Page 1 of 3

1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:58 am UTC
by alvinhochun
Image

Title text: Whoa, and if you overlay a Fibonacci spiral on a golden spiral it matches up almost perfectly!

Image link: http://xkcd.com/spiral/

I think it would be better to swap the "yes" and "no" for "Do you like flowcharts?".

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:01 am UTC
by BlitzGirl
alvinhochun wrote:I think it would be better to swap the "yes" and "no" for "Do you like flowcharts?".

It would have been funny to have that bit link to #1195:

Image

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:11 am UTC
by Jorpho
This is just plain lazy, I'm afraid. (It's bad enough that I felt I had to come here and say it.)

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:13 am UTC
by Envelope Generator
I didn't even notice the disconnected part of the graph at first...

edit: did he just forget to draw the arrow to it? He certainly forgot a few labels.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:27 am UTC
by Djehutynakht
That image link....

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:36 am UTC
by Dr What
SPIRALS!!! I FIND SPIRALS EVERYWHERE!!! SPIRALS ARE INFECTING THIS UNIVERSE!!! EVERYTHING WILL TURN INTO SPIRALS!!!
Just reminds me of 《Uzumaki》. :roll:

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:07 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
what is this i don't even

Also these Flow Charts comics are getting Flowcharts in my Flowchart, dawg. I guess Randall really loves flow charts and I didn't even click to the second page of Google.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:11 am UTC
by Neil_Boekend
BlitzGirl wrote:
alvinhochun wrote:I think it would be better to swap the "yes" and "no" for "Do you like flowcharts?".

It would have been funny to have that bit link to #1195:

Image


Dunno. I lolled at the pictures in the link.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:14 am UTC
by Eebster the Great
Envelope Generator wrote:I didn't even notice the disconnected part of the graph at first...

edit: did he just forget to draw the arrow to it? He certainly forgot a few labels.

I think he was just trying too hard. The disconnected part of the chart shows apparently random data in the form of a scatterplot (I guess notionally connected to the "scatterplot" diamond, though not physically connected by a line, since scatterplots don't have those?), with the addition of flowchart arrows pointing either up or right, depending on the arrow of choice.

Or maybe that is simply a separate flowchart inset into the larger flowchart, hence the pluralized title.

I mean, those are my best guesses, but frankly they still aren't very good ones. And the battery part of the chart totally mystifies me. Why can't you charge a battery with a DC power source?

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:15 am UTC
by JWSmythe
Was Randall high?

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:24 am UTC
by CocoaNutCakery

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:40 am UTC
by chris857


Oh, random does work. I got "Coverage" / "Faraday Cagematch".

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:40 am UTC
by keithl
Non-electronics folk may not notice the diodes are all connected anode to cathode; this ring shorts out (with a 1 to 2 volt voltage drop) all the connections to it. Fortunately, the battery/watertank is connected by only one line, or it would explode. A rectifier bridge would have all the diodes pointed diagonally upwards, not forming a shorting ring.

I imagine Randall has an idea card file, where he puts random ideas that are not worthy of a whole comic. This comic allowed him to use up half a dozen accumulated flow chart jokes at once, and us to avoid five unworthy comics. I applaud this bulk discharge, and hope it leaves Randall rested and ready for a masterpiece on friday.

Besides, he has used up most of the title variations for "flow chart". Unless he starts using titles like "floach art", we may be spared a descent into flowchart madness.

Edit: as noted by others, the drawing first posted was flawed (and is reposted below by HES). My first paragraph refers to that. The repaired drawing is more understandable, which may not be an improvement for those who enjoy taunting OCD sufferers.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:52 am UTC
by bofh
Isn't the diod bridge wrong (besides the lacking cathode connection)?

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:43 am UTC
by chridd
keithl wrote:Besides, he has used up most of the title variations for "flow chart". Unless he starts using titles like "floach art", we may be spared a descent into flowchart madness.
There have been duplicate comic titles before, though.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:51 am UTC
by Wooloomooloo
keithl wrote:Non-electronics folk may not notice the diodes are all connected anode to cathode;

I'm telling you, OCD is serious business. I kept looking at that chart feeling the urge to keep yelling "but that's not how bridges work!!!" at it all day... :D

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:11 am UTC
by Hiferator
keithl wrote:I imagine Randall has an idea card file, where he puts random ideas that are not worthy of a whole comic. This comic allowed him to use up half a dozen accumulated flow chart jokes at once, and us to avoid five unworthy comics.

