0898: "Chain of Command"

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Kirby
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0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Kirby » Fri May 13, 2011 5:11 am UTC

Image

Alt-Text: Themistocles said his infant son ruled all Greece -- "Athens rules all Greece; I control Athens; my wife controls me; and my infant son controls her." Thus, nowadays the world is controlled by whoever buys advertising time on Dora the Explorer.

This is actually something I've pondered quite a bit. I suppose there's always a back door, isn't there? ;)

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rigwarl
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby rigwarl » Fri May 13, 2011 5:13 am UTC

Why would the engineer who installed it want anything to do with it afterwards?

Also, surely the military would have inspected it so that it couldn't be remotely activated.
Last edited by rigwarl on Fri May 13, 2011 5:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby EnRohbi » Fri May 13, 2011 5:14 am UTC

Kinda clever.

The quote in the alt-text was my favourite part, though not for entertainment.

Siguy
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Siguy » Fri May 13, 2011 5:16 am UTC

This comic had to have been inspired by this recent Onion article.

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TGARCH-M
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby TGARCH-M » Fri May 13, 2011 5:17 am UTC

meh.. the last funny one to me was the null hypothesis one.

the alt-text is better than the strip though here.
Spoiler:
Ha!

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Kirby
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Kirby » Fri May 13, 2011 5:20 am UTC

rigwarl wrote:Also, surely the military would have inspected it so that it couldn't be remotely activated.


If I were a betting man, my bet would be on a clever engineer over the military inspector.

That said, if the military has the foresight to hire a dull engineer to install the button....

hetas
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby hetas » Fri May 13, 2011 5:20 am UTC

I installed The Red Button. Now bow before me.

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muntoo
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby muntoo » Fri May 13, 2011 5:38 am UTC

The alt text was funnier.

... Press the easy button!

Image
Last edited by muntoo on Tue May 17, 2011 12:21 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

ijuin
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby ijuin » Fri May 13, 2011 6:18 am UTC

In actuality there isn't a single "big red button", but rather a locked briefcase dubbed "the nuclear football", which contains a book with the authorization codes and counter-codes for the various planned nuclear launch scenarios. This briefcase is carried by one of the President's Secret Service escorts (to whom it is supposedly handcuffed) whenever he leaves the White House. In the event that the President chooses to authorize a launch, he would telephone certain people in the military command and use these authorization codes. This is meant to ensure that, unlike with an actual "big red button", nobody can push it by accident, and only the President himself can authorize it (or Vice President if the President is unavailable, or whoever is highest on the Presidential Succession list if everybody above him is missing-in-action or dead).

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RockoTDF
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby RockoTDF » Fri May 13, 2011 6:33 am UTC

Not to mention that no nuclear weapon can be launched by a single person. Still a funny comic.
Just because it is not physics doesn't mean it is not science.
http://www.iomalfunction.blogspot.com <---- A collection of humorous one liners and science jokes.

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Philbert
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Philbert » Fri May 13, 2011 6:48 am UTC

You know, I can totally live with that, because Dora the Explorer is cool. I watch it with my kids every morning.

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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri May 13, 2011 8:15 am UTC

if the engineer purposefully made the button not work, but the only way to see if it worked was to press it, how would anyone know if it worked unless it had been pressed.

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Mr. Burke
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Mr. Burke » Fri May 13, 2011 8:27 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:Not to mention that no nuclear weapon can be launched by a single person.

Unless you're British, apparently.

collegestudent22
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby collegestudent22 » Fri May 13, 2011 9:01 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:Not to mention that no nuclear weapon can be launched by a single person. Still a funny comic.


They are launched by two keys put in in sequence by Air Force officers in a bunker. Clearly, one of them could kill the other and put both keys in and turn them simultaneously by building a contraption to do so. Very complicated, but still quite possible.

cyberjacob
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby cyberjacob » Fri May 13, 2011 9:25 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:Not to mention that no nuclear weapon can be launched by a single person. Still a funny comic.

My wire-snips, multimeter and signal-generator probe beg to differ...

gerardw
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby gerardw » Fri May 13, 2011 10:14 am UTC

SECDEF not in nuclear chain of command.

collegestudent22
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby collegestudent22 » Fri May 13, 2011 10:21 am UTC

gerardw wrote:SECDEF not in nuclear chain of command.


