1190: "Time"

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby f0rmicUla » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:38 pm UTC

nerdsniped wrote:
f0rmicUla wrote:
Anna-X wrote:(snip) So basically, what could possibly have happened on Earth that would wipe out all this "basic knowledge" but not all of human kind? Even if there were to be some sort of apocalypse that would nuke us back to the stone age, I find it hard to believe that general knowledge, technology wouldn't survive? (snip)

This does remind me of a SF story- I read only one part of a series- where people had hightech but barely understood how it worked, let alone how to build or repair any of the stuff they used. They had exo skeletons and navigation and even the consciousnesses of their ancestors implanted (some of them were incomplete or unstable).
charlie_grumbles wrote:Also, Read Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban. You'll like it. Read it twice. Ponder the ending.

I'll do, someday. I guess it'll be very hard, though. Always a struggle for me to read non-german literature, esp when it'so playful language-wise. I'm currently struggling with "Canticle for Leibowitz". Maybe you, dear charlie, have an idea what I was reading? It seems like you read some SF.

Maybe Great Sky River by Gregory Benford?

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby nerdsniped » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:39 pm UTC

CasCat wrote:<snip> I agree that the hill people apparently didn't tell the Forty (at least, not until after Cuegan left, which would be cutting things pretty fine) but on further consideration I'm not absolutely sure it was malicious. "Oh, no! Run for the mountains!" (with no thought at all about anyone else). Of course, in order of increasing malice, it could also have been "Oh, those funny people with Beanies are telling everyone, so we don't need to worry about sending word to those Shore people" or even "We'd better not tell those nasty Shore people; after all, they steal anything that isn't nailed down..."

On that note... how did Rosetta know, right off the bat, that Cuegan's tribe had not been warned?

Rosetta wrote:We tried to remove everybody from the basin. But we did not know of your tribe.

This is the entire Mediterranean Basin we're talking about. She couldn't possibly know about every village-level group that had been evacuated, could she? So maybe she was just making an assumption, based on the fact that Megan and Cueball didn't know what was going on? (Or... *insert conspiracy theory here*)

ETA: pope again how is this happening?!? Decree, decree... um... OK: speculate as to what the next challenge to confront Cuegan might be. And, stop letting me be Pope.
Last edited by nerdsniped on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:41 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Gedeon » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:39 pm UTC

svenman wrote:
Gedeon wrote:Damn, svenman is closer than me... Stuttgart, I presume?

Karlsruhe, actually, but close enough. :-) Your location seems to be somewhere slightly east of Zagreb?


Varaždin, Croatia, 60 km NNE of Zagreb... as much as Karlsruhe is distant from Stuttgart :mrgreen:

But right now I'm in Essen, 910 km from home, and 920 km from The Castle... almost a perfect triangle :shock:


EDIT: Papal... they will encounter Jabba the Hut.
Last edited by Gedeon on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:52 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Random832 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:39 pm UTC

charlie_grumbles wrote:This isn't refined salt we have here. But see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine. A truly amazing place.


Yeah - not quite the same, that's carved out of rock salt, rather than being piled up granulated salt by hand (they didn't seem to have tools for carving bricks out of rock salt)

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby CasCat » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:43 pm UTC

nerdsniped wrote:
CasCat wrote:<snip> I agree that the hill people apparently didn't tell the Forty (at least, not until after Cuegan left, which would be cutting things pretty fine) but on further consideration I'm not absolutely sure it was malicious. "Oh, no! Run for the mountains!" (with no thought at all about anyone else). Of course, in order of increasing malice, it could also have been "Oh, those funny people with Beanies are telling everyone, so we don't need to worry about sending word to those Shore people" or even "We'd better not tell those nasty Shore people; after all, they steal anything that isn't nailed down..."

On that note... how did Rosetta know, right off the bat, that Cuegan's tribe had not been warned?

Rosetta wrote:We tried to remove everybody from the basin. But we did not know of your tribe.

This is the entire Mediterranean Basin we're talking about. She couldn't possibly know about every village-level group that had been evacuated, could she? So maybe she was just making an assumption, based on the fact that Megan and Cueball didn't know what was going on? (Or... *insert conspiracy theory here*)


Um... because she's the only Beanie that speaks Unglish, and no Beanie group sent back to her for a way to explain it to Unglish-speakers?

Or maybe she's got yet another giant map, with pushpins in it, that record the positions of every group they managed to warn (or were told by the warned group that they'd pass the warning on to).
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby poxic » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:46 pm UTC

CasCat wrote:Or maybe she's got yet another giant map, with pushpins in it, that record the positions of every group they managed to warn (or were told by the warned group that they'd pass the warning on to).

And now I'm imagining behatted people running through villages, yelling "PUSHPINS!"

