Just so we're clear...

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Just so we're clear...

Postby theta4 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:40 am UTC

Hey, I've been getting some strong uppity-vibes of haughtiness from the xkcd fandom, so just to make sure we're on the same page:
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Okay, I'm done

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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Babam » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:46 am UTC

While there are some pretty awesome smart people here, and they are the majority.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Buddha with a bra on » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:47 am UTC

Submitting yours truly as physical evidence? :P
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:47 am UTC

I actually think the xkcd community does a good job of policing itself for self-reverent arrogance. Look at what we did to "What sucks about being so smart?" in the School forum.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:22 am UTC

Shut up, peasants.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby theta4 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:22 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:...Look at what we did to "What sucks about being so smart?" in the School forum.

Oh no! Someone has looked through my posts and made a small comment regarding that thread which they knew only I would know about hoping to silence me!

You didn't even provide a link to the thread!
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:26 am UTC

...Actually, I forgot that was you, and wouldn't have quoted it if I had. I just thought it was fairly notable that the thread quickly devolved into being about humility and not thinking too much of oneself. Which isn't to say that we as a group don't get a bit haughty at other times, but I think we've got a pretty healthy view of ourselves.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby theta4 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:33 am UTC

If I may clarify my original position, I'd just like to say that I feel xkcd feeds off of the "emperor's new clothes" phenomenon. The comic is indirectly advertised as being a smart-person's comic (Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)). So therefore, if a person likes xkcd, they have those qualities. So, when people read xkcd, they feel smart for understanding the comic, and google around to understand the things they don't, then feel smart for using google.

For the record, I have never really seen xkcd contain "advanced mathematics." It's mostly memes...
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:48 am UTC

First one to come to mind. There are certainly others, although admittedly there's not a lot, and this is an early comic.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Squid Tamer » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:55 am UTC

I'm almost a bit of the opposite. I used to think of myself as a pretty smart guy, but now I feel sort of like the fora's official bumbling idiot. :|
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby poxic » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:00 am UTC

That's one of the benefits of testing out your ideas with others. We're usually quite blind to our own oversights, misthoughts, and assumptions. If we don't air out our ideas in the company of others, we can get an overly high opinion of our thinkfulness.

/I apparently need to go clean the toilet or something. Thinkfulness? Really?
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:29 am UTC

Awww, folks, I feel bad for telling you to shut up.
To be frank, the people I have met on these forums are some of the loveliest people I have ever had the fortune of meeting.
There's a wonderful spread of intelligence, spheres of knowledge and lifestyles. It's pretty fantastic.

What was the point of this post? I dunno.
Ah! I remember.

Liking xkcd doesn't make you smart though it is true lots of smart people like xkcd.
That was a rubbish point. I apologise :D
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby GoodRudeFun » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:42 am UTC

You know, its funny, until I started reading XKCD and its accompanying forums I thought I was a genius. This was back when I was in the young "i know it all, I got it all figured out" phase. Then I started reading XKCD and found out just how smart I'm not.

TaintedDeity wrote:Awww, folks, I feel bad for telling you to shut up.
To be frank, the people I have met on these forums are some of the loveliest people I have ever had the fortune of meeting.
There's a wonderful spread of intelligence, spheres of knowledge and lifestyles. It's pretty fantastic.

What was the point of this post? I dunno.
Ah! I remember.

Liking xkcd doesn't make you smart though it is true lots of smart people like xkcd.
That was a rubbish point. I apologise :D
I too love that about these forums. The community is amazing, and as Sir-Elderberry said they do do a good job of keeping eachothers' heads from getting too big. I'm glad I got to come back for a little bit.
Oh. Well that's alright then.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Weeks » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:09 am UTC

I like this community, I don't like the image other communities may have about us because of the comic. I think the people here have done a great job of turning many an arrogant freak into a more humane, socially apt individual. But it also has it's dark corners.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:22 am UTC

Weeks wrote:I like this community, I don't like the image other communities may have about us because of the comic. I think the people here have done a great job of turning many an arrogant freak into a more humane, socially apt individual. But it also has it's dark corners.

