1112: "Think Logically"

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hthall
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1112: "Think Logically"

Postby hthall » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:02 am UTC

Image

Mouseover text: "I've developed a more logical set of rules but the people on the chess community have a bunch of stupid emotional biases and won't reply to my posts."

A very apt metaphor for scientific crackpottery.
Look at me, still talking when there's Science to do.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:06 am UTC

"And how can castles actually MOVE? Merlin?"

Azathfeld
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Azathfeld » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:06 am UTC

Chess is really poorly designed, though. You achieve objectively much greater complexity with a much smaller ruleset with games like Go. It significantly (if not as heavily as something like Dominion) favors the first player. Some of the rules are insanely counterintuitive, like castling or promotion. And for fuck's sake, anything that requires a rule like en passant in order to work properly is obviously bullshit.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Brian-M » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:15 am UTC

The alt-text is even funnier when you realize how many chess variants are out there.
The fact that he can't find anyone interested in playing by his ruleset is very telling.

You can find the rules for 799 variants of chess listed here: http://www.chessvariants.org/index/mainquery.php

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Brian-M » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:21 am UTC

Azathfeld wrote:And for fuck's sake, anything that requires a rule like en passant in order to work properly is obviously bullshit.

When they decided to make gameplay faster (and less boring) by allowing the pawns to move two places instead of one on their first move, a lot of chess players complained. The en passant rule was a kludge, a compromise to placate the chess community so that the new two-move pawn rule could become popular.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby btoews » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:23 am UTC

I want to play this ruleset; don't disappoint me, Randall!

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Quicksilver
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:25 am UTC

There are 72,084 positions possible after two moves
There are 9+ million positions possible after three moves
There are 288+ billion different possible positions possible after four moves
Chess is fine as it is, you're never short of options. What fun would a game be if all the decisions made in it were logical? You don't even need to get close to the king to checkmate.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby ijuin » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:35 am UTC

The "think logically" guy has shown himself to be a prime example of the type of people who insist that their preconceptions are absolutely right regardless of counter-evidence. Such people usually appear to care more about being right than about the actual subject of the argument.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:57 am UTC

XKCD ended at strip 1111. What is this impostor comic?

Yes, I'm an XKCD-vacantist.
Last edited by Envelope Generator on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Invertin » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:58 am UTC

Azathfeld wrote:It significantly (if not as heavily as something like Dominion) favors the first player.


um
what?
how

no it doesn't

The first player gets to... move a pawn, or jump a knight out.

The second player gets to counter.

EDIT: also i hope the sassy chess player becomes a new recurring character

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00Davo
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby 00Davo » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:04 am UTC

Azathfeld wrote:And for fuck's sake, anything that requires a rule like en passant in order to work properly is obviously bullshit.

En passant was added because pawns originally couldn't move two spaces at the beginning. That was added to make the startgame faster, so the rule was needed to prevent it from actually affecting game balance, since the two-space rule isn't meant to change actual strategies.

Basically, the two-space thing is the bug and en passant is the patch.
Last edited by 00Davo on Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby VanI » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:05 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:XKCD ended at strip 1111. What is this impostor comic?

Yes, I'm an XKCD-vacantist.


I will meet with you in conclave, and we can elect our own XKCD pope.
I swear, a fireball lied to me just the other day...

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Eutychus » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:10 am UTC

Round hat guy seems to win in four moves.

No doubt someone much better at chess (not difficult) will be along to correct me, but doesn't that mean this was probably a Scholar's mate or some such?

Is there a four-move game in which moving a piece away from the other side's king offers a tactical advantage?
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da Doctah
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:11 am UTC

Azathfeld wrote:Chess is really poorly designed, though. You achieve objectively much greater complexity with a much smaller ruleset with games like Go. It significantly (if not as heavily as something like Dominion) favors the first player. Some of the rules are insanely counterintuitive, like castling or promotion. And for fuck's sake, anything that requires a rule like en passant in order to work properly is obviously bullshit.


