Friday, October 28, 2011

Comic 970: Finger On The Milk Buttons

[Noted pirate king "The Pirate King" sent me this review, which is fortunate, because I didn't actually mind this comic that much. -Ed.]

the important field

[Comic title: The Important Field; alt text: I hear in some places, you need one form of ID to buy a gun, but two to pay for it by check. It's interesting who has what incentives to care about what mistakes.]

Oh my god this is a stupid one. I mean really, really dumb, in a lot of ways.

So we see some soldier (I guess?) using the "missile launch web interface". This idea is ludicrous. Randy knows it is ludicrous. It's likely that there are people out there who believe this is how the defense department actually operates, and this comic could become somewhat coherent as a jab at them (durr hurr the medias are so dumb hurr), but he doesn't really take it that way.

It's like he's criticizing the interface of a website that doesn't exist, and if it did, that he would never, ever see, and probably wouldn't look anything like how he portrays it. And even if this weren't atrociously implausible, one would assume that the soldier would have to provide some kind of login information to get on there, and logins are always tied to an email.

So maybe he's trying to mock a more general trend in account creation? You'd think he'd pick a more accessible example, like a bank site I guess? I suppose he's annoyed that they expect you to repeat your email twice? Well that's just stupid. The email is the only part of an account that you often can't change once you've created it, because that's how they send you your reset password, so it's the most important not to fuck up. I've lost newly-minted accounts to that accident on numerous occasions.

The alt text is stupid too, and doesn't make any sense in relation to the comic. "DURR HURR PEOPLE SOMETIMES CARE MORE ABOUT MONEY THAT THE SAFETY OF OTHERS!" Well no fucking shit, Albert McSherlock Picasso.

203 comments:

  1. I'm too lazy to go back and count, but how long has it been since Randall has done a multi-panel comic where there's any remote variation in the artwork?

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  2. Hey Rob. Remember me?
    Anyways, what Randall's trying to make a joke about is how you have to verify your email. He's making a joke, goddamn it. Not every comic needs to have meaning behind it. Give me a webcomic that actually has meaning behind every comic, and I'll retract my argument.

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  3. It's been like two comics, anon 6:02.

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  4. a softer world
    retraction plz

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  5. so you were lying about retracting your argument if I provided a comic that is consistently meaningful? weak.

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  6. Hey Ruiqi. I wrote this review, not rob. How come it's so hard to get the concept of guest reviews across to you newbies?
    Also, I get that he's making a joke, but the joke doesn't make any sense. As I understand it, the joke he's making goes something like this:
    "What if there were a top secret web interface for the military's US missile controls, and they ASKED YOU FOR YOUR EMAIL TWICE??! And they only asked for the target coordinates ONCE! How funny would that be, huh?"
    It's a premise that goes way out of a limb, because no such website exists, or will ever exist. You can make up a premise for anything that might be humorous if it reflected on a concept even remotely grounded in reality, but this one isn't, and so it's not funny.

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  7. That's not meaningful at all.
    Here:

    A softer world Number 733:
    What the hell is this?
    How does overcoming our nature make us not animals? Aren't we all animals?
    Oh wait, they're trying to say that we're evil. Buahahahaha. Funny, isn't it? It's a knee-slapper.

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  8. so in order for something to have a meaning, you have to agree with its message? what the fuck is wrong with you?

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  9. @ThePirateKing:
    The point of this joke is this:

    You have to enter your email twice for everything. Randall is making a joke... a joke, for god's sake! He's not saying there's a web interface to launch missiles. He's applying the idea to a more extreme situation to make an otherwise normal task more humorous.

    @Rob:
    Since when do YOU agree with Randall's ideas?

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  10. um, pretty sure i just said that agreeing with something is not a prerequisite for something to have meaning behind it. never claimed to agree with anyone, at all. just noting that you are a liar who won't retract an argument even after your stated conditions are met.

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  11. chairman mao was a liar too. COINCEDENCE?????

    CAPTCHA: encon. Enron MOAR LIKE ENCON AMIRITE?

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  12. @6:51 omg i didn't notice that
    THE CHINESE COMMIES ARE TAKING OVER THE BLOG
    RED ALERT
    (see what i did there)

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  13. More jokes about my ethnicity and my last name? I'm leaving.

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  14. But applying the idea to a more extreme situation only works when the situation is at least somewhat realistic.
    It's like... "what if we take this very reasonable idea, and put it in the context of this totally ridiculous fantasy I made up? Doesn't it look silly NOW?"
    But you can do that with anything, and it's not funny.

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  15. Are you replying to me, or the chairman?

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  16. @ThePirateKing:
    Well it is realistic, isn't it? Entering your email address twice? Don't tell me you haven't done that before.

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  17. the chairman, obvs. it sort of reminds me of a roommate we really wanted to kick out. we ended up making her so mad that she left on her own, but not before writing an angry livejournal (this was a long time ago) post about how sorry we would be that she was gone

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  18. ... no, that's not what I meant.

    The "very reasonable idea" is that you should enter your email address twice, to keep from locking yourself out of your account.

    The "totally ridiculous fantasy I made up" is the idea that there's a nuclear launch website where you have to enter your email twice.

    I thought that was obvious, but I underestimated your stupidity.

    And I like Our Glorious Leader over here. He's probably going to stay no matter what, because he has no sense of self-respect.

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  19. GTFB2 Japan, Luigi.

    We don't need your Communist perversions here. I would never trust a Jap named Mao or try to argue with him. They are like cockroaches, always trying to overwhelm in numbers where they can't in intelligence or skill.

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  20. @ PirateKing

    What? So things not grounded in reality can't be humorous?

    I find the notion that "unlikely circumstances aren't funny" is false. Musicals are very fun/funny, and the concept is very not grounded in reality. Sit-coms and dramatic/fantastical plays, you find none of them funny?

