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View Full Version : XKCD 04-27-2016: I'm whooshed


Lumpy
04-29-2016, 12:57 PM
Timeline of Bicycle Design http://xkcd.com/1673/

Is there more of a joke to this than random absurd bicycle configurations?

RivkahChaya
04-29-2016, 01:15 PM
XKCD explained: Bicycle. (http://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1673)

Sage Rat
04-29-2016, 01:29 PM
XKCD explained: Bicycle. (http://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1673)

So basically, he was just being silly.

Smapti
04-29-2016, 01:35 PM
Is there more of a joke to this than random absurd bicycle configurations?

What, the 1955 model wasn't a staple of your childhood?

neofishboy
04-29-2016, 02:19 PM
XKCD explained: Bicycle. (http://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1673)

I know that saying someone has "way too much free time on their hands" in considered mildly pejorative, but dammit the Internet would be a much less weird and interesting place without the millions of people with way too much damn free time on their hands.

Corner Case
04-29-2016, 02:57 PM
I just thought the 1955 bicycle was reminiscent of rationing during WWII. Where the steel and rubber were confiscated. However, this would have more properly then been labelled 1942.

Lumpy
04-29-2016, 03:16 PM
XKCD explained: Bicycle. (http://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1673)
Sounds like they're guessing.

Just Asking Questions
04-29-2016, 03:20 PM
Why y'all think this is such an awesome comic, I'll never understand...

Ludovic
04-29-2016, 04:29 PM
The strip in general, or this one in particular? You can't hit a home run every time.

dracoi
04-29-2016, 04:48 PM
Sounds like they're guessing.

I was just going to say: that "explanation" is the longest way I could imagine to say "We have no idea either."

RivkahChaya
04-29-2016, 05:32 PM
The strip in general, or this one in particular? You can't hit a home run every time.

upvote


His "Psychic" and "I've looked at clouds from both sides now" are both brilliant, and in very different ways. "Psychic" is great social commentary. "Clouds" is beautiful whimsy I identify with. I would post links, but I can't find my mouse, and it's hard on a tablet.

Trinopus
04-29-2016, 05:37 PM
The one with the power wind turbine tripods, ending with a nod to Picasso's Don Quixote, was one of the most brilliant bits of satire ever ever ever.

The guy has hit a number of bases loaded ninth inning home runs where the ball bounces off the flagpole and beans Rosanne Barr.

He's allowed a couple swings and misses.

Just Asking Questions
04-29-2016, 05:55 PM
I just think that there are more misses than hits, that's all. For every gem that beans Ms Barr on the head :), there are a lot that no one seems to get, but no one will admit they can't, for fear of looking stupid. It's the cult of personality around Randall (see? Y'all even call him by his first name, like he's your pal.) that bugs me.

Plus the stick figure style really grates on me. Even in the ones I like.

JAQ, not threadshitting,

breezman
04-29-2016, 07:55 PM
It's a parody of http://boxcar2d.com, a site that builds cars using a genetic algorithm.

Warning: the boxcar2d site can suck away much of your time.

Stormcrow
05-01-2016, 08:53 AM
XKCD explained: Bicycle. (http://explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1673)

I think that guy totally missed it. I think the XKCD comic refers to the guy who had people draw pictures of bicycles, and then built 3d models of them from the pictures (http://wired.com/2016/04/can-draw-bikes-memory-definitely-cant/), which were totally non-functional.

Half Man Half Wit
05-01-2016, 12:17 PM
It's a parody of http://boxcar2d.com, a site that builds cars using a genetic algorithm.

Warning: the boxcar2d site can suck away much of your time.

I think that guy totally missed it. I think the XKCD comic refers to the guy who had people draw pictures of bicycles, and then built 3d models of them from the pictures (http://wired.com/2016/04/can-draw-bikes-memory-definitely-cant/), which were totally non-functional.
Where the references to these two included after the above posts? Because the explanation mentions both.

Personally, I think the joke is simply a riff on the fact that the actual timeline of the bicycle (https://vimeo.com/73581450) contains several models that seem downright bizarre. Not a great one, but as somebody said, not all of them can be hits (although it seems it's been a long time since an XKCD really excited me).

Miller
05-01-2016, 12:21 PM
It's a comic about a bunch of comically designed bicycles. What, exactly, needs to be explained about this joke?

Smeghead
05-01-2016, 04:01 PM
Yeah, I think people are waaaay overthinking this, and drawing some really far-fetched connections. That said, here's mine:

People have used the development of bicycles as a metaphor for evolution in the early history of life. In the early stages, a large number of wildly divergent designs were tried out, but pretty quickly, the shape we're familiar with emerged as the best option, and since then, we've generally seen only small refinements of the overall plan. I think he's referencing that.

Lumpy
05-01-2016, 04:21 PM
It's a parody of http://boxcar2d.com, a site that builds cars using a genetic algorithm.

Warning: the boxcar2d site can suck away much of your time.

Without explicitly designing my own car, is there any way I can specify "don't even bother with zero wheels"? That would save a lot of time.

BigT
05-02-2016, 04:09 AM
Where the references to these two included after the above posts? Because the explanation mentions both.

I don't know for sure, but they weren't there when I first saw this post, which had at least a few replies.

And, if anyone cares, I have a Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey script that adds an Explain button (https://openuserjs.org/scripts/BigTSDMB/Explain_XKCD_Button) that gives more convenient access to the Explanation.

Though, in fairness, it is modified from another script--I just made it faster, avoided extra work, and gave it an access key shortcut to the button (just like the Previous and Next buttons). So you can press Alt-Shift-E (or P or N). I could get rid of the alt-shift part--but they are just standard.

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