Thursday, April 3, 2008

xkcd and obsession

Last panel of the xkcd webcomic Sample xkcd comic.
Image from Commons
OK, so xkcd is a webcomic. If you don't know what that means, follow the links.

Anyway, the author of xkcd understands Wikipedia. Consider this comic. (Is there anyone reading this blog who hasn't seen it yet? Oh please! Cap yourself immediately) Consider this reference to xkcd from Wikipedia's Administrator's Noticeboard/Incidents... clearly Wikipedia administrators understand where he's coming from too.

The xkcd author surely understands obsession. Consider this image... how long did it take someone (him) to draw that? Any why? On a whiteboard, no less. Sure, it's a great joke, but was the time spent worth the laughs? To him it was.

Some of you may know that webcomics got me more involved in Wikipedia than just a drive by fixer-upper... reading webcomics used to be one of my obsessions. LEGO still is. But over time, it seems that obsessions change and shift. What drives obsessions? What causes them to change? These are good questions. And important ones to many hobbies...

Wikipedia would not survive without a core of people who were not at least slightly obsessed with it. The same is true of many other hobbies... the NMRA relies on a core of folk who give their time and energy to an organization that ultimately, is all about something not essential to survival. But ultimately, that's a tribute to the success of our civilization. Instead of being obsessed with gathering food and staying alive, that can take up only part of our time and attention, allowing most of it to focus on what really interests us.

What are your obsessions?


Giggy said...

Yep, consider me a Wikipedia obsessive. Better than the guy who did the whiteboard, anyway!

Lar said...

Hi Giggy! What do you mean "better"? I think that whiteboard thing is quite the tribute... :)