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby charlie_grumbles » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:48 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
charlie_grumbles wrote:This isn't refined salt we have here. But see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine. A truly amazing place.


Yeah - not quite the same, that's carved out of rock salt, rather than being piled up granulated salt by hand (they didn't seem to have tools for carving bricks out of rock salt)

Yes, I know. I just pointed it out for its awesome kwelness. I thought first to point to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, but didn't find anything about building with that salt. It is terrifically hard, though. It, too, is the remains of a Pleistocene lake.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Pikrass » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:50 pm UTC

svenman wrote:
Eutychus wrote:(And I see svenman is nearer to the Château d'If than me. Boohoo!!)

You must be from northern or north-western France then. But don't be sad, at least you're in the same country which I'm not! (Although I guess it won't matter a lot 11,000 years from now.)


Looks like I'm 677.19 km of the Château. I beat you by 3 kilometers. :D


By decree: if the sea didn't reach them yet, convincing the Forty to leave their home could be tricky.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Valarya » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:51 pm UTC

HES wrote:
Valarya wrote:I get busy for two seconds and missed it. Lame.

So, when I hear the phrase "get busy", it means, erm, ch*rping. Two seconds would be pretty lame...

Why you ch*rping little... I just ch*rped, I mean laughed so loudly. :mrgreen:

To whomever is updating the wiki so splendidly.. bravo! Image You guys are doing a great job. I had no idea all the Hairdo newpix were up there and I was just poking around on the wiki over the weekend. I went there looking specifically for links to yappo's OTT songs on youtube but couldn't find them anywhere. They should be added, or my search-fu needs a +10 item or something.

I can't wait to see how far Cuegan get on this short-cut. Seems like the water hasn't risen as high as lots of the predictions stated. Also: neat. The people in the hills are IKEA.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby k.bookbinder » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:57 pm UTC

CasCat wrote:
nerdsniped wrote:
CasCat wrote:<snip> I agree that the hill people apparently didn't tell the Forty (at least, not until after Cuegan left, which would be cutting things pretty fine) but on further consideration I'm not absolutely sure it was malicious. "Oh, no! Run for the mountains!" (with no thought at all about anyone else). Of course, in order of increasing malice, it could also have been "Oh, those funny people with Beanies are telling everyone, so we don't need to worry about sending word to those Shore people" or even "We'd better not tell those nasty Shore people; after all, they steal anything that isn't nailed down..."

On that note... how did Rosetta know, right off the bat, that Cuegan's tribe had not been warned?

Rosetta wrote:We tried to remove everybody from the basin. But we did not know of your tribe.

This is the entire Mediterranean Basin we're talking about. She couldn't possibly know about every village-level group that had been evacuated, could she? So maybe she was just making an assumption, based on the fact that Megan and Cueball didn't know what was going on? (Or... *insert conspiracy theory here*)


Um... because she's the only Beanie that speaks Unglish, and no Beanie group sent back to her for a way to explain it to Unglish-speakers?

Or maybe she's got yet another giant map, with pushpins in it, that record the positions of every group they managed to warn (or were told by the warned group that they'd pass the warning on to).


True. She never indicates others who speak as Cuegan do. Also, if the Beanies are all accounted for, I think it is safe to assume that Rosetta would have been aware of non-Beanies in castle. Therefore, she likely assumed, having evacuated the basin of Beanies, that no one else was left. It was Cuegan that told her there were 40 others still down there.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Gedeon » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:00 pm UTC

PlatformONG

Image

EDIT: It seems to be hillpeoplish in origin, not beanish.
Last edited by Gedeon on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:05 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby neopifex » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:01 pm UTC

DifferONGt tower
Spoiler:
Image


Ninja'd.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby shurikt » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:01 pm UTC

charlie_grumbles wrote: I thought first to point to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, but didn't find anything about building with that salt. It is terrifically hard, though. It, too, is the remains of a Pleistocene lake.


Hmm. Given that comparison, I suppose you could build sand castles out of it, based solely on the stalactites of it hanging off the bottom of my truck the last time I went. It would *ruin* your hands, though. Nasty, nasty stuff.

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby 42 guests » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:02 pm UTC

charlie_grumbles wrote:
Random832 wrote:
charlie_grumbles wrote:This isn't refined salt we have here. But see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine. A truly amazing place.


Yeah - not quite the same, that's carved out of rock salt, rather than being piled up granulated salt by hand (they didn't seem to have tools for carving bricks out of rock salt)

Yes, I know. I just pointed it out for its awesome kwelness. I thought first to point to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, but didn't find anything about building with that salt. It is terrifically hard, though. It, too, is the remains of a Pleistocene lake.

I suspect that it will glom together into a single chunk or dissolve before it will allowus to form it. Still, we need to try.

