I think that this SMBC cartoon…

…passes by too quickly the technological breakthrough postulated in it in its quest to say something both metaphorical, and mildly depressing, about human existence.  A nanotool that can recreate anything else, while always being an inferior copy of the item that it’s reproducing? That’s an insanely useful thing to have.  To put it in GURPS 5e terms, having that item means that you’re never going to be in a situation where you have ‘no equipment’ (-10 to tech skills, -5 to skills that need equipment, some rolls automatically not permitted). Instead, you’re always at the ‘improvised’ (-5/-2 to skill) level, and possibly you can even jolly your GM into letting it be -3/-1, because after all it really is a half-step up from stone knives and bearskins, right? And best of all: it’s small. Not much encumbrance there on your character sheet.

Yeah, I know. That wasn’t the real point of this webcomic. But, maybe it should have been, hey?

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal stands up for bacon.

There are days when I wish that you needed more math to get through college. Then I remember that I avoided math like a veritable plague as soon as I realized that being a math minor because I figured that it’d look good on my imaginary character sheet was actually kind of weird.  To be fair; obviously, so was I.

“Meat is murder. Vegetarianism is GENOCIDE.”

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a point*.  Not that I really care too much; I like the way steak tastes, and I figure that anybody who has a problem with that** probably has their own little things for which they can be, pardon the grisly pun, raked over the coals.

Moe Lane

PS: Actually, I like vegetables just fine.

*Strictly speaking, of course, meat is not murder: cows are simply not equivalent to humans. Yes, I know that there are several ethical and theological systems out there that would disagree with me; I don’t follow any of them.

**I have vegetarian friends; some have allergies, some have religious/ethical issues with eating meat, and at least one simply doesn’t like the taste of animal protein. Them, I’m polite to and try to accommodate.  It’s the killjoys that I’m mean-spirited to.

And now, a random digression into the implications of time travel.

This argument is weaker than it appears: for those not clicking through, it’s a comic that suggests that our current timeline is the result of somebody going back in time to assassinate a German politician in 1930 before he could… put in place fiscal policies that would extend the Great Depression for a few more years.  Needless to say, the time traveler has never heard of Adolf Hitler: the punchline was “Why, what happened?”

Funny, except one big glaring question: Why the hell would you go back in time and kill somebody over a technical adjustment in monetary policy?  Particularly since you could have just have easily gone back and, say, double-tap Josef Stalin.  After all, if you’re going to destroy your entire timeline anyway, you might as well get as much of a karma offset as you can…

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comes close to a Truth, but not *quite*.

This is not quite correct, alas: “Fun fact: conspiracy theories are just fan theories about real life.”  It’s very close, but there’s one somewhat problematic wrinkle: there’s always a risk that eventually any particular conspiracy theory will decide to use And it’s all because of the Jooooooos to buttress its argument.  This happens a lot in the relevant literature, unfortunately.

Still, decent insight there.


While I take the point of this SMBC cartoon…

…about using other people’s religious symbolism in games and popular entertainment, I am forced to point out this: what Japan does with Christian-based imagery in its games and popular entertainment is just as hysterically wrong and inaccurate.  And I’m forced to admit: I’m OK with that.  I know that they’re not really trying to piss me off or anything, and that actually counts for a good bit.  Besides, a lot of times it’s interesting to see, in a train-wreck sort of way.

Moe Lane

PS: I know that the next couple of sentences may undermine the point of this post, but I’m going to type it out anyway.  You may not want to do certain Google searches on this topic.  Particularly image searches.

Trust me on this one.

This is indeed how it looks.

From the outside, at least.

Moe Lane

PS: A technical note? If you are encouraging other people to embed your stuff (as SMBC is doing, which is the only reason why I did it that way), it may not be a bad idea to give them option of adjusting the aspect ratio. Political sites in particular are notorious for having this problem…