0706: "Freedom"

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Eternal Density
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:07 pm UTC

+5 Renegade points for you!
My current Commander Shepard is a complete Paragon so he's had to resist the urge to punch people mid-sentence several times. It can be a struggle not to.
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makc
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby makc » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 pm UTC

take it a bit outside of context, and you will see that as long as you make logical decisions in order to follow some goal (or goals), you are no more free than a computer program created to follow its goals. it is only when you are doing something completely illogical and unreasonable, you are truly free.

but you likely don't, and so you aren't :(

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TheTedinator
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby TheTedinator » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:17 pm UTC

RE: dropping things

I often wonder what would happen if i dropped my glasses over the edge of something. Or more often, if someone else did.

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wallacoloo
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby wallacoloo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:36 pm UTC

Sappharos wrote:Yes, I too can definitely relate to this one. When walking along a reservoir dam, I imagine myself letting go of my phone and dropping it over the side, staring at it as for a few seconds it falls away from me, then collides spectacularly with the concrete wall - I'm constantly a split second away from actually doing it - amazingly, a few seconds later I realise that I thankfully haven't done so, but I still could... Same sort of feeling when I'm walking next to a road or railway, or talking to any female. What would happen if I just... grabbed her boobs? Spat in her face? Did a handstand? Made a noise like a banana? Any of these could happen at any moment, and instantly my current social status would become forever irretrievable. What if these sort of thoughts actually make it more likely? If it's after all so unlikely, why can't I just forget about the idea? I fear myself, and envy the apparent mental stability of others.


"Made a noise like a banana", what does that mean?! What kind of noise does a banana make? Anyways, thanks for the laughs.

stubborndogmom
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby stubborndogmom » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:43 pm UTC

makc wrote:take it a bit outside of context, and you will see that as long as you make logical decisions in order to follow some goal (or goals), you are no more free than a computer program created to follow its goals. it is only when you are doing something completely illogical and unreasonable, you are truly free.

but you likely don't, and so you aren't :(


Nicely put. I was going to go on about operant conditioning and quote a bunch of BF Skinner about positive reward systems guiding our every choice, but I like what you said better.

As far as the 'chaotic thought' scenarios, it could also be a form of thrill seeking behavior - as in create a small surge of adrenalin to spice up our ordinary day.

LeftClicker
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby LeftClicker » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:52 pm UTC

That guy musta been punched hella hard. Just look at that # sign.
Image

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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby makc » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:14 am UTC


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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby haloshade » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:11 am UTC

Dammit Randel... Get out of my head!!! I have been thinking about this for months, trying to see opportunities I can take and opportunities I could have took.

This strip has a really good point, why not try something that you normally won't at least once before you die? I like it.

Okapi
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Okapi » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:18 am UTC

I have had this experience several times (the thinking bit, though I've experimentally punched someone before. Not much happened; They were kind of a pushover.)

Just going to say that it is the frontal lobe that gives these "rules" and other mental filters. Lobotomy patients lose their self-control, because their frontal lobe is severed.

p01nt
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby p01nt » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:24 am UTC

All I could think of was the conversation between Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin has a similar conversation then gets pushed into a mud puddle by Hobbes and the same ending ensues. Made me smile.

WontonSoup
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby WontonSoup » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:42 am UTC

I think about this all the time. For example, today I went to a shooting range, and at some point I realized that I could put the gun to my head and pull the trigger long before anyone could stop me. Kind of morbid, but whatever.

P.S. I'm not emo or suicidal. :P

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BlueNight
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby BlueNight » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:50 am UTC

I have the freedom to treat you with dignity and respect, whether you're the person who just punched me or the person who just gave me a million dollars.

I have the freedom to treat you as a rational human being, whether your request was easy, hard, insane, or just plain stupid.

I have the freedom to give to charity, even though my bills are more than my income.

I have many freedoms that I don't choose to take because I haven't been the best person I can be.

I can choose to change. I can choose to believe. I can choose to live. I can choose to worship Jesus and still call myself a freethinker.

I can choose many things.
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Phoenix112358 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:04 am UTC

Sometimes I fear someone will approach me while walking down the street and grab my head and scrape it against a nearby wall. And then I get scared and move away from the walls. But then I realise they could throw me onto oncoming traffic.