    Specifically regarding the comic: What I liked about the comic is that when I finished it, I was amused because I realized how often we construct things out of habit and lack of originality.

    You know what I hate? Lego sets that are made to build one specific thing. Or plastic model kits made to make a specific model. Why the hell would you bother? Chances are it's easier for them to make it for you, the only reason why you made it is because you have no life. It is so much more fun and satisfying to build something that the manufacturer didn't intend - the freedom and power and ingenuity of it all.

    But I digress.

    The comic loses major points because it's still exhibits "telling not showing" and mediocre artwork and some funky space-age computer monologue, but it definitely has the solid framework of a joke. It hits you from behind, and certainly flips your expectations.

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  21. @The Mesophyll

    GB2 your cell you plant scum

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  22. It shouldn't be like he's criticizing anything. Satire isn't the only form of humor, and this could have been a nice well-paced joke that even managed to dodge overstatement if you ignore the title. But Randall had to find something to be sanctimonious about, probably because scene nerds validate themselves by telling themselves they're smarter than everyone else, and that's where he fucked up.

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  23. @7:35

    MY IDENTITY HAS BEEN DISCOVERED! Congratulations, you win!
    It's actually some dorky mix of Mesophyll and Palisade layers of a plant leaf.

    /returns to rocky underbelly/
    COME AND FIND ME, BOGGARTS AND VAGRANTS.

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  24. I like Lego sets like that. :(

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  25. I like how the soldier-man in this comic is slowly morphing into Black Hat Guy.

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  26. "Specifically regarding the comic: What I liked about the comic is that when I finished it, I was amused because I realized how often we construct things out of habit and lack of originality."

    A webcomic, for example?

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  27. @TheMesosade "Telling not showing"? Where does that come from? That entire scenario was shown. Nothing was simply explained with dialogue. The joke is the interface. Those words are the actual interface. They are not the interface being explained.

    Don't reduce "show don't tell" to some sort of meaningless catchphrase >:(

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  28. Oh wait, I get it. "Type type" isn't proper onomatopoeia. It's just a description of typing. Fuck you Randall, you worthless hack.

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  29. 8:10/8:13

    Your sarcasm hurts, and I must correct you, for fear that you are not sarcastic and are just incredibly dull.

    It's "Show don't tell," because he's monologuing to us what's on the screen, not showing us.

    A good example of showing would be to show the website screen. It reduces dialogue (+1), eliminates a meaningless character (+1), and would give us something more creative than a stickman on a chair (+25). Believe it or not, I would rather see a fake webpage with what would be on the screen. Something like a Googlemaps interface with a crosshair on it would be better than this.

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  30. I erred and said dialogue when I meant monologue in my example. Forgive me, language gods :(.

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  31. @ThePirateKing:

    Oh yes, webcomics especially. You know an artist/designers/musicians/innovators greatest failing is when they have to work towards a deadline? That's why Randall's stuff sucks much of the time, and stuff like Hyperbole and a Half and TheOatmeal are amazing.

    Deadlines should be for factory workers and office jobs. When someone tries to impose a deadline on creativity and perfection, it will usually finish prematurely and be fairly unpleasant. (That's what she, are you reading?)

    Some webcomics do bring something new to the table - it's the ones that don't that just do it out of habit and not out of creative instinct that become awful.

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  32. I would just like to take the time to thank 'Rob' and 'Ruiqi Mao' for reminding me to check A Softer World today. Their 733rd comic was truly a delight.

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  33. Alternate punchlines for this comic:
    The site asks for a captcha code to confirm you are not a robot.
    The site demands the answer to a secret question, and it's something really obvious.
    The site asks for your mother's maiden name. The soldier is an orphan, and sheds a single tear.

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  34. Is it just me, or did Randall do an Orwellian edit on this one? I'm sure the soldier's hat was originally black, but that he changed it to avoid confusion with Black Hat Guy.

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  35. Uh... wow. This is actually... it's like the review is twice as stupid as the comic. This is unprecedented.

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  36. 10:00, so randy missed the opportunity to make a skynet joke?

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  37. ThePirateKing, that last example got a chuckle out of me (much more than randy normally can).

    On the comic though: Most of the time when I'm asked to re-enter something, it's the password. I can't think of many times when I've had to re-enter my e-mail address.

    Also, that guy's hat actually changes shape more than the stick figure's non-circular head

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  38. I'm always reading, Mesosade. And I approve.

    Thank you, Jon. I saw the comic early after it came out and then read a comment on here later saying something about green hat guy and I thought, "How do you know his hat's green?" Then I saw this review and thought, "Crap, how did I not notice that before?" And then I went and found Ruiqi Mao's mom and plunked her junk.

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  39. Oh my god this is a stupid one. I mean really, really dumb, in a lot of ways.

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  40. I think it would have been much better if he used the alt text as the comic, instead of a made up example.

    BUT HEY COMPUTERS.

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  41. Someone explain the difference between this comic, and the following excerpt from my stand up comedy routine.

    "Isn't it ridiculous how you have to enter a 25 character code to walk on the pavement, but you can drive on the pavement just by getting into your car? I mean, who came up with this system, some dumb idiot?!"

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  42. I would have actually liked this comic if it was about the alt-text. The alt-text scenario is funny observational humor. This comic, however, just takes the alt-text to an unbelievable level by making it about nuclear arms.

    This comic makes me mad not so much for the bad joke, but for the fact that Randy had ALL the information to make a GOOD joke and completely bypassed it for his primary belief: randomness makes for a funny comic.

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  43. Rob, you're writing YouTube comments here. Stand back and actually look at the fucking thing.

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  44. I'm lost - does Randall hate typing his email twice, or does he think you should have to type everything else twice? What's this joke an extrapolation from?

