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1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:10 am UTC
by teelo
Image

Alt-text: I'm sorry, but the author of this Facebook comment clearly believes you were.

I don't understand... was she making the video, or is that unrelated?

Re: 1453: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:29 am UTC
by Envelope Generator
It's unrelated.

The joke here is that ephemeral nonsense is being portrayed as the real substance of the internet and any frizzy-haired people who try to be meaningful about things are just not getting it. Or, well, that's not quite what the joke is but I suck at explaining.

Re: 1453: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:37 am UTC
by jano
Should be 1454, not 1453

Re: 1453: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:01 am UTC
by rhomboidal
"Don't worry about it: you have as much chance of making an online connection as your laptop does."

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:17 am UTC
by Eutychus
This is where I notice the age gap between me and Randall.

It also reminds me of the looks of bemusement I get when I try to explain to my kids - whose criteria for any accommodation is that it must have good enough broadband for a Skype video connection to leave on permanently for contact with their s.o. living elsewhere - that we used to have these things called letters and the postal service.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:27 am UTC
by teelo
Eutychus wrote:This is where I notice the age gap between me and Randall.

It also reminds me of the looks of bemusement I get when I try to explain to my kids - whose criteria for any accommodation is that it must have good enough broadband for a Skype video connection to leave on permanently for contact with their s.o. living elsewhere - that we used to have these things called letters and the postal service.

Saw a comic recently that made its rounds on facebook, something about 25 years ago stacks of letters and "Oh me yarm an email!", and now hundreds of emails and "Oh me yarm a letter!!".

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:49 am UTC
by Rossegacebes
Who's Randall's friend Emily? (Just under the logo) How can/has she been helped?

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:52 am UTC
by DR6
Faith in humanity: lost.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:01 am UTC
by eidako
herp a derp a derp derp derp herp adee derp derp ha derp

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:19 am UTC
by Plutarch
The internet shutting down would be doing the wavy-haired woman a huge favour. If she's been saving her money to fly someone over, and support them, she's being taken for a fool. It would inevitably end in disaster.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:36 am UTC
by Djehutynakht
Not necessarily.

Although, to be honest, if you're going to be that committed in a relationship but haven't managed to tack down a physical address or at least a phone number of this significant other, then you're doing it wrong.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:12 am UTC
by RowanE
eidako wrote:
Eutychus wrote:This is where I notice the age gap between me and Randall.

Generalization there. I'm a year older than Munroe but recognize the insanity of Internet relationships — any online exchange between people is going to be carefully structured to show off their best sides. A successful relationship is dependent on the acceptance of flaws, not communicated through this medium. No matter how the interests of two people overlap, there's no way of knowing that they are truly compatible on a personal level until they're standing in the same physical space, recognizing that their partner is an imperfect human being with annoying quirks and deficiencies.

I just wish I could have made my teenage sister and her boyfriend understand that. He was planning on making life-altering decisions, crossing the country to attend an unnotable local university, to pursue a relationship with her. He flew over at his expense to briefly visit, they spent a day together, then had an ugly breakup shortly after. I can only hope they learned from it.


I don't think Eutychus was at all saying internet relationships are crazy? He's talking about how letters used to be a thing but these kids don't think that's good enough, which if it implies anything about the relationships facilitated through those media is probably strongly positive on them by being nostalgic about times when relationships through old-fashioned letter-writing, which in terms of the problems you describe are like ten times crazier, were a thing.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:20 am UTC
by LoopyChew
It's probably a good thing. The curly-haired user was just writing to a Nigerian scam anyway.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:30 am UTC
by Jaruzel
I met my S.O. online. That was 16 years ago. We're still happily together, and have gone through the usual ups and downs a relationship has, along with the trials and tribulations of raising a child together. So not all online relationships are doomed to fail. I totally echo the strips sentiments, if you *think* you've found the 'one', then move heaven and earth to make it happen. Even if it doesn't work out in the end, at least you TRIED.

The Internet was supposed to herald in a new era of enlightenment, of global unity, and aid in humanities advancement. I know this because I was there at the beginning, hooked into the UKs version of Arpanet, playing with Gopher and FTP and Usenet (I still do the last two actually). What we've ended up with 25 years later is an endless torrent of meaningless drivel and pointless imagery, the most awful of which is inexplicitly repeated and reposted ad nauseum.

Sometimes something deep and informative catches my eye, and I post an opinion about it on a social media site by way of saying to my friends, 'hey let's talk about this important topic!'. It will get ignored, with barely a like or a comment. However, if the next day I post a copy of a a popular meme, or video of a kitten, I can expect a river of comments, re-shares, and likes. I know it's not my choice of friends - face to face we regularly engage in conversations on how to fix the world, it's just that the Internet makes you Dumb.

