Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tonight I read through some xkcd. The xkcd hatred will never die.

895 isn't funny, but it is interesting because I've often heard space-time described as being like a sheet being distorted by the gravity of massive objects. But this wouldn't be part of an "understanding gravity" lecture because it has little to do with explaining gravity. Instead it explains space-time. I'm glad I'm not a teacher because I would have little tolerance for smart-mouth students who raise non-issues just to be disruptive or show off. And if any kid announced "boooooring" during my lecture I'd give him detention in an instant. Damn kids. Randall sometimes likes to draw comics where one snarky kid derails a lecture with his pointed questions. It's the student he wishes he could have been: too cool for school, and everyone would have known he's super smart without thinking he's a kiss up who participates constructively.

894 is not funny. It's just.. puzzling. Guy thinks we need to feel some collective sense of pride as a species for being good at things. He asks a stupid rhetorical question that implies that he thinks computers are a competing species. And the girl says we're good at teaching, which I guess means programming, which technically computers are significantly better at anyway. (That's why programming has gotten more and more abstracted.) Obviously there are no other species that are capable of programming computers. And then the guy says something stupid. Anti-education, anti-understanding that she's using "teaching" to mean "programming"? I dunno. Put two dumb people in a room, feed them the tech news, and record resulting dialogue as they struggle to understand humanity's relationship with computers and to communicate with each other.

893. This was the real reason I started typing about xkcd tonight. At first I read this and thought, are we really sending that many people to the moon? It seems to imply that we've been sending 10 people a year for the past 40 years. Or is it a cumulative count, but then shouldn't it just keep going up? The number of people who have walked on the moon can't decrease. I ignored the caption's use of the phrase "living humans" because obvious dead humans don't walk. That was before I knew that "actuarial tables" meant "lifespan statistics". Okay, so it's a misleading graph. We sent 12 people through the 60s-70s and haven't gone back since. That's what I'd expect. (No real reason to go back, I mean there's nothing there..) And Randall has predicted and graphed the astronauts' lifespans. Not a very polite thing to do. And where's the joke? Maybe the alt tag qualifies as an "interesting point" but it's an old point, and still not funny, and has nothing to do with the graph of moon-walker lifespans.

I should do a detailed graph of xkcd comics' quality over time. Then you could actually see the decline.

(comments from a youtube video of a guy's enormous full-scale model of the Starship Enterprise built in minecraft)
F0ll3nHero: Ok usualy I would troll hardcore on someone for doing something involving the starship enterprise, but this is simply to damn amazing,I can barely make a damn smiley face and you made a 1:1 scale of this megacreation..
demen6159: ill help u if u still need help
Funazzachick: That is absolutely incredible, I'm not sure where you got all of the squares for that but it must have taken AGES. Ingenius really, I couldn't have done it. Time well wasted :)
ih8makinusernames: I hope you feel accomplished. Normally I'd call you a no lifer but I just got done watching a video about a guy who spent 4 years building the "perfect" city in Sim City 3000 so nothing will ever really constitute a No Lifer comment compared to that.

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