0956: "Sharing"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

consuming
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:31 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby consuming » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

Thankfully, this tree wasn't cut down to make the paper for the book, The Giving Tree.

User avatar
Uzh
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:25 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Uzh » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:37 pm UTC

I still try to get a special meaning from panel #5. Who is Mike?

I don't know my memes, by the way.

Georg
"The problem is that humans have these darn biological limitations and if it gets too far from 293 K they'll start complaining, or die." http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=106000#p3483385

lhello
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby lhello » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

It would be nice if we could share without being used up--just like sharing a book. Wait! hold the presses, now there's a file format that makes that impossible. Guess we have to cut that tree down after all...

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2068
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Uzh wrote:I still try to get a special meaning from panel #5. Who is Mike?

I don't know my memes, by the way.

Georg


He might be Mack's brother. You know, the family name is Rowe.
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

Maurits
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:14 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Maurits » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

I consider The Giving Tree a horror story.

User avatar
philsov
Not a fan of Diane Kruger
Posts: 1350
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:58 pm UTC
Location: Texas

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby philsov » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

J L wrote:What is the common interpretation of the story? Is it really a critique of mindless taking, or does it advocate selflessness? At least the alt text seems to suggest a critique of the increasing commercialization of the net.


Advocating selflessness, imo. Just because the very last line is "and the tree was happy". There's plenty of back and forth but it both starts and ends with the tree.
The time and seasons go on, but all the rhymes and reasons are wrong
I know I'll discover after its all said and done I should've been a nun.

rcox1
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:23 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby rcox1 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

The giving tree is certainly a story whose meaning has changed in my mind over time. On the surface, it is a story about a tree that gives itself to make a boy happy. This is all well and good as it is right and honorable to make sacrifices so that children can reach adulthood, and in particular it is the nature of a parent to be consumed so the children may carry on. The process is sustainable because the child will become the parent and sacrifice for the new generation.

Taking the metaphor too far has issues. It could for instance be used to justify clear cutting of trees. We as humans have needs, and it is the nature of trees, or any natural resource, to meet those needs. There is no where that the boy who destroys the tree for his own selfish immediate wants consideres others, or the needs of the tree. While this is acceptable for small children, most parents, and society, expect a child be begin to develop out of sociopathy at a pretty early age, certainly by the teenage years.

Applying this to DRM, I think you could take the cartoon at least two different ways. First, because the book could not be read, the tree survives. If the book were not protected by DRM, the people might have take the book as an invitation to cut down the tree. The proper application of digital rights can be good.

Or is could be that DRM prevents the giving tree from giving/sharing. Of course this interpretation is difficult to defend because the giving tree only gave of itself without reservation. It never said, here, take some limbs, but give me time to regrow so I can share some more. No the gifts were not shared, but given at the ultimate cost.

So I think many of us would not like to be like the tree, have no choice in giving ourselves without any recompense with no assurance that such generosity would be propagated. Certainly XKCD is not distributed under such a license. I cannot take content and sell it to meet my wants. It is not protected under DRM, but is not the giving tree.

LBuckley
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby LBuckley » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Very nice, thought provoking comic, especially given the ambiguity of the original story.

Also, props to Randall for celebrating Shel Silverstein's birthday in such a lovely way. I believe Mr. Silverstein would have approved.

User avatar
Someguy945
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Someguy945 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:09 pm UTC

The Giving Tree is a very very short children's story. Anyone who hasn't read it should really spend 2 minutes to give it a quick read-through.

User avatar
rhomboidal
Posts: 801
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

Great, so I'm going to have to download and install the latest version of iTrees now?

therenaissanceman
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:45 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby therenaissanceman » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:31 pm UTC

rcox1 wrote:The giving tree is certainly a story whose meaning has changed in my mind over time. On the surface, it is a story about a tree that gives itself to make a boy happy. This is all well and good as it is right and honorable to make sacrifices so that children can reach adulthood, and in particular it is the nature of a parent to be consumed so the children may carry on. The process is sustainable because the child will become the parent and sacrifice for the new generation.

Taking the metaphor too far has issues. It could for instance be used to justify clear cutting of trees. We as humans have needs, and it is the nature of trees, or any natural resource, to meet those needs. There is no where that the boy who destroys the tree for his own selfish immediate wants consideres others, or the needs of the tree. While this is acceptable for small children, most parents, and society, expect a child be begin to develop out of sociopathy at a pretty early age, certainly by the teenage years.

