1757: November 2016
Title text: Once you've done this, make a note of how old they were. Then, when their age reaches double that, show them this chart again.
This is yet another comic designed to make you feel old, following soon after the last one 1745: Record Scratch. Not so long ago a comic with the very title of the largest bold letters in the caption above the panel was released: 1686: Feel Old. The next comic about feeling old, was released 11 months later, with a similar title, which is special in it self, 1898: October 2017 see more on both title and this follow up comic in the trivia section below.
Specifically this comic contains The November 2016 Guide to making people feel old. (The unusual title for the comic indicates that it only works during this month). It lists ages between 16 and 41 and links each age to one or more events that happened approximately half that age ago, so 8 years ago for the 16 years old and 20 years ago for the 40 years old etc, which means that a person of that age would have had the mentioned thing in their life for the majority of their life. And then it explains that to make a person of a given [age] feel old, look up the [thing] (or things) connected to it, and say:
- "Did you know [thing] has been around for the majority of your life?"
- "Did you know that the Xbox 360 has been around for the majority of your life?"
- "Did you know that xkcd has been around for the majority of your life?"
This matches earlier attempts to make people feel old by mentioning how long ago it was that, for instance, a movie comes out as was the case in 891: Movie Ages. (But on this exact day when the comic was released there might have many people who did already feel old an tired - see trivia). When an event seems to have occurred recently to you, like seeing a movie when you were twenty (with Toy Story) and then suddenly realizing that this was 21 years ago, you will very likely feel old. Since humans' perception of time is not related to how much time has actually passed but rather to important memories, then memories like seeing the first feature-length fully computer-animated movie (Toy Story) makes a big impression and may stay vivid in peoples' memories. When they then, after hearing the sentence from this comic, realize that more than half their life has passed since that event, they realize how much time has passed and that makes them feel old.
This is why it affects a 20-year-old to hear that Twitter is ten years old, where this will not have the same impact on a 16-year-old, since they were so young when it came out that they probably feel like it has been around for ever, and you do not feel old by hearing, for instance, something like that the TV was invented before you were born. It thus makes sense to pick something that happened almost midway through a person's life, because they then realize they are now double as old as when they first heard of Twitter. Of course also many ten years old would not have been active on Twitter when it was released, so it may not have that big an impact on those 20 years old today.
Actually many of the chosen things are something that Randall specifically has interest in and several of the chosen events or movies relates to things that are recurring subjects in xkcd, as can be seen by the long list of categories that belongs to this comic. And while movie series like Star Wars, The Matrix, X-Men, Shrek and Toy Story are probably well known to most of xkcd readers as are games like The Sims and Pokémon, books like Harry Potter and comics like Calvin and Hobbes, then there are other things that are either only known to xkcd readers, basically not to anyone or at least not to people who where only 8-12 years old when the thing occurred. And if the person was not even aware of the specific thing existing, or at least not aware of it at the time when it was new, then the impact of saying the sentence to them will be little to none. Basically the first three ages, 16-18 years, would fall into this category. At 8 years old you are not supposed to play any version of Grand Theft Auto (not that some might not do it), and Rickrolling is also mainly for young adults, not 8-9 years old children. Worst of all is the reference for age 18 to the, probably mostly unknown, movie Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, which is directed at adults, and thus definitely not at those children that where 9 years old when it was released.
Nintendo Wii for people at 10 years old is the first that might make an impact, as will Xbox 360, but then again not xkcd, which is not directed at 10-11 years old children. But, the entire comic is mainly made to make readers of xkcd feel old by letting them know how long all these items are. But for the big movies and events that most people know about, it might also work on people not interested in xkcd. See more regarding if the sentence would work or not in the table below.
