0961: "Eternal Flame"

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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby DVC » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:28 am UTC

Our Club website has had the beachball when loading for years: http://www.morcc.com.au/

I don't know why. On some very rare occasions when the page won't load it just sits there spinning. So, I didn't get the Mac reference initially, but thought it was funny. I think like most of Randall's best stuff it works on more than one level.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby GulliNL » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:31 am UTC

I only got this one because my iPhone is jailbroken and when I reboot it the Beach Ball appears. Although at first I thought it meant Steve Jobs was merely rebooting, that's when I read the alt-text.

Beautiful comic, simple but striking. I promoted it on my FB-page to share it with my ignorant (as in; non-xkcd) friends as otherwise they would go through life not knowing this beauty existed.

Thank you Randall.
Thank you Steve.
I'm not completely worthless; I can be used as a bad example.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Pi is exactly three » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:03 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:it would have been funny for someone to say "No More Jobs at Apple, however, CEO position available." back when he resigned.

This one was doing the rounds on Twitter at the time, although I believe it is from Sickipedia rather than a genuine headline...

''Cook promises to improve Apple turnover''
"We are the weirdos, Mister!"
--Fairuza Balk, The Craft

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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:15 am UTC

delro92 wrote:Is anyone kind enough (and skillful too) as to make a Windows 7 spinning thingy version? I'd greatly apreciate it.
Source:
Image



i use windows 7 but i don't even rocognise that cursor, because i use it with the windows 95 theme, as i did when i had vista, and XP, i just can't change, when windows versions stop allowing you to use the win 95 theme i think i'll go crazy.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby jonadab » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:31 pm UTC

Animated GIFs normally annoy the heck out of me


Fire up about:config and set image.animation_mode to once.

I've had this pref set since before about:config existed. In fact, its existence was one of my requirements for switching to Mozilla in the first place. I'd used a hex editor to alter the relevant string in the Netscape 4 binary to effectively disable GIF looping by preventing the browser from recognizing them as such, and I wasn't willing to go back to using a browser that looped them forever.

I also wasn't willing to browse with Javascript turned on until the introduction of \capability policies allowed me to absolutely prevent window.open from ever happening, and I wasn't willing to have Flash installed until the advent of FlashBlock. Yeah, I know, I'm picky about how my software behaves.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:37 pm UTC

mric wrote:Well, I don't use Macs and have never seen or heard of an eternal flame being used as a memorial, so I entirely missed the point. I am not sure that an appropriate reaction to ignorance of that sort is to be appalled - it shows an emotional incontinence on your part that I find mildly irritating.


I wasn't talking about that: I referred to people thinking the comic is "snarky", or makes fun of Macs and stuff like that, when it's painfully clear that the comic is a humorous but absolutely heartfelt tribute. Randall has a strange sense of humour sometimes, but it's ludicrous to think that he would make a mean-spirited comic in an event like this.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby DennyMo » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

Anybody else having a hard time getting that stupid song by The Bangles out of their head?
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby hotwag » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:29 pm UTC

I just stared and waited patiently for some time ... thinking that this was actually my mouse.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:13 pm UTC

Shiyiya wrote:
hifi wrote:For those that don't get it, it's referencing some OS. The ball is like the egg timer in windows (well, the 'you clicked something so I'll just let you know I'm loading that by changing the mouse to something else' mouse) though I can't remember which OS it is. Also, I don't know if this is a dig at said OS's loading times, but either way, I found it funny.


MacOS. Because Steve Jobs just died.


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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby lemonftw » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

I actually thought for a second that firefox had crashed, until I realized that my cursor was somewhere else, there is such thing as an animated GIF and, most of all, that I was using a PC. :oops:
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Mr. Timms » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:46 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:So Randall does comics for free? Well, people criticise it for free too! If one is invalid, the other is too. Nobody asked Randall to make comics, and he is damn well aware that what he puts on "his corner on the Internet" is viewed and talked about by thousands. He makes a living out of it, remember? If Randall is somehow immune to criticism because he does his stuff for free, then you're being a hypocrite: his critics should also be immune to criticism.


