Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This New Year comic is a little reminder that it's the last day of 2012, and it's time to make your New Year's resolutions!
Cueball wants to break a very common habit of resolving to do something (go on a diet, for example), not doing it, and then trying the same, dysfunctional plan again, thinking it will work "this year." This is another way of stating a common folk definition of insanity: to keep doing what you always do yet expecting different results.
The irony is that Cueball resolved the same thing last year, and it is implied it didn't work, but he says it'll be different "this year."
The title text is a parody of the saying "if at first you don't succeed: try, try, try again."
- Cueball: I'm scared of being stuck—thinking I'm fixing things about myself but never actually changing.
- Cueball: My 2013 resolution is to break out of loops. To recognize when I'm not making progress, stop yelling at myself, and try a different approach.
- Out of panel: Wasn't that also your resolution last year?
- Cueball: Yeah, but this year's gonna be different.
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It's good! But self-explanatory? -- St.nerol (talk) 16:06, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
The reference to a single data point may reference a common problem in "long-term" or "one-off" observations - that statistical significance can probably never be achieved because of the labour involved in creating individual data points. In this case Cueball essentially makes one data point per year (or many depending on whether you consider individual observations to happen throughout the year...), and thusly one year is insufficient to determine if there is a large "yearly" loop with nested daily/weekly loops.
Humans seem to have a biological mechanism to bypass this conundrum wherein we make linear extrapolations or use weak induction for situations where there is insufficient data.184.108.40.206 22:19, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I took this to be a reference to infinite loops because of "being stuck" "thinking I'm fixing things about myself", "break out of loops", and "not making progress". Also, the title "Resolution" could be said to refer to the test statement in a loop to determine whether or not to continue the loop, resolving the loop. --220.127.116.11 00:28, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
If at first you don’t succeed
…try, try again! (a mother’s advice)
…that’s one data point. (scientific version)
…click “undo.” (IT version)
…read the directions. (engineering version)
…keep a separate ledger. (business version)
…call in an air strike. (military version)
…file an appeal. (legal version)
…try bribery. (diplomatic version)
…redefine success. (political version)