Talk:2181: Inbox

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Key to the joke is that the Romans had (allegedly?) no concept of zero, i.e. Roman numerals cannot express 0.Mathmannix (talk) 18:19, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Maybe, but I think this refers to the Inbox Zero methodology more. 19:12, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

It's a pun. It doesn't work without the notion that Romans had no concept of zero.

I don't see how that is remotely relevant, or how it would make the joke "work". They didn't have a concept of "Inbox Zero" because they didn't have email. But regardless of why they didn't have Inbox Zero, I don't understand what the joke is here, since if I understand correctly Inbox Zero is basically about spending as little time as possible on email. Zmatt (talk) 14:43, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

I actually find there's nothing in this comic that suggests it's referencing the idea that Romans didn't have a "zero". They didn't have the concept of Inbox Zero because they didn't have inboxes. It's a cute additive, though. NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:18, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

It's a common if fallacious trope that the ancient Romans "had no concept of zero", so it's clear to me that Randell is referencing that trope (otherwise he wouldn't have worded it so closely), more so than the obvious one that they would have no concept of inboxes in general. -boB (talk) 15:11, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
Actually, the more I thought about it, the more I felt I should retract my statement. Like you said, the wording seems to really suggest it. I think I had difficulty seeing it because this explanation was the first time I ever heard the idea that Romans didn't have the concept of zero (which I can understand, as I've never heard a Roman numeral for Zero). NiceGuy1 (talk) 07:04, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Since when does "email usually demands a reply"? By some statistics much to most (45-73%) of email is spam. A good chunk of other email is notifications of orders, tracking updates, forum/etc subscriptions, social media notifications, and so on -- those certainly don't require a reply (though some may require or prompt further action). Then there's all the RE:FW:RE:RE:FW:FW:RE type chain letter stuff (as differentiated from spam) and a lot of CC/BCC stuff for people being "looped in" but not needing to reply. Only a tiny portion of email (higher on work accounts) requires a reply, and even then a lot of that email itself doesn't _demand_ a reply, but rather that societal conventions of courtesy (and/or "being a team player") make non-responsiveness sometimes problematic. YMMV, but IMO the only emails that really need a reply are direct questions from supervisors/subordinates, clients, and friends/family members. Anything else is extra. Never mind the whole pedantic argument that email itself cannot demand anything as it is the message/medium rather than the sender of the message...

I would argue that Hannibal did send the unsubscribe message loud and clearly. He only didn't manage to get it through to the intended recipients.