Okay, sorry, I was running on 2 hours of sleep last night. I think I miscommunicated my point (re: didn't say it at all). I was trying wanted to say that critics really should be better at criticizing. If people are free to bash Randall, even wrongly, then I should be free to bash them. I'll just shut up now, 'kay?
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:00 pm UTC

Mr. Timms wrote:I was trying wanted to say that critics really should be better at criticizing. If people are free to bash Randall, even wrongly, then I should be free to bash them.


Absolutely. I was aware that, in defending the critics' right to speak, I was defending yours as well. But people should be aware of the difference between "you're doing it wrong" and "you're wrong for doing it".
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby curmudgeon » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:12 pm UTC

Not Apple user or fan. Had to have beach ball explained.
Would not have liked Jobs as a person or a boss.
BUT everytime I use Windows, Linux or any other computer interface, I owe a debt to Jobs.
This was a tasteful and fitting tribute to one of the most influential people of our time.

Nice one Randall. Thanks for expressing it better than I could have.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby cad » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:33 pm UTC

xkcdinspired wrote:This comic is a cool gif but I think it could easily be mis-interpreted.

The beachball is obviously Mac waiting icon, but most Mac users would associate it more with annoyance than anything else. I think Randall wants to remember Steve Jobs in the way the people have suggested: that Jobs would come back and this is just a temporary wait. But the waiting icon brings about more negative feeling than the good ones. It reminds me of failures in the MacOS system rather than its elegance or functionality. It is the same as drawing the dead blue screen whenever your computer fails to shut down properly to commemorate Bill Gates.

If we proliferate on this negative thread of thought, the comic's Alt-text is even worse. It says that things would go back to the way it was before, which anti-fans could read as: we wish to go back to the simpler days where Jobs' products were not in the market - there would be no complicated "beachball" waiting - his products were just a colorful phase people wishing to pass.

I'm pretty sure that is not Randall's intention. The title is aptly named "Eternal Flame" for the occasion. But I'm just a bit uncomfortable that its contents and Alt-text may lead to many inappropriate interpretations.


This was my first impression as well.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:02 pm UTC

Peace to Steve. Thanks for your insanely greatness.

And it might be nice to for Bill Gates' future matching memorial to have an endlessly emptying hourglass. Oh, wait, I forgot -- Bill' s an immortal time-traveling cyborg. NVM.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby takaia » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

Thought I should just mention that the Eternal Flame is most likely a reference to the Peace Light Memorial down in Gettysburg, PA on the battlefields. We can see it from school at all times, its an "eternal flame" that burns 24/7 to remember the fallen soldiers in the war and to hope for future peace.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Retsam » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:22 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Mr. Timms wrote:Randall has his corner on the Internet, and it's gotten popular enough that people somehow feel entitled to complain whenever there is a single thing they don't like or understand. Randall will do as he wants, and he puts his comic out for free. I don't think that these people should have a right to complain until they understand how hard doing something like this is.


You just summed up everything that I find most abhorrent about this "anti-criticism" attitude. Your complete disregard for free speech, diversity of opinion and artistic growth does no good to art whatsoever. People don't need to know "how hard it is" before they criticise art: they have a brain, they have eyes, they have ears, they can have an opinion of their own. If an artist does bad art because "it is too hard", then he either should try harder to overcome the obstacles, or he should just stop. And is there a better way to overcome obstacles than to see your mistakes and listen to what people have to say? Hardly.

So Randall does comics for free? Well, people criticise it for free too! If one is invalid, the other is too. Nobody asked Randall to make comics, and he is damn well aware that what he puts on "his corner on the Internet" is viewed and talked about by thousands. He makes a living out of it, remember? If Randall is somehow immune to criticism because he does his stuff for free, then you're being a hypocrite: his critics should also be immune to criticism.

I have a simpler attitude: Randall is free to make comics (and charge for them if he wants to), and everyone is free to praise or bash it. We should try to cultivate freedom, not kill it.


