T42R 307-312

Tomoyo42’s Room: 307 – 312 (READ IN ORDER!)
What is even happening, man?

47 Responses to “T42R 307-312”

  1. admin Says:

    Post a comment if the sidepic made you yawn.
    I yawned three times while drawing it.

  2. Nammyung Says:

    I hadn’t yawned until you told me about it. Then I yawned.

  3. Shish Says:

    Damn it Dan, trolling my subconscious like that -_-

  4. ahr2nd Says:

    Yes, Sakura, we need more T42 shirts. Must I be condemned to an eternity of searching eBay in vain?


    >Richard Dawkins
    >Not Tyson/Sagan

  5. maaya Says:

    Dan- please make sure you have a moe moe sakura pink T shirts with facebirds for (me), errrrr I mean other women fans too.

    *3* or moe moe Facebird exploding aprons with extra frills of the non exploding variety

  6. RAR Says:


    * NHGGNNNN *

  7. couchfort Says:

    Dan, you’re so edge. Social commentary WHILE updating comics? This new Dan both enthralls and bewilders me. It frightens me so!

  8. AoC Says:

    I don’t know if I’m yawning from waking up recently or from the sidepic. Either way, yawn.

    Well, that made my day. And you didn’t go with le rageface to make the point either, well done.
    Quick thing, in 312 there’s a white panel inside the comic in the second panel of the third panel which kills a whole chain of recursion while the other one goes all the way down.

  9. TheEFAF Says:

    I feel the pressure in my jaw to yawn but I will not give in!

    I actually perfected the art of the closed-mouth yawn during school so professors couldn’t see how sleepy I actually was… also the art of napping sitting up. You’re up against a seasoned professional here.

  10. Dzhon Says:

    How droll.

  11. admin Says:

    Hrm, I’ll think about shirts.
    Tyson is too likeable, it’d kill the joke.

    I love aprons. ;_;

    Fixed the comic, thanks. : /

  12. Acriman Says:

    dammit dan, I never asked fo-

    oh god make it st-


    *heart attack*

  13. Jo-ou Says:

    I only yawned after you pointed out I should yawn.

    >Hrm, I’ll think about shirts.

    Pffft. PFFFFFT, I say. We both know you ain’t gonna do squat.

  14. couchfort Says:

    “T-shirt designs that never happened” will be in the next graveyard/failed concept art update 7 years from now.

  15. Not One Of Us Says:

    Trying to figure out which webcomic each strip mocks.

    Think I’ve got two of them down…

  16. ahr2nd Says:

    @Not One Of Us Says


  17. Dzhon Says:


    I dunno.. New Dan updates regularly. He might sell things too.

    You never what’s going to happen with New Dan around.

  18. Mo Mocha Says:

    I didn’t notice the yawning until I came to the comments. Then I looked at it again and yawned :S There’s some evil psychology or something here.

  19. It's Dantastic Says:

    I didn’t yawn. I just said “That’s so cute” internally.

    And your comics made me sad today. Because I see so many people like that with their own self-righteousness and absolute assurances that they are right and special and unique.

    Then I realize I’m probably falling into the same trap and fall into a paranoid self hatespiral of hating myself for not hating myself, then hating myself for realizing I hate myself only because I realize I don’t hate myself and that there possibly isn’t any REAL learning on my part, and instead it could all just be smug satisfaction that I feel more enlightened in my belief that I’m not unique and special.

    Thank you for sending me down into this paranoid hatespiral. Thanks Dan.

    Also that sidepic is seriously cute.

  20. Jet Says:

    Re: 308. Religion has become the new scapegoat hipsters blame everything on. The problem is we have lots of historical evidence that if you take away religion, people exhibit the exact same jackass behavior – they just find a different excuse. I think it’s largely orthogonal – just largely irrelevant to most of our societal problems, either as a cause or a solution. But moreover, I don’t think any philosophical reform, any kind of attempt “to teach people to be better”, will ever work – whether it’s religion, or atheism or anything. People get caught up in this stupid religion vs. atheism fight; it’s pointless and distracts (tons of) attention from the real problem.

    Not all problems are the result of human action – not even close. But I think all of our problems are caused by what we are. We’re frail enough that just being alive is fraught with most of our problems (death and pain, for example). And we’re dumb and desperate enough that we cause the rest of them.

