Died in a Blogging Accident has lived up to its name and died... in a blogging accident. That is to say it has concluded. You can still re-live the magic by clicking here to start at chapter 1. For genuine criticism of XKCD, please click the top link to the right (XKCD Isn't Funny).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Comic 932: Central Ignorance Agency

Balls. Raven's dead and Ann Apolis has finished her guest week, so it looks like it's on me to review xkcd again. Normally this would be alright, but Monday's xkcd kind of sucks. I don't mean that in the "this is complete garbage and my review will be fueled by my hatred" sense; I mean it's bad in the "obvious point with no joke" sense.

Let's take a look.

Title: CIA; alt-text: It was their main recruiting poster, hung nearly ten feet up a wall! This means the hackers have LADDER technology! Are we headed for a future where everyone has to pay $50 for one of those locked plexiglass poster covers? More after the break ...

Here's the thing. This comic is little more than, "Haha, people who aren't experts in a field sure don't understand that field, am I right guys?" It's GOOMHR-bait combined with an unnecessary elitist stance. Clearly, only an EXPERT would know that the CIA's classified files aren't in the same place as their public website.

I don't know, is this really something that Joe the Plumber wouldn't realize? It's like saying, "How does the CIA keep their documents secure? What if a postal worker lost them or sent them to the wrong address?" Or perhaps, "Why is Area 51 such a secret? Anyone can just walk right in, right?" My point is, there's an obvious disconnect between government operations and normal life, and you're not giving Joe the Plumber a lot of credit by lumping all the "normal people" together and assuming they have no common sense.

And of course, Randall's not content to just make his point (however elitist) and be done with it. No, he uses one of his longest alt-texts ever to hammer in the idea that "this is stupid and if you think this you're really stupid and man, what's with those normal people, huh; I'm so glad I'm a Computer Expert and don't have to be that dumb." Randy, as far as "computer experts" go, you're probably one of the stupider ones. These little insights that you have are NOT exclusive to you. Get off your freaking high horse already.


  1. "....and you're not giving Joe the Plumber a lot of credit...."

    Plumbers do not accept credit - cash only.

  2. I am pretty sure that when newscasters say, "Someone hacked into the computers of the CIA," computer experts hear, "Someone hacked into the computers of the CIA," and that they understand this to mean that someone hacked into the computers of the CIA. And I will further wager that they don't translate it to themselves in the form of a shaky analogy about posters.

  3. Only the sort of plumbers you hire, ALTF.

  4. Oddly, I'm more hung up on the phrase "computer experts." In today's ever diversifying field of computing, it's hard to know what this means. Are we talking software developers? Network admins? IT security? All of the above? To follow in the tradition of shaky analogies, it's like calling an operator and saying you need help from a "car person." Do you need a mechanic? Bodywork? Domestic, Japanese, or European?

    If there's one thing working a complex professional environment has taught me, it's that there's no one group of people that does everything, and thus the term "computer experts" is largely meaningless. Except as a way of making your average non-professional computer savant feel special, of course.

  5. I have a Windows PC and a self-diagnosed case of Asperger's! GOOMHR!

  6. Normal people actually hear "blah blah blah CIA blah blah" while wondering how much more of this boring crap they have to put up with before tonight's episode of America's Next Top Model finally starts.

  7. Why do you have to resort to personal attacks? Was this blog created to attack xkcd just because you don't like it, or to attack its creator? It seems kinda lame.