April 10th, 2007


└ Tags: ,

Discussion (12)¬

  1. Hunter says:

    Now, that’s the engineer talking, that is.

  2. Awesome Applesauce says:

    Ack, I’m never sure how tall Digger actually is. In some pannels like this one, she seems as tall a human, but other times she seems more actual wombat size.

  3. Reiver says:

    It may help to remember that an acolyte is very often a child – so the human in question may well simply be very short.

  4. Alizarin says:

    I thought I saw a facehugger floating in a tank in the third panel. I guess that’s an elephant face, with ears and a trunk. That makes sense too.

  5. Revenant says:

    Great use of panel splits for dialogue pacing in the last three panels.

  6. dsollen says:

    She sure wants to use a lot of braces in that tunnel. Personally it seems unnecessarily convoluted to me…

  7. Joseph says:

    That’s an odd use of the term “tries” in panel 3. It’s not necessarily wrong to refer to an inanimate force “trying” to do something, but it takes a bit of an odd mindset. (Look up anthropomorphization in the Jargon File for a more detailed description.)

    I agree with Digger’s sentiment in the last panel. Sure, the temple might have survived so far, but that doesn’t mean it will continue to do so, especially if it isn’t structurally sound.

    In response to Alizarin: That’s not a tank; it’s a pillar. The elephant face is a painting, not a suspended facehugger.

  8. Sophist says:

    “It’s not necessarily wrong to refer to an inanimate force “trying” to do something, but it takes a bit of an odd mindset.”

    Not that odd. Wombats talk about earth the same way sailors talk about the sea, and for much the same reasons I would imagine.

    Ok, I realize comparing someone to a sailor is perhaps not the best defense against a charge of oddness, but you see what I mean, yes?

  9. redbeard says:

    As an engineer, it didn’t even occur to me that Digger saying “an earthquake tries…” might be thought odd by some. It’s often powerful (in the problem understanding and solving sense) to think of certain forces as active pseudo-entities — it taps into the millions of years of neural wiring humans have developed for managing/predicting/modeling complex social interactions and understanding each other – a core reason we developed these big brains to begin with.

  10. Joseph says:

    I called the view “odd” not because it doesn’t make sense, but because it’s fairly unusual. I personally understand why Digger would phrase it like that; I was mostly surprised that Ursula did, too.

    It’s worth noting that the reason for thinking in this way isn’t just that it helps us process information:
    “Thus it is common to hear hardware or software talked about as though it has homunculi talking to each other inside it, with intentions and desires. Thus, one hears ‘The protocol handler got confused,’ or that programs ‘are trying’ to do things, or one may say of a routine that ‘Its goal in life is to X.’ Or: ‘You can’t run those two cards on the same bus; they fight over interrupt 9.’
    The key to understanding this kind of usage is that it isn’t done in a naive way; hackers don’t personalize their stuff in the sense of feeling empathy with it, nor do they mystically believe that the things they work on every day are ‘alive.’ To the contrary: hackers who anthropomorphize are expressing not a vitalistic view of program behavior but a mechanistic view of human behavior.”
    While humans, computers, and earthquakes are fundamentally different, it still makes sense to describe all three of them as “trying” to do something if what they are doing often results in that thing.
    For example, a computer is trying to connect to a website when it runs a program to load that url, because loading that url usually results in being connected to the target website. Likewise, earthquakes try to cause damage, because major tremors often do result in property damage.

    It’s kind of a strained analogy, but my point is that it makes sense to stretch the definitions.

  11. Lee says:

    The image on the pillar in the center panel is nicely balanced between Ganesh and a Great Old One from the Lovecraftian mythos. Ears/wings, trunk/tail, turban/eye — you can see it either way

  12. JET73L says:

    All this talk about the elephant-facehugger-shoggoth on the pillar got me looking at the script more closely. I see a dragonfly in the first script-panel, which seems unimportant. I also see a shadowchild behind the acolyte where she’s standing in front of a pillar, which may imply many things- not the least of which is “Digger’s readers can see clues where there is only stylized chaos.”

    I haven’t seen the ceiling of that hall, but from everything else I’ve seen of the temple, it’s probably squared off with small buttresses at the tops of the columns rather than inherently arched. If that’s true, I would also have added more support. A LOT more support, if the stones of the ceiling aren’t particularly long and wide.