1017: "Backwards in Time"

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1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Persona » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:56 am UTC

Image

Title text: "People tell me I have too much time on my hands, but really the problem is that there's too much time, PERIOD."

Isn't there a repeat in the date...? Oh wait... it's fixed already. I must have been thinking... *sunglasses on* backwards in time.
Last edited by Persona on Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1017: Backwards in Time

Postby lotharofthehillpeople » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:58 am UTC

Why is the percentage counting down to 0% now? I feel like 0% should be the beginning of the universe, and it should count up to 100% when it reaches now. Or if this is about waiting, then 100% should be some point in the future.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Persona » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:03 am UTC

It's probably that if 0% was the beginning of the universe, you'd run through most of time within very little %s then slow down... he wants the whoosh, so he speeds up as the download completes
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby lotharofthehillpeople » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:06 am UTC

Well he can keep the formula the way it is, with the percentage changing more rapidly as you approach now. Just that the result should be (100% - the current number).

Edit: I'm not even going to try to write a modified version of his formula in BBCode here :)
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Persona » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:11 am UTC

But then you'd have nothing happening (that you have knowledge of) most of the time...
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby lotharofthehillpeople » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:20 am UTC

I think I'm not quite explaining myself right, let me try again.

0% - 13.76 billion years ago - Universe begins
9.58% - 68 million years ago - Dinosaurs extinct
29.67% - 24,000 years ago - Caves painted
52.09% - 1844 - Rubber vulcanized
68.88% - February 1995 - Windows 95 debuts
96.692% - December 18, 2011 - Kim Jong-Il Dies
100% - Three hours from now - Download complete

Somehow that seems more satisfying to me: all of history has been progress towards my download finishing. In fact, my three hours of waiting is only the last part of the download process - by the time I start waiting, it's practically done!
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby glasnt » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:25 am UTC

And so the freelanced creation of this application begins.

Also, having the listing as 0%=now, 100%=Big Bang gives for a more explosive finish. You're starting a download now, and you're timing it comparative to all time, therefore you can't also finish now, you're finishing in the past.

It's just one thing that's letting you be more like David Tennant, don't overthink it.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby muntoo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:30 am UTC

Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?
Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.
Was it a rat I saw?
A nut for a jar of tuna.
Do geese see god?
Ma is as selfless as I am.
A Santa lived as a devil at NASA.
A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.

Dammit, I'm mad!
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:05 am UTC

I'm trying to make an extreme sport out of watching him waiting.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby scikidus » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:17 am UTC

I'm pretty sure that the inversed p formula isn't quite right. Shouldn't it be:

\sqrt[3]{\frac{\ln{(T-\text{(current date)}+e^3)}-3}{20.3444}}?

That said I would love to see this built into a webpage where you could enter your start time and duration....

EDIT: Also, if you change "output=html" to "output=csv" in the spreadsheet url, you can download the actual values. Linky.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby dbam987 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:25 am UTC

:D the image is a link to a spreadsheet. it contains a listing of other big events that occurred during the (known?) existence of the universe. :arrow:
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Venetian Road » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:38 am UTC

Using 20.3444 as in the comic, I get 13.7513 billion years.

However, using 20.3450 yields 13.75956 billion.

Using this number yields the following dates for the percentages he used:

7.308% : December 10, 2011
31.12% : February 15, 1995
47.91% : March 17, 1842
70.33% : 23781 years ago
90.42% : 68.35 million years ago
100% : 13.76 billion years ago!
Last edited by Venetian Road on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby StClair » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:49 am UTC

"Cannot run out of time. There is infinite time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This... is wrong tool. No. No, not good. No. Never use that."
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:20 am UTC

Mostly in reply to the alt text:

"The days are long, but the years are short."
Gretchen Rubin.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby thejudgeofall » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:04 am UTC

scikidus wrote:I'm pretty sure that the inversed p formula isn't quite right. Shouldn't it be:

\sqrt[3]{\frac{\ln{(T-\text{(current date)}+e^3)}-3}{20.3444}}?


I think the artist is definitely wrong. But I made it:

\sqrt[3]{\frac{\ln{(\text{(current date)}+e^3-T)}-3}{20.3444}}?
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Vael » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:14 am UTC

"February 27, 1984 - I'm born"

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ak43bGxHGI1adDMtOHVWVXZrYzhKd2VtbFJJMmJPTEE&single=true&gid=1&output=html

12 days to 28, happy early birthday, Randall!

*Edit:

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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:41 am UTC

muntoo wrote:Dammit, I'm mad!

God, a red nugget; a fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog!

Why are we palindoming again?

(Although on the note of palindromes and dates: it struck me recently that 2012-12-21@21:02 will be a palindromic datetime. :twilight zone music: The world ends at 9:02 PM! :P
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby sokratesz » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:45 am UTC

It would be even more awesome if he made the script so that it had microsoft sam read the first lines of the corresponding wikipedia article for each era!
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby PhDFluff » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:55 am UTC

I went to the forum in hopes that someone made an app of this. Now I'm disappointed :(
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby mattygroves » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:45 am UTC

Hmm...I've downloaded both the Excel spreadsheet from XKCD, and the csv from here - and neither seem to have the actual formulae in them. Have I done something wrong? I'm using Firefox 10.0.1 on a PC.