I fret that real hyper-saline lakes would cement any sand in a hard matrix of halite as it rose and fell. Lots of neat experiments to do. :)
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Kieryn » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:05 pm UTC

Well, that can't be what Megan was referrONG to. It's not even half as neat as their sandcastle.
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Okay bad ninja there. Last time I ever try to ong with an iPad
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Angelastic » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:08 pm UTC

ahecht wrote:Metaversary!
Spoiler:
Image

I bet that train always RUNs on Time.

I'm about 330km from the castle, by the way, and I can get to a restaurant called Château d'If in about half an hour. I'm also not far from part of a pretty neat river that's bigger than it looks.

There is sand on the beach, or something they call sand ('you could spend a thousand lifetimes staring at water and sand') but it's probably made mainly of salt and gypsum and such, as in the previous salinity crisis. I think we at least know it's not snow or coffee grounds.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby patzer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:09 pm UTC

Valarya wrote:I went there looking specifically for links to yappo's OTT songs on youtube but couldn't find them anywhere.

http://xkcd-time.wikia.com/wiki/Songs_w ... _the_forum
only the songs with something in the "Singer" column have actually been sung.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Kieryn » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:11 pm UTC

Angelastic wrote:
ahecht wrote:Metaversary!
Spoiler:
Image

I bet that train always RUNs on Time.

I'm about 330km from the castle, by the way, and I can get to a restaurant called Château d'If in about half an hour. I'm also not far from part of a pretty neat river that's bigger than it looks.

There is sand on the beach, or something they call sand ('you could spend a thousand lifetimes staring at water and sand') but it's probably made mainly of salt and gypsum and such, as in the previous salinity crisis. I think we at least know it's not snow or coffee grounds.


But for clarity we ought to remind everyone that cancersemenbabypowder is not ruled out yet.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Angelastic » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:15 pm UTC

Wow, I just followed the link to the songs on the wiki and found jovialbard's recording, which I must have missed before. Neat!
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby thunderrabbit » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:19 pm UTC

neopifex wrote:DifferONGt tower
Spoiler:
Image



Gedeon wrote:It seems to be hillpeoplish in origin, not beanish.


I took the Geekwagon for a spin to find that tower and don't see it in any other frames.
So where are they now? Unless I'm way mistaken, they went past the Wowterfall, the boabob trees, the sand dunes, ... so they should be in relatively familiar territory again, right?

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mscha » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:20 pm UTC

What the ch*rp is going on with the OTT today?

Newbies are always welcome here, but they seem to have taken over, ignoring our conventions, refusing to read the wiki, linking to heretic wikis, asking questions that have been answered over and over again, etc.
I feel like a stranger here.

I'm outta here. For today at least, we'll see it gets better tomorrow.

ETA:
thunderrabbit wrote:I took the Geekwagon for a spin to find that tower and don't see it in any other frames.
So where are they now? Unless I'm way mistaken, they went past the Wowterfall, the boabob trees, the sand dunes, ... so they should be in relatively familiar territory again, right?

Please read the last few NP, this has been answered over and over and over again.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Rule110 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:24 pm UTC

NetWeasel wrote:
Rule110 wrote:
Spoiler:
NetWeasel wrote:
cryptoengineer wrote:
Rule110 wrote:Possibly relevant to the eternal "how much was planned in advance" question. Here's a list of things in the comic that, in retrospect, are consistent with (and therefore potential clues to) Megan and Cueball climbing out of a deep basin with a central salt lake.

Most of them aren't strong clues because they have other plausible explanations, including being art production limitations (e.g. not showing plants moving in the wind every frame). But still...

