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Thread: xkcd

  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: xkcd

    The Fractal Prince, which is a sequel to The Quantum Thief.

    A sci fi novel featuring heavy, heavy transhumanism. The first one is a heist novel, where a legendary thief is broken out of a virtual prison by a warrior from the oort cloud and her space ship so they can steal back his memories from a cryptography-obsessed culture on Mars.
    The second one is... a stylistically thousand-and-one-night-ish murder mystery featuring several characters who are actually planet sized quantum computer brains in close orbit around the sun. It's really quite good. Poetic, at times. Quite action packed, in a specialized way. (Imagine a fight between characters who can switch bodies, have said bodies filled with nanomachines and quantum computers and speed up their mental processing power enough to watch nano-missiles crawl through the air at them.)

    And occasionally funny. Two of the larger societies around are the Sobornost, said planet sized computer brains around the sun and the Zoku, an upload collective from Saturn. There's a scene where a character visits the Zoku while they are reliving the Sacred Rituals of their ancestors, which involve creating meat bodies for themselves, dressing them up as batman or their favourite manga characters and playing old arcade games while drinking beer. He's also introduced to his Zoku girlfriend's Epic Mount.

    "Cuddly Slowtime Monkey People" are people like us. You now, those weird meat people who barely move or think.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The Fractal Prince, which is a sequel to The Quantum Thief.

    A sci fi novel featuring heavy, heavy transhumanism. The first one is a heist novel, where a legendary thief is broken out of a virtual prison by a warrior from the oort cloud and her space ship so they can steal back his memories from a cryptography-obsessed culture on Mars.
    The second one is... a stylistically thousand-and-one-night-ish murder mystery featuring several characters who are actually planet sized quantum computer brains in close orbit around the sun. It's really quite good. Poetic, at times. Quite action packed, in a specialized way. (Imagine a fight between characters who can switch bodies, have said bodies filled with nanomachines and quantum computers and speed up their mental processing power enough to watch nano-missiles crawl through the air at them.)

    And occasionally funny. Two of the larger societies around are the Sobornost, said planet sized computer brains around the sun and the Zoku, an upload collective from Saturn. There's a scene where a character visits the Zoku while they are reliving the Sacred Rituals of their ancestors, which involve creating meat bodies for themselves, dressing them up as batman or their favourite manga characters and playing old arcade games while drinking beer. He's also introduced to his Zoku girlfriend's Epic Mount.

    "Cuddly Slowtime Monkey People" are people like us. You now, those weird meat people who barely move or think.
    I've read those books! Should've recognized the phrase. Have you read The Causal Angel yet? It's got a lot more zoku wackiness.
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by IthilanorStPete View Post
    I've read those books! Should've recognized the phrase. Have you read The Causal Angel yet? It's got a lot more zoku wackiness.
    Next on my to read pile. I'm on a re-read of Fractal Prince and Quantum Thief since I just got Causal Angel.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The Fractal Prince, which is a sequel to The Quantum Thief.

    A sci fi novel featuring heavy, heavy transhumanism. The first one is a heist novel, where a legendary thief is broken out of a virtual prison by a warrior from the oort cloud and her space ship so they can steal back his memories from a cryptography-obsessed culture on Mars.
    The second one is... a stylistically thousand-and-one-night-ish murder mystery featuring several characters who are actually planet sized quantum computer brains in close orbit around the sun. It's really quite good. Poetic, at times. Quite action packed, in a specialized way. (Imagine a fight between characters who can switch bodies, have said bodies filled with nanomachines and quantum computers and speed up their mental processing power enough to watch nano-missiles crawl through the air at them.)

    And occasionally funny. Two of the larger societies around are the Sobornost, said planet sized computer brains around the sun and the Zoku, an upload collective from Saturn. There's a scene where a character visits the Zoku while they are reliving the Sacred Rituals of their ancestors, which involve creating meat bodies for themselves, dressing them up as batman or their favourite manga characters and playing old arcade games while drinking beer. He's also introduced to his Zoku girlfriend's Epic Mount.

