only worse because on my site i actually give a fuck

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  12. A wholly shit comic. Eggbeater isn't even a funny word. And if it was instead something like "hurricane booby" or "hurricane cockalope" it still wouldnt be funny.

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  13. I vote in renaming Hurricane Katrina into Hurricane Randall.

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  14. The joke is that Randall hates black people because whenever he and Megan watch porn together to get in the mood, she always insists that it be a black guy pounding the Aryan maiden.

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  15. @UndercoverCuddlefish: Because giving a fuck actually makes things worse, right?

    Carl left because of idiots like you.

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  16. THE CANTOR JOKE MAKES NO SENSE. JUST BECAUSE A SET ISN'T COUNTABLY FINITE IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T NAME ITS MEMBERS.

    FOR EXAMPLE, HERE WE HAVE MANY UNAMBIGUOUS WAYS OF DEFINING PI. TURN EACH SYMBOL/DIGIT INTO A PROPER NOUN AND YOU HAVE VARIOUS "NAMES" FOR PI.

    GOD I HATE RANDALL.

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  17. I think, assuming I understand Cantor diagonalization, the idea was that even if they could have numbered every hurricane, the fact that there are known to be an infinite amount of them means that the set will be forever uncountable.

    Problem is, Cantor's diagonal argument is simply proof of something that's already common knowledge: You can't count something infinite. Randall acts like a theory by some jerk named Cantor prevents them from numbering the hurricanes, when in fact it's simply the laws of math and logic that do so.

    So yeah, it's just nerd pandering. It's little wonder that Randall sticks to simple math now, because he apparently can't get the more complex stuff right.

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  18. If Jorge Luis Borges were not dead, we could get him to name them.

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  19. Wednesday on xkcd:
    Hurricane Omnomnom has an electric skateboard race against Hurricane Lolwut.
    Also Dijkstra's Algorithm will be involved somehow.

    Fanboys, get your tee shirt printers warmed up. It's gonna be hilarity!

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  20. XKCD considered harmful

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  21. You forgot about a billion badly drawn red spiders, cptnoremac

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  22. >JUST BECAUSE A SET ISN'T COUNTABLY FINITE IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T NAME ITS MEMBERS.

    It does mean you can't name ALL of its members. lrn2math.

    >Cantor's diagonal argument is simply proof of something that's already common knowledge: You can't count something infinite.

    Arrrghhhh.

    No!

    You can count something infinite, i.e. natural numbers. The point of Cantor's proof is that there exist infinities that are not countable. Such as real numbers. If Earth was a sphere then the number of points on its surface would technically be uncountable. I'm not sure if this still holds if you keep in mind quantum effects and discretisation of space, however.

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  23. Space is not really discretised you fuck. They saw that from a satellite.

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  24. Spacetime must be discrete. How would Achilles ever reach the tortoise otherwise ?

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  25. Timofei: You can't name all of its members at once.

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  26. So what you're saying is Cantor's diagonal argument refers to the set of all the guys your mom has slept with.

    Alternately, it refers to the set of all things Rob has eaten.

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  27. @ Lucas aka Schnouk

    With the utmost discretion, Zeno paradoxically trips the tortoise.

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  28. Rob there are more than three words in the English language you dumbass, there's more words in just in the sentence you claimed that in. Don't be such a fucking retard and think about what you say for once.

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  29. Anonymous @ 10:47 AM

    You have now shown that there are five words.

    "....there's more words in just in the sentence you claimed that in...."

    I've taken the liberty to correct this horrid sentence fragment to better reflect a proper usage of the Queen's English.

    To wit:

    "There are more words just in the sentence in which you you claimed that."

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  30. @Today's Abtruse Goose:
    What the fuck is that shit?

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  31. ALTF:
    "you you"

    lol you stupid bitch

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  32. I loves me my W.
    My bestest, most favourite former president.

    PS
    I'm a fucking stupid bitch by the way. Best you get it right.

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  33. @Timofei: Hurricanes aren't all named the instant they appear, as if by magic. Even if a hurricane were to appear at every point on the earth's surface, they'd each have to be identified and labelled. Each such identification takes a finite amount of time, which means that only a finite amount will be named by the time the Earth goes boom - hell, a finite amount will be named by the time they've all coalesced/died down/whatever.