There is no escape ):

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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby mbogot » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:39 am UTC

This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode "the maid".
Elaine has a phone man in her apartment and she picks up a candlestick and thinks "I wonder if anyone knows he's here. If he just disappeared...would anybody notice?".


Or his stand-up:
You sit there, and the conversation's so boring. It's so dull. And you start to fantasize. You know, you think, what if I just got up and jumped out that window? What would it be like? Just crashed right through the glass.. You know. Come back in, there's broken glass, everybody's all upset. "No, I'm alright. I was just a little bored, there. No, I'm fine. I came back. I wanted to hear a little about that Hummel collection, Aunt Rose. Let's pick it up right there.

makc
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby makc » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:57 am UTC

haloshade wrote:why not try something that you normally won't at least once before you die? I like it.
Where can I buy long range sniper rifle?

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Rockberry
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Rockberry » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:42 am UTC

Good one Randall.

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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby alestef » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:21 pm UTC

I registered to the forum just to say this was THE biggest "GET OUT OF MY HEAD" moments.
Seriously, I very often think this, especially when in a car, bus, etc, that my life depends on which option is the one other drivers are going to choose.
My life depends on a mis-turn, their decision. I depend on their mental sanity, and this is driving me crazy. (Ironic, yeah)

dlrocket89
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby dlrocket89 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:36 pm UTC

I had a moment similar to this, but actually did it (no long term repercussions though). I was talking with a friend, there was a lull in the conversation. I looked at him and slapped him in the face, he looked at me saying "WTF??" for about 0.0000001sec and then slapped me back. We were laughing for about 20 minutes, it was hilarious.

Granted, no long term repercussions, but amusing never the less.

nahkaimurrao
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby nahkaimurrao » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

It's unfortunate that my eyes were drawn to the "WHAM" first. Nonetheless, I like this comic.


Not for me, strangely, that was the panel I read last. My eyes slipped from 3rd panel to the last without any notice given to the WHAM in the middle which barely registered subconsciously in my brain as unimportant black markings inconveniently placed. Only after reading the last panel and being slightly confused, I had to force my eyes to focus on the WHAM, and was like "Oh, so that's what that was".

Its amazing how different our neurologies can be.

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Saltant
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Saltant » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:23 pm UTC

Having just spent the last 3-4 hours writing an essay on Sartre's notion of radical freedom I think Randall might actually be telepathic...

graatz
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby graatz » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:32 pm UTC

Punchline reminded me of the Unexpected Hanging Paradox:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unexpected_hanging_paradox

Getting punched is the obvious result of telling someone you wonder what it'd be like to just punch them in the middle of a conversation. But you can't expect someone to follow through with it.

JoeKhol
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby JoeKhol » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

I noticed the "WHAM" first but my instinctive thought was 80s pop music.

Not sure I want to know what that says about my neurology. :?
Therefore, I think I am.

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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby tastelikecoke » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:29 am UTC

I've been thinking about this a long time, How different things can turn out and your goals can be achieved by breaking the rules. And I really wanna jump out of a moving car. Kind of shows how we can't exist without limiting our freedom.

Anyway, You can punch-serve a volleyball, using your fists to propel it in the air. Best way to relieve violent intentions.

232stinger
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby 232stinger » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:27 am UTC

I have had that same thought process in my head so many times it is not even funny. I usually don't act on such thoughts though. :twisted: Great Comic!

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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby rocketrat » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:35 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:+5 Renegade points for you!
My current Commander Shepard is a complete Paragon so he's had to resist the urge to punch people mid-sentence several times. It can be a struggle not to.

I did this accidentally the other day. I got bored in a conversation with the Reporter, and tried to end the conversation. The way Shepherd acted on that wasn't what I was expecting. (Yes, I was playing ME 1 after ME 2 has come out)

So maybe Randall got the comic from Mass Effect? Though I can't imagine he would think very highly of it, what with it's utter violation of most aspects of physics.

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tehol
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby tehol » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:55 am UTC

I've considered the results of punching people in the for no particular reason over five times today. I also do this and other similar things with fair frequency.

Get out of my head randal...? I admit, until now I always thought that people just said that for teh lulz.
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Okapi » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:08 pm UTC

yeg wrote:"Enjoying Today's Comic", a how-to guide :
1. If you've already seen xkcd/706 proceed to step 3
2. goatkcd/706/
3. xkcd/706
4. Take note of hover-over text and conversation in final box.
5. goatkcd.com/706/


Aagh! Distended anus onoes!

