1274: Open Letter

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ManaUser
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby ManaUser » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:27 am UTC

project2051 wrote:So you are a FreeMason, that's great I have a bunch of brick work that needs to be done. And up till now I couldn't afford to get it done... but a free mason sounds like just the tickit.

Free as in speech, not as in beer. Unfortunately. So not only do they require a salary, they'll build whatever they damn well please, not necessarily what you wanted.

sviola
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby sviola » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:38 am UTC

You forgot to add the Queen of England to the list...

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Wildcard
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Wildcard » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:24 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Its not supposed to be insulting, its supposed to be just a listing of all conspiracy theorists bundled up together.
You're right. Well stated.

My reaction to the comic wasn't so much being offended as thinking, "Oh, brother, here we go," because this is the first strip in which Randall directly mentioned Scientology, and I knew there would be some derogatory comments made about it. Since I happened to be online and see the forum early enough that it was still on the first page, I thought I would say something, although it looks like that sort of backfired.

I do have a sense of humor—more than most people I know. (The Scientologists I know tend to be much less serious than people I know who aren't Scientologists.) I have to say, though, there is a line between humor and insult. Randall hasn't crossed that line. A couple other people have.

L. Ron Hubbard wrote:Religious tolerance does not mean one cannot express his own beliefs. It does mean that seeking to undermine or attack the religious faith and beliefs of another has always been a short road to trouble.
I'm not likely to post again in this thread, but all I'm saying is: you can show a little respect, guys. I've been a fan of xkcd since 2008. Just realize there are other Scientologists who are xkcd fans, too, and it's really not in good taste to go out of your way to insult others' beliefs.

Ciao.
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Postby Eternal Density » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:16 am UTC

I can confirm that Morena Baccarin is a Lizard Person.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Farabor » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:43 am UTC

dp2 wrote:Where's the Shadow Government when you need it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI6Qdoq679I


Just ask Shadowfacts, duh!

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:51 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:See, this is the very reason I don't buy into conspiracy theories. As recent events have clearly shown, people in power can't do anything right

What have people in power done recently which has prevented them from accruing even more power? Because that's what "doing things right" means to them, and as far as I can tell they're keeping that up fairly well.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Sokaku » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:12 am UTC

I was rather surprised that the National Rifle Association didn't make it into the list... Then again, maybe they're too busy trying to arm school-teachers to notice.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby dbam987 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:00 am UTC

I bet Clippy helped Randall write that letter. :P

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby azule » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:11 am UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:Raptor Jesus will lie in wait while the rest screw it up. Then He will bring about the velocirapture.


Do we even need to continue the thread after such epic word coinage?
That is a momentous word indeed. Could a mod please close this thread? It would be rude to Quicksilver not to.




P.S. I'm scared of your mod powers. Please don't shut down this thread. Thanks.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:29 am UTC

Wildcard wrote:My reaction to the comic wasn't so much being offended as thinking, "Oh, brother, here we go," because this is the first strip in which Randall directly mentioned Scientology, and I knew there would be some derogatory comments made about it. Since I happened to be online and see the forum early enough that it was still on the first page, I thought I would say something,

I wonder why no one else in the list seems to be similarly concerned.

Spoiler:
That's a figure of speech. Actually, I don't.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby HaniiPuppy » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:09 am UTC

moddyfire wrote:
I imagine each one of them only believes in half of the others at most


Most of them exist without doubts, e.g. Google.


I don't believe in Google. People who think Google exist are just mad conspiracy theorists who think that Android, Youtube, Chrome, Picasa, Blogger, GMail, Adsense, and a particular search engine I can't for the life of me remember the name of, are all controlled by the same over-arching shadowy organisation.

ManaUser wrote:
project2051 wrote:So you are a FreeMason, that's great I have a bunch of brick work that needs to be done. And up till now I couldn't afford to get it done... but a free mason sounds like just the tickit.

Free as in speech, not as in beer. Unfortunately. So not only do they require a salary, they'll build whatever they damn well please, not necessarily what you wanted.


I came home one evening to find that they'd build a statue of Imhotep in my back-garden. That was mildly annoying.

Still, I'll have to give it to them, it IS a very nice statue.
Last edited by HaniiPuppy on Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Turing Machine » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:00 am UTC

What's embarrassing? That the government's being "shut down" (is it?) doesn't actually affect anything at all, so, perhaps, geez, the libertarians are right? We don't need this?

Course not, right...

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby obfpen » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:35 am UTC

Turing Machine wrote:What's embarrassing? That the government's being "shut down" (is it?) doesn't actually affect anything at all, so, perhaps, geez, the libertarians are right?

