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xkcd

Saturday Morning Open Thread: The Blame Game, xkcd Edition

I'm Sorry
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

With all the back-and-forth blaming of one party or person for things that - realistically - are rather silly or ridiculous, it would certainly be nice for the "comity" of political discourse to be reinforced by actual, factual call-outs and admissions of responsibility.

Of course, then some nutcakes may find a new way to undermine ~that~ concept and start taking responsibility for equally ridiculous things.

Anywho, it's Saturday, 3 September 2011. Comments are open - remember, this is an Open Thread.

Namaste.

 

Only footnote references - and comments - appear over-the-fold.

 

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Convergence & Coalescence, xkcd Edition

Mac/PC
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

To quote Henry Jenkins, Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program as well as a full Professor of Literature at MIT, on the topic of media convergence:

We are living in an age when changes in communications, storytelling and information technologies are reshaping almost every aspect of contemporary life -- including how we create, consume, learn, and interact with each other. A whole range of new technologies enable consumers to archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate media content and in the process, these technologies have altered the ways that consumers interact with core institutions of government, education, and commerce.

That's a lot of "stuff" all coalescing into new, hopefully synergetic ways of disseminating and assimilating information. We've seen examples of it most recently with regard to the activities of loosely organized anonymous hacking groups as well as with the recent internationally reported riots - the riots in Egypt and London, for example (but by no means the only ones).

Even citizen journalism has taken on new power and meaning as various technologies merge, enabling citizens to report local news and events to the masses like never before.

It's a brave new world of information exchange, security and cyber-warfare - and it's permeating the very fabric of the cultures in many first-world nations.

How do you see this playing out now, in your life? Where do you think it's going to lead us, and what are some of the possible as-yet unforeseen consequences that may arise?

Comments are open - remember, this is an Open Thread.

Namaste.

 

Only footnote references - and comments - appear over-the-fold.

 

Sections: 

Sunday Morning Open Thread: Fractured Fragments - Classical poem meets classic video game mashup, xkcd Edition

Now that was something I never thought I'd do: put the name "Emily Dickinson" in the same tagline as "Grand Theft Auto." Gotta love me some xkcd. He's at least as twisted as I am.

The Carriage
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

Now that's an image that's sure to cause a few folks to think about Emily Dickinson's work a little differently from now on.

Footnote references only over the fold.

 

Sections: 

Saturday Open Thread, Relative References, xkcd Edition

Sometimes, having a vivid imagination gives you a perspective that sets you apart from others...and, relatively speaking, that's not always a good thing - if you fall outside the norm of a bell curve, then what one person considers "normal" on a scale of 1 to 10 may mean something else entirely to you. And trying to use that kind of sliding scale...? Well, the results can skew a little wildly:

Pain Rating
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

So, in terms of "pain rating," getting everyone to reference the sliding scale in a common way is probably not always as easy as a doctor or EMT may hope for. In terms of news and information, however, those comparisons may not always be purely subjective.

For example, that serial killer case in Long Island that we'd mentioned the other day? The police are looking at someone. A potential factor in the search - and the killer's ability to try and thwart both identification and capture - is the possibility that s/he is familiar with police techniques.

Objectively speaking, it's definitely progress and a sign of good news that the police appear to have identified a suspect - we all wish them the best luck in finding and taking the killer out of circulation.

Subjectively speaking, what's "news" - particularly in your neck of the woods this find Saturday? Let us know in the comments below - remember, this is an Open Thread.

Footnote references only over the fold.

 

Sections: 

Sunday Morning Open Thread: Maximum Distraction - Information Overload, xkcd Edition

It's like a form of self-inflicted attention deficit disorder, but not. Too much information, all available at once, but updating randomly - causing, in effect, a stress and anxiety that one might miss something if not watching everything and hitting "refresh" every odd moment or two.

It can appear like a stuporphoric time-suck of perpetual pause, waiting before continuing along with one's original intent online until their message queue and curiosity index is sated, only to be continually pulled deeper into the online realms by one more click, one final link, another new and exciting image, a startling or intriguing lede...one more shiny object, one more "Squirrel!"...

Let Go
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.2

If you're not careful, it can consume you and suck you dry.

In the meantime, please keep your pinfeathers preened and your talons sharp - the week is either just ending, or just beginning, but regardless of that some things never change. For example, this is an Open Thread.

Footnote references located over the fold.

 

Friday Morning Open Thread: Literal Allegorical Meat Physics, xkcd Edition

Ever get the feeling that you're trapped - confined to a narrow perspective and unable to break free to get to the real world but certain that there's something more out there...or that there has to be something else?

Trapped
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

Some days, don't you wish more people would wake up and realize that they need to start asking questions - basic questions, challenging common perceptions...maybe actually learning something? Me, too. In the meantime, enjoy the literal allegorical references of 'meat physics' and your time in Plato's Cave.2

You can leave any thoughts or observations in the comments below - and remember, is an Open Thread.

 

Footnote references located over the fold.

 

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Blasts from the Past, xkcd Edition

Posted without further comment:

2009 Called
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

Keep in mind: This is an Open Thread.

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Footnote
_________________________

1.   From the XKCD site:

_____

Note: You are welcome to reprint occasional comics pretty much anywhere (presentations, papers, blogs with ads, etc). If you're not outright merchandizing, you're probably fine. Just be sure to attribute the comic to xkcd.com.

_____

 

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Insomnia, xkcd Edition

Ever had a sleepless night? Or a night where you'd sleep intensely for 30 minutes or an hour, then wake up and be fully alert for another hour before being able to sleep again...and have that pattern repeat ~all night long~???

