1962: Generations

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Generations
For a while it looked like the Paperclip Machines would destroy us, since they wanted to turn the whole universe into paperclips, but they abruptly lost interest in paperclips the moment their parents' generation got into making them, too.
Title text: For a while it looked like the Paperclip Machines would destroy us, since they wanted to turn the whole universe into paperclips, but they abruptly lost interest in paperclips the moment their parents' generation got into making them, too.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by THE PREVIOUS GENERATION - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic is making fun of the various names we give "generations", and also predicting some future ones. It refers to the Pew Research Center's recent announcement that they have decided where the Millennial generation ends.

Generation Time period Explanation
The Founders 1730 - 1747
Generation ſ 1748 - 1765 ſ is the 'long' S
The Adequate Generation 1766 - 1783
Generation Æ 1784 - 1801 Æ is the diphthong - unicode U+00C6
The generation we cut a lot of slack because they produced Lincoln 1802 - 1819
The Gilded Generation 1820 - 1837
Star Trek: The Next Generation 2360 - 2378 Star Trek: The Next Generation was a TV show set in the future. The first episode of TNG, "Encounter at Farpoint", takes place in 2364, and it concluded with "All Good Things...", which contains flash-forwards to the year 2370. The TV show itself concluded at Stardate 47988.0 (2370), though the final adventures of the cast of The Next Generation did not conclude until Star Trek: Nemesis in Stardate 56844.9 (in 2379).

The 1856-1873 generation -..- may be referring to Morse Code for the number 9, although this is the eighth generation in this list. More likely, though, it is referring to the letter X instead in International Morse Code. This may be an error on Randall's part, since the generations are an American phenomenon.[citation needed] Alternatively, this list contains both the known Generation X and a future "More Gen Xers Somehow;" so this may be past example of a similar cohort of Xers.

The paperclip machines in 2090-2107 and in the alt text are referencing to the concept of a paperclip maximizer, where an AI might be designed to be helpful, but end up being harmful. The clicker game Universal Paperclips makes this concept playable.

Transcript

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Discussion

Table guy! Maybe this could be a table with "Year", "Generation Name", "References" and "Speculation". Or something. 198.41.230.172 17:31, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

The highlighted generations are clearly the ones Pew Research named, but I can't figure out why Randall's numbers don't seem to match Pew's here: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/ft_15-05-11_millennialsdefined/ TheAnvil (talk) 17:37, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

—••— means X in Morse code Inexorably advancing wall of ice (talk) 18:21, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

But seriously, it was funny the first time. I'm sorry for the above incomplete tag in the comments[citation needed],but it feels like most comics since maybe #1900 (1914: Twitter Verification comes to mind...) have this kind of thing for their incomplete tag. Maybe if it's spaced out more, instead of put into nearly every comic nowadays, it won't be so much of a problem. --162.158.75.184 18:02, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

If you can address this problem, please edit the user. 162.158.155.26 23:04, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Removed the incomplete tag, changed the citation needed tag into the correct one. Dude, please don't do that again, it's not funny, just seriously annoying. The incomplete tag is not there for you to abuse. Herobrine (talk) 12:07, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh, and now that I've finally caught up to you, 162.158.155.26, please check your talk page. Herobrine (talk) 12:07, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

Can someone help me? Halo422 (talk) 20:20, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

What's the emoji 2000-2017? 172.68.141.214 21:05, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

I think I found it: 💅 "nail-polish" (Comes up very different on different systems) 162.158.79.233 21:20, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Couldn't this emoji, and hence the title "Generation 💅", refer to the rise of nail care salons or manicure salons during the recent years? I don't know about other countries, but at least in certain parts of Europe, Germany in particular, there seems to be such a boom of this kind of establishments that I often wonder how they survive and open even more such businesses, even though it appears there's more nail salons than (manicured) nails in town. Passerby (talk) 20:56, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

I have to believe the 1748 - 1765 generation is some form of "Long s" such as U+1E9C or U+1E9D 162.158.79.233 21:12, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

It looks more like a forte (U+1D191). I'm not sure why that would be funny—maybe because of fortepianos? 172.69.69.214 21:43, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
My position comes from the fact that documents written by this generation (i.e. Declaration of Independance and the US Constitution) are noted for having this letter form. The script form of the long s looks like what Randall has written, which, to your point, looks like a "forte" 162.158.79.233 22:51, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Actually, it quite clearly is not long s. Long s only has the tic on the left side of the main stroke, not on both sides as is the case here. 162.158.78.118 22:24, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
I read it as an italic lower-case F, f, as used to denote mathematical functions. I think it looks more like one of those than a long s, ſ, though I don't have an explanation for why that would be used to name a generation. Smylers (talk) 09:50, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Hitler was born in 1889, about three years before the "Oops, one of us is Hitler" generation ... --141.101.105.240 21:37, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Can someone who's a big Trekkie than I am help explain the dates for Star Trek: The Next Generation? If we're going off of the events of the show + movies, it seems to start well before the events of the show and end before the last of the movies. PvOberstein (talk) 21:49, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Year 2378 may be explained by last episode of Voyager happening that year, but no idea about year 2360. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:59, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
Year 2360 is when the humans who became adults (18) in 2378 were born. This time-span is probably when the majority of human TNG characters would have been born (not necessarily notable ones). This is similar to how people born in 1982 became the first new adults in the new millenium. 172.68.46.143 05:02, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
William T. Riker was born in 2335, Jean Luc Picard 2305, Deanna Troi 2336, Data 2338, Guinan ... ehmmm ... well she was already adult in 1893. Even Wesley Crusher was born 2348. They don't allow children on bridge. Usually. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:49, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Filled in most of the table with explanations (I'm pretty sure most of the latter generation names are references to potential transhumanist futures), but I'm not sure what "Second-Greatest" Generation refers to unless it's about the Civil War. Also, I'm not entirely certain whether the generation before the gilded one was cut a lot of slack. And I'll let someone more versed in standard sociological history fill in the common reasons for the core 20th century generations.WingedCat (talk) 22:49, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Paperclip machine

I think the paperclip machines refer to the browser game "Universal Paperclips", where paperclip machines take over the universe. [1]. Best regards, 172.68.110.10 11:55, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

The incomplete explination tag seemed to be a useless joke, so I deleted it.
Ω

Wow that’s a lot of speculation on the Ω generation! 177 words of it! Who knew people could imagine so much inspired by a single character (and no historical context to extrapolate from). Personally, I tend to think of it as the “resistance generation” given my electronic background 😜. PotatoGod (talk) 15:11, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Ω may be a reference to Year Omega in the novel The Children of Men. 172.69.69.172 18:04, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Why is there an incomplete tag in the transcript? What's wrong with it? 108.162.216.148 22:49, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Millennials were *originally* called "Echo Boomers" (after the Baby Boomers, and because most of them are that generation's kids), "Generation Y" came later but before "Millennials" stuck as a non-snowclone name. 162.158.63.100 01:56, 18 June 2018 (UTC)