Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Title text: You may point out that this very retreat into ironic detachment while still clearly participating in the thing in question is the very definition of contemporary hipsterdom. But on the other hand, wait, you're in an empty room. Who are you talking to?
The word "hipster" originally referred to counter-cultural youth and jazz aficionados in the 1940s and 1950s before the Hippie culture developed in the mid '60s. Recently, however, "hipster" has come to refer to, in Wikipedia's terms, "a subculture of young, urban middle class adults and older teenagers that appeared in the 1990s. The subculture is associated with independent music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility, progressive or independent political views, alternative spirituality or atheism/agnosticism, and alternative lifestyles."
Following the hipster resurgence, it became popular in many circles to hold hipsters in contempt, citing their conformity to a subculture by rejecting "mainstream" culture and deliberate (i.e. ironic) indulgence in obnoxious things like moustaches and bad movies. Randall continues the arguably hypocritical meta-complaining by showing more s-curves that represent subsequent, smaller backlashes, self-referentially including his own comic in that meta-complaining.
There is a possible double meaning in the phrase "tedious navel-gazing by insecure people": the word "hipster" also refers to low-rise leg wear that sits at or below the hips, often in conjunction with revealing shirts, thereby exposing one's bellybutton.
The title text reveals Randall's awareness that he's only perpetuating the meta-complaining he's complaining about, but he bats away this criticism by pointing out the facts of the situation: the reader is not communicating with Randall but rather most likely in an empty room while browsing the Internet, which would make their argument effectively pointless.
The title text may be a reference to a previous comic, 525: "I Know You're Listening".
- The layout is a chart with a series of plots reaching a stable equilibrium one after another, with the shape characteristic of a predator-prey model. In order, the labels are.
- How often I see... Hipsters
- --> Complaints about hipsters
- --> Complaints about the constant use and discussion of the word "hipster"
- --> Complaints that every level of meta-opinion on hipsters represents the same tedious navel-gazing by insecure people
- --> graphs making it all worse
- --> Now
- [The horizontal axis is labeled time. Where the final curve rises is marked 'now'.]
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The truth, at last!
184.108.40.206 11:30, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Someone let me know if there are any other graphs that make it worse, otherwise we're dealing with: 1 graph, (and thus approx.) 5 metacomplaints, 9 use/discussion complaints, 11 complaints and 12,5 hipsters. Unless of course, Randall's using one of his log scales or a completely different scale, and knowing him, it's not unlikely... Blue Charizard (talk) 14:36, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
- There are many, many graphs, flowcharts, pie charts, etc, about hipsters on the internet. Just Google "hipster graphs"...so Randall must be talking about way more than only 12.5 hipsters... --Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 14:43, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
- We are also talking about frequency of views ("How Often I see...") rather than actual numbers of graphs or people. As time goes on, the frequency of views per unit of time... etc. --DanB (talk) 15:53, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Hipster stuff is not meta enough. How about gender-fucking-fucking ?
--220.127.116.11 17:49, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
- Meaning of hipster
This page has to explain the ambiguous meanings of the words hipster/hipsters/hipsterdom. Even web dictionaries are often wrong on this.
First for "hipster" we have this subcultures Hipster (contemporary subculture) and Hipster (1940s subculture). But it's also this: Low-rise (fashion) witch may be refer to that tedious navel-gazing people. "Hipsterdom" is related to that subculture and according to this site [Hipsterdom] it is a hierarchy within the subculture of hipsters.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:47, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Is Randall actually complaining/judging as opposed to observing and sharing results? Graphing of the situation can arguably exacerbate any situation by virtue of raising attention to something, but that doesn't mean those graphs are giving any opinion. 18.104.22.168 23:28, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
If you draw lines parallel to the y-axis at the x-axis intersection of the successive curves, you make an intercept with the previous curve. Since we may make a decent assumption that people of opposing camps are the ones complaining about the others, I'm compelled to say that the graph's wrong. For one thing, by definition, non-hipsters won't complain about hipsters unless other non-hipsters are doing so too...(otherwise, that itself would make them hipsters!) So the second curve wouldn't intercept the x-axis. There is no growth in the curve for complaints. They all arrive at their derision at more or less the same time, (Groupthink) and thus, the frequency's constant. There's no growth of frequency with time for the hipster opinion either! By definition, they cultivate independent opinions. The only set they can be classified into is that all of them hold different opinions from the mainstream. This should therefore also remain static at a low level. Of course, I'm assuming that the y-axis is a percentage, and has been normalised across population increases etc. Also, the fact that there are more mainstream people than hipsters ought to make the complaints about hipsters straight line lie higher than the hipster line. 22.214.171.124 23:19, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
I think the point is that if you are aware of hipsters no matter what your feelings towards them, you are inherently part of the problem with hipsters. http://dustinland.com/dlands/dland.hipster.jpg 126.96.36.199 (talk) 09:05, 6 June 2013 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I'm just going to point out that hipsters were complaining about hipsters back in the 1930's. The naval gazing metacomplaints were only temporarily halted by World War II. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 14:55, 6 June 2013 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)