1018: "Good Cop, Dadaist Cop"

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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:49 pm UTC

philsov wrote:Is there a difference between Church Latin and normal Latin?


http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100611141319AAQW5QG

"The grammar and syntax of ecclesiastical Latin are somewhat simpler than those of classical Latin. Someone with a good grounding in classical Latin will probably notice simply that ecclesiastical Latin is easier to follow and translate, without even noticing what the differences are."

(you'll note I didn't include a lmgtfy.com link. I'm loving that way)
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby TheKhakinator » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:09 pm UTC

Does this remind anyone else of a certain Black Books episode?

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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby savanik » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:17 pm UTC

radtea wrote:Utopian anarchists, who find it deeply mysterious why human males are about 20% larger than human females, think that the institution of the State rather than a human tendency toward completely irrational violent behaviour driven by mate competition is the sole cause of war.


War is defined as a conflict between two states. Ergo, if The State does not exist, there can be no war. Violence? Sure. But not war.

The thing I find hilariously funny about Dada is how utterly tame it is compared to human reality as revealed by the Internet. All these pretentious artistic pricks were smugly congratulating themselves on how transgressive their work was and it doesn't come within a tithe of the the sort of thing you can find on the 'Net being done by otherwise apparently ordinary people. Dadaism failed as an artistic anti-movement in pretty much every respect.


I wouldn't go that far. It's more like, Dadaism is what 4chan looks like without the internet providing instant feedback loops of popular appeal for nonsensical ideas that still somehow resonate with the symbols in our brain.

If you look at enough Dadaist art, some of it ALMOST makes sense, you just can't put your finger on it... and that nagging sense of familiarity is what Dadaism preys on. It's kind of like deja vu.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Роберт » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

philsov wrote:Is there a difference between Church Latin and normal Latin?

Presumably Church Latin refers to Ecclesiastical Latin. What do you mean by "Normal Latin"? Vulgar Latin?
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby ahammel » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

jonadab wrote:
DEBATE: Is an impossible-to-translate language even possible?


She of course meant "impossible for us to translate". But if you mean "impossible for anyone to translate, including someone who knows the language", then no, it's not strictly possible [...]

Really? I hereby define a language that is exactly like English only Vigenère-enciphered using an arbitrarily long stream of random letters. That's certainly impossible to translate (or even comprehend) without the key. Does it not count as a language for some reason?
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:38 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
jonadab wrote:
DEBATE: Is an impossible-to-translate language even possible?


She of course meant "impossible for us to translate". But if you mean "impossible for anyone to translate, including someone who knows the language", then no, it's not strictly possible [...]

Really? I hereby define a language that is exactly like English only Vigenère-enciphered using an arbitrarily long stream of random letters. That's certainly impossible to translate (or even comprehend) without the key. Does it not count as a language for some reason?


It counts as a language, but since a key allows you to translate it's not "impossible". Even if the key were deliberately destroyed, it could be randomly re-generated.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:46 pm UTC

radtea wrote:The thing I find hilariously funny about Dada is how utterly tame it is compared to human reality as revealed by the Internet. All these pretentious artistic pricks were smugly congratulating themselves on how transgressive their work was and it doesn't come within a tithe of the the sort of thing you can find on the 'Net being done by otherwise apparently ordinary people. Dadaism failed as an artistic anti-movement in pretty much every respect.


It wouldn't occur to you that, perhaps, the "transgression" that the Internet has "revealed" was only made possible due to movements such as Dada? I'm not saying that's the case, I'm merely questioning whether you're open enough to consider that possibility. But considering the pretentiousness and smugness with which you called Dadaists "smug" and "pretentious", I'm guessing not.

SerMufasa wrote:I liked the comic, but I felt the "What's Wrong with Art?" response in the last panel was too simplistic. The artist should have more faith in its readers and not need to put in such an obvious clue as to what dadaism entailed.


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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby ahammel » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:49 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:It counts as a language, but since a key allows you to translate it's not "impossible". Even if the key were deliberately destroyed, it could be randomly re-generated.


