0859: "("

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warcupine
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby warcupine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:06 am UTC

Your eloquence presumes that trolls either (a) are intelligent, or (b) care. Mere facts won't stop trolls from saying stupid shit. (We had a US President of eight years as testimony to that sad reality.)

:>

meneo
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby meneo » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:13 am UTC

FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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paulagostinelli1
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby paulagostinelli1 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:22 am UTC

apparent trolling)
Last edited by paulagostinelli1 on Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:30 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

nowhereman
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby nowhereman » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:19 am UTC

Honestly, I thought this was a programming joke, and not a human syntax joke. In fact he more or less says so in his alt-text (or to be correct he made a programming joke in addition to a drive you nuts joke). For extra props, he should have added some nasty code in there to mess with poorly written PHP scripts }:)
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Ex-ambivalent
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Ex-ambivalent » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:23 am UTC

This comic and the urge to reply to this post got me to finally register:

paulagostinelli1 wrote:Again, I'm not suggesting that there shouldn't be criticism, it's not only unstoppable, but should be encouraged. As soon as something is put into public, criticism happens, and it should. My issue is with the laziness of the complaints.


Irony about complaining about laziness in THIS comic thread aside, I think it's unfair to suggest that criticism must avoid laziness to be valid here, when much lazier shows of support in simple replies like "This comic was awesome" and "Epic win!" are just fine. I don't mean to imply those simple comments shouldn't be here - sometimes you just want to show support and that's fair enough! But why can't an equal retort of "Um, I didn't like this one" be okay then too?

On top of that, for someone who doesn't see this very comic as lazy, you seem to have a ridiculously high double-standard of laziness for critics. Most of the criticisms I've seen here are legible and articulate, unlike the more common form of "criticism" on the internet, YouTube-level "Oh me yarm u suk" trolling.

But moving on. You say that criticism should be encouraged, so how on earth DO you encourage criticism? What do you think would be a realistic way of encouraging criticism? Because I really doubt clutching your pearls and suggesting that every criticism on here needs to be at the level of a college critique to have any substance to it is very encouraging. ...Granted, it doesn't seem to matter much, since in my case it only ticked me off and made me want to sign up to critique more. But I wouldn't call it "encouraging criticism."

Criticism should actually have reasons. Again, just stating that it could have been done quickly or that there wasn't much on the page doesn't imply laziness.


So for Randall, you bend over backwards to rationalize something like: "Just because it could have been done super fast and could have been lazy, that doesn't mean it definitely was!" We need to give him a huge benefit of the doubt. But when it comes to some critic, who dares to suggest that a comic consisting of one sentence with no art that would make an equally compelling tweet looks pretty lazy? You can't even imagine this critic has any reasons behind this opinion! Can you even conceive of how far your head needs to be up your ass to believe that someone with a different opinion than yours who makes a decent effort to say so just "has no reasons"?

For someone who's coming off as a real tolerant type appreciating the value of Randall's possible artistic choices, you're really hardlining your artistic opinion as the only valid one!

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muntoo
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby muntoo » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:43 am UTC

{[( Closing in wrong order. See? This is why not closing HTML tags is retarded. }])
{ I hope you're all happy. HTML abusers. )

Splattercake
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Splattercake » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:58 am UTC

paulagostinelli1 wrote:The thing that irritated me specifically was the claim that "...this is supposed to represent 1/3 week's work."
Seriously? I'm pretty sure Randall never claimed this is the only thing he does. There are certainly lots of other things going on in his life and it would be pretty silly to assume that he spends 40 hours a week to begin with writing his comics, there is a lot of other stuff to do running a site and the store etc..


Yes, seriously. The comic is his livelihood. Fine, the fraction was a little larger than it should be because he also has to maintain his site and store along with a very miniscule quantity of etc., but the work involved isn't anything like what you're implying and each update represents the major part of his job. This is where he gets his fans, this is where he convinces people to buy his merchandise. Nobody wants to buy a shirt displaying a stickfigure wearing a hat if they're not fond of the comic. Now, if this is the sort of effort I put into the central task of my own day job, I would be fired. Maybe I would be given one warning, but if I did it again I would certainly be fired.