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  45. He's mocking the fact they are not helping the user do his job, just making sure they can hold him accountable. You fucking morons you.

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  46. no it's obviously about mind/body dualism and nietzsche's will to power

    fucking plebs

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  47. UndercoverCuddlefishOctober 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    the only good thing i can say about this comic is that for once in his entire fucking life randy did not add ppd

    too bad the rest of it sucked dick

    how the fuck does randall think he can get away with making a joke about web interfaces without actually showing us a web interface

    jesus christ

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  48. I would like to mention that I originally believed the character in this comic to be Black Hat Guy. Given the downward trend of realism for his asshole behavior, I feel I was justified in believing it.

    Actually, it still might be him. It's rather difficult to tell, given that his rim seems to grow as the comic progresses.

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  49. The joke is that warfare affects everyone. No one escapes unscathed, everyone is punished in their own ways.

    --or--

    The joke is that They have already taken control of the Missile Launch System, and are just fucking with the Operator.

    --or--

    The joke is that 970 is the Area Code for Aspen, home of famed missile command operator Lance Armstrong.

    --or--

    The joke is that people still expect legitimate critique from this site.

    Captcha: unquit. Is not possible =[

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  50. @Ruiqi Mao - it may be a joke, but it's not fucking funny. This is one of Randall's most boring comics to date...

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  51. I love how people argue about which unfunny joke randall intended.

    I AGREE WITH YOU THAT THIS COMIC IS STUPID, BUT YOU ARE ATROCIOUSLY WRONG IN DESCRIBING HOW IT IS STUPID. LET ME CORRECT YOU...

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  52. @Anon 1:42

    Who knows? Maybe it's Black Hat Guy with a different hat. Maybe all the hat guys (beret, white hat) are the same person. Think - have you ever seen them in the same comic together?

    Maybe all xkcd characters are the same timelord, who keeps crossing his/her own time stream and not remembering. Then King Wenceslas is in fact the Doctor.

    Captcha: lograve. Lower than a log rave.

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  53. @Jon: Let me correct you. In Randall's earliest comics, the black hat guy was ALWAYS with the beret guy.
    And in comic 291, you see the beret guy talking to the white hat guy.
    I don't see where you're getting at here...

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  54. It's funny how you said exactly what I just said was a stupid thing to say. And you came back like I predicted you would, too. Because you have no honor.

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  55. Good job, you figured out censorship

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  56. Didn't you just delete my comment...?

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  57. Oh... well then the comment showed up momentarily... and then disappeared...
    Strange

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  58. yeah, I've never been able to figure out what causes that. it seems to have something to do with Blogger's spam detection system, though the comment still gets sent to anyone with email notification so it's not very effective if so. haven't noticed it in a while but I guess it's started again, so, woo?

    but yeah, even if I had comment moderation powers I really couldn't be bothered.

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  59. Yeah... tis quite strange...
    TBH, the comic has its issues, like its lack of change, but the joke Randall's making makes sense, unlike, I admit, some other comics that took me a while to get.

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  60. yes, this one didn't bother me. the execution could be better but the premise of the joke is all right.

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  61. Actually, I just noticed that the green hat guy didn't type on the last frame... he stumbles a little. Well that just made it a little better. :)

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  62. jon. if you make another reference to that stupid meme from tvtropes, I swear i will kill you.

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  63. I don't care enough to read through the rest of the comments here, but Randall was clearly actually making a strip about a magician who can turn his keyboard into a mouse (and vice versa) when it suits him.

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  64. god I DON'T even want to post this comment nowOctober 30, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    You people are weak-willed and unsuitable for this cause. Words will not change anything, only action!

    We must attack Randall Munroe without mercy and quickly! Our ferocity will be unmatched or something

    something something

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  65. Rob, please, stop samefagging. We get enough of that from the cuddlefish.

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  66. jon levi is the most bizarre person on the internet. he impersonates me so he can tell himself that he sucks

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  67. R, I didn't write that. I'm looking at you, Rob.

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  68. Rob, when Blogger's spam detection system kicks into effect you should stop correcting people and let them think you're censoring them. These cuddlefish throw a funny hissy fit and quickly leave in a huff of cuddlefishery.

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  69. not one of THE FIVEOctober 30, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    You realise that without the cuddlefish, it would be the same five people writing the same five things?

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  70. Croball, Jonitten, Annven, R., and Ruiqi.

    Tell me there are more than these people.

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  71. I post a few times every month or so. I'm a regular poster on *the other blog*.

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  72. Post above me if you are dumb.

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  73. Wow, this site seems like it's kind of nitpicking here.

    It's just making a joke about something we've all experienced, and applying it to a more extreme situation to make it funny.

    Yes, we understand there's no such thing as a "Missile defense web interface," since when does a comic have to be factually accurate to be funny? You're telling me you've never read a comic that features silly scenarios before?

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  74. Wait, Rob doesn't mind this comic. Who the fuck is posting? Are there two Robs here? I wasn't prepared for this. :S

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  75. raven, you realize i am just the name used for anyone who wants to go anon? i thought everyone knew this

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  76. if only I prepended every guest post with an editorial comment noting who the author was

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  77. don't pretend like you didn't retroactively add that in.

    you are such an asshole, rob

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  78. Hey, I just found out that my TVTropes entry for the false dichotomy in the xkcd comic "Charity" was rectified on xkcd's main page. The entry on the page for false dichotomy was ameliorated, though.

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  79. lOL RUB GO EAT A BACON

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  80. hay this guys a dick head! as in he has a head that is also a dick! like instead of a head he has a penis, like where his head should be!October 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Time for a fun fact!

    Q:did you know that humor can sometimes use extreme situation to show a point?

