1032: "Networking"

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:05 am UTC

madjo wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:My first thought was did he mail the polecat to Connr Clark. I love how Beret Guy gets less intelligent with each panel. Handlebox? I need to remember that one.

So you thought that photocopying a burrito is an intelligent thing to do?



This does not necessarily imply a lack of intelligence so much as a penchant for randomness.

CasualSax
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby CasualSax » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:14 am UTC

I see the shenanigan humor, but I've got to say that this comic is way too hard to follow. On a side note, I'm pretty much over bashing networking and upper management/business majors in general. Regardless of what you've learned from Dilbert, there is a lot to running a successful business. =\

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby CasualSax » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:30 am UTC

Duplicate post.
Last edited by CasualSax on Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:30 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby CasualSax » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:30 am UTC

JimsMaher wrote:Begs the question: "What is the XKCD business model?"

Well, if you consider this comic as an outline for some such model (anti-reductio ad absurdum) ...
Consider that the popularity in general of this comic is the networking of the comic "Networking" 1032.
Specifically: water-coolers, cork-boards, refrigerators, hyperlinks, this very forum, et al. are all a portion of the greater buzz that is XKCD's expanding circle of influence.
Beret guy is Randall, the polecat is the brand (a skunk because the brand necessarily doesn't take itself seriously ... i.e. it stinks and says as much about itself), the Connr Clark from Eusocial Media Ventures (who has a name because he is the antithesis of a typical character of the comic) represents Average Business Man interested in something like XKCD .. which has alot of traffic, as portrayed by the brief-case full of cash. Yes, the cash is just website-traffic.

XKCD has a Creative Commons license and no ads.
Beret Guy eats the business card out of starvation and a french-like disdain ... Although, the XKCD store has plenty of swag to buy, so maybe Randall isn't starving due to this venture, so maybe the money does just represent money ... but I doubt it. When he asks for more delicious business cards, he could be thinking that the commercial interest in his webcomic is flattering.

XKCD swag is out there, but in my entire life I have seen just one "No Raptors" T-shirt, one Citation Needed bumper sticker, and no other XKCD merchandise IRL. But I have seen countless XKCD comics printed and placed on cork-boards, office doors, windows, cubicles, etc.
You're right Randall, you business model and comic stink.


Lets say Randall makes a net income of $5 per item he sells on average. If he wants to make $50,000 a year, he would have to sell 10,000 items annually - or about 28 items a day. Of course, this revenue does not include any outside jobs such as custom comics or guest lectures. Assuming he only sells to US customers, even if we are extremely generous and say one out of 25k people have an xkcd item, the odds that you see them while they are displaying it is slim.

Regardless, the key here is brand loyalty. Yes, he could plaster us with ads and make some good short term capital, but in the long run he has a better reputation and better brand loyalty for not doing so.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Daedalus733 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:17 am UTC

Ferrets are domesticated polecats. A group of ferrets is called a "business". A possible explanation for the alt text. Just thought I'd mention it, since I didn't see anyone else having done so.

Note: I hate that I know this. I don't like ferrets, but my family does.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Tova » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:59 am UTC

One for people who like random humour, I guess.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby CanadianNomad » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:04 pm UTC

I thought the comic was referring to how there seems to be no relation between brains and money, or perhaps an inverse correlation. Certainly holds true in my interactions with business people.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:15 pm UTC

454Casull wrote:First, the message was that communicating poorly leads to unexpected and usually undesirable results. Second, this isn't a rule. Third, even if it was, it's highly unlikely anybody (except creativity niggards like you) to interpret the comic as having violated the rule since the dialogue is completely within the realm of plausibility.


Amazing! Having low standards is now a virtue.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Tomo » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:19 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Amazing! Having low standards is now a virtue.


I laughed more at that this I did at the comic.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:26 pm UTC

madjo wrote:If you know so much better, why not make your own comic?


You didn't do that. You actually did not do that, PLEASE, tell me you didn't! I refuse to believe a grown person still uses such below-childish, immature "arguments".

Why not make my own? Because I don't want to. I already do my own art, and I am happy with it.

dassdrow wrote:Beret guy, is an artist that is his whole character.


Beret guy is an artist?

... okay, I'm quitting theatre classes and erasing all my music, NOW.

whateveries wrote:surely the content is provided by continuity of character, beret guy has a long history of nonsense, so when the reader sees the beret, the reader immediately draws upon their own database of beret guys histroy to place the present skit into a context, as can be seen occuring in SmoothBlades post.


So the entirety of beret guy's "character" boils down to "nonsense"? Well, that changes effectively nothing. Frankly, a character that is built entirely on a single visual feature (a beret) and doesn't have any other recognisable traits or personality aspects is not a character, but a gimmick. Even black hat guy is more of a "character" than that, and I still think that black hat guy is merely a flimsy, paper thin gimmick -- which is not bad per se, but does not make a character.

Honestly, an artist who even tries to present beret guy as a character is just not a writer.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby s271 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:14 pm UTC

Photocopying burrito could be not the same as making photo of burrito. It could be photo-copying burrito. Photonic replication technology. No wonder guy in the beret have case full of cash. My bet he is alien trying interstellar networking through the gap of languages, interfaces and thought process protocols. Hexapodia as the key insight.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby J Thomas » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

madjo wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:
The Moomin wrote:I think the statements by the networking guy are to show his incredulity at the situation, by pointing out the obvious.


... really?

Just visualise an alternate panel: an over-the-shoulder shot of networking guy holding the card and looking at it, showing the actual card reading "this is my business card". Networking guy has a single dialogue bubble, saying "What is this?". A panel like that shows not only the card itself, but also shows the guy's incredulity at the situation. I could show you that panel visually, but that would require me to draw and scan it, things which are unfortunately far beyond my reach at the moment; I am only telling because of severe technical restrictions.