    I think the solution is to make us better creatures; in the most functional and mechanical sense. Make us smarter. Make us kinder. Make us not die – or make us take a hell of a lot longer to do so, and be able to pass on what matters most (all of our hard-won memories and skills). I’m sure it won’t solve all our problems, but I’m also sure it’ll solve a shitload of the most painful and immediate ones.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Why would you vaporize a naked-apron girl?
    That’s just ridiculous. These comics make no sense, Dan.

    No one would ever vaporize a naked-apron girl.

  22. admin Says:

    Not sure I entirely agree — it seems to me that at least some of the beliefs we hold can affect our actions. For example, my belief about the contents of a bottle may influence whether or not I drink it (all other things being equal). On a larger scale, if many people believe that holding slaves is/isn’t a good idea, you’ll get different results. Moreover, the introduction of new concepts (say, human rights or animal cruelty) can allow entirely new desires, even needs, and so new human pains and moral duties. Even changes in meaning (rather than belief) can produce big changes: reinterpretations of The Constitution have brought real improvements in human life. So I see modifications of belief, introductions of new concepts, and reinterpretations — philosophical reform in a broad sense — as being largely contiguous with the kind of self-modification you’re talking about. Such modifications could produce positive results.

    That said, I certainly agree that philosophical arguments don’t exist in a vacuum. The argument that slavery is morally evil may only have caught on because it had more political oomph given some contingent circumstances. Then again, the reason it has such oomph might be because it really does get something right, and those contingent circumstances only gave us the chance to see clearly. I’m still torn on this, but what’s clear is that mere argument isn’t enough: circumstances must change… … … but like I said earlier, beliefs and new concepts (in additional to the material world) may be part of “the circumstances”.

    So with that in mind, I see the atheism vs theism debate as not just a philosophical activity, but as part of the inescapable political activity of figuring out the kind of society we want to have. To the degree it fosters fruitful discussion, I think it’s worth having. But as you say, it may not be very fruitful: there’s a lot of hipster-like smugness, slogan-yelling, sneering, folding of arms, etc. which is getting in the way of other important discussions. It may be better to drop the subject than get it right, or at least switch gears so people can talk about public policy without getting bogged down in ancient philosophical puzzles.

    As for my own view, I think a society that focuses merely on the alleviation of mammalian pain could be pretty horrible (e.g. Brave New World). I’d be happy if we retained what we can of Romanticism and leave space for each individual’s pursuit of The Divine, as William James saw it: ‘The divine can mean so single quality, it must mean a group of qualities, by being champions of which in alternation different men may all find worthy missions.’ Where these two desires are in competition I admit I have no principled stance — I can only go back and forth and weigh the relative dangers and merits on a case by case basis. Here, arguments can help, but as you say, it can’t end with just arguments.

  23. X Says:

    you hard-bitten old cynic you.

  24. ahr2nd Says:

    I don’t think framing atheism as a philosophical position is quite right, especially considering that it doesn’t really entail a system of beliefs, or any doctrine that I’m aware of. (Or anything, actually.) I know atheists who are socialists, and I know atheists who are libertarians (think Penn & Teller)–and they hate each other. Personal philosophies are probably just as varied.

  25. admin Says:

    That’s a good point…

    But even if (a)theism doesn’t entail exactly one set of beliefs, if (a)theism is true it would mean that certain positions could not be held and certain arguments would be false (those leading to or depending on the conclusion god does [not] exist). So if we get the question about (a)theism right, we might not get all the right beliefs, but we could get rid of at least some wrong ones. (However, just as you say, whether getting this question right would shed any light at all on other more important questions is another matter entirely…)

    Still, I’m not sure what you’d call an investigation into such matters other than ‘philosophy’. ‘Theology’ doesn’t seem to fit. It doesn’t seem to be a scientific or historical question, though scientific or historical facts might be brought to bear on the question. Maybe, more modestly, it could just be said that it’s possible to give these sorts of questions a philosophical treatment if one is so inclined…

    I dunno. I’d like to hear more of your thoughts on this if you think it’s worth talking about (it might not be, though… I suspect that my view is totally confused here — probably too confused even be right or wrong, just incoherent.)

  26. jesusdan Says:

    humans in general seem to be inclined to not get along (for the most part). that being said, it never crossed my mind that t42 could have sparked such a philosophical/theological discourse. more t42 please.

  27. X Says:

    Stick to the ultra-violence, bad relationships and kinky sex – it’s what you’re good at after all.

