A Softer World xkcd parody

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A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby 77IM » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

I'm not sure what section of the forums this belongs in (mods, please move/delete thread as appropriate).

xkcd fans may find today's A Softer World comic interesting: http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=338

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:48 am UTC

Reposting the link in preparation for its inevitable modly removal. =)

http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=338

For the record, other mods, this thread is fine. -S.
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Intercept » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:22 am UTC

Sadly similar in concept to that one xkcd comic about girls sucking at math.
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:46 am UTC

I just read this. Hilarious. And sad/true.
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A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby nemo » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:37 pm UTC

Image

Alt text: the sex appeal of lowered expectations!

http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=338

So this is not an actual xkcd, but I thought I'd post a link to the comic as some people may not have seen it.
I'm not a big fan of asw but it is a decent parody and, according to their news post, Randall's been asking for it. :)

Merged thread

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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Elvish Pillager » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:20 pm UTC

I liked Randall's one, and it seemed a lot like the normal a softer world kind of humor. This one just doesn't do it for me and doesn't seem much like XKCD.
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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Random832 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:29 pm UTC

Of course, the trails will end up not spelling anything as the two hacks combine and interfere.

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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Sudo-Fu » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

Someone clearly hasn't kept up on their xkcd character art. The Black-Hatted Man isn't being a classhole in the least. Although, I can't really blame him. I'd stop being an asshole if I met a girl like that. Hacking skillz are HAWT.

Also, I just noticed that both the fellow at the desk and the girl on the laptop are direct cuts from xkcd art. He could have at least drawn his own parody.
Wait..... what??

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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Random832 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:01 pm UTC

Sudo-Fu wrote:Someone clearly hasn't kept up on their xkcd character art. The Black-Hatted Man isn't being a classhole in the least. Although, I can't really blame him. I'd stop being an asshole if I met a girl like that. Hacking skillz are HAWT.

Also, I just noticed that both the fellow at the desk and the girl on the laptop are direct cuts from xkcd art. He could have at least drawn his own parody.


Or hand-lettered it. Or cut letters from xkcd, that's cool too.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby NathanielK » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:12 pm UTC

I don't know that it's just lowered expectations. I mean, there's a difference in one's response to a possible rival being awesome versus a possible mate being awesome. Experiment time! Girls: would you be more impressed by the guy or the girl?
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby space_raptor » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:49 pm UTC

yeah, I agree with you NathanielK. xkcd, in my opinion, does have a rather romantic slant sometimes, along with lots of geeky chicks. I think A Softer World is just poking fun at that. I thought it was funny.

Like these: http://xkcd.com/162/
http://xkcd.com/201/
http://xkcd.com/283/
http://xkcd.com/289/

Aw, i had to go through the archives again. Darn. :P
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby vodka.cobra » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:34 pm UTC

Nice. But that's not so much a parody of xkcd as it is a parody of nerds in general.

I <3 nerdy girls. :D Unfortunately, it's a one-way affection.
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Hawknc » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:50 am UTC

You just haven't found the right nerdgirl. Well, that, or you need to bathe more often.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby vodka.cobra » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:54 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:You just haven't found the right nerdgirl. Well, that, or you need to bathe more often.

Curse you, hygiene!
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Herman » Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:56 am UTC

I don't know, I read this as being more hostile to xkcd. Like, ASW is saying that xkcd (and its fans?) are more impressed if a girl does a nerdy thing than if a guy does the same nerdy thing, because it's so unusual, and this is a form of bigotry. So the posted strip is not an imitation of an xkcd strip, it's a satire of one.

Reading too much into this?

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby socynicalsohip » Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:05 am UTC

Herman wrote:I don't know, I read this as being more hostile to xkcd. Like, ASW is saying that xkcd (and its fans?) are more impressed if a girl does a nerdy thing than if a guy does the same nerdy thing, because it's so unusual, and this is a form of bigotry. So the posted strip is not an imitation of an xkcd strip, it's a satire of one.

Reading too much into this?


Hostile is a very strong word. ASW have made a valid observation and satarised it.

Not so sure about the bigotry, I'd assume it's poking fun at the 'needieness' inherent in many of the more romantic comics. IMHO
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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Kurasuke » Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:46 am UTC

Definitely a little too wordy, the last panel in particular.
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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Detritus » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:09 pm UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:This one just doesn't do it for me and doesn't seem much like XKCD.
It struck me as more of a parody of xkcd's fans than of xkcd itself, yeah.