Castling is pretty screwy, but promotion makes sense: despite your initial low station in life, if you stick it out long enough eventually you get exalted to a high station and position of power.

What doesn't make sense is under-promotion. I once found myself in an endgame where the only way I could win was by promoting a pawn to a knight instead of a queen. It's sort of the medieval equivalent of joining the Peace Corps.

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00Davo
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby 00Davo » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:14 am UTC

Eutychus wrote:Round hat guy seems to win in four moves.

No doubt someone much better at chess (not difficult) will be along to correct me, but doesn't that mean this was probably a Scholar's mate or some such?

Is there a four-move game in which moving a piece away from the other side's king offers a tactical advantage?


A Scholar's mate is prevented if the other side moves pawn e2 to e3, rather than to e4. So moving less towards the king does offer an advantage.
Image

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:20 am UTC

Knights are my favorite piece to use (after the Queen obviously). They are the best at forking the enemy, and their weird move helps make your plan slightly less obvious. One of my favorite moves to do is to, with backing from a bishop, fork the queen and a rook.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Scigatt » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:48 am UTC

ijuin wrote:The "think logically" guy has shown himself to be a prime example of the type of people who insist that their preconceptions are absolutely right regardless of counter-evidence. Such people usually appear to care more about being right than about the actual subject of the argument.
That reminds me of this quote:

"If you fail to achieve a correct answer, it is futile to protest that you acted with propriety."

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Sean Quixote » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:53 am UTC

So... anyone wanna play?

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:57 am UTC

Is anyone else reminded of that scene in Beautiful Mind when Russell Crowe gets owned in a game of go? If I remember correctly, he also accuses the game of being flawed.
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby xqby » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:17 am UTC

Eutychus wrote:Round hat guy seems to win in four moves.


I didn't read it as being literally a 4-move game, just a short one. It would've been tedious to illustrate more than he did. Also, the queen movement for Scholar's mate is kind of weak if the person you're doing it to responds competently.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby ocean_soul » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:22 am UTC

Invertin wrote:
Azathfeld wrote:It significantly (if not as heavily as something like Dominion) favors the first player.


um
what?
how

no it doesn't

The first player gets to... move a pawn, or jump a knight out.

The second player gets to counter.

EDIT: also i hope the sassy chess player becomes a new recurring character


Yes, it does. Look at the statistics of white victories vs. black ones among the top players of the world. Most of the time a chess game is about black trying to neutralize a very small white advantage in order to achieve a draw. Only if white makes a mistake or chooses a poor opening has black a chance of winning.
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby JimsMaher » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:43 am UTC

Mouseover text: "I've developed a more logical set of rules but the people on the chess community have a bunch of stupid emotional biases and won't reply to my posts."

btoews wrote:I want to play this ruleset; don't disappoint me, Randall!


I've developed a more realistic set of expectations but … Chess Variants.

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J L
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby J L » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:11 am UTC

The fact that he actually seems to follow the advice (almost all pieces seem to surround the defeated king at the end) somewhat takes away a bit from the joke.

The problem with chess, IMO, is that it's such a well-chartered territory by now. If you want to play chess really, really well, there is not much room for creativity anymore; it's more like a science with established findings. At least that's my impression as an average player when I study all those openings and endgames, crafted and fine-tuned over centuries of play. Make one weak move, and you're out.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Max™ » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:40 am UTC

00Davo wrote:
Azathfeld wrote:And for fuck's sake, anything that requires a rule like en passant in order to work properly is obviously bullshit.

En passant was added because pawns originally couldn't move two spaces at the beginning. That was added to make the startgame faster, so the rule was needed to prevent it from actually affecting game balance, since the two-space rule isn't meant to change actual strategies.

Basically, the two-space thing is the bug and en passant is the patch.