To me it seemed like this started out with the spiral pictures and then he needed a comic to lay the spiral over. The rest of the process would have then been as you described.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:14 am UTC
by Eebster the Great
The starting temperature is 110 degrees Celsius.

That's incredible.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:15 am UTC
by speising
I'd assume, if you properly scale, shift, and rotate the fibonacci spiral, you can find some match in *any* non-trivial picture. That's really on par with numerology.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:20 am UTC
by Klear
I must say the spiral caught me off-guard. I didn't notice it until I got the the part which leads into it, so that was pretty impressive for me.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:21 am UTC
by Quercus
I figured this was Randall's attempt to troll chart geeks by making the most annoying flowchart possible. I'd say he succeeded.

Edit: The new version made it considerably less annoying - I like it now.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:06 am UTC
by Copper Bezel
I liked it. It's a cereal box activity gone horribly, horribly awry. The scatterplot bit was poorly constructed, though; I didn't follow over to the scatterplot graph because of the lack of a line, and then the joke that should have justified that by not having the dots connected ... had the dots connected. Very strange.

But "follow the path of least resistance?" was wonderful. And, of course, the image series was hilarious.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:07 pm UTC
by DanAxtell
Hiferator wrote:
keithl wrote:I imagine Randall has an idea card file, where he puts random ideas that are not worthy of a whole comic. This comic allowed him to use up half a dozen accumulated flow chart jokes at once, and us to avoid five unworthy comics.

To me it seemed like this started out with the spiral pictures and then he needed a comic to lay the spiral over. The rest of the process would have then been as you described.

I agree that the spiral is the main point here. It took me a while to see that the lightgray spiral continues down to the central pixel. On a smartphone, you could miss the spiral completely. The flowchart is a diverting distraction that eventually guides you to the golden spiral. It looks like a parody of the many misuses of the golden ratio, like Golden ratio discovered in uterus. A previous XKCD that parodies Fibonacci abuse was 587.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:58 pm UTC
by Envelope Generator
Fixed now.... my copy of the original will one day be worth millions! Maybe even hundreds of thousands!

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:04 pm UTC
by DougDean
Given that electricity takes the path of least resistance, if a circuit with 5,000V potential difference divides into two paths each with 50Ω of resistance, will Schrödinger's cat be electrocuted?

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:05 pm UTC
by DanAxtell
Envelope Generator wrote:I didn't even notice the disconnected part of the graph at first...

edit: did he just forget to draw the arrow to it? He certainly forgot a few labels.

The missing labels have arrived as of about 1400 UTC with the note "Uploaded the wrong file earlier! Sorry for the missing labels and lines."

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:01 pm UTC
by Zinho
DanAxtell wrote:The missing labels have arrived as of about 1400 UTC with the note "Uploaded the wrong file earlier! Sorry for the missing labels and lines."

Except, apparently, for the label for DC on the rectifier bridge.
I never saw the malformed diode array for the rectifier, and I'm still twitching over it =(
I'd have thought that the "positive or negative phase?" question would go on the DC side, since AC doesn't have a fixed answer. The answers to the DC polarity question could link directly to the battery terminals, and the AC line would then go to the rectifier bridge instead; all you'd need is a ground symbol on the far side of the bridge and you're done.

I'll get off my soapbox now, I think I've just been nerd-sniped.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:02 pm UTC
by Jorpho
A substantial improvement, this. Still not great, but not offensively bad either.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:22 pm UTC
by mathmannix
Envelope Generator wrote:Fixed now.... my copy of the original will one day be worth millions! Maybe even hundreds of thousands!

Can you please forgo your projected windfall and just post the original as a spoiler? (For those of us who took a week off from the interwebs...)

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:28 pm UTC
by HES
mathmannix wrote:Can you please forgo your projected windfall and just post the original as a spoiler? (For those of us who took a week off from the interwebs...)

Spoiler:
Image

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:34 pm UTC
by Neil_Boekend
Zinho wrote:
DanAxtell wrote:The missing labels have arrived as of about 1400 UTC with the note "Uploaded the wrong file earlier! Sorry for the missing labels and lines."