But why am I focusing on this aspect, when the entire comic is just completely messed-up, pointless and lacking in any content? I guess some things are so wrong that it's impossible to even start pointing it out.

If you know so much better, why not make your own comic?


Because that isn't his art. His art is criticism. If he wrote his own comics, who would criticize them? He wouldn't be qualified to criticize his own work.

It's like , like, like asking an artist to be an artist's model. It's like asking somebody who films reality TV shows to be in a reality TV show. It's like asking a judge to commit crimes and get arrested. Like giving up his art and producing only the raw material for his art.

On the other hand, perhaps his art is more trolling.

Since artistic criticism is an art in itself, it would be legitimate for other critics to criticize his ability at criticism. That might be fun.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby kensey » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:29 pm UTC

I actually have some business cards sort of like the ones in the strip. They were a free giveaway from Inedo on The Daily WTF -- one side has the Initech name and logo, on the other side it has blank lines to write name/e-mail/phone (or whatever). Above the lines it says "I'm using this because..." with three checkboxes: "I forgot to bring business cards", "I ran out of them", "My company doesn't think I'm important enough to get my own". Under the lines is a fourth: "All of this information is fake. I'm only giving you this card to get some free swag."

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:38 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:Since artistic criticism is an art in itself, it would be legitimate for other critics to criticize his ability at criticism. That might be fun.


That has happened here already, a bunch of times, in fact, and it turned out to be very interesting. Of course, I'm talking about actual criticism, not "calling troll", snide remarks and "where is YOUR webcomic, huh?".

J Thomas wrote:Because that isn't his art. His art is criticism. If he wrote his own comics, who would criticize them? He wouldn't be qualified to criticize his own work.


I wouldn't say an artist is "not qualified" to criticise his own work; in fact, I think that self-criticism is a sine qua non requirement for any self-entitled "artist". The thing is that any self-criticism will be inherently incomplete and very biased, and that is why external criticism is also vital. Heck, I am a spare time writer, and I have posted some works on forums and stuff, and feedback was pretty much necessary. I needed all kinds of criticism I could get; I wouldn't necessarily agree with all of them (and I have the annoying tendency to go to huge lengths to justify myself when I disagree), but they allow me to look at my work from a different angle, spot things I haven't spotted, consider aspects I hadn't considered before; and ALL results were positive. Every criticism improved the final work somehow. And yes, some of the most often repeated bit of criticism is "showing is better than telling", and if there are any rules for writing, then "show, don't tell" is definitely Rule #1.

Reacting this negatively to criticism is ridiculous. Worse: it's the FANS that are complaining vocally, and not even Randall. But it is a known fact that Randall doesn't handle criticism very well, which is also stupid. Being an artist and not wanting to receive criticism is like being a boxer and not wanting to be punched in the face.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby exadyne » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:52 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:but they allow me to look at my work from a different angle, spot things I haven't spotted, consider aspects I hadn't considered before; and ALL results were positive. Every criticism improved the final work somehow. And yes, some of the most often repeated bit of criticism is "showing is better than telling", and if there are any rules for writing, then "show, don't tell" is definitely Rule #1.

Here I was under the impression that the first rule of any creative endeavor, if there was one, was learn all the the rules so you know when to break them.

SirMustapha wrote:Reacting this negatively to criticism is ridiculous. Worse: it's the FANS that are complaining vocally, and not even Randall. But it is a known fact that Randall doesn't handle criticism very well, which is also stupid. Being an artist and not wanting to receive criticism is like being a boxer and not wanting to be punched in the face.

It depends. Reacting negatively to criticism that is positive in tone but truly critical is a bad idea. Reacting negatively to criticism that is negative in tone is human nature, and shows poor criticizing on the part of the criticizer because it is just setting the stage to being ignored or to incense. In that sense, I'd say using terms like "doing such and such is stupid" is a bad way to get someone to listen.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Elirra » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:46 pm UTC

Well there's also the issue of presenting subjective criticism as if it were objective fact. Saying "This isn't funny," or, "This joke fails," isn't acurate criticism because what is really being expressed is, "I don't think this is funny," or "This joke fails, for me." When anyone declares that something is completely devoid of merit they've only demonstrated how self important they are.

Different forms of art also take different forms of criticism. If I'm doodling in my notebook because I like drawing then my art doesn't need any criticism other than my own opinion. If somebody were to see my doodle and tell me it wasn't good enough I'd instantly have to resist the urge to slap them. Acting has a special form of criticism in that the goal is to connect emotionally on some level with the audience, to get them to care about your character. So a director is hired to give criticism. Most independent art receives financial criticism. If xkcd produces worthless unfunny comics people stop reading it and purchasing merchandise and hanging comics by their desks.

Judging by the earliest comics I think its a fair assumption to say Randall would be drawing these comics even if he didn't intend to post them on the internet. It really isn't our business to tell him that what he finds interesting or funny doesn't exactly coincide with our own interests. Getting the occasional typo corrected is the most I would expect of criticism here. Probably because the occasional typo is objectively wrong.

All that aside, I thought the comic was funny and I had to avoid giggling loudly at the office.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby J Thomas » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:19 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Because that isn't his art. His art is criticism. If he wrote his own comics, who would criticize them? He wouldn't be qualified to criticize his own work.


I wouldn't say an artist is "not qualified" to criticise his own work; .... any self-criticism will be inherently incomplete and very biased


.... And yes, some of the most often repeated bit of criticism is "showing is better than telling", and if there are any rules for writing, then "show, don't tell" is definitely Rule #1.