The joke at the end is that people over 41 don't need anything to make them feel old, because they already feel old. He thus teases people above 41 years old by claiming they are old, although many people (above 40) would claim you are not old before you retire. This trick was also used to cap the above mentioned 891: Movie Ages to 35 years old, stating anyone as older was already old. But that comic was also released five years ago, and now Randall is himself closing in on 35 at 32 years at the time of this comics release. So he pushed the limit 6 years further, probably for this reason. Now he no longer thinks people at 36 are too old to try to make them feel old. It may be a coincidence, but still interesting, that he stopped the list just before 42, a number Randall has referred to many times in relation to it being the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
For something to have existed for the majority of someones life, it is supposed to be older than half the persons age, but it seems Randall went for just about half the age. For instance for a 35-year-old person (born 1981), it lists the release of the movie The Matrix, which was released March 31, 1999 making it very close to 17.5 years ago, fitting with half of 35 years. For the 41-year-old it is slightly more than half of their life that has included the movie Toy Story, which was released almost exactly 21 years before this comic in November 1995, compared to the 20.5 years from half of 41 years. The only entry on the list that seems to veer more than half a year from the half age is the one for autotuned hit songs which seems to refer to 1998, maybe specifically starting with Cher's song Believe released on October 19, 1998, making it 18 years ago. But it is listed together with the age 33 years, which should thus have been connected with something around 16.5 years old (16-17 years). However, this entry is also one of the less time specific. However, the rule still applies, it's just the only one where it is such a big majority of the persons age (18 years in their life 15 years not in their life). See more in the table below.
The title text points out that the same chart can be used for the same person once they are twice as old. So it urges the user to note down the age of the person it was used on, and then wait until their age reaches double that. So for a 16-year-old that would only be 16 more years until they are 32, but for a 41-year-old it would have to wait until they are 82 years old. When showing them this chart, they will realize that this has existed for half of their life and again have the same type of "feeling old" that this comic is supposed to instigate today.(It will work better if they still remember the joke made on them those many years ago)...
Table for the guide
- Explanation of table:
- Persons age as given in the comic.
- Persons birth year. 2016 minus persons age.
- Date of things. For instance a release date, the year that a thing began/happened or a year where it became a phenomenon (in the US that is, in case if was already a phenomenon somewhere else first).
- Things as given in the comic. There can be more than one "thing" for each age, so it should be things in plural form.
- Half age - Persons age divided by two, so either an integer or a half integer (10 or 10.5). This number should never be higher than the last column, which is also the case, when taking release dates into account.
- Years ago - the number of years since the things became "a thing". In order for this thing to have been in a persons life for the majority of their life this need to be larger (or at least equal) than half that persons age. So this number should be larger than the column before. If there are more than one thing for a given age, the average year for these things are taken and used to calculate the number of years. This number should be given with a decimal, and not necessarily in half years. Only one of the entries are more than one year higher than the half age. This has been highlighted in bold.
|Age||Birth year||Date of things||Things||Explanation||Half age||Years ago|
|16||2000||April 29, 2008||Grand Theft Auto IV||Popular video game published by Rockstar Games; the 11th title in the Grand Theft Auto series. The games are often rated as Mature (and thus aimed at adults) and this entrance should not really affect 16 year old persons, which may have tried the game now, but should not have played the game when they where only 8 years old.||8||8.5|
|17||1999||May 2007||Rickrolling||A prank and internet meme involving an unexpected appearance of the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up". A type of bait and switch which has been referred to often in xkcd. Since this was aimed at people knowing the song (from 1987) and also people being on-line, mainly young adults, then this entrance should not really affect 17 year old persons who is unlikely to have been rickrolled when they where only 8.5 years old.||8.5||9.5|