Speaking of which:

Sudo-Fu wrote:Someone clearly hasn't kept up on their xkcd character art. The Black-Hatted Man isn't being a classhole in the least. Although, I can't really blame him. I'd stop being an asshole if I met a girl like that. Hacking skillz are HAWT.


... You realize that is the exact attitude the comic is taking a jab at?
Then I thought, "Man, I should have just said 'yeah.' "

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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Exenon » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:16 pm UTC

Kurasuke wrote:Definitely a little too wordy, the last panel in particular.


Yeah, a little too wordy, but i like it ! And it is a good try to imitate/parody the unbeatable genius of Randall Munroe, but it is in no way equivalent 8) !
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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby baker's kilobyte » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:02 am UTC

It struck me as more of a parody of xkcd's fans than of xkcd itself, yeah.


Agreed. I thought it was kinda clever, especially since the regular ASW stuff is pretty bad. Of course, Randall's parody of them was better. :p

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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:03 am UTC

I don't see how it's possible to say that ASW is "bad". It's definitely the kind of art that works for some people and not others. (Personally, I like it most of the time, but not for its humor value.)

Randall's "parody" could have been put in with the other ASW comics and wouldn't be able to tell that it was different (except for the art style.) This would be strikingly out-of-place in xkcd.
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Re: A softer World, xkcd parody comic.

Postby Belial » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:18 am UTC

baker's kilobyte wrote: especially since the regular ASW stuff is pretty bad.


Leave.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby baker's kilobyte » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:44 am UTC

Belial wrote:
baker's kilobyte wrote: especially since the regular ASW stuff is pretty bad.


Leave.

I'm pretty sure I'm joking, but one can't be sure.


Heheh. Yes, perhaps that was poor word choice on my part. I meant "not particularly clever or insightful", not "bad". :P

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Detritus » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:06 am UTC

baker's kilobyte wrote:I meant "not particularly clever or insightful", not "bad". :P


I don't know if you're helping yourself there.
Then I thought, "Man, I should have just said 'yeah.' "

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Quixotess » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:47 am UTC

Holy crap, this parody is spot on. I will now read all of their other stuff.
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Belial » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:12 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Holy crap, this parody is spot on. I will now read all of their other stuff.


I would also suggest getting his book "lockpick pornography" and anything else he's published. Joey Comeau is up there with Chris Onstadt in "best webcomic guys of ever"
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Quixotess » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:52 am UTC

<.<
>.>

I have now read the archives.

Wow. That was good. Was kind of hoping to get femcrit out of it, though. No such luck.

I suppose now I have to trust your achewood recommendation too. *clicky*
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby krynd » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:51 pm UTC

lol. "Is funny because is true!" [/obligatory Family Guy reference]

The sad thing is that it's made me question if there is something wrong with us (either "us xkcdians" or "us nerd-lovers", or both) after all. I ponder this because I can honestly (in a shameful way) say that I wouldn't think it would be as cool if a rival/friend did it than if some random female did it (if my rival/friend was female, then the net result of said "awesomeness" would possibly be considered greater than ninjas and pirates (logical and) combined. Sad, huh?).

As far as the "alt-text" of the comic: is it possible for someone other than Randall (and Cthulhu, and maybe even the combined powers of Moo + Keo) to be in my head? I've actually begun (over the past 2 weeks) to piece together an idea (probably won't actually make it) of a video titled "What You Expect vs What You Get". It'd basically feature all the stereotypical ideas in our society and contradict them with fact.

For example: You expect your online crush to look like a movie star who just hasn't been "discovered" yet. You get a 40 year-old basement dweller who shows s/he's into you by clearing out his/her anime/sci fi/Tux collection and putting it in one room as opposed to throughout the flat/house.

Ex2: You expect your Gentoo installation to be done in a day or two maximum (after all, you're a Linux God, and practically have root access to Linus' head. If it takes too long, you'll just compile the code in your head and output the binary to the disk with a magnetized needle and a steady hand). You get a 3-week-old stench that sharks are highly attracted to (no report on whether or not they have lasers on their heads. None of the field agents have reported back in over a week).