I consider that a minor criticism of your reviews. When you explain how Randall has failed to get his point across, you must necessarily first explain the point he was trying to make, and then explain why he failed to get it across. That is, you must do a lot of abstraction. If you show that instead of telling it, it will likely require a lot of showing and a lot of people still won't get it. We have short-hand labels just for this sort of thing. Don't throw them away unless you want to say something they don't fit.

I think it's far more important that often you tell us at length why it is that a given comic is not funny, when the comic in question is actually funny. This damages your credibility.

It would be better if your reviews were funnier themselves. Sometimes I find them amusing but often I have the impression that you didn't intend them to be funny that way. It makes me think I'm laughing at you. I don't enjoy that as much as when you make a joke and I get it. You maintain an air of earnestness, as if you think what you are doing is *important* and something bad will happen if people fail to understand you. Some of that is fine, but when there's too much it makes you look pathetic and then I don't like to empathize with you.

Consider the purpose of your critiques. One purpose might be to help Randall improve. For that it would better to give more constructive criticism, more of a sense of how to do it better than telling him what he did wrong. Also it would be better if he asked for your criticism. Another possible purpose might be to tell new readers what to expect, to give them a clearer idea whether this is something they want to put time into. But reviews of that sort might be better put elsewhere -- either in a forum that newbies are likely to read, or in a site that provides links to lots of webcomics, etc.

I think it's better not to criticize an in-group for being an in-group in that in-group's forum. I admit I've done that myself some places, but still it's kind of gauche. You tell people that they like the wrong things or like the wrong things too much -- how is that likely to have any good result for anybody? It does help you affirm your identity and it helps them affirm their common identity against you, but is that really a good idea?

In short, I would like it if your critiques were funnier and if you showed us more that you're having a good time with them. Those are the most important things.

Reacting this negatively to criticism is ridiculous. Worse: it's the FANS that are complaining vocally, and not even Randall. But it is a known fact that Randall doesn't handle criticism very well, which is also stupid. Being an artist and not wanting to receive criticism is like being a boxer and not wanting to be punched in the face.


When fans critique your critique and you complain about it, maybe it's just that they didn't do it very well. Or maybe you are not handling criticism well. Probably it's better if we have some third-party meta-critic to decide that. You are not the best person to do that.

There's a difference between boxing and art, or art criticism. You know that you are improving your boxing skills when you get hit in the face less. There's a degree of objectivity there. Not getting hit in the face is one of the fundamental boxing skills, and how well you block the punches is not particularly open to opinion. Imagine what it would be like if once you were identified as a boxer, random people felt like they had the right to throw punches at you any time they felt like it, and you were supposed to block them and not get upset. That would probably improve your skills tremendously, but at what cost?

Anybody can criticize anybody else's art, and it's all just opinion. Getting technically skilled will not reduce the amount of criticism you get. In fact, the more attention your art gets, the more it will get critiqued up to a very high point. People who would not bother to say anything will put it down once it looks important.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:33 pm UTC

exadyne wrote:Here I was under the impression that the first rule of any creative endeavor, if there was one, was learn all the the rules so you know when to break them.


That would be Rule #2, and it only applies to the rules from #2 onwards.

exadyne wrote:It depends. Reacting negatively to criticism that is positive in tone but truly critical is a bad idea. Reacting negatively to criticism that is negative in tone is human nature, and shows poor criticizing on the part of the criticizer because it is just setting the stage to being ignored or to incense. In that sense, I'd say using terms like "doing such and such is stupid" is a bad way to get someone to listen.


Roger Ebert would beg to differ. There are way too many nuances to what people THINK is offensive and not, and in the end, there's nothing you can do that is sure not to offend anyone. Even doing nothing offends certain people. Besides, art itself can be provocative and shocking, so why can't criticism?

Elirra wrote:Well there's also the issue of presenting subjective criticism as if it were objective fact. Saying "This isn't funny," or, "This joke fails," isn't acurate criticism because what is really being expressed is, "I don't think this is funny," or "This joke fails, for me." When anyone declares that something is completely devoid of merit they've only demonstrated how self important they are.


I call that the "IMHO problem", which states that "Every single statement on art must mandatorily be prefixed or suffixed with 'IMHO'". Come on! Can't we get past that? Can't we simply take it as given that a reviewer's words reflect mainly his opinion? That complaint is so petty that I really consider it mere syntatic nitpicking.

Elirra wrote:Judging by the earliest comics I think its a fair assumption to say Randall would be drawing these comics even if he didn't intend to post them on the internet. It really isn't our business to tell him that what he finds interesting or funny doesn't exactly coincide with our own interests.


I disagree with that vehemently. The moment Randall decides to publish his comics immediately excluded any possibility of criticism "not being our business". It is. He is showing his comics to us, and he chose to do it. The moment you decide to jump into the lake, you're choosing to get wet, it doesn't matter why you're jumping.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby 10sTinTh0uGhT » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
exadyne wrote:That would be Rule #2, and it only applies to the rules from #2 onwards.

Just a technical question - how would the order of rules work in something like the art of public speech, or better yet, radio broadcasting?
While I suppose it is possible to show in public speech, it becomes very inefficient to show EVERYONE something huge (unless you're taking pictures of it, I guess). Or what about a concept of sorts (like calculus, or mathematics in general)? You can show people parts of it, and give visual aids, but this also raises another point - namely, what is the visual form of an idea? Or are visual aids sufficient?
Furthermore, I really don't understand how you would show people something while on the radio.
Or are these not art forms?
However, in regards to your original critiquing of this comic, note:

(From forums of comic 1018)
syskill wrote:Fun fact: this technique appears in the CIA's interrogation manual (dated July 1963, declassified in 1997, widely available on the Inter Nets) as the "Alice in Wonderland" technique:

The aim of the Alice in Wonderland or confusion technique is to confound the expectations and conditioned reactions of the interrogatee. He is accustomed to a world that makes some sense, at least to him: a world of continuity and logic, a predictable world. He clings to this world to reinforce his identity and powers of resistance.

