1701: "Speed and Danger"

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Wee Red Bird
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:41 pm UTC

I guess the NCC1701 would be somewhere off to the right and varying between top and bottom dependant on whether or not you had a red shirt on.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Rombobjörn » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:21 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Just wondering why there are no points on this graph for LHC collisions.

Those are so far to the right that if the chart were adjusted to include them, then it would be difficult to see the difference in speed between normal sports and rocket launches.

svenman wrote:Maybe the humour is supposed to come from the circumstance that ordinarily, one might expect the three data points "Normal sports", "Nascar" and "Formula One" to be spread out over the scope of a graph like this, but adding "Rocket launches" makes the other three huddle close together in one corner.

That seems to be the point, yes. I suspect that it's not meant to be humorous so much as just pointing out that even the fastest racing cars are slow compared to rockets. A point that Javalsu managed to miss completely.

BoringUglyPinkEarthPony wrote:Neutrinos hit the Earth at close to the speed of light, but it's so safe that it's as if the collisions never even happen :)

That's largely because most of those collisions don't happen. Almost all neutrinos pass through the Earth without hitting anything.


I suppose the transport when a rocket is moved upright from the hangar to the launch pad belongs in the lower left corner: It's moves slowly, but a crash would be very dangerous.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby PsiCubed » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:04 pm UTC

keldor wrote:Also, the Titan II carrying up the Gemini missions had a max acceleration of around 6G. That's enough to go from 0 to 60 MPH in just under half a second. I call that fast too.


Yeah, but no rocket is doing anything near max acceleration in the first few seconds after launch.

Saturn V's acceleration in the first 10 seconds is about 0.2G (it takes 10 seconds to clear the 100-m long tower), and I'll be surprised if the Titan II has a much faster start. Space launchers are usually designed to be packed with as much fuel and propelllant that they can possibly carry, so their initial thrust is only barely capable of counteracting the rocket's weight.

I also wonder what "collision" can possibly occur with a rocket which is already half the way to space.
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:35 am UTC

PsiCubed wrote:I also wonder what "collision" can possibly occur with a rocket which is already half the way to space.

If you've used enough fuel to get you half way in to space, collision with the ground is normally considered a severe problem.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby JimsMaher » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:19 am UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:I guess the NCC1701  would be somewhere off to the right and varying between top and bottom dependant on whether or not you had a red shirt on.


That's the correct answer.

This 1701st xkcd comic appeared three weeks before the 50th anniversary Star Trek Beyond film is to be released. The comic shows a scale of speed that would put any warp vessel, like the NCC-1701, beyond the frame of the graph. Also, red shirts. Contextually and thematically, this comic was just an ellaborate setup for your comment.

... or, were there greater motivations behind it all? We must dig deeper. This theorizing about the conspiring of coincidents that produced Wee Red Bird's post must go beyond and seek out the truth selectively-observed approximate coincidences.

The young actor Anton Yelchin, who played the NCC-1701's navigator Chekov, died a few weeks ago on Father's day in a car accident. While Chekov typically wore a yellow shirt, in the previous film he was briefly promoted to chief engineer and ordered to put on a red shirt. So, therefore, by process of wild speculation, this comic serves as a quiet memorial to Mr. Yelchin.

With all of that in mind, while certainty is lacking, we must conclude that Randall Munroe is a closet Trekie.

The logic of deciphering art is bold enterprise. Perhaps I've been trapped by some anomaly of illusory symbolism. Consider this my distress call.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:36 pm UTC

JimsMaher wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:I guess the NCC1701  would be somewhere off to the right and varying between top and bottom dependant on whether or not you had a red shirt on.


That's the correct answer.

This 1701st xkcd comic appeared three weeks before the 50th anniversary Star Trek Beyond film is to be released. The comic shows a scale of speed that would put any warp vessel, like the NCC-1701, beyond the frame of the graph. Also, red shirts. Contextually and thematically, this comic was just an ellaborate setup for your comment.

... or, were there greater motivations behind it all? We must dig deeper. This theorizing about the conspiring of coincidents that produced Wee Red Bird's post must go beyond and seek out the truth selectively-observed approximate coincidences.

The young actor Anton Yelchin, who played the NCC-1701's navigator Chekov, died a few weeks ago on Father's day in a car accident. While Chekov typically wore a yellow shirt, in the previous film he was briefly promoted to chief engineer and ordered to put on a red shirt. So, therefore, by process of wild speculation, this comic serves as a quiet memorial to Mr. Yelchin.

With all of that in mind, while certainty is lacking, we must conclude that Randall Munroe is a closet Trekie.

The logic of deciphering art is bold enterprise. Perhaps I've been trapped by some anomaly of illusory symbolism. Consider this my distress call.


