0592: "Drama"

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popprocks
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby popprocks » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

Miraculously unfunny. It seems unrealistic, shabbily explained, and the joke itself is terrible. Drama is not inherently funny.

togo1960
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby togo1960 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:44 pm UTC

popprocks wrote:Miraculously unfunny. It seems unrealistic, shabbily explained, and the joke itself is terrible. Drama is not inherently funny.

No, but the idea that some of us actually think we can "reduce the drama" is hilarious.

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athelas
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby athelas » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:57 pm UTC

Hey, look! A thread where everyone's a conservative! :P

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Yuri2356
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Yuri2356 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:18 pm UTC

togo1960 wrote:
popprocks wrote:Miraculously unfunny. It seems unrealistic, shabbily explained, and the joke itself is terrible. Drama is not inherently funny.

No, but the idea that some of us actually think we can quickly and easily "reduce the drama" is hilarious.

That's where the reasoning falls flat and the situation becomes funny. If you want to reduce the drama, you devote your life to the Social Sciences and see if you can help hammer out a few pages of the script. Like a sensible person.

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby bobthewidget » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

Fixed
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Moz
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Moz » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:24 pm UTC

I think that this comic is just too reminiscent of that Seinfeld episode to be funny for me. Blah.

Ives
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Ives » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

Randall, get into my head!!

By the way: as long as you're having sex (with or without drama), you should probably be happy. Not all of us are that lucky...

These pages aren't indexed by google, are they? Wouldn't want this to be the first hit when you type my name into google...

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby UmbralRaptor » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:52 pm UTC

I reiterate: humans are the problem. Remove the humans, and there will be far less drama. Raise a talon if you're with me...

Ives: uh, they are. Fortunately, your nickname is sufficiently common, that it'll get lost. Welcome to the forum. :)
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meat.paste
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby meat.paste » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:06 pm UTC

The meaning of the comic changes if the comma between "man" and "sex" is changed to a hyphen. Given that it's a girl and two guys discussing it, I wonder what happened between the first and second panel.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby jevans90 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:16 pm UTC

Frankie wrote:
westrim wrote:This comic reminds me of when I invented Socialism at the age of 8. I had thought about it for a week or so, then laid it out for my dad


(Heh, I didn't know that the forum autoconverts L O L into ¡This cheese is burning me!). My 8 year old did the exact same thing a few months ago. We had an excellent dinner discussion on pluses and minuses of the major political/economic systems of the world. Capitalism is cruel and unfair, but everything else humans have tried so far is even worse.


Also applies to democracy. And how to choose who you're voting for (paticularly important in Britain right now).

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Baza210 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:15 am UTC

Stands to reason that as "Hey, sex with no drama!" increases sex frequency, "drama" occurs in fallout. Needs corresponding graph to show rate of sex following rule change.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Munzapoppa » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:27 am UTC

Seinfeld reference is win. That's my favorite TV show (I haven't seen the episode referenced in a long time, though. Probably why I didn't get it).

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Nicole88
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Nicole88 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:43 am UTC

What is with the not-getting-the-joke/negativity vibe on this one?
Are there that many virgins around here?
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hotaru
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby hotaru » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:08 am UTC

Nicole88 wrote:What is with the not-getting-the-joke/negativity vibe on this one?

probably just not many seinfeld fans around here.
assuming that the joke has something to do with seinfeld, which i don't watch...

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fatmanforprez
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby fatmanforprez » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:21 am UTC

Am I the only one who expected the last panel to show him holding off the drama and the remaining couple going at it.

My mind is apparently stuck in the gutter.

I must admit every time I have tried to simplify social interaction I have found the most important part is finding the correct social. Some people are just not drama inclined. Surround yourself with them and your drama meter stays way lower until everything goes wrong at once and every spikes for about a week cause they don't know how to handle drama and eventually shit returns to the norm.

Nicole88 wrote:What is with the not-getting-the-joke/negativity vibe on this one?
Are there that many virgins around here?