-Jar

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:34 am UTC
by NotAllThere
Jaruzel wrote:I met my S.O. online. That was 16 years ago. We're still happily together, and have gone through the usual ups and downs a relationship has, along with the trials and tribulations of raising a child together. So not all online relationships are doomed to fail. I totally echo the strips sentiments, if you *think* you've found the 'one', then move heaven and earth to make it happen. Even if it doesn't work out in the end, at least you TRIED.

The Internet was supposed to herald in a new era of enlightenment, of global unity, and aid in humanities advancement. I know this because I was there at the beginning, hooked into the UKs version of Arpanet, playing with Gopher and FTP and Usenet (I still do the last two actually). What we've ended up with 25 years later is an endless torrent of meaningless drivel and pointless imagery, the most awful of which is inexplicitly repeated and reposted ad nauseum.

Sometimes something deep and informative catches my eye, and I post an opinion about it on a social media site by way of saying to my friends, 'hey let's talk about this important topic!'. It will get ignored, with barely a like or a comment. However, if the next day I post a copy of a a popular meme, or video of a kitten, I can expect a river of comments, re-shares, and likes. I know it's not my choice of friends - face to face we regularly engage in conversations on how to fix the world, it's just that the Internet makes you Dumb.

-Jar


Hey- a Purple Unicorn!

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:50 am UTC
by chridd
eidako wrote:I'm a year older than Munroe but recognize the insanity of Internet relationships [...]
Huh. I at first interpreted "I found you half a world away" to mean "I found that you were half a world away" (as opposed to "I found you (and you were half a world away)"), implying that the "you" is a person she already knew but has recently moved. It seems ambiguous which it actually means On reread, my interpretation doesn't make as much sense with the second panel.

(Also, there are flaws visible through the internet... with the bad reputation of e.g. YouTube comments and the fact that the words "troll" and "flaming" primarily describe internet interactions, I don't see how "any online exchange between people is going to be carefully structured to show off their best sides"... maybe some are, but it seems that could be the case offline as well...)

Jaruzel wrote:Sometimes something deep and informative catches my eye, and I post an opinion about it on a social media site by way of saying to my friends, 'hey let's talk about this important topic!'. It will get ignored, with barely a like or a comment. However, if the next day I post a copy of a a popular meme, or video of a kitten, I can expect a river of comments, re-shares, and likes. I know it's not my choice of friends - face to face we regularly engage in conversations on how to fix the world, it's just that the Internet makes you Dumb.
Perhaps they just use the internet (or social media) when they to relax or de-stress or whatever and not when they feel like talking about important topics? Or they don't like talking about important things (semi-)publicly? (...just guesses... alternatives to the internet making people dumb)

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:57 am UTC
by Eutychus
RowanE wrote:
eidako wrote:I don't think Eutychus was at all saying internet relationships are crazy?
indeed, that wasn't what was in my mind (although I'm amazed at the number of different takes on this comic in the first few posts above).

I was just thinking how the girl seemed to be utterly ignorant of older means of communication. I don't think any of us have really grasped all the implications of a generation raised on electronic communication yet.

Jaruzel, I think what you're saying is that the signal/noise ratio of the internet is far worse than other media. But if you poke around you can still find some good places for stimulating debate.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:20 am UTC
by The Moomin
teelo wrote:
Alt-text: I'm sorry, but the author of this Facebook comment clearly believes you were.

I don't understand... was she making the video, or is that unrelated?


I think it's highlighting the ludicrous comments that people make on youtube videos.

It seems the purpose of the internet is to find a suitably silly video (such as a cat dressed as a shark on a Roomba chasing a baby duck). When this has been accomplished, the internet can be shut down and we can all go outside and climb trees.

Or down to the beach and prod jellyfish with driftwood.

Or lay in the garden and be accosted by random neighbourhood cats.

*edited to remove the strip so the comment is less massive.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:22 am UTC
by Morgan Wick
Jaruzel wrote:The Internet was supposed to herald in a new era of enlightenment, of global unity, and aid in humanities advancement. I know this because I was there at the beginning, hooked into the UKs version of Arpanet, playing with Gopher and FTP and Usenet (I still do the last two actually). What we've ended up with 25 years later is an endless torrent of meaningless drivel and pointless imagery, the most awful of which is inexplicitly repeated and reposted ad nauseum.

That's because the high-falutin' ideals of the Internet has run head-on into what human nature actually is.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:32 am UTC
by chridd
The Moomin wrote:It seems the purpose of the internet is to find a suitably silly video (such as a cat dressed as a shark on a Roomba chasing a baby duck). When this has been accomplished, the internet can be shut down and we can all go outside and climb trees.
You mean like YouTube's April Fools joke?
Also, I interpreted it as the person shutting down the internet thinking it's gotten too ridiculous.

