1332: Slippery Slope

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Slippery Slope
Sure, taking a few seconds to be respectful toward someone about something they care about doesn't sound hard. But if you talk to hundreds of people every day and they all start expecting that same consideration, it could potentially add up to MINUTES wasted. And for WHAT?
Title text: Sure, taking a few seconds to be respectful toward someone about something they care about doesn't sound hard. But if you talk to hundreds of people every day and they all start expecting that same consideration, it could potentially add up to MINUTES wasted. And for WHAT?


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Wow, and I used to think White Hat was well-meaning but stupid; the inverse of Black Hat. I never knew he was such an asshole... 09:11, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

My own first thought was "That's a Black Hat Voice...". Then I started wondering what White Beret would have said, in his stead, and that sufficiently distracted me... 13:49, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Maybe he's being sarcastic? 23:19, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I read that as more of an introverted perspective (though to an extreme) than him being an asshole. 16:20, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't really understand what Randall's trying to say by making him a White Hat.--Ricketybridge (talk) 23:43, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I always assume Randal made a mistake and forget to color in the hat, because this is obviously a BlackHat argument. 18:25, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Remember that it is this page that has put Cueball and White Hat tags on these persons. Randall does not follow this page... Hence he can change them at will, and especially the Cueball character behaves quite different from comic to comic - sometimes there are more than one Cueball in the same comic. On the other hand, I do believe that Randall uses White Hat as "the same person" every time. However, where White Hat may not wish to go out of his way to be nice - this has nothing in comparison to Black Hat who will go out of his way (a long way) to be mean to everyone. So this is not a typical Black Hat discussion in the comic. Kynde (talk) 10:54, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
I also wonder what the deal is here with White Hat. I usually think of him as the proponent of "conventional wisdom," which is often misguided,smug, and self-righteous... but not usually malicious. Black Hat obviously has that one cornered. And yes, I do understand that Randall "doesn't read this site," but that doesn't mean that he isn't saying something by using White Hat here. He's obviously put a sign out there. It's up to us to decode the signifier. Orazor (talk) 06:50, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Malice is active and/or deliberate harmful behavior, not the absence of kindness. So his attitude isn't malicious, it's selfish because he's putting his time far ahead of the wellbeing of others. -Pennpenn 06:07, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

"Where does it end"? - Marriage, obviously. -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:29, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Reminds me of a scene in 3
10 to Yuma (2007) with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale

Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) speaking to Dan Evans (Christian Bale): "Yeah, that's why I don't mess around with doing anything good, Dan. You do one good deed for somebody... I imagine it's habit-forming. Something decent. See that grateful look in their eyes, imagine it makes you feel like Christ Hisself." 20:24, 19 February 2014 (UTC)CAM

In the U.S., the satellite company DirectTV has a series of humorous commercials using the Slippery Slope argument as part of their "Get Rid of Cable" campaign. They all start with a person using cable tv, having problems of some sort, and then ending up in a dire situation such as waking up in a roadside ditch, selling your hair to a wig shop, etc. 22:43, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Am I the only one thinking maybe we might take the literal meaning out of this, too? Seems like every day someone else gets fed up with being a douche. 23:19, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

The classical "slippery slope" argument against cannabis legalization is that if we legalize cannabis, we must also legalize other drugs, eventually leading to legalizing heroin. This also mirrors the slippery slope argument in the comic. 11:44, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Updated and expanded explanation. Is it sufficient now? 23:49, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

I perceive a problem.

Both examples of "slippery slope" arguments provided in the explanation are stereotypically bad arguments taken from a more conservative perspective, and the explanation goes on to criticize these bad arguments for being "largely made out of baseless fear and prejudice."

For one thing, this comic has nothing whatsoever to do with "arguments that are largely made out of baseless fear and prejudice" - furthermore, the criticism is a leftist's interpretation of the grounds for these perspectives (alleged fear and prejudice) rather than acknowledging whatever legitimacy there may be to actual conservative beliefs on these issues. Certainly, a thinking conservative who encountered this depiction of their beliefs would object strongly that their beliefs are quite warranted, and are not grounded in "baseless fear and prejudice" at all.

One possible solution would be to remove one of the examples and instead present an example of a bad "slippery slope" argument made from a left-leaning perspective: for example, arguing that "outlawing same-sex marriage will inevitably lead to outlawing interracial marriage as well" or "tightening up controls on illegal immigration will result in more onerous restrictions on legal immigration as well."

I am more inclined, however, to simply find a single example that isn't nearly as politically-charged and that anyone can agree to. I'm thinking of drafting such an example and then making the change at a later date, unless someone finds a reason for me not to? Discussion is welcome. 18:54, 22 December 2020 (UTC)MeZimm

Changes made. Let me know if I overstepped or if something needs to be reworked, thanks! 18:47, 4 January 2021 (UTC)MeZimm

There is a simple solution to this. Just stay inside for the whole day, and exercise on a static bike. Luckily, covid means that this is happening (happened in many places) already. Beanie talk 10:44, 17 June 2021 (UTC)