What-if: chat thread

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wagga
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby wagga » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:49 am UTC

I, too would love to see "What If" frequently updated. It may be my fault - I submitted a question regarding skiing in Cairns, Australia. It may be that Randall has fleets of supercomputers tied up doing the calculations.

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ShuRugal
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby ShuRugal » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:27 pm UTC

wagga wrote:I, too would love to see "What If" frequently updated. It may be my fault - I submitted a question regarding skiing in Cairns, Australia. It may be that Randall has fleets of supercomputers tied up doing the calculations.


Just so long as you didn't ask it to make tea....

rmsgrey
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:34 pm UTC

ShuRugal wrote:
wagga wrote:I, too would love to see "What If" frequently updated. It may be my fault - I submitted a question regarding skiing in Cairns, Australia. It may be that Randall has fleets of supercomputers tied up doing the calculations.


Just so long as you didn't ask it to make tea....


Making tea's fine - it's asking why you want a cup of tea that's the real logic bomb :P

bobsledai
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby bobsledai » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:42 am UTC

I'm wondering if he has started using questions submitted to What If as material for his regular comics. One of his recent comics seems like a direct answer to one of my questions. Anyone else experience this?

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Beavertails
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby Beavertails » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:47 pm UTC

Awhile back I had a What If question I wanted answered. And posted it in the Science forum. Where it got some cool responses. I might do this again.

Thread in question:

What if we could capture & gently land an asteroid on Earth?

Many thanks to sevenperforce and others!
flicky1991 wrote:Forum Games: Beavertails likes pie.

wagga
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby wagga » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:35 am UTC

The question involved building a mountain suitable for skiing in Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia. We are building a reputation as a sports-training location, but have no skiing or high-altitude facility. This country is highly adept at shoveling mountain ranges into ships & sending them off to China. So, with a 9Km mountain we could have extreme skiing, altitude training, $100,000 fees for summiting the highest peak in the world and the possibility of diving on the Great Barrier Reef, all in one day. What could possibly go wrong?

teelo
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby teelo » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:09 am UTC

kytau wrote:
CharonPDX wrote:
MitraSmit wrote:I have started to hate the proton earth and electron moon article. I've seen the first lines dozens of times now, and every time the hope for a new article that shimmers in my heart takes a harder beating, and sadness clouds my mood more and more. But I'm afraid if I don't regularly check if there's a new one, I will miss out entirely.


+1

I know it's not due to lack of questions, I've sent in a few that haven't been answered.

The lack of updates (or even an announcement regarding when it will be updated again, like when this thread was started,) is making me sad. :cry:


I took comic 1590 "The Source" to be the announcement that the plug was getting pulled on What-If?

Wait, what?

GrumpyCatFace
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby GrumpyCatFace » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:33 pm UTC

wagga wrote:The question involved building a mountain suitable for skiing in Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia. We are building a reputation as a sports-training location, but have no skiing or high-altitude facility. This country is highly adept at shoveling mountain ranges into ships & sending them off to China. So, with a 9Km mountain we could have extreme skiing, altitude training, $100,000 fees for summiting the highest peak in the world and the possibility of diving on the Great Barrier Reef, all in one day. What could possibly go wrong?


If the bottom of that mountain contains a ski jump into the Great Barrier Reef, you've just solved all future budget problems forever.

JJCalem
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby JJCalem » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:22 pm UTC

teelo wrote:
kytau wrote:
CharonPDX wrote:
MitraSmit wrote:I have started to hate the proton earth and electron moon article. I've seen the first lines dozens of times now, and every time the hope for a new article that shimmers in my heart takes a harder beating, and sadness clouds my mood more and more. But I'm afraid if I don't regularly check if there's a new one, I will miss out entirely.


+1

I know it's not due to lack of questions, I've sent in a few that haven't been answered.

The lack of updates (or even an announcement regarding when it will be updated again, like when this thread was started,) is making me sad. :cry:


I took comic 1590 "The Source" to be the announcement that the plug was getting pulled on What-If?

Wait, what?

I second this wait, what?

I keep myself down to just checking for updates to one or twice a week. I had assumed making Thing Explainer was taking up the time he would use to make What If, but still no updates.

kytau
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby kytau » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:07 pm UTC

JJCalem wrote:
teelo wrote:
kytau wrote:
CharonPDX wrote:
MitraSmit wrote:I have started to hate the proton earth and electron moon article. I've seen the first lines dozens of times now, and every time the hope for a new article that shimmers in my heart takes a harder beating, and sadness clouds my mood more and more. But I'm afraid if I don't regularly check if there's a new one, I will miss out entirely.


