0663: "Sagan-Man"

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0663: "Sagan-Man"

Postby rwald » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:03 am UTC

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Title Text: They laugh now, but within 10 years the city's entire criminal class will have quit to work on space research.

Wouldn't this comic have made more sense last week, on the 75th anniversary of Sagan's birth?
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Shale » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:05 am UTC

I'm not sure this comic could ever be said to "make sense."
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby scarecrovv » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:06 am UTC

It is pretty crazy that we've been to the moon! In fact, a lot of things about the world are pretty crazy.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby skine » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:06 am UTC

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc
Last edited by skine on Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:10 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Skythe » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:07 am UTC

LOL, I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what this comic is saying. Explanation please?
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Nintendon't » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:08 am UTC

Skythe wrote:LOL, I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what this comic is saying. Explanation please?


see

Shale wrote:I'm not sure this comic could ever be said to "make sense."
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:09 am UTC

Despite not knowing much about Carl Sagan, my cheese was burnt quite well today.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby eviloatmeal » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:11 am UTC

Skythe wrote:LOL, I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what this comic is saying. Explanation please?

It is demonstrating something commonly known as the Johnstons effect, a concept in which you can utter a sentence so profound, it will literally stop people dead in their tracks, for want of more brain power to process what you just said.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby doctordestiny » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:13 am UTC

Skythe wrote:LOL, I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what this comic is saying. Explanation please?


I think that it's mostly talking about how inspirational Sagan was and is. He's a great advocate for science and for looking at the universe in a more profound way which is guaranteed to change your life.

If you don't know who Carl Sagan is, you really should look him up.

Edit: Ninja'd and 1-Up'ed in explaining.
Last edited by doctordestiny on Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:17 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby doctordestiny » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:14 am UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:
Skythe wrote:LOL, I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what this comic is saying. Explanation please?

It is demonstrating something commonly known as the Johnstons effect, a concept in which you can utter a sentence so profound, it will literally stop people dead in their tracks, for want of more brain power to process what you just said.


Except that I can't find the "Johnstons effect"...
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:15 am UTC

I don't even get the joke, and yet I'm laughing. I think this is one of those things where it's just the sheer absurdity of it.

Also the phrase "Bitten by a radioactive Carl Sagan" is just hilarious in any context.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby eviloatmeal » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:20 am UTC

doctordestiny wrote:
eviloatmeal wrote:
Skythe wrote:LOL, I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what this comic is saying. Explanation please?

It is demonstrating something commonly known as the Johnstons effect, a concept in which you can utter a sentence so profound, it will literally stop people dead in their tracks, for want of more brain power to process what you just said.


Except that I can't find the "Johnstons effect"...

You don't "find" the Johnstons effect, it's just one of those things where you have a deep moment of thinking about what someone said. It's not something that is easy to replicate of course, that's part of the point of the comic, this "superhero" has the ability (knowledge) to say something to someone which will make them phase out for a moment.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby AlexDitto » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:22 am UTC

Absolutely love this comic. Some days, I feel like Sagan-man, except no one seems susceptible to my powers...

OK, I had no idea his birthday was a week ago (November 9th). Last week, out of the blue, I decided to start watching Cosmos on Hulu, since I had never seen it before (it was, sadly, before my time)....

Sagan's Ghost! Or, as he would deem it, a strange and lovely coincidence.
One never knows.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby VHBT » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:24 am UTC

This strongly reminds me of this Questionable Content strip. It's a different person, and in a different context, but the idea is the same.

"It's my mutant superpower. I was bitten by a radioactive Ani DiFranco."
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby OMGTallMonster » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:27 am UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:
Skythe wrote:LOL, I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what this comic is saying. Explanation please?

It is demonstrating something commonly known as the Johnstons effect, a concept in which you can utter a sentence so profound, it will literally stop people dead in their tracks, for want of more brain power to process what you just said.


See also: nerd sniping.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:29 am UTC

Do you realize just how crazy it is that it's been 40 years since we first landed on the moon? Do you realize just how utterly insane it is that there's some chance that we won't have returned to the moon by the time the fiftieth anniversary rolls around?
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby zjxs » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:35 am UTC

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.


Carl Sagan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby JustMe » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:42 am UTC

Do you know how amazing it is that we've been to the moon? And we haven't been back in decades? But we've bombed it?

(Of course, everyone knows bombing is the first step towards establishing a base!)

((And, yes, I know this bombing had more purpose than probably any other bombing in history, but still - seems odd))
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Comic JK » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:48 am UTC

To quote a reliable source...
You don't seriously believe we landed on the moon, do you?
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Nyarlathotep » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:50 am UTC

skine wrote:"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc


This is so trippy; my friend showed me this song yesterday and I've been listening to it <i>all day</i> since... and now this comic.