    A: yes, in fact this is very common and the mere fact that someone might criticize a joke for being unrealistic is perplexing and gives me no hope for the future of humanity! ;)

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  81. protip: eat a dick

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  82. I think it's dumb that Dumbledore was supposedly gay his sexuality does not come into play during the series. Announcing that a character is gay in an interview or something instead of implying it or saying it outright in any one of the several books he appears in or in which he is mentioned is dumb. I can't even figure out if it counts as canon what was JK Rowling thinking?

    Should our perceptions of characters in a fictional universe really be colored by information that is never presented in that universe?

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  83. He and Grindelwald were obviously boning in the 7th book. If you didn't get that, you weren't reading it hard enough.

    I bet you also think Ginny was just trying to kiss Harry before he left.

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  84. Dumbledore is also strongly implied to be molesting Harry but w/e

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  85. The thing is, as well as Dumbledore and Grindelwald boning explains their relationship, it isn't 'obvious' without Rowling's statements on the matter.

    To use another series as an example, a sexual relationship could easily be retconned into Magneto and Xavier's interactions and feel like it fits well for essentially the same reasons - (two extremely close friends, peerless in ability except for each other, who spend all their time together on their pet project of remaking the world into something better, an extreme falling out, an ensuing rivalry but a reluctance to actually engage each other in violence.). Jamming in "they were lovers" would be perfectly compatible with the rest, but you can't just assume it.

    The same with Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Nowhere does any character mention the possibility they were in a romantic relationship, it's only inferrable by an emotional friendship.

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  86. I'm pretty sure Magneto and Xavier had it going on too. But maybe I'm just projecting fanfic onto it rather than actually reading that one correctly.

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  87. Fuck I REALLY like the new XKCD.

    To be fair, I did not like it that much until I read the alt text, so theirs an asterisk.

    I swear, just by ripping off a softer world and SMBC he stole some of their humour.

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  88. @ anon 12:01
    It was kind of amusing. I'm not sure how it was influenced by SMBC or ASW though. It was dangerously close to original.

    On a related note, what are your opinions regarding the homosexuality of Albus Dumbledore, as noted in interviews by author JK Rowling? Do you think it is something that can be deduced within the series itself, or was it merely tacked on by the creator entirely outside the canonical media? How does that make you feel?

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  89. Latest XKCD: Best in a long time.

    No PPD. Original[ish] idea. Brilliant for XKCD. Not bad for a webcomic.

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  90. I could not tell at first that 971 was about homeopathy. I actually thought the guy on the left was the strawman, until I read the alt text. Have I been spending too much time here? Wait, don't answer that.

    My main criticism of 971 is that it's a HUGE WALL OF TEXT. The alt text is also a MASSIVE WALL OF TEXT.

    I counted 108 words for a 740x305 pixel space. So this comic is a 4.79 on the Ravenzomg Scale of Wordiness™. To give you a sense of comparison, the wordiest xkcd of all time was 6.94. Most xkcd comics get much lower.

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  91. What's Randall's problem with homeopathy? I mean, if a randomized trials showed that homeopathy works (which is the case not for every conditions, but a few of them like influenza), why would an alleged scientist continue saying it is a fraud?

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  92. I took homeopathic pills for influenza prevention one, and it didn't work. Homeopathy is a fraud.

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  93. Yeah, I think a large part of the new XKCD is a sense of averted disappointment - all that shit about book publishers being evil and imagination being awesome, well, I could believe Randall trying to present that as the sensible viewpoint, so not only does the punchline provide a funny end to things it also provides a sense of relief that that's not what he was going for.

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  94. Alt-text was kinda goomh (the pharmacies in my country do that shit too), but it was boring and unfunny, just like the comic itself. Best xkcd in a long time? Nope.

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  95. @12:08

    It wasn't. It was indeed dangerously close to original, but I was inferring he was like a leech, sure now he has blood, but he got it from others.

    His brother fucked a goat right?

    Also his sister was caught doing magic and three muggle boys did something to stop it, the traditional way to cure a witch of her powers was to rape her. She was 6 years old. His father was sent to prison and she suffered attacks of randomized magical outbursts, one of which killed their mother.

    Now look into that deeper. The father was sent to prison, the daughter horrifically abused eventually took the life of her mother. Why her mother? Because HER MOTHER LET IT HAPPEN TO HER. I suspect that Albus, His brother AND his sister were subject to horrific sexual abuse at the hands of their father.

    No wonder he's a queer.

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  96. So, hurr hurr, homoeopathy, right? Hurr hurr, it's stupid, right? Hurr hurr, people who believe it are stupid, right? We are so smart, guys!

    I don't know if it's just me, but the notion that the comic *could* be about something else and is only "subverted" by the homoeopathy jab in the last panel is completely torn down by a second read, especially taking the alt-text into account. The "that one has some ink" line makes it pretty clear that the whole comic IS NOTHING BUT a lame jab at homoeopathy, and the alternate interpretations are just consequence of Randall being a shit writer.

    I can say for sure, if I wanted one author to write an interesting, compelling "both sides of the argument" story, Randall would NOT be it. He is to Bertolt Brecht as Pol Pot is to Mother Theresa.

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  97. New comic is fucking awful. If someone has the imagination to make up their own worlds and stories in their head, that's a good thing. Literature is about imagination and imagery. Medicine is about cold hard science.

    Randall is comparing fucking Apples and Giraffes.

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  98. Listen. Let's all just pretend that there is no reference to Homeopathy in this latest comic so we can try to appreciate #971.

    Does anyone think someone sick he knew used Homeopathy and it didn't work?

    For the rest of Hallowe'en I'm going to be someone who doesn't visit hate-sites.

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  99. wow. a joke about homeopathy. thats timely, because just a few years ago there was something in the news about it. no wait. there wasnt. well there mightve been, i wasnt really paying attention as its so very obviously a crock of shit.

    isnt taking the piss out of homeopathy a bit redundant these days? sure there are some people that still 'believe' in it, but its a lot like any religion in that respect - logic and facts arnt going to stand in the way of cold hard fanaticism.