Calling out "LAZY!" because there isn't a lot of text on the screen is not preposterous in the least when the text happens to be a tiny sentence of no great quality that obviously took no effort whatsoever. Things would be different if it was of great quality, but if he laboured over composing that piece then he needs another holiday because he's obviously burnt out. This is not elegant ingenuity. You don't have to be Oscar Wilde for that to be the type of line you come up with on the spur of the moment in conversation at the pub. If a webcomic artist who cares about his work whittles a joke down to that line, and is unable to use the line for anything more significant, you know what he does? He thinks "oh crap, I'm going to have to abandon this for something else."

And it does matter whether he puts effort into producing good work, because a thinking audience doesn't stand around while a performer spits in their face. I'm sure you're thinking "don't like it, don't read it," but that's the point. If he keeps doing stuff like that I'm not going to continue reading it, and I'm sure there are plenty of others who will do the same. There are plenty of alternative webcomics. This does matter to Randall because of the aforementioned aspect of this comic being his livelihood. He can't rely solely on the portion of his audience that gets a warm glow from feeling like they're part of a clique.

I have to add that I honestly took your first post as trolling because of this line: "If you think you can do better, DO it. Otherwise leave us who actually enjoy the comic be and drink someone else's kool-aid." This overplayed argument against criticism has so little validity that it's rare for it to be seriously used anymore. My own abilities are not the issue here, but as a consumer my opinion remains just as relevant as a creator's.

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Aic » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:39 am UTC

Why is it bad when something is lazy or of low quality? I do not say that's good or one should admire laziness and low quality, but why does one actually care? I really don't mind reading criticism or baaawing, I'm just asking myself why people are downright annoyed instead of just slowly losing interest and doing/reading other things.
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Ex-ambivalent
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Ex-ambivalent » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:41 am UTC

Aic wrote:Why is it bad when something is lazy or of low quality? I do not say that's good or one should admire laziness and low quality, but why does one actually care? I really don't mind reading criticism or baaawing, I'm just asking myself why people are downright annoyed instead of just slowly losing interest and doing/reading other things.


Honestly, it's just because of all the attention XKCD gets that makes it so fascinating. There's plenty of lazy and crappy things all over that get no attention so I'll never even know about them, let alone care about them. And there's plenty of stuff that's lazy and mindless yet very popular, like most Hollywood movies, which may get me annoyed sometimes, but not to the level of XKCD.

XKCD is in some bizarre upside-down world where its audience holds it up as a comic for smart people, for a more elite and discerning rational crowd, and yet many of the fans act like blindly faithful religious zealots. Like if they admit that even one comic isn't great, their whole fragile belief structure will come crashing down around them and their whole nerd lifestyle will be proven a lie somehow. I do still like some XKCD strips, but ones like this make me wonder what could possibly falsify an XKCD groupie's belief that everything Randall posts must be brilliant. What content could Randall possibly choose that would ever make them think "this kind of sucked"?

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby philip1201 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:43 am UTC

Splattercake wrote:
paulagostinelli1 wrote:The thing that irritated me specifically was the claim that "...this is supposed to represent 1/3 week's work."
Seriously? I'm pretty sure Randall never claimed this is the only thing he does. There are certainly lots of other things going on in his life and it would be pretty silly to assume that he spends 40 hours a week to begin with writing his comics, there is a lot of other stuff to do running a site and the store etc..


Yes, seriously. The comic is his livelihood. Fine, the fraction was a little larger than it should be because he also has to maintain his site and store along with a very miniscule quantity of etc., but the work involved isn't anything like what you're implying and each update represents the major part of his job. This is where he gets his fans, this is where he convinces people to buy his merchandise. Nobody wants to buy a shirt displaying a stickfigure wearing a hat if they're not fond of the comic. Now, if this is the sort of effort I put into the central task of my own day job, I would be fired. Maybe I would be given one warning, but if I did it again I would certainly be fired.


Mondrian's paintings take less than a workday to make each. Over his lifetime, he made less than 80 paintings in 40 years. By your logic, he was so lazy that he spent 363.24 days per year doing no significant work. As with most most modern artists, there was a lot of criticism of his works being indistinguishable from a 6 year old messing with MS paint for a few minutes. However, history remembers these people as barbaric assholes*. Do you want to be a barbaric asshole, or accept the fact that the quality of a work is independent of the time it takes to make it? (And then, given quality is for a great part subjective, everyone should accept that people disagree on how good or bad the comic was. If you attempt to make an objective assessment, count the number of positive responders relative to the negative responders, and compare it to the average xkcd comic - it's above average).

