1370: "President"

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Tova
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby Tova » Tue May 20, 2014 3:34 am UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:I have to say: "I'm glad social media didn't exist when I was younger" isn't that rare a thought for those of us above a certain age.


I didn't say anything about the statement "I'm glad social media didn't exist when I was younger". I've had that thought myself. I've never thought anything along the lines of what was in the first panel, though.

Jackpot777 wrote:The fact you didn't even think it could be, following it up with the qualifier "the statement being satirised is so self-evidently nonsense, that it seems a ridiculous thing to even take the time to poke fun at", probably reveals your age. Or lack thereof.


Apparently it doesn't. In any case, I was referring to the comic's first panel, not your statement.

Platypodes wrote:The woman's comment is stupid, with a grain of truth--of course people who grew up with the internet will be elected president, but of course sometimes people will drag out embarrassing old photos and manage to make campaign issues out of them.

...

But... What kind of vicious bullshit is that girl spouting? "A world that no longer needs you"? I used the internet as a teenager, when the internet was pretty new, and I can't imagine saying that the world "no longer needs" anybody who's a few years older than me. I can't imagine saying that in 2032, either. Why would anybody say that?

Hell, even if you want to say that the world no longer needs anybody who isn't tech-savvy (which is stupid, but just hypothetically suppose we wanted to say it), plenty of people who didn't have internet access as teenagers become as tech-savvy as any modern teen.


All great points.

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serutan
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby serutan » Tue May 20, 2014 5:26 am UTC

Jamaican Castle wrote:Murphy's Law suggests that, given a choice between deleting the useful data and the embarrassing photos, someone will choose the
former. (I'm not sure what happens in the small number of cases where embarrassing photos are useful data.)


Then you'd have the same situation as when you drop a cat with a piece of buttered toast (buttered side facing away from cat's back) out
of a window.
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby Invertin » Tue May 20, 2014 7:27 am UTC

My response to the 'isn't the girl a bit harsh?' comments is simple. Pay attention to what the woman is ACTUALLY saying here.

'I cannot imagine anyone who grew up on the internet becoming president.' Note that she doesn't say anything about them just being embarrassed, the implication in her words is that nobody who grew up on the internet will ever become president and our generation is just a passing fad.

The comic isn't just a random snarky response to a single comment about presidency it's an overarching response to everyone who believes that the internet and new media are scary and awful and will pass away so we can go back to radios with big glass tubes inside, and everything old is great, and everything new is scary, and the current generation is a bunch of crazy idiots wasting their time beeping booping on their videogame machines.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby orthogon » Tue May 20, 2014 8:07 am UTC

serutan wrote:
Jamaican Castle wrote:Murphy's Law suggests that, given a choice between deleting the useful data and the embarrassing photos, someone will choose the
former. (I'm not sure what happens in the small number of cases where embarrassing photos are useful data.)


Then you'd have the same situation as when you drop a cat with a piece of buttered toast (buttered side facing away from cat's back) out
of a window.

Yes, this. I started to suspect, as I was on my way home, that I'd created a paradox. Those cases are exactly what this is all about: photos that are embarrassing to their subject are useful to their political opponents precisely because they're embarrassing. For some values of "useful", at least.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby blowfishhootie » Tue May 20, 2014 10:03 am UTC

The girl in this comic is an asshole, and I think her argument is a fallacy. Just because every generation is afraid of the one after it doesn't mean every one of those fears is invalid. Just because change is inevitable doesn't mean it is automatically good. Every civilization no matter how big or small meets its demise eventually, and so inevitably one or more of these groups of people predicting the downfall of whatever civilization are eventually going to be correct. As has been pointed out, the correct response to the guy's concern is, "this is stupid, because it is basically literally impossible for anything else to happen." Not because he's older than the people he's talking about.

Along the same lines, the "argument" she makes totally dismisses the countless (but mostly anonymous) instances in history where people said a certain practice should go away and then it did. We, or at least I, don't know as much about these though because kind of by definition those are less noteworthy and such. The same phenomenon exists in many debates about any new technology - naysayers are reminded of the famous skeptics of famous technologies in the past: whoever said decades ago that there was a global market for about five computers; that probably fabricated quote often attributed to some former patent office director about everything worthwhile already being invented; and so on. This argument ignores that the list of technologies that were invented and failed to become popular is basically infinite.

