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, November 8, 2011

Comic 974: Randall's Rants, Part 2

Ughhh...I kept hoping and hoping that someone would send me a guest review, but no dice. The main problem here is that I don't really have a lot to say about this comic (and yes, I know every time I say that, it turns into an eight paragraph rant). But, in the interest of posting and update before the next strip comes out, here goes.

Title: The General Problem; alt-text: I find that when someone's taking time to do something right in the present, they're a perfectionist with no ability to prioritize, whereas when someone took time to do something right in the past, they're a master artisan of great foresight.

I'm just going to focus on the alt-text this time, because it feels like Randall is just using the comic as a vehicle for his rants again (the last time, of course, being Comic 971. And, once again, the comic actually misses the point that he's making in the alt-text. If you want to garner sympathy for "people taking the time to do something right," don't use the example of some idiot overthinking condiment passing. It takes half a second to slide a salt shaker across the table. Unless the person is inventing a teleporter, literally nothing he could make would be faster. Besides, they have a "condiment passer" device already. It's called a Lazy Susan.

But the bigger problem here is the alt-text. I could be way off, but it really feels to me like Randall's been told this all his life ("you have no ability to prioritize!") and he's trying to argue that all the "greats" were the same way. Of course he labels himself as a perfectionist (which we all know isn't true), and he somehow fails to see the difference between himself and those master artisans.

Of course, it's a simple distinction to make. They made society better in some way. They made contributions. They produced things of value. Randall hasn't done any of those things.


  1. Here's my post on the subject:

    I felt that the comic and alt-texts were terrible for completely different reasons which I think are equally valid... so that makes this comic double awful... not only was it bad but it was done badly too!

  2. I'm developing a system to create stick-figure web comics from arbitrary Wikipedia pages.


  4. Let's be fair to the alt-text here. My reading of it (which I think is almost funny) is that the alt-text is told from his own perspective rather than about him. That is to say, he gets frustrated with the perfectionists in the present but suddenly believes that they are gods on earth when he needs to use something they built. It leaves the exact meaning of the sentence, but changes it from "I am so great" to "My perception is not consistent".

  5. Many perfectionists just slide into a pathetic slump because they can't muster the effort to do what they want to do to the standard that they expect it to be done. Something in their mind just gives up on even trying.

    So maybe Randall's that sort of perfectionist, and is somehow able to convince himself that his years of inertia are just preparation for the ultimate success.