0711: "Seismograph"

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snowyowl
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby snowyowl » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:00 pm UTC

I'm going to say: I understood this comic perfectly, and is it bizarre that I found the title-text funnier than the punchline?
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FlexGunship
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby FlexGunship » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:46 pm UTC

I actually interpreted the comic differently. Rather than a joke about the ability to detect earthquakes, it was satire on people who believe the lie detector is a tool for detecting lies. Furthermore, it is a satire on the concept of absolute truth.

If there were an absolute truth and lie detctors could measure it, then a lie detctor would work for anything. In actuality, neithe is true and we are left with a classic joke that mixes three important features: the real, the absurd, and innane preconceptions that mix the two.

This is a good comic.

in fact... "LOL"

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby The Scyphozoa » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:33 pm UTC

FlexGunship wrote:I actually interpreted the comic differently. Rather than a joke about the ability to detect earthquakes, it was satire on people who believe the lie detector is a tool for detecting lies. Furthermore, it is a satire on the concept of absolute truth.

If there were an absolute truth and lie detctors could measure it, then a lie detctor would work for anything. In actuality, neithe is true and we are left with a classic joke that mixes three important features: the real, the absurd, and innane preconceptions that mix the two.

This is a good comic.

in fact... "LOL"

You think too much.
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby clanders » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:47 pm UTC

At first I didn't understand. And then I did. And I wished for the time when I didn't understand, because at least then I thought it was smarter than me and not just stupid.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby meOrYou » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:02 pm UTC

Two very different worlds come together:
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So I say "Cool. Cause you know me."

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby peanutdustbomb » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

This set-up would only work if an omniscient being were hooked up to the lie detector. And then it would be good for all sorts of things.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Pi is exactly three » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:38 pm UTC

RogueCynic wrote:therefore pi is exactly three.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

Me321 wrote:I wish it worked like that.

Is the 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 digit of pi a 7?

This post looks like it belongs in not this thread.
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SirMustapha
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:47 pm UTC

PROTIP: "PROTIP" is a single word, not two.

PROTIP: That is NOT how one uses "PROTIP".

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:49 pm UTC

Why should it be a single word? What is the etymology of that?
And I'm -2.

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SirMustapha
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:51 pm UTC

exploto wrote:Even as a kid, when watching the movie Liar Liar with Jim Carey, I kept wondering, why doesn't he just try saying things like "there is currently no intelligent life in our solar system besides on Earth" or something? How about "the Riemann hypothesis is false?" "String theory is the true Theory of Everything" maybe? You could always go with boring 'ol "God exists." I mean seriously, he just went around worrying about telling people they look fat and stuff??


Damn straight! Why should the guy care with something completely unbelievable going on in his life, on the first place, or the possibility of him ruining his career, or ruining even more his relationship with his family? Who cares about personal problems, work and family when there's LOL, SCIENCE.

Maybe that's why "nerds" used to have such a bad reputation, after all.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:53 pm UTC

Rilian wrote:Why should it be a single word? What is the etymology of that?


PROTIP: every word means something and came from somewhere.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:57 pm UTC

protip isn't in wiktionary or merriam-webster.

I see no reason for it to be one word. It's a tip from a pro. According to normal english rules, it would be written as two words.
And I'm -2.

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demadaha
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby demadaha » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:04 pm UTC

There was one attempt in 1906 to use a seismograph as a lie detector. The man that was hooked up looked the interviewer in the eye and said "your mom is a beautiful and respectable woman." California has since banned such experiments.
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dataxpress
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby dataxpress » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:45 pm UTC

Rilian wrote:protip isn't in wiktionary or merriam-webster.

I see no reason for it to be one word. It's a tip from a pro. According to normal english rules, it would be written as two words.


Language is defined by those who use it, not by silly books. "Blog" is in the dictionary now. To say "protip" isn't a word, is to live in the past.

It has a meaning, it has a use, and people use it. Therefore, it's a word.

Also, i only visit the forums when there's an exceptionally bad XKCD. Maybe Randall knows this and is trying to drive forum use, then when it's at an all-time high, he'll launch the "One tip of a smaller belly" ad campaign and get rich overnight?
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

dataxpress wrote:
Rilian wrote:protip isn't in wiktionary or merriam-webster.

I see no reason for it to be one word. It's a tip from a pro. According to normal english rules, it would be written as two words.


Language is defined by those who use it, not by silly books. "Blog" is in the dictionary now. To say "protip" isn't a word, is to live in the past.

It has a meaning, it has a use, and people use it. Therefore, it's a word.
I didn't say it wasn't a word. :?