Fantastic description.
mu

MathUhhhSaurus
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby MathUhhhSaurus » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:55 am UTC

Is beanie guy a new character?

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:32 am UTC

MathUhhhSaurus wrote:Is beanie guy a new character?


yeah, I think so.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby DarrenGrey » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:23 am UTC

Just registered to say how much this comic resonates with me. I see far too many debates in geeky online communities about what something is or isn't logically, without any actual care for the matter at hand. I wish I could split groups up into the people that just want to enjoy something and the people that want to argue their own semantic viewpoints.

To paraphrase Feynman: Shut up and play!

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby peewee_RotA » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:16 pm UTC

VanI wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:XKCD ended at strip 1111. What is this impostor comic?

Yes, I'm an XKCD-vacantist.


I will meet with you in conclave, and we can elect our own XKCD pope.


conclave! WOOHOO



Anyway

I imagine this angry chessman would be the perfect person to play the cardgame Mao with.
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Istaro » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:17 pm UTC

J L wrote:The problem with chess, IMO, is that it's such a well-chartered territory by now. If you want to play chess really, really well, there is not much room for creativity anymore; it's more like a science with established findings. At least that's my impression as an average player when I study all those openings and endgames, crafted and fine-tuned over centuries of play.


That reminds me of how I got into Go for a little while during college and was having fun until I started reading some Go book or website that gave names like "crawling dragon" (not an actual example, as I don't remember any) to scores of specific patterns, at which I starting losing interest mainly due to being busy but partly due to a reason somewhat similar to your post.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:36 pm UTC

I used to love chess, but after seeing Khas I'd just love to play on a hexgrid and have which direction the pieces are facing matter.

And then maybe add different weapons and methods of attack, along with statistics of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the pieces along with varying skillsets.


...


We need a d0 RPG system.

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thevicente
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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby thevicente » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:38 pm UTC

Oooh, is that a new character?

I LOL at the people who started/believed the rumor about xkcd ending last week just because strip #1110 was unusual

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Elirra » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:38 pm UTC

J L wrote:The problem with chess, IMO, is that it's such a well-chartered territory by now. If you want to play chess really, really well, there is not much room for creativity anymore; it's more like a science with established findings. At least that's my impression as an average player when I study all those openings and endgames, crafted and fine-tuned over centuries of play. Make one weak move, and you're out.


That's the nature of any established field. Learning mathematics you start by following the established rules, one mistake and its wrong. Programming, how many times do I need to rewrite solutions for moving a wolf, a rabbit, and a carrot across a river or prime number lists do I need to create before I can actually program something original?

Endgames and openings are studied simply because there a fewer possibilities and you want to know how to start strong and know how to finish a game with a win when you find yourself in an endgame and up by a knight and a pawn. There's quite a bit of creativity going on in chess, to say otherwise would be like saying there's no creativity in physics because the text book you're reading from is all that there is.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby dp2 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:57 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:
VanI wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:XKCD ended at strip 1111. What is this impostor comic?

Yes, I'm an XKCD-vacantist.


I will meet with you in conclave, and we can elect our own XKCD pope.


conclave! WOOHOO



Anyway

I imagine this angry chessman would be the perfect person to play the cardgame Mao with.

I won the first time I played Mao. I swear it.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:03 pm UTC

thevicente wrote:Oooh, is that a new character?

I LOL at the people who started/believed the rumor about xkcd ending last week just because strip #1110 was unusual


But don't you see? The sudden appearance of a beanie is a glaring breach of continuity, and is clear evidence that we are dealing with a fake XKCD. 1013! 1013!

Anyway... when I was a wee melodica-wielding tot I was upset by time signatures in my mom's Beatles songbook. There was obviously no difference at all between 2/2 and 4/4, or 3/2 and 3/4 and 6/8! They're all reducible to each other! Such a practice made no sense and I couldn't understand why they haven't been replaced with more logical notation. What was the point of indicating key signatures like that? And five staff lines? Why not have twelve lines, one for each tone? Musical notation as a whole was riddled with illogical conventions, and that was why I couldn't play anything!
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Story » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:08 pm UTC

xqby wrote:
Eutychus wrote:Round hat guy seems to win in four moves.