Randomly regenerating keys will do you no good, because there is no way to know whether you have the right key or not. If the key "padkhabnapvoiaalskfjawe" gives "meet me at the train station" but the key "padkhabnapvbvnnyfxswnjr" gives "meet me at the airport susan" there is no way to determine which key is correct. In fact, there is guaranteed to be a key that gives any possible message of the same length.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_pad
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:55 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
SerMufasa wrote:It counts as a language, but since a key allows you to translate it's not "impossible". Even if the key were deliberately destroyed, it could be randomly re-generated.


Randomly regenerating keys will do you no good, because there is no way to know whether you have the right key or not. If the key "padkhabnapvoiaalskfjawe" gives "meet me at the train station" but the key "padkhabnapvbvnnyfxswnjr" gives "meet me at the airport susan" there is no way to determine which key is correct. In fact, there is guaranteed to be a key that gives any possible message of the same length.
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I guess it would depend on the length/context of the language excerpt. If your only source was a sentence such as "meet me at the train station" ... it's still translatable, just not necessarily correct in its translation. But a made-up sentence isn't a language. If you're talking about a much larger block of text - say, a dictionary or War and Peace - the odds of generating two distinct yet acceptable translations is exceedingly low that even if the wrong translation emerged, if would be generally accepted as correct. This dovetails into a completely different philosophical discussion, however, so I'll leave off there.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:58 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:It wouldn't occur to you that, perhaps, the "transgression" that the Internet has "revealed" was only made possible due to movements such as Dada? I'm not saying that's the case, I'm merely questioning whether you're open enough to consider that possibility. But considering the pretentiousness and smugness with which you called Dadaists "smug" and "pretentious", I'm guessing not.


Look, I'm the last person to criticize large groups of people due to my own loving nature (and I am the paragon of humility and modesty), but they were smug and pretentious. But as I already stated, the European Intellectuals of the time were intrinsically smug and pretentious; it's not something limited to just the Dadaists.

EDIT: And to answer your first point, nah. You think 4chan is rife with people whose experiences were molded by 20th century art movements? Now, if the Museum of 4Chan opens up on the Museum Mile and is jammed packed every day, then you could argue that Dadaism led to the conditions necessary for such a museum to both exist and be accepted. But Dadaism influenced 4Chan as much as Aristophanes influenced penis and flatulence jokes.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby ahammel » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:06 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:I guess it would depend on the length/context of the language excerpt. If your only source was a sentence such as "meet me at the train station" ... it's still translatable, just not necessarily correct in its translation. But a made-up sentence isn't a language. If you're talking about a much larger block of text - say, a dictionary or War and Peace - the odds of generating two distinct yet acceptable translations is exceedingly low that even if the wrong translation emerged, if would be generally accepted as correct [...]


If you one-time pad encrypted War and Peace, there is no possible way for a third party, without the key, to tell whether the plaintext is War and Peace or Infinite Jest or ten or twenty copies of a book of saner length. The true message could be any message of the same length, and there's no way to distinguish among the possibilities with out the key. Even if you did stumble across the correct key, there would be no way of knowing it. Claude Shannon proved this in the forties.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:17 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:If you one-time pad encrypted War and Peace, there is no possible way for a third party, without the key, to tell whether the plaintext is War and Peace or Infinite Jest or ten or twenty copies of a book of saner length. The true message could be any message of the same length, and there's no way to distinguish among the possibilities with out the key. Even if you did stumble across the correct key, there would be no way of knowing it. Claude Shannon proved this in the forties.


But how could you prove the translation was wrong? If the book starts out as War and Peace and is translated back to Infinite Jest, how do you know you're wrong? It's not impossible to translate, just impossible to know whether you've translated it correctly.