Mm. Everything does. And I haven't experienced much of the xkcd fanbase outside of the fora, so I don't know how the comic is thought of "in the wild", since this is my main place on the Internet.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Sourire » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:53 am UTC

Did we really get this far in without the phrase "correlation does not imply causation", or a link to [url=http://xkcd.com/552\]this comic[/url]?

No, but seriously, it's like a little kid laughing at a sex joke because the older folks do. It's about wanting to belong to a specific group, and I'd like to think that people who genuinely attempt to fit in around here generally do. That being said, arrogance is never in style, and I'm glad to see I'm typically severely beaten to the punch in terms of mentioning it.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby The Cat » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:01 am UTC

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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:18 am UTC

I don't even read the comic. I used to, but that was back in 2006. Is Randy still going through that sheep+cactus phase?
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby smw543 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:19 am UTC

theta4 wrote:If I may clarify my original position, I'd just like to say that I feel xkcd feeds off of the "emperor's new clothes" phenomenon. The comic is indirectly advertised as being a smart-person's comic (Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)). So therefore, if a person likes xkcd, they have those qualities. So, when people read xkcd, they feel smart for understanding the comic, and google around to understand the things they don't, then feel smart for using google.

For the record, I have never really seen xkcd contain "advanced mathematics." It's mostly memes...

And here is where you obnoxiously imply (or else foolishly infer) that liberal-arts majors are not smart. The "warning" you quoted merely plays on the stereotype that we aren't good at math (like you, I also "5'ed the calculus AP test," but hey, it's just a joke). Though a more fair (albeit less funny) interpretation is that he was simply referring to the fact that liberal arts majors (no hyphen, by the way) generally aren't likely to have the requisite knowledge of mathematical theories and theorists to understand some of the jokes, which has no more to do with intelligence than if I warned math majors that they might not get any of these jokes.

Anyway, I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate your soapbox; we can't have people going willy-nilly indignant all over the place.

(And just so we're clear: No, you are not clever for applying an old meme to your "point.")
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Jesse » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:44 am UTC

SERIOUSLY IF RANDALL WERE TO HEAR ABOUT THIS
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby SlyReaper » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:58 am UTC

Heh, these fora have given me huge helpings of humble pie over the years. Thing is, while it's true that "enjoys xkcd comics" does not imply "is smart", there are a scary number of people here who ARE bloody clever. I used to think I was one of them... back when I was new to these fora. :cry:
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby the tree » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:20 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:
theta4 wrote:If I may clarify my original position, I'd just like to say that I feel xkcd feeds off of the "emperor's new clothes" phenomenon. The comic is indirectly advertised as being a smart-person's comic (Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)). So therefore, if a person likes xkcd, they have those qualities.

And here is where you obnoxiously imply (or else foolishly infer) that liberal-arts majors are not smart. The "warning" you quoted merely plays on the stereotype that we aren't good at math (like you, I also "5'ed the calculus AP test," but hey, it's just a joke).
Yeah, this. The only person who seems to be at fault here is theta4 who seems to think that the quality of not being a liberal arts major and being a lateteen-to-twentysomething is in some way correlated the quality of being smart.

Claiming "I like maths and science and stuff" does not imply a claim of "I am smart". If you imply that the claims are similar then you are doing nothing but putting words into people's mouths with the express intent of portraying them negatively, which quite frankly is just rude.

smw543 wrote:Though a more fair (albeit less funny) interpretation is that he was simply referring to the fact that liberal arts majors (no hyphen, by the way) generally aren't likely to have the requisite knowledge of mathematical theories and theorists to understand some of the jokes, which has no more to do with intelligence than if I warned math majors that they might not get any of these jokes.
I almost got a couple of them! I feel that I should be able to get the first one but something isn't quite clicking.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:55 pm UTC

the tree wrote:Claiming "I like maths and science and stuff" does not imply a claim of "I am smart". If you imply that the claims are similar then you are doing nothing but putting words into people's mouths with the express intent of portraying them negatively, which quite frankly is just rude.