  28. admin Says:

    >implying I have ever been good at anything
    c’mon guy be serious now

  29. Jet Says:

    Wow, my comment didn’t trigger an internet shitstorm? I actually got reasoned, intellectual debate from that? Damn.
    Cookies for everyone!

    @ahr2nd: Philosophical positions need not be holistic; many of them are just single ideas people hold to be true, and use to guide the way they live and think. They’re like ingredients in a greater whole.

    @admin: We speak about improving society via laws and social movements, but I think the entire landscape would change if how we thought, changed. We might not have this idea of “flipping” societies from one “accepted belief” (slavery is good) to another (slavery is bad). Right now we have a “mental framework” where ideas have to fight it out, and if an idea catches on, it kills the competition. People get ridiculed and condemned for being wrong, and pretty soon everyone falls in line and condemns the new BadThink.

    It’s crazy. It’s a built-in self-correcting mechanism in our rather flawed instinctive wiring for logical thinking. It serves a useful function, but it’s the most primitive and sloppy way of doing it.

    I think we’ll be at a point in the future where we won’t have “idea fights”; where individual people will be able to hold mutually contradictory ideas, and benefit from both sides of them. Kind of like how physics currently has relativity, and quantum mechanics, and both major frameworks have predictive value even though they can’t be mutually reconciled yet. We don’t have people fighting to wipe one or the other out. Because that would be crazy.

    But I think that’s crazy for EVERY body of ideas, not just scientific theories. It’s a big leap, because there are a lot of ideas that we either consider obviously wrong, or even consider morally reprehensible – but I think there’s something hugely important there. Thar’s gold in them hills, I tell ye ….

  30. It's Dantastic Says:

    when people split into
    we would stumble
    and they would let us fall

    if instead of
    there were just people
    when a person stumbles
    another person would lend a hand

    No virtue
    No sin
    No wrong
    No right
    Just people.

    Yeah that’s not anywhere near where I’d want it to be, but I’m not spending more than these 20 minutes trying to puzzle out a good poem here.

    Humans have a habit of banding together. When you start separating people into us and them, each group holds together closer, but is far more willing to accept bad things about the opposing group, attack them, and so on and so forth. See: Robbers Cave experiment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realistic_conflict_theory

    In times of peace, we fragment. We divide ourselves into smaller and smaller cliques at odd with other cliques, defining ourselves through not just who we are but also through who we aren’t. But when there’s a bigger enemy that we’ve all got to fight, we band together and forget our differences. I don’t know if that says something good or bad about humans, that we can all work together, but only if there’s something we’ve all got to fight. Maybe if, one day, we could frame the argument in just the right way, we could harness this power into something great. But until we do, we’ll just keep fighting each other.

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;

    – from Henry V, Shakespeare

  31. admin Says:

    I have to admit that I find the whole language-as-a-tool metaphor very compelling. The idea that our concepts, ideas, words, etc. are evolved tools which help us cope with the world (rather than accurately represent it) seems to be a good one – it lets us make sense of the idea that we can use one tool (say, a biology-speak) without throwing away another tool (human rights-speak).

    I like this picture a lot, but there are problems. For example, when you talk about a future where we don’t have “idea fights” and ideas won’t kill the competition — isn’t that exactly a world in which the idea of “no idea fights” has killed the competition? It seems that one tool (the “no idea fights” idea) has displaced/replaced another tool (the “yes, idea fights” idea).

    Additionally, there’s the objection that even though our ideas, words, etc. are evolved tools for helping us cope, they help us cope by accurately representing: that is, there really is something like “the right tool for the job” — we can have square pegs for square holes.

    More generally, when there’s a question about which tool we should use to cope — or even a question about which tool to use to modify another tool, what should we do? If we apply the view that our ideas, words, etc. are evolved tools for social beings, it seems natural that the there may become a dominant tool of the tribe for certain situations (not necessarily because it’s right — it may simply be by a convention brought about by convenience). Additionally, it seems that the weird, useless, or idiosyncratic use of unusual tools for personal ends is not objectionable, so long as those ends don’t conflict strongly with the tribe’s ends.

    This last bit corresponds, roughly, I think, to questions about public justifications (demonstrating the usefulness of a tool to the tribe to change “the tribe”) and personal projects/fantasy (roughly personal belief, art, utopian dreams, things that may one day become subject to public justification).