|18||1998||April 13, 2007||Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters||American Flash animated surreal comedy film based on the Adult Swim animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force. This seems to be a joke, as both this movie and the one it was based on is for adults, and the person this targets would only have been 9 when it was released, and will thus not even recognize the reference. And then the joke will fail as they will not feel old. Probably very few people in general had heard of this movie, which is probably part of the comics joke in the first place.||9||9.6|
|19||1997||November 19, 2006||The Nintendo Wii||2006 is the time when the Nintendo Wii was released, with the Wii dominating 2006-2012. This sentence is likely to work as 10 years old is likely to play Wii and thus as 20 year old remember the time before, and be surprised at how long time it is since they played Wii the first time, and feel old. It is the first sentence that might actually work.||9.5||10.0|
|20||1996||March 2006||2006 was a big year, in that it lead to the creation of Twitter, a social networking service that is still used to this day. Although not unlikely, there were probably few 10-11 years old that used Twitter the first year of it's release, and thus not many 20 year old people today would have been active on Twitter ten years ago, and for all those this will fail to make an impact-||10||10.7|
|21||1995|| November 22, 2005 (Xbox 360),
September 30, 2005 (xkcd)
| The Xbox 360,
|2005 led to the creation of the Xbox 360, another successful console. Randall also decided to throw in a 'reference joke', referring to the fact that xkcd was also created in 2005 where the first 13 comics where released on LiveJournal on September 30, 2005 and thus fits the criteria of the comic (and as a call back to the recent 1750: Life Goals he has two x words in the same sentence, which where also both used in that comic). (Average release date for the two was October 25, 2005). The Xbox will work on the 21 year old person, similar to the reason the Wii above would work. xkcd would not as it is not a comic directed at 10-11 year old persons, who would thus not have any feelings towards that part. But it is also just included as a self-reference and to make faithful xkcd readers feel old. "Is it really more than 10 years ago I read it first..."||10.5||11.0|
|22||1994||2005 (no specific date)||Chuck Norris Facts||Satirical factoids about martial artist and actor Chuck Norris which began to appear on the Internet in early 2005. But to begin with they where not centered on him but rather on Vin Diesel which makes it difficult to put any more precise date on it than during the year 2005. Chuck Norris has replied to these factoids more than once, but the first time was in December 2006, almost two years after the trend might have started out. Since these facts are mainly based on his series Walker, Texas Ranger running from 1993-2001, thus ending when the 22 years old of today was only 7 years old, they have never been the target group for the crazy Chuck Norris Facts. And it is thus also unlikely that they where much impacted by them when they where 11-12 years old. It thus seems unlikely that this sentence would work.||11||11.5|
|23||1993||January 25, 2004||Opportunity's Mars Exploration||Opportunity is a Mars rover that landed on Mars on January 25, 2004. There is already a comic called and genreally Mars Rovers are a recurring subject on xkcd. This sentence will work on 23 year-olds who as a kid followed every missions to Mars, and that is not unlikely to happen for an 11.5 year old kid. Especially if they today are interested in xkcd. But for people that did not have that interest it may have no effect to use this sentence.||11.5||12.8|
|24||1992||February 4, 2004||Facebook was a social networking service created in 2004 as a competitor to Myspace and quickly dominated as the #1 most used social networking service of all time. Since kids under 13 are not allowed on Facebook the 24 years old could not have signed up at the time of its foundation. But when it was opened up for anyone in 2006, they would have been 14 years of age. But that would then only have been 10 years ago. So in principle this would not really work as well. However, everyone today knows about Facebook, and to learn that it has existed half of your life may still make you feel old. The xkcd user may feel old learning that it is 12 years ago that it came into existence, and then this entrance would have fulfilled it's purpose anyway.||12||12.8|
|25||1991|| April 1, 2004 (Gmail),
July 9, 2003 (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Pirates of the Caribbean
|Gmail is an email service created by Google as a replacement to Hotmail. It was originally invitation-only (until 2007), and not marketed to kids, so it is unlikely that many 13 year olds would have been using it in 2004; however, it had since grown in popularity, and a lot of 25 year olds would be using it today. Pirates of the Caribbean, a popular movie franchise, had its first movie Curse of the Black Pearl debut in 2003, then three more movies followed before the release of this comic. (Average date is November 4, 2003). The movie was rated PG-13 and would likely have been a hit among 12-13 year old kids, and this would likely have an affect to use in a sentence. It is questionable how many kids of that age had a Gmail address at that time though.||12.5||13.0|