- Lack of waves and tide on the sea, also suggesting lack of wind.
- The sea has risen and fallen before (but not this fast). Without tides, why would it rise and fall at all? A salt lake rises and falls gradually as evaporation overtakes inflow and vice versa.
- The barrenness of the land near the sea, even at the river delta and right along the fresh-water river upstream. This is highly unusual, as I commented on at the time. The cause would most likely be salty soil from relatively recent rises and falls of the salt lake.
- The bad/salty taste of the water. Of course, normal sea water tastes bad too, but Megan's reactions to getting some in her mouth, in retrospect at least, does seem exaggerated compared to how someone familiar with normal sea water would react to getting a mouthful of normal sea water.
- It gets cooler and windier as they climb. Of course, this would be true just about anywhere, so it's hardly a clue, but it's consistent.
- Despite getting cooler and windier and the air seeming thinner (suggesting at least a couple thousand meters of elevation), it never became noticeably windy or uncomfortably cold, even at night. I commented on the strangeness of this several times (as possibly suggesting massive climate warming) especially after it became clear that they weren't at a tropical latitude. Starting in a basin explains it.
- Cuegan's reluctance to attempt to swim in fresh water. Swimmers are a little more buoyant in normal ocean water than in fresh water. The difference is noticeable, but it's not big enough to completely alter basic swimming and floating techniques. If you can swim safely in an ocean, you can almost certainly do so in a river (barring fast current, piranhas, etc.). Salt lake water, though, is very different, allowing people to float safely with no swimming technique at all. "It's extremely dangerous to try to swim in rivers" is a reasonable conclusion for them to have drawn from their likely past experiences with their sea and with their own river.
- The shapes of the land during their ascent. Basically, a series of broad stair-step plateaus at elevations in between the salt lake sea level and the "coastal" plateau at the first survey tower. This is not typical of most hill and mountain landscapes, where even low peaks have peaks. It was hard to tell this for sure from the more or less 2-D views (a plateau might look the same as a flat section of ridge) but in retrospect, things like the vineyard make more sense on wide stair-step plateaus than on some sort of col or ridge line.
- The shape of the ground on the slopes they climbed. There was lot of soil cover and not much exposed rock, compared with most mountain slopes I've seen, including very old eroded mountains like the Appalachians. Soil formation on mountains is slow and it erodes downward; there's almost always less soil farther up. In a basin (whether underwater or exposed), sediment drifts down and washes down from a wide region above.
- The "pretty crumbly" and sandy-looking rocks Cueball noted at the wowterfall. Real sandstone isn't all that crumbly, but compacted sandy sediment might still seem stone-like but erode quickly. At the time, we thought Cueball was overstating how crumbly the rock had to be for the water to cut through it, because he was unaware of geological time scales. But it turns out the wowterfall landscape really wasn't formed in geological time scales, but in a few millennia at most.
Was it possible to figure out the setting from these clues (along with the astronomical information) as a puzzle? Some people did make correct or nearly correct (e.g. the Black Sea) guesses, but no one put all the above bits and pieces together to make a strong case for the Mediterranean basin. I think it might have been solvable, but you'd have to make some fortunate assumptions about things like which of Megan and Cueball's observations are accurate (e.g. how crumbly the surrounding rocks appear from a distance) and which features of the comic images are literal and which are art conventions.
You're missing what to me is the clincher:

In 1412-1417, Cueball tells Megan that the sea (which he tasted earlier, before they left the shore) seemed to be tasting a little fresher than it had in the past.

Another one... Frames 318-320, in which Megan notices the sea level rise and then asks about the river (the only one she knows of at the time). Implying that when the river flows, the sea level rises, but at no other time.


Both good points. I'll see if there are any other contributions (or if I can think of more), and then update the list, and perhaps find a place for it on the wiki.
I'm reluctant, though, to consider any one piece of the evidence a "clincher," let alone "the" clincher. Although Cueball's observation of the water being fresher is consistent with the scenario (especially knowing that the fresher influx would tend to spread on the surface rather than mix in), like all of the other items I listed, it's individually consistent with other scenarios as well (such as an influx of fresh water into a normally salty sea). The observation itself is also not definitive; Cueball himself isn't certain, and he's biased (and aware of that) because he had been talking about rain or river water flowing into the sea as an explanation. It's clearly correct only if we follow the laws of narrative ("it was mentioned, of course it's important") instead of the laws of scientific investigation ("a single biased subjective sample is hardly definitive of anything"). It's an interesting question, given the general philosophy Randall espouses in xkcd, which set of rules he would prefer us to follow here!

It looks like he is using Mystery Writer format, in which when you look back over it, all the clues are there, and glaringly so, but your first time through you miss them. Such as when everyone was all up in arms over three grains of sand falling off the castle (which we now know wasn't sand) without noticing the river whose length varies(???).
And all the other ones you've mentioned. When looking back, it's obvious... but not when looking forwards.

He has done an excellent job.

"Mystery writer format," that's a good way of putting it. In a mystery novel, witnesses are right even when they're wrong (except when they're deliberately lying). If a witness says, "This may seem crazy but on the night of the murder I swear I saw a cow fly overhead in a canoe juggling three bicycles," there will be some event in the scenario that would have looked just like a cow flying overhead in a canoe juggling three bicycles, from that vantage point.

In real life, of course, the murderer might as well not bother disguising himself as a woman because half the witnesses will confidently insist that it was a man anyhow. And when witnesses say "this may seem crazy but..." they just might actually be crazy.

I agree that Randall has done an excellent job. The crumbly rocks at the wowterfall is the detail that really impresses me, combining an unusual character viewpoint with an unusual setting to disguise completely straightforward information. "Sure, Cueball, the water cut through the rock because the rock is crumbly! ( :roll: How cute, the guy doesn't know about how water can wear through rock over hundreds of thousands of years.)" Raise your hand if you thought you knew better. I did.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Gedeon » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:28 pm UTC

mscha wrote:What the ch*rp is going on with the OTT today?

