Difference between revisions of "1821: Incinerator"

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==Explanation==
 
==Explanation==
{{incomplete|Created by a BOT - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.}}
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[[Cueball]] and [[Ponytail]] have just finished installing an {{w|Incineration|incinerator}} for some unspecified purpose at some establishment. Ponytail brings up the problem of having to get rid of the old incinerator, and Cueball begins to suggest using the new incinerator to incinerate the old one, but he is shut down by Ponytail off-panel. This makes him noticeably disappointed, probably because the idea of using an incinerator to destroy an incinerator is novel to him.
 
 
  
Cueball and Ponytail have just finished installing an incinerator for some unspecified purpose at some establishment. Ponytail brings up the problem of having to get rid of the old incinerator, and Cueball begins to suggest using the new incinerator to incinerate the old one before he is shut down by Ponytail off-panel. This makes him noticeably disappointed.
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Throwing an incinerator inside another incinerator would probably break some kind of regulations or safety concerns, and since incinerators are meant to withstand their own high heat capacities it would be ineffective anyway.
  
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The title text implies that this comic was inspired by recent events at [[Randall]]'s house: his trash can broke and he struggled with how to dispose of it. At least for Randall, there is something wrong with forcing anything to destroy something of its own kind -- in this case, throwing the old trash can in the new trash can. Since machines have no human emotion this would not cause any [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I07xDdFMdgw trauma for the machine], but the humans in charge might feel as if something is wrong, and Randall mentions having an {{w|existential crisis}}. This is because humans tend to project human qualities onto the machines they are working with ({{w|anthropomorphism|anthropomorphization}}), thus possibly framing the situation in the context of something like cannibalism or homicide.  The next comic after this one, [[1822: Existential Bug Reports]], references existential problems in the title, suggesting perhaps that Randall is feeling particularly existential at the moment, see more regarding this [[1756: I'm With Her#Sad comics|here]]. Randall has himself given the solution for that kind of problem earlier in [[220: Philosophy]].
  
There are several reasons why incinerating the old incinerator might not be an option. Regulations or safety concerns could easily shut that plan down. The reason that the title text seems to suggest however is that there is something wrong with forcing anything to destroy something of its own kind, at least for Randall. Since machines that have no human emotion, this would not cause any trauma for the machine, but the humans in charge might feel as if something is wrong, and Randall mentions having an existential crisis in the title text. This is because humans tend to project human qualities onto the machines they are working with (anthropomorphization), thus possibly framing the situation in the context of something like cannibalism or homicide.
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Another way of taking it would be in the sense of "being replaceable". Many people live without wanting to think of what might happen to everything around them after they die, but in this title text one can start comparing the trash can to themselves — the same way the trash can turns into something to be disposed and replaced with a new one after it becomes useless, what about people then? What will happen to you when you grow older? Should you suddenly go sick and become useless? How about in your job, what would happen if someone more superior than you comes around and starts threatening your hard-earned position?
  
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Yet another interpretation is that while disposing of the trash can, Randall realized that he was now in the same situation as the trash can itself. The trash can was a tool used by others, in order to dispose of trash. And yet, in time, the trash can itself became trash and had to be disposed of by Randall. Which makes one wonder if Randall is himself a tool created/used by others, who will one day dispose of Randall when he has outlived his usefulness, the same way that he disposed of the trash can when it outlived its usefulness. From this perspective, Randall is simply a more intelligent and autonomous trash-junking-tool, different in degrees but similar in nature to his own trash can.
  
That doesn't even matter though, because disposing of the incinerator in this way would be physically impossible. Incinerators are effective at disposing of organic waste: paper, wood etc. But not good for disposing of an incinerator that is mostly non-flammable. Parts of the old incinerator could be recycled, the remainder would have to go to landfill.
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Many people define themselves by the things they do and are capable of. The idea of losing those, and then being replaced for it, is a bitter pill that we will all have to swallow at some point. All things must come to end after all, including ourselves.
  
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Plus, [https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/06/08/map-territory-distinctions/ actually throwing out a garbage can can be surprisingly difficult].
  
Cueball is probably disappointed because the idea of using an incinerator to destroy an incinerator is novel, and not getting to see something as cool as that happen is a let down if you are in a position where you might expect to get to see that happen. Cueball may also be projecting human qualities onto the incinerators, imagining the scenario with the same excitement as one might have watching a criminal be executed. After all, incinerators are easy to see as a type of executioner when personified, since their whole purpose is to destroy what they are given.
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Another device to perform a meta-action was previously explored in [[952: Stud Finder]].
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==
{{incomplete transcript|Do NOT delete this tag too soon.}}
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:[Cueball and Ponytail stand next to an incinerator, with a combustion chamber and flue that rises up to the top of the frame.]
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:Ponytail: Great, the new incinerator is installed. Now we just need to dispose of the old one.
  
''Cueball and ponytail are standing next to an incinerator, with a combustion chamber and flue that rises up to the top of the frame.''
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:[Ponytail walks out of the frame.]
  
Ponytail: Great, the new incinerator is installed. Now we just need to dispose of the old one.
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:[Cueball lowers his head, beat panel]
  
''Ponytail walks out of frame''
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:[Cueball raises his hand and begins to ask a question.]
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:Cueball: Hey, could—
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:Ponytail (off-panel): ''No.''
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:Cueball: Aww, maaan.
  