The confusion technique is designed not only to obliterate the familiar but to replace it with the weird. Although this method can be employed by a single interrogator, it is better adapted to use by two or three. When the subject enters the room, the first interrogator asks a doubletalk question -- one which seems straightforward but is essentially nonsensical. Whether the interrogatee tries to answer or not, the second interrogator follows up (interrupting any attempted response) with a wholly unrelated and equally illogical query. Sometimes two or more questions are asked simultaneously. Pitch, tone, and volume of the interrogators' voices are unrelated to the import of the questions. No pattern of questions and answers is permitted to develop, nor do the questions themselves relate logically to each other. In this strange atmosphere the subject finds that the pattern of speech and thought which he has learned to consider normal have been replaced by an eerie meaninglessness. The interrogatee may start laughing or refuse to take the situation seriously. But as the process continues, day after day if necessary, the subject begins to try to make sense of the situation, which becomes mentally intolerable. Now he is likely to make significant admissions, or even to pour out his story, just to stop the flow of babble which assails him. This technique may be especially effective with the orderly, obstinate type.


Randall might be interrogating us?
None of the Beret Guy comics make sense... so...

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby whateveries » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:55 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
whateveries wrote:surely the content is provided by continuity of character, beret guy has a long history of nonsense, so when the reader sees the beret, the reader immediately draws upon their own database of beret guys histroy to place the present skit into a context, as can be seen occuring in SmoothBlades post.


So the entirety of beret guy's "character" boils down to "nonsense"? Well, that changes effectively nothing. Frankly, a character that is built entirely on a single visual feature (a beret) and doesn't have any other recognisable traits or personality aspects is not a character, but a gimmick. Even black hat guy is more of a "character" than that, and I still think that black hat guy is merely a flimsy, paper thin gimmick -- which is not bad per se, but does not make a character.

Honestly, an artist who even tries to present beret guy as a character is just not a writer.


siiiiiiiigh
follow the link and you find a bunch of xkcd's with beret guy as a character, with consistant and recognisable traits that differentiate him from the other recurring characters, as well you know you tricksy little bugger. and yes. nonsense. a technique which has been and still is employed successfully in humour, again, as you well know. But sure, I accept that beret is two dimensional at best, but that is cool when you consider he is nothing but a priest overseeing a lesbian orgy (whilst possibly eating a bagel in this guys case)
it's fine.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby dassdrow » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:13 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:I disagree with that vehemently. The moment Randall decides to publish his comics immediately excluded any possibility of criticism "not being our business". It is. He is showing his comics to us, and he chose to do it. The moment you decide to jump into the lake, you're choosing to get wet, it doesn't matter why you're jumping.


Actually that's not accurate at all, this comic is in front of me here just like, the river outside my bus terminal. there are billions of people with internet access who have heard of this comic and billions who still don't read it. Just like every day hundreds of people in Cambridge walk past the Grand river and miraculously don't decide to jump in.

In reality he presents us with the information that a comic is present and we decide weather or not to present it to or selves.

And just because I believe (possibly alone) that beret guy's stunts would make for an entertain bit of performance art does not mean that all art is irremediably going to be similar in concept and/or execution of the offending comic). I would feel really terrible if you turned your back on art as a whole because of a single web comic you dislike. This kind of rash behavior has lasting consequences that make my soul cry for humanity. If you gave up on comics that only casually hint at the presence of art (I.E beret guy's beret ) then you might stop trolling XKCD And i would miss feeding you. Lasting consequences indeed.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby sunami » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:56 pm UTC

All that I could see at the end of this comic:

Image
"You heard it here first: all my software is shitty."

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby lly » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:32 pm UTC

Just because something is absurd doesn't mean that it is clever, well done, interesting, or particularly funny…

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby whateveries » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:43 pm UTC

lly wrote:Just because something is absurd doesn't mean that it is clever, well done, interesting, or particularly funny…


yes it does.
it's fine.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:17 am UTC

whateveries wrote:
lly wrote:Just because something is absurd doesn't mean that it is clever, well done, interesting, or particularly funny…


yes it does.


That's absurd.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby madaco » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:31 am UTC

First off, I shold point out that almost the entirety of the criticism I am about to make is based off of what is probably semantics.
or possibly the criticism of sematntics or whatever.

anyway:

SirMustapha wrote:


whateveries wrote:surely the content is provided by continuity of character, beret guy has a long history of nonsense, so when the reader sees the beret, the reader immediately draws upon their own database of beret guys histroy to place the present skit into a context, as can be seen occuring in SmoothBlades post.


So the entirety of beret guy's "character" boils down to "nonsense"? Well, that changes effectively nothing. Frankly, a character that is built entirely on a single visual feature (a beret) and doesn't have any other recognisable traits or personality aspects is not a character, but a gimmick. Even black hat guy is more of a "character" than that, and I still think that black hat guy is merely a flimsy, paper thin gimmick -- which is not bad per se, but does not make a character.

Honestly, an artist who even tries to present beret guy as a character is just not a writer.


I would say a character is just a fictional being that (probably) is referenced or shown or evidenced(is that a real word btw?) at least once in a work, although usually more.

that is if i were to write a (badly written) story, in which some stuff happens, bob eats a sandwhich, and some more stuff happens, and bob is only mentioned eating the sandwhich, I would consided bob to be a charecter. even if the only thing describing him was something like:
"A man at the next table, who's name was Bob, was eating a sandwich."

