1032: "Networking"

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby TimXCampbell » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:29 am UTC

It's not clear to me (and some other people, it seems) what this strip means, if anything. What I got out of it is that in the wonderful world of the net it's a statistical certainty that some people will get rich even if they haven't a clue what they're doing.

The implied business model in that? "Be really lucky, several times, until you have a handlebox full of cash."

I've heard that a similar rule applies with investment advisors and mutual fund managers. I assume many of you are familiar with the case of 1024 stock predictors who flip a coin on 10 successive days, yielding (in the end) a few "proven" geniuses.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:09 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:
Sir_Read-a-Lot wrote:If it was bobcat, I'd say that it came in the mail. Since it's a polecat, I'm guessing it was found on a pole.

For the benefit of non-Americans here, "polecat" is a common nickname for the American Skunk (yes, those guys who spray horrible stinky stuff on you when frightened).


iiiinteresting....here in Maine we just call them skunks.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby TG333 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:20 pm UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:It's not clear to me (and some other people, it seems) what this strip means, if anything. What I got out of it is that in the wonderful world of the net it's a statistical certainty that some people will get rich even if they haven't a clue what they're doing.



The joke is on those who think "networking" equals annoying as many people as possible on business meetings or conventions, no matter what their profession, interest or qualification might be. Once you´ve had dear minutes of your life stolen from you repeatedly, you get sort of angry over all this stupid "networking"-hype. Beret guy is taking the process of "networking" as a purpose of it´s own ad absurdum, which is funny and inspirational.

You wanna grab a beer later?
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Red Hal » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

New Page! Since I linked the ROI to the page number, we've just doubled our revenue stream!

A little levity in the sometimes serious world of business is a desirable thing, though less so in some of the more traditionally sober professions; undertakers for example.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Gedankenwelt » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:04 pm UTC

SpeakerToManagers wrote:The other side of my business card reads, "The other side of this business card is false."

Also, some of his cards read: «Ceci n'est pas une carte d'affaires.»
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby gnoitall » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:48 pm UTC

I think what happened to Business Professional Grown-Up Man must have been Polecat Proximity.

YOU'RE A POLEKITTY!
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby kelvinc » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:57 pm UTC

The uselessly vague Wikipedia article on what's a polecat seems almost like a meta joke.

"I don't really know what he's doing. No, seriously, I don't know what he's doing! What animal is this???"

First thought seeing this is: underpant gnomes!
Code: Select all
STEAL UNDERPANTS => ??? => PROFIT
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby neoliminal » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:18 pm UTC

I never contemplated photocopying a burrito, but now that you mention it... it's so obvious.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby RogerB » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:41 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:A little levity in the sometimes serious world of business is a desirable thing, though less so in some of the more traditionally sober professions; undertakers for example.


Not all undertakers. There's one near here where all the hearses have personalised number plates "MIB 123", "MIB 124", "MIB 125" etc.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby skylink » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:10 pm UTC

I went to GDC for the purpose of networking earlier this month.
I actually did take a picture of my burrito.
http://www.puu.sh/lyaP
It was that delicious.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby . . » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:18 pm UTC

this is actually how most people would view a serious conversation between physics researchers about quarks
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby eligitine » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:22 pm UTC

What really gets me is that the money isn't strapped in there at all, if the handlebox suddenly flew open, all of the bills would be scattered everywhere. Also, does anyone know what the little clip-thing is underneath the falling dollar bill in panel 4? I think its the rest of his business cards.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:29 pm UTC

philippos42 wrote:Dada. Well, screwball comedy, really. I'm still laughing.

Is beret guy Randall's new alter ego? The artist, chaotic?

I'd say several characters are extensions of aspects of Randall's personality.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Samik » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:29 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Yannow what... I'm just going to turn this one over to SirMustafa. No sense us both saying it.

Ah, an apprentice has come forth.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:36 pm UTC

Comic 1028 delivered a message that can be read as "showing is better than telling", which usually rings true, especially in art. In this comic, however, Randall violates that rule not once, but TWICE: first the networking guy speaks aloud "this just says 'this is my business card'" just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to actually show the actual card and add some actual humour to the situation; second, the same networking guy says "that thing is full of cash!", just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to show that those green things are indeed money and add some more actual humour to the situation. So either Randall thinks the "show, don't tell" advice does not apply specifically to him, or he is really the kind who preaches things he himself does not do.