I didn't read it as being literally a 4-move game, just a short one. It would've been tedious to illustrate more than he did. Also, the queen movement for Scholar's mate is kind of weak if the person you're doing it to responds competently.


But his opponent is obviously inexperienced. If I were playing against a clearly weak opponent and wanted to get things over with fast, I'd go for Scholar's Mate too. Even if they somehow block it by chance, the disadvantage is not enough to overcome the large skill gap.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby jigawatt » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:22 pm UTC

The perils of oversimplification are a recurring theme here.
http://xkcd.com/793 and http://xkcd.com/675

I like that he highlighted the "think logically" prefix, as if prefacing whatever you say with that automatically makes it right. Sometimes things are a lot more complex than they look at first glance.

For example,

(one kid to another) "Think logically. If your dad really loved you then he wouldn't make you get those shots."

Or, similarly,

"Think logically. If God really loved us then he wouldn't allow us to feel pain."

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby LtPowers » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:25 pm UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:There was obviously no difference at all between 2/2 and 4/4, or 3/2 and 3/4 and 6/8! They're all reducible to each other! Such a practice made no sense and I couldn't understand why they haven't been replaced with more logical notation. What was the point of indicating key signatures like that?


To your younger self's credit, even experienced musicians ask themselves these questions from time to time.


Powers &8^]

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby Ludovician » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:27 pm UTC

Registered just to post this. Interpret knight-guy's thought process literally; just keep moving the black knight towards the king. I suspect the game was

1. e4 Nf6
2. Bc4 Nxe4 (ha! I'm winning!)
3. Qh5 Nxf2 (up 2 pawns, near the king!)
4. Qxf7 1-0 (this game is stupid...)

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby jigawatt » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

Azathfeld wrote:It significantly (if not as heavily as something like Dominion) favors the first player.


That must be why beanie-guy won.

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Re: 1112: "Think Logically"

Postby mathmannix » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:54 pm UTC

Envelope Generator wrote: There was obviously no difference at all between 2/2 and 4/4, or 3/2 and 3/4 and 6/8! They're all reducible to each other! Such a practice made no sense and I couldn't understand why they haven't been replaced with more logical notation. What was the point of indicating key signatures like that? And five staff lines? Why not have twelve lines, one for each tone? Musical notation as a whole was riddled with illogical conventions, and that was why I couldn't play anything!


To the best of my knowledge, 2/2 time, 4/4 time, and 8/8 time are all different in function, although they can look the same. (Each can have four quarter notes in a measure, for example.) More specifically, certain measures in each can be identical, and possibly an entire page of music look the same for certain instruments.

The difference is in the number of beats. (For those who don't know, 4/4 time means basically "four beats in a measure, and a quarter note gets one beat.") At least one instrument (or vocal part) should provide the underlying rhythm, which is different from 2/2 to 4/4.

You could, however, rewrite any 4/4 music as 4/8 music, turning quarter notes into eighth notes, whole notes into half notes, etc., as long as you specified the tempo change:

For example, 4/4 (♩ = 120) would sound the same as 4/8 (♪ = 120).

VanI wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:XKCD ended at strip 1111. What is this impostor comic?

Yes, I'm an XKCD-vacantist.


I will meet with you in conclave, and we can elect our own XKCD pope.


Just make sure you also elect an XKCD antipope, and keep them far enough apart, for symmetry. I did a little research just now, and found that the most powerful antipopes in history were in Avignon, which I calculated to be roughly 666 km from the Vatican... (OK, 662.9 km between their palaces, to be more specific.)

[EDIT] Oh, and keep your pope away from beekeepers, unless he has the jetpack.
Last edited by mathmannix on Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:58 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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