I was under the assumption that this was the standard definition. Is it not? (that is not rhetorical, or if it is, not very)
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby jpk » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:08 am UTC

Since we're describing what SirM does as "criticism", I want to just point out that "criticism" in the artistic sense does not usually mean "haring off in search of stuff to dislike about a work". Typically, a piece of criticism is expected to examine a work and discuss it in some way that reveals something new in it. Insight is usually the key point. A piece of criticism should be art in the sense that it does not summarize, it does not recapitulate the original work. Instead, it uses the originl work as the basis for something new, which should also be original. If the insight that is brought out is to the detriment of the work, fine, but simply sniping for the sake of sniping doesn't really qualify as "criticism" in my book. I'd usually call it "pointless bellyaching". But that's just me. If SirM is pleased to call it "criticism", that's his privilege.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:05 am UTC

10sTinTh0uGhT wrote:Just a technical question - how would the order of rules work in something like the art of public speech, or better yet, radio broadcasting?
While I suppose it is possible to show in public speech, it becomes very inefficient to show EVERYONE something huge (unless you're taking pictures of it, I guess). Or what about a concept of sorts (like calculus, or mathematics in general)? You can show people parts of it, and give visual aids, but this also raises another point - namely, what is the visual form of an idea? Or are visual aids sufficient?
Furthermore, I really don't understand how you would show people something while on the radio.


Why do you think that "showing" is necessarily visual? I just mentioned that the "Show, don't tell" advice was given on a writing forum. Here's a silly, half-assed example:

"Alice got very, very angry."
versus
"Alice slammed the door shut with all the force she could gather and yelled swear words at nowhere in particular."

In a visual art form, the case is even more egregious, of course.

whateveries wrote:follow the link and you find a bunch of xkcd's with beret guy as a character, with consistant and recognisable traits that differentiate him from the other recurring characters, as well you know you tricksy little bugger. and yes. nonsense. a technique which has been and still is employed successfully in humour, again, as you well know. But sure, I accept that beret is two dimensional at best, but that is cool when you consider he is nothing but a priest overseeing a lesbian orgy (whilst possibly eating a bagel in this guys case)


Making tons of references and adding tons of TV Tropes style links won't do you much good. But if you bothered to read carefully enough, you'd realise that I'm still saying that "nonsense" is not enough to build a character. A gimmick, perhaps, but not a character. And I am aware it has been used before, you doofus. But what you may not know is that "absurd humour" takes skill to make. And don't go foolishly throwing that label around, mister.

dassdrow wrote:In reality he presents us with the information that a comic is present and we decide weather or not to present it to or selves.


So what are you saying? That Randall has to explicitly authorise people to criticise him?

dassdrow wrote:And just because I believe (possibly alone) that beret guy's stunts would make for an entertain bit of performance art does not mean that all art is irremediably going to be similar in concept and/or execution of the offending comic). I would feel really terrible if you turned your back on art as a whole because of a single web comic you dislike. This kind of rash behavior has lasting consequences that make my soul cry for humanity. If you gave up on comics that only casually hint at the presence of art (I.E beret guy's beret ) then you might stop trolling XKCD And i would miss feeding you. Lasting consequences indeed.


... what the hell are you saying? Honestly, I have no idea what you mean.

jpk wrote:Typically, a piece of criticism is expected to examine a work and discuss it in some way that reveals something new in it.


Here's something new for you: you're wrong.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Elirra » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:08 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Elirra wrote:Well there's also the issue of presenting subjective criticism as if it were objective fact. Saying "This isn't funny," or, "This joke fails," isn't acurate criticism because what is really being expressed is, "I don't think this is funny," or "This joke fails, for me." When anyone declares that something is completely devoid of merit they've only demonstrated how self important they are.


I call that the "IMHO problem", which states that "Every single statement on art must mandatorily be prefixed or suffixed with 'IMHO'". Come on! Can't we get past that? Can't we simply take it as given that a reviewer's words reflect mainly his opinion? That complaint is so petty that I really consider it mere syntatic nitpicking.

Elirra wrote:Judging by the earliest comics I think its a fair assumption to say Randall would be drawing these comics even if he didn't intend to post them on the internet. It really isn't our business to tell him that what he finds interesting or funny doesn't exactly coincide with our own interests.


I disagree with that vehemently. The moment Randall decides to publish his comics immediately excluded any possibility of criticism "not being our business". It is. He is showing his comics to us, and he chose to do it. The moment you decide to jump into the lake, you're choosing to get wet, it doesn't matter why you're jumping.


Ok, your criticisms are mostly wrong. Additionally they're shallow attempts to tear down someone you're jealous of in the most illogical way imaginable, you view his work every time he has some, you register on his website, and then you speak to his fans about what you think about him as a person. There's also nothing to suggest that Randall logs on to the forums after every comic to see what you thought of it. In effect you're paying to go see the latest 3D extended bonus super version of Star Wars and afterwards standing at the exit of the theater showing people your ticket stub and telling them you think George Lucas is really only in it for the money and you think he should provide a better product. Your criticism might be accurate, it might even be completely correct, but you're not changing any opinions, no one is going to go ask for a refund, and George Lucas isn't hearing your criticism and probably doesn't care what you think.

Edit: I also think its completely acceptable for the characters in a stick figure comic to be somewhat...two dimensional...YEEEEAAH.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby petersi44575 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:16 am UTC

I don't know if this is the right thread here goes...