Not virgins, virgins tend to be mostly ambivalent beyond highschool. It is the geek who got some at one point and has found that well is dry that truly drips the sex-angst you are accusing this thread of.

*** edited by fatmanforprez cause he can spell***

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby LassLisa » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:34 am UTC

Hee. I love this, "people are complicated!" is pretty much verbatim the refutation of all utopian plans. Including the entire study of economics. "People are rational and always act in their self-interest!" mm, no.

It's hard for people who like analytical systems, because so much of what happens on a hormonal and/or emotional level is fuzzy and subconscious. So it's just not defined "what will make someone angry" because it depends, not only on their background and personality, but also on how tired they are, what they've had to eat recently, how hydrated they are, etc. This is why I love social psychology - it tells you about some of the factors that make you more complicated than you know.

Similarly, "hey, let's remove all the emotional attachment from sex and make it just a fun thing!" ignores several things, including but not limited to oxytocin (a trust-enhancing emotional-closeness-generating hormone) and the tendency towards insecurity/fear of loss.

I think some of why we see more little-c conservative viewpoints here is because "People are complicated!", like the Law of Unintended Consequences, is an idea that fundamentally discourages radical changes. What we have right now at least WORKS, even if it's not perfect, and most mutations are harmful.

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby johnca » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:03 am UTC

Typical selective use of data. The rest of the graph:

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Pazi
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Pazi » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:03 am UTC

I wonder about the generally negative-to-lukewarm response here.

Speaking personally (as someone who pursues sexual relationships by some rather nonstandard rules; I've been polyamorous most of my adult life), I found this insightful and worth a long, knowing giggle. Maybe not the greatest strip thus far, but maybe you just have to be familiar with the source material to truly appreciate this one. The specific strain of geek tendency that encourages one to want systematize this sort of thing often underestimates the scope of what they're dealing with.

"The rules" aren't invariant and universal, but they've assumed their current configuration as a result of the system, and they carry an awful lot of inertia. The speaker in the comic makes two mistakes -- first, to overestimate his own understanding of the system in question (which can lead to "learning experiences" that range from mostly harmless to quite traumatic; certainly people can make polyamory or touch-positivism or whatever work in localized contexts), and second, to take his misguided epiphany and go missionary with his world-shattering revelation.

The Open-Source Boob Project, and subsequent internet backlash, would be the case in point -- and I wouldn't be surprised if this event was a contributing influence to this particular strip.

http://www.metafilter.com/71075/The-Open-Source-Boob-Project

It's a decent warning to any would-be eschatological immanentizers. Things are more complicated and unpredictable than you think, even when you take that fact into account.

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby NMcCoy » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:35 am UTC

Pazi! *glomp*
Nice seeing you here. And I thought you'd be one to quite appreciate this comic.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:29 pm UTC

hotaru wrote:
Nicole88 wrote:What is with the not-getting-the-joke/negativity vibe on this one?

probably just not many seinfeld fans around here.
assuming that the joke has something to do with seinfeld, which i don't watch...

No, it's not a reference to Seinfeld at all, I just happened to note the similarities on the previous page.

In the Seinfeld episode, Jerry and Elaine want to have sex, but they don't want to ruin their friendship. They decide to set up some rules that would ensure they'd remain 'friends with benefits', but it inevitably doesn't work, and they end up acknowledging that they'll have a romantic relationship.

Something humourous might have come out of the premise of trying to enforce these new 'rules', but just the observation that relationships are complicated is so overdone that simply referencing it is not funny. It's just a casual observation like "this jar is hard to open" - there's nothing inherently funny about that.

The entire comic is similar to some father figure character thinking he'll have no trouble fixing the television and when the smoke and sparks start shooting out, he makes some cliche remark like "I guess we're going to need a new television" - like I said earlier, it's straight out of a crappy sitcom.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby AstralFire » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:49 pm UTC

The drama originates from Rick Astley's inability to learn the new rules.

It made me smile. Not the funniest XKCD ever; not the worst.

