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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
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Today, the wiki is in read-only mode to allow for a hosting migration.  Please enjoy reading all our xkcd explanations.
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font><br>
 
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
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     The extra one difference corresponds to 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so.
 
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and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}}
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and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}}
({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete articles|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
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({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
 
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== Latest comic ==
 
== Latest comic ==
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*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at the [[explain xkcd:Community portal|Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
 
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*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete articles|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
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*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  
 
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Revision as of 17:59, 4 March 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 21 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Fixing Problems
'What was the original problem you were trying to fix?' 'Well, I noticed one of the tools I was using had an inefficiency that was wasting my time.'
Title text: 'What was the original problem you were trying to fix?' 'Well, I noticed one of the tools I was using had an inefficiency that was wasting my time.'

Explanation

This comic is clearly remarking upon whether or not the benefits of the mentality "If it ain't broke, break it and fix it" are outweighed by the massive waste of time that can result from trying to solve any problem. As Cueball attempts to solve whatever computer issue he feels is causing him to be less productive, he creates more problems along the way. Attempting to solve all of these problems results in more time wasted than he was likely already wasting by using the inefficient tool described in the title text.

The title is surely a reference to the Fixed-point combinator which, if used unwisely will lead to infinite recursion.

This comic is remarkably similar in thesis to 1445: Efficiency and 1319: Automation.

Relevant comics include 1171: Perl Problems, where using regular expressions causes more problems than it solves, 349: Success, where Munroe comments on the goals of a project decreasing in optimism as a project goes on due to more and more problems distracting from the original, and 1579: Tech Loops, which shows that attempting to fix one problem in a piece of software can force a developer to delve into seemingly irrelevant parts of the relevant tech loop that the software in question is trapped in.

Transcript

[Single square panel]
[Cueball sitting in front of a laptop]
Off-screen person: What are you working on?
Cueball: Trying to fix the problems I created when I tried to fix the problems I created when I tried to fix the problems I created when...


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