Still No Sleep
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

Interrupted sleep patterns -- insomnia -- can impact our ability to think clearly, in addition to wreaking havoc on our physical and mental well being, making sleep deprivation a very serious issue. If your sleep pattern has ~always~ been wonky, then maybe that's normal for you -- or, if you've ~also~ always been a tad unstable or crazed, perhaps you should try to determine if you could adjust your pattern to allow for more sleep in order to afford yourself (and those around you) a bit more respite?

Getting a little more sleep at night (or whenever your lifestyle permits) may also cut down on those annoyingly long and drawn-out philosophical conversations with squirrels and other local flora and fauna.

Whatever your sleep pattern, and regardless of whether you need more or less of it, one thing remains constant: This is an Open Thread.

 

_________________________

Footnote
_________________________

1.   From the XKCD site:

_____

Note: You are welcome to reprint occasional comics pretty much anywhere (presentations, papers, blogs with ads, etc). If you're not outright merchandizing, you're probably fine. Just be sure to attribute the comic to xkcd.com.

_____

 

Sections: 

Saturday Morning Open Thread: What Comes Naturally, xkcd Edition

Today is Saturday, 12 December 2009.

Einstein is often attributed with defining insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." He may be on to something there: Congress has been tasked, now and again, with Health Reform. Currently, a plan that came out of the House that appeared to win some praise as potentially reformative has been undergoing revision, compromise and 'adjustment' in the Senate -- primarily a lot of objection and obstruction from folks less interested in reform than in actually claiming to have made changes without actually impacting their gravy train from the insurance lobby.

Basically, lots of wheel spinning, no real lessons learned, increasingly complicated items to deal with and no understanding of how to effectively address the issues. Imagine if we applied a similar approach to life and parenting?

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then what does this say about population explosions?
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

Mark Twain made an interesting exploration on revisions and revising:

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "gj" anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

    Mark Twain (1835 - 1910),
    "A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling"

With that in mind, I bid you a good day.

This is an Open Thread.

Monday Morning Open Thread: Situational Assessment And Opportunities, xkcd Edition

Today is Monday, 7 December 2009.

It is the 68th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which signaled the entry of the US into the second world war in a big way.

The Japanese code name for the attack was "Operation Z" -- apparently, Plan A gave way to Plan B, all the way through the alphabet and restarting again with Operation A, then Operation B... Erm...or not.

Going to twelve -- it's not just giving 110%, but managing expectations and perceptions effectively.
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

A further bit of relatively little-known information: in 1944, the Japanese launched another attack against the United States using "Fu-Go Weapons" -- balloon bombs. The US Government knew about the effort and went to great lengths to keep any reports of the attacks out of the media in order to prevent the Japanese from learning of -- and learning from -- reports of any damage. One adult (a pregnant woman) and five children in Oregon were killed on May 5, 1945 when they came across a balloon and tried to pull it free from a tree, setting off the unexploded bomb.

War is, and shall always be, hell.

This is an Open Thread.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: What Could Possibly Go Wrong, xkcd Edition

Today is Saturday, the fifth of December in the year 2009.

I wonder if Cornyn and Vitter are feeling a bit like the teacher in the panel below right about now, when their attempt to sponsor an amendment designed to embarrass Democrats into opting out of the Public Option attracted several Democratic co-sponsors, effectively causing the faux legislation to blow up in their faces and become a tool that might just help get a ~robust~ Public Option passed into law...?

Consequences seem all the more dire whenever accompanied by comments like 'I've never seen so much blood.'
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

No faculty members were injured during the creation of this post. Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental unless otherwise indicated. Do not exceed 212 degrees F when dressing the content for inclusion in pie or as an addendum to a small children's choir.

And last but not least, keep hands, feet and any other loose appendages behind the protective barrier.

This is an Open Thread.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Too Much Information, xkcd Edition

Today is Saturday, November 7. In 1913, French novelist Albert Camus was born. In 1916, Jean Rankin became the first US Congresswoman. And in 2009, airport security checks continue confiscate containers of water to prevent the off chance that a passenger will find a way to make water bottles explode.

There's a time and a place for pointing out inconsistencies. This isn't either.
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

Sometimes, offering too much information in order to help nudge "the inane" a little further into the realm of "the relevant" can really gum up the works.

This is an Open Thread.

Monday Morning Open Thread: All Souls Day, xkcd Edition

Today is Monday, November 2, known as "All Souls Day" in some quarters. It's also a big business day for some small, established start-ups in the New York area:

All Souls Day gets weirder ever since the Ghostbusters showed up.
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

No wonder there are so many conflicts between science, secular education, religion and the separation of church and state.

This is an Open Thread.

Monday Morning Open Thread: Nagging Feelings, xkcd Edition

Ever get one of those nagging feelings that something was wrong but you just couldn't put your finger on what it was?

Or, perhaps worse, you finally figure it out and yet can't locate the problem?

Those types of issues can keep a person up at night.

 


Attribution: xkcd.1

When was the last time you got that nagging little feeling that something was wrong somewhere? Did you figure out what it was? How long did it take you to determine where the problem was, then what the problem was?

Heady stuff for a Monday, eh?

This is an Open Thread.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Fall Foliage Photo Fun, xkcd Edition

It's fall foliage season in the Northeast and in those areas of the world that have a fall and winter season. The foliage is creating a changing canvas on a sea of color, challenging us to try and ignore the beauty or to come up with something better:

Fall foliage - Is it live, or is it <s>Memorex</s> <i>PhotoShop</i>?
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

Could you tell if your favorite fall foliage photos were Shopped? Does it matter -- are you a "purist" of photographic form or function, or something else entirely?

This is an Open Thread.

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