The reality is, we're also using bad examples. A work of fiction is a poor source for language as there is nothing factual to match it against. That's why the base of Classical Greek is off of Athenian legal records, not Sophocles. So we'd have to start with a work of non-fiction. And if the translation returned that the Germans won WWII, we'd know there was an issue. And the likelihood of a Dreadnought being retranslated into The Guns of August is minimal.

I understand where you're coming from on the cryptography, I just don't feel it applies when talking about a language as a whole.

EDIT: I don't think we're going to reach a mutual understanding, so I'm no longer going to respond to this portion of the discussion. Feel free to rebut, though.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Harry Voyager » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

Duke Sigmund Igthorn wrote:I find it ironic. Wikipedia says "In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature." I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.


They aren't anti-violence, just anti-having-any-sort-of-rules-to-their-violence.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby syskill » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

Fun fact: this technique appears in the CIA's interrogation manual (dated July 1963, declassified in 1997, widely available on the Inter Nets) as the "Alice in Wonderland" technique:

The aim of the Alice in Wonderland or confusion technique is to confound the expectations and conditioned reactions of the interrogatee. He is accustomed to a world that makes some sense, at least to him: a world of continuity and logic, a predictable world. He clings to this world to reinforce his identity and powers of resistance.

The confusion technique is designed not only to obliterate the familiar but to replace it with the weird. Although this method can be employed by a single interrogator, it is better adapted to use by two or three. When the subject enters the room, the first interrogator asks a doubletalk question -- one which seems straightforward but is essentially nonsensical. Whether the interrogatee tries to answer or not, the second interrogator follows up (interrupting any attempted response) with a wholly unrelated and equally illogical query. Sometimes two or more questions are asked simultaneously. Pitch, tone, and volume of the interrogators' voices are unrelated to the import of the questions. No pattern of questions and answers is permitted to develop, nor do the questions themselves relate logically to each other. In this strange atmosphere the subject finds that the pattern of speech and thought which he has learned to consider normal have been replaced by an eerie meaninglessness. The interrogatee may start laughing or refuse to take the situation seriously. But as the process continues, day after day if necessary, the subject begins to try to make sense of the situation, which becomes mentally intolerable. Now he is likely to make significant admissions, or even to pour out his story, just to stop the flow of babble which assails him. This technique may be especially effective with the orderly, obstinate type.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:30 pm UTC

syskill wrote:Fun fact: this technique appears in the CIA's interrogation manual (dated July 1963, declassified in 1997, widely available on the Inter Nets) as the "Alice in Wonderland" technique:
*snip*


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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:37 pm UTC

Kleptonis wrote:DEBATE: Is an impossible-to-translate language even possible?

It seems to me could make a bunch of nonsense noises, but either those noises don't correspond to anything (and fails to tells where the money is/fails to be anything we could properly call a language) or those noises correspond to some concept or another that then has its own corresponding word or phrase in English and can be translated through context. I'm no linguist, so I'm open to alternatives.


Oook. Oook oook oook oook oook, eeek oook.*

(*Sure. Having a corresponding meaning in English doesn't make a phrase translateable.)
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:40 pm UTC

Arancaytar wrote:Oook. Oook oook oook oook oook, eeek oook.*

(*Sure. Having a corresponding meaning in English doesn't make a phrase translateable.)


But you just translated it!
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby cellocgw » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:52 pm UTC

Hmmm... is there a legal difference between providing the location in a non-translatable language and refusing to give the police the password to your encrypted hard drive?
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby CharlieBing » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:56 pm UTC

I have no idea what the humour should be in this comic. The only thing that occurs to me is "Randall just read about Dada on Wikipedia and decided to use it in a comic", and this thing came out.

and I have no idea what is meant by "what the humour should be." Even in a dialogue about a Dadaist cartoon that's a pretty bizarre thought. Maybe you should just print out a copy of #1018 and write under it "Ceci n'est pas une blague".
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby jbrecken » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

Duke Sigmund Igthorn wrote: I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.