I think Randall is saying how networking is you giving your business card out to everyone you possibly can, because you don't know what unassuming individual owns a company.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:25 am UTC

dassdrow wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:I disagree with that vehemently. The moment Randall decides to publish his comics immediately excluded any possibility of criticism "not being our business". It is. He is showing his comics to us, and he chose to do it. The moment you decide to jump into the lake, you're choosing to get wet, it doesn't matter why you're jumping.


Actually that's not accurate at all, this comic is in front of me here just like, the river outside my bus terminal. there are billions of people with internet access who have heard of this comic and billions who still don't read it. Just like every day hundreds of people in Cambridge walk past the Grand river and miraculously don't decide to jump in.


I think his argument is that Randall chose to jump into the river by making his comics publicly available. Once he exposes them to SirMustapha then SerMustapha has a perfect excuse to say they're no good.

I agree with that. Similarly, there are almost always ants at a picnic. Usually you can mostly ignore them, but when you go on a picnic you are accepting that there will be ants. Arguing that they shouldn't be there will get you nothing good.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby whateveries » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:35 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
whateveries wrote:follow the link and you find a bunch of xkcd's with beret guy as a character, with consistant and recognisable traits that differentiate him from the other recurring characters, as well you know you tricksy little bugger. and yes. nonsense. a technique which has been and still is employed successfully in humour, again, as you well know. But sure, I accept that beret is two dimensional at best, but that is cool when you consider he is nothing but a priest overseeing a lesbian orgy (whilst possibly eating a bagel in this guys case)


Making tons of references and adding tons of TV Tropes style links won't do you much good. But if you bothered to read carefully enough, you'd realise that I'm still saying that "nonsense" is not enough to build a character. A gimmick, perhaps, but not a character. And I am aware it has been used before, you doofus. But what you may not know is that "absurd humour" takes skill to make. And don't go foolishly throwing that label around, mister.



yeah, mostly I threw in all the links to irk you :P re: absurd humour, like any kind of humour,is a kind communication between two or more people, look at it like a kind of code, if you have the key you get the message, if you only have part of the key, or none, you miss out. I suspect you lost your key. other people might try to lend you theirs, but, for some reason it just doesn't work that way. oh. and I think you should use the following quote in your sig, it will help t clear up a lot of the static you get. and now for a smilie-emotie so round of the sharp edges. :)

SirMustapha wrote:... what the hell are you saying? Honestly, I have no idea what you mean.
it's fine.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby jpk » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:54 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
jpk wrote:Typically, a piece of criticism is expected to examine a work and discuss it in some way that reveals something new in it.


Here's something new for you: you're wrong.


I have to say, it wouldn't be the first time that's happened. Would you like to enlighten me, so that I may be less wrong in the future? What is criticism, in your view? In my beknighted ignorance, all I've seen from your postings has been a reflexive contradictory stance. Whatever is done, is wrong, generally suupported by little more than your say-so. I suppose I'm missing the true underlying brilliance. Could you possibly deign to stoop to my level for a moment and share some of the secrets, so that I too might sip from the cup of knowledge that you share so freely?

You see, it may be the surest sign of my folly, but I too wish to be wise, like the great and clever SirMustapha. Help a brother out, why don't you?

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Alex-J » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:22 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:But it is a known fact that Randall doesn't handle criticism very well


A citation/google-able example is needed.
Not saying you're wrong but I'm not aware of this.


SirMustapha wrote:
exadyne wrote:It depends. Reacting negatively to criticism that is positive in tone but truly critical is a bad idea. Reacting negatively to criticism that is negative in tone is human nature, and shows poor criticizing on the part of the criticizer because it is just setting the stage to being ignored or to incense. In that sense, I'd say using terms like "doing such and such is stupid" is a bad way to get someone to listen.



Roger Ebert would beg to differ. There are way too many nuances to what people THINK is offensive and not, and in the end, there's nothing you can do that is sure not to offend anyone. Even doing nothing offends certain people. Besides, art itself can be provocative and shocking, so why can't criticism?



I agree with exadyne. If I would like for someone to agree with me, or at least see my point of view, I would not begin by calling them sheeple (I don't believe you've ever used this word, but the air of superiority and contempt is there) and acting incredulous that any person is capable of finding such disgusting filth humorous. Oftentimes you sound like some devout priest standing on the Vegas Strip ordering the sinning masses to repent. You're not going to make any friends, or converts, that way but feel self-righteous by standing there.

The point is not to offend no one, but to present your content in a manner that does not unduly offend and will not immediately alienate the people who might have otherwise agreed with you.

You are not doing something similar to Roger Ebert. I'd imagine people who read his reviews are those who generally agree with his opinions on movies and would like to know his opinion on a movie they are considering paying $12 a person to go view, and secondary who think style of his criticisms are entertaining. Or they would like their feelings of anger and despair over the falling standards of society conveniently confirmed, articulated, and validated. You are informing someone of why they wouldn't want to read a free web-comic they just viewed on the forum of that web-comic. Ebert writes for what an audience wants and utilizes a style they enjoy. You write for yourself and utilize a style you enjoy, not one that will best articulate or convince your audience of your point.

You criticisms do not appear occasionally, but regularly. You are not trying to merely improve something, you want to remake it entirely. If something is running successfully it probably won't want to get rid of what its fan-base enjoys. You are trying to tell "it" that it is icky and yucky and gross and should not do almost everything that it is doing, with a particular style that will probably not be successful.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:31 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote: I just mentioned that the "Show, don't tell" advice was given on a writing forum. Here's a silly, half-assed example:

"Alice got very, very angry."
versus
"Alice slammed the door shut with all the force she could gather and yelled swear words at nowhere in particular."