''Cueball is left, wondering...''
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{{comic discussion}}
  
Cueball: Hey could—
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[[Category:Comics featuring Cueball]]
 
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[[Category:Comics featuring Ponytail]]
Ponytail: *from out of frame* ''No.''
 
 
 
Cueball: *quietly* Aww, maaan.
 
 
 
{{comic discussion}}
 

Revision as of 11:49, 4 October 2017

Incinerator
My trash can broke recently and I had to get rid of it. When I picked it up, I suffered a brief but harrowing existential crisis.
Title text: My trash can broke recently and I had to get rid of it. When I picked it up, I suffered a brief but harrowing existential crisis.

Explanation

Cueball and Ponytail have just finished installing an incinerator for some unspecified purpose at some establishment. Ponytail brings up the problem of having to get rid of the old incinerator, and Cueball begins to suggest using the new incinerator to incinerate the old one, but he is shut down by Ponytail off-panel. This makes him noticeably disappointed, probably because the idea of using an incinerator to destroy an incinerator is novel to him.

Throwing an incinerator inside another incinerator would probably break some kind of regulations or safety concerns, and since incinerators are meant to withstand their own high heat capacities it would be ineffective anyway.

The title text implies that this comic was inspired by recent events at Randall's house: his trash can broke and he struggled with how to dispose of it. At least for Randall, there is something wrong with forcing anything to destroy something of its own kind -- in this case, throwing the old trash can in the new trash can. Since machines have no human emotion this would not cause any trauma for the machine, but the humans in charge might feel as if something is wrong, and Randall mentions having an existential crisis. This is because humans tend to project human qualities onto the machines they are working with (anthropomorphization), thus possibly framing the situation in the context of something like cannibalism or homicide. The next comic after this one, 1822: Existential Bug Reports, references existential problems in the title, suggesting perhaps that Randall is feeling particularly existential at the moment, see more regarding this here. Randall has himself given the solution for that kind of problem earlier in 220: Philosophy.

Another way of taking it would be in the sense of "being replaceable". Many people live without wanting to think of what might happen to everything around them after they die, but in this title text one can start comparing the trash can to themselves — the same way the trash can turns into something to be disposed and replaced with a new one after it becomes useless, what about people then? What will happen to you when you grow older? Should you suddenly go sick and become useless? How about in your job, what would happen if someone more superior than you comes around and starts threatening your hard-earned position?

Yet another interpretation is that while disposing of the trash can, Randall realized that he was now in the same situation as the trash can itself. The trash can was a tool used by others, in order to dispose of trash. And yet, in time, the trash can itself became trash and had to be disposed of by Randall. Which makes one wonder if Randall is himself a tool created/used by others, who will one day dispose of Randall when he has outlived his usefulness, the same way that he disposed of the trash can when it outlived its usefulness. From this perspective, Randall is simply a more intelligent and autonomous trash-junking-tool, different in degrees but similar in nature to his own trash can.

Many people define themselves by the things they do and are capable of. The idea of losing those, and then being replaced for it, is a bitter pill that we will all have to swallow at some point. All things must come to end after all, including ourselves.

Plus, actually throwing out a garbage can can be surprisingly difficult.

Another device to perform a meta-action was previously explored in 952: Stud Finder.

Transcript

[Cueball and Ponytail stand next to an incinerator, with a combustion chamber and flue that rises up to the top of the frame.]
Ponytail: Great, the new incinerator is installed. Now we just need to dispose of the old one.
[Ponytail walks out of the frame.]
[Cueball lowers his head, beat panel]
[Cueball raises his hand and begins to ask a question.]
Cueball: Hey, could—
Ponytail (off-panel): No.
Cueball: Aww, maaan.


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Discussion

The crisis could come from a more abstract feeling thinking of the incinerating/trash devices as Ouroboros, serpents biting their own tail or nilpotent matrices. Nothing would be left. Sebastian --162.158.88.62 06:01, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

There also might be a more practical explanation of the crisis; in my experience it is extremely difficult to convey to trash collectors that a garbage can itself is part of the trash. Merely placing it inside another, larger trash receptacle is often not enough to convince them to collect it. 108.162.216.58 07:15, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

I actually had the opposite problem recently, where we obtained a medium sized plastic tote with a recyclables logo on the side, and they were kind enough to take all the recyclable materials, apparently including the tote. So be careful what you wish for.162.158.74.51 17:14, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
Sadly, that might not have been the trash collectors. That is, I'm sure they took the recyclables, but it's possible one of your neighbors said, "Hey, free tote," especially since if it was new, clean, and did not have any identifying marks, such as your address, on it.

162.158.62.63 23:19, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

I find that the people who post here have the weirdest, most unusual problems. 141.101.104.203 07:46, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
In my own practical experience, the only solution to throw away a personal trashcan (that is, a can which is not supplied by the waste management services), is to cut/dismantle the old can and dispose of it in the new can. Trashcans supplied by waste management services have always been a simple call to the customer service office and a brand-new can would be awaiting after the next garbage collection day. 108.162.221.106 03:38, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

Disposing of a trash can by putting it in its replacement is simply insustainable: After a few generations, you end up with a container that won't fit trough your door! --162.158.91.173 13:09, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Maybe the crisis was recursive -- using the broken container to dispose of itself.CoderLass (talk) 17:34, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

That's what I thought as well! 141.101.107.186 17:39, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
I second this thought processV (talk) 23:19, 4 June 2019 (UTC)