It's also quite hilarious that you criticize a man whose webcomic stars the most basic of stickfigures for having become lazy in his artwork.
note that I do not say this comic is in any way bad or good, just that calling it lazy makes no sense
*Especially the ones with knives in museums.

Afrael
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Afrael » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:10 am UTC

philip1201 wrote:As with most most modern artists, there was a lot of criticism of his works being indistinguishable from a 6 year old messing with MS paint for a few minutes. However, history remembers these people as barbaric assholes*. Do you want to be a barbaric asshole, or accept the fact that the quality of a work is independent of the time it takes to make it? [...]
*Especially the ones with knives in museums.

<advocatus_diaboli>* Why should anyone care whether they are remembered as barbaric assholes? To me, the pictures of this man fill the criteria of this. This is not to say I would go to the hassle of smuggling a knife past the security guards in order to procur it at approximation to said painiting(s), because that would be giving them too much attention. The reason is not that I don't want to be remembered as a barbaric asshole.

Also, I could argue that "being remembered by history as barbaric asshole" ≠ "being a barbaric asshole", as suggested by your comment, but I will leave that to others to come after me.

*This opening tag will fill you with tension for the entire day.

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Aic » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:34 am UTC

Did you ever notice how the quotes in this kind of forums always lack a quotation mark at the end? (Which is done for graphical reasons, though.
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FastLizard4
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby FastLizard4 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:46 am UTC

Kirby wrote:So in class whenever the teacher is showing us some function on our graphing calculator (like fnInt or somesuch for TI users), she never closes the parentheses, because the closing one is optional, and TIs don't complain. But it annoys the hell out of me.


Actually, my TI-89 Titanium complains with unclosed perens, outputting a nice little "ERROR: Missing )" popup and refusing to continue, whether the statement triggering the error was in a program or entered on the calculation screen.

As for those of you complaining that Randall is being lazy since this comic is supposed to represent a third of a week's work....

There's something called "real life". Sometimes shit happens that requires a drastic change in one's schedule (case-in-point, five-minute-comics week), and perhaps you can't invest as much time in something as you had previously hoped.

Now, this may or may not have been the case with this comic. But it is a possible explanation. And Randall never decreed that you shall read his comic, you read it by choice, so while (constructive) criticism is fine, who are you to dictate what he should do for the comic (which is the attitude I'm getting from some of the criticizers posting to this thread)?
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snowyowl
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby snowyowl » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:41 pm UTC

Aic wrote:
Did you ever notice how the quotes in this kind of forums always lack a quotation mark at the end? (Which is done for graphical reasons, though.

... you bastard.
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The preceding comment is an automated response.

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neoliminal
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby neoliminal » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:46 pm UTC

what I hate is in python where people leave unmatched .
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Revus » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

I've read through this thread, and the entire time I've seen people talking about "this comic". However, I do not ever recall seeing a comic corresponding to 859. If someone would kindly point me towards the comic so that I may be able to participate in this discussion, I would appreciate it very much.

koshercracker28
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby koshercracker28 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:26 pm UTC

On the other hand, an orphan right parenthesis makes you uncomfortably worried that you missed the beginning of the parenthetical statement or is it just me?)

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Louis XIV
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Louis XIV » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

Image <--- Uncountably many left parentheses

Vonriel
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Vonriel » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:42 pm UTC


Iaaan
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Iaaan » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:51 pm UTC

FastLizard4 wrote:As for those of you complaining that Randall is being lazy since this comic is supposed to represent a third of a week's work....

There's something called "real life". Sometimes shit happens that requires a drastic change in one's schedule (case-in-point, five-minute-comics week), and perhaps you can't invest as much time in something as you had previously hoped.

Now, this may or may not have been the case with this comic. But it is a possible explanation. And Randall never decreed that you shall read his comic, you read it by choice, so while (constructive) criticism is fine, who are you to dictate what he should do for the comic (which is the attitude I'm getting from some of the criticizers posting to this thread)?