It's not that we're against criticism; many fans will even criticize aspects of his comics every once and awhile. It's that we're against -bad- criticism. Just as you have a right to criticize comics, we have a right to tell you when you're doing it badly, and in my experience you usually are. I'm not going to go back through all the archives and pull out specific examples, but I'll give a few broad categories of criticism that I find to be just plain invalid:

1) It's not funny cause it's too obscure/I don't get it. xkcd is, unashamedly, a webcomic about often obscure jokes and topics. It's gained popularity, and as it's become more popular, the more people there are who read it and /expect/ all the comics to be on their level, and get angry if they don't understand one or have to look it up. This just isn't fair. And of course, a joke isn't going to be as funny if you had to look up the source material than if you already knew what it was talking about. (But at least you learned something) Heck, there's even a warning at the bottom of the page warning against liberal arts majors not getting all the jokes.

2) I just didn't find it funny. Humor is, largely, subjective. What's hilarious for some people is just plain not as funny for others. Again, comics shouldn't necessarily be rated by how many people find it funny. If most of the people who understand a joke (half the problem comes from people who are in category 1) don't find it funny, perhaps, sure, it wasn't as good as some of the other comics. But, I can't understand how someone can come onto a forum of people who are all laughing at this good joke, and then say "it wasn't funny". It wasn't funny, to you, perhaps, but honestly, who cares?

3) Randall's done this joke before. Why can't Randall repeat topics every once and awhile? It gets ridiculous that a new comic will go up and people will say "oh geez, look at this comic from 3 years ago that's on the same topic, Randall can't think of a new idea, he's -lazy-" Its not like every other comic is the same joke, or that Randall doesn't come up with new ideas any more. If anything, few webcomics are as diverse in topics as xkcd.

4) Randall's lazy. This one is -you- SirMustapha. This isn't a criticism of a comic, this is just a criticism of a person, when you can't think of an actual complaint to make about a comic. Randall certainly isn't lazy. Try being funny on command three days a week in front of thousands and thousands of people. Look, if you want to criticize a comic, find an actual reason. (Preferably not one of the above) Today, for example, you gave a real criticism, that the alt-text explains the joke, but you rarely do. (And for the record; I think restating the joke is different than explaining the joke, and often restating it helps people get it who didn't get the joke just by looking at the comic)


If you like to criticize, fine. But be professional about it. Don't attack the person cause you don't always like their product. (This goes for the Mac haters and Steve Jobs, too) But, perhaps, if you're going to hang around and criticize, you could say some nice things about the comics every once and awhile? Pointing out the bad isn't so big of a deal if you ever point out the good, but this topic is honestly the first time I've ever seen you say something positive about a comic.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:24 pm UTC

WolfieMario wrote:
SpringLoaded12 wrote:How often the commenters miss the point, and by how large a margin, is often appalling. I would list specific examples but I don't want to start an argument here with those people.
Here I suppose is understandable to some degree, as not everyone has yet heard that Steve Jobs died, though most people have by now. I heard the news last night, myself.

I knew Steve Jobs died, and still didn't understand it. Why? Because I've almost never used Macs, and I completely did not recognize the "beachball" loading cursor. Had I recognized it, of course, I would have understood the comic perfectly... But there's honestly many ways to not get a comic like this :?
Ah, right, I had forgotten about that. You're right, that is also a valid reason to not get the joke here.

mric wrote:Well, I don't use Macs and have never seen or heard of an eternal flame being used as a memorial, so I entirely missed the point. I am not sure that an appropriate reaction to ignorance of that sort is to be appalled - it shows an emotional incontinence on your part that I find mildly irritating.
Note the difference between "missing the point" and "not getting joke."
As you said, you don't use Macs, so you didn't recognize the rainbow pinwheel; thus, you did not get the joke. That is perfectly understandable.

To miss the point is to understand what happened in the comic, but to think the message of the comic is something other than what it was actually intended to be, or what most people perceive it was intended to be. Of course, only the author of a piece can truly say what the point of it was, and judge who missed the point and who did not; but if the author provides no commentary, the viewers judge for themselves. On its own, missing the point is not a big deal. Missing the point can turn ugly though, if people become offended by their misconception of the point, and defame the author as a result (this is, sadly, VERY common in these fora).
Anyway, you're not at fault, and SirMustapha's remark was not directed at you.

Also, I have to apologize, as in my previous post (quoted above) I referred to an example of not getting the joke as if it was an example of missing the point. My mistake.