It's easy. An anarchist says, "You can't force your will upon me." An anti-war activist says, "I can't force my will upon you."
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby ahammel » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:15 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:But how could you prove the translation was wrong? If the book starts out as War and Peace and is translated back to Infinite Jest, how do you know you're wrong? It's not impossible to translate, just impossible to know whether you've translated it correctly. [emphasis mine]


This sounds like a distinction without a difference to me. If you don't know whether you've translated correctly, you're not "translating" so much as "guessing at possible meanings". Getting horribly stoned and making up haiku is not the same thing as translating Yosa Buson.

SerMufasa wrote:The reality is, we're also using bad examples. A work of fiction is a poor source for language as there is nothing factual to match it against. That's why the base of Classical Greek is off of Athenian legal records, not Sophocles. So we'd have to start with a work of non-fiction. And if the translation returned that the Germans won WWII, we'd know there was an issue.


Again, we're talking about a one-time pad language. Now you're not translating, you're writing a history book. You could do that without the untranslated text.

SerMufasa wrote:And the likelihood of a Dreadnought being retranslated into The Guns of August is minimal.


If you're "translating" a one-time pad language by key-guessing, the likelihood of Dreadnought beging retranslated into The Guns of August is exactly the same as the likelihood of Dreadnought being retranslated into Dreadnought.

SerMufasa wrote:EDIT: I don't think we're going to reach a mutual understanding, so I'm no longer going to respond to this portion of the discussion. Feel free to rebut, though.


That's your perogative, of course. Have a good one!
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Fire Brns » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:18 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:
syskill wrote:Fun fact: this technique appears in the CIA's interrogation manual (dated July 1963, declassified in 1997, widely available on the Inter Nets) as the "Alice in Wonderland" technique:
*snip*


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Burn Notice. Probably the best plan they used.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby chapel » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:41 pm UTC

On the subject of the impossible to translate language. It would also depend on the type of information that the language is designed to convey. That is, human languages were and are for the purposes of relating information related to the human experience. A non-human language, like whale songs for instance, would fundamentally communicate ideas that have no corollary in any human language because no human could experience that. A hypothetical alien species with a radically different way of experiencing the universe than our traditional senses (sight, sound, etc.) would then have a radically different language, especially if they moved in different spacial or temporal dimensions.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Vael » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:59 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:
syskill wrote:Fun fact: this technique appears in the CIA's interrogation manual (dated July 1963, declassified in 1997, widely available on the Inter Nets) as the "Alice in Wonderland" technique:
*snip*


I prefer having friends rig bombs for me that explode whenever I snap my fingers.


WW3 is just going to be a rehash of West Side Story, constantly, everywhere.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby toadpipe » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

Vael wrote:
SerMufasa wrote:
syskill wrote:Fun fact: this technique appears in the CIA's interrogation manual (dated July 1963, declassified in 1997, widely available on the Inter Nets) as the "Alice in Wonderland" technique:
*snip*


I prefer having friends rig bombs for me that explode whenever I snap my fingers.


WW3 is just going to be a rehash of West Side Story, constantly, everywhere.


Hmm, seems that someone in this thread isn't a "Burn Notice" fan.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby XTCamus » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:03 pm UTC

syskill wrote:Fun fact: this technique appears in the CIA's interrogation manual (dated July 1963, declassified in 1997, widely available on the Inter Nets) as the "Alice in Wonderland" technique:

The aim of the Alice in Wonderland or confusion technique is to confound the expectations and conditioned reactions of the interrogatee. He is accustomed to a world that makes some sense, at least to him: a world of continuity and logic, a predictable world. He clings to this world to reinforce his identity and powers of resistance.

