1423: "Conversation"

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1423: "Conversation"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:44 am UTC

Image
Later, at home: "Dear diary: Still can't figure out what to write here ..."

I thought that's me in the comic but then I realised the sideburns are missing. It's not fun having to prepare all your lines beforehand and then running out of things to say or being asked something for which you don't have an answer ready so you have to try to construct one in real time.
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:11 am UTC

Free time? Hah! There is no such thing. Time can never be free, only undercapitalized.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby CocoaNutCakery » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:27 am UTC

That's when you try to go with her.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:59 am UTC

I find the title rather lacking. "Conversation" could apply to so many different xkcd comics that I doubt I would be able to remember which one it is in the future. Though the chance has gone up now that I've complained about it.
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby ysth » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:59 am UTC

Until I actually looked thrice, I was sure they were playing chess. No idea why.
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby jacksonliam91 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:25 am UTC

Did she steal the candle when she left?

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby bachaddict » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:00 am UTC

ysth wrote:Until I actually looked thrice, I was sure they were playing chess. No idea why.

I thought the same thing.

That's all I've got. Bye!
slinches wrote:Also, the OTC isn't a disease. In fact, it's the cure. As we all know, Time heals all wounds.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby HES » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:05 am UTC

jacksonliam91 wrote:Did she steal the candle when she left?

He also finished his drink very quickly
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby orthogon » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:33 am UTC

HES wrote:
jacksonliam91 wrote:Did she steal the candle when she left?

He also finished his drink very quickly

Not necessarily. She might have taken half an hour to answer.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:37 am UTC

I think you're right. That was pretty subtle.
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Wooloomooloo » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:57 am UTC

Conversation is kinda like a car's engine being started - it's either inert and stops dead the moment you let go of the key, or it just springs to life and revs itself up; there's not really a middle ground to it...

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby bobfang » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:09 am UTC

She sounds like Raj Koothrappali's former girlfriend on the "Big Bang Theory".

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Leibnix » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:09 am UTC

Why are they hovering 5 cm over their chairs in the first frame?

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:13 am UTC

Leibnix wrote:Why are they hovering 5 cm over their chairs in the first frame?

Magnets.
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:39 am UTC

bachaddict wrote:
ysth wrote:Until I actually looked thrice, I was sure they were playing chess. No idea why.

I thought the same thing.

That's all I've got. Bye!


I blame Farrell's ice cream parlour and the altered Charles Dana Gibson print they used on the cover of their menu.

The original:

Image

The retcon:

Image

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:14 am UTC

"A little less conversation, a little more action, all this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me".
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:22 am UTC

I shudder to think what her response would have been if he asked "So, what do you do for fun?"

Anyway, why did she leave? Maybe she's just going to return with ... (rim shot) ... a chess set! Or a trebuchet
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby airdrik » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:05 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:I shudder to think what her response would have been if he asked "So, what do you do for fun?"

Anyway, why did she leave? Maybe she's just going to return with ... (rim shot) ... a chess set! Or a trebuchet


"For fun I sit at tables waiting for someone to join me in the hopes that they will ask me what I do in my free time so that I can give this short prepared speech about thinking about what to say when someone asks me that. Then I leave before the conversation actually starts. I enjoy disrupting rote social protocol"

One thought I had was that it was implying that asking what do you do in your free time implies that you are pretty bad at striking up conversation and so she is fleeing the situation in defiance of generally-accepted social protocol.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:16 pm UTC

"So, what do you do in your free time?"

"I like to read books and play MMORPGs. You?"

"Me too! And you?... Fuck."

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:"So, what do you do in your free time?"

"I like to read books and play MMORPGs. You?"

"Me too! And you?... Fuck."

"Well, yes. I do fuck in my free time"
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby orthogon » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:46 pm UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:"A little less conversation, a little more action, all this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me".

The King was ahead of his time, verbing a noun derived from a verb like that. Had he been born 20 years later he'd have probably ended up as a senior manager in charge of Strategy and Operations. "I'm tasking this new unit with the whole piece around satisfactioning our client base on a going-forward basis. Thankyouverrmuch."
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby neoliminal » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:53 pm UTC

Obviously since the candle burned down to nothing between those frames we are missing a lot of time from the comic. What happened between those panels is something only you can decide.