Applying this to DRM, I think you could take the cartoon at least two different ways. First, because the book could not be read, the tree survives. If the book were not protected by DRM, the people might have take the book as an invitation to cut down the tree. The proper application of digital rights can be good.

Or is could be that DRM prevents the giving tree from giving/sharing. Of course this interpretation is difficult to defend because the giving tree only gave of itself without reservation. It never said, here, take some limbs, but give me time to regrow so I can share some more. No the gifts were not shared, but given at the ultimate cost.

So I think many of us would not like to be like the tree, have no choice in giving ourselves without any recompense with no assurance that such generosity would be propagated. Certainly XKCD is not distributed under such a license. I cannot take content and sell it to meet my wants. It is not protected under DRM, but is not the giving tree.

I originally saw it as a commentary on the state of copy protection. I respect the idea that people should be entitled to some reward for what they put into their work. However, copy protection nowadays isn't being used for respecting intellectual property so much as for making money, which disgusts me. Therefore, I viewed it as a kind of "screw you" to DRM because no one would ever read the book with DRM restrictions.

However, your take on it is rather insightful, and I hadn't actually taken the story of The Giving Tree into account.

EhloVader
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:17 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby EhloVader » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:54 pm UTC

tetsujin wrote:
hifi wrote:The thing I found funny was that she carries a laptop around, ready to whip out for any surprise USB ports.


Not only that, but a USB cable as well. I wonder if the tree has a B receptacle (which is typical for a device you'd plug a cable into) or an A plug (which you'd expect on a dead drop - allowing passers-by to plug computers directly in if they don't have a cable)? I'd be pretty surprised to see an A-A cable in someone's laptop bag...

The thing that gets me about dead drops is there's so much potential for mischief. Really, it's not safe to plug random USB connections into your computer. A malicious dead drop could do things like auto-run (if you have that enabled) some nasty software or give your laptop a surge and fry your USB ports. It may also be possible, if there are well-known devices out there with vulnerabilities in their host-side drivers, to identify as that device, causing the user (if they're easily manipulated, or if the OS makes this automatic) to download and install the driver, then send some data to the driver that causes the exploit to occur (though maybe given the nature of USB that's not too likely...)

I expect other vectors of attack wouldn't be very practical these days - like having the USB device appear as a Bluetooth device and then push a file to the host machine (I don't think OSes are so lax about Bluetooth security these days) or making it a networking device in the hopes that the machine will join a LAN and you'll be able to access file shares on the host or break in via the network connection (I don't know - would Windows or Mac automatically start using an ethernet adaptor if you plugged it in? Network Manager on Linux might...)


Even if you have USB auto run off, you can utilize the U3 partition on those drives to emulate and run as a CD... if coded well, the payload doesn't even have to be on that partition, the USB drive partition should immediately follow the letter assigned to the CD drive. I also wonder what could be done with eyefi cards as USB. If the WiFi might work through the host.

If you wish to infect your computer, or you are the type that will stick anything into your computer check out http://deaddrops.com/ they show you how to do this, and also where you can go to find one.

dp2
Posts: 346
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby dp2 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:23 pm UTC

The fact that there are so many takes on The Giving Tree in just two pages of posts is a testament to its awesomeness.

lastres0rt
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:37 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby lastres0rt » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:50 pm UTC

tetsujin wrote:
hifi wrote:The thing I found funny was that she carries a laptop around, ready to whip out for any surprise USB ports.


Not only that, but a USB cable as well. I wonder if the tree has a B receptacle (which is typical for a device you'd plug a cable into) or an A plug (which you'd expect on a dead drop - allowing passers-by to plug computers directly in if they don't have a cable)? I'd be pretty surprised to see an A-A cable in someone's laptop bag...


Reminds me of earlier this semester when I went "Why the fuck do I have a 15' USB extension cable?"

*Three hours later, looking to charge from my lofted bed* "Oh..."

So... not supremely surprising.

Turing Machine
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:48 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Turing Machine » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

radtea wrote:
Azkyroth wrote:What does concern for FAIR anything have to do with current copyright laws?


"Fair" is a code-word for "my demands are totally reasonable and anyone who disagrees is a grasping ingrate who kicks puppies". This implied meaning is independent of political orientation: union thugs and sociopathic bankers are equally likely to use it.

There are any number of meaningful words that can be used if one wants to be clear: equitable, moderate and reasonable come to mind. That people use the morally loaded and epistemically vacuous "fair" instead demonstrates either muddy thinking or muddy morals, or both.