I think Zombie Carl Sagan is following me.
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby westrim » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:52 am UTC

You are now hearing SAGAN MAAAAAN* echoing in your brain. And I am now ashamed to have made that mental connection. Also, nice spinning-into-costume there Sagan Man.
*as in trojan man
Last edited by westrim on Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby zjxs » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:55 am UTC

To quote a reliable source...
You don't seriously believe we landed on the moon, do you?



So obviously faked its unbilevable, why are people so gullible??? Morons
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Mo-velocipede » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:58 am UTC

zjxs wrote:
To quote a reliable source...
You don't seriously believe we landed on the moon, do you?



So obviously faked its unbilevable, why are people so gullible??? Morons


I've seen the space shuttle ass hole It definetly landed on the moon do some research
:lol:

The only thing I'd tack on to those explanations of the comic is that it's also a tribute to Carl Sagan and his ability to cause people to stop in their tracks with awe.

Edit: I wasn't quite dumb enough when I spoke of the Apollos/shuttles/whatever stupid people think landed on the moon.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Ichapp » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:22 am UTC

After watching a couple videos, I find myself wishing I had been around earlier to have been inspired by this obviously amazing man. Excellent tribute, Randall.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby ohaus » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:58 am UTC

At first I thought this comic was making fun of Carl Sagan, saying that he's overly optmistic and his ramblings have little effect on normal people.

But that would have made me angry. I like Carl Sagan too much. Plus it didn't really make much sense. I like the superpower of being able to stop people in their tracks with words better.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby jwheare » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:03 am UTC

For those who weren't around to benefit from Sagan's wisdom while he was alive, there's a Twitter account that'll let you benefit in *REAL TIME*!
http://twitter.com/drcarlsagan
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby ballos » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:30 am UTC

carl sagan is a cool guy


on topic: can you imagine that carl sagan is dead? and that we're talking about the words of a man who's lying some five feet underground in some grave?
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Minerva » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:35 am UTC

ballos wrote:on topic: can you imagine that carl sagan is dead? and that we're talking about the words of a man who's lying some five feet underground in some grave?


A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person – perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Clumpy » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:51 am UTC

Another "[x] is weird" xkcd. Carl Sagan's superability is to... know we've been to the moon?
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Minerva » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:57 am UTC

Carl Sagan's superability is to stop criminals in their tracks by talking to them about elegant truths, about exquisite interrelationships, about the awesome machinery of nature.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby frey553 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:58 am UTC

Not really a funny comic at all...the radioactive Carl Sagan bit was kinda funny but I might have actually laughed if it was a direct quote from Carl Sagan in the last panel...

That being said I actually do think about this sometimes, especially on full moons, just kinda stop and look up at it and it blows my mind that a human has actually landed and walked around on it.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby guyy » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:00 am UTC

Unfortunately, Sagan-Man's powers are useless against the growing army of imagination-lackers.

Also, "Radioactive Carl Sagan" would be a great name for a rock band. Or a horrible one, depending on interpretation.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Jumble » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:13 am UTC

Given my post of 30 seconds ago on the science board, 'Get out of my head, Randall!' hardly needs saying. I don't know how you do it Randall, but its freaky, bordering onto telepathy and Carl wouldn't approve, so stop it!

Great comic today - love it.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby Kow » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:14 am UTC

Billions and Billions...
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby pegasos989 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:50 am UTC

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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby The Boz » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:12 am UTC

It's Agent Sagan, not Saganman.

EDIT: And yeah, that would be an effective superhero. Imagine a thief stealing a diamond, only to have Agent Sagan stop him to say "Matter is composed primarily of nothing." Mind=Blown for the materialist.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby squishycube » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:28 am UTC

Funny story:
I went to Sziget Festival, Budapest in 2006 and there we made exactly this joke, except we did it with a radioactive spiderman:
Spidermanman: He was bitten by a radioactive spiderman and has now gained the powers of a spiderman.
It was the joke of the festival, thanks for reminding me.

My first get out of my head moment, yay!
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby pyxzer » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:45 am UTC

I seriously don't understand this Sagan-worship that's poking around in everywhere. :/

(Sagan is just one letter away from SATAN :O:O:O:O!!!!)
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby craigae » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:57 am UTC

I registered just to say I love XKCD and Carl Sagan. He was so inspirational and enthusiastic, it was contagious. Would have been nice if this comic came last week on his birthday!

Everyone needs to see or read his Cosmos TV series/book.
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Re: "Sagan-Man" Discussion

Postby NorthLondon » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:02 am UTC

dennisw wrote:Do you realize just how crazy it is that it's been 40 years since we first landed on the moon? Do you realize just how utterly insane it is that there's some chance that we won't have returned to the moon by the time the fiftieth anniversary rolls around?


Yeah, when the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landings happened a few months ago, that was one of the main things I was struck by. We've got TV on our iphones, but we couldn't replicate something that first happened when our grandparents were in their prime.

Although, NASA did go back to the moon another five times after Apollo 11 - with Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, it's just that people stopped caring. I wonder what happened to Apollo 13? Why didn't that make it to the moon?
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