    "Cuddly Slowtime Monkey People" are people like us. You now, those weird meat people who barely move or think.
    Interesting, I would have guessed you were talking about Into the Storm, or one of the other Destroyermen books.
    Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I kind of hate this comic. It's about how you can sing everything with the right syllable pattern to the melody of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Every so often, I'll get hung up on a sentence or phrase that works with it. So since yesterday, I've been singing "Cuddly Slowtime Monkey People" under my breath after reading a sci Fi novel.
    Something similar is true of the Gilligan's Island theme song (for those old enough to have it burned into our brains whether we want to or not) and I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    I'm so sorry, how you feel
    But so many thing can 'haive that way
    I'm so sorry, how you feel
    See that songs can match so many words
    In many different ways
    Last edited by keybounce; 2017-02-27 at 11:46 AM.
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by IthilanorStPete View Post
    I've read those books! Should've recognized the phrase. Have you read The Causal Angel yet? It's got a lot more zoku wackiness.
    You're right. The Zoku are great fun. ("Buy life-sized replicas of famous 20th century fictional starships made from Notch cubes now!"). They are also so creepy. I mean, seriously. I'm only halfway into the book and I'm not sure who's worse between them and Sobornost.

    It's like their founding charter looked like this:

    1. Batman is cool
    2. Let's build a super club from all our clubs and clans.
    3. Space is cool too. Let's go live on jupiter.
    4. Where we are going, we don't need free will, right?
    5. Manga are awesome!
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    You're right. The Zoku are great fun. ("Buy life-sized replicas of famous 20th century fictional starships made from Notch cubes now!"). They are also so creepy. I mean, seriously. I'm only halfway into the book and I'm not sure who's worse between them and Sobornost.

    It's like their founding charter looked like this:

    1. Batman is cool
    2. Let's build a super club from all our clubs and clans.
    3. Space is cool too. Let's go live on jupiter.
    4. Where we are going, we don't need free will, right?
    5. Manga are awesome!
    On one hand, yeah, the zoku are not nice people. On the other hand, it's not like Sobornost gogols are models of freedom, and the Sobornost have the whole Great Common Task driving them to take over the solar system. If I had to choose, I'd be on the zoku's side. (Mars is where it's really at, though.)
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by IthilanorStPete View Post
    On one hand, yeah, the zoku are not nice people. On the other hand, it's not like Sobornost gogols are models of freedom, and the Sobornost have the whole Great Common Task driving them to take over the solar system. If I had to choose, I'd be on the zoku's side. (Mars is where it's really at, though.)
    I really can't say who of them is worse. Probably, yeah, Sobornost, because they have the GCT and want to absorb everything. On the other hand, they are very obvious about their fanaticism. The Zoku are like 1984's party masquerading as a comic book convention. Join the games. They are fun. Be one of us. You will not want to leave.

    Honestly, the Quantum Thief universe becomes more frightening the longer you think about it. It's a series of horrifying dystopias following one another after each unsuccessful revolution. You have pre-collapse society, with black-box uploads and quantum algorithms determining people's right to runtime, which is to say conscious life. You have the first Fedorovist revolution, and angry gogol swarms tearing cities apart. Then you have the Collapse. Then you have Wildcode. Then Sobornost. And Zokus. And the Protocol War. And the All-Defector.

    But yeah. Mars is, indeed, where it's at.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2017-03-02 at 06:50 AM.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    New Comic!

    On the subject of the title text,
    That would be good keymapping to set up on your friend's computer, they'd be so confused...
    Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
    - Douglas Adams

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tetrimino View Post
    New Comic!

    On the subject of the title text,
    That would be good keymapping to set up on your friend's computer, they'd be so confused...
    I find I don't need to make input nearly so difficult to discourage people. I just have to make the Web browser uncomfortable.