Don't ever excuse lazy 'artistic' work. All of his work should be held to the same standard (sans a few major situations).

As for 'valid' criticism I'll say that the entire premise of this comic is flawed. He only has one sentence in this comic and it is in parenthesis for no apparent reason. What I remember from high school says that there is absolutely no reason why 1 sentence on its own should be in brackets. He didn't even bother to give any context for why that sentence is bracketed - just a lazy "lol this is a tweet, I won't even draw a stick figure for this". The only reason he gets away with this is because he has built a repoire with the readers and can use crappier jokes so you'll still laugh at them, much in the same way a comic has to warm up a crowd. Only problem is, Randy warmed us up by ~ comic 300 and his jokes have been pretty hit or miss since then (moreso miss after ~600)

Here's an example for how adding a slight amount of context can strengthen a joke: http://i733.photobucket.com/albums/ww336/talligan/xkcdsucks.png
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Splattercake » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:25 pm UTC

philip1201 wrote:Mondrian's paintings take less than a workday to make each. Over his lifetime, he made less than 80 paintings in 40 years. By your logic, he was so lazy that he spent 363.24 days per year doing no significant work. As with most most modern artists, there was a lot of criticism of his works being indistinguishable from a 6 year old messing with MS paint for a few minutes. However, history remembers these people as barbaric assholes*. Do you want to be a barbaric asshole, or accept the fact that the quality of a work is independent of the time it takes to make it?


Well, the name "Mondrian" is unfamiliar to me and I lack the intellectual foundation to really assess a painting, so maybe I'm already barbaric arsehole. However, I suspect that if the retrospective accolade of his work has any credibility, it has something to do with composition, the balance and juxtaposition of colours, and what have you. If his work was anything more than a novelty, his style is likely to be deceptively inimitable by the untalented.

Not so with this comic. A joke is simply written within a box, there is no effort to use the medium in any way whatsoever. It would be as effective in any other format capable of displaying text, the only notable difference here is that it is given unwarranted significance by sitting alone and bare in a space where one expects to see something more elaborate. This might be a grand stylistic vision, but at risk of future history regarding me as a barbarian I'm going to say it's more that he couldn't work out a more effective way of using the observation. The line simply isn't good enough to deserve such treatment otherwise. Very few lines are.

Moreover, I never tried to suggest that a quality of work is independent of the time it takes to make it. If this comic had been of high quality but had obviously quickly made I would never said anything. I was careful to specify, though I admit I didn't highlight the distinction as well as I could have, that I consider my complaint valid "when the text happens to be a tiny sentence of no great quality that obviously took no effort whatsoever." Incidentally, I would also have said nothing if it was a poor comic in which he obviously tried.

philip1201 wrote:(And then, given quality is for a great part subjective, everyone should accept that people disagree on how good or bad the comic was. If you attempt to make an objective assessment, count the number of positive responders relative to the negative responders, and compare it to the average xkcd comic - it's above average).


Perhaps, but the only thing you can reliably conclude from that is that it's above average for an xkcd comic. I would hope not. A lot of the positive feedback seems more cultish than anything else, though (I refer to the clamour to identify with the comic's sentiment). If that's what makes one xkcd better than another then it's time for me to seriously reconsider whether I want to keep reading it.

philip1201 wrote:It's also quite hilarious that you criticize a man whose webcomic stars the most basic of stickfigures for having become lazy in his artwork.
note that I do not say this comic is in any way bad or good, just that calling it lazy makes no sense


I'm not talking about the lack of drawings, just the lack of effort put into the overall composition. This is just a data dump. As I said before, if he did struggle to produce that then he needs a holiday.

Aic wrote:Why is it bad when something is lazy or of low quality? I do not say that's good or one should admire laziness and low quality, but why does one actually care? I really don't mind reading criticism or baaawing, I'm just asking myself why people are downright annoyed instead of just slowly losing interest and doing/reading other things.


Some people have more time on their hands than is healthy, and nobody likes being taken for granted. Maybe Randall is sick of his comic and plans on shutting it down to use it for other things, maybe he's dug up that physics degree and is now going to put it to use. That's fine. If however he expects to keep relying on this for income and produces work like this, he is taking his audience for granted and I felt compelled to make this sentiment known. However, I must say I expected more agreement when I registered this complaint. Perhaps I have achieved little more than confirm he has enough celebrity power to survive regardless.