The confusion technique is designed not only to obliterate the familiar but to replace it with the weird. Although this method can be employed by a single interrogator, it is better adapted to use by two or three. When the subject enters the room, the first interrogator asks a doubletalk question -- one which seems straightforward but is essentially nonsensical. Whether the interrogatee tries to answer or not, the second interrogator follows up (interrupting any attempted response) with a wholly unrelated and equally illogical query. Sometimes two or more questions are asked simultaneously. Pitch, tone, and volume of the interrogators' voices are unrelated to the import of the questions. No pattern of questions and answers is permitted to develop, nor do the questions themselves relate logically to each other. In this strange atmosphere the subject finds that the pattern of speech and thought which he has learned to consider normal have been replaced by an eerie meaninglessness. The interrogatee may start laughing or refuse to take the situation seriously. But as the process continues, day after day if necessary, the subject begins to try to make sense of the situation, which becomes mentally intolerable. Now he is likely to make significant admissions, or even to pour out his story, just to stop the flow of babble which assails him. This technique may be especially effective with the orderly, obstinate type.

This explains a lot. Apparently I only think I have a job which starts every day with a meeting where I get halfway through answering one illogical question before being interrupted with another unrelated but equally nonsensical one. Yet I continue to take the situation seriously, and try to answer their questions... I wonder what year it really is, and where I am being held? How can I let them know that I've long since snapped, and that now I am ready to tell them anything?

Seriously though I was trained as a military interrogator many years ago, but this technique either wasn't in my Israeli interrogation manual, or else I've blocked it out along with the memories of other shameful activities.

I loved the comic though!
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:09 pm UTC

XTCamus wrote:This explains a lot. Apparently I only think I have a job which starts every day with a meeting where I get halfway through answering one illogical question before being interrupted with another unrelated but equally nonsensical one. Yet I continue to take the situation seriously, and try to answer their questions... I wonder what year it really is, and where I am being held? How can I let them know that I've long since snapped, and that now I am ready to tell them anything?

Seriously though I was trained as a military interrogator many years ago, but this technique either wasn't in my Israeli interrogation manual, or else I've blocked it out along with the memories of other shameful activities.

I loved the comic though!


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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Fire Brns » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:51 pm UTC

toadpipe wrote:Hmm, seems that someone in this thread isn't a "Burn Notice" fan.

Short of the occasional Phsych reference they don't seem to be a big fan of USA.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby dacaldar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:01 pm UTC

So why has nobody commented on the horizontal lines making the comic hard to read? Are these errors in image processing, or are these intentional? I don't get it. Does Dada art usually look like this? I don't think so....
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby snowyowl » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:08 pm UTC

dacaldar wrote:So why has nobody commented on the horizontal lines making the comic hard to read? Are these errors in image processing, or are these intentional? I don't get it. Does Dada art usually look like this? I don't think so....

What horizontal lines? I don't see any. Could you post a screencap or something?
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Harry Voyager » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

jbrecken wrote:
Duke Sigmund Igthorn wrote: I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.

It's easy. An anarchist says, "You can't force your will upon me." An anti-war activist says, "I can't force my will upon you."


This state lasts approximately 15 seconds until the local thug walks by, says "nice lunch," takes it and knifes both of them.

There is a reason why anarchy is described as everyone at war with everyone.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby muntoo » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:16 pm UTC

I shall tell you all where the money is.

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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby RandolphCarter » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:54 pm UTC

CharlieBing wrote:Maybe you should just print out a copy of #1018 and write under it "Ceci n'est pas une blague".


Bravo, well-played, and +1 Internets for you, Sir.

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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby li4alex » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:02 pm UTC

Harry Voyager wrote:
jbrecken wrote:
Duke Sigmund Igthorn wrote: I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.

It's easy. An anarchist says, "You can't force your will upon me." An anti-war activist says, "I can't force my will upon you."


This state lasts approximately 15 seconds until the local thug walks by, says "nice lunch," takes it and knifes both of them.

There is a reason why anarchy is described as everyone at war with everyone.


Common misconception. Examples of anarchist principles, essentially, non-coerced cooperation and (usually) informal agreements on behavior, abound everywhere in society, but nobody acknowledges them. Many societies have been anarchistic. The ones you would most expect to be so are the ones on the margins of states. I don't want to, nor can I get into the details, but some good starting references, include James C Scott on Zomia and David Graeber on Madagascar.

radtea wrote:
Duke Sigmund Igthorn wrote:I find it ironic. Wikipedia says "In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature." I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.