Newbies are always welcome here, but they seem to have taken over, ignoring our conventions, refusing to read the wiki, linking to heretic wikis, asking questions that have been answered over and over again, etc.
I feel like a stranger here.

I'm outta here. For today at least, we'll see it gets better tomorrow.


Mscha, don't leave! You are my hero :wink:

Well, as mscha sounds in slavic as "Miša", which can be seen as a name derivative of a mouse, here be some delicious mousecake for you :)

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby ucim » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:28 pm UTC

@AluisioASG: Say it ain't so, Aluisio! I will certainly miss your posts and your stories. I hope that you are returning under a new screen name, and not simply vamoosing in the dust! (or were you warned by a beanie that something is coming???)

jazz14456 wrote:
Spoiler:
Rule110 wrote:
NetWeasel wrote:
cryptoengineer wrote:
Rule110 wrote:Possibly relevant to the eternal "how much was planned in advance" question. Here's a list of things in the comic that, in retrospect, are consistent with (and therefore potential clues to) Megan and Cueball climbing out of a deep basin with a central salt lake.

Most of them aren't strong clues because they have other plausible explanations, including being art production limitations (e.g. not showing plants moving in the wind every frame). But still...

- Lack of waves and tide on the sea, also suggesting lack of wind.
- The sea has risen and fallen before (but not this fast). Without tides, why would it rise and fall at all? A salt lake rises and falls gradually as evaporation overtakes inflow and vice versa.
- The barrenness of the land near the sea, even at the river delta and right along the fresh-water river upstream. This is highly unusual, as I commented on at the time. The cause would most likely be salty soil from relatively recent rises and falls of the salt lake.
- The bad/salty taste of the water. Of course, normal sea water tastes bad too, but Megan's reactions to getting some in her mouth, in retrospect at least, does seem exaggerated compared to how someone familiar with normal sea water would react to getting a mouthful of normal sea water.
- It gets cooler and windier as they climb. Of course, this would be true just about anywhere, so it's hardly a clue, but it's consistent.
- Despite getting cooler and windier and the air seeming thinner (suggesting at least a couple thousand meters of elevation), it never became noticeably windy or uncomfortably cold, even at night. I commented on the strangeness of this several times (as possibly suggesting massive climate warming) especially after it became clear that they weren't at a tropical latitude. Starting in a basin explains it.
- Cuegan's reluctance to attempt to swim in fresh water. Swimmers are a little more buoyant in normal ocean water than in fresh water. The difference is noticeable, but it's not big enough to completely alter basic swimming and floating techniques. If you can swim safely in an ocean, you can almost certainly do so in a river (barring fast current, piranhas, etc.). Salt lake water, though, is very different, allowing people to float safely with no swimming technique at all. "It's extremely dangerous to try to swim in rivers" is a reasonable conclusion for them to have drawn from their likely past experiences with their sea and with their own river.
- The shapes of the land during their ascent. Basically, a series of broad stair-step plateaus at elevations in between the salt lake sea level and the "coastal" plateau at the first survey tower. This is not typical of most hill and mountain landscapes, where even low peaks have peaks. It was hard to tell this for sure from the more or less 2-D views (a plateau might look the same as a flat section of ridge) but in retrospect, things like the vineyard make more sense on wide stair-step plateaus than on some sort of col or ridge line.
- The shape of the ground on the slopes they climbed. There was lot of soil cover and not much exposed rock, compared with most mountain slopes I've seen, including very old eroded mountains like the Appalachians. Soil formation on mountains is slow and it erodes downward; there's almost always less soil farther up. In a basin (whether underwater or exposed), sediment drifts down and washes down from a wide region above.
- The "pretty crumbly" and sandy-looking rocks Cueball noted at the wowterfall. Real sandstone isn't all that crumbly, but compacted sandy sediment might still seem stone-like but erode quickly. At the time, we thought Cueball was overstating how crumbly the rock had to be for the water to cut through it, because he was unaware of geological time scales. But it turns out the wowterfall landscape really wasn't formed in geological time scales, but in a few millennia at most.
Was it possible to figure out the setting from these clues (along with the astronomical information) as a puzzle? Some people did make correct or nearly correct (e.g. the Black Sea) guesses, but no one put all the above bits and pieces together to make a strong case for the Mediterranean basin. I think it might have been solvable, but you'd have to make some fortunate assumptions about things like which of Megan and Cueball's observations are accurate (e.g. how crumbly the surrounding rocks appear from a distance) and which features of the comic images are literal and which are art conventions.
You're missing what to me is the clincher:

In 1412-1417, Cueball tells Megan that the sea (which he tasted earlier, before they left the shore) seemed to be tasting a little fresher than it had in the past.

Another one... Frames 318-320, in which Megan notices the sea level rise and then asks about the river (the only one she knows of at the time). Implying that when the river flows, the sea level rises, but at no other time.


