1086: Eyelash Wish Log

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Eyelash Wish Log
Ooh, another one. Uh... the ability to alter any coefficients of friction at will during sporting events.
Title text: Ooh, another one. Uh... the ability to alter any coefficients of friction at will during sporting events.

[edit] Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: For each wish explain and comment on how they gone wrong
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic is based on the situation that when someone's eyelash falls out, that person can make a wish on it. This comic appears to be a page from the fictitious Wish Bureau in charge of granting said wishes. And of course the Wisher is Black Hat and he has quite a few wishes, most of them based on the previous wish. A common trope in fiction is that wishing for more wishes is prohibited and for many of his wishes Black Hat attempts to circumvent that.

January 9
That wishing on eyelashes worked
This wish is pointless. If wishing on eyelashes worked, then this would do absolutely nothing (because it already works) and if it didn't then nothing would happen because wishing on eyelashes wouldn't work.
January 12
A pony
This wish functions as a test to see whether or not previous wish worked. It can be assumed that it did, as Black Hat then continued to make additional wishes.
January 15
Unlimited wishes
This appears to have failed, due to the typical ban of wishing for additional wishes in conventional folklore.
January 19
Revocation of rules prohibiting unlimited wishes
An attempt to circumvent the ban in the previous wish.
January 20
A finite but arbitrarily large number of wishes
Another attempt to circumvent the ban on unlimited wishes.
January 28
The power to dictate the rules governing wishes
Yet another attempt to circumvent the ban on unlimited wishes.
February 5
Unlimited eyelashes
This wish likely caused Black Hat to grow unlimited eyelashes, which could be quite inconvenient and painful.
February 6
That wish-granting entities be required to interpret wishes in accordance with the intent of the wisher
This wish is likely a response to the previous day's misguided wish. It's actually quite a common problem that people making wishes leave them open for misinterpretation.
February 8
That wish-granting entities be incapable of impatience
An attempt to prevent whatever being is powerful enough to grant wishes from becoming angry with Black Hat while he tries to manipulate the system.
February 12 #1
Unlimited breadsticks
The first wish of this day seems to be a reference to the unlimited breadsticks offered at Olive Garden.
February 12 #2
Veto power over others' wishes
A power that could be interesting to have. It also very much fits with Black Hat's character.
February 19
Veto power over others' wishes and all congressional legislation
An improvement of the previous wish. This would be very interesting to have indeed, especially if you are Black Hat, because you could veto any law at any time.
February 23
The power to override any veto
This wish would allow Black Hat to override vetos which in addition to the previous wish would effectively make him control the US legislature and, to some extent, also the UN. It will also allow him to turn certain laws off (veto them) and on again (override the veto) at any moment, messing with people and legal authorities alike.
February 27
The power to see where any shortened URL goes without clicking
This wish relates to a common practice especially in tweets or other short length media where full length specific HTML addresses such as www.somewhere.com/articles/specificdate/the page.html would not be feasible. So a more compressed but nonsensical string of seemingly random characters is used which links to a link of the full text address. This creates some problems for people who are security or privacy conscious and prefer to be informed beforehand where they will be traveling on the Internet. It is analogous to a twisting set of watersides. Some water parks label where they end up and what style of ride it is (the doom tunnel vs the kiddy kicker). Imagine however you're wanting a nice ride ending in shallow water. You could not readily predict the unlabelled ride as it twists out of sight if the label is gibberish. You might end up thinking your attempt to go down the Bay Watch slide might end you up in Pamela's porn pool, which could be well over your head.
February 29
The power to control the direction news anchors are looking while they talk
This wish likely appeals to Black Hat's mischevious side, allowing him to cause news anchors to look at the wrong camera during live broadcast. Repeatedly switching to the incorrect camera would cause havoc in the studio.
March 7
The power to introduce arbitrary error into Nate Silver's predictions
A reference to Nate Silver, who is a former writer for Baseball Prospectus working on predicting baseball players' stats and now writes for Five Thirty Eight in which he predicts the outcome of elections based on polling data. This would grant Black Hat the power to control the result of all elections. This would tighten the Black Hat's control of the US even more.
March 15
A house of stairs
This wish refers to the lithograph Relativity by M. C. Escher, or perhaps another of his lithographs, House of Stairs
March 23
A universe which is a replica of this one sans rules against meta-wishes
The previous wish obviously failed and this is an attempt to circumvent that.
March 29
Free transportation to and from that universe
Black Hat noted a problem with his previous wish. If that wish was granted, he would still stay in our universe with no ways to get to the new one.
April 2
A clear explanation of how wish rules are structured and enforced
Having clear rules and how they work helps anyone finding loopholes in them.
April 7
The power to banish people into the TV show they are talking about
Black hat is obviously fed up of hearing people talking about certain TV shows, and would like to be able to banish them into the show, thus prevent him having to listen to those people.
April 8
Zero wishes
An attempt to hack the wish-granting system by using a quite common vulnerability in input validation: an unexpected value. There may be multiple vectors this can work:
  • in many computer systems, 0 is reserved for unlimited
  • the number may be used as a divisor in some equation and this will make the system divide by zero and probably crash
  • there also may be an assertion like “number of wishes granted == 1” which would fail, again crashing the system
However it seems the eyelash wish-granting system does proper input validation on zero because it did not crash or grant unlimited wishes
April 15
Veto power over clocks
April 22
A pokéball that works on strangers' pets
A reference to the cartoon and video game series Pokémon. A Pokéball can be thrown at a Pokémon (or in this case, a pet that the Pokéball thrower finds either annoying or cute) to capture/contain it and/or achieve ownership of it. In most cases, Pokéballs cannot be used on Pokémon owned by other people.