SirMustapha wrote:Absolutely. I was aware that, in defending the critics' right to speak, I was defending yours as well. But people should be aware of the difference between "you're doing it wrong" and "you're wrong for doing it".
Words of wisdom. By the way, welcome back. To be honest, even though we usually disagreed, I've missed your posts on the comic threads. Sometimes, debate -- regardless of how heated or how calm it is -- can be very refreshing. Anyway, I agree with you about the issue of the anti-criticism attitude of some people, even though I've probably been one of those people in the past. A person has every right to criticize a piece, regardless of whether it was free, if the piece was meant to be enjoyed by its viewers. Of course, regardless of legal rights, there are times where it is considered rude to criticize something; for example, it's perfectly okay to think that the cookies given away at a blood drive are hard and tasteless, but you probably shouldn't tell them that.

Probably one of the biggest issues in criticism is if a critic ends up coming face to face with the creator of (or someone involved with) something they criticized, or even those who hold that something in high regard. I have some personal experience with this after writing a review of a school play two years ago at my high school, whose cast included a few classmates, a close friend, and some other students.
I did my best to review it fairly -- neither blindly praising it nor harshly insulting it -- and tried to write constructive criticism. I worked within the limits of remaining rational. In one scene, a character held up a prop revolver and pulled the trigger three times, and there were three distinct clicks, and several seconds later seven gunshot sounds came through the speakers; I don't think anyone could rationally claim that that scene went perfectly, so it was in my criticisms in the review. Still, I was later confronted by an angry classmate who had been in the play, who said I had been too harsh, accused me of bias, and criticized me for watching and judging the play's opening night rather than its second showing.
I still believe my review was fair, but perhaps I was in fact biased; I honestly don't know.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby xkcdinspired » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:32 pm UTC

Maybe you guys saw it already, but someone wrote this on SJobs:

Steve Jobs was not God

It made me think about Randall's comic. It would appeal a lot to people who support this article: can't wait for the fade to go away! Yet it appeals to people who love SJ too, as in evident in this thread, just with a hint of suspicion.

Someone mentioned the Bangles, me, too! I thought of them when first seeing the title. A webcomic with animated gifs and music in the background?
... Romance and Math.......

Spoiler:
http://romancemath.blogspot.com
....... plus your thoughts might be highly appreciated....
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby wgabrie » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:57 pm UTC

Was I the only one who thought that the monument looked like a nuclear missile launcher/silo? You know, the broken, rogue nuclear missile that, in theory, will be the feared accidental launch that starts a nuclear war?
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:21 am UTC

I just wanted to say... Wow! This is one of the best xkcd comics for a long time.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby pyeastman11 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:29 am UTC

Hmmm... All interesting comments. I have often found Mr. Munroe's comix funny even when I did not know what he was tallking about. When I have looked up the references, they are STILL funny, and I feel a little smarter, so I am both smiling and feeling better about myself.

Since I could never afford a mac since they went color :) I had to read the thread to know it was about Steve Jobs. The instant I knew that, I saw this as a brilliant, multi-layered tribute. I saw:
-An eternal iconic 'wait' signal as a memorial.
-An inside joke for those who consider themselves the ultimate insiders.
-A prank on those insiders who are still waiting for the wheel to stop.
-A gentle poke at those who give Jobs godlike powers who might think that he will return, combined with Jobs' belief in Zen Buddhism, in which the goal is to "achieve liberation from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth" (thanks Wikipedia), so success would mean he DIDN'T come back...

Maybe I am overthinking it, but I loved it. Thanks!
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby herbys » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:11 am UTC

marsman57 wrote:Since no one laid it all out explicitly in one post and people still seem confused:

The stick figures are standing at the (rather impressive) grave of Steve Jobs which in the comic has been equipped with an eternal flame that looks remarkably like the "wait" cursor in OSX. The joke, in so far as it is one, in the alt-text is that the figures are sitting there staring at it, hoping the flame (wait cursor) will go away such that what you were waiting on (Steve Jobs) will return. Sadly, much like a program hang, the beach ball will not vanish and the person will not be coming back.

