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 people 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 itself, 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 and 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.
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.
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:
- Person's age as given in the comic.
- Person's birth year. 2016 minus person's 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 USA).
- 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 - Person's age divided by two, so either an integer or a halved integer (10 or 5.5). 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 person's age. Therefore, this number should be larger than the previous column. If there is more than one thing for a given age, the average year for these things is taken and used to calculate the number of years. This number should be given with a decimal, and is not necessarily in whole or half years. Only one of the entries is 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 olds, who may have tried the game now, but should not have played the game when they were 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 bait and switch which has been referred to often in xkcd. Since this was aimed at people who knew the song (from 1987) and were online (mainly young adults in 2007), this entry should not really affect 17 year olds who are unlikely to have been rickrolled when they were 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 are for adults, and the people this targets would only have been 9 when it was released, and probably won't recognize the reference. The joke will fail, because they will not feel old. Very few people have ever heard of this movie, which is probably part of the joke.||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. Ten year olds were likely to play Wii, and thus as 20 year olds remember and be surprised at how long it is since the first time, and feel old. This is the first entry that might actually work.||9.5||10.0|
|20||1996||March 2006||2006 was a big year. Twitter was created. There were probably only a few 10-11 year olds that used Twitter in the first year of its release, and thus not many twenty year old people today would have been active on Twitter at the very beginning. This will only make that minority of people feel old.||10||10.7|
|21||1995|| November 22, 2005 (Xbox 360),
September 30, 2005 (xkcd)
| The Xbox 360,
|2005 saw 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. As a callback, he has two x words in the same sentence, referring to 1750: Life Goals. The same two words were both in that comic. (Average release date for the two was October 25, 2005). The Xbox will work on the twenty-one year old, for the same reason the Wii above would work. xkcd would not, because it is not directed at pre-teens. They would not have any feelings towards the comic. It is included to make faithful xkcd readers feel old. "Is it really more than 10 years ago I read it first..." (and also for the self-reference).||10.5||11.0|
|22||1994||2005 (no specific date)||Chuck Norris Facts||Satirical factoids about martial artist and actor Chuck Norris began to appear on the Internet in early 2005. To begin with, they where not centered on Norris, instead focusing Vin Diesel. This makes it difficult to put a precise date on their appearance 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 memes began appearing. The "facts" are mainly based on his series Walker, Texas Ranger, which ran from 1993-2001. Since the series ended when the twenty-two-year-old of today was 7, they were not the target group for the crazy Chuck Norris Facts. It seems unlikely that this entry 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. Mars Rovers are a recurring subject on xkcd. Even people who were not interested in science were very aware of Opportunity's voyage--it was covered in every type of news medium for a long time.||11.5||12.8|
|24||1992||February 4, 2004||Facebook is a social networking service created in 2004 as a competitor to Myspace. It grew quickly to become the #1 social networking service. Since kids under thirteen are not allowed on Facebook, twenty-four-year-olds could not have signed up at the time of its foundation. When it was opened up for anyone in 2006, they would have been fourteen, but that would then only have been 10 years ago. However, today everyone knows about Facebook (and many preteens created accounts by lying about their ages), and to learn that it has existed for half of your life may make you feel old even if you didn't sign up immediately.||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. It was originally invitation-only (until 2007), and not marketed to kids, so it is unlikely that many thirteen year olds would have been using it in 2004; however, it has since been opened to anyone, and a lot of 25 year olds use it today. The first movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Curse of the Black Pearl, debuted in 2003. 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, so this would make many people born in 1991 feel old.||12.5||13.0|
|26||1990||January 7, 2003||In da Club||Rap song by 50 Cent. The song was a #1 hit on multiple charts and in multiple countries. It is very likely that people who were thirteen at its release would have been aware of it, even if they were not "clubbing" themselves yet.||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.||13.5||14.1|
|28||1988||October 7, 2001||The War in Afghanistan||The United States of America invaded Afghanistan shortly after the September 11 attacks (popularly known as 9/11), in an effort to eliminate the terrorist group al-Qaeda. Almost anyone who was 14 in 2001 would have been aware of the war.||14||15.1|
|29||1987||October 23, 2001||The iPod||The iPod was a music playing device created by Apple Inc. in 2001. This would probably make lots of 29 year-olds feel old.s 14-15 year old kids were likely to have had (or wished they had) an iPod.||14.5||15.0|
|30||1986|| May 18, 2001 (Shrek),
January 15, 2001 (Wikipedia)
| Shrek is a popular parody film about fairy tales. It quickly gained a cult following and became a mega-hit, earning it three sequels and a franchise. It was a big hit popular for ages. Fifteen year old were likely to know and love the movie, so they would probably feel old as 30-year-olds realizing it came out half their life ago.