    Where we have questions of public justification (and the good of the tribe) I think it seems good that harmful or useless tools can be killed off (or at least driven to the realm of personal fantasy). But we ought ought to leave the personal realm alone, not just for pragmatic reasons (it’s the breeding ground of new tools) but because it is the wellspring of a powerful form of human happiness.

    I’m totally with you on the idea that others must in some sense count as ‘one of us’ before these other questions can get a foothold. I’d say that the question of who counts as ‘one of us’, though, may be usefully seen as one tool displacing another within our own tribe (e.g. humanism-speak displacing nationalism-speak, or biology-speak displacing tribal-speak, etc.)

    What I’m greatly impressed by, though, is the fact that humans are so incredibly co-operative. Our fights (even the very worst) are products of intense co-operation — I don’t despair over this, even if it’s tragic.

  32. Jo-ou Says:

    I was gonna spout some spiel about uniting mankind through vast genocide, but didn’t want to poop on the serious parade (it would totally work, though).

  33. Aristagon Says:

    I often see people using the norm or conformity to justify the destruction of the Other. There is, as far I can recall Lacon, a weird symbionsis of the self and the other. We, humans, seems to need an opposing power or entity to reflect or justify the own position, may it be in Life, carreer, war, religion or Love. The most humans are like vessels, empty waiting for input to generate content, some can redefine themselfs within their contexts, others just cope and be a shallow repetition of the system (whatever THIS now means). There are levels of sentient observerships, on first level you just received informations and react according to prior teachings or just instincts. The next step to be awayre of the Observing and start to reflect on how Humanity evolves within its own biological posibilities.
    In this case we would somehow getting stuck in this levels of observations. Luhmann wrote some very interesting books about Religion within his own philosophical school of Sytemtheory

    Personal projects and Fantasys are a kind of utopian Heterotops. Within earlier Works of Foucault(’68) he claims that every child know heterotops (places with their own rules, like goverment buildings, airports or asylums), they create them within their fantasy, some chairs and a cloath-tissues will become an adventurers ship. Papertrash becomes a castle and roles of wardens (sheriff, policemen, king) and breakers (gangster, pirat, Gunslinger, dragon) are generated as a competativ element of child devellopements.

    In the film Skycrawler, there is a perfect world, without hunger, naturepolution or energy problems. No religionwars nor racial unrests. But they stage an eternal Airfight with some obscure nation, with childlike soldiers (well a clone-army) to kill and get killed. Only to be resurected later on, making even their deaths meaningless. This all created so the normal citicens dont loose their touch on reality.
    Humans dont seem to be made for peace, nor justice.
    I dont beliefe in something like an natural evil or good in a human. We are all robots of flesh and bones.

    Bye the Way, is evolutiontheory still forbidden in US TV and some schools?
    I was sometime ago in the newyork natural history museum, and a texasman told his children in the evolution exebitions, that those were a lie, black men were evolved from apes and white men created be god.
    I was feeling like vomiting in the inside about that situation…..

    Frail creatures needs the illusion to be aboved nature and destiny, only to be still convinced to the day.
    Somehow we all need meaning. For some its war, for some lofe, and even others money.

    Well I guess this sounds depressiv.

  34. Aristagon Says:

    I think we canot endure PEACE, conflict is the base of human society and structure.

  35. It's Dantastic Says:

    “Our fights (even the very worst) are products of intense co-operation — I don’t despair over this, even if it’s tragic.”

    First thing that came to mind with this was Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

    “I’m in despair! The tragic fights which nobody wins have left me in despair!”

    CCS vs. Sailor Moon
    Real vs. Super Robots
    Oppai vs. Pettanko
    Arguments over the internet

    “Sensei, it’s not fights with no clear winner! It’s fights where nobody loses!”

    Hm. Actually I think they did do a chapter like that.

  36. X Says:

    >>implying I have ever been good at anything
    >c’mon guy be serious now

    Enough with the false modesty – you have an award now

  37. admin Says:

    Correction: three awards!

  38. admin Says:

    I think I see what you’re saying. You may very well be right — I just hope that the future will be more like the one Jet hopes for: one where we can switch between two different sets of tools (one tool that let us talk about justice, good and evil and another tool that lets us talk about naturalism and the idea of meat robots seriously) without the two coming into unhelpful conflict. That is, a future where incompatible ideas don’t always have to kill each other off — a future where we can agree to keep useful ideas out of each other’s way.