+1

I know it's not due to lack of questions, I've sent in a few that haven't been answered.

The lack of updates (or even an announcement regarding when it will be updated again, like when this thread was started,) is making me sad. :cry:


I took comic 1590 "The Source" to be the announcement that the plug was getting pulled on What-If?

Wait, what?

I second this wait, what?

I keep myself down to just checking for updates to one or twice a week. I had assumed making Thing Explainer was taking up the time he would use to make What If, but still no updates.


At this point, it has been almost 4 months since the last update - 16 missed updates in a row. Prior to that, Randall was obviously struggling to continue to produce What If? content at a weekly rate. This even included a rather long period where it was advertised that What If updates were temporarily on hold. Basically, this has been a long time coming.

By happenstance, right around the time when this long hiatus started (about 3-4 weeks in), Randall published 1590 "The Source". This comic shows a "high pitched hum generator" that cueball (Randall) unplugs, commenting in the title text "Why did we even have that thing?". In my mind, this comic wasn't particularly funny, and didn't contain any references that I would normally attribute to xkcd, so I think it could be likely to have a message for readers. Put yourself into Randall's shoes. What if likely produces hundreds or thousands of email submissions weekly that he is expected to sort through - sounds like a "high pitched hum generator" to me. If Randall was no longer having fun doing What If?, or didn't see the economics of keeping the site running, then this may have become an annoyance, especially after the What If? book was published. Unplugging the machine and asking "why did we even have that thing?" serves as a pretty clean metaphor for shutting down What If. It also is a way for Randall to announce this indirectly so as not to anger readers who feel Randall is backing away from a commitment to produce What If.

Anyway - obviously there is no way for us to verify whether my interpretation is correct except to wait and see if there are ever updates ever again. I know that I personally am no longer hopeful that any updates will come.

ijuin
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby ijuin » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:01 am UTC

If Randall intends to stop doing "What If" indefinitely, then I would like for him at least to openly state that such is his intent. It's the suspense and ambiguity that are killing us.

Hypersmurf
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby Hypersmurf » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:53 pm UTC

Aaand, we're back!

teelo
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby teelo » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:31 am UTC

HOLY SHIT, FINALLY!!!

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DenisL704
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby DenisL704 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:11 am UTC

Now the question is how long will we have to wait until the next one?

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Neil_Boekend
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby Neil_Boekend » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:11 pm UTC

My guess is somewhere between a Planck time and the heat death of the universe.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby Mikeski » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:04 pm UTC

A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

rmsgrey
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:54 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.


Suddenly I'm having flashbacks of Matrix sequels (which is impossible)

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Neil_Boekend
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby Neil_Boekend » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:10 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

Sigged.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

chrisjwmartin
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Re: What If updates are temporarily on hold

Postby chrisjwmartin » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:16 pm UTC

A new What If! This has made my day.

Agent K
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby Agent K » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:44 pm UTC

Am I the only one still looking up What if daily? I hope I'm not the last one with a bit of hope left.

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timrem
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby timrem » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:15 pm UTC

Agent K wrote:Am I the only one still looking up What if daily? I hope I'm not the last one with a bit of hope left.

Perhaps not daily, but I tend to check several times a week. I have given up on Blag updates, though.

clockworkbookreader
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby clockworkbookreader » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:42 pm UTC

timrem wrote:
Agent K wrote:Am I the only one still looking up What if daily? I hope I'm not the last one with a bit of hope left.

Perhaps not daily, but I tend to check several times a week. I have given up on Blag updates, though.


I check whenever I look at the comic strip.... though hope fades.
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Peaceful Whale
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby Peaceful Whale » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:06 am UTC

Even this thread is dying
Peaceful Whale wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:Spell it out for me.
I-T

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Soupspoon
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:08 am UTC

It's being happily necroed, and more quickly, too! (18 months before the last most recent notes, a tad over 1 month before this latest re-revival spurt....)

