Title text: I'll concede ergonomics anecdotally, but none of the studies of Dvorak were at all rigorous (the most-cited Navy study was overseen by Dvorak himself). And the 'slow typists down' thing is a myth. Also EMACS RULES VI DROOLS WOOOOOOO!
Uncomfortable truths are truths that exist, but no one wants to have to think about them.
The first is about Firefly, the TV series created by Joss Whedon and canceled by FOX, due to poor ratings performance, after airing the first 13 episodes out-of-order. In Firefly, the main languages spoken are English and Chinese (supposedly in equal measure), because China was the only other world power besides America to go to space (Joss Whedon's own explanation on the DVDs). However, there are very few actual Asians on-screen.
The second is about two different keyboard layouts, QWERTY and Dvorak. Early typewriters used to jam easily if two nearby keys were struck at about the same time. To work around this, the QWERTY layout, named after the first six letters on its keys, scattered common letter combinations around the keyboard, thus greatly avoiding the problem. (A common myth states that this was done to slow typists down; this was not the case.) Later typewriter mechanisms were less prone to jamming, which prompted a few people to try to create alternative layouts, such as Blickensderfer's DHIATENSOR layout in 1892, or the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard in 1932. Such layouts never really caught on; by then, typists were all very used to the QWERTY layout, and were unwilling to take the time and effort to learn a new one.
In the Dvorak layout, August Dvorak placed the most frequently used keys at the most easily accessible places; Dvorak's advocates claim this reduces typing effort and repetitive strain (as mentioned in the title text) while increasing typing speed and accuracy. However, rigorous, unbiased studies have yet to clearly show significant superiority. (As the title text mentions, the most commonly cited study in Dvorak's favor was overseen by Dvorak himself during his US Navy service in World War II.)
The third and fourth truths are connected: they involve the two people receiving them and (presumably) their relationship with each other. Every time Cueball said "I love you" he never really meant it; whereas Megan meant it every time she said "I love you". This is very uncomfortable for both! This could also be intentional, as a person called Mike (Who happens to be a friend of Megan) is actually hiding inside the well and tells these uncomfortable "truths", he would have intentionally broken Cueball and Megan up to be able to manipulate Megan in the next installment.
The title text perpetuates the Emacs vs. vi debate. Both Emacs and Vim are text editors that are frequently used as general-language editors of source code. The issue is that, while Emacs is more user-friendly and customizable, vim is more lightweight while needing few keystrokes in text editing. Because of this balance, fans of Emacs and fans of vim end up fighting each other.
- [A sign sits by a well.]
- The Uncomfortable Truths Well
- [A Cueball-like guy and Ponytail are lined up for the well; the guy throws a coin in.]
- Well: For a universe that's supposed to be half Chinese, Firefly sure doesn't have any Asians.
- [The guy is gone, Cueball and Megsn arrives as a couple lining up behind Ponytail; Ponytail throws a coin in.]
- Well: There's no solid evidence DVORAK's better than QWERTY. The standard histories are urban legends.
- [Just the couple remain; Cueball throws another coin in.]
- Well: You've never said "I love you" and meant it. It was always just words.
- [Megan has presumably also thrown a coin in the well. This is not shown as for the first three. Cueball waits for her on the other side of the well.]
- Well: You meant it every time.
- In the comic game 1608: Hoverboard there is also a well in the left part of the world. This well has the same type of covered top and at the bottom (it is very deep) there is a girl and above her a coin, like the one thrown into a wishing well. On these links, to images on xkcd ; used in the game, the top and the bottom of the well can be seen.
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