The title text is a reference to how people often want a ball to either go in or out in a sporting event they are not a part of. Normally, spectators of a game are not actually in the game, but always think that they can somehow influence the game superstitiously, such as perhaps yelling out jinx whenever the opposing team makes a shot, even though if you are watching the game from a television, that would have no effect. By wishing for power over friction, a spectator would have control over what transpires during a sporting match. In most sporting events where you have to run (for instance football), a sudden drop of friction would make you fall over, as this would be like suddenly running out over a sheet of ice. Opposite to this would be in ice hockey, as here an increase in friction could make the puck stop before the goal, and also make the players fall over, as it would be like skating in over land.

[edit] Transcript

Eyelash Wish Log
Wish bureau ID#:
21118378
Date range:
Wisher Jan-Apr 2012
Date Wish
Jan 09 That wishing on eyelashes worked
Jan 12 A pony
Jan 15 Unlimited wishes
Jan 19 Revocation of rules prohibiting unlimited wishes
Jan 20 A finite but arbitrarily large number of wishes
Jan 28 The power to dictate the rules governing wishes
Feb 05 Unlimited eyelashes
Feb 06 That wish-granting entities be required to interpret wishes in
accordance with the intent of the wisher
Feb 08 That wish-granting entities be incapable of impatience
Feb 12 Unlimited breadsticks
Feb 12 Veto power over others' wishes
Feb 19 Veto power over others' wishes and all congressional legislation
Feb 23 The power to override any veto
Feb 27 The power to see where any shortened URL goes without clicking
Feb 29 The power to control the direction news anchors are looking while they talk
Mar 07 The power to introduce arbitrary error into Nate Silver's predictions
Mar 15 A house of stairs
Mar 23 A universe which is a replica of this one sans rules against meta-wishes
Mar 29 Free transportation to and from that universe
Apr 02 A clear explanation of how wish rules are structured and enforced
Apr 07 The power to banish people into the TV show they're talking about
Apr 08 Zero wishes
Apr 15 Veto power over clocks
Apr 22 A Pokéball that works on strangers' pets

[edit] Trivia

A wish-granting character O. W. Grant from the movie Interstate 60 deliberately misinterpreted self-serving wishes.

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Discussion

This is one of my favorite xkcd comics ever. I can't stop laughing. #TEBOWTIME 17:14, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

i know right?? feb. 27th is by far the best... Douglasadams472 (talk) 03:12, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that February 6th's wish implies that, as a result of the previous day's wish, he now has an absurdly large number of eyelashes. Opinions? Bobidou23 (talk) 02:58, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I thought of Black Hat having a crazy number of eyelashes, but not attached to him, so he can't pull them for a wish. They're just in a pile on the floor or something. 173.245.56.187 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I feel that each wish should be thoroughly explained, or at least briefly mentioned. 108.162.238.193 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

+1, Marking this 'incomplete' Spongebog (talk) 20:09, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

March 15 may reference a painting of M.C. Escher so named "House of Stairs" 199.27.128.79 08:19, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

What did "zero wishes" mean? 173.245.48.86 18:16, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Often when configuring software (especially regarding limits) 0 is taken to mean infinite, for example in a mail server's config file there may be an entry that looks like "Max number of connections: (enter 0 for unlimited)" 141.101.98.170 19:24, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
My take on "zero wishes", is that it is a bit of black hattery. He wants to abuse any system he finds, by asking for zero wishes he wants to cause the eyelash wish system to crash in some way. Its not an attempt to gain more wishes, its an attempt to bring the wish system down.141.101.98.165 21:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
My take on the title text was that Black Hat wanted to alter friction for his own amusement, rather than to affect the outcome of a sporting event as the current explanation seems to lean towards.--Pudder (talk) 12:32, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
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