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The Right Number Part 2 Goto page Previous  1, 2
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: nuts Reply with quote

Connor Moran wrote:

Whether you are being serious or not, we pretty much know that this isn't going to happen because the story starts with him in bed with a mysterious blonde.


i'm just speculating, eventhough i would say that he is nuts. besides thanks for the advice with the blonde. i still hadn't alot time to seriously read the comic, as i just flew over it in an internet cafe yesterday after i finally set up my bitpass account.
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No debating that he's gone crazy in his pursuit of perfection. Can you imagine trying to live a life with a person you met this way, stalking them to find out if they meet some abstract standard of perfection? Clearly he's beyond what we consider rationality.
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 9:54 am    Post subject: hmm Reply with quote

...i've been thinking about it. it's a tough one to be honest. let's assume you know that you're close to system like his one. what would you do? just not care and walk away or would we maybe all react as he does? even if it is crazy by normal standarts.
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, certainly the situation that the guy is in is somewhat exceptional, and that has a lot to do with how the character reacts. Part of what the comic is trying to show is the futility of trying to approach "perfection" and the sort of damage that pursuing that goal can do. But there are a lot of personality traits that made the character predisposed to lose it under these circumstances. For example, he devotes a lot of time to figuring out an algorythm where most people would have just given up as soon as they saw that the pattern wasn't nearly as simple as it first seemed (or at least I would, assuming I had the math skills to even get that far). And even before he really discovers the nature of the number pattern, he seems to have a mechanistic, almost dehumanizing vew of women. Note the "check-list" in chapter one when he's comparing his first two girlfriends. He really seems to see personality traits not as elements of a unique human being but as individual pros and cons. Not to say that any of this stuff means that a person is crazy, but at the very least the character in this story was strongly predisposed to go this kind of crazy.
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:25 pm    Post subject: Re: hmm Reply with quote

kaos_de_moria wrote:
...i've been thinking about it. it's a tough one to be honest. let's assume you know that you're close to system like his one. what would you do? just not care and walk away or would we maybe all react as he does? even if it is crazy by normal standarts.


I know, for myself, that if I believed such a thing were true (which I don't, by the way, in case anyone out there is nervously wondering about me) I wouldn't rest until I had uncovered the big picture. To that extent at least, I can identify with my protagonist.
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Christopher Lundgren
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Varius wrote:
I'm more of a writer than an artist, so I was particularly interested with the last few panels. The shift in colors seems to take us outside the narrative-thus-far, but I feel like I've missed something. Maybe I'm an idiot to ask, but are we looking at the past, the future, the subconscious... or is it supposed to be ambiguous? For that matter, is it supposed to be green, or has something happened to my browser?


My initial take on the green panels was that we are looking into a scene from our protagonist's past. He says "I always wanted to be better at math." To me that suggests that he's reflecting on old events. Next we see what appears to be a young person in the back seat of a car. Who else is this likely to be but our central character? Having re-read part two, I'm quite confident that the green panels are in flashback.

Having said that, a couple of new thoughts occur to me, suggestions which may have been too subtle for me to pick up on the first time 'round. In the panel with the boy in the back seat, look at the adults. They're clearly not very happy about something. I think this could be an important hint. I have two notions:

1) Tying in with his comment about wanting to be better at math, we are seeing his family returning from some sort of accademic evaluation or competition. Our young man has not lived up to his folks' expectations. Maybe he's had a hard time finding their approval for the better part of his life.

2) More likely, I think his parents never got along well. They may have divorced, they may have not, but in either case things got ugly. Growing up around the constant fighting, the main character came to fear the idea of marriage, and perhaps he thinks that only by finding the "perfect woman" can he be assured not to repeat their mistakes. His final words in Part Two are "Would that be enough?" Enough for what? Enough to escape his worst fear, a miserable marriage. Enough to keep his children from going through the pain he experienced as a child.