Both good points. I'll see if there are any other contributions (or if I can think of more), and then update the list, and perhaps find a place for it on the wiki.

I'm reluctant, though, to consider any one piece of the evidence a "clincher," let alone "the" clincher. Although Cueball's observation of the water being fresher is consistent with the scenario (especially knowing that the fresher influx would tend to spread on the surface rather than mix in), like all of the other items I listed, it's individually consistent with other scenarios as well (such as an influx of fresh water into a normally salty sea). The observation itself is also not definitive; Cueball himself isn't certain, and he's biased (and aware of that) because he had been talking about rain or river water flowing into the sea as an explanation. It's clearly correct only if we follow the laws of narrative ("it was mentioned, of course it's important") instead of the laws of scientific investigation ("a single biased subjective sample is hardly definitive of anything"). It's an interesting question, given the general philosophy Randall espouses in xkcd, which set of rules he would prefer us to follow here!


Did GLR really think about this THIS deeply? I know this is xkcd we are talking about here.... but still, there has to be a point where we are over thinking things. I don't know if we have reached that point, if we will reach that point, or if we have a while ago, but shouldn't we take any thoughts this complex from such subtle (if present) clues with a grain of sand?
Yes, I am certain that he thinks about it this deeply. However, it's a bit easier for the OTA, because He starts from the answer, and then builds a story. We start from the story, and have to synthesize the answer.

jowo wrote:Anyone who's published anything on the web understands their audience is unpredictable--sometimes you post something you think is junk and it attracts lots of hits, and other times you put lots of effort into something and it falls flat.
... and sometimes it has a big impact on people but they just don't share it, and the author never knows.

Oh, and welcome jowo!

Angelastic wrote:
ahecht wrote:Metaversary!
Spoiler:
Image

I bet that train always RUNs on Time.
Ouch!

The mystery to me is how the Cuegan could be so untraveled, and yet at the same time be ready for a hundred mile stroll on a whim. That still seems like an incongruous combination.

eta: Listening to jovialbard's ode as soundtrack to the early part of the comic, I came to the realization that one story-purpose of the extended sandcastle building era was specifically to show just how much sandcastle can be build with this material. Yes, there are awesome sandcastles made of sand, but there are details about the OTC sandcastles that indicate stronger material or a binder (like salt) is involved.

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby chem1190c » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:35 pm UTC

Kieryn wrote:Well, that can't be what Megan was referrONG to. It's not even half as neat as their sandcastle.
Spoiler:
Image

Okay bad ninja there. Last time I ever try to ong with an iPad


She must have been talking about this... boy are those hill people productive builders.

Empire State BuildONG
Image

Spoiler:
cf5f3c936208acee81d5a0d5a6cc4218f4343d4f7025bea1f55cfb25713835235.png

Ok, my heart wasn't really in that one.. and yes, a replica Empire State Building in the middle of the Mediterranean Basin? What was I thinking :oops:
Last edited by chem1190c on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Kazza3 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:36 pm UTC

Blindpost, np 1129
NetWeasel wrote:Note To Blitzers:It is advisable NOT to go past page 1130 until you've seen up to frame 2900 (Geekwagon Numbering)


Has someone posted a spoiler/time.png on np 1130 and no ones been able to contact them to remove it? Is this still in effect?

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby SBN » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:36 pm UTC

mscha wrote:What the ch*rp is going on with the OTT today?

Newbies are always welcome here, but they seem to have taken over, ignoring our conventions, refusing to read the wiki, linking to heretic wikis, asking questions that have been answered over and over again, etc.
I feel like a stranger here.

I'm outta here. For today at least, we'll see it gets better tomorrow.

ETA:
thunderrabbit wrote:I took the Geekwagon for a spin to find that tower and don't see it in any other frames.
So where are they now? Unless I'm way mistaken, they went past the Wowterfall, the boabob trees, the sand dunes, ... so they should be in relatively familiar territory again, right?

Please read the last few NP, this has been answered over and over and over again.

I think a lot of us elders are busy, or trying to post sparingly so the blitzers can catch up, combined with a lot of delurking.
One hint folks, when you hit submit, there will be potential ninja posts both above and below your post, check both, and scroll until you see the last post you read. (You might want to use control-quote so your reply will be in a new tab, and you can read posts in the original before you submit.)
Previewing posts is encouraged, but that may make it harder to tell if you're repeating something that was just posted.
astrotter wrote:It is not particularly clear to me at this time that we are not overanalyzing this...

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Gedeon » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:37 pm UTC

chem1190c wrote:Like so?

