2672: What If? 2 Flowchart

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For other instances of this title, see What If (disambiguation).
What If? 2 Flowchart
Don't worry, the dogs are all fine. That's actually kind of the problem.
Title text: Don't worry, the dogs are all fine. That's actually kind of the problem.

Explanation[edit]

This comic celebrates the release of Randall's new book, What If? 2, which was released on the same day as this comic: Tuesday, September 13, 2022. The comic thus appeared on a Tuesday, replacing that week's normal Wednesday release to coincide with the release day. The header text also changed that day to shout out that the book was released on that day. (It had been counting down the last week, from less than a week, three days and one day while the previous comics 2670: Interruption and 2671: Rotation was on the front page — the latter only for one day due to the Tuesday release).

While announcing that his What If? 2 book is finally out (the entire comic is a link to the books page on xkcd), Randall gives us a flowchart we can follow to find an article in the book relating to the situation in the flowchart. Once a relevant possibility is reached in the flowchart a page number in the book is given. It thus assumes the reader plans to do something that the advice in What If 2 could be helpful for, which hopefully is highly unlikely. See the table below for explanations on the individual options in the flowchart.

The title text refers to the loop near the bottom of the flowchart, which involves a series of questions asking if the reader wants a progressively larger number of dogs. The number of dogs offered increases several times, and if that is sufficient the flowchart ends with fulfillment. Eventually it will have an option for the scenario where all in the universe is consumed by dogs, which directs to page 308 of the book. The title text references this last option by assuring the reader that all of the dogs are doing fine, but goes on to state that in itself could cause problems. For instance, those dogs could impede the progress of all life on Earth and elsewhere and/or reproduce and create an even larger population of dogs.

Table of questions in the flowchart[edit]

The flowchart questions and their possible answers are described in the following table(Also in 2672: What If? 2 Flowchart/Table):

Text Connected Reference
Congratulations, you have acquired a copy of What if? 2! (out today, xkcd.com/whatif2) What do you want to do today?
What do you want to do today? I don't know: Reflect on your life
Go to neighborhood party: Do you like your neighbor?
Brunch: Where do you go?
Do you like your neighbor? Yes: Page 78 Chapter 17: Swing Set
No: What do you want to bring?
What do you want to bring? Jupiter: Page 70 Chapter 15: Jupiter Comes To Town
Iron vapor: Page 18 Diagram of iron released into atmosphere by various sources
Weird Opinions: Do you think bugs should get paid?
My fake identity: Have you committed any crimes?
Do you think bugs should get paid? Yes: Page 96 Short answer question on how much money bugs would make if paid what they contribute to the US economy
No: Reflect on your life
Where do you go? The sun: Are you wearing sunscreen?
A diner: How do you get there?
Are you wearing sunscreen? Yes: Page 319 Chapter 62: Sunscreen
No: How do you want to visit?
How do you want to visit? Briefly, via teleporter: Page 314 Chapter 61: Into the Sun
I want to land a probe on the surface: Page 323 Chapter 63: Walking on the Sun
How do you get there? Helicopter: Where do you sit in the helicopter?
Plane: Page 83, Are you flying near any strong magnets? Chapter 18: Airliner Catapult
Car: How do you want to drive?
Where do you sit in the helicopter? On the rotor: Page 6 Chapter 2: Helicopter Ride
Inside: Are you flying near any strong magnets?
Are you flying near any strong magnets? Yes: Page 171 Last page of Chapter 32: MRI Compass
No: Okay, there's the diner!
Okay, there's the diner! Keep driving forever: Page 128 Chapter 25: Tire Rubber; likely a mistake. Should be Page 22; Chapter 5: Cosmic Road Trip
Stop: What food do you order?
What food do you order? The sun: Page 303 Short Answers Section, what would a star taste like
Breadsticks: Page 299 Short Answers Section, how slow to chew in order to infinitely eat breadsticks
Ammonia: Page 284 Chapter 57: Ammonia Tube
A cloud: Page 195 Chapter 38: Eat a Cloud
Soup: How much soup?
How much soup? 1 bowl: Page 197 illustration of various food volumes with air removed
1040 bowls: Page 1 Chapter 1: Soupiter
How do you want to drive? Fast: Page 180 Chapter 35: No Rules Nascar
With a bird: Page 171 Last page of Chapter 32: MRI Compass, likely a mistake. Should be Page 176; Chapter 34: Bird Car
Normal: Does this road lead to Rome?
Does this road lead to Rome? Yes: Pick a different road
No, but it should: Page 154 Chapter 29: Build Rome in a Day
No: Okay, there's the diner!
Pick a different road Does this road lead to Rome?
What do you really want to do? I want to shoot a laser at a sorceress: Page 43 Chapter 9, can I shoot a laser around the Earth
I want to tell people things about eggs: What kinds of things about eggs?
I want a dog: Get a dog
What kinds of things about eggs? True things: Page 300 Short Answer Section, can you make an egg float by filling it with helium
False things: Page 258 Chapter 52: One paragraph reveals that this course of action would be illegal in California, but fine elsewhere
Get a dog Are you satisfied?
Are you satisfied? Yes: Fulfillment!
No, I think we need more dogs: Get more dogs
Get more dogs Enough? (1)
Enough? (1) Yes: Fulfillment!
No. You can never have too many dogs: More dogs
More dogs Enough? (2)
Enough? (2) Yes: Fulfillment!
No. You can literally never have too many dogs. We should not stop until all that exists in the cosmos has been consumed by a happy, barking mass: Page 308 Chapter 60: Dog Overload
Have you committed any crimes? Not sure: Page 255 Chapter 52: Read All The Laws
Yes: Travel back in time to undo your crimes
No: Do you want to?
Do you want to? No: Page 255 Chapter 52: Read All The Laws
Yes: Page 258 Header: Do I Have To Read All These Laws (section within Chapter 52: Read All The Laws
Travel back in time to undo your crimes Page 277 Chapter 56: Walking Backward in Time