    Ravenz is probably right.

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  100. Taking the piss out of homeopathy isn't redundant because there are children's "cough syrups" on the shelves next to the children's Tylenol that essentially "work by magic".

    That said, I believe in magic and use homeopathic medicine... so I have mixed feeling on the subject. Anyway, comic 971 is clearly about eBook readers.

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  101. OH fuck. It is a joke about homoeopathy. Oh shit shit shit. "Alternative"... new xkcd, I thought I liked you. I was wrong :(

    man Randall that's not how homeopathy doesn't work

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  102. This is a funny PC comic. www.elementsoflifecomic.blogspot.com

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  103. "someone sick he knew" being Steve Jobs.

    It's true, by the way. Jobs tried to cure his cancer with alternative medicines before going for surgery. I'm sure Randall became very disappointed with his idol when he learned that.

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  104. xkcd improved:

    http://i.imgur.com/KYUW4.png

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  105. ok again i have to say xkcd is shit but you can't accuse 971 of not being topical. the alt-text itself tells you that pharmacies recently started selling homeopathic medicine.

    @whoever mentioned homeopathy clinical trials, placebos also "work" in such trials, which is why simply "working", especially in an illness that goes away by itself like the flu, doesn't mean much.

    @Fernie Canto, the two sides of a story don't always deserve equal time. would you make the same complaint if he presented a "one-sided" version of the holocaust?

    oh god i feel like a cuddlefish now, but i did like 971.

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  106. I was talking about double blind randomized controlled trials, where the control group is given a placebo. The placebo effect has been known for decades: nowadays, you always give a placebo to the control group, and the doctors and nurses giving the placebo and following the patients don't know whether it is a placebo or not (hence double blind: the patient is blind, the doctor is blind too).

    As for flu prevention pills, it is quite easy to measure the treatment effect (percentage of people who got the flu in the control group minus percentage of people who got the flu in the treatment group).

    Frankly, I don't know whether homeopathy work or not, but I suspect most of the people saying "pfff, it's a fraud" haven't read the randomized experiment literature on the subject. I don't understand why someone praising science would a priori say that a new medicine is a fraud.

    By nature, i have a tendency to trust my human brothers. I know that a lot of family doctors recommend homeopathy for flu prevention. I believe they don't do that because they were paid by some evil corporation. I believe they're not stupid. I believe they read some of the litterature on the subject. I am willing to trust them more than I am willing to trust a cartoonist (albeit brilliant).

    But if there is someone i would trust more than my family doctor, it's an anonymous on the internet.

    captcha: aasht: aashta! fucking homo-pathetic pills...

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  107. @Rochambeau

    "
    Frankly, I don't know whether homeopathy work or not, but I suspect most of the people saying "pfff, it's a fraud" haven't read the randomized experiment literature on the subject. I don't understand why someone praising science would a priori say that a new medicine is a fraud.

    By nature, i have a tendency to trust my human brothers. I know that a lot of family doctors recommend homeopathy for flu prevention. I believe they don't do that because they were paid by some evil corporation. I believe they're not stupid. I believe they read some of the litterature on the subject. I am willing to trust them more than I am willing to trust a cartoonist (albeit brilliant)."

    I don't want to know about some fictional "litterature", a scientist have to see practical and truthful researches and statistics.

    And I would understand perfectly that somebody that "praises science" wait to something to be completely proven before believing it, because it's the core of Scientific Method.

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  108. Rochambeau: if you could link those papers you mentioned, that would be awesome.

    Thanks.

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  109. By literature, I mean scientific literature. By scientific literature, I mean research and statistics.

    Being a scientist would mean not having a prioris about a medicine before knowing whether it works or not (the only way to know being randomized controlled experiments).

    Frankly, I don't know the homeopathy scientific literature. I don't know the literature on any drug, 'cuz I am not a doctor. I trust my family doctor, and when she tells me to take homeopathy, I take it. I don't think Randall Munroe has read the literature on the subject either. He might have read stuff on the internet, though.

    So i'm as ignorant as anyone here. But reading the xkcd forum (i know, my fault), I see people who seem as ignorant as me getting really super angry against homeopathy, accusing it of killing people etc. I see no reference, except shitty internet links. And the only argument is: "the medicine is diluted a lot, how can it work if it is diluted a lot? How can something little have a big effect?"

    I guess the problem is that a true scientist would test everything himself, but nobody has the time and money to test every theory he is presented to himself. Even if you're okay with reading accounts of experiments done by others, nobody has the time to read all the literature (scientific literature) on every subject. Hence what you do is you trust some people. That's why we have such institutions as universities, a government, etc.

    My feeling is that the scientific community is divided about the efficiency of homeopathy. Taking only homeopathic pills and believing the conspiracy theories about the pharmaceutical industry is dumb. But being super mad at homeopathy and inventing another conspiracy theory about the pharmaceutical industry lying to us when selling homeopathy is just as dumb.

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  110. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9310601

    What they say, reviewing the literature, is that further research is needed. Not that homeopathy is a fraud that kills people and that we should stop research on that (which is what a lot of people say!)

    My point is not about the efficiency of homeopathy. It is just that i don't understand why people get so upset about homeopathy when they know as little about it as I know.

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  111. I am the true Rochambeau. Someone has been impersonating me. My mom was raped and killed by homoeopathy when I was 6.

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  112. http://www.facultyofhomeopathy.org/research/rcts_in_homeopathy/

    Of course, you have to consider that the website is named facultyofhomeopathy.org

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  113. "@Fernie Canto, the two sides of a story don't always deserve equal time. would you make the same complaint if he presented a "one-sided" version of the holocaust?"