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somitomi
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby somitomi » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:35 pm UTC

Sooooo...
What's with the half-year hiatus?
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Soupspoon
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:07 am UTC

Roughly and readily reckoning with a copy'n'paste'n'edit (see Spoiler), as a distracting and diverting several minutes after other things got done that need doing again (why does my Tablet keep shedding random App icons whenever I restart it? It's annoying to have to replant them every time…) it's a long gap, but not unknown to be (some) months between updates...
Spoiler:
(Now)
8.5 months since What-If 0156: "Electrofishing for Whales"
8 days after What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"
19 days after What-If 0154: "Coast-to-Coast Coasting"
10 days after What-if 0153: "Hide the Atmosphere"
(almost 2 months after What-If 0153: "Peptides" [removed])
1.5 (additional) months after What-If 0152: "Flood Death Valley"
3 months after What-If 0151: "Sun Bug"
2 months after What-If 0150: "Tatooine Rainbow"
1.5 months after What-If 0149: "Pizza Bird"
24 days after What-If 0148: "Eat the Sun"
17 days after What-If 0147: "Niagara Straw"
10 days after What-If 0146: "Stop Jupiter"
7 days after What-If 0145: "Fire From Moonlight"
7 days after What-If 0144: "Saliva Pool"
7 days after What-If 0143: "Europa Water Siphon"
7 days after What-If 0142: "Space Jetta"
7 days after What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
3 months after What-If 0140: "Proton Earth, Electron Moon"
1.5ish months after What-if 0139: "Jupiter Descending"
10 days after What-If 0138: "Jupiter Submarine"
14 days after What-If 0137: "New Horizons"
3 months after What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"
7 days after What-If 0135: "Digging Downward"
8 days after What-If 0134: "Space Burial"
11 days after What-If 0133: "Flagpole"
11 days after What-If 0132: "Hotter than Average"
7 days after What-If 0131: "Microwaves"
8 days after What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"
7 days after What-If 0129: "Black Hole Moon"
7 days after What-If 0128: "Zippo Phone"
9 days after What-If 0127: "Tug of War"
5 days after What-If 0126: "Stairs"
7 days after What-If 0125: "Bowling Ball"
7 days after What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"
14 days (inc. Xmas) after What-If 0123: "Fairy Demographics"
7 days after What-If 0122: "Lava Lamp"
7 days after What-If 0121: "Frozen Rivers"
22 days after What-If 0120: "Alternate Universe What Ifs"
6 days after What-If 0119: "Laser Umbrella"
15 days after What-If 0118: "Physical Salary"
6 days after What-If 0117: "Distant Death"
8 days after What-If 0116: "No-Rules NASCAR"
7 days after What-If 0115: "Into the Sun"
7 days after What-If 0114: "Antimatter"
7 days after What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"


Of course, Randall is entitled to only update when there's updates (one noted update was a premature/regretted What-If, not yet since resurfaced) and only if there's benefit to them, especially in the currency known as 'fun'. A dry spot of inspirationally abstract treatments of fan-supplied questions1 might be happening. Or there's just too much else to do (whilst providing that the triweekly[Meaning 1] comic continues unabated, and occasionally epically!) and perhaps some slack should be cut.

Still, the next What-If can come along as quick as he likes. No complaints from my direction if it happens tomorrow! (Just no complaints if not, also.)

For it was said:
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

(…except when proven otherwise.)

1 The question I gave, long before my non-lurky presence on this forum came about, never got answered. Even in the Book, but it probably didn't float his boat sufficiently to set sail. Never mind. Not every pig's ear can be made into a silk purse, so no recriminations on my part for this gross oversight!

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somitomi
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby somitomi » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:04 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

That should go without saying. And yet, it is so quotable (evidently)...
I was just wondering if anyone had any speck of information regarding the status of What If.
Apparently no, leaving us with only speculations and somewhere in there is a joke of sorts...
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby Billy5545 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:54 am UTC

What can I do here? Can I post a what if? question to be answered?

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cellocgw
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby cellocgw » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:28 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:Sooooo...
What's with the half-year hiatus?


[[attempting to get banned from all forums in one post]] Guess we'll just have to... Wait For It.
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timrem
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby timrem » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:08 pm UTC

Billy5545 wrote:What can I do here? Can I post a what if? question to be answered?

This thread looks to just be for discussing general What-If related things. You could ask a question of other forum users if you want, though if you have a question that you want reviewed for possibly being answered in a proper What-If, you'll want to use the link at the bottom of https://what-if.xkcd.com/

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Soupspoon
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Re: What-if: chat thread

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:20 pm UTC

This is probably more general, non-article-specific Randall-What-Ifs discussion and (like now) meta-RWI discussion. A catch-all for all RWI-orbiting stuff that can't be further classified to a single RWI.

There is an ask What-If-style-things of other forumites, in case you haven't seen it, and other themed/grouping threads under the Science bit, which you could use to get a more guaranteed (if unRandalled, and likely less perfectly abstracted and humourised) answer to "Hey, What-If…?" things. For the 'official' thing, there's the official mail to whatif@xkcd.com method (mentioned above), but then it's out of our hands and reliant upon someone with plenty of other things probably on his mind, so you may need to practice patience and indeterminately deferred gratification.


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