Please tell me you're not conflating not affecting you personally with not affecting anything at all. I know that that's basically libertarianism in a nutshell, but the world beyond the horizon exists even if you can't see it.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby CigarDoug » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:38 am UTC

In response to each and every post in this thread:
That's exactly what we want you to think.

Now, if you will excuse me, there are six or seven groups in this list I am not a member of yet. Fraternal Greetings, brother cryptoengineer.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:39 am UTC

Turing Machine wrote:What's embarrassing? That the government's being "shut down" (is it?) doesn't actually affect anything at all, so, perhaps, geez, the libertarians are right? We don't need this?

Course not, right...

It may not affect you in any way you can notice yet (after all, the USPS is still running and it takes a while for the interstate highway system to fall into total disrepair and there are currently no epidemics that need the CDC's involvement and so on), but it's definitely affecting people who need to interact at all with the federal government.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby solacelost » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:04 pm UTC

YellowYeti wrote:Given the obviously faked moon landings, I'm surprised NASA have been left off the list. The only possible reason could be that they are the ones really behind the global conspiracy, and somehow they are behind xkcd itself - though it's hard to see any connection between the two.


Troll level eleven!
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby solacelost » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:05 pm UTC

Turing Machine wrote:What's embarrassing? That the government's being "shut down" (is it?) doesn't actually affect anything at all, so, perhaps, geez, the libertarians are right? We don't need this?

Course not, right...


As someone very directly impacted by the shutdown, please unfuck your shit.
Do you have the Time?

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby orthogon » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:19 pm UTC

CharlieBing wrote:
YttriumOx wrote:
Wildcard wrote:
(on a side note, I do think you're bat-shit crazy for being a scientologist, but that's actually beside the point here)


Thanks for saying that! I was just working on something similar, but I wasn't coming up with bat-shit crazy, which is just perfect. 'Nuf said.

The way it came at the end of a sensitively written, considered and thoughtfully argued post made it particularly effective.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby ctdonath » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:43 pm UTC

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy nailed it:
The major problem - one of the major problems - for there are several - one of the many major problems with governing people is that of who you get to do it. Or, rather, of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarise: it is a well-known and much lamented fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarise the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should, on no account, be allowed to do the job. To summarise the summary of the summary: people are a problem. And so this is the situation we find. A succession of Galactic Presidents who so much enjoy the fun and palaver of being in power that they never really notice that they’re not. And somewhere in the shadows behind them, who? Who can possibly rule if no one who wants to, can be allowed to?
The story continues to reveal the true ruler of the universe: an existentialist loner who lives in a shack and doubts the existence of anything he can't see, and most of what he does see.

Later, in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, another relevant exchange occurs:
[An extraterrestrial robot and spaceship has just landed on earth. The robot steps out of the spaceship...]
"I come in peace," it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, "take me to your Lizard."

Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this, as he sat with Arthur and watched the nonstop frenetic news reports on television, none of which had anything to say other than to record that the thing had done this amount of damage which was valued at that amount of billions of pounds and had killed this totally other number of people, and then say it again, because the robot was doing nothing more than standing there, swaying very slightly, and emitting short incomprehensible error messages.

"It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"

"No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like to straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"

"What?"

"I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"

"I'll look. Tell me about the lizards."

Ford shrugged again.

"Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it."
Hmmm. I think I'm out of gin.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby dp2 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:48 pm UTC

Farabor wrote:
dp2 wrote:Where's the Shadow Government when you need it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI6Qdoq679I


Just ask Shadowfacts, duh!

Well done.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby dp2 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:14 pm UTC

Turing Machine wrote:What's embarrassing? That the government's being "shut down" (is it?) doesn't actually affect anything at all, so, perhaps, geez, the libertarians are right? We don't need this?

Course not, right...

Well, you obviously aren't the widow/er of a dead soldier.

Death benefits to families of fallen soldiers halted by government shutdown

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby ctdonath » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:32 pm UTC


Some 80% of the government is still running as usual. Seems most of what's "shut down" is being chosen with malicious intent by the Administration.

Kinda like a public school getting whatever it wants by suspending bus service as a "cost cutting measure". Those directing the "shutdown" do so not from frugality applied in good faith, but from malice to persuade compliance.

Yes, the Administration is denying death benefits to soldiers' families - because the Administration won't comply with a simple request to extend "health care deadline extensions" to everyone and not just to whatever favored groups the Administration chooses to give them to (in violation of the law, BTW).

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:38 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:Free as in speech, not as in beer.
You probably meant to say "free as in freedom". Talk is (at the most) cheap, and (at the least) a free action.
sviola wrote:You forgot to add the Queen of England to the list...
To me she belongs on the opposite of this list: People who are ostensibly controlling the world, but not really doing so. I mean, look at the size of her hat!
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby sviola » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:16 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
sviola wrote:You forgot to add the Queen of England to the list...
To me she belongs on the opposite of this list: People who are ostensibly controlling the world, but not really doing so. I mean, look at the size of her hat!