And finally, of course a new generation coming to power does not mean the world no longer needs the generation that came before it. The guy's concern obviously can be described as natural intergenerational angst. The woman's reply is a dismissive non-sequitur though.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby speising » Tue May 20, 2014 10:18 am UTC

what do you expect from a kid of today?

but, anyway, which guy are you talking about?

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby fifiste » Tue May 20, 2014 11:14 am UTC

Maybe people have become more accustomed with things like this by 2040 so when someone digs up photo of presidential candidate smoking a giant bong or kissing several people then s/he can just say "Really, who the f*** gives a f*** about things like this anymore?" and got elected with roaring success.
Man can dream you know. I'm more concerned that 2040 will still be largely inhabited by prude-ass hypocrates (or as we learned from xkcd prude ass-hypocrates) than that there are "embarassing" photos of large amount of people at 2040 - that would be the real problem.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby blowfishhootie » Tue May 20, 2014 11:16 am UTC

speising wrote:but, anyway, which guy are you talking about?


My mistake. In the 30 seconds between seeing the comic and typing that comment, I apparently forgot the details. I thought the person decrying the Internet Generation was a man.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby blowfishhootie » Tue May 20, 2014 11:21 am UTC

fifiste wrote:I'm more concerned that 2040 will still be largely inhabited by prude-ass hypocrates (or as we learned from xkcd prude ass-hypocrates) than that there are "embarassing" photos of large amount of people at 2040 - that would be the real problem.


The world will only be full of hypocrites in the same sense that it always has been and always will be full of hypocrites, including you, me, and everyone else. It is as impossible to change that as it would be impossible to elect someone who didn't grow up "on the Internet" in a couple of decades or so. As an example, there is Randall Monroe's generally misunderstood (by users of this forum anyway) "be nice to people who don't know something that you do" in the same medium where he, in this comic, goes total asshole mode for no reason on somebody who doesn't have the perspective he does (or at least the perspective that his avatar in the comic does). I mean, if the character in the comic is confronted with this idea and still insists there is no such thing as intergenerational conflict like her friend is talking about, MAYBE then the hostile tone would be warranted. As it is, it's bullshit though.

Apologies though if that's actually a typo of Hippocrates rather than hypocrites.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby PayasYouDraw » Tue May 20, 2014 11:57 am UTC

blowfishhootie wrote: As an example, there is Randall Monroe's generally misunderstood (by users of this forum anyway) "be nice to people who don't know something that you do"


I'm curious as to why you think people are misunderstanding that one.

Also curious as to why you think either of these characters is speaking for RM.
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blowfishhootie
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby blowfishhootie » Tue May 20, 2014 12:30 pm UTC

PayasYouDraw wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote: As an example, there is Randall Monroe's generally misunderstood (by users of this forum anyway) "be nice to people who don't know something that you do"


I'm curious as to why you think people are misunderstanding that one.


So, I wrote a really long reply to this, then realized that it's really a tangent to this anyway and I shouldn't ramble on, because the real point is that I feel like the tone of this comic is in contradiction with the point of that other comic. The short of it: I think there's a clear distinction between mocking someone for not knowing something, and mocking someone for being too lazy, stubborn, or narrow-minded to know something, and that comic only addressed the former, while it is occasionally cited in response to people being hostile toward the latter. I may be overstating how widely it is applied to the latter category, I don't know. If you disagree, that's fine, I can't be asked to look for examples. :)

Anyway, back on topic, that probably wasn't the best example to use in arguing that everyone is hypocritical. It's as inevitable as change is, because the two are directly related. Because change is constant, it is inevitable that people are going to grow up with social norms that are in conflict with social norms that develop later in their lives. Like, I grew up in a world where three-legged mutants living underground at the sites of nuclear accidents knew their place and stayed underground where we barely even knew they were there. Am I ready to live in a world 50 years from now where they're living above ground and demanding the right to vote and stuff? I don't know if I can ever be ready for that. But I'll try.