If there's someone out there who's right for me, I'm so sorr

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:40 am UTC
by Eternal Density
This makes me feel kinda sad and lonely.

*writes a bunch of personal stuff and deletes it*

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:03 am UTC
by curiouspillow
I read this one as a comment on people who discount the Internet, phones, technology, etc. as silly, useless distractions, when there's so many meaningful connections (romantic or otherwise) going on underneath the sea of memes. It seems to be fashionable these days to tell "millennials" to go read a book or play outside or write a letter. People are missing the value of the Internet in favor of using the shallow parts of it as ammunition against "those lazy kids."

Some online relationships may be disasters, yes, but I don't think that's what Randall's getting at here.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:44 am UTC
by balthasar_s
That was just one internet. Wait for the next one.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:57 pm UTC
by Dave
Rossegacebes wrote:Who's Randall's friend Emily? (Just under the logo) How can/has she been helped?


I was also unsure, and didn't see any replies here, so I checked the News and Articles subforum and found this post from November 26th:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=110509

ConMan wrote:if you go to xkcd.com then in the header spot where Randall has recently been plugging his book it instead says:

"Hey all. My friend Emily—the economist who helped me with my money chart—has been fighting cancer. She's having a rough time and could use some help. Thank you."

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:15 pm UTC
by Rossegacebes
Dave wrote:
Rossegacebes wrote:Who's Randall's friend Emily? (Just under the logo) How can/has she been helped?


I was also unsure, and didn't see any replies here, so I checked the News and Articles subforum and found this post from November 26th:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=110509

ConMan wrote:if you go to xkcd.com then in the header spot where Randall has recently been plugging his book it instead says:

"Hey all. My friend Emily—the economist who helped me with my money chart—has been fighting cancer. She's having a rough time and could use some help. Thank you."


Thanks!

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:18 pm UTC
by Invertin
eidako wrote:I'm a year older than Munroe but recognize the insanity of Internet relationships — any online exchange between people is going to be carefully structured to show off their best sides.


You can do this in real life too.

Acting and pretending are the basis for human social interaction for a large amount of people.

Besides, quirks do not stop existing just because you are using the medium of text, there are just different ones.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:08 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Invertin wrote:
eidako wrote:I'm a year older than Munroe but recognize the insanity of Internet relationships — any online exchange between people is going to be carefully structured to show off their best sides.


You can do this in real life too.

Acting and pretending are the basis for human social interaction for a large amount of people.

Besides, quirks do not stop existing just because you are using the medium of text, there are just different ones.


Yeah, one of the things that the semi-anonymity of the internet (and other electronic communication) can lead to is people being more naked (literally in the case of sexting) than they would be in a face-to-face interaction. The teenagers who, a generation ago, would have poured their hearts into their diaries and kept them hidden away now have a WordPress blog with maybe a dozen regular visitors from all sorts of places.

Also, while exchanging emails every couple of days allows you to reflect on what you want to say and how best to express it, if you're texting or using instant messengers to hold a conversation in near real time, you're lucky if the person at the other end edits their thoughts enough to remove the worst of the typos. When you move up to something like Skype that turns your computer into a video-phone, you're looking at the next thing to actually being there in person...

And, considering some of the things out there online, if everyone were only presenting their best side, that would say something horrifying about humanity...

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:28 pm UTC
by Jackpot777
NotAllThere wrote:
Jaruzel wrote:I met my S.O. online. That was 16 years ago. We're still happily together, and have gone through the usual ups and downs a relationship has, along with the trials and tribulations of raising a child together.

-Jar


Hey- a Purple Unicorn!


They're not as rare as you might think. I left a perfectly well-paying job in London to be with an American I met through a pen pal website in the late '90s. We married in 2001.

Here are the two of us in Letchworth, Herts. in 2012 (in the Gardener's Arms pub, which was used as The World's End in the film of the same name). We're on the right of the picture.

Image

This is us in Washington, DC a few years back.

Image

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:31 pm UTC
by ShadeTail
It seems to me, the real joke here is the inanity of a large portion of comments on sites like Facebook and YouTube, and that taking them literally in this manner shows how utterly ridiculous and stupid they are.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:35 pm UTC
by cellocgw
Plutarch wrote:The internet shutting down would be doing the wavy-haired woman a huge favour. If she's been saving her money to fly someone over, and support them, she's being taken for a fool. It would inevitably end in disaster.