Transcript[edit]

[A large flowchart, with the first box in the top left corner.]
Box 1: Congratulations, you have acquired a copy of What if? 2! (out today, xkcd.com/whatif2)
[Arrow to Box 2]
Box 2: What do you want to do today?
[Arrow to Box 3] I don't know
[Arrow to Box 4] Go to neighborhood party
[Arrow to Box 5] Brunch
Box 3: Reflect on your life
[Arrow to Box 6]
Box 4: Do you like your neighbor?
[Arrow to the words 'page 78'] Yes
[Arrow to Box 7] No
Box 5: Where do you go?
[Arrow to Box 8] The Sun
[Arrow to Box 9] A diner
Box 6: What do you really want to do?
[Arrow to the words 'page 43'] I want to shoot a laser at a sorceress
[Arrow to Box 10] I want a dog
[Arrow to Box 11] I want to tell people things about eggs
Box 7: What do you want to bring?
[Arrow to the words 'page 70'] Jupiter
[Arrow to Box 12] Weird opinions
[Arrow to Box 13] My fake identity
Box 8: Are you wearing sunscreen?
[Arrow to the words 'page 319'] Yes
[Arrow to Box 14] No
Box 9: How do you get there?
[Arrow to Box 15] Helicopter
[Arrow to Box 16 with the words 'page 83'] Plane
[Arrow to Box 17] Car
Box 10: Get a dog
[Arrow to Box 18]
Box 11: What kinds of things about eggs?
[Arrow to the words 'page 300'] True things
[Arrow to the words 'page 258', same words as from Box 19] False things
Box 12: Do you think bugs should get paid?
[Arrow to Box 3] No
[Arrow to the words 'page 96'] Yes
Box 13: Have you commited any crimes?
[Arrow to the words 'page 255', same words as from Box 19] Not sure
[Arrow to Box 19] No
[Arrow to Box 20] Yes
Box 14: How do you want to visit?
[Arrow to the words 'page 314'] Briefly, via teleporter
[Arrow to the words 'page 323'] I want to land a probe on the surface
Box 15: Where do you sit in the helicopter?
[Arrow to the words 'page 6'] On the rotor
[Arrow to Box 16] Inside
Box 16: Are you flying near any strong magnets?
[Arrow to Box 21] No
[Arrow to the words 'page 171'] Yes
Box 17: How fast do you want to drive?
[Arrow to the words 'page 180'] Fast
[Arrow to Box 22] Normal
[Arrow to the words 'page 176'] With a bird
Box 18: Are you satisfied?
[Arrow to the word 'Fulfillment!', same word as from Boxes 26 and 29]
[Arrow to Box 23] No. I think we need more dogs.
Box 19: Do you want to?
[Arrow to the words 'page 255', same words as from Box 13] No
[Arrow to the words 'page 258', same words as from Box 11] Yes
Box 20: Travel back in time to undo your crimes
[Arrow to the words 'page 277']
Box 21: Okay, there's the diner!
[Arrow to the words 'page 128'] Keep driving forever
[Arrow to Box 24] Stop
Box 22: Does this road lead to Rome?
[Arrow to Box 25] Yes
[Arrow to the words 'page 154'] No, but it should
[Arrow to Box 21] No
Box 23: Get more dogs
[Arrow to Box 26]
Box 24: What food do you order?
[Arrow to the words 'page 303'] The Sun
[Arrow to the words 'page 299'] Breadsticks
[Arrow to Box 27] Soup
[Arrow to the words 'page 284'] Ammonia
[Arrow to the words 'page 195'] A cloud
Box 25: Pick a different road
[Arrow to Box 22]
Box 26: Enough?
[Arrow to the word 'Fulfillment!', same word as from Boxes 18 and 29] Yes
[Arrow to Box 28] No. You can never have too many dogs.
Box 27: How much soup?
[Arrow to the words 'page 197'] 1 bowl
[Arrow to the words 'page 1'] 1040 bowls
Box 28: More dogs
[Arrow to Box 29]
Box 29: Enough?
[Arrow to the word 'Fulfillment!', same word as from Boxes 18 and 26]
[Arrow to the words 'page 308] No. You can literally never have too many dogs. We should not stop until all that exists has been consumed by a happy, barking mass.