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby space_raptor » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:50 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:In high school I came up with a "Buy low, sell high" strategy (relying on the "Greater fool" theory) that I have so far been too scared/lazy to try with real money.
  1. Start with companies that stand out for some reason. For me, it was stock that went up when the market went down.
  2. Research those companies to decide which ones you want to invest in, and how much you want to invest.
  3. Look at the graph of the stock performance over the past year. Try to estimate how much the stock price varies.
  4. Set a price goal 10-20% (of the variability) away from the next expected peak.
  5. Buy the stock when the price is clearly in a "valley." Don't worry if it is still going down (or already going back up).
  6. Hold the stock until you reach your price goal. Don't worry if the stock goes down. If the company goes bankrupt, you will probably lose your money.
  7. Sell the stock at the price goal. Don't beat yourself up too much if the stock goes up to over triple your selling price: you have no way to predict such swings (that can come down just as fast).


That's pretty boilerplate investing strategy, and it all sounds nice in theory. But you know the problem with theories. :)

The problem for engineers is that we want to know WHY an individual stock is going up or down. And sometimes there's no good reason for it.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

athelas wrote:Hey, look! A thread where everyone's a conservative! :P
Wow, you clearly haven't actually read anything anyone's said at all, have you?
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neoliminal
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:08 pm UTC

If only there was some way to exchange currency for sex.

Speaking of the stock market, I have a fool-proof system. Buy everything (excepting penny stocks of course.) Since people continue to add money into the stock market, on aggregate the value will continue to rise. Since the only time people remove money is during recessions and these are by definition temporary, you will increase your holdings by having money in every stock. This system works better if you put money into everything, including where people stick their money when they are afraid of stocks, like metals and other markets. As long as there are more people being put into the system (population grows) then the Gross National Product will increase (money in system) and people invest more money into the system than they take out (aggregate growth) you will make money.

Now if you all run out right now and do this, I will be right.
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Glenn Magus Harvey
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Glenn Magus Harvey » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:10 pm UTC

@ alt-text: Wait, geeks have sex? [/stereotype]

@ alt-text: Nice ripping on the stock market. :)

I approve of johnca's and bobthewidget's posts on this page.

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Internetmeme
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:41 pm UTC

Look what you did with this comic? Now sje is ignoring drama, and he hasn't even posted anything. What the hell? Now I have to do it for this comic.

Wait...My goldfish died from drama related to a fight when I was 5, traumatizing me for life. I couldn't eat fish for years. Thanks for opening up old wounds. What. The. Hell.

Not cool, not funny, not a good comic*.






*My first not cool, not funny, not a good comic rant. Woot!
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neoliminal
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:34 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:Look what you did with this comic? Now sje is ignoring drama, and he hasn't even posted anything. What the hell? Now I have to do it for this comic.

Not cool, not funny, not a good comic*.


You did it wrong. You have to complain about the comic like this:

OMG, my parents died in a drama related accident and/or sex.

Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.


Then you can taunt newbies with LOL
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Nicole88
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Nicole88 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:52 pm UTC

Similarly, "hey, let's remove all the emotional attachment from sex and make it just a fun thing!" ignores several things, including but not limited to oxytocin (a trust-enhancing emotional-closeness-generating hormone) and the tendency towards insecurity/fear of loss.


Y'know, everyone talks about the oxytocin issue in pop psych articles/books, but I've never seen any evidence to back it up.
I mean, it stands to reason that a needy and clingy person will probably be even more needy and clingy if you fuck them: any signal of closeness will do that. But that's more personality than anything else. Assholes are still assholes after you sleep with them. Cool people are still cool.

And I've slept with some people over and over even though I kind of hated them as a person: they were just really fun to screw. I wouldn't have left my purse unattended in their bedroom afterward.
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neoliminal
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:16 pm UTC

Nicole88 wrote:And I've slept with some people over and over even though I kind of hated them as a person: they were just really fun to screw. I wouldn't have left my purse unattended in their bedroom afterward.


I never leave my purse next to my wife after sex.

Ever.