Ex3: You expect the latest version of Ubuntu will be so awesome everyone will take up Linux, forever abandoning Windows. Instead, you are arrested for constantly bragging to the Circuit City about how awesome Ubuntu is and how they should stop selling Windows computers (seriously dude(tte), they don't care, and it's considered harassment if you keep doing it).



I need to develop some MS Paint skills or something, some of those ideas would make great comics. Sorry for potentially derailing the thread.
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby TiPerihelion » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

I think the ASW comic is unfair to xkcd. It implies that xkcd harbours this sexist double standard, and granted, some humour derives from the fact that the character laying the smack-down is female (that's our society's fault, not xkcd's)...but at the same time, xkcd does a wonderful job of portraying female characters in a favorable light. They are always wicked-smart, interesting, and passionate. If that's not sexy, what is? Furthermore, contrary to the accusation of ASW, the other characters behave as though this is completely normal. We aren't subjected - in every pane - to, "Omigod - you're, like, smart, but you're, like, a girl! How is this possible??!?" Everything is taken at face-value (at least by the characters). It's not that sexiness arises from lowered expectations, it's that these qualities are so rare to find in anybody of either sex.

That said, you have to admit, it's a good parody. It captures the style very accurately - the way the first episode is contrasted with the second. I think some people are just having cognitive dissonance over the accusation of sexism. But I don't think it's a worry. Xkcd is brilliant because it portrays the feminine ideal as someone smart, interesting, and passionate. Physical attractiveness doesn't even figure into it - they're all stick figures. I find that so refreshing in a society that considers "looks" to be - not just relevant - but the be-all and end-all of sex appeal. It's like a breath of fresh air.

Here's something Hayao Miyazaki once said in reply to why his protagonists are always female:
I don't logically plan it that way. When we compare a man in action and a girl in action, I feel girls are more gallant. If a boy is walking with a long stride, I don't think anything particular, but if a girl is walking gallantly, I feel, 'That's cool.' Maybe that's because I'm a man, and women may think it's cool when they see a young man striding.


I think this is the attitude we see in xkcd. True, some of the appeal comes from the fact that female hacker geniuses are so rare, and we expect all such characters to be male. That's our ingrained sexism. But as long as we continue to value those qualities, more women will begin to strive for those ideals themselves. (And then there will be nerd-girls for everyone! - or something.)

In short, xkcd isn't sexist - on the contrary, it's quite feminist. (I'm a girl, so I *know*.) And it rocks. So...QED, bitches.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Quixotess » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:27 pm UTC

TiPerihelion wrote:In short, xkcd isn't sexist - on the contrary, it's quite feminist. (I'm a girl, so I *know*.)

Heeeheeheehee. Go on, tell me another.

The problem with xkcd as pointed out by ASW is not that it's really unexpected that women do awesome things. It's that when men do awesome things, the thing tends to be "you did something awesome." When women do awesome things, it tends to be "you did something awesome and that's hot." Which is problematic because of course women don't do awesome things in order to make themselves attractive to men any more than men do. (Note I left room in that statement for some of this behavior by both genders. But it's only ever commented on in one direction.) It's a male gaze issue.

And yes, the comic is largely woman-positive. Doesn't mean it still doesn't have unexamined stuff. Would be pretty damn impossible not to. It's good to point it out so that it doesn't affect us as much.
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Random832 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
TiPerihelion wrote:In short, xkcd isn't sexist - on the contrary, it's quite feminist. (I'm a girl, so I *know*.)

Heeeheeheehee. Go on, tell me another.

The problem with xkcd as pointed out by ASW is not that it's really unexpected that women do awesome things. It's that when men do awesome things, the thing tends to be "you did something awesome." When women do awesome things, it tends to be "you did something awesome and that's hot."


citation needed.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:49 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
Quixotess wrote:
TiPerihelion wrote:In short, xkcd isn't sexist - on the contrary, it's quite feminist. (I'm a girl, so I *know*.)

Heeeheeheehee. Go on, tell me another.

The problem with xkcd as pointed out by ASW is not that it's really unexpected that women do awesome things. It's that when men do awesome things, the thing tends to be "you did something awesome." When women do awesome things, it tends to be "you did something awesome and that's hot."


citation needed.