Edit: On a side note, it's funny how you still bring up the dictionary in your argument.
And I'm -2.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Atomsk » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:18 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:
Argon wrote:
Jez wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygraph_test
Exactly. A lot of handwaving and tea leaves reading around a machine that doesn't detect lies.


A polygraph detects, at best, nervousness. [...]

See, at first I thought it was kind of smart because I thought they were measuring the subjects nervousness, as caused by the earthquake...

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Mavrisa » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:00 pm UTC

Atomsk wrote:See, at first I thought it was kind of smart because I thought they were measuring the subjects nervousness, as caused by the earthquake...

That would work especially well if a massive object was placed somewhat precariously over him, so that a 6.0 or greater earthquake would kill him! :D
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby xmrsmoothx » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:07 pm UTC

Lately I've noticed the figure's heads aren't completley on their bodies.
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:23 pm UTC

xmrsmoothx wrote:Lately I've noticed the figure's heads aren't completley on their bodies.


This has gone on for quite some time, though. c.f. #325

Hover-head girl in the first frame.
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby binomine » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:27 pm UTC

Rilian wrote:Why should it be a single word? What is the etymology of that?
PROTIP: was used by Gamepro to give you tips from the pros.

Like ALL YOUR BASE, it became famous because of the sheer ludicrousness of some of the tips
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Unlike AYB, it is actually quite usable as well, so many people love copying it; however, if you're going to make a tribute, you've gotta do it right. It's PROTIP:

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby mootinator » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:43 pm UTC

I was just thinking over the weekend about how Hollywood polygraph test results look always look like something from a seismograph. As in a plot consisting of one line which suddenly goes completely bonkers when the subject is lying. Which, of course, by definition isn't even a polygraph.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:43 pm UTC

1) protip is one word

2) protips (as a meme) are used to convey information that's so obvious as to be useless

3) wtf is the joke even supposed to be? That polygraphs are magical devices that detect fundamental truths of the universe instead of maybe kind of reacting to behaviors that commonly appear when a person is lying? Or is it just Randall once again failing at absurd humor?

4) Why is the comic so small? I've seen bigger forum avatars. Is Randall just not going to bother with decent-sized comics if they're not obvious poser-grabs?

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:59 pm UTC

Kalos wrote:3) wtf is the joke even supposed to be? That polygraphs are magical devices that detect fundamental truths of the universe instead of maybe kind of reacting to behaviors that commonly appear when a person is lying? Or is it just Randall once again failing at absurd humor?


I think the joke is supposed to be:

1) Guys are studying earthquakes;
2) Guys realise an earthquake is going on;
3) Guys don't have a seismograph; instead, they have a lie detector;
4) Guy #1 wires up lie detector to Guy #2 ,and makes him lie, resulting in a graph that looks somewhat like the graph generated by a seismograph;
5) ???
6) PROFIT!

... that joke creates an amazingly irritating mix of contrivance and inanity.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:38 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Kalos wrote:3) wtf is the joke even supposed to be? That polygraphs are magical devices that detect fundamental truths of the universe instead of maybe kind of reacting to behaviors that commonly appear when a person is lying? Or is it just Randall once again failing at absurd humor?


I think the joke is supposed to be:

1) Guys are studying earthquakes;
2) Guys realise an earthquake is going on;
3) Guys don't have a seismograph; instead, they have a lie detector;
4) Guy #1 wires up lie detector to Guy #2 ,and makes him lie, resulting in a graph that looks somewhat like the graph generated by a seismograph;
5) ???
6) PROFIT!

... that joke creates an amazingly irritating mix of contrivance and inanity.


That's... even more unfunny than I feared.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby tallest » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:18 pm UTC

I like this substitute seismograph. But I'm concerned that it won't have much practical use unless someone can figure out a way to observe it's impulse response.
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:39 pm UTC

Kalos wrote:1) protip is one word

2) protips (as a meme) are used to convey information that's so obvious as to be useless
So he wasn't going for that meme.
And I'm -2.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:41 pm UTC

Rilian wrote:
Kalos wrote:1) protip is one word

2) protips (as a meme) are used to convey information that's so obvious as to be useless
So he wasn't going for that meme.


So, a webcomic that relies heavily on the usage of memes happens to construct something in the exact form of a known meme (albeit using it wrong) and magically isn't going for that meme? Try thinking with your brain next time, lil' slugger.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:42 pm UTC

Kalos wrote:
Rilian wrote:
Kalos wrote:1) protip is one word

2) protips (as a meme) are used to convey information that's so obvious as to be useless
So he wasn't going for that meme.


So, a webcomic that relies heavily on the usage of memes happens to construct something in the exact form of a known meme (albeit using it wrong) and magically isn't going for that meme? Try thinking with your brain next time, lil' slugger.