There is an element of slowly losing interest too. I suppose I have been of recent. This just happened to be a particularly jarring low point. A straw that wasn't quite heavy enough to break the camel's back, but was heavy enough to produce a pained yelp.

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby mikekearn » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:36 am UTC

aido179 wrote:I wrote a php parser to grab xkcd among others and throw them up on my own homepage to save me checking each comic for updates individually....Read this comic from a link as I had opened my browser from something else and missed my homepage....almost didnt wanna check it to see how bad my script was.

Thank god it still worked! haha
(overabuse.com is the site if your interested but its probably not able to handle much traffic!)

The title text is displayed incorrectly. At least, it is on my computer. I see a couple instances of &quot; where there should be ".
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby muntoo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:38 am UTC

mikekearn wrote:The title text is displayed incorrectly. At least, it is on my computer. I see a couple instances of &quot; where there should be ".


Chrome pwns. I think.

Chrome 9 wrote:Brains aside, I wonder how many poorly-written xkcd.com-parsing scripts will break on this title (or \\;;"\''{\<<[' this mouseover text."


EDIT: Damn it. (I'm confused now...)
Line 76 wrote:<img src="http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/(.png" title="Brains aside, I wonder how many poorly-written xkcd.com-parsing scripts will break on this title (or \\;;&quot;\&#39;&#39;{\&lt;&lt;[&#39; this mouseover text.&quot;" alt="(" /><br/>

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Nath
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Nath » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:10 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:{ Actually I get over the tension in a few seconds;

}

Thought you had gotten away with that, didn't you?

Ares B
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Ares B » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:46 am UTC

Parentheses and brackets can be fun for Unix users.

Code: Select all

% If I had a ( for every $ Congress spent, what would I have?
Too many ('s.

% \(-
(-: Command not found.

% [Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
Missing ].


(That's because they're easily amused.

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Morkid » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:45 am UTC

My first thought when seeing this was actually "Catalan numbers", and then I shuddered. *shudder*

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Mapar » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:56 am UTC

FastLizard4 wrote:
Kirby wrote:So in class whenever the teacher is showing us some function on our graphing calculator (like fnInt or somesuch for TI users), she never closes the parentheses, because the closing one is optional, and TIs don't complain. But it annoys the hell out of me.


Actually, my TI-89 Titanium complains with unclosed perens, outputting a nice little "ERROR: Missing )" popup and refusing to continue, whether the statement triggering the error was in a program or entered on the calculation screen.



On the 68k calculators (86 and up), the OS is a syntax nazi. On the TI-Z80 calculators, that's not a problem.
Hi.

Bodgybuilder
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Bodgybuilder » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:09 pm UTC

In case anyone hasn't noticed, Randall also made this:

http://xkcd.com/312/

So it's all equal! :D

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Re: 0859: "(

Postby EthErealist » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

WolfieMario wrote:Honestly, guys, I seriously don't see what's such a big deal about this (after all, it's not like we're "evolutionarily programmed to expect flawless closing syntax There's [i]nothing wrong with this at


lol nice

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:18 pm UTC

snowyowl wrote:
Aic wrote:
Did you ever notice how the quotes in this kind of forums always lack a quotation mark at the end? (Which is done for graphical reasons, though.

... you bastard.
ImageImage



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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Werner von Urslingen » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

Guys, seriously: You have never thought about unfinished paranthesises before, and you certainly don't harbour a smouldering phobia about them.

GOOMHR:ing is fun and all, but sometimes it's a bit to much brown-nosing going on, don't you agree?

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby philip1201 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:49 am UTC

Afrael wrote:<advocatus_diaboli>* Why should anyone care whether they are remembered as barbaric assholes? To me, the pictures of this man fill the criteria of this. This is not to say I would go to the hassle of smuggling a knife past the security guards in order to procur it at approximation to said painiting(s), because that would be giving them too much attention. The reason is not that I don't want to be remembered as a barbaric asshole.

