Really Short Summary: THE INTERNET CULT LEADER

Posted on April 26, 2008 by Kevin Chiu
Categories: Liveblog

  • Q: How did you achieve cult leadership status? Dino comics: I am happy to be here and be alive. XKCD: There is a mindset that people share, but aren’t aware they share. XKCD helps them discover each other. 4Chan: Images and Text. I just provide the framework.
  • Q: Are comics based on actual events in your life? XKCD: It’s a mixed experience. Dino: Realistic fiction.
  • Q: Which dinos are your ex girlfriends? A: Jereseus Mimus might have some lines… from real life… maybe. XKCD: If write something about a fictional relationship… while you’re in a real relationship… people ask fictions. Dino: It can be dangerous. XKCD: People take stuff seriously on the internet.
  • Q: When have you been most afraid of what you’ve created? A: Right now.
  • Anonymous enters the auditorium – ROFLCon staff holds them back.
  • XKCD: My electric skateboard now goes 20mph. I was inspired to buy a helmet.
  • XKCD to Moot: Can you do a barrel roll? (Moot does barrel roll)
  • Q: How do you feel about interpretations of your comics? XKCD: You shouldn’t have to explain it. I just learn if they get the wrong message. I try not to second guess myself. I try not to take it too seriously. Dino: My opinion is just one in the chorus.
  • Q: (from Reddit) To XKCD: Is the female love interest a real girl? If not, can I date you? A: I was tempted to say yes and give Ryan’s phone number. It’s actually not a particular person. Weird thing: Sometimes I meet people in real life who are more like my characters than I ever imagined.
  • Q: Zombie defense plan? 4Chan: I live in the south. Everyone has a gun. XKCD: I have the raptor plan. Raptors are faster, jump higher… Inspiration: Jurassic Park. I am aware of the entrances to the room.
  • Q: Randal, you are brilliant. Is there anything you want this entire room to do? A: A barrel roll. (room does barrel roll).
  • Q: How’s your thesis? Dino: Computational Linguistics, done. XKCD: I’ve given Computational Linguists a hard time in the past… fuck you.
  • Q: To Dino: Now that you are an advertising exec instead of an artist. Why do I see a bunch of white faces on stage? Dino: [dodge]
  • Q: Why is today a beautiful day? Dino: I should have been prepared for this. A: Barrel roll?
  • Q: Tron Guy: How do you feel about being the leader of such an “effective” group of people. 4chan: Yeah 4channers spare no one. They vandalize the 4chan wikipedia article… there’s only so much you can do. The hive mind has free will.
  • Q: Coordinates? XKCD: I put up the coords up the first time. They were wrong. I fixed them. The wrong coords were a field in upstate NY. The fixed ones were in a part. Once I realized this would work, I wanted to make some really difficult coordinates — like inside the White House or on a mountain top.
  • Q: Bizarre requests? XKCD: Signing a friendship. (two in crowd raise hands – crowd goes “awwwwww”)
  • Q: Emacs or VI: A: VI
  • Q: Users breaking rules? 4chan: Authorities come and get you. Dino: Some guy did real life Mario blocks. I made the website. Spread virally. 5 young women got arrested, the put the blocks on the ground in front of a gov’t building. Real terrorists don’t put question mark boxes around their bombs.
  • Q: (from Anonymous) – When will you hand over 4chan to the head of Anonymous? A: 580 million or fuck off.
  • Q: XKCD, you get your comics from a binder you found in a dumpster. You stole it. A: Yep, I’ll run out in Dec 2012.
  • Q: Remap the web? A: Thinking about it. Facebook is bigger than Myspace now. Q: 4chan? A: I made 4chan a little island. Huge backlash.
  • Q: Becoming too big, mythic? Dino: My parents didn’t like it until I started making money selling t-shirts.
  • Q: Will you apologize for 4chan? A: No.
  • Q: To 4chan: Is there anything you want to take responsibility for? A: …. No.
  • Q: Do your parents know? A: 4chan isn’t exactly dinner table conversation. They figured out after 4 years of me not mentioning it. It’s like the awkwardness that happens when parents need to tell their kids about sex, but the other way. Dino: I knew they were reading it, but we have a silent agreement where they don’t talk to me about it.
