0338: "Future"

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missingglassmarbles
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0338: "Future"

Postby missingglassmarbles » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:00 am UTC

http://www.xkcd.com/338/
Image
Alt-text: But the past was much too cramped!

Awwww... reminds me of how much timing really matters for things like relationships...

EDIT: does anyone else not really get what's going on in the spaces between each panel? I'm having a tricky time figuring out what's happening in what order versus how it's presented.
Last edited by missingglassmarbles on Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:04 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby quintopia » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:02 am UTC

I just saw Primer, and this gives me that sort of deja vu feeling. I just like the idea of someone replying before they are spoken to. . .

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby frozendevil » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:02 am UTC

Oh man. I've been trying to figure out some things with my girlfriend for the past few days, and this just did all sorts of messing with my head.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Raphael » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:03 am UTC

*Blink*
*Blink blink*
What a paradoxically awesome comic. This is, hmm, the fourth xkcd about time travelling?

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby nyeguy » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:03 am UTC

I love how they are talking between two different times.
Image

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muteKi
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby muteKi » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:06 am UTC

Anyways, since the topic I posted is likely to get deleted rather than edited and merged, I'll once again post what I had there:

This reminds me of the comic with the one guy that tried to get money to pay for a fancy dinner by taking it from himself in the future but ended up with that money in a closed causal loop since it got taken right when he was about to pay the bill.


However, to be completely honest I don't think that this was pulled off as well, since there's nothing to really show the passage of time. Some strips occasionally divide just for typical format but involve a spatial rather than temporal change.
Image

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Raphael » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:09 am UTC

nyeguy wrote:I love how they are talking between two different times.

One of which hasn't happened yet. ;)

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Geekthras » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:09 am UTC

Ye hath no longer set sail for fail.

I agree on the kind of confusingness. Doesn't look exactly like a change in time.
And no making out with them selves in any way! Le gasp!

Anyway, as I said before...

*epiphany*
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby dosboot » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:11 am UTC

I can't decide if this comic is supposed to be inexplicable things that don't normally happen or a metaphor for being stuck in a past relationship. I guess it is both? Well done Randall.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby missingglassmarbles » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:11 am UTC

I just thought of something, maybe a way to make this work out is that the guy in the future is really the same guy as the one in the past, only he's the old version and lost his hair. Thus, the reason she says she can't explore the future with him is because she's too busy doing him in the past when he's still hot and got a head of hair.

...

think I'm reading into the handholding and hair/hairless situation too much?

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby seventoes » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:17 am UTC

This comic made my head asplode
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby aerojad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:27 am UTC

there's a riff in space time. eject your warp cores to seal the tear.
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Wolfo » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:36 am UTC

For those wondering what the hell is going on, Cyanide and Happiness poked fun at xkcd, so I'm assuming xkcd is doing the same to Cyanide and Happiness.

C&H comic in question:

Image

Also, I say it's xkcd poking fun back at C&H because they're rather known for doing cross-panel interaction.

Best example I could find of cross-panel wizardry I could find on short notice:

Image

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:37 am UTC

I have to admit, reading this made me quite confused
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby zingmaster » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:39 am UTC

Really? This reminded me of "Hypotheticals."
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Kizyr » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:47 am UTC

Raphael wrote:
nyeguy wrote:I love how they are talking between two different times.

One of which hasn't happened yet. ;)

So, if she said "I can't", then why would he even bother asking the question, since the answer comes before he asks it? KF
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Clumpy » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:51 am UTC

This really, really confuses me for some reason.

It's the sort of confusion that makes my forehead tingle. I blink rapidly and still don't get it. Granted, it's late and I've been eating a whole bag of Doritos.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Raphael » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:52 am UTC

Wolfo wrote:For those wondering what the hell is going on, Cyanide and Happiness poked fun at xkcd, so I'm assuming xkcd is doing the same to Cyanide and Happiness.

C&H comic in question:

Image

Also, I say it's xkcd poking fun back at C&H because they're rather known for doing cross-panel interaction.

Best example I could find of cross-panel wizardry I could find on short notice:

Image

There's a lovely cross-panel interaction from C&H that I've been trying to find, without any luck. It involves a guy fishing, and his fishing line has himself in the eye on the row underneath. Very clever.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Zabi » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:52 am UTC

Wolfo wrote:Image


anyone else notice that X=K/(CD)?

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby torritorri » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:57 am UTC

missingglassmarbles wrote:I just thought of something, maybe a way to make this work out is that the guy in the future is really the same guy as the one in the past, only he's the old version and lost his hair.


That is exactly what I thought. The comic still makes me confiuzzled though.
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Economica » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:58 am UTC

My brain is trying to relate this to "Wasteland" from a week ago, but it's not working quite right...

Anyone else get that feeling? Anyone?
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby sunami » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:03 am UTC

Okay, I finally found one that works kinda like what people were bringing up earlier in the thread.
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby e946 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:13 am UTC

Wow, it took me a while to pick up on the whole "i'm stuck in this relationship" angle.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Jello B. » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:16 am UTC

Raphael wrote:There's a lovely cross-panel interaction from C&H that I've been trying to find, without any luck. It involves a guy fishing, and his fishing line has himself in the eye on the row underneath. Very clever.

Image

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Side Effects » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:16 am UTC

muteKi wrote:Anyways, since the topic I posted is likely to get deleted rather than edited and merged, I'll once again post what I had there:

This reminds me of the comic with the one guy that tried to get money to pay for a fancy dinner by taking it from himself in the future but ended up with that money in a closed causal loop since it got taken right when he was about to pay the bill.