    As for evolution being forbidden in schools — I don’t think there’s an official ban or anything, but there are still some elements in America that are very hostile to science when it conflicts with (what they see as) biblical dogma or important social practices based in religious practices. I don’t have a very good picture of what’s going on, though — just a glimpse of the heavily distorted picture that comes through corporate and online media. : /

  39. Aristagon Says:

    I think neither me nor Jet will Be correct in our prognosis, at least Not in the Next couple of houndred years. Mostly it will repeating the known patterns, today or imperalism and colonialism, indio or jewish genocids, its all repeating. And while the western cultures develloped a consumerism apathy against mostly everything except entertainment, genocids and those Kony2012 crap is still there. Its Not flaming against western Society, if Not them, than the Chinese overlords would screw the world, or the maya Hightech Empire or the Zionistic theocracy or whatever human madness would had crawl out of the belly of human hybris. Does this makes Sense? Ah, Yes i Know i am pathetic.

  40. Jet Says:

    @Aristagon: I for one really hope that given a certain level of intelligence (and belligerence), those sorts of patterns, which require mass-participation to work, won’t be able to reach critical mass – that enough people will call foul on them, rather than being confused enough to go along with whatever they’re being told to do. Question’s really just “how high is that threshold”?

    Most importantly; will the human race survive long enough to get there?

  41. Aristagon Says:

    Your last line is the point. There obce was a episode of Babylon5 After the end of the Main plot, jumping 50, 100, 500, 1000 Years After the Events discussing the possibility of human evolving into a highter state.

  42. maaya Says:

    The Victorians called: I’m citing Gertrude Himmelfarb – (I can’t italicize.. and I added the caps)”[The Victorians] affirmed moral principles all the more strongly as the religious basis of those principles seemed to be disintegrating. There were dire predictions, after the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859, that the theory of evolution, and the progress of science in general, would undermine not only religion but morality as well. WHAT HAPPENED INSTEAD WAS THAT MORALITY BECAME, IN A SENSE, A SURROGATE FOR RELIGION. FOR MANY VICTORIANS, THE LOSS OF RELIGIOUS FAITH INSPIRED A RENEWED AND HEIGHTENED MORAL ZEAL”( Himmelfarb 212).

    You know- after ~200 years for the most part humans are still religious, moral, and utterly social animals.

    “Respectability” this word meant something like this in the Victorian period “respectability was a ‘value’ that was thoroughly ‘indigenous.’ It did not even necessarily imply ‘bettering’ themselves, although that was often its effect. more often it simply meant being respected by themselves and by others in their own community.” (Himmelfarb 215)

    I honestly doubt this will change anytime soon.

  43. admin Says:

    I don’t know — things can change awfully quickly and quite wildly. It seems hard to make the case that the religious, social, and moral practices of 200 years ago are qualitatively similar to the ones of today.

    Now maybe you mean that despite a change in the contents, the categories themselves still stand: that, for example, we might be more or less moral, but we are creatures properly understood as moral beings (as opposed to a non-moral being, like a brick or a jellyfish). I’d say that’s where the rubber meets the road: Are we moral beings or social animals with mere patterns of behaviour? Do we have religious experiences or mere changes in brain-states? Are we perturbations in a field, meat robots, citizens with rights and duties, or souls and bodies with special moral worth? Are we people with cultures or animals with group behaviours? Did Mr. Jones merely kill an animal, destroy property, kill a slave, commit murder, perform a sacrifice to the gods, or unplug a computer? Which description is to dominate? When things come to a head, which conceptual tools should we use?

    So yes, we can certainly say “humans are still religious, moral, and utterly social animals”. But we could as easily say “Humans are still collections of matter governed by physical laws” or “humans still are co-operative, idea-mongering, sapient computers”. There’s a real sense in which all these conceptions can be said to be right but still incompatible and even in contest.

    I want to say that some of those changes of religious, social, and moral practices over the last 200 year (and more) can be seen as the results just such contests, where one conceptual tool dominates over another.

    So I think that everything is up for grabs: big things can change with big results, even quite quickly, as they have in the past. Maybe we won’t be religious, moral, and utterly social animals anymore — maybe we’ll be moral citizens, co-operative computers, or something else.

  44. Jet Says:

    Or maybe Raymond Kurzweil (sp?) was right, the tech singularity will hit, and we’ll all be ruled by machine intelligence. I for one welcome our robot overlords.

  45. er Says:


    get into /jp/

  46. admin Says:


  47. ng Says:

    we miss you terribly