Also, I could argue that "being remembered by history as barbaric asshole" ≠ "being a barbaric asshole", as suggested by your comment, but I will leave that to others to come after me.


Because it effectively governs the impression you leave on the world?
Both the terms "barbaric" and "asshole" are subjective, so what you are seen as is what you will become after you die. As for your underlying multi-layer thought processes, few people actually care about them even when you're alive. Most people have some sense of care for what the faceless masses think of them.


Splattercake wrote:
philip1201 wrote:Mondrian's paintings take less than a workday to make each. Over his lifetime, he made less than 80 paintings in 40 years. By your logic, he was so lazy that he spent 363.24 days per year doing no significant work. As with most most modern artists, there was a lot of criticism of his works being indistinguishable from a 6 year old messing with MS paint for a few minutes. However, history remembers these people as barbaric assholes*. Do you want to be a barbaric asshole, or accept the fact that the quality of a work is independent of the time it takes to make it?


Well, the name "Mondrian" is unfamiliar to me and I lack the intellectual foundation to really assess a painting, so maybe I'm already barbaric arsehole. However, I suspect that if the retrospective accolade of his work has any credibility, it has something to do with composition, the balance and juxtaposition of colours, and what have you. If his work was anything more than a novelty, his style is likely to be deceptively inimitable by the untalented.

Not so with this comic. A joke is simply written within a box, there is no effort to use the medium in any way whatsoever. It would be as effective in any other format capable of displaying text, the only notable difference here is that it is given unwarranted significance by sitting alone and bare in a space where one expects to see something more elaborate. This might be a grand stylistic vision, but at risk of future history regarding me as a barbarian I'm going to say it's more that he couldn't work out a more effective way of using the observation. The line simply isn't good enough to deserve such treatment otherwise. Very few lines are.


For some reason I Anglicized (Piet) Mondriaan. And I said those who criticized him for his paintings being easy to make were remembered as such, not anyone who disliked his paintings (I do). By the way, [url=http://eartfair.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/mondriaan.gif]this[/img] is Mondriaan. But I agree with you, you can call this comic bad or good. Bad is fine by me, I'd be inclined to agree, not having much experience with programming (though the European Union officially recognizes I've spent 224+ hours on it). It's just that lazy is not a good term for an artist, no more than it applies to a theoretical physicist. You can't tell how much he tried to put it into different formats, or if it's just filler for a coming larger comic, or whatever, from the style being minimalistic (something which it has always been to some extent) in the final product.

I was careful to specify, though I admit I didn't highlight the distinction as well as I could have, that I consider my complaint valid "when the text happens to be a tiny sentence of no great quality that obviously took no effort whatsoever." Incidentally, I would also have said nothing if it was a poor comic in which he obviously tried.


However, that simply turns it into a tautology. Your complaint is a complaint about a lack of quality. By saying "of no great quality", your complaint about quality is obviously valid. But it makes the rest of the complaint unnecessary. As you say, you wouldn't have cared if the end result was good. Hence, the "that obviously took no effort whatsoever" is irrelevant to the argument, which is what I'm trying to say.

philip1201 wrote:(And then, given quality is for a great part subjective, everyone should accept that people disagree on how good or bad the comic was. If you attempt to make an objective assessment, count the number of positive responders relative to the negative responders, and compare it to the average xkcd comic - it's above average).


Perhaps, but the only thing you can reliably conclude from that is that it's above average for an xkcd comic. I would hope not. A lot of the positive feedback seems more cultish than anything else, though (I refer to the clamour to identify with the comic's sentiment). If that's what makes one xkcd better than another then it's time for me to seriously reconsider whether I want to keep reading it.

You're correct, the opinion of the masses is not a good measure of quality. It is however the only objective standard (though naturally, any group can be chosen as test audience). But unless you expect to change a person's way they measure "good quality", there is nothing you can gain from engaging in a discussion about quality - since you differ in opinion, you have different values. The values must change in order to change the opinion, so any argument that merely conforms to your set of values will do nothing. No more can you expect to convince anyone than you can expect to make a creationist understand evolution, or to convince an extremist pro-lifer that killing abortion doctors is wrong, or expect an alliance between Republicans and Democrats concerning internal affairs.