  • Q: To: XKCD Fruit graph? You were surprised how controversial it was. Is there anything that you made that wasn’t as controversial as you expected? A: I did a comic about the mathematics of cunnilingus… to kind of set the limit. I got thank you letters and letters of proposal for additional research. 4chan: We were called an internet hate machine, we were called terrorists. But people don’t care. Dino: I did a comic about the ninja turtles theme song and got one of the lyrics wrong…
  • Q: When did you start 4chan? I started on Oct 1, 2003.
  • Q: To Dino: Gender theory? Why are all the content producers men? Dino: I don’t think there’s anything on the internet that particularly makes it a great place for men. XKCD: It’s hard to be preachy and funny at the same time.
  • Q: As people who are famous on the internet… is it weird when RL people recognize you? XKCD: The weirdest is when they’ve read the comic, but don’t like it. Dino: It’s tricky because they like you already, but it’s nice when you start on even ground. 4chan: One time a stranger asked me to do a barrel roll.
  • Q: To 4chan: What’s your favorite meme? 4chan: Not Rick Roll! I like the song, but it’s getting old. XKCD: You need to strike a balance between how early you use the meme, and how many people in your target community are already bored of the joke. 4chan: I like weegee. It is awesome. Like 5 people know what it is. That’s a good sign.
  • Q: To 4chan: Do you use 4chan? 4chan: Too much, but I can’t ban myself. I post as anonymous a lot.
  • Q: Was society crying out for your communities? 4chan: Definitely. XKCD: It’s more like you’re just giving the crowd some tools or common points and they naturally form around it.
  • Q: What is your personal relationship to the community? 4chan: It’s complicated. I hate it when the community ruins a random person’s life for no reason. I don’t control 4chan.
  • Q: Where will you be in 10 years? Dino: Yeah, I could be doing the same thing. Each comic takes about 3 or 4 hours to write, but I like it. XKCD: I dunno. I enjoy my job now, it’s the most fun thing I’ve ever done. But the future is exciting and unpredictable. 4chan: For me, it’s kind of hard to leave on a high note at this point. I’m happy about providing the platform. I’m not sure about 10 years though. It’s hard to monetize. I can’t see myself breaking even at 37.
  • Q: Who did page switching for april fools day (between XKCD and Dino)? We happened to just hack each other on the same day.
  • Q: Pie or cake? Dino: They’re both good. XKCD: That’s a fire hazard.
  • Q: Are you constrained or limited by the form of your comic. Would you try new art styles? Dino: I feel like drawing is really hard.
  • Q: Have you ever held back on your swarm powers? Dino I’ve done constructive things, like distributed computation for curing cancer. XKCD: I got tired of seeing “There are no women on the internet.” In the comic, I had users’ computers who said that get destroyed in an EMP. I knew my audience had the tendency to make my comics a reality… I would have been fine with it.
  • Q: Why do you stick with primitive art? 4chan: Text and images are all you really need. XKCD: Making it simple pretty much always makes things punchier.
  • Q: Why are we obsessed with Japan? 4chan: It’s different. We’re outsiders looking in. We think it’s neat. XKCD: The urge to learn a system and play with it. That same mindset applies to cultures.
  • Q: Which sites should people visit more? 4chan: My computer really sucks. I read the news. (claps) XKCD: Reviews of professionals, maybe like a wiki or web 2.0 thing. Dino: ytmd.com
  • Q: Free software as model for free content on internet? Dino: I prefer opera to firefox. I do my comic in MS Paint. XKCD: I talked to Stallman etc. They were the beginning. They’re not the only source of geek culture now. 4chan is a huge source now. 4chan: We’re a really bad example of free software. We took free software and made it proprietary and haven’t released it. XKCD: You don’t want to create an obligation of contribution. Your grandma using Firefox helps Firefox even though she’s not contributing bug reports.
  • Q: Your ideal woman? Dino: This is a very heteronormative question. Answer – My girlfriend Jen. XKCD + 4Chan: Ball pit!

[random comments] From Tim: This was cool. We might do this next year. If you’re interested, contact us. roflcon@gmail.com RFL staff gives Tim a poster. kthxbye,Kevin Chiu

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