So Democrats and other Democrats are equally likely to use it?

Really running the gamut of political orientation!

alreadytaken4536
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:56 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby alreadytaken4536 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:37 pm UTC

hifi wrote:The thing I found funny was that she carries a laptop around, ready to whip out for any surprise USB ports.


Erm, lots of people carry around laptops. In backpacks usually.

Rzah
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Rzah » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:39 pm UTC

So the tree mirrors the one in the book, in that it's giving the protagonists shade and a story which they take for granted and ultimately ignore, but it's also graphically mirroring the tree from the kindle app, the Amazon lending schemes and the commercialisation of sharing.

As usual I'm both impressed and a little unsure of what the moral is.

Captain Chaos
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:12 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Captain Chaos » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:10 pm UTC

Fuck DRM, and fuck the companies who insist on lumbering us with it...

Luckily, most DRM sucks and is easy to break. I purchase Mobipocket and Adobe Digital Editions (EPUB) ebooks regulary, all "protected" by DRM, and all cracked within seconds of arriving on my computer so I can read them on whichever hardware I want...

User avatar
J L
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:03 am UTC
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby J L » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:05 pm UTC

therenaissanceman wrote:
rcox1 wrote:The giving tree is certainly a story whose meaning has changed in my mind over time. On the surface, it is a story about a tree that gives itself to make a boy happy. This is all well and good as it is right and honorable to make sacrifices so that children can reach adulthood, and in particular it is the nature of a parent to be consumed so the children may carry on. The process is sustainable because the child will become the parent and sacrifice for the new generation.

Taking the metaphor too far has issues. It could for instance be used to justify clear cutting of trees. We as humans have needs, and it is the nature of trees, or any natural resource, to meet those needs. There is no where that the boy who destroys the tree for his own selfish immediate wants consideres others, or the needs of the tree. While this is acceptable for small children, most parents, and society, expect a child be begin to develop out of sociopathy at a pretty early age, certainly by the teenage years.

Applying this to DRM, I think you could take the cartoon at least two different ways. First, because the book could not be read, the tree survives. If the book were not protected by DRM, the people might have take the book as an invitation to cut down the tree. The proper application of digital rights can be good.

Or is could be that DRM prevents the giving tree from giving/sharing. Of course this interpretation is difficult to defend because the giving tree only gave of itself without reservation. It never said, here, take some limbs, but give me time to regrow so I can share some more. No the gifts were not shared, but given at the ultimate cost.

So I think many of us would not like to be like the tree, have no choice in giving ourselves without any recompense with no assurance that such generosity would be propagated. Certainly XKCD is not distributed under such a license. I cannot take content and sell it to meet my wants. It is not protected under DRM, but is not the giving tree.

I originally saw it as a commentary on the state of copy protection. I respect the idea that people should be entitled to some reward for what they put into their work. However, copy protection nowadays isn't being used for respecting intellectual property so much as for making money, which disgusts me. Therefore, I viewed it as a kind of "screw you" to DRM because no one would ever read the book with DRM restrictions.

However, your take on it is rather insightful, and I hadn't actually taken the story of The Giving Tree into account.


I would still tend to the "screw you, DRM" approach. The people who installed the DRM measure are obviously unwilling to give, regardless the irony of what they're trying to sell. But their approach is unsuccessful -- their would-be customers are still looking for stuff they can get for free.

While it is certainly correct that giving in the sense of the original story isn't the same as just sharing, "giving at the ultimate cost" doesn't really seem to exist in the digital world any more. Sharing, which in most cases means creating copies, doesn't destroy the original. Which makes it even more cynical to charge people for it (especially in cases like this, when the motivation is clearly not to protect the artist's but some company's interests).

User avatar
ysth
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:21 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby ysth » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:42 am UTC

Maurits wrote:I consider The Giving Tree a horror story.


This. It's not just depressing, it is sick sick sick, teaching a lesson no one should learn.
A math joke: r = | |csc(θ)|+|sec(θ)| |-| |csc(θ)|-|sec(θ)| |

finitepenguin
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:42 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby finitepenguin » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:49 am UTC

This is by far my favorite XKCD comic but I feel like it is being misunderstood, y'all are waaaay over-analyzing 'the giving tree'. The tree wants to give everything it can, it makes the tree happy just knowing that he can make the boy happy.

