Talk:2368: Bigger Problem

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I have a saying that's kinda related: Someone else's broken arm does not make my broken wrist less painful. 17:46, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

I feel like this could have been blackhat instead of whitehat 18:27, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Nah, Whitehat's been used before as the guy who keeps introducing stupid or strawman arguments - like 1314:Photos
No, it being White Hat is important. White Hat at least deludes himself that he's doing what's right. Black Hat knows full well he's a troll and doesn't pretend otherwise. The point of this comic is that this diminishment of problems is a means to make yourself feel more comfortable with your own inaction. 19:57, 5 October 2020 (UTC)
would it have mattered? Donthaveusername (talk) 21:52, 5 October 2020 (UTC)
("would it have mattered?", or "it've" if you wish. Please consider this a problem I feel is worth trying to solve, though I know I never will succeed.) White Hat has prior form in what could easily be the exact same discussion. See 1232. Assuming that NASA started to employ chuggers to get their funding, that is. 22:55, 5 October 2020 (UTC)
I corrected my grammar, thanks Donthaveusername (talk) 17:56, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

This doesn't just apply to big problems in the world. As a software developer, we often have to fix a small problem, and then someone will inevitably try to expand this into solving big problem, of which this is just one symptom. Barmar (talk) 22:08, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

I think a paragraph should be added warning against this fallacy in real life - a call to action of sorts to encourage people not to worry about whether there's a bigger problem, but to tackle some sort of problem in their lives they feel is manageable. Would this be out of place? 22:26, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

I agree, and have added such a note. BunsenH (talk) 22:49, 5 October 2020 (UTC)s

This reminds me of the famous Matt Bors comic after which his new book is named. 05:39, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Is this kind of like as a social conservative, I care about euthanasia, war, abortion, and the death penalty and want them all reduced, but I also care about doing what I can about climate change even if I am skeptical that human beings can do anything to reverse climate change at this point, and so I drive a 2006 prius with all sorts of pro-life bumper stickers and am planning on, when I change out the battery at 300,000 miles, to add a 3rd party plug in charger reducing my once-every-three-months gas tank fill up to once a year?Seebert (talk) 15:31, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Perhaps see if you can get your old batteries (maybe paired up with someone else's, to deal with the capacity bleed that forced you to replace them) and put them in a Home Storage Unit that you can feed with excess renewable energy (your own, or off the grid at anti-peak times) and this balance of energy then becomes as much as possible of the home-charging power given to your PIH car. This solves some of the problems caused by the attempt to use certain Green Revolution solutions (the need to recycle/(re)manufacture batteries, the energy load now not taken by tanks of hydrocarbons now needing to come off the domestic electricity supplies, etc). There's plenty of knock-on effects to consider. 19:45, 6 October 2020 (UTC)
That is extremely possible. There's a guy in San Francisco harvesting and testing old prius cells; he apparently acquires them cheaply enough (stolen from junkyards perhaps) to offer them on Facebook Marketplace for $25 a cell. There are 28 cells in the standard prius 10kwh pack, each pack contains enough energy to push a prius 20 miles at 20 miles per hour (aka the infamous "out of gas" mode that you hit if you try to drive a prius >550 miles on a single tank of gas).

This comic depends on what RationalWiki calls the "Not as bad as" fallacy, which apparently has the fancier name "Fallacy of Relative Privation." 18:35, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

I went ahead and added it in with a link to TVTropes and RationalWiki.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 03:48, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

At least cueball ends up focused on the bigger problem. Too often I find people get caught up in an insignificant piece of a larger problem, a larger problem that they're ignoring. Then they fix the tiny symptom in a way that's unfair or makes it much harder to fix the real problem, often both. --Dprovan (talk) 16:29, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Two points: First, if your goal is to help the world by trying to fix some problem with it, the proper way to decide which problem to focus on is not the biggest problem, but you have to multiply together the severity of the problem, how likely you would be able to successfully help with fixing the problem, and, if successful in helping with the problem, how much help that would most likely be and the portion of the problem you would be able to personally fix. You should also factor in how much time or expenses you would incur in the attempt. Secondly, the proper response that should have been given by the guy at the end, instead of that lame deflection, should be "I was saying earlier that focusing on the wrong problem showed that you didn't really care. However, to begin with I never once actually claimed that I cared myself."-- 05:12, 8 October 2020 (UTC)


WHY ARE NONE OF THE XKCD CHARACTERS WEARING MASKS? Donthaveusername (talk) 19:46, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Dunno! I guess it's not really that important to the comics. Wear masks, people! (talk) 21:40, 11 October 2020 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)