Utopian anarchists, who find it deeply mysterious why human males are about 20% larger than human females, think that the institution of the State rather than a human tendency toward completely irrational violent behaviour driven by mate competition is the sole cause of war. They also find it deeply mysterious why the genetic record suggests that amongst ancient humans the breeding population of males was only about half the total population.

The thing I find hilariously funny about Dada is how utterly tame it is compared to human reality as revealed by the Internet. All these pretentious artistic pricks were smugly congratulating themselves on how transgressive their work was and it doesn't come within a tithe of the the sort of thing you can find on the 'Net being done by otherwise apparently ordinary people. Dadaism failed as an artistic anti-movement in pretty much every respect.


Sociobiology is far too premature to take as an argument one way or another. For a well-regarded anarchist perspective, see Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin. Even if you do accept sociobiology as relevant, Dawkins makes an argument for altruistic-appearing behavior as advantageous. It doesn't really matter if the basis of such behavior is "truly selfish", given that the behavior overall leads to social behavior (in contrast to antisocial behavior).
Taking your example of body size, bonobos also have sexual dimorphism with physically stronger males, and yet are female dominated.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Shakleton » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:28 pm UTC

Harry Voyager wrote:
jbrecken wrote:
Duke Sigmund Igthorn wrote: I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.

It's easy. An anarchist says, "You can't force your will upon me." An anti-war activist says, "I can't force my will upon you."

This state lasts approximately 15 seconds until the local thug walks by, says "nice lunch," takes it and knifes both of them.
There is a reason why anarchy is described as everyone at war with everyone.


That's a bit of a simplistic argument, don't you think?

I, personally, consider myself an anarchist precisely because I reject violence as a means to solve social problems. From my perspective, the state is inherently violent - not only but especially - when at war. Hence the connection between anarchism and anti-war-ism (needs moar -isms!). Logically pretty consistent, if you ask me.

"Anarchy" says "without rulers" and not "without order". In your scenario, under statism, the thug only does not get away because the police hears of the incident and then proceeds to arrest the stabby-lunch-stealer, the argument being that if you remove the police, nothing of the sort would be conceivable. This is untrue, I think. The task of protecting life and property of peaceful individuals could well be performed by, say, private security services which fulfill the necessary parts of what nowadays is called police duty whilst not having the absolute monopoly on violence the police today posesses.

(For anybody who is intelectually curious about anarchism, I recommend this F.A.Q. which gives a fair overview over the debate)

On the general notion that anarchy is not synonymous with chaos, even tvtropes (clearly not the home of the modern revolutionist) has my back.

I did enjoy the comic very much though. I love it when randall keeps his promise of making the world a weirder place. :D
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby jonadab » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:14 am UTC

Code: Select all
[quote]I find it ironic. Wikipedia says "In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature." I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.[/quote]

Every anarchist I know is anti-war. You do not understand anarchism.


It would be more accurate to say that most anarchists don't understand anarchy. They wouldn't be in favor of it if they did.

There's never been, and won't ever been, any such thing as a "nice" anarchy. Human nature is too perverse for that. When people can do whatever they want, the first thing they want to do is harm one another. The only way to keep people from constantly being at war is to impose peaceful behavior on pain of death (or some similarly unpleasant form of punishment, e.g., prison), and it has to be backed up with enough force to give the threat teeth. (Actually, there is another way: if you physically isolate everyone, they can't harm others because they can't reach others. One universe per person ought to do it.)
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:51 am UTC

radtea wrote:The thing I find hilariously funny about Dada is how utterly tame it is compared to human reality as revealed by the Internet. All these pretentious artistic pricks were smugly congratulating themselves on how transgressive their work was and it doesn't come within a tithe of the the sort of thing you can find on the 'Net being done by otherwise apparently ordinary people. Dadaism failed as an artistic anti-movement in pretty much every respect.