Wikipedia is a an online encyclopedia created in 2001, which anyone can edit. (It is massively linked to from explain xkcd which has a Wikipedia category for comics like this that reference the website directly). (Average date is March 17, 2001). It is questionable how many kids used Wikipedia during the year it launched. Of course, realizing that before Wikipedia, you had to use a paper encyclopedias may still make a 30 year old feel old.
|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. Presumably Randall is counting the series as existing from the time of the first release. 15-16 year old kids are likely to have loved X-Men, and feel old when they realize it came out half their life ago.||15.5||16.3|
|32||1984||February 4, 2000||The Sims||The Sims is a simulation video game created by Maxis in 2000 in which you build homes, cities, and families. It was an immediate success upon launch. It seems likely that many people would have played The Sims, and thus many 32 year old people would feel old. This was the one that Randall could have used on himself to feel old. He turned 32 a few weeks before the release of this comic.||16||16.8|
|33||1983||October 19, 1998||Autotuned hit songs||1998 was when non-audio-professionals became aware of autotuning songs. Cher's song Believe, released October 19, 1998 may be the first time that most people really noticed autotuning. This is the only entry where there seems to be more than one year between the age of the thing and the half age of the person. However, it is also one of the entries where specific dating is difficult. Because the dates are not specific, it is difficult to judge how it would affect 33 year old people. Autotuning has been a standard for years, so it may make one feel old to know it has around for half your life.||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 would only be 16 years ago, less than half the age of a 34 year old. These movies were awaited eagerly by many 17 year old kids, so they would remember the release well and feel very old.||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 year old kids, so this entry would likely to produce feelings of age.||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 would have played Pokémon games. and in particular this one, which was released when the target group was 18 years old. And now that's half their life ago, perhaps making them feel old.||18||18.1|
|37||1979|| August 29, 1997 (Netflix),
June 26, 1997 (Harry Potter),
September 15, 1997 (Google)
|All three are still major things 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 its 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. Still, all three things are big, and to realize that they have been around for half of a life may still make someone 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. Unless a 38 year old is interested in chess, they may not even know what Deep Blue, is let alone have any impression of long ago the victory occurred. Chess players and computer nerds (both of whom are very likely to be xkcd fans) would certainly be aware of this particular day.||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. Eight of his albums are certified platinum (five released after his death), and he has been ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time. (Rolling Stone ranked him 86/100). It seems likely that many 39 year olds would feel old realizing that 2Pac has been dead for half of their lives.||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 . This comic had a lot of fans among people that are 40 today. Even those who didn't read it during its run may have discovered it later. Even those who didn't notice the ending at the time, might still feel old realizing it was so long ago.||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 its kind, many 20-21 year olds would have seen it. For xkcd fans, such movies might be a big thing. For anyone who saw this movie (and the two sequels) this could cause feelings of age. Side note: 41 year olds might actually feel young when reading this comic in November 2016, because they are the last people to still be expected to feel young before Randall deliberately destroys the feeling.||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, 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 42 years or more old this table will 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 their own humorous half-your-life entry. (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?"
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Colon Movie Film for Theaters
- The Nintendo Wii
- The Xbox 360, xkcd
- Chuck Norris Facts
- Opportunity's Mars Exploration
- Gmail, Pirates of the Caribbean
- In da Club
- The War in Afghanistan
- The iPod
- Shrek, Wikipedia
- Those X-Men movies
- The Sims
- Autotuned hit songs
- The Star Wars prequels
- The Matrix
- Pokémon Red&Blue
- Netflix, Harry Potter, Google
- Deep Blue's Victory
- Tupac's Death
- The last Calvin and Hobbes strip
- Toy Story
- [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 holiday 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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