    Well, I *could* complain. But that point here is not that Randall did not write a "two-sided story", but that, according to the writing skills he has shown so far, he is compltely incapble and unwilling to do it; if he's not being deliberately pandering and biased, he pretty much can't do anything.

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  114. There were some organized anti-homeopathy demonstrations on 10/23 (get it?), so this is fairly topical, but a week late.

    Rochambeau, calling Munroe "brilliant" isn't going to help your position here. I'm kinda with you though. Their have been studies demonstrating that homeopathic remedies have a stronger effect than a placebo. Some/most of this may be due to 95% confidence intervals. 5% of the time you'll get the wrong result. Good journals know this though, and shouldn't be accepting papers where a single trial produced a result not much better 0.05 confidence. So does homeopathy work? There's no scientific mechanism for it to function, but there are review articles like the one you posted that have found SOMETHING. Homeopathy is basically applying the concept of vaccines (like cures like at very low doses) to other remedies. Curiously, I think there's a lot of overlap between anti-vaxxers and pro-homeopaths.


    It's not just a matter of medicines being super-diluted. It's the fact that many homeopathic remedies are so diluted that there is nothing left but water. Not all of them though (this is where the anti-homeopathy side bugs the hell out of me). There are a few homeopathic remedies diluted to less (i.e. stronger) than 12C/24X, but anti-homeopaths love to mindlessly regurgitate Avogadro's number and declare the case closed. This calculation presupposes that homeopaths are starting with exactly one mole of something. I suspect they're actually starting with even less, but 100 moles of a pure substance isn't all that much (I have no idea how you'd calculate a mole of say, poison oak). At any rate, homeopaths clearly don't believe that Avogadro's number holds any significance, so they're not using a mole as target amount of starting material. The reality is probably even worse for homeopaths, but anti-homeopaths simply saying "10^23, there's nothing but water in there" aren't bothering to do their homework, even when they are mostly right.

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  115. So here's the thing. Normally you have to enter a password twice because the password isn't echoed back to you as you type it. So since you can't visually inspect the password, the only way to know if you typed it in correctly is to re-type it, and hope you didn't make the same typing mistake. But since an email address isn't a secret field that echos back with asterisks, you can double check it without re-typing it. So typing it twice seems pointless.

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  116. Surely, everything has just as much "meaning" as everthing else, and to try arguing that something has more or less is just retarded?

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  117. Colourless green ideas sleep furiously.

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  118. Stanley "Cuddle" FishOctober 31, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Is this supposed to be some sort of parody of Iser/Fish? If so it's a pretty shitty mischaracterization of reader response theory.

    Although I honestly doubt Randall actually knows anything about literary criticism. But I can't find another angle to even understand this comic

    Although "Who sold you all these blank books?" is slightly funny

    I don't consider the alt text part of the comic usually and it's not funny or insightful anyway

    Vis-a-vis notorious homosexual Dumbledore: Sexuality is generally out of place in a children's book series so it's good that Rowling was able to include a character who was gay without making it the entirety of his character

    Probably better than having a character who has conspicuous sex with men and teaches everyone a lesson about how gays are perennially flamboyant

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  119. sometimes when you are writing a story, you come up with various details about the characters' lives, backgrounds, and etc that, if you are a good writer, never make it into the actual story because they don't actually directly contribute to the story, and it's bad to inflict your work on the reader like that.

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  120. Homeopathy is dumb. XKCD is dumb. Cuddlefish are dumb.

    There, I settled the debate.

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  121. more like homopathy, amirite

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  122. "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously" now has inherent meaning as the universally accepted code for "I'm a Chomsky cocksucker."

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  123. Comic 971 would've been good as just the last panel with no alt-text. Under any other circumstances, it's awful.

    And yes, yes, you all know where to go to find my full thoughts on the matter.

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  124. on the other hand, randomly criticizing whatever comes from Chomsky regardless of whether it's political thought or linguistics has acquired the meaning of "i'm a reactionary idiot who hasn't really read anything by Chomsky, also give me 5 minutes and i'll be spouting nonsense about Das Kapital without ever having seen so much as the cover of it".

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  125. So TheAmazingAtheist (the fat atheist neckbeard of internet renown) had a fucking hilarious sextape leaked. He was spurting himself with chocolate syrup and then stuck a banana up his ass.

    God: 1
    Atheism: 0

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  126. @7:29 That video is like 2 years old.

    How is this a win for religion?

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  127. Thus Adam's Eden-plot in far-off time:
    Colour-rampant flowers, trees a myriad green;
    Helped by God-bless'd wind and temp'rate clime.
    The path to primate knowledge unforseen,
    He sleeps in peace at eve with Eve.
    One apple later, he looks curiously
    At the gardens of dichromates, in whom
    colourless green ideas sleep furiously
    then rage for birth each morning, until doom
    Brings rainbows they at last perceive.

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  128. Guys I looked into the matter of Dumbledore's homosexuality.

    Despite Ravenzomg's advanced level of smugness, Grindelwald and Dumbldore weren't boning in the slightest. Dumbledore had romantic feelings toward Grindelwald, feelings that were specifically described as "unrequited" by Rowling.

    @ Stanley "Cuddle" Fish
    The series is hardly for children by the last book. If half the characters can get murdered, then it could have been mentioned that one of the characters had a mancrush on another.