That's all anyone can hope for: That when confronted with accusations of hypocrisy, they are open-minded and honest enough to consider the arguments, assess their own behavior and decide if they do in fact need to change*. But that's not always easy. In fact, it's one of the hardest things you could ever do, changing as an adult behaviors you have learned and constantly reinforced since you were a child. In some cases, it is relatively unimportant - my 83-year-old grandmother never bothering to learn how to register an email address and in general being terrified of the Internet didn't harm her or anyone else, in my view. But her view discomfort in the presence of black people is less forgivable. On the other hand, an American who is 50 years old today, while not part of the Internet Generation, would most likely be having a significant negative impact on their life in some way if they never learned how to use email. I'm in my late 20s, in 20-30 years I am surely going to be confronted with many changes in lifestyle that I kind of by definition cannot even fathom right now. Hell, I'm confronted with those kind of decisions already now. How I deal with those changes I guess in some ways is what defines me. Ditto for everyone else.

I guess if you assume certain things about this comic, then the tone might be appropriate. For instance, if this is a conversation that these two women have had many times, then perhaps the tone is justified because the character is frustrated. But taking it in isolation, I think it's a assholeish argument.

* - To clarify, I should of course acknowledge that this is never, ever allowed to happen on the Internet.

Also curious as to why you think either of these characters is speaking for RM.


Again, I guess it really doesn't matter. I don't know the dude and it's not really relevant. But whether he agrees with the argument or not, he's knowingly putting it out there in a context that tries to make it seem like a very compelling one in his fairly widely read comic. So I don't know how it couldn't be speaking for him in some way. Unless it's an anthropological experiment on his part.

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PayasYouDraw
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby PayasYouDraw » Tue May 20, 2014 1:37 pm UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:
PayasYouDraw wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote: As an example, there is Randall Monroe's generally misunderstood (by users of this forum anyway) "be nice to people who don't know something that you do"


I'm curious as to why you think people are misunderstanding that one.


The short of it: I think there's a clear distinction between mocking someone for not knowing something, and mocking someone for being too lazy, stubborn, or narrow-minded to know something, and that comic only addressed the former, while it is occasionally cited in response to people being hostile toward the latter.


Thanks. That's the bit I wanted. Personally I've seen it the first way, but it's the nature of the misunderstanding that I needed to see what you were getting at.

As for the characters in this comic, I saw it more as an observation of what people are like, rather than RM's personal view.
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dtobias
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby dtobias » Tue May 20, 2014 4:34 pm UTC

The Internet Archive, and Jason Scott's Archive Team, are doing their best to "back up the Internet", including feverishly saving copies of sites about to be deleted (like GeoCities a few years ago).

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby krizzle_zizzle » Tue May 20, 2014 6:46 pm UTC

Invertin wrote:My response to the 'isn't the girl a bit harsh?' comments is simple. Pay attention to what the woman is ACTUALLY saying here.

'I cannot imagine anyone who grew up on the internet becoming president.' Note that she doesn't say anything about them just being embarrassed, the implication in her words is that nobody who grew up on the internet will ever become president and our generation is just a passing fad.

There isn't any such implication unless you're aware of the point of view she's supposed to represent. I wasn't aware of it until I read the thread, but I'm fine with references I have to look up (like the one about Ingress).

At first the statement sounded entirely benign to me. She couldn't imagine the copious amounts of pictures and posts that people publish surviving the scrutiny that politicians pasts are placed under*, which to me seems like a reasonable commentary. In this interpretation it's just an opening line that introduces the two factors at odds with each other.

Not that I really find girl's reaction particularly harsh either, but only because I wasn't tricked hard enough into identifying with the antagonist.

* Sorry about the alliteration.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby operagost » Tue May 20, 2014 8:48 pm UTC

fifiste wrote:Man can dream you know. I'm more concerned that 2040 will still be largely inhabited by prude-ass hypocrates (or as we learned from xkcd prude ass-hypocrates) than that there are "embarassing" photos of large amount of people at 2040 - that would be the real problem.

If you're really a prude, wouldn't that make you NOT a hypocrite for criticizing others' comparatively immoral behavior?

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby ps.02 » Tue May 20, 2014 10:49 pm UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:I thought the person decrying the Internet Generation was a man.

Right, but of course men with blond ponytails do not exist. Very few men have any hair at all. And everyone is white, at least above the neck.
PayasYouDraw wrote:As for the characters in this comic, I saw it more as an observation of what people are like, rather than RM's personal view.

The reason it feels like RM's view (to me) is that it's really only funny if you agree with the girl to an extent. If you see her comment merely as cruel and bratty, well, YMMV I guess, but to me, cruel and bratty does not by itself sell a joke. That RM generally aims for humor in his comicsCitation needed implies to me that his own views are in the punchline. The title text supports this as well.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby orion205 » Wed May 21, 2014 1:06 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:I hope for the day when an internet-teen does run for president, someone drags something up, and they respond by simply shrugging it off and changing the attitude of a large portion of the country.