It's worse than that: you're being intellectually dishonest.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby smw543 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

the tree wrote:
smw543 wrote:Though a more fair (albeit less funny) interpretation is that he was simply referring to the fact that liberal arts majors (no hyphen, by the way) generally aren't likely to have the requisite knowledge of mathematical theories and theorists to understand some of the jokes, which has no more to do with intelligence than if I warned math majors that they might not get any of these jokes.
I almost got a couple of them! I feel that I should be able to get the first one but something isn't quite clicking.

It's a Poe reference (The Raven). The woman is already dead, and the bird doesn't need a proper seat as long as there is a bust of Pallas available.
Spoiler:
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby podbaydoor » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:21 pm UTC

McSweeney's wrote:Milton, Homer and Borges walk into a bar. Milton says: "Who the fuck put this bar here?"

+1 for making a Helen Keller joke without Helen Keller. Wow.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:25 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:SERIOUSLY IF RANDALL WERE TO HEAR ABOUT THIS

My cheese was burnt on that one.

Anyways, to post something on topic - I do believe there is probably a weak postitive correlation between how well a person understands traditionally "geeky" subjects and their overall enjoyment of xkcd, but it's not much. I think a person's particular sense of humor is much more closely tied to their enjoyment of the comic then is any measure of intelligence. I've got ancedotal evidence to support this, but not enough sleep to make it intelligable or witty.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Mo0man » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:33 pm UTC

There's no better way to give yourself a heaping dose of humility than to talk to smart people.

These fora has done that to me.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Darkscull » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:40 pm UTC

Mo0man wrote:There's no better way to give yourself a heaping dose of humility than to talk to smart people.

These fora has done that to me.


And there's no better way to give yourself perspective than to remember that everyone else here is in the exact same boat.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby fjafjan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:31 pm UTC

*peeks in*
Okey I think the troll has left. It's safe now.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Weeks » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:52 pm UTC

I think if he was a troll, he failed, 'cause I'm not annoyed.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby GoodRudeFun » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:27 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:I think if he was a troll, he failed, 'cause I'm not annoyed.

Neither am I. I actually think this turned into an interesting discussion. There is no worse failure for a troll than an interesting discussion.
Oh. Well that's alright then.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Chicostick » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:46 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:
theta4 wrote:If I may clarify my original position, I'd just like to say that I feel xkcd feeds off of the "emperor's new clothes" phenomenon. The comic is indirectly advertised as being a smart-person's comic (Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)). So therefore, if a person likes xkcd, they have those qualities. So, when people read xkcd, they feel smart for understanding the comic, and google around to understand the things they don't, then feel smart for using google.

For the record, I have never really seen xkcd contain "advanced mathematics." It's mostly memes...

And here is where you obnoxiously imply (or else foolishly infer) that liberal-arts majors are not smart. The "warning" you quoted merely plays on the stereotype that we aren't good at math (like you, I also "5'ed the calculus AP test," but hey, it's just a joke). Though a more fair (albeit less funny) interpretation is that he was simply referring to the fact that liberal arts majors (no hyphen, by the way) generally aren't likely to have the requisite knowledge of mathematical theories and theorists to understand some of the jokes, which has no more to do with intelligence than if I warned math majors that they might not get any of these jokes.



Amen to that. Just because I'm a liberal arts major doesn't mean math is some amazing shiny thing I can't comprehend, I took AP calc as a Junior in H.S. and promptly realized I didn't like math and stopped doing my work. That doesn't mean I couldn't understand it, it just means I didn't care.

Also, those jokes are hilarious. Especially the Lord Byron one. In fact, there's a lot of poets who I feel would have sex with pretty much anything that moves.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:34 pm UTC

Walt Whitman has that reputation in my US History class. Rather, the teacher went out of the way to mention that he was gay, and now every time someone in the class wants to make that joke about a historical figure, something like "...was Abraham Lincoln close to Walt Whitman?" gets said.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby theta4 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:02 am UTC

I just think that xkcd has an air of haughtiness about it, like in these comics:
Spoiler:
http://xkcd.com/331/
Saying "man, we're so BA for being obnoxious." In fact, all the "My Hobby" comics seem to be like this...
http://xkcd.com/435/
Saying "isn't math simply the best?"
http://xkcd.com/664/
Saying "business people don't understand computer science quite like we do."
http://xkcd.com/675/
Saying "philosophy majors don't understand physics quite like we do.

