Talk:2579: Tractor Beam

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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This feels a lot like a SMBC outtake. (In a good way.) -- 20:42, 9 February 2022 (UTC)

This reads like a comment. (In a good way.) 21:24, 9 February 2022 (UTC)

So, if I were rising in a tractor-beam, I think there'd be clues as to the scope of the effects. Are my clothes hanging off me, floating round me or am I being upwardly cradled by them? Do I feel like I'm standing on something, hanging upside-down by my feet (from a topsy-turvey horizontal) or freefalling? What's my inner-ear telling me? Is the air around me rushing up, feels still (even though I'm moving vertically through it) or is it like I'm being raised up through it? Does the air feel like treacle, can I push against it, angle my arms to spin in the 'wind' like with indoor freefalling? Does any lateral wind still pass by as it did before the beam (small adjustments for being away from ground-effects, allowed for) or swirl oddly laterally or vertically? Is anything in the air (bat or smoke or rain or whatever dust I kicked up as I scrabbled for footing upon the first surprise of being tractored up) going up or down or neither, or revealing eddies? A bat, or anything else that flies, is going to have excess lift until any confusion (again with the inner-ear?) stops it from using its wings to counteract any non-existent 'weight' element, if applicable. If I hold one hand atop another (easier to experiment with, and switch over, than feet being below my torso, especially if I can't control attitude) do I feel a 'force shadow' where levity does not pass and/or gravity from below is no longer nullified/negated? Am I held as vertically (or similarly, perhaps can adopt a 'seated' poise) or am I unable to hold my attitude/able to change it? ...And loads more obvious things to potentially experience, depending upon how I deal with the first few tests and how quickly I can form less open-ended and more practical/emperical theories about what all I have started to learn means... 21:47, 9 February 2022 (UTC)

Hypothetically, Cueball might be being moved by forces similar to the one causing this - levitation would be an amazing thing to have --Wielder of the Staple Gun (talk) 01:28, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

Very interesting that Randall has been creating a string of comics on UFOs recently. Wonder if he knows something we don't? Jokes aside, it's interesting to see how his brain works, exclusively from a creative-output perspective. The string of UFO comics must be related to something that he experienced in his life recently. Similar to his cursed connectors run a few months ago: one can only wonder what weird, jerry-rigged solution he needed to some frustrating problem. 01:47, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

There has been a lot about UFOs spotted by the US Airforce, I think? I still don't believe it's aliens... It's never Aliens ;-) I guess once he get's one idea for a specific comic, then this may easily spawn other ideas. So I'm not sure there are any particular reason he got the first idea, but that may explain the others that followed. --Kynde (talk) 08:00, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

Let's imagine that a bat between the UFO and Cueball creates a shielding effect from the tractor beam. Part of Cueball would feel the traction but others not. He could be torn apart! Poor Cueball.

If not the part of his body that is not attracted simply goes along with the actively pulled parts, like when you lift a baby in its armpits.
While False (talk) 12:27, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

I feel like it is Randall, not Cueball, as it is "me" in the caption. 12:54, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Bumpf

Most comics could feel like Cueball is Randall. But when you see a person speaking in the comic, then it is that person that says set me down, in the caption. So I would still just say it is Cueball not Randall. Also I'm sure he has not been pulled up by traction beam... And even if this is how Randall would react in case of an abduction (I doubt it) he typically let Cueball have these far out reactions. --Kynde (talk) 17:12, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

What gets me is how Cueball will enter the hatch. If it's far enough 'into the drawing' to make it a person-sized hatch then the projective cone would shine an eliptical slice along the ground forelengthened far morenthan our viewpoint foreshortens it, so its major axis would be (on the image) vertical, not horizontal. For that ground-footprint, it's a smaller, closer craft. Still large, but the hatch is smaller than Cueball. Clearly, then, the tractor-beam is only used to raise the chosen subject off the ground, because (unlike the anti-gravity/levitation beam) the transporter-technology they actually use to ultimately bring a chosen subject into the ship itself cannot distinguish between a person and the ground they might be standing on. Risking either injurious impediments to the one being transported or tearing up some ground with them. (Leaving either foot-filled shoes or a 'divot' in the ground, to shock and/or excite those who discover the evidence of the abduction, and causing a mess for the aliens inside the vessel... either way.) This is clearly the only logical conclusion we can make. ;) 13:51, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

Maybe the hatch would just open up when he get's close...--Kynde (talk) 17:12, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

For me the first two questions are obviously linked to the tractor from the headline. Cueball is thinking about using the tractor beam of the UFO to plow a field. Thus he wants to know why the dirt is not being pulled up with him. I'm surprised this is not mentioned, so I might be totally wrong here. -- 11:50, 11 February 2022 (UTC)

Don't believe "tractor beam" has anything to do with a farming tractor. From Wikipedia, it says that "tractor beam" is short for "attractor beam". 17:27, 11 February 2022 (UTC)
However, xkcd is known for word play and for purposefully misunderstanding words with more than one meaning in the wrong context. -- 19:55, 11 February 2022 (UTC)
For sure but I'm quite sure the current explanation that Cueball wonders how the beam knows only to pull at him and not at anything else that is inside the beam, as his bat question reveals. If anything in the beam would float towards the spaceship then anything loose on the ground should follow Cueball. --Kynde (talk) 17:12, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

If he had been brought onboard the alien ship, I'm sure they would have still returned him sometime around the 25th time he asked, "Aren't we there yet?" – RAGBRAIvet (talk) 14:31, 14 February 2022 (UTC)