Hey, what is reality if you don't dream it up first?


That seems very nearly how it is bound to happen. Well, the attitude of the country will be changing already based on the experiences of the populace as a whole. But I do expect that this type of issue will be shrugged off and not be a detriment to a run for office.

I think my father's generation couldn't imaging anyone who had used drugs being elected president, but the last 3 presidents we have had have all acknowledged that they at least experimented with drugs, and it isn't a big deal. Yes, Clinton being the first had to add the "but I didn't inhale" line to soften the blow, but he was still able to admit the drug use and continue his campaign with no major setback.

In 18 years, I fully expect things to surface about political candidates that would be a deal-breaker today but is accepted by the society of tomorrow.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 21, 2014 4:04 am UTC

I feel like most of the people who don't get this comic have simply never seen any of the bullshit luddite whining aging Baby Boomers (and hypocritical interner-savvy hipsters) love to engage in regarding Millennials and their addiction to technology and "entitlement" and everything else that's bad or wrong in the world.
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed May 21, 2014 4:34 am UTC

I don't know where I sit on this issue.

On the one hand I've been an old man wanting kids to get off my lawn since I was a teenager (and I've never had a lawn).

On the other hand I think the world needs a lot more "entitled kids" who won't accept the shitty state of the world and will force it to change.

On the third hand a lot of those kids are young and stupid and have rather misguided and shortsighted ideas about what "change" should be.

But on the last hand every preceding generation has had their share of stupid ideas leaving the world in the state it is today, so the new kids deserve their turn now.

I don't really feel like I have a generation. I'm too old to be the energetic new youth but neither I nor any of my peers (nor even my parents for that matter) are in any kind of position of power so it doesn't feel like I've grown up and become part of "the establishment" either. It feels like the world is run by people halfway between my parents' and my grandparents' generations, and will be inherited by people halfway between my generation and the next.
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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby blowfishhootie » Wed May 21, 2014 6:10 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I feel like most of the people who don't get this comic have simply never seen any of the bullshit luddite whining aging Baby Boomers (and hypocritical interner-savvy hipsters) love to engage in regarding Millennials and their addiction to technology and "entitlement" and everything else that's bad or wrong in the world.


I feel like anyone who thinks this is at all unique to any current or recently gone generation is missing the bigger picture. I agree that what you've said is what the comic seems to be addressing, but that's why the comic is stupid. You're not saying anything here that young people didn't also say about their parents 50 years ago, and 100 years ago, and so on. The resistance to change from the baby boomers is as natural as the resistance from their parents as the baby boomers themselves took over, and on and on. It is impossible for that resistance to be eliminated - or at least, it has never happened that I'm aware of. A few decades from now (maybe, I have no idea how old you are), you will be no different - allowing of course for the sort of individuality that a conversation like this kind of defaults to ignoring for the sake of generalizing.

Anybody who thinks they are going to seamlessly adapt to every kind of social change in their life, or even never feel uncomfortable with that change even if they never really adapt, is kidding themselves. That doesn't mean it's not worth trying, only that the tone in this comic is unwarranted and hypocritical.

Replace "Internet" with "rock music" and this comic could have been published in 1960 making the exact same argument with the exact same relevance.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby Tova » Wed May 21, 2014 10:56 am UTC

Yep, the more things change, etc.

Here is a recent article that I happened to notice before I read this comic:

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/is-thi ... 2i5ne.html

A couple of quotes and my immediate responses as follows:

"Before I go on, yes, this could be viewed as another Gen Y bashing piece full of stereotypes and broad generalisations. And no, I do not believe all teenagers have NPD. I agree hormonal changes play havoc with teenagers, always have. Emotional development is still in play and there are good, solid, grounded, generous, empathetic, humble and inspirational kids out there doing their best. But surely you'd agree they're getting harder to find?"

I agree with everything except the last sentence. No, I would not "surely agree." It might be true, but I don't think it's as obvious as all that. This complaint sounds as old as the hills to my ears.