I fixed it.

conversation2.gif
Conversation Fix'd
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:47 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:Free time? Hah! There is no such thing. Time can never be free, only undercapitalized.


Okay, so that's why the magazine's called TIME.

bobfang wrote:She sounds like Raj Koothrappali's former girlfriend on the "Big Bang Theory".


The one from Garfunkel and Oates?
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Locoluis » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:49 pm UTC

"... and try to think a good answer..."

Poor girl trying to fit where she doesn't belong. :roll:

As someone who loathes small talk, I'm usually pretty straightforward about these things.

I do a lot of things in my free time, but none of them is quite "impressive" to talk about. I write stories and computer programs, draw comics, study some languages, learn about random things on Wikipedia, sometimes take photos of scenery and... I don't play football/soccer as much as I should, my gardening plans are still on stand-by (not my fault), and my bike is still broken (SO my fault).

I never made a goal of impressing other people with the things I can do. But isn't the point of knowing each other's hobbies and pastimes a way to find things in common, rather than to boast and impress the other person?

Also, because something that might impress someone may also be a deal breaker to another person, and it's better to find out about the things as soon as possible.
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:44 pm UTC

"What do you do in your free time?" is a natural reaction to having asked "what do you do for a living?" and getting as a response either "I'm under a non-disclosure agreement that prevents me from answering that" or "I could explain it to you, but then I'd have to kill you...to humanely end your suffering from the crushing boredom the answer would engender".

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:42 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:"What do you do in your free time?" is a natural reaction to having asked "what do you do for a living?" and getting as a response either "I'm under a non-disclosure agreement that prevents me from answering that" or "I could explain it to you, but then I'd have to kill you...to humanely end your suffering from the crushing boredom the answer would engender".

A friend of mine once told me that he could tell me the details of his job, but then he'd have to... actually, he'd have to arrest both of us and arrange for a suitable debriefing, which, while less lethal, is probably a more effective deterrent.

I can just imagine BHG getting hold of a top secret fact and using it as a lethal weapon - "JFK was assassinated by Elvis Presley. *shoots audience* What? Once I told them, I had to kill them..."

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Morgan Wick » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:48 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:Free time? Hah! There is no such thing. Time can never be free, only undercapitalized.

This perfectly describes the attitude of the capitalist.

Several people have noted that all the technological innovations that were supposed to give us more free time, haven't, usually because they've really had the effect of allowing us to squeeze in more work into the same amount of time, which those in charge would obviously much prefer over giving the employees more free time. Technology, on its own, cannot give us more free time, and in fact may not have any correlation to the amount of free time at all, with the possible exception of transportation and home technology.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby RogueCynic » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:04 am UTC

What's free time? With the new economy, a person has to work two jobs. I barely have time to fart.
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby addams » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:40 am UTC

bobfang wrote:She sounds like Raj Koothrappali's former girlfriend on the "Big Bang Theory".

I think so, too.
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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:31 pm UTC

Morgan Wick wrote:
da Doctah wrote:Free time? Hah! There is no such thing. Time can never be free, only undercapitalized.

This perfectly describes the attitude of the capitalist.

The Hollywood type of capitalist, yes.

Interesting example of what gmalivuk was talking about here, as well. I guess people do still attack others by using a singular noun to refer to all of them.
Several people have noted that all the technological innovations that were supposed to give us more free time, haven't, usually because they've really had the effect of allowing us to squeeze in more work into the same amount of time, which those in charge would obviously much prefer over giving the employees more free time.

Because those in charge pay for labor by the hour, and not by the product, usually. If my boss gives me technology that lets me make a widget in 10 hours instead of 40, I didn't gain 30 hours of free time. I gained the ability to make 4 times as many widgets. Silly labor theory of value.

On the other hand, yay widget-buyers, who can now afford 4 times as many widgets. And yay, labor theory of value.