In a visual art form, the case is even more egregious, of course.


Horses for courses. When you want to present feelings, you can present the sort of cues they would use to infer feelings from real life. If you do it well, they will experience the feelings more intensely. But when you are presenting arguments, this does not work well at all. People who do not already understand your positions are likely to still not understand even after you have vividly presented your feelings. And people who disagree will definitely still disagree.

jpk wrote:Typically, a piece of criticism is expected to examine a work and discuss it in some way that reveals something new in it.


Here's something new for you: you're wrong.


That was funny, one of your rare gems. I approve. But it was only a one-liner. It should have at least a smiley face so we can tell that you are in on the joke.

You say that everybody should already agree that this is all IMHO stuff, so you shouldn't have to tell them that. But often your style gives the impression that you think your opinions are better than other people's opinions, that you think you're right and they're wrong. A disclaimer could make a big difference. LIke, after a joke like this you might say "My opinion can beat your opinion and my dog can beat your dog. Also my karate-champion son can beat up your honor student, and my wife does better fellatio than your wife.".

I think you have the basic instinct for humor, but you need to hone the skill.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby Slesh » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:48 am UTC

A couple people have mentioned interpretations of this comic that are slightly different from mine, so before i go back and read all of all the posts, i'll put mine out.
It seems to be about how business people are pretentious and childish. Beret guy is a businessman archetype who speaks honestly (childishly) instead of trying to hide his motives. Business people think they are important and grown-ups and think of themselves in terms of these words.

Showing off money is something they typically do more subtly.
Saying "Networking!" is the real motive of social networkers. They've been told that networking is important so their trading business cards yields the approval of grown-up people (i.e. Yes! I'm doing networking which important people say is good!).
Eating the card seems to be emphasizing that they they are children.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:17 pm UTC

Elirra wrote:Ok, your criticisms are mostly wrong. Additionally they're shallow attempts to tear down someone you're jealous of in the most illogical way imaginable, you view his work every time he has some, you register on his website, and then you speak to his fans about what you think about him as a person.


Come on, don't kid yourself! You really think I'm jealous of Randall, or you just said that because you were upset? Because if I had to be jealous of someone, I'd choose George Carlin, or José Saramago. But Randall? Come on.

whateveries wrote:re: absurd humour, like any kind of humour,is a kind communication between two or more people, look at it like a kind of code, if you have the key you get the message, if you only have part of the key, or none, you miss out. I suspect you lost your key. other people might try to lend you theirs, but, for some reason it just doesn't work that way.


I get what you're saying. But what about those works for which there is no key at all? This may be intentional from the artist, but this may as well be because the artist is just full of shit; and all the "keys" that people made up are completely delusional, like spotting faces on the surface of Mars. That's the trouble with the absurd: if there is no context or no clear purpose, it may indeed end up as "random shit", in the bad sense.

jpk wrote:I have to say, it wouldn't be the first time that's happened. Would you like to enlighten me, so that I may be less wrong in the future? What is criticism, in your view? In my beknighted ignorance, all I've seen from your postings has been a reflexive contradictory stance. Whatever is done, is wrong, generally suupported by little more than your say-so. I suppose I'm missing the true underlying brilliance. Could you possibly deign to stoop to my level for a moment and share some of the secrets, so that I too might sip from the cup of knowledge that you share so freely?


Nope.

... oh, well.

There is no law saying that criticism should "say something new". After all, what is new for one person may be old for another. What I consider as good criticism is that which is honest, and whose opinions are somehow justified -- both the positive and the negative ones. Honesty is not a problem for me, but I confess I don't always justify myself. I usually try. "Telling instead of showing" is a pretty strong justification. It is old news, but is that reason why it shouldn't be said?

Alex-J wrote:The point is not to offend no one, but to present your content in a manner that does not unduly offend and will not immediately alienate the people who might have otherwise agreed with you.


I have tried that, but the results were virtually identical. It's sad, but some people here reject the very idea of criticism. Evidently some people don't, and with those people (such as yourself) it's worthwhile to maintain a polite conversation.

Alex-J wrote:You are not doing something similar to Roger Ebert.


Yes, I know, I never tried to imply that. But the point is that a critic like Ebert knows when and how to be shocking and offensive -- in other words, he does it with style. He gained his reputation and respect through the power and coherence of his opinions, not by being a nice guy. But I see you're talking about something else entirely, so don't mind me, I'm digressing.

Alex-J wrote:You are informing someone of why they wouldn't want to read a free web-comic they just viewed on the forum of that web-comic. Ebert writes for what an audience wants and utilizes a style they enjoy. You write for yourself and utilize a style you enjoy, not one that will best articulate or convince your audience of your point.

You criticisms do not appear occasionally, but regularly. You are not trying to merely improve something, you want to remake it entirely. If something is running successfully it probably won't want to get rid of what its fan-base enjoys. You are trying to tell "it" that it is icky and yucky and gross and should not do almost everything that it is doing, with a particular style that will probably not be successful.


Well, I don't know if it will be successful or not, but I am sharing a piece of my mind. Some time ago I honestly hoped that Randall could give a try at having an editor, or a beta reader. Now I think that's highly unlikely, but what I really want is that criticism here is seen as something valid and inevitable, not a cancer to be removed and burnt at the stake. Criticism, when it's done well, can only have positive effects; maybe my criticism is too shocking and offensive to do that, but if people get used to my criticism, then they'll be able to handle the more generous ones, and stop rejecting the very idea of criticism, like I said above.