Neither are the Unified Commanders, are they? I understood that the President relayed instructions directly to the commanders of the nuclear bases if they were to be used. Although, I'm not too sure about that now...

cynicalbastard
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby cynicalbastard » Fri May 13, 2011 10:35 am UTC

I would certainly prefer the depicted chain of command
Poo-tee-weet?

GalacticCowboy
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby GalacticCowboy » Fri May 13, 2011 10:46 am UTC

No Firefly jokes? :)

I think AvatarIII hit the nail on the head. The person capable of determining whether the "big red button" actually does anything has control (in that scenario) over the one tasked to push it.

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Kirby
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Kirby » Fri May 13, 2011 12:08 pm UTC

One thing that's always bugged me about the whole big red button thing: if you push it, where would the missiles go? It seems like you'd need to specify.

MrCorvin
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby MrCorvin » Fri May 13, 2011 12:11 pm UTC

There is a morning radio show/tv show called Mike and Mike in the Morning that discussed the Red Button. It was during the GWB administration. They got to tour the oval office when they did a charity children's T-ball game and they saw "The red button." They were geeking out over it and the person that was giving the tour said "He pushes the red button all the time, when he does it means he wants coffee."

nowhereman
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby nowhereman » Fri May 13, 2011 12:18 pm UTC

I think I will ask the important question. Are the advertisers for Dora the Explorer good or evil?
"God does not play dice with... Yahtzee!" - Little known quote from Einstein

JamesP
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby JamesP » Fri May 13, 2011 12:23 pm UTC

Kirby wrote:One thing that's always bugged me about the whole big red button thing: if you push it, where would the missiles go? It seems like you'd need to specify.


It's already done: They're aimed at the capitals and military installations of various countries no one likes. All you have to do is press go.

Of course if.... I dunno, Peru launched an ICBM attack then it'd have to change, but that's not likely.

orgella
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby orgella » Fri May 13, 2011 12:27 pm UTC

Dora the explorer? really? Those girls have got to be more Glee aged.

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Kirby
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Kirby » Fri May 13, 2011 12:35 pm UTC

JamesP wrote:
Kirby wrote:One thing that's always bugged me about the whole big red button thing: if you push it, where would the missiles go? It seems like you'd need to specify.


It's already done: They're aimed at the capitals and military installations of various countries no one likes. All you have to do is press go.

Of course if.... I dunno, Peru launched an ICBM attack then it'd have to change, but that's not likely.


If we were really in a situation where we'd need to use our nuclear missiles, I think we might be better off to just have them aimed at ourselves and end our misery.

dhruvfire
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby dhruvfire » Fri May 13, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

Saw the title before the comic loaded. Desperately hoped it was a firefly joke.
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here
-Jayne

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zingus
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby zingus » Fri May 13, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

This strip is pretty naive, and full of that geeks rule the world BS, MAKE™ built a (modest) fortune upon.

xkcd can do a lot better than that, come on.

1) (as said above) it doesn't work this way: no red buttons, activation codes, nucular football, whatever.

2) Review. There is a lot of review in the military. And testing. And review. Messing too much with those is a crime
that can cost your life. Every military product costs 10 times more than the same product made by privates for
privates for a reason. (Ok that US ARMY is running tight on money, but not THAT tight)

Power sometimes comes from putting geeks one against the other, and the internet is a big social experiment
(initiated by the military) to show how this can be easily accomplished. (and they kinda long, for being put
one against the other, innit?)
Last edited by zingus on Fri May 13, 2011 1:06 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby dr7 » Fri May 13, 2011 1:06 pm UTC

Engineer is credit to team?
dr7: king of the wicker people

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MiB24601
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby MiB24601 » Fri May 13, 2011 1:23 pm UTC

Immediately before I saw this comic, I read this blog post which had a similar idea behind it:
http://www.younglawyersblog.com/post/A- ... utter.aspx

The moral of the story: unless you control the butter, you’re not as important as you think you are.[1]

[1] Line stolen from Above The Law (abovethelaw.com)
"There's no point being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes." - The Fourth Doctor, Doctor Who

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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby jqavins » Fri May 13, 2011 1:34 pm UTC

orgella wrote:Dora the explorer? really? Those girls have got to be more Glee aged.

Glee? Well, whatever they watch I think you're right that it's not Dora.