It wasn't in the exact form, though. It said pro tip, rather than protip, and the "tip" wasn't something obvious.
And I'm -2.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:44 pm UTC

Rilian wrote:
Kalos wrote:
Rilian wrote:
Kalos wrote:1) protip is one word

2) protips (as a meme) are used to convey information that's so obvious as to be useless
So he wasn't going for that meme.


So, a webcomic that relies heavily on the usage of memes happens to construct something in the exact form of a known meme (albeit using it wrong) and magically isn't going for that meme? Try thinking with your brain next time, lil' slugger.

It wasn't in the exact form, though. It said pro tip, rather than protip, and the "tip" wasn't something obvious.


Which is what's known on the internet as "doing it wrong" especially considered "protip" (or its grammatically correct cousin) has no wide usage in any other context other than the meme.

Sorry, you're still an idiot.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Bratmon » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:17 am UTC

When I was supposed to be doing my geology homework, I decided to read xkcd. It was a sign.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Adahaka » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:40 am UTC

ok, i made an xkcd account for this comic because i fear most people don't get it; or maybe i don't, but i had a very different inturpritation of the comic, and i found it very lol's worthy. I think he's saying that theoreticly the technology in a lie detector could be rigged to function as an earth-quake detector; and the point is that the people in the comic are doing it wrong, in that they are just puting someone in the machine and asking them if an earth-quake is happening and the machine well say if its true or not (so when he says "no" if the machine say's he's lieing then there is an earth-quake and vice-versa) but again the point is that that would not be the normal way of useing that machine to detect earth-quakes, just a rediculous alternative.
Thats my understanding of it anyway, and i found it funny.
(ya i know I have horrible spelling)

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby KindredChord » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:08 am UTC

Isn't this backwards? I don't know a whole lot about seismographs, but if he's shouting, could a seismograph possibly register that and shake, causing the subject of the "test" to appear to be lying, whatever they said?

So it should read: "In a pinch, a seismograph can double as a lie detector."

If so, this IS funny.

Have a great day.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby -.Mateo.- » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:17 am UTC

KindredChord wrote:Isn't this backwards? I don't know a whole lot about seismographs, but if he's shouting, could a seismograph possibly register that and shake, causing the subject of the "test" to appear to be lying, whatever they said?

So it should read: "In a pinch, a seismograph can double as a lie detector."

If so, this IS funny.

Have a great day.


the joke:
When asked if there is an earthquake while on a lie detector, if you answer "no", the reaction of the detector will be proportional to the strength of the earthquake (because if it's very strong, you'll be very conscious you are lying). On the other hand, if you wanted to use a seismograph as lie detector, you'd need someone that has a nervous twitch every time it lies and, the bigger the lie, the bigger th twitch. Of course, in this case you don't need a seismograph to tell you "this guy is either lying or epileptic"
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Persona » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:37 am UTC

caust1c wrote:I thought it was pretty funny, considering that there isn't a day that doesn't pass without earthquakes somewhere in the world.


I think this guy is right...

Also, maybe the number of major earthquakes in the recent past (indonesia, sichuan, haiti, chile) is the thing that prompted Randall.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby brucejtaylor » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:17 pm UTC

Meh.
I guess they can't all be winners.

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Ironicism » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:14 pm UTC

While not the best comic, I found it pretty funny. Mostly because I misinterpreted it and seen it as, a geologist is hooked up and he lies when he answers no because an earthquake happens every thirty second. And I'm ok with that,
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:13 am UTC

I wonder if you can use a barometer to messure office pressure?

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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby squareroot » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:33 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I wonder if you can use a barometer to messure office pressure?

I doubt it, but you could probably use a humidity detector. (not sure if a barometer responds this way...) The more pressure you have, the deeper you will breathe, the more humidity will come out in your breath. So more office pressure = More humidity.
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Re: "Seismograph" Discussion

Postby Madtentacle » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:20 pm UTC

FlexGunship wrote:I actually interpreted the comic differently. Rather than a joke about the ability to detect earthquakes, it was satire on people who believe the lie detector is a tool for detecting lies. Furthermore, it is a satire on the concept of absolute truth.

If there were an absolute truth and lie detctors could measure it, then a lie detctor would work for anything. In actuality, neithe is true and we are left with a classic joke that mixes three important features: the real, the absurd, and innane preconceptions that mix the two.

This is a good comic.

in fact... "LOL"


This is exactly how I interpreted it as well! Maybe put a bit more elegantly than i would have. It was not the best Randall has come up with, but good indeed!

EDIT: I also noted he used the term "lie detector" instead of polygraph. This is probably because a true lie detector does not exist.

yet.


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