Well, according to CT regarding freemasons, illuminati and NWO, she is one of the heads behined everything (actually, I think they say it is the royal family, of which, she currently is the head).

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:49 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:You probably meant to say "free as in freedom".

Can freedom be free?

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby orthogon » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:34 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:You probably meant to say "free as in freedom".

Can freedom be free?

No. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. It says here.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:59 pm UTC

sviola wrote:You forgot to add the Queen of England to the list...

No, it specifically mentioned the lizard people.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Essah » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:24 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
Edit: And part of that rivalry would likely involve keeping their true identities secret from one another just like they have from the general populace. I imagine each one of them only believes in half of the others at most, and that's only because, as a shadowy conspiracy themselves, they would acknowledge that other shadowy conspiracies are likely to be out there.


that''d make a great board/computer game

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:43 pm UTC

Essah wrote:
Steve the Pocket wrote:
Edit: And part of that rivalry would likely involve keeping their true identities secret from one another just like they have from the general populace. I imagine each one of them only believes in half of the others at most, and that's only because, as a shadowy conspiracy themselves, they would acknowledge that other shadowy conspiracies are likely to be out there.


that''d make a great board/computer game


Or you could play Paranoia...
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:50 pm UTC

You and Essah are already playing Paranoia, but only Essah knows it (I don't even know it, and I'm the one stating it).
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby JunkBox » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:07 pm UTC

As I see it, Gambit Pileups and Agenda Collisions are normal operating condition for most governments. Only a few have ever gotten away from that for even a short time.

So few that I'm hard pressed to come up with any examples!

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:26 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:You and Essah are already playing Paranoia, but only Essah knows it (I don't even know it, and I'm the one stating it).

Information you don't know is a rumour and spreading rumours is treason. Please report for termination, Citizen.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Essah » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:You and Essah are already playing Paranoia, but only Essah knows it (I don't even know it, and I'm the one stating it).


I do????

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:49 pm UTC

Essah wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:You and Essah are already playing Paranoia, but only Essah knows it (I don't even know it, and I'm the one stating it).


I do????


You're probably a mutant too. Or a Commie.

Well, just have to shoot you now.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:17 pm UTC

Sokaku wrote:I was rather surprised that the National Rifle Association didn't make it into the list... Then again, maybe they're too busy trying to arm school-teachers to notice.

Aren't they kind of open about bribing campaigning for US politicians? Then again, I think the same goes for some of the organisations that are listed...

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby TimXCampbell » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:58 am UTC

alcore wrote:I don't believe in secret conspiracies involving the required participation of large groups of support staff making low wages.

I also don't believe in successful conspiracies (secret or not) of more than 3 people with large egos. (You can occasionally get tight groups of conspirators to cooperate in common cause and vision... but once the core cabal grows, struggles for power and control between egos will lead to betrayal and conflict.)

These are highly persuasive counter-arguments. I was almost ready to say, "He's nailed it" until I remembered Operation Overlord. Somehow they kept that secret. Don't ask me how; it still seems like a miracle to me.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby ConMan » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:09 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Essah wrote:
Steve the Pocket wrote:
Edit: And part of that rivalry would likely involve keeping their true identities secret from one another just like they have from the general populace. I imagine each one of them only believes in half of the others at most, and that's only because, as a shadowy conspiracy themselves, they would acknowledge that other shadowy conspiracies are likely to be out there.


that''d make a great board/computer game


Or you could play Paranoia...

Or Illuminati.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby CBusAlex » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:27 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:Can freedom be free?


No. It costs folks like you and me.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:47 pm UTC

CBusAlex wrote:
Kit. wrote:Can freedom be free?


No. It costs folks like you and me.

So, there's no such thing as "free as in freedom", isn't there?

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Philip Thomas » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:00 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
CBusAlex wrote:
Kit. wrote:Can freedom be free?


No. It costs folks like you and me.

So, there's no such thing as "free as in freedom", isn't there?


It is arguable whether or not it is possible for freedom to be free from monetary cost. Maybe freedom is not free as in without expense (even if this is currently true under the arrangements in force at the moment, that hardly proves that it could not ever be true in any circumstances).

But there is quite a separate argument to be had about whether freedom can be free in the sense of liberty from coercive restraint. That is what I at any rate mean by "free as in freedom". And yes, I would say that it is possible for freedom to be free, in that sense. In fact, if freedom is not free in that sense, it is not freedom- and I do believe that freedom exists.
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