Oh, I see what you did there JimsMaher. I see what you did.
You took what was a (hopefully) witty post concerning the previously unmentioned link between rocket ships at the number of the post and dissected it beyond all recognition. If this post had been a sphere, you sliced it up that thinly, you could build two.
You went over whatever humour was there with the tenuous link and stretched it to the point where it could not be seen any more.
And then, when you had removed any trace of fun, you pull in the recent death of an actor to hammer your humourless point home.
I mean if they were giving prizes out for the biggest kill joy, then the way you pulled apart the post would not have earned you a place but may have gone as far as a notable mention under the 'too soon' category.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:37 pm UTC

PsiCubed wrote:I also wonder what "collision" can possibly occur with a rocket which is already half the way to space.
Space junk? A rocket can already be in space but only halfway to being in orbit.

Also, pieces of themselves fall off and hitting another piece seems to be a big problem.
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:06 pm UTC

You might end up meeting these, on the way up...
Spoiler:
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby JimsMaher » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:19 pm UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:Oh, I see what you did there JimsMaher. I see what you did.
You took what was a (hopefully) witty post concerning the previously unmentioned link between rocket ships at the number of the post and dissected it beyond all recognition. If this post had been a sphere, you sliced it up that thinly, you could build two.
You went over whatever humour was there with the tenuous link and stretched it to the point where it could not be seen any more.
And then, when you had removed any trace of fun, you pull in the recent death of an actor to hammer your humourless point home.
I mean if they were giving prizes out for the biggest kill joy, then the way you pulled apart the post would not have earned you a place but may have gone as far as a notable mention under the 'too soon' category.


"Humourless"? "Killjoy"? "Removed any trace of fun"? "Beyond all recognition"? Well, you did pull in the reigns of your hyperbolic high-horse just enough to only give me a "notable mention". Grain of salt (noy jitat). I know some people take offense at explicating symbolic interpretations of art ... but your superlative laden disgust is a bit over the top.

"Humourless" and "too soon" ... ok, I can see how someone might think that way about it. I could also see how you might be 'just kidding'. To be clear, I meant no disrespect and still consider the reading I presented (branching from your insight) as 'plausible enough'. Call it a fan theory. I'm sorry if you don't like how far I took it but that's where the breadcrumbs led me. #llap

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:50 pm UTC

I, for one, enjoyed both posts until they each got to Yelchin.
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby PsiCubed » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Also, pieces of themselves fall off and hitting another piece seems to be a big problem.


The speed of such a collision, though, would be quite low - assuming that by "collision speed" we mean the relative speed of the colliding pieces.

So that should be on the "slow/dangerous" part of the graph (given that racecars are already categorized as "slow").

JimsMaher wrote:With all of that in mind, while certainty is lacking, we must conclude that Randall Munroe is a closet Trekie.


Ehm Ehm. Randall is certainly not a closet Trekkie. :)
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Sableagle » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:33 pm UTC

Damaged A-Wing colliding with bridge of Super Star Destroyer would be where on this graph?
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby JimsMaher » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:52 pm UTC

I'll reframe the theory then. Supposing the comic was intended as a response to Yelchin's death, then we should presuppose good faith, so it follows that Mr. Munroe's purpose was to show respect and memorialize Mr. Yelchin's unfortunate passing. Inferring where the 1701 starship would be in relation to the 1701 graph figuratively enshrines the actor in his role, transportting him (in spirit) from car to space faring vessel. The departed are transformed into their role beyond ... immortalized among the stars.

Changing the choice of words doesn't change the truth of things but it can make it easier to accept. You may not like this interpretation, and I don't expect you to agree with it completely, but it's a way of looking at some lines and dots that makes them mean something more profound in the face of existential dread. This isn't finding ladles and lions drawn in the heavens.

There are two modes of entertainment at work here: Distracting and Confronting. Fantasy can distract, sending us far away from the difficulties of everyday life, allowing us to ignore our problems. Fantasy can also confront those difficulties, head-on, applying them directly to our foreheads and making us process them, then and there.

Star Trek was great at combining both modes with their fantastic issue based sci fi stories, often taking the form of morality plays. Moreover, if the theory I've presented holds true, then I think xkcd-1701 pays respect to that heritage, by partially confronting the tragedy in showing the relative rarity of fatal car crashes, yet distracting somewhat from any specific accident.

Then again, these new Star Trek films are more like heroic tragedies than morality plays. Bad things happen and the good guys fight against it, alliances are forged, maybe there's a twist or turn, some sacrifices are made, and eventually the good guys win. It's a shame because heroic tragedies are much more skewed towards simple distraction, offering a less enlightening experience, and where they do confront, it's only along well traveled paths. It does seem that simple distraction sells more popcorn tho.