Sex can be separated from relationships (and here I mean other than the sexual relationship), but in America we have a puritanical predilection to connecting sex with monogamous long-term companionship. Funny it doesn't go the other direction.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Linux0s » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:36 pm UTC

Is it xkcd summer reruns season already?
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby hitokiriilh » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:03 pm UTC

I'm going to go ahead and make this assertion despite knowing, if noticed, it will draw a great deal of criticism: I'm pretty confident I don't really have many preconceived notions regarding sex (in b4 'everyone has preconceived notions'). My views on it are pretty strict, though, and have been constructed after being dragged through pretty much every single sexual situation you can think of (open relationships, multi-somes, most fetishes I can think of off the top of my head except scat, same-sex situations, etc...let's just say I had some really freaking crazy girlfriends and was once too willing to please them...). Since then, I've determined I pretty naturally fall into a hyper-monogamous category (stomach now churns at the thought of casual sex and if I'm completely satisfied with my partner romantically and sexually I'm essentially asexual and gender-blind towards all others - so I don't flirt, fantasize, etc...alas this perspective is not at all common. =\). I used my relationships to determine what I want (I generally think popular opinion is retarded in every walk of life, and love and sex was no exception), and I tried adopting the simple "sex is just a recreation that doesn't matter" perspective and it failed spectacularly.

Besides, monogamy is a very common sexual practice world-wide, even in very removed and remote civilizations. It's semi-genetically coded into us. It served as an evolutionary advantage since monogamy helped establish family-units that greatly benefited the survival and development of offspring. Any species with offspring that spends more time developing outside the womb than inside has some sort of family structure, and it just so happens monogamy was best suited to ours. So chances are even if our social precognitions were wiped out, a strict rule change wouldn't be univerisally successful.

Edit: Oh, and I actually thought the comic was kinda humorous. [/odd man out's post]

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:30 am UTC

Frankie wrote:Capitalism is cruel and unfair, but everything else humans have tried so far is even worse.


That's cause people are generally cruel and unfair. If people were generally self-sacrificing and equality driven, socialism would be a better system. If people were generally isolationist and anti-social, anarachy would be a better system. But they are not, in general, and thus we seem to have hit the highest of highs we can reach within a society of these values.

Also, why all the hate against the comic? It has a graph. Graphs make everthing better.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby ts218 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:06 am UTC

Speaking of the stock market, I have a fool-proof system. Buy everything (excepting penny stocks of course.) Since people continue to add money into the stock market, on aggregate the value will continue to rise. Since the only time people remove money is during recessions and these are by definition temporary, you will increase your holdings by having money in every stock. This system works better if you put money into everything, including where people stick their money when they are afraid of stocks, like metals and other markets. As long as there are more people being put into the system (population grows) then the Gross National Product will increase (money in system) and people invest more money into the system than they take out (aggregate growth) you will make money.


This is called investing in a market index fund. Except those can't have every company, but you could invest in a portfolio of index funds, and then put a certain fraction of your money in a risk-free asset like treasury bonds.

This is a MUCH SMARTER IDEA than the people on this thread who advocate trying to do research on companies and beating the market. Remember: there are people who spend all their waking time trying to find arbitrage opportunities in the stock market. Any successful predictive strategy you've come up with is probably tried by hundreds of other people, thus rendering it ineffective. Consequently, the stock market tends to follow a brownian motion / random walk. Any strategy for "buying low and selling high" (etc.) will probably fail.

Speaking of the comic, whoever pointed out earlier that this comic is a great metaphor for complex systems -- I was thinking the same thing. Especially policy interventions in complex systems. Something we should take heed of while we are trying to fix the financial markets.

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby mythago » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:16 am UTC

Hephaestus16 wrote:There are plenty of ways of changing human behaviour (drugs, head trauma, screwed up childhood etc.), to reduce drama new humans rather then new rules are needed. I personally an inclined to making the majority of people have autistic spectrum reorders.


Oh, yeah. Let's make everybody have exponentially more trouble understanding others, reading social cues and considering the feelings of others. That'll sure reduce the drama!

