1369: TMI

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
TMI
'TMI' he whispered, gazing into the sea.
Title text: 'TMI' he whispered, gazing into the sea.

Explanation[edit]

"TMI" is an acronym that means "too much information". It is typically used as a response to someone "oversharing" — telling personal details (e.g. "Sorry I just missed your call - I was urinating when the phone rang") that the listener would rather not have heard. Here, however, Cueball may be using it in a more literal and absolute sense: he feels overwhelmed by the colossal amount of information that is now generally available to anyone with an Internet connection.

The title text amplifies this interpretation by evoking the image of an individual person who is overcome as he stands at the edge of the ocean, contemplating its vastness.

Transcript[edit]

[Cueball is sitting at a desk, looking at a laptop.]
Cueball: Ugh, TMI.
Offscreen: Oh? What?
Cueball: Just... Everything.
Offscreen: True.


comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

I assume "TMI" here stands for "too much information". Cueball stares at the screen (presumably with an Internet browser open) and realizes that he will never be able to internalize the amounts of data freely available on the net. The off-screen voice simply confirms it. The humor of the exchange seems to be derived from the fact that "too much information" is usually used to indicate that someone has publicly given away too much private and potentially embarrassing information and made others feel awkward. Cueball, however, uses the phrase in its most literal sense. --Koveras (talk) 06:47, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

TMI is probably Too Much Information (taken literally, not figuratively about overshare) --JakubNarebski (talk) 06:49, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

... despite lot of places on Internet where it CAN be used figuratively. -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:13, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

It could also refer to Three Mile Island; but 'Too Much Information' or 'Too Much Internet' are the most likely meanings. TMA! (Too Many Acronyms!) 173.245.53.123 07:06, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

The title text may be a reference to the quote from the Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet: "From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other." If that logician stared into an entire sea worth of water drops, all the possible inferences would probably make his head explode from literally too much information. --Koveras (talk) 07:15, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Maybe Everything is litteraly just information, like in Decoding Reality. 173.245.52.27 08:55, 16 May 2014 (UTC)


There were a explanation of the title text as to be a reference to Hemingway's "Old man and the sea" which sounded about right to me -- would somebody like to elaborate as to why it was removed? Spongebog (talk) 17:04, 16 May 2014 (UTC)


The title text may also be a reference to a well-known quote from Isaac Newton: "I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855) by Sir David Brewster (Volume II. Ch. 27) 199.27.128.118 20:24, 16 May 2014 (UTC)2minions (sorry, no login - I'm at work)

Would a mention of the similar themes in 975: Occulting Telescope be relevant here? 108.162.216.60 00:56, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

This may explain the mention to the sea http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/12/us/nasa-antarctica-ice-melt/ ...and the dramatic tone 173.245.56.78 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

There's a lot of speculation here about whether the title text is a deliberate reference to something. I'd added that it may echo Nietsche's famous warning "When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you." But on reflection maybe there's no more reason to impute that one as any of of the others listed here (especially since none are a perfect fit), so I removed it. Probably gazing at the ocean/stars/emptiness/whatever is just a cliche image that gets recycled a lot.Cs7 (talk) 17:08, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

I think there might be something, maybe irony, in the comic having very little information. There's next to no dialogue. 108.162.219.15 04:49, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Note: TMI is also a minecraft mod. It allows you to spawn in items, and it contains every item, whether it's added by a mod or regular minecraft. 108.162.237.214 11:39, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

We've been in "final review mode" for 2 weeks now. 0100011101100001011011010110010101011010011011110110111001100101 (talk page) 23:33, 30 May 2014 (UTC)