"It's like the kids want everyone to go clap, clap, clap over everything they do all the time,'' she says. ''They are not achieving for their sense of self. It's for the applause and approval of others. It means no one is really content, because it's impossible for everyone to clap all the time. They don't seem to grasp the reality we don't need everyone to clap. Just a few are good - a partner, parents, godmother or whatever. It doesn't need to be your 17,000 friends on Facebook.''

I'm sorry to say that I have a number of friends in their 50s who fit this description quite well. I'm quite convinced that teenagers don't have a monopoly on this. I'm not even convinced that it is new, although Facebook has certainly made it more visible.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby orthogon » Wed May 21, 2014 1:05 pm UTC

My interpretation of this comic is something like this: The woman's statement is from the heart - she literally can't imagine it; she has a visceral problem with taking on the idea. The girl then counters with two possible reasons: one a cruelly-worded but probably close-to-the-mark statement; the other a genuine issue which will inevitably arise (and be dealt with without too much difficulty, as other posters have said). The woman is backed into a corner: fearing that the first reason is in fact the real cause for her imagination failure, she has to either admit it and lose face, go for the girl's alternative, or come up with a third option. Being unable in the heat of the moment to think of a new, coherent argument, she has no choice but to go for the second option. However, her hesitation and "upspeak" suggests she doesn't really believe it; and by saying "... the pictures one?" rather than restating and perhaps extending the argument, she reveals that she hadn't even thought of it until the girl mentioned it just now. But this leaves an open goal: the girl simply ridicules this as an argument.

I'm reminded of this:

Bob Dylan wrote:Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

From bobdylan.com

I've always been a bit ambivalent about this verse from The times they are a changin', probably because I was into my 30s before I properly discovered Dylan. I guess most teenagers feel this way; ultimately each generation achieves wonderful things but also falls short of what they expected to achieve. Dylan's parents' generation had fought a World War to save Europe from the murderous Nazi ideology; in the UK they had built the Welfare State; but the results of these efforts were simply taken, without much acknowledgement, as the starting conditions for the changes that the Baby Boomers demanded. Dylan's (and my parents') generation made great progress in liberty, equality, human rights and space exploration, not to mention managing to avert a global nuclear war. But there's always more to be done. I hope my generation, who are rapidly taking the reins of power, will be seen as having finally done something about the impending environmental catastrophes that face us. But that won't be enough for our sons and daughters, and good for them. All I can do is try to "lend a hand" for as long as possible.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed May 21, 2014 5:17 pm UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:Replace "Internet" with "rock music" and this comic could have been published in 1960 making the exact same argument with the exact same relevance.


And still be a valid and worthwhile expression of an eternal truth.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby Vinminen » Wed May 21, 2014 6:47 pm UTC

Anyone who thinks we wouldn't pour over the rambling blog posts of a teenager has never read political news.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu May 22, 2014 8:04 pm UTC

Vinminen wrote:Anyone who thinks we wouldn't pour over the rambling blog posts of a teenager has never read political news.


Pour what over them?

The term is "pore over".

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby PM 2Ring » Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am UTC

Vinminen wrote:Anyone who thinks we wouldn't pour over the rambling blog posts of a teenager has never read political news.

rmsgrey wrote:Pour what over them?

Shit.
rmsgrey wrote:The term is "pore over".

Or maybe "paw over".
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Sorry. :)

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri May 23, 2014 6:14 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Actually if we combine rmsgrey's law with Murphy's law, we conclude that all useful data on the Internet will be lost, and all embarrassing photos will persist.

Generally speaking, this probably is close to the reality already. The axiom that "nothing is ever gone from the Internet" was specifically coined to refer to evidence of regrettable behavior, and I've never heard it said in any other context. It's actually kind of depressing that so many people on the Internet feel that the only things worth preserving for posterity are the stupid things people have said on forums and LiveJournal and such.

CBusAlex wrote:The first US President to have a sex tape leaked onto the internet is probably alive today. Yeah, that's a little weird.

Hell, the first US President to intentionally upload a video of themselves having sex onto the Internet is probably alive today.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

Baige.

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby Vinminen » Thu May 29, 2014 7:32 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Vinminen wrote:Anyone who thinks we wouldn't pour over the rambling blog posts of a teenager has never read political news.


Pour what over them?

The term is "pore over".

I accept your spelling correction. Do you have an argument to go with it?

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Re: 1370: "President"

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu May 29, 2014 11:24 pm UTC

I can't imagine anyone who ever said "Get your hands out of my fries. You ain't my bitch." being able to run for president.
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