J Thomas wrote:Horses for courses. When you want to present feelings, you can present the sort of cues they would use to infer feelings from real life. If you do it well, they will experience the feelings more intensely. But when you are presenting arguments, this does not work well at all. People who do not already understand your positions are likely to still not understand even after you have vividly presented your feelings. And people who disagree will definitely still disagree.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you made a mix up. I was explaining that the "show, don't tell" rule is not strictly visual, and it applies to writing, radio presentations and so on. I don't know why you're talking about "arguments", and maybe I am mixing up things.

J Thomas wrote:You say that everybody should already agree that this is all IMHO stuff, so you shouldn't have to tell them that. But often your style gives the impression that you think your opinions are better than other people's opinions, that you think you're right and they're wrong. A disclaimer could make a big difference.


Well, that's worth a try. If you turn out to be right, I'll give you credit.

J Thomas wrote:I think you have the basic instinct for humor, but you need to hone the skill.


Ah, yes, I definitely need to sharpen my skills if I want to get real with it. But still, thanks!

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:20 pm UTC

exadyne wrote: ....
SirMustapha wrote:Reacting this negatively to criticism is ridiculous. Worse: it's the FANS that are complaining vocally, and not even Randall. But it is a known fact that Randall doesn't handle criticism very well, which is also stupid. Being an artist and not wanting to receive criticism is like being a boxer and not wanting to be punched in the face.

It depends. Reacting negatively to criticism that is positive in tone but truly critical is a bad idea. Reacting negatively to criticism that is negative in tone is human nature, and shows poor criticizing on the part of the criticizer because it is just setting the stage to being ignored or to incense. In that sense, I'd say using terms like "doing such and such is stupid" is a bad way to get someone to listen.


SirMustapha had been consistently responding badly to criticism. But once we got it framed as him the artist and us the critics, he has started to do much better. Usually he vociferously disagrees with the criticism, but sometimes he makes up reasons for his positions, and to me he seems more human.

Rather than ignoring critics as Randall does, he responds to them at length. As if his main purpose is not to follow his art and criticize Randall -- he's happy to talk about himself instead.

I think perhaps he is more troll than critic. He craves responses, and looks for ways to generate them. Angry responses are better than no responses, and so doing things that generate a small minority of others to respond angrily looks like a win. If this is true then he might possibly go away if everybody ignores him. But this is undependable with trolls. Sometimes they keep putting out bait at the same mousehole for months, waiting for a trollee to come back.

He and I agree that it's all just personal opinion, so maybe the best strategy is to do whatever seems to be the most fun.
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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby dassdrow » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:24 pm UTC

i'm saying your lake analogy is wrong or at least incomplete I attempted to use an actual body of water to illustrate my point.

The analogy "He is showing his comics to us, and he chose to do it.
The moment you decide to jump into the lake, you're choosing to get wet, it doesn't matter why you're jumping." this is under stood as meaning
The moment you decide to post the comic, you're choosing to get critiqued, it doesn't matter why you've posted"

if posting content represents a person jumping in the lake then you're comments = you jumping in the lake also as you're comments are another form of content.

you're analogy if it is to be accurate, then requires everyone to jump in the lake because they have seen a lake with at least one person in it. when this analogy is expanded to reflect the real world (analogies only work when they do this) it fails because people don't have to jump in a lake.

what this means for the comic is that Randal has posted a comic we can read if we want to, and post if we have something constructive to say if we choose, if not we can read something different .

people = content they have published, water level = the amount related content, wetness= amount of bad critisim, coldness= bad reaction to bad critisism
there fore you're analogy should be " If you step in a lake, other people might to join you and the water will rise and you should expect to get more wet. however you may not expect someone will splash you as this might make you too cold and you may wish get dried off.

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Re: 1032: "Networking"

Postby jpk » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:50 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Come on, don't kid yourself! You really think I'm jealous of Randall, or you just said that because you were upset? Because if I had to be jealous of someone, I'd choose George Carlin, or José Saramago. But Randall? Come on.

Ah. Evidence of good taste. O senhor gosta dos livros de Saramago? Muito bem.

There is no law saying that criticism should "say something new". After all, what is new for one person may be old for another. What I consider as good criticism is that which is honest, and whose opinions are somehow justified -- both the positive and the negative ones. Honesty is not a problem for me, but I confess I don't always justify myself. I usually try. "Telling instead of showing" is a pretty strong justification. It is old news, but is that reason why it shouldn't be said?


I suppose I'm not talking about laws, but usage. The intent of the critic, as a writer, is typically to say something. Why bother to simply say what has already been said in the original work, and to attach a value judgement to it? I can't think of anyone worth reading who takes that approach.
Honesty is an excellent policy, in my view, but it does not substitute for insight. If you honestly dislike a work and can't see clearly why, or explain why, there's no point in saying anything about it.

However, I really don't believe that your "I hates me some xkcd" persona is in fact honest or insightful. As many have noticed, there's nothing very interesting in anything you have to say on the subject. "Bah, that sucked" is a Beavis and Butthead joke, not a critical judgement, and that's about the extent of your commentary on any given comic. So much for insight. As for honesty, I don't believe that anyone could possibly hate a particular comic as consistenly as you claim to and still bother to read it as regularly as you do, so I think you're fronting. Other people have presented reasonable glosses on why you might do this. I don't claim to understand you as well as they claim to, but it's clear to me that you've got a reason other than honesty for maintaining this pose.

Criticism, when it's done well, can only have positive effects; maybe my criticism is too shocking and offensive to do that, but if people get used to my criticism, then they'll be able to handle the more generous ones, and stop rejecting the very idea of criticism, like I said above.



But the problem with this theory is that there's nothing shocking about your criticism. It's pedestrian, contrarian, and predictable. About as shocking, interesting, or palatable as a bowl of cold oatmeal.


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