by Deep Thinker on 27 March, 2013, no comments

Yesterday’s xkcd called “Time” is simply a beautiful and unique piece of art. It enfolded over the course of 24 hours 48 hours and counting, and it took me literally ages to figure out what was going on. Amazing!

sand = time - genius, right?

The final picture, and the end of a 24h piece of art Or maybe there is no final picture.

It is over now, but you can check what actually happened on the indispensable explain xkcd where there is also a preserved speeded up version.

I really love the site, and the creator Randall Munroe. He has done some of the most thought provoking and touching comics, as well as some of the funniest. And he does not pull any intellectual punches, simply assuming that you are smart enough to figure things out.

It is also fascinating, how his drawings are as simple as they can be – stickfigures! – (although he is obviously able to draw perfectly well), but this is in contrast – or maybe even as an enhancement – to the deep and intelligent content.

(I may point to some of my favourite of his comics in future posts…)

(And yes, I have bought his book!)

Update: It’s actually still ongoing! Apparently the tide is rising, and the castle is being carried away – pixel by pixel?! How great is that!!

Update 2 28/03/2013: And I got it completely wrong on every front – it was not finished at all – instead, it shifted, pixel by pixel to the left, revealing an even bigger castle, and the two characters were doing lots of other things (which I missed as I had to work). Shame, that I used a permalink, instead of copying and pasting the image, I would have been able to demonstrate better what was happening when I wrote the post. But – time waits for no one, and so this is on some level strangely appropriate…

In any case, I have no idea, if it is even done yet, and this post seems now completely inaccurate – except my original point, that xkcd is utter genius!!

Update 3 01/04/2013: I feel pretty stupid, and my post here is making less and less sense. It is still going on after more than 4 days!!! The picture now changes every hour – the characters have built a second castle, then threw rocks with a catapult at them, then went for a swim, then did more things I missed – and now the female character is building a huge pile of sand in the middle of the castle… I have no idea how and if this will end.

I am tempted to delete this post, and write a completely new one, but that seems like a cop-out. Let’s just say, that this whole thing was even more genius than I initially thought, and no one really knows what to expect… I won’t update this post here anymore – go to xkcd if you want to find out, how it ends, if it ends ever at all.

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