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Comment: Re:Ummm.... (Score 4, Insightful) 131

by swillden (#47798405) Attached to: XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

His comic appeal to people who merely believe themselves to be above average.

Bah.

It's got nothing to do with intelligence, or even knowledge in a general sense. It's that his comics so often rely on specialized knowledge. For example, a couple of my favorite strips are the "sudo" strip and the "Bobby Tables" strip. The former is only understandable to someone who has at least a passing acquaintance with *nix system administration, and the latter requires some knowledge of SQL and SQL injection attacks. Neither of those things is hard to understand. They don't require great intelligence. But they're not generally known. And to people who require an explanation, they're not funny (I have t-shirts of both, and I have never gotten so much as a chuckle from anyone to whom I have to explain the basis for the jokes).

You'll note, of course, that I'm not actually addressing your real point, which is a snarky argument that only people who like to feel themselves smarter or more knowledgeable than most would enjoy the strip. That's because it's not worth addressing.

Comment: Re:Ummm.... (Score 2) 131

by swillden (#47797627) Attached to: XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

Actually, Munroe's success is really surprising to me in spite of the brilliance of his work, because so much of what he draws is accessible to a relatively narrow audience. Not all of it, not even the majority.

I should have qualified this to point out I'm talking about his comics, more than What If. HIs What If series is very accessible, by design.

Comment: Re:Ummm.... (Score 4, Insightful) 131

by swillden (#47797619) Attached to: XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

Randal Munroe is evidence that if you draw stick figures for long enough you will eventually gain recognition.

Sure, as long as your stick figures are saying and doing incredibly witty things.

Actually, Munroe's success is really surprising to me in spite of the brilliance of his work, because so much of what he draws is accessible to a relatively narrow audience. Not all of it, not even the majority. But there's enough that is only understandable to people who know more than most about computers, mathematics, physics, etc., that none of the non-geeks I know really like it.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1) 374

by Whorhay (#47796053) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

... And nobody gave a flying monkeys uncle. If a corporation decides to conduct business and expend capital buying assets, or bringing assets into any country that crap is then subject to the laws of that country. It isn't up to individual countries to make sure that their laws all coincide nicely for the pleasure of some corporation. I don't have any pity for companies that start here in the USA and then go to other countires and expect special treatment from either country.

Comment: Re:@Solandri - Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 264

by Whorhay (#47795939) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Honestly letting a person control the vehicle because a wild animal shows up in the road way is stupid. I've seen my mother nearly drive off the road and hit trees any number of times to avoid a stupid squirrel, dog or cat. The correct answer is to slow down to avoid the collision if possible and reduce damage and injuries regardless. If there is room to avoid the animal while staying on the pavement then the automated car will no doubt be able to handle that manuever infinitely better than a human driver, as it will be able to respond and analyze the situation impossibly faster than a human can even react, let alone think.

So far as what areas should be authorized first. I would think that the interstates and free ways would make the most sense. They represent the simplest of environments for automated cars and the safest of conditions. That also makes the most monotonous part of long drives easier to handle, and hence safer. When they can handle unmapped roadways at some reasonable fraction of the speed limit you let them go there.

Comment: Re:Her Videos Are Shit (Score 1) 1212

I haven't played any of the Battlefield games so I can't say for sure. But if it's like Wolfenstein was I can understand not having any character customization choices in the single player story mode as the story was written with a particular character in mind. However when you start talking about multiplayer where you are just pitting generic player vs generic player then I agree that there isn't much reason to not allow all sorts of customization.

I don't object to games offering custimization options regardless of it's genre and method of story telling, or even lack of story. I would just rather see a developer put more time into actually making a game that is fun to play in a mechanics fashion than making it into a dress up simulator. But I recognize that a dress up simulator is all or part of what some people want in a game, that is their choice and I've got no cause to tell them what they can and can't have in a game I didn't write. I just think it's silly to expect developers to build games that always take a specific set of players preferences into consideration over another.

Comment: Re:Executive Orders Need to Expire, and Quickly (Score 1) 180

by Whorhay (#47783831) Attached to: The Executive Order That Led To Mass Spying, As Told By NSA Alumni

The solution is to use and enforce EO's like they are supposed to be. Orders to the various federal troops, which are still bound and restricted by the laws of the land. Interpreting them as law should definitely be stopped. Removing them entirely though would mean that the President would not be able to formally control his branch of the government.

Comment: Re: Send in the drones! (Score 1) 823

by Teancum (#47780849) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Neville Chamberlain was in a tough position as the United Kingdom had pretty much disposed of their military in the aftermath of World War I. Their navy was certainly world-class, but the army and anything which could be used to stop Germany was basically non-existent. Ditto for the U.S. Army (which even had serious legislation going before Congress to completely disband the U.S. Army altogether and rely strictly on the state militias for national defense). The rest of the world was disarming at the time Germany was moving into the Rhineland and elsewhere.

Military intelligence was also miserable at the time, where Germany purposely inflated the numbers of their soldiers by marching the same units across prominent bridges (easily seen by observers)... only to ship them by train back to Germany to have them march again over the same bridge several times. Basically the UK & France thought Germany had many more soldiers involved in those early occupations than really was the case and something that might have been stopped simply by calling Germany's bluff.

I don't know if it is too late to do that with Putin's Russia or not... which I suppose is the question some are asking right now.

Philogyny recapitulates erogeny; erogeny recapitulates philogyny.

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