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  129. oh god guys i have to disclose something with you, i have been posting under anonymous accounts here for a long time now and i feel comfortable talking to all of you. i was going about my regular day today and a horrific realization struck the very core of my soul. i found myself staring into a mirror and when the reflection gazed back at me i could not come to terms with what i saw. my life has been a lie this entire time and i have no control over the destiny of humanity. but as time went on i found comfort knowing that our actions in life have little to no effect in the grand scheme of things. do you think it is possible for angels to exist, or rather if there is/was a god do you think he even gives a shit? perhaps he's dead? i don't think it is possible to say for sure and with that i feel like all that matters in life is making amends with ourselves

    I suppose that life in the grand scheme of things will not bend to our actions but we can instead to bend to ourselves ( if that makes any sense at all) because life does not care what we do, we just have to admit to the truths that apply to us.

    for instance i have to come to terms that i have and always will want to make a living selling paintings of black chick's asses, or Rob you have to admit to being totally sexually attracted to Randy. because i don't want to live in a world where such a dedicated blogger has to live in fear of the emotions inside him

    let it out man, just let it all out

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  130. @serious shit

    The answer to your question is Schrödinger's cat. God both gives a shit and does not give a shit. God is both dead and not dead. God is superimposed between these quantum states because no one has ever observed him.

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  131. STFU Jon, Moses observed him it's a historical fact. WHY ELSE WOULD HE NEED A VEIL, HUH????

    re: Dumbledore/Grindelwald: "All the symbolism that people say is shit. " -- Hemingway.

    So you know, Rowling saying that the feelings were unrequited just means she wanted to say that. Writers are the second most unscrupulous class of people, after atheists.

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  132. @Anon820

    How is this a win for religion?

    I dunno, I guess the same way that any time a single religious person does something extreme, it's a "win" for atheism.

    ReplyDelete
  133. "How is this a win for religion?"

    You do realize God and religion aren't the same things, right?

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  134. Hemingway was an atheist writer, so he would say that.

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  135. Moses observing God is a historical fact because a book says so? By the same token I could claim that Dumbledore actually was gay for Grindlewald, like in real life.

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  136. Heh, Harry Potter is a dumb book. SO IS THE BIBLE.

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  137. @ Ravenzomg

    Let's say for the sake of argument that Professor Xavier and Dumbledore met. Do you think they would have hooked up? Do you think they would have been more compatible in a relationship than Dumbledore and Grindelwald?

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  138. i think the question on everyone's mind is, did Dumbledore own a vibrator, and if so, which size

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  139. I keep wanting to post, but then an anon keeps posting my exact thoughts, thus negating the need no post in the first place:
    "Homeopathy is dumb. XKCD is dumb. Cuddlefish are dumb."
    "more like homopathy, amirite"

    I fear I am becoming one with the hivemind.

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  140. This blog feels more tryhard to be witty/comedic than xkcd itself. Nitpicking the details of any joke, gag or comic strips it of all it's humor.

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  141. Gamer_2k4, are you playing Starcraft?

    Cause you just got ZERGED.

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  142. @Jim Pants
    How dare you! To say that is to disgrace all the brave wizards and witches who died in the Battle of Hogwarts!

    02/May/1998 - NEVER FORGET!

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  143. if the Easter bunny and Santa had a baby would the idea of a bearded man shitting out the universe be any less archaic, also harry potter is a book for children and to argue about it like it has some sort of merit is just another way to affirm the lie that every child is special

    all of you can go fuck yourselves, we seem to forget why we came here in the first place. to make fun of Rob as he tries to make the internet think he has a big penis but doesn't have the balls to post pics!

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  144. "strips it of all it's humor."

    "It's" means "it is," you dumb shit.

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  145. preferably of your ballz, and or cox

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  146. Hi, this will be the first and last time I post. There are a lot of people trying to analyze this comic as if they are high school students reading "To Kill a Mockingbird". It is an extremely simple comic meant to call attention to an amusing phenomenon that no doubt all of us have experienced, although probably not this extremely. I also observed that a lot of the comments were written extremely early in the morning. Don't people have anything better to do at 2:00 am (i.e. sleep, or at least read a good book?) than trash a simple comic? I agree that Randy's comics have not been up to par lately, but that is because he is human like the rest of us and he's going through a difficult time right now. It's amazing he can find humor at all in life. I'm not saying that Rob is wrong about anything, because he is correct about many of the points he makes. I'm just saying that it is a complete waste of your time to make fun of this comic. Your comments are not going to make them any funnier or make Randy say, "You're right! I'm really not as funny as I used to be!" I don't expect people to respond uncritically to this comment. I just wanted to make a point and hopefully convince people to do something more productive than be mean. Thanks!
    P.S. I am appalled by the amount of references to dicks on these comments, both from haters and fans alike. Is that really necessary?

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  147. One correction, sorry! I noticed that the time of when I published was incorrect, so I apologize for giving people grief for posting early, when it seems that it is simply a blogspot.com mistake! Okay, that was really my last comment.

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  148. well ok then, don't choke on any dicks on your way out

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  149. It's true about the dick references. Without ALT-F, the male/female genital reference ratio is horribly skewed.

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  150. okay, someone explain the latest comic to me, i just do not understand at all

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  151. Tongues are a big problem, and we need to donate money to research a cure for tongues.

    Seriously, though the joke is the if someone makes you think about tongues you're supposed to become conscious of the feel of your tongue in your mouth, and this is annoying or something. And that is the joke.

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  152. really? that's it? people find having tongues annoying?

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  153. Is Anonymous854 someone parodying people who post here? I really hope so =[ Otherwise, PLEASE GET OFF THE INTERNET BEFORE IT CORRUPTS YOUR FOOLISH INNOCENCE!

    also tongues, huh? I consciously thought about mine, then stopped caring about it. Is... this not a thing regular people can do? Like, does anyone relate to this comic?

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  154. xkcd fanboys will dutifully pretend that they hated this month because of their tongues

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  155. So I actually looked it up on the Internet.

    He's referring to a Charlie Brown comic (hence the alt text):

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nM44tDCLKFk/TfvJ-EDJNMI/AAAAAAAAAn8/cgQmWyaZ50Y/s1600/linus-and-lucy.jpg

    This xkcd comic is the most blatant reference comic ever. He's using another comic which he liked as the punchline, and then his own comic? Basically an unnecessary intro plus added post-punchline dialogue to ruin the original comic.