Empire State BuildONG
Spoiler:
Image

[spoiler]
cf5f3c936208acee81d5a0d5a6cc4218f4343d4f7025bea1f55cfb25713835235.png

Ok, my heart wasn't really in that one.. and yes, a replica Empire State Building in the middle of the Mediterranean? What was I thinking :oops:[/spoiler]


I think it's a really neat4 photomanip. :D

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Arky » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:42 pm UTC

The pace of Time has definitely quickened (as you'd expect since the alt-text became "RUN" I suppose). The journey to Beantown took Outsider months, and the journey home (between time skips and the shortcut route they're taking with the aid of the Beanish map) is taking Outsider days.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby CasCat » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

thunderrabbit wrote:
neopifex wrote:DifferONGt tower
Spoiler:
Image



Gedeon wrote:It seems to be hillpeoplish in origin, not beanish.


I took the Geekwagon for a spin to find that tower and don't see it in any other frames.
So where are they now? Unless I'm way mistaken, they went past the Wowterfall, the boabob trees, the sand dunes, ... so they should be in relatively familiar territory again, right?


Welcome, ThunderRabbit; I don't recall seeing your pixels before.

They're cutting off a fairly major corner of the hike they took previously; per edsel's excellent map posted a few pages ago they previously traveled almost in a C; now they're cutting across that loop and probably saving 30%-50% of the distance. They're not going near the baobab grove, and they didn't take the side trip to the Wowterfall; no time to spare. As best as we figure, they're currently in the territory of the Hill People (where they didn't go before because the Hill People don't like them).
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby jjjdavidson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

Gedeon wrote:PlatformONG
Spoiler:
Image
EDIT: It seems to be hillpeoplish in origin, not beanish.

And I say again, I don't think Megball's people are quite as primitive as some of us are assuming, nor as dependent on the hill people for their materials. This tower is much more crudely built than their castle scaffolding.

ucim wrote:The mystery to me is how the Cuegan could be so untraveled, and yet at the same time be ready for a hundred mile stroll on a whim. That still seems like an incongruous combination.

Jose

I don't think of them as untraveled; I still believe that they are in fact nomads of some kind. Just because they're ignorant of many things doesn't make them primitive, just narrow in scope. The Plains Indians didn't know how to run a steam engine, but they knew about eleven thousand things to do with various bits of buffalo. And the white men who called them savages mostly didn't know how to run a steam engine either ─ or make a bow and arrow that would shoot a hundred yards, or build the guns they were selling to the Indians, or survey the train routes, or solve a calculus problem, or deliver a baby, or....

Angelastic wrote:
Spoiler:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
Pikrass wrote:I think he initially thought he'd do a slow-paced comic with a really simple plot (sandcastles), and when he found out Time had a huge success he thought of a more developed story.

That's my own suspicion as well. I think he may have switched gears and sketched out a larger plot quite early - possibly as far back as the very first pan. But I think the OTT actually has a lot to do with the OTC not being a little zen vignette about sandcastles.

The whole of xkcd is a huge success. I don't think he expected this comic, which (like the various April Fools gags) does something new and exciting that is designed to hold interest, to buck that trend. I don't think he went to the trouble of coding it and inventing a new way of using a comic just for something small and undeveloped that he didn't think would have much success.
I'm not even sure how you measure the success of this comic relative to the others; do we even know it is huge? Huger than the success of the April Fools jokes and other more innovative comics, which he'd probably expect this to be at least as successful as? Even disregarding the predictable success, I think he had a story to tell and would have told it whether or not that success was huge. I can imagine this being something he'd been thinking about ever since finding out about how the Med filled last time, a what-if in his head that he was researching and trying to figure out how to present.

I'm really not sure how much of a success Time has been, outside of our relatively small circle. Its mention on Slashdot was met with a resounding "Meh." Aside from a few blog posts (one, admittedly, in The Economist), it seems to be almost totally under the radar, even in the nerd press. Or have I missed some major news item?

Swein wrote:But, just to cheer up tired ketchuppers...
The snacks-molpy
Spoiler:
Image
Take a bit and send it on...

Yay, snacks! (om nom nom...) Um, send what on? :oops:
Don't worry. Feed squirpys.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby chem1190c » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:44 pm UTC

A little betterONG

Image

Spoiler:
fixed it for me :lol:
cf5f3c936208acee81d5a0d5a6cc4218f4343d4f7025bea1f55cfb25713835235-1.png
A little betterONG
Last edited by chem1190c on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Pikrass » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:44 pm UTC

k.bookbinder wrote:She never indicates others who speak as Cuegan do.

She does: M2873, "Your language is like those spoken by the (...)". Though maybe she meant "the ancients from 11000 years ago".

Kieryn wrote:Well, that can't be what Megan was referrONG to. It's not even half as neat as their sandcastle.
Spoiler:
Image

I think she was talking about the raw materials, e.g. wooden planks. They probably gathered those of the sandcastle from the river.