|26||1990||January 7, 2003||In da Club||Rap song by 50 Cent. This song is directed at adults, and thus not at kids of 13 years old, so it seem unlikely that it would be an memorable event that this hit song came out for those that are 26 years old today.||13||13.8|
|27||1989||September 20, 2002||Firefly||Firefly is a space western drama TV series created by Joss Whedon, that became a cult classic. This may be Randall's favorite TV series, and it has been referenced often in xkcd, but it was not aimed at children, and it is likely that a given 27 year old person did not see this series when it aired, and thus the impact would be small.||13.5||14.1|
|28||1988||October 7, 2001||The War in Afghanistan||The United States of America invaded Afghanistan shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, in an effort to eliminate the terrorist group al-Qaeda. Altough many 14 years old would not be following the news on war that closely, this war was based on 9/11 which would have affected most people, and certainly 14 year old kids in the US, and thus it is likely that the sentence would work on those 28 years old today. Randall could for even better effect have used 9/11 as the reference.||14||15.1|
|29||1987||October 23, 2001||The iPod||The iPod was a music playing device created by Apple Inc. in 2001 as a replacement for MP3 players. This would probably work on lots of 29 year-olds, as 14-15 year old kids are likely to have had (or wished they had) and iPod.||14.5||15.0|
|30||1986|| May 18, 2001 (Shrek),
January 15, 2001 (Wikipedia)
|Shrek is a popular parody film about fairy tales based on the book of the same name (three other movies has followed since then before the release of this comic). It quickly gained a cult following and became a mega-hit, earning it 3 sequels and a franchise. Wikipedia is a website dedicated to looking up information based on specific topics, created in 2001 (and massively linked to from this website, which even have a Wikipedia category for comics like this that references the website directly). (Average date is March 17, 2001). Although the movie was rated PG it was a big hit among any ages and 15 year old kids is likely to have seen and loved the movie, and this would likely have an affect to use in a sentence. It is questionable how many kids of that age had used Wikipedia at the time when it was launched. Because at that time the number of articles was limited and it was not like today where 15 year old school children would use it to look up things. But of course realizing that before that time you had to use paper encyclopedias for all the thing you today look up on-line on Wikipedia may still make a 30 year old feel old. As will many xkcd readers regardless of age. "Is it only 15 years ago we could not use Wikipedia..."||15||15.8|
|31||1985||July 14, 2000||Those X-Men movies||The X-Men film series, probably only referring to the first trilogy (X-Men (July 14, 2000), X2 (May 2, 2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (May 26, 2006) - us release dates). The release date refers to the first of these three movies, because even only taking the first two movies, the average day would only be 15 years ago, less than the 15.5 half age for a 31 year old person. The X-Men movie was rated PG-13 and 15-16 year old kids is likely to have loved seeing this movie, and this would likely have an affect to use in a sentence.||15.5||16.3|
|32||1984||February 4, 2000||The Sims||The Sims is a video game created by Maxis in 2000 as a simulation game where you build homes, cities, and families. It was an immediate success upon launch. It seems likely that many people interested in playing computer games (when they were kids) would have played The Sims, and thus it seems likely that this sentence could have an effect on many 32 year old people. But not those that had no interest in computer games. Of course they are not so likely to read xkcd. This was the one that Randall should have used on himself to feel old, as he had just turned 32 years old a few weeks before the release of this comic.||16||16.8|
|33||1983||October 19, 1998||Autotuned hit songs||1998 was the time period when people realized the capabilities of autotuning songs. Cher's song Believe from October 19, 1998 may be the first time that people really noticed this effect. This is the only entry where there seems to be more than one year between the age of the ting and the half age of the person. But it is also one of the entries where specific dating is difficult to place. Due to the unspecific date of this thing, it can be a little difficult to judge how well it would affect 33 year old people, but as autotuning has been a standard for many years, it may make one feel old to know it has been like that half your life. On the other hand maybe people cannot even remember how it was before...||16.5||18.1|