Actually, for a long while I have rejected the idea that xkcd is a "troll webcomic", but now, I'm seriously considering that hypothesis. Today's comic is Randall pretty much screaming "I can shit on my fans' mouths and they'll still find it hilarious". He is either testing how far he can carry on with pure random bullshit, or he is boasting it.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Neiman » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:43 pm UTC

Obviously Beret Guy is showing up so much because of something imminent. Either he's going to get killed off or worse - the bakeries will close.

He's already maimed two people with a CAT for petty reasons, and caused himself bodily harm with staples. There are some neuroses bubbling beneath the surface.

Or it's not, but which feels more likely?
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Роберт » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:44 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Comic 1028 delivered a message that can be read as "showing is better than telling", which usually rings true, especially in art. In this comic, however, Randall violates that rule not once, but TWICE: first the networking guy speaks aloud "this just says 'this is my business card'" just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to actually show the actual card and add some actual humour to the situation; second, the same networking guy says "that thing is full of cash!", just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to show that those green things are indeed money and add some more actual humour to the situation. So either Randall thinks the "show, don't tell" advice does not apply specifically to him, or he is really the kind who preaches things he himself does not do.

Actually, for a long while I have rejected the idea that xkcd is a "troll webcomic", but now, I'm seriously considering that hypothesis. Today's comic is Randall pretty much screaming "I can shit on my fans' mouths and they'll still find it hilarious". He is either testing how far he can carry on with pure random bullshit, or he is boasting it.

I thought the point of 1028 was an ironic way of saying "If I try to show instead of tell with my crappy art, people will have no clue what I tried to get across". At least, for me that comic wasn't very readable, and then I found the joke really funny. "Show, don't tell" is really concise and understandable.
Spoiler:
Image
isn't. So by showing instead of telling he showed that showing instead of telling can be a terrible idea.

Maybe that's not what he meant?
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Sprocket » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:54 pm UTC

Beret guy is my favorite.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:13 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:I thought the point of 1028 was an ironic way of saying "If I try to show instead of tell with my crappy art, people will have no clue what I tried to get across". At least, for me that comic wasn't very readable, and then I found the joke really funny. "Show, don't tell" is really concise and understandable.
Spoiler:
Image
isn't. So by showing instead of telling he showed that showing instead of telling can be a terrible idea.

Maybe that's not what he meant?


That may be what he meant (I think otherwise), but if that's the case, then the comic's alt text should be brought into attention:

Anyone who says that they're great at communicating but 'people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works.


Based on that I can argue that, if the comic is confusing, it's simply because Randall did it wrong.

If there was any irony attempted at that particular comic, it contradicts its own logic.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby madjo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

Quicksilver wrote:My first thought was did he mail the polecat to Connr Clark. I love how Beret Guy gets less intelligent with each panel. Handlebox? I need to remember that one.

So you thought that photocopying a burrito is an intelligent thing to do?
:)

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Xezlec » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:18 pm UTC

Wait, so where did the money come from? Or was that not the point? Wait, what was the point? I mean it was random, and definitely funny, but in an asdfmovie way, not the usual XKCD way.

Maybe this is just one of those times when the intelligence delta between Randall and me is uncomfortably tangible...
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Orlando » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:21 pm UTC

madjo wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:My first thought was did he mail the polecat to Connr Clark. I love how Beret Guy gets less intelligent with each panel. Handlebox? I need to remember that one.

So you thought that photocopying a burrito is an intelligent thing to do?


Well, obviously one of us here in this forum has never been to business school. My good associate, photocopying a burrito is the FIRST thing they teach you. The rest is all variations on a magnificent theme.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Роберт » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:22 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:If there was any irony attempted at that particular comic, it contradicts its own logic.

I thought the alt-text was a fairly tangential comment. Again, I might be wrong. I don't know Randall but I suspect he is above average U.S. intelligence and it seemed pretty obvious that it was much more cumbersome and confusing to show "show, don't tell" than it is to tell it.

