My immediately revolted, but increasingly bemused, reaction to this @xkcd comic.

There are two ways to look at this webcomic.

  1. If you are like me, it is a horrific description of somebody taking a perfectly serviceable space probe* that was about to be refurbished into doing more science, and instead wrecking it in a childish display of nihilism.
  2. If you are like the average xkcd commenter on this thread, it is a pretty cool idea.

I know, I know: the whole thing is a shout-out to the 1990s fantasy movie Hackers.  Which simply did not age very well, did it?  – The damn thing’s old enough to vote by now.  Hell, it had Angelina Jolie playing a teenager.  Yeah, you’re old – and so am I.

Moe Lane

*My wife pointed out that there’s a heck of a lot of assuming going on there in ‘perfectly serviceable space probe,’ and then went on to catalog all the things that could have gone, and probably did go wrong with it since 1997.  So I invoked assume-the-cow-is-a-sphere and she conceded that in that case my umbrage was justified.

We have interesting first-morning-coffee discussions.

5 thoughts on “My immediately revolted, but increasingly bemused, reaction to this @xkcd comic.”

  1. As I do not post on the XKCD forums, my reaction is that, given the level of light pollution in the urban environment, crash and burn may have created the first “shooting star” the majority of its’ denizens have ever seen firsthand.

  2. I’m a-gonna beat you with my cane!
    “Perfectly serviceable” covers a lot of territory. Including “fly it into an asteroid, and watch what happens”.

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