|34||1982||May 19, 1999||The Star Wars Prequels||The Star Wars prequel trilogy (Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (May 19, 1999), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (May 16, 2002), Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (May 19, 2005), us release dates). The Star Wars universe is most likely the most referenced movie universe in xkcd. The release date refers to the first of these three movies, because even only taking the first two movies, the average day would only be 16 years ago, less than the 17 half age for a 34 year old person. These movies has likely been awaited with excitement by many 17 year old kids, and this would likely have an affect to use in a sentence.||17||17.5|
|35||1981||March 31, 1999||The Matrix||Action film created by The Wachowskis (formerly known, at the time of The Matrix, as The Wachowski Brothers). Two more films followed, although they were widely regarded as inferior to the first (by for instance by Randall as seen in 566: Matrix Revisited). The Matrix was something new and is likely to have influenced 17-18 years old kids, and this would likely have an affect to use in a sentence.||17.5||17.6|
|36||1980||September 28, 1998||Pokémon Red & Blue||A popular video game franchise in the Pokémon series, a series often referenced in xkcd. The game was first released in Japan in 1996, but not in North America until 1998. It seems likely that many people interested in playing computer games (when they were kids) would have played Pokémon games and thus in particular this version released when the target group was 18 years old. It thus seems likely that this sentence could have an effect on many 36 year old people. But not those that had no interest in computer games. Of course they are not so likely to read xkcd.||18||18.1|
|37||1979|| April 29, 1997 (Netflix),
June 26, 1997 (Harry Potter),
September 15, 1997 (Google)
|All three are major things still today 19 years later. "Harry Potter" refers to the original publishing date of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Google refers to the date that the Google domain name was registered. (Average date is 03-07-1997). Harry Potter is widely read, but at the time of it's release it was probably not at first taken up by those of 18-19 year old. That may have first come later, maybe with the release of the first movies in 2001, four years later. It may this not be the best example for this age group. Also using Google and Netflix just when they where launched may also not have been so popular among 18-19 year olds in 1997. But still all three things are big and to realize that they have been in half of you life, may still work in making you feel old.||18.5||19.4|
|38||1978||May 11, 1997||Deep Blue's Victory||Deep Blue was a chess computer, who defeated Garry Kasparov, the reigning chess champion, in a match in 1997. It was the first chess computer to defeat a world champion under tournament conditions. Randall has a great interest in chess and it is a recurrent subject on xkcd. But unless the 38 year old is a bit interested in chess they may not even now what Deep Blue is let alone have any relation to how long ago the victory occurred. But chess players, would have noticed this particular day where humanity was beaten by a computer, especially if they where 19 at the time.||19||19.5|
|39||1977||September 13, 1996||Tupac's Death||Tupac Shakur was an American rapper, record producer, and actor. He was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in 1996. Since he has two of the best selling albums in the United States and has been ranked as one of the greatest artists of all (Rolling Stone ranked him 86/100) it seems likely that many 39 year olds would be affected by the sentence. For fans of Tupac his death would come a s shock. He likely had many of those among those 19-20 year old at the time of his murder. For people not interested in rap music at all it may have little to no impact though.||19.5||20.2|
|40||1976||December 31, 1995||The last Calvin and Hobbes strip||Calvin and Hobbes is a comic strip by Bill Watterson that ran from November 18, 1985 to December 31, 1995. It is a recurring subject on xkcd . Although this comic was not mainly aimed at 20 year old people, it would have had a lot of fans among people that are 40 today. But also many would have found the series later. It is thus very likely that this sentence would work, especially on fans of xkcd.||20||20.9|