If that is not the main joke that I'm clueless about what the main joke would even be.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby MadKingSoupII » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:43 pm UTC

"Connr"?
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby The Moomin » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Comic 1028 delivered a message that can be read as "showing is better than telling", which usually rings true, especially in art. In this comic, however, Randall violates that rule not once, but TWICE: first the networking guy speaks aloud "this just says 'this is my business card'" just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to actually show the actual card and add some actual humour to the situation; second, the same networking guy says "that thing is full of cash!", just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to show that those green things are indeed money and add some more actual humour to the situation. So either Randall thinks the "show, don't tell" advice does not apply specifically to him, or he is really the kind who preaches things he himself does not do.

Actually, for a long while I have rejected the idea that xkcd is a "troll webcomic", but now, I'm seriously considering that hypothesis. Today's comic is Randall pretty much screaming "I can shit on my fans' mouths and they'll still find it hilarious". He is either testing how far he can carry on with pure random bullshit, or he is boasting it.


I think the statements by the networking guy are to show his incredulity at the situation, by pointing out the obvious.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:35 pm UTC

The Moomin wrote:I think the statements by the networking guy are to show his incredulity at the situation, by pointing out the obvious.


... really?

Just visualise an alternate panel: an over-the-shoulder shot of networking guy holding the card and looking at it, showing the actual card reading "this is my business card". Networking guy has a single dialogue bubble, saying "What is this?". A panel like that shows not only the card itself, but also shows the guy's incredulity at the situation. I could show you that panel visually, but that would require me to draw and scan it, things which are unfortunately far beyond my reach at the moment; I am only telling because of severe technical restrictions.

But why am I focusing on this aspect, when the entire comic is just completely messed-up, pointless and lacking in any content? I guess some things are so wrong that it's impossible to even start pointing it out.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby silvermace » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:18 pm UTC

As a student in the Penn State college of engineering, all I got from this comic is...

damn business majors
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SmoothBlade » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:14 pm UTC

What I took from this comic: People really like seagulls
http://xkcd.com/1021/
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby 907Code-G » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:57 pm UTC

I don't even know what I'm laughing about, but I can't stop XD.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby 454Casull » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:48 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Comic 1028 delivered a message that can be read as "showing is better than telling", which usually rings true, especially in art. In this comic, however, Randall violates that rule not once, but TWICE: first the networking guy speaks aloud "this just says 'this is my business card'" just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to actually show the actual card and add some actual humour to the situation; second, the same networking guy says "that thing is full of cash!", just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to show that those green things are indeed money and add some more actual humour to the situation. So either Randall thinks the "show, don't tell" advice does not apply specifically to him, or he is really the kind who preaches things he himself does not do.

First, the message was that communicating poorly leads to unexpected and usually undesirable results. Second, this isn't a rule. Third, even if it was, it's highly unlikely anybody (except creativity niggards like you) to interpret the comic as having violated the rule since the dialogue is completely within the realm of plausibility.

And, if this is a troll comic, why waste time posting paragraph after paragraph of what is now meaningless drivel?
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby dassdrow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:52 pm UTC

I joined just so I can Comment the comic is pretty obvious, and i thought it was funny,

Beret guy, is an artist that is his whole character.
In this art, beret guy attends a convention for business and finding a professional business guy trying to do business professionally at said business convention (Dosn't matter which business).
then beret guy acts like a businessman who is unprofessional to a degree where one would dismiss beret guy as being incapable of business professionally at any business convention.

then business guy sees money and thinks " I usually rely social norms to maintain the image of professionalism thereby demonstrating my grounded-ness as a person who exhibits the traits of a reliable, accessible and helpful contact in a useful location for my potential clients"

"the dude with the beret does't not seem to be some i personally trust to get anything done however he has so much money in that case that he might actually be successful, I have no idea how someone like that could get so much money. I want to see him again so i can ask how he did it, hehehe i guess Ironically, showing up with nothing but a big'ol sack o cash would a great networking tactic if i knew where to find him."

