Difference between revisions of "1658: Estimating Time"

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The title text refers to {{w|Hofstadters Law}} which is a non-scientific law that states: "Things will always take longer than you think, even when taking into account Hofstadters Law."
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The title text refers to {{w|Hofstadter's Law}} which is a non-scientific law that states: "Things will always take longer than you think, even when taking into account Hofstadters Law."
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==

Revision as of 12:39, 21 March 2016

Estimating Time
Corollary to Hofstadter's Law: Every minute you spend thinking about Hofstadter's Law is a minute you're NOT WORKING AND WILL NEVER FINISH! PAAAAAANIIIIIIC!
Title text: Corollary to Hofstadter's Law: Every minute you spend thinking about Hofstadter's Law is a minute you're NOT WORKING AND WILL NEVER FINISH! PAAAAAANIIIIIIC!

Explanation

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If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

The title text refers to Hofstadter's Law which is a non-scientific law that states: "Things will always take longer than you think, even when taking into account Hofstadters Law."

Transcript

[Ponytail is sitting back from her a laptop lifting her hands of the keyboard, having presumably just paused work on a project.]
Ponytail: Aaaa! I'm so bad at estimating how long projects take.
[Danish walks into the panel towards Ponytail who seems to relax back against the chair.]
Danish: Don't panic-there's a simple trick for that:
Danish: Take your most realistic estimate and double it.
Ponytail: Okay, but-
[A frame less panel with only Danish holding a hand up.]
Danish: Now double it again. Add five minutes.
Danish: Double it a third time.
Ponytail (from off panel): Okay...
[Danish raises her arms above her head in mock hysteria. Ponytail runs away from her desk screaming.]
Danish: 30 seconds have gone by and you've done nothing but double imaginary numbers! You're making no progress and will never finish!
Ponytail: Aaaaaa!
Danish: Paaaniic!
Ponytail: Aaaaaaa!


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Discussion

Nice to see Danish so clearly back in action. It was also way too long since there have been any clear references to self reference although it of course doesn't reach the level of 688: Self-Description. ;-) --Kynde (talk) 13:00, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Makes me wonder if Randall is working on another big comic, and how long those take him. - Dan - 198.41.235.77 13:25, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Why does it make you wonder if he is working on another big comic? I mean, that'd be cool, but why?

What am I missing?

ANSWER ME

1627: Woosh 108.162.218.101 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Well, he's been up against a deadline for a while, I suspect: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/22/science/randall-munroe-xkcd-science-textbook.html?hpw&rref=science&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well He's written "The story of What's Inside Your Body" for high school students. "…stick figures and simplistic diagrams annotated with curiously nontechnical prose. A schematic of the human body, for instance, looks more like a subway map with various organs labeled as “air bag,” “blood pusher,” “thinking bag” and so on." Npsych (talk) 09:23, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that info! :-) Another possibility is that we are close to April 1st and he usually does something rather big around that day --Kynde (talk) 13:14, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

The garden is the answer. 162.158.146.244 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Why is this talking about adding doubling imaginary numbers? Time estimates are usually non-negative real numbers. 162.158.91.165 15:01, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

I was thinking the exact same thing until I realized that in this context, "imaginary" refers to "non-existent": The numbers being doubled only exist in Ponytail's head. I was very confused until I realized that he wasn't referring to complex numbers with a real component of zero. 173.245.54.35 16:14, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
lolol "Yes, yes, you're very smart. Now shut up." NotLock (talk) 16:21, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

This may be a reference to the rule of thumb that you double your estimate and raise to the next higher unit. E.g.if you think it will take two days, give an estimate of four weeks. There are of course many similar rules out there. --162.158.133.144 15:58, 21 March 2016 (UTC) This is only too real.International Space Station (talk) 17:48, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

What about the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference? ("Don't Panic") Arthulia (talk) 21:27, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

No. It's not a reference. General rule of thumb- "If you have to ask 'Is this a reference?' then it almost certainly isn't." -Pennpenn. 108.162.250.155 23:32, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
A reference must be explicit. It could be an allusion, but not a reference. Anyway, "If you have to ask 'Is this an allusion?' then it almost certainly isn't." 141.101.103.219 00:12, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
It was just for fun I added this, the don't panic statement. That Randall has references the book before was the reason. If it detracts too much attention from the explanation delete it. --Kynde (talk) 13:14, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

This is absurd. We shouldn't link Ponytail and Danish every time their names appear. I deleted 11 links. 141.101.103.219 00:23, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

True only the first time just like any wiki link should only be given once even though the concept is mentioned several times. There can be a few exceptions, but not like the ones you deleted. :-) --Kynde (talk) 13:14, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

The way I read it, Danish isn't offering to help Ponytail estimate the amount of time needed, she's offering to help her panic: "Don't panic - there's a simple trick for that"; i.e. a simple trick for panicking. 162.158.31.205 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)