1542: Scheduling Conflict

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Scheduling Conflict
Neither a spokesperson for the organization nor the current world champion could be reached for comment.
Title text: Neither a spokesperson for the organization nor the current world champion could be reached for comment.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: First draft.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic envisions a "National Scheduling Conflict Championship" (NSCC), presumably as the culmination of some larger scheduling-conflict competition. It is unclear if the goal of the event is to have a scheduling conflict and miss it, or if there are actual challenges at the event, but the contestants miss the event as it's their nature to always have a scheduling conflict—in other words, whether the event's cancellation is a success or a predictable failure.

The Abbreviation NSCC is related to many other national sports organizations like NFL and NBA. (The most common use of the NSCC abbreviation on-line seems to be for the Nova Scotia Community College).

The title text mentions that is was impossible to each either a spokesperson of last years champ for a comment. So continuing the problem with schedules for people involved in the NSCC.

This may (or most probably may not) be a play on a common trope in movies such as High School Musical, where the protagonists must choose between two events they want to participate in, one of which is often a competition of some sort.


[Picture showing a newspaper with a big headline over a picture. In the picture there is a banner over an empty podium with a microphone. Only the headline and the text on the banner in the picture is readable. All other text in the newspaper is just lines.]
National Scheduling Conflict
Championships canceled
Banner text: NSCC 2015

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What happened to my transcript? I came here, found no page created, put the template up with a transcript and now it's all been overwritten. :P Jarod997 (talk) 13:19, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

What happened is that you created the page 1542, but that is only mean to be a redirect page that leads to this page: 1542: Scheduling Conflict. The bot that creates this automatically deleted your transcript when it did it's magic. You can still find you transcript on the 1542 page in the history. (You will have to press the 1542 in the (Redirected from 1542) at the top of the page to go that page). --Kynde (talk) 14:34, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
@Jarod997 -- I think there might have been a scheduling conflict. Ahem (talk) 16:41, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
@Kynde Ah ha! Tyvm for the explanation. I was wondering though why I wasn't seeing any page up - was the bot a little slow yesterday? Jarod997 (talk) 13:26, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

In the explanation, I thought it was more a play on an oxymoron of a bunch of people who are good at fixing scheduling conflicts, only to have a contest in which they're entered be cancelled because of a scheduling conflict. I was going to put this in the explanation (which was blank at the time), but then someone overwrote me - and quite ironically a conflict arose. Jarod997 (talk) 13:26, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Certainly these were my first thoughts. (Championships must take place after (often regional) qualifying Heats, and those that ascend to the final level then need to make themselves available for the ultimate play-offs.) It's possibly the inverse (conflict-creation!), but getting through the preliminaries might be like the old joke of losing out on the competition to become Village Idiot to the competitor who didn't turn up! With neither of the two sought-after contacts available, either they've not resolved to ensure that at least one of them is contactable at all times, or else they've managed to put aside all other commitments (including the Championships?) to finally get some time together with each other... 16:39, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

My original take was similar to that of Jarod997- the cancellation wasn't due to anything the participants did/didn't do, but that the competition itself had a scheduling conflict (like the venue was double-booked or something). AnInsideJoke (talk) 18:23, 24 June 2015 (UTC)AnInsideJoke

Sure but that is just not funny, and it does not explain why nobody could be reached for comment Spongebog (talk) 20:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Because they were too embarrassed over their inability to fix the scheduling conflict over the scheduling conflict championships. ExternalMonolog (talk) 22:50, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps it's somethin about the US elections or any debate (we didn't recieve any news here at south, im at Brazil hehehehhehe), but a debate is a national event with conflicts chanpionships and it is scheduled. I recon that is something with the schedule of US elections debate, perhaps it was cancled or just changed. perhaps i was seeing the light reflect on mars and was flashed with the M.I.B. memory flash hehehehehehhehehehehehhe. gabrielpenalber (talk)

A few remarks, but I'll leave it to someone better versed in the English language to work it into the explanation if he/she wishes to:

- Is this an American thing, to assume the current world champion must be last year's national champion?

- there is a play on words in the title(s), they would be read as "National Scheduling Conflict: Championships canceled" which begs the question "Which championships?". It is only when reading the NSCC banner that you could assume something like the "National Scheduling Conflict Championships" exists.

- How did they get a world champion if the championships are presumably always cancelled? Does that mean the prize is claimed anyway or that the champion is actualy not as good at scheduling conflicts as all those people cancelling because of scheduling conflicts.

- Now I'm overthinking, but there is no reason for a spokesperson to be a good at the activity of the organisation he/she is spokesperson for, or is there? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

This reminds me a lot of comic #1466: Phone checking. Both are about an obscure championship, and both are interrupted by the nature of said championship. --Quantanaut (talk) 17:08, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

So (as commented on briefly by an earlier person) I initially read the newspaper headline as National Scheduling Conflict: Championships Cancelled, which is the most obvious reading the way it's stylized, although obviously the picture doesn't make sense in this context. But I think this is intended, that you first read it that way then you look at the picture and go "oh".-- 19:36, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, I also thought that's what it said. Maybe a mention of syntactic ambiguity in the explanation would be worthwhile? 02:25, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Honestly the idea that it was two separate sentences never actually occurred to me at all, since while having it as one sentence makes sense as a joke (especially considering other things in XKCD, like the Tautology Society), whereas the way you're suggesting it isn't a joke. -Pennpenn 00:27, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Is there any significant scheduling conflict going on Randall's life right now or his recent past that served as impetus for this comic? 02:20, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

That'd explain why the last few weeks/month of comics seemed to have been delayed until later in the day. 08:14, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

I think there could be a reference to the very common political ploy of using a "scheduling conflict" as an excuse to miss an event where the politician expects to be challenged or questioned on an issue he wishes to avoid. This is so frequent that it has become a cliché in American politics. Taibhse (talk) 06:58, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Seems like a remarkably convoluted explanation rather than the simpler one that it is the National Scheduling Conflict Championships (NSCC) which have been cancelled, the joke being the obvious one Stumpy

I agree, the current first couple paragraphs are ridiculous. If this silly way of reading the two newspaper headlines as separate lines has to be mentioned, it should be at the end, as a kind of dubious and totally unlikely alternative interpretation. --RenniePet (talk) 10:22, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
constraint programming

I think the championship is referring to computer programs that solve scheduling conflicts (a NP hard problem) google "constraint programming scheduling problems"

Basically scheduling is an example of a real world problem that can be expressed in a set of NP-complete constraints that can be solved by a computer given enough time. Even tho the problem is NP, the real world data and symmetries of problem means that certain algorithms (or constraint solver) can find the answer faster than others. The championship would be a completion to advance the state of art in constraint solvers to speed the computation of real world NP hard problems (such completions exist/existed). -- 08:31, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Psychics convention

Canceled due to unforeseen circumstance. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)