Talk:1311: 2014

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 17:19, 3 January 2014 by (talk)
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Just a note that the PNG file for this comic is (or was initially) actually a TIFF file with a PNG extension. 05:37, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

  And now it's fixed. 06:07, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I presume most of the quotes are genuine, but surely Randall has made up the one about subsisting on jellies? 11:08, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I wouldn't be so sure. The Book-Lover - Vol. 4. (No. 17 to 22) 1903 contains Poe, Edgar Allan and Dickens, Charles and Emerson, Ralph Waldo ... maybe it refers to some of Poe's horror stories? -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:10, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Spherical jelliies and creams were very fashionable in the era in which it was written, so it may have been simply a prediction of great luxury for the future. 14:37, 1 January 2014 (UTC)(Kyt)
Here's the Book-lover reference: [1]
Two sections from the H.G. Wells book it came from (When the Sleeper Wakes):
"There were several very comfortable chairs, a light table on silent runners carrying several bottles of fluids and glasses, and two plates bearing a clear substance like jelly."
"They gave him some pink fluid with a greenish fluorescence and a meaty taste, and the assurance of returning strength grew."
-- Jim Gillogly 16:50, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Ok ... William Carey Jones quote: [2] ... I would say that while technically true, he didn't meant it because he doesn't refer to first world war but instead some problems of American democracy which were probably forgotten ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:21, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Christopher Baldwin: [3] ... I would say good luck with preserving everything printed :-), but the idea is certainly good and projects like Google Books are attempting to solve the problem he was talking about. -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:25, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Found the reference to Shakespearian rope bridges... -- Androgenoide (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Found the reference to Spherical jellies: Zeeprime (talk) 17:57, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Found another reference to Shakespearian rope bridges. In short, some British officer called Mr. Shakespeare experimented and promoted the use of rope suspension bridges in India, apparently for the ease of colonization and military operations. -furrypony 21:21, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Is it possible that the highlighted words can be shuffled to reveal a hidden message? Has Randall done this before? 07:53, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

The fourth quote (.."rocked and cradled by electricity"..) seems to appear in The Champagne Standard by LANE, Annie Eichberg (Mrs. John Lane). [4] (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

regarding the languages of new york city (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Tone of the explanation

I find the tone of the explanation as it stands right now not to be in line with the rest of the explanations available on the site. For example:

 By the twenty-first century I believe we shall all be telepaths.

The plain "absurd" does not provide an explanation, only a judgement. It would be more useful it the explanation contained a link to a source with the quote, to provide context. Or provide a short bio for the person credited with the explanation. I understand the fascination behind arguing against or for the prediction, but that does not explain the comic. For example, you could argue that this particular prediction is in a sense accurate. Nowadays we all communicate in a way that people from a century ago would consider almost telepathic, given that "telepathy" means "distant experience". No, we are not mind readers, but a lot of us carry a device in our pockets that allows us to experience things at a distance.

Also, I wonder why some sentences are in boldface. I tried reading only the bold text, and it is not coherent enough. I tried reading the grey text, and it isn't coherent either. I tried several other ways of reading the texts, and I cannot find any "hidden meaning".

I believe it's just to highlight content. The grey or non-bold text is (for the most part) non-essential to the content of the quote. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

--mem (talk) 16:10, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

I see I'm not the only one who thought of cellphones when he read that sentence. I've edited the article to reflect this explanation. --NeatNit (talk) 17:39, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

It seems to me that Randall believes that bolded text is false and grey text is true. 16:13, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

This makes no sense. Most of the grey text has little content, and Abortion is still a very debated topic. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

There is also the recent budding prospect of technologically assisted telepathy, such as was recently done with small laboratory rodents. While not exactly "everyone" just yet, (ahem), the prospect is certainly not "absurd". Technologically enabled telepathy certainly looks possible, and given the rate of technological progress of this century, the prediction could well come true. 17:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Technologically assisted telepathy redefines the word telepathy. For example Random House says communication between minds by some means other than sensory perception (my emphasis). Collins: the communication between people of thoughts, feelings, desires, etc, involving mechanisms that cannot be understood in terms of known scientific laws (my emphasis). 17:51, 2 January 2014 (UTC) 17:16, 2 January 2014 (UTC) I suspect that most -- but not all -- of the "predictions" are apocryphal. For instance, I can indeed find the Gumbril (not "Gumbriel") character and citation in Huxley's "Antic Hay". However, the statement attributed to a methodist preacher and proselytizer (who really existed) in Upper Canada in 1864 seems to me totally out of character, and very hard to believe for the period. It was essentially the French who called themselves "Canadiens". The "others" still saw the place they lived in as an extension of the UK. To wit, John A. MacDonald, who famously wired "Send me another $10,000", also said "A British Subject I was born, a British Subject I shall die".

electric baby rearing

It should be noted that this quote was wrong about making love being a sanctuary from electric devices.

Regarding languages spoken: according to

English is only third in languages spoken as primary language after Chinese and Spanish, while closely followed by Hindi and Arabic. I would not be too sure, if English will win out in NYC. 17:19, 3 January 2014 (UTC)