    This can only be good if you either thought the specific Charlie Brown comic was fantastic (which I didn't) and hadn't seen it before (most of us), and better than a real xkcd comic (...maybe), OR if the real point of the comic was to make people who figured the comic out feel special, like it's a puzzle or something.

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  156. it's called 'stole a joke, then referenced it, making it okay'

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  157. the thing is, in Peanuts, the characters are children, and children go through things like this all the time. thus the Peanuts comic is more plausible, hence funnier, and also endearing.

    putting the same words in the mouths of adults just makes them sound retarded.

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  158. this one is surprising from noted oral fetishist Randy. I figured him for the type who was always doing something with his tongue

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  159. who knew november was cunnilingus month?

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  160. I don't think he stole any joke. I think it's just a reference. Without the reference you really have to read into this to see a joke.

    That's really the best kind of joke, the kind where you have to think for a while about why it should be funny and then come up with a solution that is dubious at best.

    Also, enjoy the next four weeks makes no sense. Would a person seriously think about it all month and then stop thinking in December?

    This one infuriates me like most don't.

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  161. Someone who cannot even accurately type their email address into a registration box (or use auto-complete) shouldn't be calling anything stupid. It's a joke, it doesn't have to be ultra realistic. It's called artistic integrity. Why don't you people stop trying so hard to pick the tiniest of faults with someone who's work is successful and go out and get laid.

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  162. ...Artistic integrity includes NOT stealing jokes from Peanuts cartoons...

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  163. So, another comic where Black Hat Guy is basically reduced to annoying roommate status. The stud finder comic was a new low for him. I think this is worse. Why can't he go back to murdering people on escalators?

    Captcha: hatempl. Hate me, please.

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  164. I thought he was making fun of all (insert organ name) cancer awareness initiatives.

    Isn't November testicular cancer awareness month?

    That's right, folks. Randy hates your balls.

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  165. Stop breathing manually guys

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  166. 8:54,
    It's not a mistake. It always posts the time stamps in Pacific Time. And the ones who post at 3:00 in the morning might live in England or something (but more likely, yeah, they probably just have no lives).

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  167. i live in england AND have no life, does that count

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  168. You live in England? I'm going to have to administer a test.

    What do you call your mother?

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  169. November is prostate cancer awareness. Unfortunately, in Randall's eyes, males shouldn't get any help because they are selfish jerks, and so he decided to mock this awareness month.

    If it was breast cancer awareness month, we would get a comic praising it every week.

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  170. Nope, never mind, October was Breast cancer awareness month. I was wrong.

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  171. My tongue is secretly black hat guy.

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  172. Megan is aware of my tongue.

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  173. Hey! I'm a pretty big guy, but when it comes to "Randall Munroe", I have to admit that he's one of the best web car"TUNA"sts of all time! Maybe you're all just jealous that you can't make something as good -- but it looks like he's starting to have millions of viewers now!

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  174. how many times, jon? i don't use capitals

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  175. Charles Augustus FortescueNovember 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    There is an original joke in the tongue comic. It takes "awareness" as usually applied to diseases, and puts it in a different context. Perhaps there is even a satirical undercurrent on the mild silliness of charities who promote "awareness" of diseases like AIDS and breast cancer, of which almost everybody is already aware.

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  176. a better joke would have been:

    BHG: hey did you know that november is breast cancer awareness month?

    woman: *cries*

    BHG: enjoy the next four weeks.

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  177. Someone please edit up an xkcd like 11:12 just described.

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  178. your heart is now beating manually,
    your penis is now beating manually,
    your ceo is now meeting annually;
    your life is falling apart;
    your wife is dating bart;
    but at the end of it all you still own a cart
    and when that bullet goes through your heart
    you realize the one thing that set you apart...
    the fact that your other car was a cdr.

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  179. today is "randall's girlfriend has cancer awareness month" (just like every month ever)

    ReplyDelete
  180. Have I mentioned Black Hat Guy yet?

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  181. disregard the above. i suck cocks.

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  182. Heh. Internet meme, samefags.

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  183. An interesting thing about this xkcd is that the word 'November' is used, which enrages me.

    Can you believe TvTropes totally changed the name of Nakama to True Companions? That's Orwellian editing if I've ever seen it (get in the memory hole! ha ha ha reference). It's disgusting. Now, as a neurosuperior meme machine and brony who appreciates the amenities of the orient, this disgusts me. It's like, persecution and insular. TVTROPES, Y U NO LEARN TO RESPECT OTHER CULTURES? Heh.

    In other news my carer made bread today. I told him U MADE DOUGH!!!!! but he is too stupid for my wit and I knew you samefags would appreciate.

    Gotta go, it's bingo time. Till next time, people who care about what I have to say.

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  184. We all love you Jim Pants. Even us samefags.

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  185. @Jim Pants
    It's because no one knew how to pronounce 'Nakama'. And only a few people actually knew what it means. I for one welcome the change.

    @Ann Apolis
    Noone answered your question, because you failed to even use a question mark.

    @R.
    Infinitely many times, R. I dare you to print out this comment, and stick it on your 'Jon Levi wall of hate'. Just admit that's what you already do.

    @Silversurfer
    NO U

    Captcha: flegum. Sounds gross, but someone would probably have a fetish for it.

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  186. Jon Levi, two questions - are you an autistic Jew? and, why did you steal my money you autistic jew?

    ReplyDelete
  187. I didn't answer anyone's question.

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  188. I really should leave more time between my samefag posts.

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  189. I see I must repeat myself.

    1: Are you an autistic Jew?
    2: Why did you steal my money you autistic jew?

    Don't make me repeat it a third time.

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  190. Post 200!

    Anyone posting after this will go on to the second page, and no-one gives a fuck about the second page.

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