If you ever went out in real life, perhaps.
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Random832 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:
Random832 wrote:
Quixotess wrote:
TiPerihelion wrote:In short, xkcd isn't sexist - on the contrary, it's quite feminist. (I'm a girl, so I *know*.)

Heeeheeheehee. Go on, tell me another.

The problem with xkcd as pointed out by ASW is not that it's really unexpected that women do awesome things. It's that when men do awesome things, the thing tends to be "you did something awesome." When women do awesome things, it tends to be "you did something awesome and that's hot."


citation needed.

If you ever went out in real life, perhaps.


How about I clarify - citation needed that this is ever shown in the webcomic xkcd.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby protocoach » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:07 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
TiPerihelion wrote:In short, xkcd isn't sexist - on the contrary, it's quite feminist. (I'm a girl, so I *know*.)

Heeeheeheehee. Go on, tell me another.

The problem with xkcd as pointed out by ASW is not that it's really unexpected that women do awesome things. It's that when men do awesome things, the thing tends to be "you did something awesome." When women do awesome things, it tends to be "you did something awesome and that's hot." Which is problematic because of course women don't do awesome things in order to make themselves attractive to men any more than men do. (Note I left room in that statement for some of this behavior by both genders. But it's only ever commented on in one direction.) It's a male gaze issue.

And yes, the comic is largely woman-positive. Doesn't mean it still doesn't have unexamined stuff. Would be pretty damn impossible not to. It's good to point it out so that it doesn't affect us as much.

The bolded sentence is where I lose track of your argument here. Why is it problematic for guys to be attracted to that behavior, whether or not it's done purposefully to attract? When a person sees anyone doing something that they find interesting, they're usually attracted. If the observer is straight and the observee is of the same gender, this attraction will be expressed through friendship; if they're of opposing genders, it will be expressed through friendship and possibly sexual attraction. Where is the problem?
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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Jack Saladin » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:12 pm UTC

Random: If you keep posting all these content-free "citation needed" posts everywhere, you'll just be banned from N&A. OK? OK.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Zuffox » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:13 pm UTC

It's a strip poking fun at xkcd. Nothing to have an xkcd-ential crisis about.

However, falling in love with a girl simply because they are math or programming geeks seems a little ... volatile. But that's just my opinion. :)

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Jesse » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:21 pm UTC

It should be noted here that I thought the parody was decently spot-on and very funny. Also, I enjoy reading ASW more than I do xkcd.

Word.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby baker's kilobyte » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:40 pm UTC

protocoach wrote:
Quixotess wrote:...
Which is problematic because of course women don't do awesome things in order to make themselves attractive to men any more than men do. ...
...


The bolded sentence is where I lose track of your argument here. Why is it problematic for guys to be attracted to that behavior, whether or not it's done purposefully to attract? When a person sees anyone doing something that they find interesting, they're usually attracted. If the observer is straight and the observee is of the same gender, this attraction will be expressed through friendship; if they're of opposing genders, it will be expressed through friendship and possibly sexual attraction. Where is the problem?


The problem is not with being attracted to someone because they share the same interests as you, but with the outlook that a female doing anything technical is automatically impressive, just by virtue of her female-ness. Saying, "Whoa, she's hot!" when what you mean is, "Whoa! She's a girl! And she codes! Wow, I can't believe I found a girl that writes code!" is not flattering, and really rather condescending.

However, I don't find that this attitude is ever presented in the xkcd strips the way asw implies. TiPeriHelion and Quixotess are right in that xkcd is quite a women-positive comic. :D

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Jack Saladin » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

The point is: If a dude who codes is normal, yet a girl who codes is totally fucking rad, then obviously you have lower expectations of females compared to males. What you expect a 'normal' female to be is inferior to your expectation from a male.

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Re: A Softer World xkcd parody

Postby Quixotess » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:07 pm UTC

protocoach wrote:The bolded sentence is where I lose track of your argument here. Why is it problematic for guys to be attracted to that behavior, whether or not it's done purposefully to attract? When a person sees anyone doing something that they find interesting, they're usually attracted. If the observer is straight and the observee is of the same gender, this attraction will be expressed through friendship; if they're of opposing genders, it will be expressed through friendship and possibly sexual attraction. Where is the problem?

Because it's not generally shown the other way around, with a man doing something clever and nerdy with the main result being a woman saying "wow, hott."
Raise up the torch and light the way.


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