*headdesk*

I'm not getting the hate for this comic either, unless maybe it's because Randall struck a nerve. As a lawyer, the whole reason I have a job is that simple rules don't apply to all situations and insure everybody behaves appropriately.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:18 am UTC

ts218 wrote:This is called investing in a market index fund. Except those can't have every company, but you could invest in a portfolio of index funds, and then put a certain fraction of your money in a risk-free asset like treasury bonds.

This is a MUCH SMARTER IDEA than the people on this thread who advocate trying to do research on companies and beating the market. . . . Consequently, the stock market tends to follow a brownian motion / random walk. Any strategy for "buying low and selling high" (etc.) will probably fail.


As I said, I have been too lazy/scared to try it. The problem with index funds is that you are relying on EVERYONE ELSE making rational decisions. If the money ends up in a paper loop (like the recent crash) you loose a lot of money with everyone else. By researching what a company actually DOES before hand, you can try to judge how stable the company is, and how likely it is to ride out instability.

That said, I think my algorithm will perform similarly to the market as a whole. The day-to-day price may follow brownian motion, but if things get too skewed a "correction" (up or down) occurs. That said, "Risk-free" assets are a good idea too :)

The "alt" text DOES caution against taking stock-market advice from (wanabe) engineers. I thought that was clear.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby isamaru » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:18 am UTC

There are two types of posts in this thread. The ones that praise the comic and discuss it and those which complain about people complaining about the comic. Where are the people who are actually complaining!? I can't see any of them. And if you think this thread lacks more explicit praise:
This comic is awesome. I has touched me very deeply, partly due to the recent drama I've been through induced by similar delusions. Also, it helped me realize that the same logic applies to other complex systems, not just relationships. If you don't mind, I'd have more strips like this one.</rant>

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby pirogo » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:57 am UTC

Since this thread still lacks more blue-eyed and flawed attempts at solutions, here's something to mix stock market with sex drama problems: I learned that in investment there's what's called a "magic triangle" between liquidity, security and returns - meaning you can't expect to be full on every category but have to be clear to yourself where your personal priorities lie, before you commit your precious. Likewise, I posit the existence of a triangle (or polygon/simplex/poly-n-tope) with at least the three vertices safety, casualness, no. of people involved. Exercise: try to find examples where two categories are maximized, while the third is low. -- Ah, when I drunkenly thought of this last night, this was just a tepid self-gratification joke, now I realize it also includes abstinence and find it overall even less amusing. Meh.

vote: the strip is OK

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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby Pazi » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:52 pm UTC

Pirogo: Heh. There are other states as well -- I'm polyamorous, and I've maximized, or at any rate *increased*, safety and # of participants (well, perhaps not "maximized", but the number of people involved is much greater than 2) while diminishing casualness.

However, this is far from being a general case. It works in part because the network is not entirely interconnected; in other words, many nodes are insulated from each other socially (even if they know about one another's existence), by physical distance and non-overlapping lives. Most of us have experience with how to do such a thing *poorly* -- we've had relationships fall apart on us, both poly ones and monogamous ones, and have some idea of what to watch out for. Casual things tend to be somewhat deprecated by almost everyone on the graph; treating relationships and sex as somewhat serious business means being careful, whether it's about sexual behavior with new people or about recognizing the differences between simple hardware-level attraction, and a more general emotional connection.
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Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby space_raptor » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:03 pm UTC

ts218 wrote:This is a MUCH SMARTER IDEA than the people on this thread who advocate trying to do research on companies and beating the market.


Generally speaking, I'd agree. But personally I've found that there's exceptions to even that rule. If you know enough about a certain industry, and you know a lot about a certain company, you can do pretty well at picking winners. But for the average investor there's no way to learn enough about a business and it's market situation to try and beat the system.

If you work in, say, the widget-manufacturing industry, you might know a lot about all the different widget-making companies and you might invest in the ones you think will do well.
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kev015
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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:37 am UTC

Re: "Drama" Discussion

Postby kev015 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

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Last edited by kev015 on Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:00 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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