Either way, I'm beginning to think that this goes much deeper than a mere mathematical obsession. I can't wait to see how all of this turns out.
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christopher Lundgren wrote:

2) More likely, I think his parents never got along well. They may have divorced, they may have not, but in either case things got ugly. Growing up around the constant fighting, the main character came to fear the idea of marriage, and perhaps he thinks that only by finding the "perfect woman" can he be assured not to repeat their mistakes.


I think you're on to something here. Not only would this help explain his reaction to discovering the numbers, it would explain the "emotional distance." The question now: is he consciously aware of the roots of his own obsession? I say no, because he is in denial about his own inability to connect on an emotional level to a relationship until well into the story.
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Hunter of Wisdom
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Connor Moran wrote:
Whether you are being serious or not, we pretty much know that this isn't going to happen because the story starts with him in bed with a mysterious blonde.

Actually, is she mysterious? She looks a lot like Friday to me - a mole in the same place, similar noses (I think, at least - different angles make it difficult to tell), right hair colour, at least nothing obviously different (that I've spotted).
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Hunter of Wisdom
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, I noticed that the front page has not been updated to reflect the completion of part two.
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DecafSilicon
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott, you've read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

Because it has a very neat trick with the telephone number for a flat in Islington, London.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that fact, plus the line "Did you realize that most people's lives are governed by telephone numbers?" is in tHHGttG as well. By the way, the Islington flat telephone number was a real London number and the person who had that number became very tired of receiving calls from Hitchhiker's fans.
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hunter of Wisdom wrote:
Connor Moran wrote:
Whether you are being serious or not, we pretty much know that this isn't going to happen because the story starts with him in bed with a mysterious blonde.

Actually, is she mysterious? She looks a lot like Friday to me - a mole in the same place, similar noses (I think, at least - different angles make it difficult to tell), right hair colour, at least nothing obviously different (that I've spotted).


You may be right. As you say, it's hard to tell, but she's probably the closest of all of them. The only other blonde is Wednesday, and she doesn't really have the right facial shape.

One way or the other, we know that barring some trickery (which I am certainly not ruling out), this isn't going to end with the character in a mental institution, at least not immediatly.
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Hunter of Wisdom
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Connor Moran wrote:
One way or the other, we know that barring some trickery (which I am certainly not ruling out), this isn't going to end with the character in a mental institution, at least not immediatly.


Indeed:
Quote:
I know something you don't know.

It's a pattern buried in the web of simple actions we perform every day.

And if you're willing to keep an open mind, I'll let you in on my little secret -
- and tell you how it changed my life.

Judging by the intro text, he still believes in his great algorithm at the end/beginning of the story. Unless he's referring to some completely different pattern, which is of course a possibility.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: hmm Reply with quote

kaos_de_moria wrote:
...i've been thinking about it. it's a tough one to be honest. let's assume you know that you're close to system like his one. what would you do? just not care and walk away or would we maybe all react as he does? even if it is crazy by normal standarts.


I think it becomes pretty clear that the protagonist is imposing a system on complete randomness when he says "The number-to-suitability linkage wasn't a simple arithmetical one as I'd first thought. Adjacent integers sometimes indicated wildly different personalities and appearances." Up until that point it seems possible that he's really onto something.
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: hmm Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I think it becomes pretty clear that the protagonist is imposing a system on complete randomness when he says "The number-to-suitability linkage wasn't a simple arithmetical one as I'd first thought. Adjacent integers sometimes indicated wildly different personalities and appearances." Up until that point it seems possible that he's really onto something.


i don't think that is the idea of the story. of course it has to be more complicated than just adjactent integers. as he says in the beginning: he has a secret to share and it lies in the numbers. so, there you go. within the story the secret of numbers seems to exist.

but as the muslims say: and god knows it better and in the case of a story the author is the god. so: and scott knows it better than and maybe you are right. but the starting of the story seems to indicate something different.

kaos
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