Angelastic wrote:I'm about 330km from the castle, by the way, and I can get to a restaurant called Château d'If in about half an hour. I'm also not far from part of a pretty neat river that's bigger than it looks.

In September I'll move to another city, from which I'll be 383 km from the Château d'If. We should definitely hold a convention there. :D
Last edited by Pikrass on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:47 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Rule110 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:47 pm UTC

thunderrabbit wrote:
neopifex wrote:DifferONGt tower
Spoiler:
Image



Gedeon wrote:It seems to be hillpeoplish in origin, not beanish.


I took the Geekwagon for a spin to find that tower and don't see it in any other frames.
So where are they now? Unless I'm way mistaken, they went past the Wowterfall, the boabob trees, the sand dunes, ... so they should be in relatively familiar territory again, right?

Familiar in one sense (they certainly know they're on course and have a good idea of where their tribe's places are from there), but they've almost certainly never been there, since there's a lot of evidence they weren't welcome there. The lookout tower they just passed adds to that evidence, by the way.

How far they have left to go depends on how large the hill people's former territory is. It's apparently bigger than we thought, since they've reached it without needing a lot of additional southwestward travel from the river heights above the wowterfall.

@mscha: This is not like you. Are you okay?

On my part, a few dix ago I was starting to feel strange about ketchuping through whole newpages where every poster had hundreds of posts in the thread, and seeing that as a troubling sign for the future. I'm much happier with new points of view represented.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Jokern » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:50 pm UTC

Delurker here! o/
Have followed the OTC since start, and have followed the OTT sporadically since the start but more since they encountered the beanies. I think I've read every post since NP1180.

A comment on the discussion on what Rosetta knew about their tribe:
I think Rosetta was well informed of how the evacuation was going, she might even have a list of about how many people was evacuated. On this list there was no group of 40 from the general area they were from.

A few pages back there was alot of discussion of how you could build a dam too lower the level of the water and keep tabs on the salinity? What I'm wondering is why we put so much effort in trying to explain how to keep a good in-/outflow of water and salt? Isn't it obvious that this is not the case? I mean whatever is blocking the strait does not allow water to flow in/out.
What I'm wondering is does a solution to this puzzle give us information to if human were the cause of the dam?

ETA: also what is this?

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It's a boy, if anybody who cares somehow doesn't yet know

Postby HES » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:56 pm UTC

Notice that this tower, like cuegan's sancastle structure, lacks the beanish cross bracing. I'd assume a second set of poles behind these, and assume the same for cuegan's, even if we didn't see them erected. Artistic license/2.5d world/mustard or whatever, at that point in the story it didn't matter. It is, however, an indication that the Beanies are more advanced

I have to say I agree with mscha's sentiment, we have a wiki for a reason.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:00 am UTC

Gedeon wrote:Well, as mscha sounds in slavic as "Miša",

Oh, it actually does. I always read it as "Mšča" or "Msča" which makes no sense. :)

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby moody7277 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:01 am UTC

People not ONG the hills

Image
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Tigerlion wrote:Well, I imagine as the game progresses, various people will be getting moody.


BoomFrog wrote:I still have no idea what town moody really looks like.

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby charlie_grumbles » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:01 am UTC

jjjdavidson wrote:I don't think of them as untraveled; I still believe that they are in fact nomads of some kind. Just because they're ignorant of many things doesn't make them primitive, just narrow in scope.

I've been thinking the same for a long time. I originally thought they might be Beduin, based on nothing more than the tents, but the tents do suggest travelers.

I also don't think that their "home" can possibly be very supportive of life. There wouldn't be fish in the sea, and not much is likely to grow in such a saline environment. So, they may have come here relatively recently from the west, not having contact with the locals. There were (actually are, I think) tribes in Africa who traveled hundreds of miles by camel to collect salt and head back to trade it. It isn't entirely impossible that in a collapsed future, salt trade has sprung up again and the 40 are part of it.

An alternative, but related, possibility is that the 40 are the miners of salt who are supported by the traders, but remain at the salt collection point. They might need boards for building salt pans, and bags for transporting it. They would probably find the "things that come down the river" useful.

I'm not putting a lot of trust in this theory or Cuegan would have told the beanie queen/librarian something of it, most likely.
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Re: It's a boy, if anybody who cares somehow doesn't yet kno

Postby Gedeon » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:02 am UTC

HES wrote:Notice that this tower, like cuegan's sancastle structure, lacks the beanish cross bracing. I'd assume a second set of poles behind these, and assume the same for cuegan's, even if we didn't see them erected. Artistic license/2.5d world/mustard or whatever, at that point in the story it didn't matter. It is, however, an indication that the Beanies are more advanced

I have to say I agree with mscha's sentiment, we have a wiki for a reason.
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Not only that, the whole construction seems more crude than beanish tower. Look at uneven ladder or fence, and the roof seems to be much more lightweight.


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