Edit: Mostly ninja'd by Captain Chaos, but I'll leave my interpretation.


Steve Jobs was a buddist. So he will be back, reincarnated in something else (given his fantastic contributions and intellect and his sometimes difficult personal traints, he might reincarnate in anything from a warthog to a unicorn. But this being Steve Jobs, it will probably be something wonderful and yet simple. Maybe coral.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:52 am UTC

delro92 wrote:Is anyone kind enough (and skillful too) as to make a Windows 7 spinning thingy version? I'd greatly apreciate it.
Source:
Image

Why, do you know something about Bill Gates that we don't? :shock:
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

Baige.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby humanalien » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:54 pm UTC

StrenX wrote:it would be kind of funny if he actually did come back somehow


My husband John says he thinks Siri is actually Steve's uploaded brain.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby SirMustapha » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

Retsam wrote:4) Randall's lazy. This one is -you- SirMustapha. This isn't a criticism of a comic, this is just a criticism of a person, when you can't think of an actual complaint to make about a comic. Randall certainly isn't lazy. Try being funny on command three days a week in front of thousands and thousands of people. Look, if you want to criticize a comic, find an actual reason. (Preferably not one of the above) Today, for example, you gave a real criticism, that the alt-text explains the joke, but you rarely do. (And for the record; I think restating the joke is different than explaining the joke, and often restating it helps people get it who didn't get the joke just by looking at the comic)


Firstly, I'm criticising the artist, not the person. I don't know if Randall is a lazy person or not, but as an artist, he invests very little effort in his work. Also, in case you're not aware, Randall chose his posting schedule. Nobody is forcing him to do that, so nobody but Randall can be blamed his his misfortunes. Also, if you think he has a rough time, there are many Internet artists that publish much larger volumes of higher quality work, and usually balancing that with other jobs and things like that. Randall lives off his comic, publishes it three times a week and has a ridiculously minimalist drawing style. Compare that to Zach Weiner, who publishes daily, and draws comics that are far more artistically elaborate than Randall's. Not a fair comparison. If that schedule is too much for Randall, either he should change it, or work harder and improve. He seems to do neither: he's completely on auto-pilot and has shown no signs of evolution for years.

Retsam wrote:If you like to criticize, fine. But be professional about it. Don't attack the person cause you don't always like their product. (This goes for the Mac haters and Steve Jobs, too) But, perhaps, if you're going to hang around and criticize, you could say some nice things about the comics every once and awhile? Pointing out the bad isn't so big of a deal if you ever point out the good, but this topic is honestly the first time I've ever seen you say something positive about a comic.


Well, this was the first comic in months that caused a truly, wholly positive effect in me. I usually try to speak my positive views too, because I'm definitely not a "hater by default". Also, comics like these give me the hope that Randall can be a much better artist than he is. It's likely that he had the idea for this comic for quite some time, and the comic only came out so well because the idea matured over time. This time, he was pretty much obliged to wait before posting, and most of his comics seem the exact opposite, as if he has the idea five minutes before posting the comic. His comics almost always look rushed, immature, lazy, and sometimes it's hard to believe that Randall gave a second look at his comic and went "yeah, that's exactly the way I want it". If he gave himself time and worked on his comics, I think they could be a lot better.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby gypkap » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:57 pm UTC

Jobs was a very good software designer and programmer, and a very good software salesman (from what I've heard). He wasn't a quasi-religious "eternal flame" though. Don't make him more than he really was.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:11 pm UTC

Can anyone tell me what does that "path to the beachball" shape mean? I think I saw the same thing in some Steve Jobs documentary (or maybe "Pirates of Silicon Valley") but I can't remember. I might be thinking too much, though.

@SirMustapha
This time, I really like your comments about the comic. I was wondering if you are a genuine critic or a troll some time ago, but giving positive review on an xkcd comic settled it for me. :)
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Kartoffelkopf » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:46 am UTC

curmudgeon wrote:Not Apple user or fan. Had to have beach ball explained.
Would not have liked Jobs as a person or a boss.

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wacht auf!

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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Neumie » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:35 am UTC

This is one of the best comics on XKCD in sometime. This specific comic reads best if you try not to look for the humor in it.