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Discussion

Given: you just bought what if 2 -- why isn't "sit in your room reading 'What if 2' as if you have no obligations in the world" an option on the first what do you do? The answer is even a page number. - 108.162.216.227 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think the concept is how to use the book in your everyday life. i.e. Match your real-life quandaries to the book's good advice. -boB (talk)
Maybe you just want to read a good book every day? Barmar (talk) 16:05, 13 September 2022 (UTC)

I added a table for the flowchart; does anyone have any better headers for it? PoolloverNathan[stalk the blue seas]UTSc 16:50, 13 September 2022 (UTC)

Is any of those order links for What If 2 offering PDF version? -- Hkmaly (talk) 20:34, 13 September 2022 (UTC)

You could buy the Google Play Books version and download as .acsm with this. From that, you could open it with the Adobe Digital Editions app which is... less than ideal to say the least. But from there you will get a DRM protected .epub file. There are ways to remove the DRM, but that's as much as I can say. Long story short, just buy the ebook and don't get in trouble. TheMegax (talk) 13:20, 14 September 2022 (UTC)
Judging by the phrasing of the question I think they were asking about a legal, paid copy but as a pdf- perhaps for convenience or if the books don't ship to a certain country Char Latte (talk) 04:22, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

I've spotted a small logic bug committed by Randall: What if...the diner is in Rome? 141.101.76.117 17:48, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

There aren't any good diners, but there are plenty of denarii. I think that's what you're being confused with... :-p 172.69.34.84 20:31, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

zach weinersmith paid tribute: on this day SMBC's comic was two faceless stickmen against a white background (stickmen are drawn rarely in smbc, and normally they have faces) and the votey was "there's a new xkcd book! go buy it!". also the joke was a math joke (referencing the smallest uninteresting number paradox). --172.69.68.29 02:50, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

AWESOME! Perhaps we should host the explainsmbc wiki here until they get their own? 172.71.158.119 04:28, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

bruh randall out here spoiling what if 2 i can't even162.158.129.163 10:13, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

Randall was on Weekend Edition today promoting the book.

Ooh, very nice! I feel like I should’ve known this as I scroll through NPR as my primary source of news multiple times a day obsessively. 42.book.addict (talk) 03:13, 3 February 2024 (UTC)