    Listening is inspirational. We must, all of us, endeavor to teach people to sanitize their inputs (or, you know, not set up spyware in their homes).

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    All of my computers are Slackware Linux boxen running (if they have a display at all) a heavily customized fvwm2 config that's been in a coevolutionary symbiosis with my usage patterns for about twenty years.

    I've found that, in the simple case where I've handed someone a laptop with a web browser in focus on-screen already open to the page that they want to look at, it typically takes less than five seconds before they go, "Ah! I lost it! Where did it go?! What is this stuff? How do I get back to the browser?"
    Play your character, not your alignment.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    New Comic

    I plugged in my PC but the battery on the flag isn't charging!
    Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
    - Douglas Adams

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: xkcd

    So... is today's comic supposed to be freaking gigantic, or is Randall having technical difficulties?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    What this guy said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rooster707 View Post
    So... is today's comic supposed to be freaking gigantic, or is Randall having technical difficulties?
    I opened the image in a new tab (which makes it fit the width of the screen), and the joke has nothing to do with the image being huge, so I'm guessing it's technical difficulties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I opened the image in a new tab (which makes it fit the width of the screen), and the joke has nothing to do with the image being huge, so I'm guessing it's technical difficulties.

    GW
    According to "explain xkcd", it's actually intended: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1826

    This is intended to replicate Cueball's frustration with birdwatching, as the experience of scrolling through a large image on a small screen mirrors that of looking through the large sky using binoculars that, due to their amplification, cover only a small area of the sky.
    Last edited by Quild; 2017-04-19 at 08:24 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    The comic is regular sized now.

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Evidently the frustration was sufficient that it killed the joke.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Evidently the frustration was sufficient that it killed the joke.
    I still think he uploaded the high-res archive image by mistake, and that it was never meant to be part of the joke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I still think he uploaded the high-res archive image by mistake, and that it was never meant to be part of the joke.

    GW
    While looking to see if there was any mention of this on the page, I noticed this gem of small text at the bottom that I've never seen before:


    xkcd.com is best viewed with Netscape Navigator 4.0 or below on a Pentium 3±1 emulated in Javascript on an Apple IIGS at a screen resolution of 1024x1. Please enable your ad blockers, disable high-heat drying, and remove your device from Airplane Mode and set it to Boat Mode. For security reasons, please leave caps lock on while browsing.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    This is intended to replicate Cueball's frustration with birdwatching, as the experience of scrolling through a large image on a small screen mirrors that of looking through the large sky using binoculars that, due to their amplification, cover only a small area of the sky.
    So the experience of birdwatching involves my Web browser grinding to a halt and then crashing?
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
    So the experience of birdwatching involves my Web browser grinding to a halt and then crashing?
    FWIW, that quote isn't on the Explain XKCD wiki anymore. Furthermore, IIRC, it was merely someone's comment down in the discussion section when it was there. Based on what I saw, saying, "According to 'Explain XKCD'..." amounted to overstating things, but maybe it was different earlier.

    Given how stable my old phone is, taking it birdwatching to look up the birds I saw probably would involve the browser locking up and crashing a fair amount, actually.

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    FWIW, that quote isn't on the Explain XKCD wiki anymore. Furthermore, IIRC, it was merely someone's comment down in the discussion section when it was there. Based on what I saw, saying, "According to 'Explain XKCD'..." amounted to overstating things, but maybe it was different earlier.

    Given how stable my old phone is, taking it birdwatching to look up the birds I saw probably would involve the browser locking up and crashing a fair amount, actually.
    It was in the "explanation" part when I went on "explain xkcd". I never bother reading wikidiscussions.

    The trivia part still makes a note about this. But indeed points out to the discussion thread.
    This comic was originally published with a very large picture, much larger than the standard screen.

    The original image was named birdwatching_huge.png
    The image at that location has also been downsized to normal dimensions.
    It was later updated to use an image without the "_huge" in its name, at the usual size.