|41||1975||November 22, 1995||Toy Story||The Pixar animated film Toy Story was the first feature length digitally-animated film to be released theatrically (and also Pixar's first feature film). Given that this was the first film of it's kind many 20-21 year old would have seen it when it came out. However, there would also be many in that age group that would consider it a children's movie and choose not to see it. For those the sentence would not work, but for many xkcd fans, such movies are a big thing and for anyone who saw this movie (and the two follow up movies) the sentence would work perfectly. As a side note those of 41 year old when reading this comic in November 2016, will feel young instead, when they see that they are the last in the list that have a sentence when they read the final entry here below. So the comic may actually have some type of opposite effect on them.||20.5||21.0|
|>41||Before 1975||N/A||[Don't worry, they've got this covered]||This joke is that people who are legitimately old already feel old. This could also be a reference to the number 42, Randall having stopped when this number was supposed to occur, 42 being the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He has referenced this number more than once before, for instance in 1213: Combination Vision Test and in the messages in the Play Area of 1608: Hoverboard. Showing people of 42 years or older this chart, would make them feel old when they look for their age and find this. Also, it may disappoint older readers of xkcd, as they do not to get a chance to make a sentence. (See the opposite effect mentioned for the 41 years old above).||>20.5||N/A|
- [Caption above the panel:]
- The November 2016
- Guide to making people
- feel old
- [A chart with a list of items to be put into the two first lines above the chart. First there are a line using the first column, then there are two lines using the second column. Below those lines are the two columns with underlined captions above. Between the columns are a long line connecting the two.]
- If they're [age], you say:
- "Did you know [thing] has been around for the majority of your life?"
Age Thing 16 Grand Theft Auto IV 17 Rickrolling 18 Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Colon Movie Film for Theaters'
19 The Nintendo Wii 20 21 The Xbox 360, xkcd 22 Chuck Norris Facts 23 Opportunity's Mars Exploration 24 25 Gmail, Pirates of the Caribbean 26 In da Club 27 Firefly 28 The War in Afghanistan 29 The iPod 30 Shrek, Wikipedia 31 Those X-Men movies 32 The Sims 33 Autotuned hit songs 34 The Star Wars prequels 35 The Matrix 36 Pokémon Red&Blue 37 Netflix, Harry Potter, Google 38 Deep Blue's Victory 39 Tupac's Death 40 The last Calvin and Hobbes strip 41 Toy Story >41 [Don't worry, they've got this covered]
- The title of this comic is special, and the like has never been seen before. Months have been included in the titles before, and also years, but never like this with a month and a year.
- But since then one more comic like this has been released, see below.
- Of course this also indicates that this comic only really work during November 2016.
- Three earlier comics has used month names in the title, two with specific holliday dates, and one with the month as part of a rhyme:
- And just a year has been used for time (including later comics):
- As a side note to the whole idea about feeling old, the chosen release day might not have been the most relevant to post such a comic.
- This comic was released just past midnight on the day that the result of the 2016 United States presidential election was determined (i.e. the day after the election on November 8th 2016), so before anything was determined but likely at a time when the first polls showed which way it might end.
- In the previous comic 1756: I'm With Her, from Monday the day before the election, Randall had endorsed Hillary Clinton from the Democratic Party.
- Thus a 600 days election campaign finished on this day. It was a very controversial election and the Republican nominee Donald Trump became President-elect of the United States after winning the election.
- This result had been feared to happen by half of the people of the United States, and the other half had feared that Clinton would win. And many people thus stayed up to follow the election all night. And now the whole thing is over, and the headache starts.
- And on this day Randall tries to make people feel old... It seems likely he did not need to try so hard, as lots of people probably felt much older than their years after all this!
- Almost a year later Randall then released 1898: October 2017, the only second comic with this type of title.
- This comic is also designed to make you feel old, thus continuing the trend of this comic.
- But furthermore, in the title text, it references the election from the day before this comic came out, coming full circle on what might make you feel old.
- Could be a reference to above mentioned discussion if it was really needed to make someone feel old on that particular day in November 2016, thus indirectly acknowledging people that had such objections.
- This was also the first release of a comic to make one feel old since this one. Thus reminding people that a year has almost passed already, is in a way another way to make people feel old, if they remember this previous comic.
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