So anyway here comes the DRM saying it's not up to the tree anymore what it can and can't give away. The kids couldn't care less because they don't know what they're missing, but the tree's love of sharing itself with others is ruined.

User avatar
J L
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:03 am UTC
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby J L » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:43 am UTC

finitepenguin wrote:This is by far my favorite XKCD comic but I feel like it is being misunderstood, y'all are waaaay over-analyzing 'the giving tree'. The tree wants to give everything it can, it makes the tree happy just knowing that he can make the boy happy.

So anyway here comes the DRM saying it's not up to the tree anymore what it can and can't give away. The kids couldn't care less because they don't know what they're missing, but the tree's love of sharing itself with others is ruined.


I think you're right, and probably we're putting more into it than Randall intended, but still it's fun. Teaches a nice lesson: take a very strong, but somewhat ambivalent story, and put it in another context, where people seem to be unaware of it, to convey another, maybe ironic meaning. What more could one want, as an interpreter? :)

jordigh
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:21 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby jordigh » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:25 am UTC

Man, I wish people would stop saying "this book is protected by copyright/DRM". Protected from what? Books are not hurt when you copy them. If you really want to say anything is protected, you could argue the author is being protected from not losing a potential purchase, making the tenuous assumption that one copy = one purchase not made.

I much prefer "this book is restricted by DRM", which is much more descriptive of what DRM does to the book.

User avatar
hifi
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:27 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby hifi » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:46 am UTC

alreadytaken4536 wrote:
hifi wrote:The thing I found funny was that she carries a laptop around, ready to whip out for any surprise USB ports.


Erm, lots of people carry around laptops. In backpacks usually.


I know people carry laptops (in backpacks, usually), but I'm after the reason for it. I don't know about other people, but I tend to leave my laptop at home whenever I go out. As the last panel shows, they were in no hurry to get anywhere, nor had they made plans, so I doubt they'd have had the foresight to take their laptop *just in case*. It's possible that Mike needs their laptop, but as I said, going to see him seems a spur of the moment kind of thing. Tell me this - how many times how you gone outside, not to do anything, just for shits and giggles, and taken your laptop? Next time you go for a walk, see if you take your laptop. Next time you go to town (for non-laptop related business), see if you take your laptop.

2 things. Either:
1, blah blah kids these days blah can't spend more than 5 minutes away from a computer screen blah blah read a bloody book for once blah blah
2, xkcd fans are massive nerds who see no reason why they shouldn't take their laptop out on a walk.

Sorry if this sounds snarky, it's really not meant to be. I have just woken up (and apparently, could think of nothing better to do than to put forth an argument as to why people in comics do certain things. I <3 xkcd).

Invisiblemoose
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:15 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Invisiblemoose » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:23 am UTC

hifi wrote:I know people carry laptops (in backpacks, usually), but I'm after the reason for it. I don't know about other people, but I tend to leave my laptop at home whenever I go out.

A laptop is a *mobile* computer. The whole point is to take it with you.

User avatar
hifi
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:27 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby hifi » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:31 pm UTC

Invisiblemoose wrote:
hifi wrote:I know people carry laptops (in backpacks, usually), but I'm after the reason for it. I don't know about other people, but I tend to leave my laptop at home whenever I go out.

A laptop is a *mobile* computer. The whole point is to take it with you.


Well, yes, but hopefully not everywhere you go, though. It's mobile, yes, but only because people didn't fancy lugging around their monitor, tower, mouse and keyboard every time they needed their computer somewhere else. The key word being 'needed'. If I go out for a walk, I don't take my laptop, even though I know perfectly well it's possible to. It's also possible to keep it in my car but I don't. Why? Because I don't need it every single time I leave the house. If I'm going away for several days, then I might consider taking it, but the fact that it's possible to take it bears no relation to whether I take it or not. My point still stands - why take a laptop with you if there's no discernible reason for it? Are you saying that the answer to that is 'because you can'?

Psychicmind
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:07 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Psychicmind » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

hifi wrote:
Invisiblemoose wrote:
hifi wrote:I know people carry laptops (in backpacks, usually), but I'm after the reason for it. I don't know about other people, but I tend to leave my laptop at home whenever I go out.

A laptop is a *mobile* computer. The whole point is to take it with you.