But beret guy just thought that this stunt would make good art and has no real desire to network. (this art only happens if business guy wishes to speak with beret guy later.)
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby madjo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:09 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
The Moomin wrote:I think the statements by the networking guy are to show his incredulity at the situation, by pointing out the obvious.


... really?

Just visualise an alternate panel: an over-the-shoulder shot of networking guy holding the card and looking at it, showing the actual card reading "this is my business card". Networking guy has a single dialogue bubble, saying "What is this?". A panel like that shows not only the card itself, but also shows the guy's incredulity at the situation. I could show you that panel visually, but that would require me to draw and scan it, things which are unfortunately far beyond my reach at the moment; I am only telling because of severe technical restrictions.

But why am I focusing on this aspect, when the entire comic is just completely messed-up, pointless and lacking in any content? I guess some things are so wrong that it's impossible to even start pointing it out.

If you know so much better, why not make your own comic?

The comic works for what little frames it has.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby asdfzxc » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:40 pm UTC

xkcd wrote:Connr Clark

Not sure if typo, or just douchebag.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby jpk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:55 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Comic 1028 delivered a message that can be read as "showing is better than telling", which usually rings true, especially in art. In this comic, however, Randall violates that rule not once, but TWICE: first the networking guy speaks aloud "this just says 'this is my business card'" just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to actually show the actual card and add some actual humour to the situation; second, the same networking guy says "that thing is full of cash!", just so that Randall doesn't need to bother to show that those green things are indeed money and add some more actual humour to the situation. So either Randall thinks the "show, don't tell" advice does not apply specifically to him, or he is really the kind who preaches things he himself does not do.

Actually, for a long while I have rejected the idea that xkcd is a "troll webcomic", but now, I'm seriously considering that hypothesis. Today's comic is Randall pretty much screaming "I can shit on my fans' mouths and they'll still find it hilarious". He is either testing how far he can carry on with pure random bullshit, or he is boasting it.


So. It has come to this.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby The Moomin » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:03 am UTC

SmoothBlade wrote:What I took from this comic: People really like seagulls
http://xkcd.com/1021/


Inspired! :lol:
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby whateveries » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:18 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
The Moomin wrote:I think the statements by the networking guy are to show his incredulity at the situation, by pointing out the obvious.


... really?

Just visualise an alternate panel: an over-the-shoulder shot of networking guy holding the card and looking at it, showing the actual card reading "this is my business card". Networking guy has a single dialogue bubble, saying "What is this?". A panel like that shows not only the card itself, but also shows the guy's incredulity at the situation. I could show you that panel visually, but that would require me to draw and scan it, things which are unfortunately far beyond my reach at the moment; I am only telling because of severe technical restrictions.

But why am I focusing on this aspect, when the entire comic is just completely messed-up, pointless and lacking in any content? I guess some things are so wrong that it's impossible to even start pointing it out.


surely the content is provided by continuity of character, beret guy has a long history of nonsense, so when the reader sees the beret, the reader immediately draws upon their own database of beret guys histroy to place the present skit into a context, as can be seen occuring in SmoothBlades post.

SmoothBlade wrote:What I took from this comic: People really like seagulls
http://xkcd.com/1021/


Which is fair enough, regular readers have an established understanding of the characters,and this familiarity leaves Randall free to play in the sandpit for his set ups. For the few readers new to this comic there is nothing new in this absurd type of humour, it has been around for a very long time and so it should be relatively easy to 'get' for a reasonable viewer, and for a subset it will strike enough of a chord to encourage further reading of the archives. (there goes the day)

I wonder if you truly see no content, or humour for that matter, in the comic. It would surprise me, see, through your regular objections and negative criticism, it is easy to see someone clever enough to understand why other people find it funny, I mean I do* and I am no genius, so I wonder sometimes at your consistantly hard line on whether or not the comic has reached or breached some kind of standard for humour and that, perhaps despite your well developed powers of reason and comparitive analysis, your high intelligence and your obviously heroic persistance, perhaps, you just don't get it.*

See I used to think you were just a jerk, but honestly I am not so sure now, difficult yes, repetitive, certainly, but maybe not a jerk, just a little difficult. and despite that, fun to play with.

