Talk:1895: Worrying Scientist Interviews

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search


Why not use Heliologist? :~) DarkJMKnight (talk) 14:49, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

If the sun is local breaking news, could be an impending dark age (solar activity destroying all technology) or a dark age (solar implosion/explosion/death). 162.158.79.5 15:42, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Destroying *all* technology would require something on the scale of a solar expansion (hydrogen exhaustion) Solar flares (even those strong enough to burn all life from the face of the Earth) still would not be sufficient to destroy subterranean shelters like NORAD. Only a total extinction event would be capable of destroying all technology. Even if 99.9% of all humans on Earth were killed off, there are very well secured (& insanely well funded) facilities which will survive any event short of total crust-upheaval, at least for a generation or so. Reverting to primitive lifestyle may possibly happen for a *majority* of humans, but modern military systems are such that some humans with tech are almost guaranteed to remain, no matter what terrible events occur. In other words, the wealthiest technocratic elite aren't going to die off any time soon. 172.68.58.125 00:59, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
Which makes me wonder why only a local reporter is covering the story. Sounds like a media beat-up. The joke appears to depend more on someone's imagination than on the actual news story. 198.41.238.34 23:10, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Everyone else is dead except for the reporter who happens to be beret guy

Marine biologist is probably about oil spills or coral reefs/fish dying etc, rather than invasive species --141.101.99.209 16:18, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

The explanation for "ornithologist" uses "avian dinosaurs" instead of "birds." There's a link to the wikipedia page for birds, but it's still a potentially confusing inside joke. 172.68.54.106 19:01, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

The reference to "ornithologist" is almost certainly a reference to Hitchcock's "The Birds" 172.68.253.209 01:52, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
Definitely, rather than the obscure Birdemic movie --141.101.69.81 06:32, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

So, wait: worried about what the hell is so wrong with interviewers for them to actually want to talk to these kinds of researchers; or about what is happening to the world are we all going to die is it the end times? 162.158.79.71 19:54, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

This seems to be inspired by horror and disaster movies, so talking to a volcanologist would suggest that a volcano is about to blow and make the local town the next Pompeii. An ornithologist means the birds are about to go psycho like in The Birds (if we're going to list obscure things nobody has ever heard of, I'd put forward a certain episode of a show called Cybersix), etc. That's what this is talking about. So, end times. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:45, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

The solar physicist would most likely be talking about an incoming solar flare, which could shut down the electric grid, satellites, and a bunch of other stuff, potentially within minutes, making it the most pressing of the issues. 162.158.75.112 01:11, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

I think economists and nutritionists are at the lower end for being notoriously wrong in their predictions --141.101.69.81 06:35, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Wow, this comic came on the morning right after the night in which I had a terrifying nightmare about the sun going supernova. I'm SERIOUSLY spooked. --162.158.92.148 08:53, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Well don't worry, the sun is too small to go Super nova. My nightmare as a kid was that it swelled up and swallowed the Earth... This will probably happen, but in 5 bill. years fro now. But when you are 6 years old that is not a number that makes any sense, and I had just heard about the death of the sun :D --Kynde (talk) 09:33, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Bayes! Uuuh-vey! Considering you should pre-multiply with the probability that the desaster happens in the first place (which is rather unlikely for the sun), I definitely would be worried with the economist most. (Mkay, big stock crashes are as probable as volcano eruptions, but I don't live near one.) 141.101.104.29 10:10, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

But economists are interviewed before and after every meeting of the [Federal Reserve / Bank of England / whoever] discussing whether to change interest rates. That's a lot of non-critical interviews. 162.158.34.76 10:52, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
If this is a joke about disaster movies like I think it is, then the probability of a disaster happening is basically 1, then this scale becomes a question of how scary the disaster is. I, for one, definitely think Jaws is a more scary announcement than anything an economist can come up with. 172.68.54.112 15:07, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this is a joke about disaster movies not a serious scale. So Marine Biologist is pretty worrying because it's a shark attack or a giant octopus. Ornithologist is scary because of the birds, astronomers are meteors, etc. 172.68.54.112 15:07, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

This explanation seems pretty confused - the main explanation seems to imply that we're talking about real life, while the table underneath suggests we're dealing with 'movieland' (e.g. an ornithologist in real life is more likely to be talking about a population fall than 'strange behaviour'). My own take is that it's all talking about real life except for the last entry / title text, which is the punch line, and is referencing 'movieland'.162.158.155.32 11:47, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

What about the missing entries? Mathematician: "the discrete logarithm problem has been solved" (eCommerce becomes insecure). Divad27182 (talk) 20:29, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Exactly what I was thinking- after all the heavy handed AGW talk during the campaign, Climatologist is strangely missing from the list.Seebert (talk) 20:54, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

172.68.253.89 23:11, 28 September 2017 (UTC) I can think of one speciality worse: nuclear physicist. Like the Sun, but localised. Imagine how local people must have thought when they were informed of the Fukushima Daiichi plant being compromised in 2011.

I would personally put Criminologist up among the top 4 (depending on how much I believe this is who they'd talk to for a serial killer), and everything else from Entomologist on down would be tied with Archeologist, with Nutritionist perhaps lower (nutritionists never agree, people just listen to the ones saying something they like, so I figure they all need to be taken with a grain of salt except when there's a majority opinion). Seems like these are more influenced by disaster / horror / thriller movies, LOL! Like Ornothogists rate high because of The Birds (which is famous and by a famous director, never heard of that other one, how does it rate a mention?) P.S. The first two comments got doubled up, cleaned it up before it got worse. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:20, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

People who aren't worried about interviewing the archaeologist clearly need to watch more The Mummy and Indiana Jones movies. And Alien, for that matter. 198.41.238.52 01:59, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Wow, I got a completely different joke when I read this one. My initial interpretation of the comic was how worried we should all be that the (presumably scientifically illiterate) reporter was going to mangle the science contained in the interview in the interest of sensationalism and selling a news story. Not that your all's' interpretation isn't perfectly valid, but given Randall's previous send ups of poor scientific reporting, that's the direction my mind went first.172.68.143.246 22:12, 3 October 2017 (UTC)