Talk:1438: Houston

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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A commentary on the nature of outsourced helpdesks, perhaps? Although, IME, the problems are more due to 'sticking to a script' (which would have given an entirely different exchange) rather than an unknowledgable and casually uninterested 'service'-person. 05:15, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I think this is the idea behind the comic too. Kind of like a "What if it had happened today?" It sure sounds like the kind of hotline support we get today. Deantwo (talk) 10:29, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree. This is definitely comparison between the original mission control center and current outsourced helpdesk centers. Although it would be interesting to know what specific incident caused Randal to comment on it. -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:28, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

What is going on is this strip? Usually it's a reference to something or a commentary, but I don't get it at all. Cheeselover724 (talk) 05:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I think I figured out enough of it to remove the "incomplete" tag. This is definitely one of the weird ones. Shachar (talk) 06:02, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Reference to Continuum? (Canadian sci-fi show) 06:41, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Ebola? Really? Where is that..what? 09:34, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree, there is no evidence to back up the ebola reference. Djbrasier (talk) 09:36, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Also, I took it to refer to people being distracted on the phone in general (hence the title text) or generally not taking their jobs serious. Maybe the idea that for NASA, space travel has become so routine that mission control is no longer as engaged in the missions. Djbrasier (talk) 09:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps the guy answering the phone is called "Houston"? A misplaced Skype call from a rather shell shocked astronaut? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

But then it wouldn't make sense, that he says he's at work.-- 13:36, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

There are a LOT of anachronisms, or things that don't match the way things were back in the 1960's, not just the flat screens. (And I do still remember the sixties, despite "if you can remember the sixties, you wern't really there" - a reference to the drug scene.) We didn't say "cool" or "you suck at doing that" back then, and it's very unlikely that communications with the mission and a simple telephone call would be selectable from the same headset, and the michrophones on headsets were larger and probably had dangling wires back then. --RenniePet (talk) 13:22, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

It could be a commentary on privatizing space travel by NASA (among others to Boeing). Would explain, why Cueball knows it's a "airplane or whatever".-- 13:36, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I understand it's a reference, but is this supposed to actually be the Apollo 13? I understood it was just another mission happening today. I find the anachronism explanation nonsensical. 13:57, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

"At first glance, this comic appears to be an "alternate reality" view at what could happen today, given that most people in the XXI century seem to suffer ADD." I don't think that we can assume this at all. Also, that's not what ADD is. Lomky (talk) 14:16, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Yeah. I think it's far more clear that Randall's commenting on unhelpful tech support than anyon'es short attention span. I've edited the explanation above. 15:34, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Did Randall have a bad experience with a call center operator? Condor70 (talk) 14:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Can someone explain why this is supposed to be funny? The explanation page doesn't quite get there. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

xkcd is a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language; humor is not guaranteed. I see no indication that Randall is trying for humor here. NealCruco (talk) 03:22, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
It must be the math then... 00:40, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Am i the only one interpreting Cueball as a script kiddie with too much spare time who somehow managed to hijack the communication line between Apollo 13 and Houston? The alt text is consistent with the basement dweller stereotype. Wouldn't explain the other call though. 17:22, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Nasa just uploaded several audio recordings of their missions on soundcloud ( Maybe Cueball is just playing with those while he is at work. 17:31, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

"It's always 'problem, problem, problem' with you guys. Don't you ever call just to say 'hi'?" -- PheagleAdler (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I don't get the context here. Is this supposed to be a biting satire on how the new generation sucks at social tact with their cell phones? How is a guy at NASA mission control being an asshat supposed to be funny or thought-provoking? Even the helpdesk angle doesn't really make sense, as inept as they can be I've never had one outright antagonize me like this guy does. ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I found the comic to be more of a reference to that of a "friend" who does not care what your problems are and doesn't wish to help you solve them- like if you had lost homework or forgotten to do a project and called your friend at the last minute, he would mock you for your incompetence and blow you off. I found the comic to be a little pedanticism, as if what if mission control was filled with the "friends." I had no thought as to tech support... Maybe because all my tech support has been helpful. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)