Talk:2592: False Dichotomy

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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This is my second explanation ever, it probably isnt great but its good for others to have something to start from. if anybody who knows how to do the links and everything, for all of the characters and the fancy words, please do that. ElijahRock (talk) 17:57, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

And here I thought it was a pun on tracheotomy...

I’m pretty sure the cannibalism joke is based on the idea that we have to create a “false dichotomy” between humans and non-human living things, or else we can’t say that it’s okay to eat some things (maybe the line is drawn at plants, maybe at animals) but not others (a category that usually includes humans). Pablo360 (talk) 19:03, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

I don't think it's that specific. Often false dichotomies use something horrible or unthinkable as the alternative, and cannibalism is about as taboo as it gets. Barmar (talk)
no, that's delving too far into a fairly simple joke. "Embracing dichotomies and Cannibalism" is a false dichotomy itself! He could have said anything "skydiving", "poison swallowing", anything... It's the fact it's a false dichotomy used to justify false dichotomies. GET IT?!?!?
That makes no sense, humans are demonstrably different from all other creatures, even without arguing human exceptionalism we are a different species which is a very well defined concept-- 13:21, 19 March 2022 (UTC)

I think the title text joke is more based on "There are 2 hard problems in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-1 errors." Barmar (talk) 19:29, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

Trichotomy is not a portmanteau but a real word by itself, and it means what is supposed to mean, i.e., division in three categories. Vdm (talk) 21:36, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

I had not read this comment, when I dove in myself. I agree, though it is an artificial and (slightly) incorrect swap of di- to tri- so is a relative neologism. I've endeavoured to summarise what I understand of it (wiktionary lacks some of the depth, as you try to drill down, and I'm not sure I can provide full references for my version!) and removed the presumption of being a portmanteau. Which I would rather apply to two independent words being melded together, not a replacement of one prefix (or suffix, or infix) with another equivalently elemental fragmentary affix.
But that's just my opinion. Open to further editing. (Maybe shoving in a Trivia section, also!) 01:09, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
Isn’t the morpheme “-tricho-“ about hair? So “trichotomy” should mean “haircut”. 23:22, 12 March 2022 (UTC)

It may be a stretch, but Cueball’s dialogue could be a reference to A Modest Proposal, which satirically creates an extended false dichotomy between poverty and cannibalism Lordoftheroboflies (talk) 23:11, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

[citation needed] (I don't know what you're referring to :) ) Kev (talk) 15:22, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
It's a fairly well known piece of satire by Johnathan Swift. 23:10, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
It isnt actually a false Dichotomy, it is a satirical argument that it is more moral to eat babies than to let poor people die from starvation/exposure, rather than anything conflating the two as the same. 04:30, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

Personally I saw the title text as a reference to Monty Python's Spanish Inqusition: "Our chief weapon is surprise, surprise and fear, fear and surprise. Our *two* weapons are fear and surprise, and ruthless efficiency. Our *three* weapons are fear and surprise and ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical dedication to the pope." 12:16, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

It is possible that when he refers to "surprise trichotomies," he is referring to the cannibalism-false dichotomy false dichotomy. The third element is vegetarianism.