293: RTFM

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Life is too short for man pages, and occasionally much too short without them.
Title text: Life is too short for man pages, and occasionally much too short without them.


The title is an acronym for "read the fucking manual", which frustrated software users tell newbie users when confronted with a simple question (most likely answered in the manual).

However, Cueball encounters a similar situation with a 911 call, in which the 911 dispatcher hangs up after Cueball states that he has not read the toaster's man page (an unreasonable request as man pages only exist on *nix systems and only describe commands and C functions, not hardware). The 911 dispatcher ignored an obvious medical emergency (the toaster stabbed Cueball in the face), an unusual action for emergency dispatchers but not unusual for Black Hat (perhaps he got a job as a 911 dispatcher).

The title text references the length of *nix man pages, which often span multiple screens, and the fact that they are often very detailed descriptions of their subjects.


[ A man with a knife sticking out of his heavily bleeding face stands in front of a toaster, which has an arm extending from the top of it. He is holding a telephone to his ear. ]
Man: Hello, 911? I just tried to toast some bread, and the toaster grew an arm and stabbed me in the face!
911: Did you read the toaster's man page first?
Man: Well, no, but all I wanted was--
911: <<click>>

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In this writer's opinion, expecting anyone to read a manual that is more than a page or two long, in this Internet-speed era, is unreasonable. 18:30, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Not reading a manual is punishable by being stabbed in the face...I think we can all blame the customer service people for this one. Speaking from their point of view, though, it's definitely a great feature! 15:32, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

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