However, to be completely honest I don't think that this was pulled off as well, since there's nothing to really show the passage of time. Some strips occasionally divide just for typical format but involve a spatial rather than temporal change.


Ya, man, I was just thinking Scott McCloud'd be proud of xkcd for using the form, for time travel too.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby ACKnowledge22 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:20 am UTC

i think that this comic is about a guy who is in a relationship that he is more serious about then the girl. he sees them building a future together but its obvious the girl doesnt see them going that far. therefore he would be "way ahead of himself" as well as her for that matter.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Code J » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:25 am UTC

Although it kind of through me off at first, I really like this comic. Well done, Randall.

Also, woah. Hey Jello B.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby scarletmanuka » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:35 am UTC

I don't see them as being the same person. I think it's just a case of "I'm in this relationship now, I have to work through that first". Or simply "that's not where I am right now".

Though if you want to read them as the same person, what I see in it would be an untimely death in between: there are some things that can't be undone or evaded.

Even if you had a time machine, would you desert your partner now so you could join them later? (Assuming it's not an "otherwise you will be killed in the next two seconds" sort of situation.) Would that fact that you had left them turn them against you so that they didn't want you in the future when you got there?

It's an interesting idea to explore, but I think going down that track is reading far too much into the comic. :?

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Eleyras » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:05 am UTC

I don't get it.

Right now, I'll go with the theory that she's holding onto an old relationship, so can't follow him into "the future". I feel this is supported by the alt-text, which says that the past is too crowded. I would assume that this is because the hairless guy does not want to compete with the other guy for the girl.
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby toughlove » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:06 am UTC

i thought it was really sad.

and the fact the couple said "i cant" not "we cant"

and why cant they?

and why is he alone?

this is one of my favorites EVER!
(this, and all of the velociraptor ones.)
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Uthor » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:30 am UTC

sunami wrote:Okay, I finally found one that works kinda like what people were bringing up earlier in the thread.
Image


Nice. Maybe I should give C&H another shot.

That comic reminds me of this PBF:
Image

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Bug-Eyed Earl » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:45 am UTC

I really liked that one, but it was a bit sad. Mostly because of her answer, "I can't," as opposed to "I won't." As in she really wishes to, but she's unable to because she's stuck where she is, and she knows she's stuck. All that sentiment in two words.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Masuri » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:13 am UTC

Maybe he refuses to accept that she chose to be with someone else.

He is the one that's looking back, hoping she changes her mind. She's not stuck in the past; she is firmly rooted in the present, in love with another man, and our bald stickman keeps imagining a future for them in which she's already declined to participate.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby __Kit » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:16 am UTC

I think Randy pooped this one out, and you're thinking about it too much. Nah, I don't really get it I'll wait for discussion to develop.
=]

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Eleyras » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:36 am UTC

Masuri wrote:Maybe he refuses to accept that she chose to be with someone else.

He is the one that's looking back, hoping she changes her mind. She's not stuck in the past; she is firmly rooted in the present, in love with another man, and our bald stickman keeps imagining a future for them in which she's already declined to participate.

Then why "I can't" instead of "I don't want to," or "Can I bring him?"
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Moo » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:42 am UTC

I think that on the surface it is really as simple as "This is gonna mess with your head: look, it's a speach-bubble time paradox! Who spoke first, and who's replying to who? Neat, and freaky, isn't it?".

The more intricate subplots between characters are there for your own imagining. Maybe the comic is purposely so simple because it serves as a canvas for you to fill in the rest from your own life. If you have experience with wanting someone to change their lives to follow you, you'll see the scenario where he wants her to come with him but she's stuck in the past. If you're regretting a choice that left you wondering what could have been, you might dwell on the "I can't" rather than the "I don't want to" issue. If you are a science geek, you might just agonize for hours about the physics of it (or wondering about the seemingly purposeful way the bubbles cross in the middle panel).
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby jaap » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:46 am UTC

Here is another comic that goes across panels into the future:
Image
From Bob the Angry Flower.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby toughlove » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:50 am UTC

I think that on the surface it is really as simple as "This is gonna mess with your head: look, it's a speach-bubble time paradox! Who spoke first, and who's replying to who? Neat, and freaky, isn't it?".


yeah, what if they said "i cant" first?

girl: I cant.

Future Man: come to the future with me!

what if they're having relation ship issues and hes like, solve your problems in the future! (with me.)
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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Mislav » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:01 am UTC

Please, look at the comic and the alt text again.

missingglassmarbles wrote:http://www.xkcd.com/338/
Image
Alt-text: But the past was much too cramped!

It's not the same guy. The left one has hair to indicate that it is another person.

This is not time-traveling. His question and her answer are spaced out because she's thinking things over too much and sticking to safety. He asks her this to give her another chance (they had a previous, not entirely happy relationship, spending too much time and energy for each other), but by the time she answers time has already passed and she has found a new "stable" relationship because of which she tells him she is not willing to keep up with him anymore.

@Eleyras: very nice observation! She says "I can't" and that is very much different than "I don't want to". The reason she doesn't say the right words is that she always wanted to "follow him into the future" (that's why they had a chance for the past relationship), but never was really able.

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Re: "Future" Discussion

Postby Moo » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:07 am UTC

Mislav wrote:Please... This is not time-traveling. His question and her answer are spaced out because she's thinking things over too much and sticking to safety.
Since you don't phrase that like it's your opinion but fact, I'll be just as rude: you're wrong. Have ya NOTICED the title of the comic?
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