Difference between revisions of "354: Startling"

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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(Explanation)
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The comic is very simple: [[Randall]] apparently has a realization about the time in which he lives (at the time, anyway), given that he grew up in a time where the 2000s seemed very far away, but he now exists in that timeframe with the rest of society. This mind-blowing thought occurs to him every few months, if he is to believed.
 
The comic is very simple: [[Randall]] apparently has a realization about the time in which he lives (at the time, anyway), given that he grew up in a time where the 2000s seemed very far away, but he now exists in that timeframe with the rest of society. This mind-blowing thought occurs to him every few months, if he is to believed.
  
The title text states that "the future" was reached in 2004 (three years before the comic was published).
+
The title text states that "the future" was reached in 2004 (three years before the comic was published). This is possibly a joke on how time works, meaning that, while 'the future' is always, was always, and will always be ahead of the time you're at, that because it's the 21st century, that either the technology has becomes so futuristic that it's, in a loose sense, 'the future', or that, to the perspective of many people, that the current year is after the time they recognize as the present.
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==

Revision as of 16:58, 28 February 2014

Startling
We actually reached the future about three years ago.
Title text: We actually reached the future about three years ago.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Why is 2004 the future? Give examples.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

The comic is very simple: Randall apparently has a realization about the time in which he lives (at the time, anyway), given that he grew up in a time where the 2000s seemed very far away, but he now exists in that timeframe with the rest of society. This mind-blowing thought occurs to him every few months, if he is to believed.

The title text states that "the future" was reached in 2004 (three years before the comic was published). This is possibly a joke on how time works, meaning that, while 'the future' is always, was always, and will always be ahead of the time you're at, that because it's the 21st century, that either the technology has becomes so futuristic that it's, in a loose sense, 'the future', or that, to the perspective of many people, that the current year is after the time they recognize as the present.

Transcript

[Cueball sits silently front of his computer.]
I still do this every few months.
[He continues to sit for two more panels.]
Cueball: Holy crap, it's the 21st century.


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Discussion

This comic isn't that simple:

  • what is Cueball doing every few months?
  • is 2004 correct? If yes, what does it mean?

--Dgbrt (talk) 20:09, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Every few months, Cueball halts his work and realizes that he is in the twenty-first century. Someone who grew up in anticipation of the new millennium (and the new century along with it) may take quite a while to adjust to it. The second bullet point, however, requires some research. --Quicksilver (talk) 07:18, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

"in which he lives in" – this is redundant. It should be "in which he lives. This could be a reference to the song "Live and Let Die", but unless this reference is more clearly explained, it does not belong in the explanation. 75.69.96.225 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I would expand on this thought and state it should be altered to "in about the time in which he lives in is living in" just to clarify specifically that it's that specific time in which he specifically lives in generally. Thokling (talk) 15:06, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't think the future is specifically 2004. It is unthinkable to Cueball (and hence Randall) that we are even in the twenty-first century. For him, the 21st century was "the future," a whole new millennium. I think the point of the title text isn't that the future occurred in 2004, its that we're living in "the future." 173.245.52.211 01:00, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

You want time-related revelation? I just realised earlier today (2015-Feb-04) that a song released in 2003 was half of my current lifespan ago. 108.162.249.240 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey," demarcated the "Future" for many who grew up in the late 20th century. The movie provided a plausible look of what life in the "Space Age" would be like. All the technologies, economical realities, societal behavior, geopolitic, etc. appeared plausible and realistic. To many, this was the best guess as to what life in the early 21st century would be like. Of course, it didn't turn out that way (at least the central theme that space travel would be commonplace); which is why we occasionally scratch our head and ask 'what? It's the 21st century already??? (So where are all the Space cruisers we were supposed to have by now?)" Mountain Hikes (talk) 19:03, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

I think the title text is an allusion to the phenomenon that the older one gets, the more one tends to underestimate time spans: what to Cueball/Randall feels like having happened around 3 years ago (namely the beginning of the new century), has actually happened around 7 years ago.--162.158.114.150 21:04, 26 November 2015 (UTC)