    So the fact that there are an uncountably infinite number of them at one instant is irrelevant except in Randall's aspie-induced be-precise-except-when-you-feel-like-ignoring-all-the-detail retard world.

    This whole discussion reflects how absurdly contrived xkcd strips are and I both hate and love you for getting me involved in it.

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  34. what the fuck dot com

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  35. What the fuck is wrong with you people?

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  36. Well, when I was a child, I put a plastic bag over my head. Now my IQ is lower than how high it was beforkjnbs

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  37. I was never given a name as a child so now I believe that I don't exist or that my actions have ramifications. =[

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  38. OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD.

    Randy comes out and says he hates Megan. :o

    Did he get over her, or is he just bitter that his requests for milk have been constantly rejected? :/

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  39. Randy comes out and says he hates Megan. :o

    No such luck. he hates Megan's mom.

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  40. You know what they say: hate sex is great sex.

    Too bad Randall can't get any from Megan.

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  41. I was kind of hopeful when I read the title of today's comic. I was almost expecting Randall to apologize for the past few years of XKCD. But nope, just a joke about people being overly literal.

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  42. Last Thursday night I was running around asking people for cigarettes. When they said "No, sorry", I always said "Don't apologise!"

    I just thought it was weirdly related to this comic.

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  43. Or you could just say "I'm sorry to hear that" and avoid all the confusion and smugness Randall.

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  44. Wow. I didn't believe it when a friend told me but apparently there *is* an entire site devoted to whining about xkcd. I'd say that it's pathetic but I'm pretty sure it would fall on deaf ears...

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  45. Not all of us are deaf. Feel free to chastise me.
    Corporal punishment is especially warranted in my case.

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  46. Wow. I didn't believe it when a friend told me but apparently there *is* an entire comment devoted to whining about xkcdsucks. I'd say that it's pathetic but I'm pretty sure it would fall on deaf ears...

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  47. Wow. I didn't believe it when a friend told me but apparently there *is* an entire comic devoted to whining about the neurotypical world. I'd say that it's pathetic but I'm pretty sure I'd just get bitched out about by the aspies.

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  48. Wow. I didn't believe it when a friend told me but apparently there *is* an entire comment that includes the phrase "bitched out about" as if it actually had any meaning. I'd say that it's pathetic but I'm pretty sure It's actually bathetic.

    Dearest Anonymous @ 7:19 AM,

    What, exactly, is 'bitched out about' and how would I recognise it when it occurs?

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  49. What is Randall annoyed about again? Boo frickin' hoo. The girl's mom's house just burned down for crying out loud!

    The guy named his comic strip "xkcd" because it is unpronounceable. What a jackass.

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  50. You see, Rob, this is the only problem with writing half-arsed reviews - the trolls are so bland and generic. If you wanna throw down with a journal editor again, you gotta aim deep and touch nerves.

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  51. lol atlf does not understand colloquial speech.........

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  52. There has been down throwing with journal editors 'round here?
    And I missed it?

    Which Journal?

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  53. https://forums.darklordpotter.net/showthread.php?t=20061

    I love it. Rob is so fat this isn't spam.

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  54. @6:33, 7:11 and 7:19 The entire site isn't devoted to hating xkcd, fuckwit. Just this one blog. There are plenty of other blogs on blogspot and the vast majority of them have nothing at all to do with xkcd. Maybe you should try growing a brain before acting like a dick.

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  55. how does one grow a brain
    i have been trying and trying

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  56. down the yellow brick road for rob
    here is some oil

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  57. it's the scarecrow who needs a brain

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  58. Anonymous @ 9:09 Oh god you are so wrong.

    Consider any number that you have a description of such that identifies it from all the other numbers. Any such description would consist of various letters and symbols and be of finite length. As such, you can assign an integer to each description. But the set of all real numbers is bigger than the set of all integers. Therefore, that the uncountable majority of numbers cannot possibly be described.

    This doesn't really have anything to do with the comic, I'm just saying. And of course there's a whole lot of reasons why you can't have uncountably many hurricanes. You can't have a hurricane on every point on Earth because hurricanes need some space around them to spiral wind around. They're not just magic death points.

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