---
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
--Rest in Peace Steve Jobs
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Retsam » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:54 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Retsam wrote:4) Randall's lazy. This one is -you- SirMustapha. This isn't a criticism of a comic, this is just a criticism of a person, when you can't think of an actual complaint to make about a comic. Randall certainly isn't lazy. Try being funny on command three days a week in front of thousands and thousands of people. Look, if you want to criticize a comic, find an actual reason. (Preferably not one of the above) Today, for example, you gave a real criticism, that the alt-text explains the joke, but you rarely do. (And for the record; I think restating the joke is different than explaining the joke, and often restating it helps people get it who didn't get the joke just by looking at the comic)


Firstly, I'm criticising the artist, not the person. I don't know if Randall is a lazy person or not, but as an artist, he invests very little effort in his work. Also, in case you're not aware, Randall chose his posting schedule. Nobody is forcing him to do that, so nobody but Randall can be blamed his his misfortunes. Also, if you think he has a rough time, there are many Internet artists that publish much larger volumes of higher quality work, and usually balancing that with other jobs and things like that. Randall lives off his comic, publishes it three times a week and has a ridiculously minimalist drawing style. Compare that to Zach Weiner, who publishes daily, and draws comics that are far more artistically elaborate than Randall's. Not a fair comparison. If that schedule is too much for Randall, either he should change it, or work harder and improve. He seems to do neither: he's completely on auto-pilot and has shown no signs of evolution for years.

Retsam wrote:If you like to criticize, fine. But be professional about it. Don't attack the person cause you don't always like their product. (This goes for the Mac haters and Steve Jobs, too) But, perhaps, if you're going to hang around and criticize, you could say some nice things about the comics every once and awhile? Pointing out the bad isn't so big of a deal if you ever point out the good, but this topic is honestly the first time I've ever seen you say something positive about a comic.


Well, this was the first comic in months that caused a truly, wholly positive effect in me. I usually try to speak my positive views too, because I'm definitely not a "hater by default". Also, comics like these give me the hope that Randall can be a much better artist than he is. It's likely that he had the idea for this comic for quite some time, and the comic only came out so well because the idea matured over time. This time, he was pretty much obliged to wait before posting, and most of his comics seem the exact opposite, as if he has the idea five minutes before posting the comic. His comics almost always look rushed, immature, lazy, and sometimes it's hard to believe that Randall gave a second look at his comic and went "yeah, that's exactly the way I want it". If he gave himself time and worked on his comics, I think they could be a lot better.


Except that you seem to be one of the only ones who considers his comics to be "rushed". Half the time you don't actually give reasons for why you consider them to be rushed, and give no other reason than his "laziness" to complain. I've never really gotten the impression that Randall doesn't put alot of thought into his comics. More often than not, my thought is "Wow, I've never thought about that that deeply (or at all, in some cases)". And, I've always -liked- his minimalist art style; I don't think the comic would be the same otherwise.
Are some of his jokes quick puns or some other more "shallow" form of humor? Sure. But there's nothing wrong with that. Nothing says that just because some of his jokes are deeply thought out that all of them have to be.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Spiky » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:45 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:I wasn't talking about that: I referred to people thinking the comic is "snarky", or makes fun of Macs and stuff like that, when it's painfully clear that the comic is a humorous but absolutely heartfelt tribute. Randall has a strange sense of humour sometimes, but it's ludicrous to think that he would make a mean-spirited comic in an event like this.

Why would we think anything but, considering the author's opinion of Jobs and Macs and those that own them? Snarky rather sums up my first thought, and I'm having a real hard time changing that impression.

Frankly, the opposite is almost as offensive. I dislike hypocracy. Best to just keep your mouth shut in such a case.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby DVC » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:39 am UTC

What's this stuff about if you are a bad artist you should try harder or just stop? I will defend my right to produce bad art whenever I like. I sing badly, I don't have time to get better at it, but I damn well enjoy it. Some people don't like me singing, so I don't sing so much around them, but others are totally fine with me singing badly, some even join in. Nobody follows me around to tell me to stop singing though.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby addams » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

Oh. Umm. We have had another death in the family. Oh.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=73045

Anyone ever read, 'Tuesdays With Morrie'?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuesdays_with_Morrie

"The sky was the color of milk."