Some people have more time on their hands than is healthy, and nobody likes being taken for granted. Maybe Randall is sick of his comic and plans on shutting it down to use it for other things, maybe he's dug up that physics degree and is now going to put it to use. That's fine. If however he expects to keep relying on this for income and produces work like this, he is taking his audience for granted and I felt compelled to make this sentiment known. However, I must say I expected more agreement when I registered this complaint. Perhaps I have achieved little more than confirm he has enough celebrity power to survive regardless.

There is an element of slowly losing interest too. I suppose I have been of recent. This just happened to be a particularly jarring low point. A straw that wasn't quite heavy enough to break the camel's back, but was heavy enough to produce a pained yelp.


This is for a significant part the nostalgia factor speaking. You just forget the old bad ones, and remember the good ones as specific events. The bad ones do produce a lingering feel of "the comic's becoming worse" which builds up over time, until every bad comic is a reaffirmation of the pattern (which lies in the past) of degradation, while every good comic is merely coming back to the old standards (which lie in the same freaking past).

So in short, calling artists lazy is not a valid argument based on their works (it is when based on their personal lives, though); in a discussion of quality, abstraction is productive (and will most likely lead to a "agree to disagree" ending); and your memory is a lying bastard.

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby monicaclaire » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:50 am UTC

Oh, man, parenthesis! I was in class doing an example my professor was going through on the board and I looked up to see if I had gotten the right answer and saw his 10te-1/2t^2 (too bad you can't superscript a superscript, that I know of) to my (10t)(e(-(1/2)t^2)) and I thought; Shit! I have got to get a handle on these parenthesis! Ummm...and I may have originally had the 1st part as (10)(t) before I decided there were to many ()'s. :lol:
Last edited by monicaclaire on Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:04 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Analogy » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:00 am UTC

My little brother used to play the piano. He'd play all of a song, except the last note, and then walk away from the piano.

People would get up off the sofa and play the last note, just to stop the pain.

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:02 am UTC

Werner von Urslingen wrote:Guys, seriously: You have never thought about unfinished paranthesises before, and you certainly don't harbour a smouldering phobia about them.

GOOMHR:ing is fun and all, but sometimes it's a bit to much brown-nosing going on, don't you agree?



Actually, I do. A lot. He just reminded me.

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Re: 0859: "))"

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:54 am UTC

meh wrote:Five years from now Randall will close this pair of parentheses, and everything inside it will have been a dream.
This adds a whole new meaning to GOOMHR.

You're waiting for a train...
[edit
I wonder whether Randall considered beforehand that by default every forum post has another ( in it? And how many people have noticed? Some obviously have, due to changing it.
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Re: 0859: "("

Postby anrieff » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:15 am UTC

editor.add_output_filter(SedFilter("s/)//g"));

now I'm Randallized as well :-

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Carlington » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:55 pm UTC

Carlington (The Aussie) wrote:
meh wrote:Five years from now Randall will close this pair of parentheses, and everything inside it will have been a dream.

BRRRAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHM

I am so sorry, I couldn't help myself...

Eternal Density wrote:
meh wrote:Five years from now Randall will close this pair of parentheses, and everything inside it will have been a dream.
This adds a whole new meaning to GOOMHR.

You're waiting for a train...


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Re: 0859: "("

Postby danix » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:08 pm UTC

I see this, and get reminded of LISP.
In fact, LISP was mentioned in a discussion I was having shortly before reading this... aaagh!

However, there's one thing that acts as a Brain Fuck to all programmers. What is it? The grammar requirement that all punctuation must go inside a paren (even when it actually should go outside, according to parsing rules.) :evil:
Look! Unmatched paren!

RUN!

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Re: 0859: "("

Postby Platypodes » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:14 am UTC

A lot of the complaints about "laziness" seem to carry an implication that Mr. Munroe owes us some particular amount of effort, or even that we should be insulted if he doesn't put in a certain amount of work. I don't get this.

Other criticism makes sense to me. I think it's perfectly reasonable to say that a comic wasn't funny or didn't make sense or could have been executed better. When people look at art, they talk about whether they like it or not, regardless of whether they paid for it. But there's a difference between evaluating the quality of a comic and taking offense at how much or little time the person chooses to spend on it. Why does he owe us anything?
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