1629: Tools

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Tools
I make tools for managing job-hunting sites for people who make tools for managing job-hunting sites for people who make tools for...
Title text: I make tools for managing job-hunting sites for people who make tools for managing job-hunting sites for people who make tools for...

Explanation[edit]

Cueball asks Megan what she does, and she begins by answering "I make tools that make tools." So far, this is a common expression of the way a sophisticated technology is built on simple building blocks, with one set of tools used to build a more powerful set of tools, and so on (see for instance this article: Tools to make Tools that make Tools).

However, the iterations are carried to comical lengths, with Megan spending twenty minutes reeling off various steps including development of software code and software code debugging and development tools. And she is not even finished when Cueball breaks into her endless list after she once again says tools for by asking what is it for? (See also: 1579: Tech Loops).

Megan readily admits that she doesn't even know the goal of these tasks, and guesses that it is probably for porn, referencing the not-entirely-unfounded stereotype that the majority of internet traffic is pornographic websites (see tvtropes the The Internet Is For Porn page). Knowing that many information technologies, from printing to computers, are quickly adopted by porn producers and distributors, this is not a bad guess on Megan's part. Further, many internet related advances have had their way paved by a porn industry that needed secure and secret payments options, and better bandwidth for downloading films, as well as making it more accessible, etc.

In the title text there is a recursion as someone (maybe Cueball) tells what they do. And in this case they make tools for managing job-hunting sites for people who make tools for managing job-hunting sites for people who make tools for ... (ad infinitum). See also other comics about Recursion.

Regarding porn in xkcd see also 305: Rule 34.

Transcript[edit]

[Cueball talks to Megan.]
Cueball: What do you do?
Megan: I make tools that make tools
[Megan continues talking to Cueball in this frameless image.]
Megan: ...That monitor code that deploys tools that build tools for deploying monitors...
[Cueball finally stops Megan from talking. At the top there is a small frame with a caption overlaid on the top frame:]
20 minutes later...
Megan: ...For monitoring deployment of tools for-
Cueball: But what's it all for?
Megan: Honestly, no idea. Porn, probably.


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Discussion

Will X be used for porn? >Yes

Problem solved. It WILL be used for porn. International Space Station (talk) 07:57, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

What about spent uranium fuel rods? Y1ff (talk) 15:15, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Used for films with the very hottest of porn stars. 108.162.245.179 21:24, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Truly, a scintillating performance. 162.158.152.227 23:16, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
And if there is not made porn of it yet apply Rule 34!--Kynde (talk) 21:15, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

Compare The Thingummybob. 141.101.106.221 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)


"A tool made by a tool made by a tool made by a tool" is just a 4th generation MIT student :P --108.162.218.148 20:52, 17 January 2016 (UTC)


It might also be a teasing reference to the Marxist concept of "Alienation," part of which is workers being too far separated from the products of their labor or having too little control over the productive process, and mentally suffering from the separation. Megan doesn't seem to be suffering much.162.158.184.125 18:39, 11 February 2016 (UTC) 162.158.184.125 18:36, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say that I want to be the first to say... Zorlax the Mighty'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 15:24, 12 July 2016 (UTC)