Not necessarily -- she might have been talking to the sweetest, cutest puppy ever, which was about to be shipped to her. But then, dogs are way better friends for you than people ever can hope to be.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:37 pm UTC
by cellocgw
eidako wrote:[

I just wish I could have made my teenage sister and her boyfriend understand that. He was planning on making life-altering decisions, crossing the country to attend an unnotable local university, to pursue a relationship with her. He flew over at his expense to briefly visit, they spent a day together, then had an ugly breakup shortly after. I can only hope they learned from it.


This has nothing to do with the internet, though. Same thing happened with more than one couple I knew back in my (pre-Internet, pre-desktop computer) college days.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:02 pm UTC
by ThemePark
So I come here to correct some of the horrendous misunderstandings of how the internet works, and it turns out chridd has read my mind and posted everything I wanted to say, for me.

Marry me? (Assuming you are of the fairer sex, of course).

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:07 pm UTC
by orthogon
I often wonder how people used to cope, waiting days or weeks for a reply to their messages of love. Or maybe it was better. I could go through a complete cycle of hope, disappointment, denial, heartbreak, anger, resignation and back to hope again within the first five minutes after sending a text message. And yet somehow my great grandmother waited patiently for decade while my great grandfather was in Canada. My mum doesn't think he even bothered to write.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:12 pm UTC
by Pfhorrest
Jackpot777 wrote:
NotAllThere wrote:
Jaruzel wrote:I met my S.O. online. That was 16 years ago. We're still happily together, and have gone through the usual ups and downs a relationship has, along with the trials and tribulations of raising a child together.

-Jar


Hey- a Purple Unicorn!


They're not as rare as you might think. I left a perfectly well-paying job in London to be with an American I met through a pen pal website in the late '90s. We married in 2001.


I think you misunderstand: NotAllThere's comment wasn't about rarity. Jaruzel's avatar is literally a purple unicorn.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:20 pm UTC
by thevicente
Jackpot777 wrote:Here are the two of us in Letchworth, Herts. in 2012 (in the Gardener's Arms pub, which was used as The World's End in the film of the same name). We're on the right of the picture.


Aww. Also, I missed the last part of your post ("We're on the right") and thought you were a gay couple. After I saw the 2nd pic I went into wtf mode and had to re-read.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:05 pm UTC
by chridd
ThemePark wrote:Marry me? (Assuming you are of the fairer sex, of course).
No. (No).

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:07 pm UTC
by ThemePark
chridd wrote:
ThemePark wrote:Marry me? (Assuming you are of the fairer sex, of course).
No. (No).

Well, that's one more (potential) online relationship down the drain then.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:33 pm UTC
by Flumble
ThemePark wrote:
chridd wrote:
ThemePark wrote:Marry me? (Assuming you are of the fairer sex, of course).
No. (No).

Well, that's one more (potential) online relationship down the drain then.

At least you didn't book a flight yet, right?

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:48 pm UTC
by Yablo
eidako wrote:Generalization there. I'm a year older than Munroe but recognize the insanity of Internet relationships — any online exchange between people is going to be carefully structured to show off their best sides. A successful relationship is dependent on the acceptance of flaws, not communicated through this medium. No matter how the interests of two people overlap, there's no way of knowing that they are truly compatible on a personal level until they're standing in the same physical space, recognizing that their partner is an imperfect human being with annoying quirks and deficiencies.

I completely agree that a successful relationship depends upon acceptance of flaws, and that a relationship begun and maintained over a distance tends to play up the good side, but what you can learn about a person this way is still significant enough to use as a foundation.

I met a girl while playing World of Warcraft, and we talked a lot in game at first. Then we talked a lot out of game, and eventually we started doing silly things like watching movies together on Netflix with Ventrillo. After almost two years, I decided I cared enough that I wanted to meet her. I bought a plane ticket from Alaska to Tennessee and booked two aft balcony cabins on a 7-day Caribbean cruise (her best friend an another friend went, too) for our first date. It went extremely well, and we moved her to Alaska about a year later. A year after that, we were married, and she's pregnant now.

So while you should never let yourself get too involved sight-unseen, so to speak, starting and maintaining a relationship at a distance can definitely work out.

Also, regarding the comic specifically, the way I read it, the girl was becoming romantically attached to someone, and they regularly use the internet to keep in touch. Then some idiot somewhere makes a comment about how the internet is finished and should be shut off. To carry the situation to absurdity, the internet really is shut off because the idiot decided it had no more to offer, but there was obviously at least one couple who felt otherwise.

Re: 1454: "Done"

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:56 pm UTC
by Klear
balthasar_s wrote:That was just one internet. Wait for the next one.


Internet 3.0 is going to be sweet!