    The unexpected size was at first interpreted as being part of the joke, see the discussion page.

    The idea was that the reader was only seeing an inconvenient subset of the magnified image on the screen, just like Cueball was experiencing an inconvenient subset of the magnified sky through the zoom of his camera lens.
    It seems, however, that it wasn't meant to be like this, as both the size and name of the image were later corrected.

    Alternatively the size gave people trouble with reading the page, and made Randall change his mind and reset it to normal size.

    It seems weird he would make a "_huge" version by mistake?
    Last edited by Quild; 2017-04-21 at 02:47 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    So catching up on some recent XKCD's, and reading the descriptions (ok, I read at explainXKCD, fine), I came across https://what-if.xkcd.com/141/

    And I'm thinking: as much as that is silly, as presented, isn't this exactly what pulsars do, splitting the entire energy beam out in two beams on opposite sides?
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    And I'm thinking: as much as that is silly, as presented, isn't this exactly what pulsars do, splitting the entire energy beam out in two beams on opposite sides?
    Well, the beams aren't as tightly focused as that (they are more cone-shaped) and the energy is created in a very different way, but there is some similarity.

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    So catching up on some recent XKCD's, and reading the descriptions (ok, I read at explainXKCD, fine), I came across https://what-if.xkcd.com/141/

    And I'm thinking: as much as that is silly, as presented, isn't this exactly what pulsars do, splitting the entire energy beam out in two beams on opposite sides?
    When reading this, keep in mind that I am not a physicist, astronomer, or anything in between.

    The answer to you question is: kind of, but not really. The beams that come out of a pulsar are much less tightly focused, so they wouldn't come anywhere near the 1m described here.

    Also, since the stars energy is coming out of two points instead of one, there is a lower fraction of the total energy of the star being funneled in any one direction.

    For purposes of the original question from the website, a planet caught in this beam might not be severely affected, because the pulsar's beams are moving at a very fast speed.

    Of course, this explanation does not account for the differences between pulsars and our Sun, so I may be entirely wrong. Maybe I'll submit this as a new What If? question.
    Last edited by Tetrimino; 2017-05-03 at 07:37 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #147
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    I haven't been on xkcd for months and I came across this thread. Billion thanks.
    And this is my favourite:
    These pretzels are making me thirsty.

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    https://www.xkcd.com/1839/

    I think that there's a big problem. "Dissolved bread" doesn't have enough of the needed proteins/amino acids and vitamins

    We pretty much need meat to get enough of that. Or, to get it in one source, we need vegi-vita-meata-min.
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    https://www.xkcd.com/1839/

    I think that there's a big problem. "Dissolved bread" doesn't have enough of the needed proteins/amino acids and vitamins

    We pretty much need meat to get enough of that. Or, to get it in one source, we need vegi-vita-meata-min.
    Whole-wheat bread and peanut-butter has enough proteins. So does rice and beans. So do lots of non-meat foods. Vitamins and minerals are amazingly easy to get enough of. You can live your whole life as a vegetarian. Meat is energy dense and tasty. It isn't some magical food that contains everything we need to eat. That said, I remember a reference to someone who ate nothing but twinkies for like 20 years and was mostly fine. Can't find it, so I cannot find the details. Now that is going to bother me.

    The whole joke is that the doctor is spouting off all the things that bodies do without problem
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    Rockphed said it well.
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    We should change the collective noun for crocodiles to "an abundance of crocodiles".
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  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    You can live your whole life as a vegetarian.
    ...After the age of about 2. Although I'd go for minimum of 4, just to be safe.

    Babies are really terrible at indicating which basic building blocks they need from their food, and they start off with very low reserves, so a non-insignificant percentage of attempts of feeding babies vegetarian diets have been less than successful, not because of neglect (although the most publicised cases were due to sheer ignorance, but lets discount those), but because there is relatively small margins of error.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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