EDIT: There seems to be some confusion about what I meant with this list. I wasn't saying that these things are what Randall was thinking. I was saying that some people interpret and enjoy the comics in these ways.

Also, Sir Elderberry...
Sir_Elderberry wrote:...Actually, I forgot that was you, and wouldn't have quoted it if I had.

In that case, I apologize for my defensive, sarcastic comment. I thought it was supposed to be a subtle way of saying "You're one to talk."
EDIT: The images didn't show up properly in the spoiler...
Last edited by theta4 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:31 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby Kulantan » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:24 am UTC

Hmm, I kind of see what you mean (even though I strongly disagree). Why do you read the comics if you perceive them to be so haughty? If you don't read the comic then why do you post on (and presumably read) a board full of people you feel it is necessary to /soapbox against?
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:43 am UTC

theta4 wrote:http://xkcd.com/331/
Saying "man, we're so BA for being obnoxious." In fact, all the "My Hobby" comics seem to be like this...
It means "third kue". No idea why he's saying it here
http://xkcd.com/435/
Saying "isn't math simply the best?"
"Theoretical physics is just applied mathematics" is as old as the fields themselves. This is merely an extension
http://xkcd.com/664/
Saying "business people don't understand computer science quite like we do."
Shocking news: people who study a given field know more about that field than people who don't study it
http://xkcd.com/675/
Saying "philosophy majors don't understand physics quite like we do.
See previous point
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby KrazyerKate » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:28 am UTC

Kulantan wrote:Hmm, I kind of see what you mean (even though I strongly disagree). Why do you read the comics if you perceive them to be so haughty? If you don't read the comic then why do you post on (and presumably read) a board full of people you feel it is necessary to /soapbox against?


I think this comic is appropriate for these sorts of situations: http://xkcd.com/171/
You've got a crazy theory. So what?

Also, Relevant Link
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby theta4 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:58 am UTC

Kulantan wrote:Hmm, I kind of see what you mean (even though I strongly disagree). Why do you read the comics if you perceive them to be so haughty? If you don't read the comic then why do you post on (and presumably read) a board full of people you feel it is necessary to /soapbox against?

I read it when I'm bored, kinda like when I read TV tropes when I'm bored.
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby smw543 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:59 am UTC

Chicostick wrote:Also, those jokes are hilarious. Especially the Lord Byron one. In fact, there's a lot of poets who I feel would have sex with pretty much anything that moves.

It's not that Byron would, it's that he could. Man was a walking sex machine, or so the legend goes.

Kulantan wrote:Hmm, I kind of see what you mean (even though I strongly disagree). Why do you read the comics if you perceive them to be so haughty? If you don't read the comic then why do you post on (and presumably read) a board full of people you feel it is necessary to /soapbox against?

Yeah, and I kind of see what The Flat Earth Society means. That doesn't mean they aren't full of shit, though—not to mention I have a hard time believing they aren't trolls. First, I've seen no convincing evidence of Randall's arrogance within the comic. And even if that were true, the OP claimed that the community is arrogant due to our reading it, and s/he hasn't even tried to prove that.

And because I forgot to mention it before: "So, when people read xkcd, they feel smart for understanding the comic, and google around to understand the things they don't, then feel smart for using google." Seriously? You think people feel smart when they successfully use Google?
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Re: Just so we're clear...

Postby LuNatic » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:51 am UTC

smw543 wrote:And because I forgot to mention it before: "So, when people read xkcd, they feel smart for understanding the comic, and google around to understand the things they don't, then feel smart for using google." Seriously? You think people feel smart when they successfully use Google?


That could depend on how you define smart. I work in an internet cafe/computer repair shop. The number of people who can't successfully use google might terrify you.
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