Except, apparently, for the label for DC on the rectifier bridge.
I never saw the malformed diode array for the rectifier, and I'm still twitching over it =(
I'd have thought that the "positive or negative phase?" question would go on the DC side, since AC doesn't have a fixed answer. The answers to the DC polarity question could link directly to the battery terminals, and the AC line would then go to the rectifier bridge instead; all you'd need is a ground symbol on the far side of the bridge and you're done.

I'll get off my soapbox now, I think I've just been nerd-sniped.

You even save a voltage drop of 0.7V (normal diode) or 0.2V (zener). Or even 1.4 or 0.4 if you also would have rectified the ground line.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:22 pm UTC
by dp2
Oh, great, another "sledding down a hill" comic. Pretty lazy, Mr Watterson. I suppose we can expect another snowman comic next week. Yawn.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:42 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
I liked it. Not a great punchline, but lots of mildly amusing little ideas.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:54 pm UTC
by cellocgw
It occurs to me (too late, as usual) that the image originally posted was more of a "flaw chart."

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:10 pm UTC
by senor_cardgage
The "Data or Axis" box in the upper-right actually gives you "Line" and "Axis" as options.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm UTC
by speising
cellocgw wrote:It occurs to me (too late, as usual) that the image originally posted was more of a "flaw chart."

that would certainly have been an easier fix :)

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:34 pm UTC
by orthogon
DougDean wrote:Given that electricity takes the path of least resistance, if a circuit with 5,000V potential difference divides into two paths each with 50Ω of resistance, will Schrödinger's cat be electrocuted?

Yeah, I don't even know why people say that. Electricity takes all the paths, with currents weighed in inverse proportion to the resistances. There might be nonlinear cases where something like the path of least resistance applies, like with lightning where you're looking at dielectric breakdown. But in your example, even if they're 40 and 60 ohms the current will very definitely flow through both paths.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:50 am UTC
by rmsgrey
orthogon wrote:
DougDean wrote:Given that electricity takes the path of least resistance, if a circuit with 5,000V potential difference divides into two paths each with 50Ω of resistance, will Schrödinger's cat be electrocuted?

Yeah, I don't even know why people say that. Electricity takes all the paths, with currents weighed in inverse proportion to the resistances. There might be nonlinear cases where something like the path of least resistance applies, like with lightning where you're looking at dielectric breakdown. But in your example, even if they're 40 and 60 ohms the current will very definitely flow through both paths.


Because resistance usually varies by multiple orders of magnitude (at least), so the current that flows down other paths is negligible...

It's only when you have two or more paths at roughly equal resistance that the division is worth mentioning.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:56 am UTC
by Neil_Boekend
orthogon wrote:
DougDean wrote:Given that electricity takes the path of least resistance, if a circuit with 5,000V potential difference divides into two paths each with 50Ω of resistance, will Schrödinger's cat be electrocuted?

Yeah, I don't even know why people say that. Electricity takes all the paths, with currents weighed in inverse proportion to the resistances. There might be nonlinear cases where something like the path of least resistance applies, like with lightning where you're looking at dielectric breakdown. But in your example, even if they're 40 and 60 ohms the current will very definitely flow through both paths.

I believe it's more of a lightning thing. Lightning is complex. It's not completely understood yet. There are millions of volts present but the resistance of the air it passes through should require an even higher voltage if the normal every day rules would apply.
Lightning has a few phases. First an ionized channel is formed in a process we don't fully understand yetΦ.
This ionized channel is formed over the path of least resistance. It is drawn to tall conductive structures. Then the ground-cloud resistance is lowered much much much further by the ionization and the current that flows through that ionized path is the only relevant current. The bit that flows through the other air just doesn't matter.

Thus lightning will take the path of least resistance.

So, it will repeatedly strike the same spot. It even typically does so because that spot is either a lightning rod or an other neat path of least resistance.

Fun fact: A lightning rod does not conduct the main part of the main current of the strike. It provides a neat path of least resistance for the ionizing channel formation part and then the air around it is ionized. That air is then the conductive path. Due to skin effects the current does not want to flow in the lightning rod itself.

ΦThere are some theories that it has to do with high energy cosmic rays that ionize the air for the strike. The voltage, while massive, doesn't seem sufficient.

Edit: I kinda forgot the point.

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:55 am UTC
by Copper Bezel
I honestly never thought of it as really an electricity metaphor in the first place. I pictured objects rolling downhill and some semantic handwavery. So "take the path of least resistance" was two puns for me.