Ultimately, it's about connecting to the artistic expression of your fellow human beings, and accepting that well-formulated dreams can make the world a bit more pleasant, especially when the raw truth of life is less than enjoyable. So, I guess I could have done more to buffer that message in the first place.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Mikeski » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:13 am UTC

keldor wrote:Cars (including NASCAR and Formula 1) are limited to a bit over 1G of acceleration due to the limitations of friction between tires and the road. At high speeds, you can get as much as 3 G from the downforce in a formula 1, but at that point you'll have too much air resistance to get much forward acceleration.

That depends on how you define "cars".
Wikipedia wrote:Top Fuel dragsters are the quickest accelerating vehicles in the world and the fastest sanctioned category of drag racers, with the fastest competitors reaching speeds of 335 miles per hour (539 km/h) and finishing the 1,000 foot (305 m) runs in 3.7 seconds.
[...]
A top fuel dragster accelerates from a standstill to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in as little as 0.8 seconds [...] and can exceed 450 km/h (280 mph) in just 200 metres (660 ft). This subjects the driver to an average acceleration of about 39 m/s2 (4.0 g) over the duration of the race and with a peak of over 5.6 g.

Admittedly, a vehicle that requires an engine rebuild every 1000 feet may not be what most people are thinking when they hear "car", but we are comparing them to (single-use) rocket engines...

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby PsiCubed » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:31 pm UTC

JimsMaher wrote:I'll reframe the theory then. Supposing the comic was intended as a response to Yelchin's death, then we should presuppose good faith, so it follows that Mr. Munroe's purpose was to show respect and memorialize Mr. Yelchin's unfortunate passing.


Given the way that Yelchin died, I think that connecting this specific comic with his death is way out-of-line (even, and perhaps particualrly, if it is done in jest).

Sorry for the serious and depressing tone. I just felt this was needed to be said.
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby JimsMaher » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:33 am UTC

PsiCubed wrote:I think that connecting this specific comic with his death is way out-of-line (even, and perhaps particualrly, if it is done in jest).


... I know it's not easy to deal with the subject directly, and putting such things into unfamiliar contextualizations can be upsetting. But some people need to laugh and tell stories. While some have to treat death with kid-gloves no matter what. We each cope in our own ways. Reverence isn't always silent.

For my part-- There was some perceived symbolism that inspired a feeling for the need to treat it light-heartedly, to seek out meaning in the face of dearth.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:02 pm UTC

I think you misunderstand the tackiness of what you're doing. The guy was an actor. Star Trek was a role he had. I'm sure that people close to him had to do some introspection and think about the meaning of life a bit, but that isn't your personal tragedy as a Trek fan. The deep, personal tragedy you face is that ... one of the characters in a franchise you like is going to have to be written out off camera. Um.
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby JimsMaher » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:28 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I think you misunderstand the tackiness of what you're doing.

Norms of tackiness are irrelevant in cases of personal belief. Please don't trivialize what has already been labeled as a serious topic. Or should we be in the habit of telling children they aren't allowed to care about what happens to their favorite cartoon characters?

"It's just a movie!" ... yeah, I know. We all watch them. Why is that?

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:18 am UTC

JimsMaher wrote:Please don't trivialize what has already been labeled as a serious topic.

So this is a troll then.
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby Weeks » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:03 am UTC

I'M AN HUGE FAN (HUGE FAN) OF STRAR TERRK THE MEXT GENATION AND I LOVE THE SARCASM AND TEH WIT
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby JimsMaher » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:18 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
JimsMaher wrote:Please don't trivialize what has already been labeled as a serious topic.

So this is a troll then.
No.
Weeks wrote:I'M AN HUGE FAN (HUGE FAN) OF STRAR TERRK THE MEXT GENATION AND I LOVE THE SARCASM AND TEH WIT

But this is.

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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:14 am UTC

JimsMaher wrote:
Weeks wrote:I'M AN HUGE FAN (HUGE FAN) OF STRAR TERRK THE MEXT GENATION AND I LOVE THE SARCASM AND TEH WIT

But this is.

Is Weeks being a dick? Yes. Is it warranted? At this point, given how I'm expecting JimsMaher to tie it all in to a simultaneous 4 day time-cube, I'd say it's just the dickish response needed to highlight how bizarre and crass the theory of it having anything to do with Yelchin is.

Other than that, there's nothing I can say that Wee Red Bird and PsiCubed have not already said.
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Re: 1701: "Speed and Danger"

Postby JimsMaher » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:29 am UTC

I've defended Randall's abstract signifiers, and I've shared an inclusive theory of personal meaning.

I'm sorry if I couldn't convince you of the value in either. I need to work on that, but elsewhere. This isn't the proper forum. Sigh ... due to the gross misunderstandings here alone ... regretfully, this will be my last post.

Still enjoy the comic. Keep keeping up the good work Randall.

Regards,
JimsMaher


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