Talk:836: Sickness

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Someone evidently didn't understand Hamlet too well. In "To be or not to be" he's contemplating suicide. "Take arms against..." means 'kill yourself so you won't have to put up with life's crappy bits. I would rewrite the Hamlet reference myself, but I'm too lazy. Could someone with a good understanding of the play do it? Please? 01:42, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Change made. Orazor (talk) 08:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"Take arms against a sea of troubles..." does not mean to commit suicide. It means to fight against the struggle referred to the in the previous line "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". The contemplation of suicide is expressed in the phrase "When he himself might his quietus make / With a bare bodkin" when one could end one's life with a dagger. 08:35, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, "to take arms against a sea of troubles" in this context does in fact does mean to commit suicide. The struggle refered to in the previous line is whether to put up with the unbearable situation he (Hamlet) has been placed in, or, in the next line(s), to exit the situation via suicide. Elsewise, why would he suddenly transition from "overcoming obstacles" to considering death? Doesn't make sense. For your reference, check out (talk) 10:53, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Why commit suicide. His mother tries to get him to accept the inevitable that his father's killer is now in power and get on with life instead of pretending to be daft.
A bare bodkin is an arrow tipped with steel, a war arrow. As opposed to a neutered one for harmless purposes.
I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 20:34, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm going to add some more discussion to the explanation, as I have always read this comic completely differently. I saw white hat's question as asking if Cueball considered seeking cures for his illness outside of science, i.e. in pseudoscience. Given the wide variety of "cures" for all manner of illnesses (especially cancer) in alternative medicine, this seems like the most straight-forward meaning of his question "are you looking for answers outside of science". Randall has obviously made plenty of comics about pseudoscience, so it is a relevant theme for him. It also brings the comic together nicely, as Cueball is basically answering "Science has given us plenty of great tools: no need to rely on that crap!". Frankly, I'm a bit confused as to how the explanation went to discussions of suicide. I understand that "Slings and arrows of fortune" is a Hamlet reference that involves a discussion of suicide, but the comic makes way more sense if you understand it as a contrast between the tools of modern medicine and the "tools" of ancient/alternative medicine. I don't really think suicide was what Randall was aiming for. However, I'll leave that all in as an alternative explanation for someone else to remove, if desired. Cmancone (talk) 18:01, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Having read everything over again, I think the current explanation is fine. I realized that the explanation talks less about suicide than the discussion, and that the explanations understanding of "Beyond science" is a better fit than him asking about alternative medicine. So ignore me Cmancone (talk) 18:06, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Could the "bitches" be a reference to Richard Dawkings, who said, when asked why do he choose to use scientific method : "It works... Bitches!". Pretty famous line, and the first I heard from him. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Richard Dawkins was probably referring to this comic from 2006: 54: Science. You can read it here: Richard Dawkins on science: 'it works, bitches' (2013). Randall was first. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:03, 29 May 2018 (UTC)