Well, yes, but hopefully not everywhere you go, though. It's mobile, yes, but only because people didn't fancy lugging around their monitor, tower, mouse and keyboard every time they needed their computer somewhere else. The key word being 'needed'. If I go out for a walk, I don't take my laptop, even though I know perfectly well it's possible to. It's also possible to keep it in my car but I don't. Why? Because I don't need it every single time I leave the house. If I'm going away for several days, then I might consider taking it, but the fact that it's possible to take it bears no relation to whether I take it or not. My point still stands - why take a laptop with you if there's no discernible reason for it? Are you saying that the answer to that is 'because you can'?

A college student might take their laptop everywhere they go on campus. Say you just finished a class where you took notes on your laptop. If your dorm/apartment is far from your class, you might decide to take it with you while hanging out with your friends, which I personally think best fits. Or perhaps a person who takes their laptop to work doesn't go home immediately afterwords, so they have to take their laptop with them.

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

Image

This is from, what? Three years ago?

Gillian
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Gillian » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Avatar?

User avatar
Richard.
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:29 am UTC
Location: On the internets
Contact:

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Richard. » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Image

This is from, what? Three years ago?


And nothing ever changes within 3 years? You definitely did, between the ages of 15-18.
we live in a beautiful world.

Spoiler:
Image

fanofbangelthor
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:32 am UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby fanofbangelthor » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:52 am UTC

Psychicmind wrote:
hifi wrote:
Invisiblemoose wrote:
hifi wrote:I know people carry laptops (in backpacks, usually), but I'm after the reason for it. I don't know about other people, but I tend to leave my laptop at home whenever I go out.

A laptop is a *mobile* computer. The whole point is to take it with you.


Well, yes, but hopefully not everywhere you go, though. It's mobile, yes, but only because people didn't fancy lugging around their monitor, tower, mouse and keyboard every time they needed their computer somewhere else. The key word being 'needed'. If I go out for a walk, I don't take my laptop, even though I know perfectly well it's possible to. It's also possible to keep it in my car but I don't. Why? Because I don't need it every single time I leave the house. If I'm going away for several days, then I might consider taking it, but the fact that it's possible to take it bears no relation to whether I take it or not. My point still stands - why take a laptop with you if there's no discernible reason for it? Are you saying that the answer to that is 'because you can'?

A college student might take their laptop everywhere they go on campus. Say you just finished a class where you took notes on your laptop. If your dorm/apartment is far from your class, you might decide to take it with you while hanging out with your friends, which I personally think best fits. Or perhaps a person who takes their laptop to work doesn't go home immediately afterwords, so they have to take their laptop with them.


I'm a college student at an engineering school. I feel naked without my laptop. Everywhere I am, it is. I keep it in my messenger bag with my keys, wallet, phone, etc., which I can't keep in my pants because I don't have big enough pockets.

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:50 pm UTC

Richard. wrote:And nothing ever changes within 3 years? You definitely did, between the ages of 15-18.


But this isn't about me, right? If Randall "changed", then give me one reason to care.

Satyrwyld
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Satyrwyld » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:07 pm UTC

ysth wrote:
Maurits wrote:I consider The Giving Tree a horror story.


This. It's not just depressing, it is sick sick sick, teaching a lesson no one should learn.


Not sure what lesson you're learning here. Moral of the original is the old saying "it is better to give than to receive." Something no one has mentioned: nowhere in the story does it EVER say the boy is happy. It ONLY says the tree is happy. There's no indication that getting everything he wants is the least bit satisfying to the boy - indeed, he only continues to want more and more. The tree, however, is consistently happy because it is helping someone it loves.

User avatar
RocketRick
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:06 pm UTC
Location: Van Nuys, CA

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby RocketRick » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

fanofbangelthor wrote:[...] which I can't keep in my pants because I don't have big enough pockets.


This just needed to be quoted out of context.

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:29 pm UTC

Satyrwyld wrote:There's no indication that getting everything he wants is the least bit satisfying to the boy - indeed, he only continues to want more and more. The tree, however, is consistently happy because it is helping someone it loves.


So one should feel happy simply for executing the act of supposedly helping someone, even if such "help" may actually be making things worse? As in, countries should feel "happy" in giving money to poor countries in Africa even if such acts only increase the corruption and social inequality?

Yes, I'm starting to think that the book is, indeed, very sick.

drone
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:21 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby drone » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:24 pm UTC

Uzh wrote:I still try to get a special meaning from panel #5. Who is Mike?


Since the theme involved about someone trying to share something, but being unable to due to DRM... I'd presume Mike Masnick from Techdirt?

scarletmanuka
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:29 am UTC
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby scarletmanuka » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Image
This is from, what? Three years ago?