*the humour and that other people find it funny.
it's fine.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Dark Avorian » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:07 am UTC

madjo wrote:If you know so much better, why not make your own comic?

The comic works for what little frames it has.


Ah, I see, one of those who think that artists should never be criticized, and that critics are just leeches who cant make their own are.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby JimsMaher » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:32 am UTC

Begs the question: "What is the XKCD business model?"

Well, if you consider this comic as an outline for some such model (anti-reductio ad absurdum) ...
Consider that the popularity in general of this comic is the networking of the comic "Networking" 1032.
Specifically: water-coolers, cork-boards, refrigerators, hyperlinks, this very forum, et al. are all a portion of the greater buzz that is XKCD's expanding circle of influence.
Beret guy is Randall, the polecat is the brand (a skunk because the brand necessarily doesn't take itself seriously ... i.e. it stinks and says as much about itself), the Connr Clark from Eusocial Media Ventures (who has a name because he is the antithesis of a typical character of the comic) represents Average Business Man interested in something like XKCD .. which has alot of traffic, as portrayed by the brief-case full of cash. Yes, the cash is just website-traffic.

XKCD has a Creative Commons license and no ads.
Beret Guy eats the business card out of starvation and a french-like disdain ... Although, the XKCD store has plenty of swag to buy, so maybe Randall isn't starving due to this venture, so maybe the money does just represent money ... but I doubt it. When he asks for more delicious business cards, he could be thinking that the commercial interest in his webcomic is flattering.

XKCD swag is out there, but in my entire life I have seen just one "No Raptors" T-shirt, one Citation Needed bumper sticker, and no other XKCD merchandise IRL. But I have seen countless XKCD comics printed and placed on cork-boards, office doors, windows, cubicles, etc.
You're right Randall, you business model and comic stink.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby madaco » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:09 am UTC

JimsMaher wrote:Begs the question: "What is the XKCD business model?"

Well, if you consider this comic as an outline for some such model (anti-reductio ad absurdum) ...
Consider that the popularity in general of this comic is the networking of the comic "Networking" 1032.
Specifically: water-coolers, cork-boards, refrigerators, hyperlinks, this very forum, et al. are all a portion of the greater buzz that is XKCD's expanding circle of influence.
Beret guy is Randall, the polecat is the brand (a skunk because the brand necessarily doesn't take itself seriously ... i.e. it stinks and says as much about itself), the Connr Clark from Eusocial Media Ventures (who has a name because he is the antithesis of a typical character of the comic) represents Average Business Man interested in something like XKCD .. which has alot of traffic, as portrayed by the brief-case full of cash. Yes, the cash is just website-traffic.

XKCD has a Creative Commons license and no ads.
Beret Guy eats the business card out of starvation and a french-like disdain ... Although, the XKCD store has plenty of swag to buy, so maybe Randall isn't starving due to this venture, so maybe the money does just represent money ... but I doubt it. When he asks for more delicious business cards, he could be thinking that the commercial interest in his webcomic is flattering.

XKCD swag is out there, but in my entire life I have seen just one "No Raptors" T-shirt, one Citation Needed bumper sticker, and no other XKCD merchandise IRL. But I have seen countless XKCD comics printed and placed on cork-boards, office doors, windows, cubicles, etc.
You're right Randall, you business model and comic stink.

I am unable to tell how much of this is serious, and how much of it is not serious.
I am also uncertain if those two add to unity.
though madaco is my username I am in not affiliated with the company of that name, I picked the username for other reasons.If I say things that you find rude, I apologize, I will likely realize my mistake and fix it.<wit here>
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby JimsMaher » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:45 am UTC

madaco wrote:I am unable to tell how much of this is serious, and how much of it is not serious.
I am also uncertain if those two add to unity.

A bit of both is necessary for any such analysis (serious commentary of a not-serious topic).

Do I believe that this comic is legitimately drawing a parallel to itself?
Well, Beret Guy seems the type to be meta.

From Urban DIctionary:
Meta - "A term, especially in art, used to characterize something that is characteristically self-referential."
"I would therefore take the liberty of suggesting that, in the next edition of your excellent poem, the erroneous calculation to which I refer should be corrected ... "
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