If people are still doing it almost a century later, then I'd say it rather succeeded.

And no, internet humor isn't directly imitating Dada. But Dada had a very broad influence on an art world that was, at the time, very narrow and formulaic. It was less useful as art and more useful as protest of the formulaic standards of art - it was more a critical movement than an artistic one, and the movement was well aware of that. Things that came out of it, like Futurism, Absurdist theater, and Surrealism, did have a broad impact with much direct emulation and can still be seen on Adult Swim today.

TL;DR version: Keep the trolling to your own areas of study, if you would.

Edit: Now, to be fair, all of the actual people involved in the movement are probably irrelevant, because a lot of what was done was probably an inevitable reaction to bigger social trends. But then, that could really be said of most movements, to varying degrees.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby SirMustapha » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:39 am UTC

CharlieBing wrote:
I have no idea what the humour should be in this comic. The only thing that occurs to me is "Randall just read about Dada on Wikipedia and decided to use it in a comic", and this thing came out.

and I have no idea what is meant by "what the humour should be." Even in a dialogue about a Dadaist cartoon that's a pretty bizarre thought. Maybe you should just print out a copy of #1018 and write under it "Ceci n'est pas une blague".


In other words, I meant that I have no idea what's supposed to be funny here. The positive thing is that Randall did not fall into the common pitfall of "telling instead of showing", which he does VERY often. But the situation itself here is just not funny. Randomness for randomness' sake usually does not work, and passing randomness off as "Dadaism" is very dumb.

And this is not a "Dadaist cartoon". It's a cartoon that references Dadaism.

Copper Bezel wrote:And no, internet humor isn't directly imitating Dada. But Dada had a very broad influence on an art world that was, at the time, very narrow and formulaic. It was less useful as art and more useful as protest of the formulaic standards of art - it was more a critical movement than an artistic one, and the movement was well aware of that. Things that came out of it, like Futurism, Absurdist theater, and Surrealism, did have a broad impact with much direct emulation and can still be seen on Adult Swim today.


I agree completely. It seems some people here are arguing that people can only be influenced by something with which they have direct contact, which, to me, is a foolish thought.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby badmartialarts » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:49 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:.
And this is not a "Dadaist cartoon". It's a cartoon that references Dadaism.


On that note, I would love to see Randall take on a George Grosz-style cartoon.
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Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:55 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:In other words, I meant that I have no idea what's supposed to be funny here. The positive thing is that Randall did not fall into the common pitfall of "telling instead of showing", which he does VERY often. But the situation itself here is just not funny. Randomness for randomness' sake usually does not work, and passing randomness off as "Dadaism" is very dumb.

And this is not a "Dadaist cartoon". It's a cartoon that references Dadaism.

Yeah, but you're still making some assumptions about what Randall ought to be trying to do here that you already know he's not doing. I mean, your criticism of every XKCD strip ever is essentially the same. A hell of a lot of this comic has to do with simply presenting an absurd scenario, usually an unlikely variation on a familiar one, and just playing out what that might look like. Sometimes that takes a slightly speculative form, but usually it's just a chance to pile on silly things. XKCD is doing silly things with big words that make people feel special for recognizing them, or make people look them up and appreciate the gag in retrospect (and, on occasion, sharing life observations that that audience might appreciate.)

Part of it is simply Randall's persona, too. The strip has to look sloppy and inconsistent even beyond the normal limits of being a normal human being in the real world, because it's supposed to look like shit off the top of his head. That's why it has the art style it does - it's meant to be notebook sketches of an essentially fictional person whom Randall has constructed. For that matter, 99% of the time, that's who we're talking about when we say Randall. So the concepts thrown out are easily as important as the execution, because they're contributing to that character; what's going on in this person's head, and how does that jive with what we already know about him?

Some of the criticisms you make are actually valid, but you have a very reductionist view of humor, so you miss some seriously important details, and I still haven't come close to understanding what you hope to accomplish. Of course, I generally get the sense you're pretty aware of your "character," too....
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