Not sure what your point is here. That one seemed to be to be a clear case of self-mockery, given all the other DRM comics over the years...
Digital Rights Management
Content Protection
Steal This Comic
Music DRM (another one in the self-mockery category)
Collections
and so on...

Maurits
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:14 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Maurits » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:49 pm UTC

Satyrwyld wrote:
ysth wrote:
Maurits wrote:I consider The Giving Tree a horror story.


This. It's not just depressing, it is sick sick sick, teaching a lesson no one should learn.


Not sure what lesson you're learning here. Moral of the original is the old saying "it is better to give than to receive." Something no one has mentioned: nowhere in the story does it EVER say the boy is happy. It ONLY says the tree is happy. There's no indication that getting everything he wants is the least bit satisfying to the boy - indeed, he only continues to want more and more. The tree, however, is consistently happy because it is helping someone it loves.


Basically, it bothers me because I wouldn't want my daughter to grow up to be emotionally dependent on an abusive partner.

I have a very similar problem with Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/matthew_van_eerde/archive/2011/08/02/disney-princess-pedigree-belle.aspx

Satyrwyld
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby Satyrwyld » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:08 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Satyrwyld wrote:There's no indication that getting everything he wants is the least bit satisfying to the boy - indeed, he only continues to want more and more. The tree, however, is consistently happy because it is helping someone it loves.


So one should feel happy simply for executing the act of supposedly helping someone, even if such "help" may actually be making things worse? As in, countries should feel "happy" in giving money to poor countries in Africa even if such acts only increase the corruption and social inequality?

Yes, I'm starting to think that the book is, indeed, very sick.


This (and the emotional abuse comparison) are taking things a bit far. The Giving Tree is not a sociopolitical commentary, it's an analysis that the one who did the helping is much happier than the one who takes and takes. A corrolary to this supports your point: simply giving someone whatever they want won't make them happy, is will only make the giver feel better. If your aim is to solve the problem, and make the other person happy, then you need to do more than just blindly hand things over.

On the note of emotional abuse, it should be noted that the line is "and the tree was happy." Not "and the tree was living in denial that these acts were ultimately self destructive and it was only doing this out of desperation not to be alone." Unless we assume an unreliable narrator, which is highly unlikely given the genre, we must accept that the tree is genuinely fulfilled by the acts, and can afford to lose the bits of itself it gives the boy without undue pain. There is no evidence the tree's quality of life is diminished by the act of giving.... until the trunk is cut down, at which point the state of the tree's happiness becomes "but not really."

The tree's behavior is a model for parenting, as well. It wants its "child" to stay a child and play with it forever. It's not really unhappy until the child goes away and may never come back - it leaves home (to college, a career, etc.) and journeys outside where the parent can help it.

"Is this a sad tale? Well, it is sad in the same way that life is depressing. We are all needy, and, if we are lucky and any good, we grow old using others and getting used up. Tears fall in our lives like leaves from a tree. Our finitude is not something to be regretted or despised, however; it is what makes giving (and receiving) possible. The more you blame the boy, the more you have to fault human existence. The more you blame the tree, the more you have to fault the very idea of parenting. Should the tree's giving be contingent on the boy's gratitude? If it were, if fathers and mothers waited on reciprocity before caring for their young, then we would all be doomed."

- Timothy Jackson, Stanford University

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: 0956: "Sharing"

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:38 pm UTC

Satyrwyld wrote:This (and the emotional abuse comparison) are taking things a bit far. The Giving Tree is not a sociopolitical commentary, it's an analysis that the one who did the helping is much happier than the one who takes and takes.


I agree, the sociopolitical analogy was a bit too extreme and out of the scope here. What I think, though, is that "feeling happy for giving" is also a form of selfishness, isn't it? If you feel happy solely for doing something you think is good, without considering the actual consequences of your acts, you're just being selfish and irresponsible.

I also understand that the book is quite certainly an analogy to parenting, but, folks... that's not how parenting works. A parent who is willing to make his kid a spoiled brat by giving it everything without measure and without second thought is being a bad parent. The book never hints that, at some point, the tree/parent must say "no", and a child must hear a lot of "no" as well as "yes" in order to mature. If this Giving Tree is a role model for parents, then I understand perfectly why we have 12-year-olds beating up their teachers in school.

If parenting was all about giving and not taking, it would be a lot easier than it actually is.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 99 guests