My daughter watched Dora a lot when younger. I think it's got a few good points, but on balance is brain rotting junk. A few words of Spanish don't outweigh "maps" that only show one path, sticky tape that fixes everything (duct tape not withstanding) and waterfalls in the middle of the ocean (I kid you not.) Problem solving skills are not built by depicting solutions that shouldn't work but are shown to. Still, if it could get our rulers' kids to tell their parents "Let's stop and think," that would make it all worthwhile.

(Now Blue's Clues; there was a show!)
-- Joe
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cphite
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby cphite » Fri May 13, 2011 1:51 pm UTC

Kirby wrote:One thing that's always bugged me about the whole big red button thing: if you push it, where would the missiles go? It seems like you'd need to specify.


There isn't any red button. There is a briefcase full of multiple codes; each code represents a different launch scenario. For example, there is a scenario for Russia, a scenario for China, etc. Based on which code is used, that scenario is employed, and a set of missiles launches with their targets already set. The scenarios cover all of the major situations - ie. countries that have the potential to launch a massive strike against us.

If a smaller attack is needed against non-preprogrammed targets, then obviously there would be time needed to program the targets, and when that was complete the president would authorize the launch. Hopefully in the meantime we'd have diplomats attempting to make that unnecessary.

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rhhardin
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby rhhardin » Fri May 13, 2011 2:28 pm UTC

It left out the guy who last altered the compiler source, and the microcode guy, and the chip guy, and the chip software guy, and the chip computer assisted design guy, and the compiler guy again.

See Ken Thompson's Turing lecture http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/ken/trust.html

Blarg
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Blarg » Fri May 13, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

Boooooring.

Sioni
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Sioni » Fri May 13, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

Siguy thinks it's inspired by an Onion article,
This comic had to have been inspired by this recent Onion article.


and MrCorvin says that he's heard that it means the president wants coffee.
...the person that was giving the tour said "He pushes the red button all the time, when he does it means he wants coffee."


These get juxtaposed in the movie "Monsters Vs. Aliens", and that's the first thought that came to my mind.

Seems to me that reductio ad absurdum sort of ruins the joke.

wumpus
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby wumpus » Fri May 13, 2011 3:34 pm UTC

zingus wrote:This strip is pretty naive, and full of that geeks rule the world BS, MAKE™ built a (modest) fortune upon.


Oddly enough, I've heard enough to convince me that all it takes to wipe a good sized country off the map is two sailors, one of which knows some minimal details of the equipment in his boat*.

* Since this is not only the Navy, but the silent service, it helps a great deal if the sailors can repair the equipment on board without having to go home.

savuporo
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby savuporo » Fri May 13, 2011 4:09 pm UTC

Again, someone is missing the difference between engineers and technicians.

masakatsu
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby masakatsu » Fri May 13, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

jqavins wrote:
orgella wrote:Dora the explorer? really? Those girls have got to be more Glee aged.

(Now Blue's Clues; there was a show!)


I have to agree ob Blue's Clues. I want to use Burns or Patton next time I need all of the managers in my division to sign-off on something. Maybe THEN I will get a sign-off in less then a month. Got down to only three of them and it STILL takes a month! :x

But I'm not angry...
I will not attack your math, just your epistemology.

You think you have it bad, I teach Intro to Project Management to Undergrads.

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TGARCH-M
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby TGARCH-M » Fri May 13, 2011 5:28 pm UTC

one of which knows some minimal details of the equipment in his boat*.


That is a misuse of the word "which."

It bothers me because you are at level II, not level III.

Level I is the kind of people who say "Hey mom, can Alex and me go to the mall."

Level II is the kind of people who think they have learned the rule when they say, "Hey, give that food to Alex and I."

Level III is people who KNOW the rules and say, "Hey, give that food to Alex and me. She and I are going to the mall that I adore."

I HAD TO TELL YOU. NOW GO TELL THE WORLD!!
Spoiler:
Ha!

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from canada
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby from canada » Fri May 13, 2011 6:01 pm UTC

this has to be the laziest piece of crap randal has bothered to shit out in years

Jonathan589
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Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

Postby Jonathan589 » Fri May 13, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

Some of the comments in this thread make me wonder why the writers zoom in so fast every time, and they tempt me to invoke Godwin, but whatever about the detailed accuracy of Randall's awareness of the US's system of button-pushing to protect us all, I think the comic's simplicity is elegant, the mouse-over text works and I wonder if the red-button engineer installed a back door while s/he was at it.

(My descendants prefer Diego to Dora, and can count up to nine in Spanish from Handy Mannie)


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