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BlahBlahBlah
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby BlahBlahBlah » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:22 pm UTC

Sappharos wrote:Yes, I too can definitely relate to this one. When walking along a reservoir dam, I imagine myself letting go of my phone and dropping it over the side, staring at it as for a few seconds it falls away from me, then collides spectacularly with the concrete wall - I'm constantly a split second away from actually doing it - amazingly, a few seconds later I realise that I thankfully haven't done so, but I still could...

I think about this all the time with electronics, especially the phone. The same goes for my TV and even my computer sometimes, but less often. Some days I think about unceremoniously tossing every last one of my gadgets into a nearby dumpster and living completely without electronics and long-distance contact for a while.

As I visualize myself doing it, I have to admit I find the idea kind of attractive for some reason. But then practical concerns kick in and the thought fades away.

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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:18 am UTC

I'm diabetic so I have a lot of very thin needles in a box in my desk drawer. It's horrifying, but I often wonder to myself, "what would it be like if I just stuck one in my left eye? What would that eye see as the needle goes in? I could find out right now. Go on, stick it in there as deep as it will go".
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BioTube
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby BioTube » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:25 pm UTC

Newton did something like that - he stuck a needle between his eye and the socket and wiggled it around FOR SCIENCE!
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby hintss » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:57 pm UTC

sanitize it first

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Raptortech97
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Raptortech97 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:47 pm UTC

I say don't do it. It will hurt, and/or kill you. I think. I mean, would a needle in your eye really just be a nuisance?
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aurum
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby aurum » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

Good comic. I often think about this. Just last evening I was walking past a vase of flowers, and I thought to myself that I could easily knock it over or pluck off a petal, and nobody could stop me.

:twisted:

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SlyReaper
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:31 pm UTC

Raptortech97 wrote:I say don't do it. It will hurt, and/or kill you. I think. I mean, would a needle in your eye really just be a nuisance?


I have no intention of doing it. I'm just saying there's always this horrible thought in the back of my mind that if I ever went stark raving bonkers, I would have the means readily at hand to mutilate myself in such a fashion.
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CorruptUser
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:53 pm UTC

I actually have similar thoughts when I use my blade razor. I always start thinking 'razor, eyes, razor, eyes, razor eyes'. I use an electric razor now, just in case.

elevul
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby elevul » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:28 pm UTC

webb.am wrote:Oh, and the other common one: the inexplicable urge to throw your phone/keys/wallet into a lake/river...

Totally agree with this. :D

ricestory
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby ricestory » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

I registered to discuss this comic..

I don't see how being able to choose which action to do is freedom. Maybe it isn't at all. Even so, everyone's definition of 'freedom' is different.

Do we even choose our own actions? Is it fate? Is it a God toying around with us like SIMS?

I do see the humor in the comic, don't get me wrong..

TwineTaxi
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby TwineTaxi » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:16 am UTC

I completely and utterly understand this comic on intimate levels.

You know, I used to think that Randall and I might be soulmates. Now I know the truth.
Randall is me from an alternate dimension. What he's doing here on earth I have no clue.

MrCode
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby MrCode » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:17 pm UTC

I don't see how being able to choose which action to do is freedom. Maybe it isn't at all.

...

Do we even choose our own actions? Is it fate?


That's exactly what this comic got me thinking about...although I try not to think about it too much, as the idea of the absence of free will is just plain depressing...:(

I personally believe in free will, as there are certain things in science which (as of yet) are unpredictable, such as (elements of?) quantum mechanics. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle comes to mind. If that is ever disproven, and everything is indeed predictable, then there are two sides to that:

Pro side: You can predict the future.

Con side: You can predict the future.

edit: Not only that, but it would probably drive some people insane, as they realize that every thought in their head (including the realization itself), and every action they do is predetermined, with no other choice. Then again, others might simply see it as an excuse to commit crimes or other injustices...because "it was meant to be".

Apteryx
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Re: "Freedom" Discussion

Postby Apteryx » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:48 pm UTC

I had a friend do this to me once.
Middle of a party, very few drinks aboard either of us, perfectly reasonable conversation about the respective abilities of our rival cricket teams, and the previous days game where his team lost by a innings and two wickets in spite of trying to cheat repeatedly . . . I had no sooner expressed my satisfaction at the just outcome and "wham" , from nowhere, a punch in the face.
:P
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