I feel all sad. I had no idea. It is dark and raining. So depressing. Yuck.

Yes. The comic was beautifully done. To remember.
We, humans, have long and flexible memories.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby SirMustapha » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

DVC wrote:What's this stuff about if you are a bad artist you should try harder or just stop? I will defend my right to produce bad art whenever I like. I sing badly, I don't have time to get better at it, but I damn well enjoy it. Some people don't like me singing, so I don't sing so much around them, but others are totally fine with me singing badly, some even join in. Nobody follows me around to tell me to stop singing though.


Singing is fun, and I'd probably want to join in too!

Really, Ii you do it for fun, I think it's a bit of a stretch to consider you an "artist" in the same league as Randall, who certainly does not do it just for "fun". As for "following one around and telling him to stop", I do believe Rebecca Black has A LOT of those. Not me, though; my field of work doesn't have a lot of smart-asses showing off Rebecca Black T-shirts and buttons and making "Friday" in-jokes. :P

But I guess I should rephrase that: if one is poor at what he does, is not making any effort to improve and just keeps going on, he can go on if he wants -- but he fits perfectly the definition of a "bad artist". There is at least some worth in a poor artist who tries, even if he fails. And remember that even great artists have to make a lot of effort to remain great.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby khisanth » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

I think this is one of the most understated and really very moving tributes to Steve Jobs I have seen.

The stick characters watching the almost magical spinning beach ball has so many meanings on many levels.

Thanks for this one Randall, really beautiful sentiment.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Colin OOOD » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:03 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
DVC wrote:Really, Ii you do it for fun, I think it's a bit of a stretch to consider you an "artist" in the same league as Randall, who certainly does not do it just for "fun".

Art is HARD WORK. If you enjoy it you're NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

pff.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby GlowInTheDarkNinja » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:52 am UTC

Since some of you were speculating on whether or not Randall had previously prepared this comic, I thought I'd say that I don't think so. This is from his Google+:

Randall Munroe - Oct 7, 2011 (edited) - Public
I'm glad people seem to have enjoyed my unscheduled Thursday comic. It was my first animated gif. I don't just mean it was the first one in xkcd—that file was actually the first animated gif I've created. I know I'm 15 years late to the medium, so I'll try to resist going crazy with them.

[...stuff about a dinosaur...]

Edit: I suggested I'd be putting up a fourth comic tonight, but I was up until about 8 this morning drawing the Steve Jobs comic (and, before that, getting a bunch of new t-shirt designs done, which I'm really excited about). What with the pigeon debacle and a bunch of doctor visits today (nothing bad), I think I'm too sleep-deprived to do anything but argue about dinosaur taxonomy on the internet. Accordingly, I'm just going to call #961 an early Friday comic, and start fresh after I get some sleep.


Anyway, I appreciate this and almost all the other comics Randall has done. And, IMHO as a consumer of free material, I don't think he's a bad or lazy artist.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:01 am UTC

Colin OOOD wrote:Art is HARD WORK. If you enjoy it you're NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

pff.


Yeah, sounds ridiculous, and that's because that's not what I said.

What I said is, Randall's art is serious business. He built his life around it. He makes his living off it. He quit NASA to dedicate to his comics. With that in mind, it shouldn't be too hard to see why I think it's unfair to place a person like that in the same level as a person who likes singing because it's fun, much like I wouldn't compare constructing a skyscraper with building a dog house.

But yes, art is hard work. If you don't enjoy it, it's possible that you're not doing it right. But if you think making art is all fun and games and easy cash, well, pff.
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Re: 0961: "Eternal Flame"

Postby Frankie » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

pyeastman11 wrote: I could never afford a mac since they went color :)

The original 1980s monochrome "toaster" Macs were priced at $2000+ (while US median household income was mid $20k). In the 1990s the Mac LC II went for $1400 (median income mid $30k). And the 2005 Mac mini bottomed at $500 (median income mid $40k).

In some (lesser) parts of the internet, you might get away with delivering a line that's cutesy but wrong. Not here.
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