Thanks (and hi - I'm new!)

Cheers
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Linux0s » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:00 am UTC

PhDFluff wrote:I went to the forum in hopes that someone made an app of this. Now I'm disappointed :(

Definitely hold out for version 2.0 with selectable universes.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby inductiveload » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:11 am UTC

Enter a progress here (the formula works with p in [0,1], not a percentage as stated in the comic) and get your year (edit: now with a Wikipedia link):

http://inductiveload.com/widgets/xkcd-date/
Last edited by inductiveload on Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:06 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby mokmok » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:20 am UTC

StClair wrote:"Cannot run out of time. There is infinite time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This... is wrong tool. No. No, not good. No. Never use that."


"You are the One who was. You are the One who is. You are the One who will be."
Thanks for Zathras :D
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby peetmaster » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:15 pm UTC

I cannot but refer to an old writing of Asimov.

http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby dhokarena56 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:35 pm UTC

Well, 44.9694% is now my favorite percentage. You know, I might try and see if I couldn't write a program that allowed you to input an amount of time, press *start*, and then watch it give you things that happened at intervals.
Last edited by dhokarena56 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby neoliminal » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

"Man, it feels like I've been sitting here so long the dinosaurs would be dead already."

"Nay, we got another 5 minutes."
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby dp2 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

Is Randall friends with someone at Fitocracy? This is the only place I've ever heard it mentioned. The first time, I tried it out and didn't care a lick for it.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby JediMaster012 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:09 pm UTC

I can't believe no one has commented on the 31.12% box. I couldn't stop laughing when I read "Windows 95 debuts. OJ found not guilty."
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby LordHorst » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:20 pm UTC

Hm, when I open the spreadsheet in OpenOffice I get "Err:508" messages in the "How far back", "What's Happening" and "How long ago" boxes. Seems to be a case of an error in parantheses, ie there are more opening parantheses than closing ones or vice versa. But there's nothing wrong with the parantheses, as far as I can tell (69 opening ones, 69 closing ones).

Can anybody help me out? :|
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Coyne » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:26 pm UTC

So, the way I read this, Randall is the ultimate in long-suffering.

Misellaneous person: "So, how long was that lecture, Randall?"
Randall (with deep suffering): "At least as long as the age of the universe."
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby The Origamist » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Ambiguous punctuation is fun. I'm heartened to discover OJ was not responsible for Windows 95.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby beav » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

enjoyed.

also enjoyed the Zathras comment. fitting.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:03 pm UTC

StClair wrote:"Cannot run out of time. There is infinite time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This... is wrong tool. No. No, not good. No. Never use that."


I <3 you for the B5 quote. Zathras was one of my favorite characters.


"Zathras is used to being beast of burden to other people's needs. Is very sad life, will probably have very sad death, but at least there is symetry."


"Zathras talks to dirt, sometimes talks to ceiling and walls but dirt is closer."
"Greyarcher":Trying to build a proper foundation for knowledge is blippery.
"JimsMaher":Squirrels are crazy enough to be test pilots.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Sprocket » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

I knew my teacher in high school had us watch the OJ Simpson verdict...I think we were in the middle of math or something not in a classroom with a television, and we moved to one that was. I also knew my mom died in October of 1995, at the start of my Freshman year of high school, so when I saw February 1995 I had to be sure that how big "around that time" meant. Grrr...Randall you made me look up the OJ Simpson trial. :-/
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby danja » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

I've made a quick & dirty implementation using linked data:

http://dannyayers.com/stuff/sliders/xkcd.html

it gives the names of people in the appropriate year, with a few caveats...
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby DillyD » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:01 pm UTC

Like Dunbar in Catch-22, I read xkcd comics in order to extend my own life through boredom.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Someguy945 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:22 pm UTC

lotharofthehillpeople wrote:I think I'm not quite explaining myself right, let me try again.

0% - 13.76 billion years ago - Universe begins
9.58% - 68 million years ago - Dinosaurs extinct
29.67% - 24,000 years ago - Caves painted
52.09% - 1844 - Rubber vulcanized
68.88% - February 1995 - Windows 95 debuts
96.692% - December 18, 2011 - Kim Jong-Il Dies
100% - Three hours from now - Download complete

Somehow that seems more satisfying to me: all of history has been progress towards my download finishing. In fact, my three hours of waiting is only the last part of the download process - by the time I start waiting, it's practically done!


Watching things go slower and slower as you approach 100% would be agonizing for something like a long lecture or an hour+ on a treadmill.

The comic's solution is best. Now someone make me an app I can watch while on a treadmill.
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby squidfood » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:33 pm UTC

Reminds me of this little 321-Contact gem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppJEf3ZtFU
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby Yeah_And_stuff » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:15 pm UTC

just a correction to point out flowering plants have been around for much longer than 68million years
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Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Postby San Fran Sam » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

glasnt wrote:And so the freelanced creation of this application begins.

Also, having the listing as 0%=now, 100%=Big Bang gives for a more explosive finish. You're starting a download now, and you're timing it comparative to all time, therefore you can't also finish now, you're finishing in the past.

It's just one thing that's letting you be more like David Tennant, don't overthink it.


Yeah, it's all that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.
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