Talk:1805: Unpublished Discoveries

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Notice that a new what if? - Toaster vs. Freezer was released yesterday, the day before this comic was released. Less than three weeks between releases this time. --Kynde (talk) 18:40, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

This is my first time writing an explanation. It's still just a stub. Waterhorse800 (talk) 17:02, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

You are welcome. But it's too descriptive. The pun is that Ponytail talks about science while Megan is working on a profane computer task like printing an email. --Dgbrt (talk) 17:18, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Great you are contributing. I think the description is fine, as I (probably disagree here with Dgbrt) think that it is great to start an explanation be mentioning the characters in the comic, as people coming here rarely only to check a comic the few times they are in doubt, may not use/know our invented names for the characters. Of course the real explanation of the concepts should then be added, but your contribution should in my opinion not be deleted. --Kynde (talk) 18:40, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Since Kynde mentions me here is my opinion on this -- nevertheless every contribution is welcome and helpful:
  • Readers here looking for an explanation on the pun -- the names of the characters are irrelevant in this case.
  • This comic is a good example because people reading the original comic often without recognizing the title text. And sadly still only a few of them looking afterwards here.
  • If readers can read here only that what they've already seen they won't come back. And if they are overwhelmed by suspicious explanations they probably won't too.
So everybody is welcome to contribute, but this isn't a writers wiki -- it's for the readers.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:14, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

According to Online tax forms saving and printing could be tricky:

Fill-In Tax Forms
... To save the data you’ve filled in, use the Adobe Reader’s “Save” function (not the web browser’s “Save” function). ...

--Dgbrt (talk) 18:34, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

I took the title text to imply that Meghan was preparing for the possibility of receiving a tax form related to receiving the Nobel Prize and needing to print it out to submit to the IRS when filing her taxes. Rtanenbaum (talk) 19:06, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

What about recent news on SHA-1 collision for two pdf documents? May this be related? -- 20:49, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

With or without salt?--Dgbrt (talk) 21:23, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Virtual discoveries, like virtual particles, are discoveries that exist for such a short time that they go undetected. Might be unpublished research, or just fleeting thoughts. 10:33, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Whoo boy.... This seems like one of those entries where overthinking it has introduced confusion where there was none. Yikes! "This is one of those comics where the reading of the title text is mandatory for understanding the entire pun.". This is positively, absolutely untrue. I had initially though this was referring to the comic's title - to which I was going to say that I always forget to read the title until after, and I understood the joke fine. Then I realized this is referring to the mouse-over text. Well, still true. I read this on an iPad, there's no mouse-over on the iPad, so I can only see this text when I come here to the Explain site, which I do after reading the comic (I like going in "pure", taking in the comic unassisted first). This is NOT part of the joke, as has often happened before this is taking the joke in a new direction, giving a second punchline. In the comic, Megan clearly DOES have such an unpublished scientific paper on her computer, as suggested by her tilting her screen away and the comedic cliche/rule of convenient conversational timing. Then Randall, as he is wont to do, uses the title text to take the joke in a new direction, giving another scenario where she might want to keep her computer screen private.

Also, the current Incomplete text, "What does the title "Unpublished Discoveries" mean to science", seems rather unnecessary, Ponytail answers this question pretty concisely in the comic itself. Maybe this is a call for more clarity on WHY someone would wait to publish - as I understand it, it's in order to do more research and analysis, so as to have something more solid and complete before publishing, and that the whole thing is a balance between completeness and publishing first - but as worded this question seems pre-answered. - NiceGuy1 04:03, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

There appear to be several very different ways to interpret the tagline, a short list:

  1. The funny part in the actual comic is that Megan is actually (just) working on a way to print a tax form as PDF (as suggested by Waterhorse800 or Dgbrt ?)
  2. Megan is preparing to receive a tax form related to receiving the nobel prize (as suggested by Rtanenbaum, but personally I don't get this one)
  3. In the comic Megan is simply working on something that would in fact be nobel prize winning which she tries to hide and deny because it is not published yet, and the tagline is a separate joke that reveals what the author is currently working on, and how he hopes to win the nobel prize by his efforts because it is so difficult to print tax forms (as suggested by NiceGuy1 and me, Testrider)

Testrider (talk) 07:26, 3 March 2017 (UTC)