(I can possibly demand a higher wage if using that technology requires more skill or training versus hand-building a widget... and if I'm willing to earn the same amount of money, I can now work less for a higher wage, thus gaining free time in a roundabout way. That's not directly attributable to the technology, though, since I could do the same by training for a completely different higher-wage job in the absence of said tech.)

Technology, on its own, cannot give us more free time, and in fact may not have any correlation to the amount of free time at all, with the possible exception of transportation and home technology.

That's a bit of a straw man, since "transportation and home technology" is the technology that's supposed to give us more free time. I don't think I've ever heard anyone sell "the conference call" as giving me more time to go fishing. Just more time to develop microchips by spending less time talking to all my co-workers individually. (And thus, eventually, making "the mobile phone" and "the computerized automobile engine" things that lots of people can afford, rather than just the 50 richest guys in the state.)

The washing machine and electric stove and chainsaw and school bus are supposed to give me more time to go fishing.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:08 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
Several people have noted that all the technological innovations that were supposed to give us more free time, haven't, usually because they've really had the effect of allowing us to squeeze in more work into the same amount of time, which those in charge would obviously much prefer over giving the employees more free time.

Because those in charge pay for labor by the hour, and not by the product, usually. If my boss gives me technology that lets me make a widget in 10 hours instead of 40, I didn't gain 30 hours of free time. I gained the ability to make 4 times as many widgets. Silly labor theory of value.


And if the widget market is saturated, or the supply of widget-material is limited, the boss has just managed to give three of your coworkers 40 hours of free time each...

There's a very real issue that increasing efficiency reduces the demand for resources - it does create free time, just not well distributed...

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:35 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
Several people have noted that all the technological innovations that were supposed to give us more free time, haven't, usually because they've really had the effect of allowing us to squeeze in more work into the same amount of time, which those in charge would obviously much prefer over giving the employees more free time.

Because those in charge pay for labor by the hour, and not by the product, usually. If my boss gives me technology that lets me make a widget in 10 hours instead of 40, I didn't gain 30 hours of free time. I gained the ability to make 4 times as many widgets. Silly labor theory of value.


And if the widget market is saturated, or the supply of widget-material is limited, the boss has just managed to give three of your coworkers 40 hours of free time each...

There's a very real issue that increasing efficiency reduces the demand for resources - it does create free time, just not well distributed...

It's interesting how people want some free time, but not too much, while employers prefer giving lots of people lots of free time and some none at all.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby ps.02 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:07 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:It's interesting how people want some free time, but not too much, while employers prefer giving lots of people lots of free time and some none at all.

Yeah.... Although, to be honest, if you ask someone working 40 hours whether they'd like to take a 25% pay cut and work only 30 hours, I wonder how many would. Certainly some would. But of those, I wonder how many would merely be thinking that it would open enough time to commit to a second job, and therefore a net increase in both pay and hours worked.

I suspect one major reason so many employers prefer full-time employees is that there are a lot of costs that scale with head count, not number of hours. Recruitment, hiring, orientation and training, payroll, tax paperwork, management overhead, all these are mostly per person, and some of these can be quite considerable. And layoffs can be costly as well, especially if there's a strong labor movement, so that can further discourage an increase in head count. Of course, there's the counter-incentive to not let someone work too many more than 40 hours per week, as this requires extra pay ("time-and-a-half") in some jurisdictions.

More strange, to me at least, is the dividing line between hourly and salaried status, the latter of which dilutes its compensation with things like paid vacation and subsidy of various sorts of insurance. Quite how this dichotomy came to be I'm sure I can't say, but being salaried makes it even harder to buy and sell one's time in units of less than 40 hours per week.

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Re: 1423: "Conversation"

Postby ysth » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:07 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
Plasma Mongoose wrote:"A little less conversation, a little more action, all this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me".

The King was ahead of his time, verbing a noun derived from a verb like that. Had he been born 20 years later he'd have probably ended up as a senior manager in charge of Strategy and Operations. "I'm tasking this new unit with the whole piece around satisfactioning our client base on a going-forward basis. Thankyouverrmuch."

Woody kind of a word, satisfactioning.
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