Talk:2363: Message Boards

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 15:07, 24 September 2020 by (talk) (Too dumb for this one: (insert linefeed))
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Randall stimulates people doing this to their parents? 01:23, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

He doesn't necessarily think it's likely. But as the caption says, he's amused by the fact that it's possible because the Internet and message boards have been around long enough. Barmar (talk) 02:04, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

It would be interesting to know how many online message boards have actually been in continuous operation for 20 years. The original Usenet newsgroups are actually twice that old, but what about Internet boards? Barmar (talk) 02:04, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Reddit is starting to get there, being 15 years old now. I also do know some forums that started in 2003~2004 and are still active (mostly ones tied to still-updating webcomics). So not quite 20 years, but close. --Elifia (talk) 03:04, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
There'll be BBSes (one I once used is still going, last I checked, well over 30 years old, pre-Web, not sure how many old-guard are there, as I've not for 25 years) and that would rival even pre-split Usenet. A MUD I know (all my characters long timed-out) is still going strong since pre-Web times, too. IRC isn't exactly persistent (and has changed a lot) but still exists. Even if the likes of have been closed, there'll be mailer-gateways/request-by-mail things (I used to ask one for Freeware!) on obscure servers. Perhaps Wollongong University still has a Gopher server (one memorable 'place' I visited on a link-to-link round the world trip, back just before I heard of the Berners-Lee thing). I have a habit of forgetting webforums (earliest currently used one was signed into only back in 2008) and a late-'90s one I recall fondly got so spammed (despite whatever passed for CAPTCHA in those days) that the webmaster Read-Onlied it, and domain is now expired. If I was a better person at staying in touch, I'm sure I could have been continuously active for sufficient time on a single platform (I fell off a Usenet group when I lost a newsfeed and refused to use the then-new-fangled Google Groups interface, just the latest insult since WebTV, the push from AOL and the whole Eternal September thing). So, anecdotally, I know there's a good chance. 03:42, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
I have been an active member at for longer than 20 years. The message boards there opened in 1999. 04:23, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Too dumb for this one

Is it just me or was the detail the whole joke hinged on a bit more subtle than usual here? Sure, sometimes it's arcane, but I feel like you don't usually need to read between the lines so much to even get the backstory for the joke.

On first read, obviously the two characters know each other, and the fact that a real life acquaintance would reply to a 20yo thread was clearly part of the joke. But essentially I read this as two people complaining about the same thing, as one often does on message boards. By the time I put it together that "NIN85 must be older now" + "new user from context is a teenager" + "most adults don't know many teenagers" + "except they do know their kids" = "she's talking to her kid", it was far too late for me to get the laugh. In retrospect "we talked about this" is a classic parenting line, but given that one tends to talk to many people about many things, it didn't really point me in that direction the way it was probably intended.

Maybe, not being a parent myself, my instincts also led me to assume that an older person would still sympathize and support a young person in search of totally rad transportation, rather than shooting them down like her mother before her :P So the assumption that "we talked about this" = "I, Vespa fan, have already denied you the same privilege" seemed like an especially great leap!

So, probably just having a slow brain day, but is there anything else to it I'm missing? Also, does Randall have kids? - jerodast (talk) 04:55, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Not just you. It took me a while before I noticed the dates on the posts, but then I put it all together. Maybe a better title for the comic would have helped, something including "necro". Barmar (talk) 05:54, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
Reconstructing my own first reading of this (before I slept last night so imperfect) it seems I read the post-text first, worked out it was a mom/son relationship, 'confirmed' by finally reading the posting dates (the point at which I probably belly-laughed for 'getting it'), spotted the "New User" subtly there in the side-profile and then (after noting the forum name, subtitlr, title-text, etc) wondered about the Profile Pic.
Mom seems to have kept (or deliberately retroed) an image from her youth, even if not the original (if there was any, for the v1.0 forum layout to show) pic uploaded in 2000. This was pre smart-phone/selfies, to any reasonable degree. Is this a scan of of an old emulsion photo? (It also has possible photoshopping artefacts of portrait over new background, by one reading of it.) Would a more worldwise 25yo scan in and upload a pic of her 15yo self? Maybe in a "see, I was there at Woodstock" way (though not actual Woodstock, unless that's the photoshopped background - or something like that - but maybe still not with a 15yo 'selfie' shot, but something from a later age). It's at this point I'm thinking I'm overthinking this (especially given how much 'exposure' many people still give in the profiles and avatars, even 35yo moms), especially given I've never used a selfie-avatar at all. 12:14, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
If you change your profile picture it will change for any post made. That's at least true for all fora I'm member of. Why would each individual post contain the information of which profile picture was active at the time the post was made (plus the actual picture data)? So there's no indication if the picture shown here is "teen mom" or "adult mom" (or "mom" at all). Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 12:31, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
I know that, and it was on this basis that I presumed its likely a later (though who knows how recent) scan of an earlier physical photo. (Because that clearly looks more like a Randall-girl than a Randall-mom, in Cueball-People style, notwithstanding how in RL™ younger people often attempt to look older and vice-versa.) 15:06, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Another in-joke is that Vespa is a scooter and there is an electric model [1] that require either a moped license or a full motorcycle license, depending on the engine power, that is a premium model, Peugeot electric scooter cost 40% less, for instance. 07:13, 24 September 2020 (UTC)