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).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Comics 969 and 970: Randall is Stupid

Still laid up from my injury, which means xkcd remains one of the last things on my mind. Again, I don't have much to say about either Wednesday's or today's strips, but they do both suck.

Comic 969

Title: Delta-P; alt-text: If you fire a Portal gun through the door of the wardrobe, space and time knot together, which leads to a frustrated Aslan trying to impart Christian morality to the Space sphere.

Oh geez I hate this one. Absolute best case for this strip: Randall's equations work, Narnia gets flooded, and the White Witch dies. OH WAIT, AND SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE. That's like saying we could have prevented the Holocaust by killing everyone in the world. Hitler would be gone, so no Holocaust, right?

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next objections might be considered nitpicks, but dang it, Randy put all his equations right on the comic, so he apparently cares about that kind of detailed analysis.

  1. It's not raining so there's no portal.

  2. The pressure might just close the doors of the wardrobe, meaning that no water ever gets in.

  3. Even if the doors remain open, shouldn't the air and everything else in Narnia simply stop the water from filling it? To see what I mean, invert a cup and push it into some water. Notice how there's still air inside the cup?

  4. But okay, let's assume water does make it in, Still, time is completely different in Narnia, so the water would just trickle in, rather than the torrent Randall expects.

  5. What the heck do you mean, "space and time knot together if you fire a portal gun through the door"? The door IS a portal! You can't fire a portal gun through an existing portal!

Seriously, Randall. THINK a little before you post garbage like this.

Comic 970

Title: The Important Field; alt-text: I hear in some places, you need one form of ID to buy a gun, but two to pay for it by check. It's interesting who has what incentives to care about what mistakes.

This is a straw man attack if I've ever seen one. Yes, most registration forms require you to enter your email address twice. You know why? BECAUSE IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT FIELD. If your email is wrong, you don't get registered. Now, compare that to something like the comments box for this blog. You're asked to enter your email once. You know why? Because it's NOT important! Who cares if your email is wrong there?

The situation in this strip is a total fabrication. It's so contrived it hurts. THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. It's like saying, "I really think the US government should take down How stupid are they to just offer that up to anyone?" He'd be making a good point if that was how things worked, but IT'S NOT.

I think there's a lesson we can all learn from this: Don't be a retard, Randall.


  1. 969: Oyvind Thorsby did it first.

  2. You seem to have a tendency to take a very narrow view of a joke and criticise it on that basis. Sure, the caption refers specifically to the White Witch, but the underlying humour isn't in having a plan to save Narnia or anything else by killing the White Witch. It's in pretending a gate to Narnia was put underwater. That's the angle you need to be tearing apart if you really want to leave Randall crying for his mother and wishing he had gotten a proper job, maybe in a field he had some talent in.

    And, just nitpicking one of your nitpicks for fun, the different rates of time are more complicated than time in our world going more slowly. The kids in The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe grew into adults in Narnia, and were physically reverted to children on their return. It might also be worth noting that nobody noticed anybody's bodies appearing distended while travelling between the borders of the two worlds. I don't think you can draw a linear relationship between the two flows of time, and so conceptualising an unhindered flow of water from one world to the other is probably valid enough.

  3. Objection number 3 is bad and you should feel bad. Why would the air stop the water from getting in? You know why that inverted cup example works, right? It's not some magical property of air - it's the simple fact that water is heavier than air, and the air would have to displace water in order to go downwards and thereby escape the cup. That isn't the case in the Narnia example at all - the air could just move somewhere else. If air just magically stopped all water from flowing ever, we wouldn't have, say, geysers, or firehoses, or any other of the numerous, myriad examples.

  4. Regretfully I have to say this comic has some merit, not in that it is funny, but it's entertaining to think about what might happen in the depicted situation. Would the earth's oceans be emptied in the process? If so, the plan would backfire big time. Then again the sea levels might just reach some kind of equilibrium. Would not the same be true for the respective atmospheres of earth and Narnia anyway? In one of the sequel/prequel books, there was an explanation why the gate came to be in the shape of a wardrobe, but I don't remember it. It might shed light to this nerd-dilemma.

  5. I agree with Santiclause.

    I'd also like to contest number 2. I believe the pressure of 2km of ocean would not close the doors. Instead it would break them. But then, it would probably break the entire wardrobe, destroying the portal within.

  6. Randall fucked up the equation. Otherwise, 969 was a pretty good concept, if boring.
    Also, practically all of your nitpicks are wrong on some level. How do you know it's not raining, and Randall just didn't chose to show it? Why would the pressure close the doors? Why on earth would a bit of air stop an entire ocean? When has time dilation ever been a problem for stuff traveling one way or the other? Who says you can't fire a portal through a portal (a la Narbacular Drop)?
    Seriously, Gamer. THINK a little before you post garbage like this.

  7. Hey, I just found out that my TVTropes entry for the false dichotomy in the xkcd comic "Charity" was rectified on xkcd's main page. The entry on the page for false dichotomy was ameliorated, though.

  8. My Review/Edit of 969:

    My Review/Edit of 970: (its funny how blogger uses the first title you give a post to create the url which means if I typo the title and the fix it five seconds later it is immortalized in the url forever apparently)

    Also there was a great edit of 969 posted in my comments by someone called Clomp:

  9. This is your worst review yet, Gamer. Damn.