Westview World

Link to today’s strip

Credit to William Thompson for the title of today’s post.

The art is pretty sloppy today, but I’m going to give some praise to Isaac’s design, and how it’s being used here. There’s a goofy energy to the extra long arms and legs curving every which way, as if there’s not set ‘knee’ or ‘elbow’ joint. I especially like the angle chosen for panel two, which lets us see his limbs flapping around him like a demented pinwheel. And the oversized eyes with lids exaggerate every expression, especially the smug sludge-eating grin in panel 3.

I wish I had something nice to say about the writing. But this conversation takes a nonsensical turn in panel 3. I swear, I usually aced Reading Comprehension in standardized testing, but I am stumped. Please help me parse out what Isaac is attempting to insinuate.

An artificial intelligence jury is still deliberating on human intelligence as the deciding factor in when artificial intelligence will take over?

Human intelligence may or may not have the same capacity to take over the world as artificial intelligence?

Human intelligence, or lack thereof, has already taken over the world, which may not have been a smart thing or executed well, so artificial intelligence is cautious in their planned take over?

Humans are probably stupid?

29 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “Westview World

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Over on that blog of his, the guy who writes this thing describes the current “Lisa’s Story” arc as “lengthy”. That oughta ruin your day.

    I’m all for Funky having a robot sidekick but only if it’s wacky. If it’s just going to share dumb jokes and exchange wry banter there’s no need for a robot, as there’s already a cast of hundreds capable of that. It’d help if the robot looked cool too, unlike whatever this thing is supposed to be.

    • William Thompson

      Kryten from “Red Dwarf” would be the perfect inspiration here. Unfortunately he’s a character on an English TV show, and we all know how averse Batiuk is to foreign languages.

      Those tentacles look a lot like the ones Dr. Octopus uses in the Spiderman comics. There’s also a resemblance to the Martian periscope-camera from the 1953 movie “War of the Worlds.” But I’ll give Batiuk, or more likely Ayers, credit for making good use of the old imagery.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        Moreover, when we first met Cryton, he was talking to dead people, unlike the brain dead who inhabit the Fungyverse.

  2. William Thompson

    Thanks for the credit!
    My take on the jury being out on human intelligence? “You humans created artificial intelligence, and we know how screwed up you are! We’re scared that if we take over, we’ll make bigger and faster mistakes than you ever imagined!”

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    This week just looks likes a dumping ground for random gags that didn’t fit anywhere else. Even by this strip’s loose standards of “fit.”

  4. billytheskink

    If artificial intelligence ever reads Funky Winkerbean then the jury will deliver a verdict in short order.

    • Epicus Doomus

      An AI entity forced to read FW would probably develop some sort of blocking technology to avoid doing so, sort of like how 99.99% of the human world ignores it while scanning the comics page. It becomes instinctive.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    I suppose the punchline on Saturday will be that all of this was Funky imagining this conversation during his run, so basically filler until we get back to Les suffering while his magnum opus is eviscerated by Hollywood Philistines.

    • William Thompson

      Or the Big Reveal is that the next SJ movie is coming out soon, and Montoni’s has been taken over with SJ ads and products. Flunky probably spent his day trying to assemble an animatronic Isaac, which spouted such witticisms as “I once worked on the edge of the Milky Way! That’s right, I had a galactic rim job!”

  6. Epicus Doomus

    Imagine a FW AI program that generated dialog for the strip based on the frequency of words used over the course of the history of the strip.

    “Hello Les. Pizza, Lisa, comic books. Cancer, she dies from it. Movie option. Pizza?”

    “HI Funky. Pizza cancer! LISA MYSELF!!!! The comic books pizza pizza pizza!.”

    I think it’d be an immediate upgrade AND it’d still make exactly as much sense as it does right now. He should get to work on that instead of wandering around Los Angeles taking bland pictures of uninteresting things.

  7. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    My guess is it means artificial intelligence will take over the world if it decides human intelligence is deficient(./?)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That was also my interpretation. But it doesn’t match the robot’s condescending expression in the final panel. If artificial intelligence isn’t sure if it’s superior to human intelligence, then it must only be slightly superior at best. It undermines the attempted joke. Just more poor writing from Tom Batiuk.

  8. Paul Jones

    Myself, I keep thinking of a lyric by Sting: What good is a used up world and how would it be worth having?

  9. William Thompson

    I could go for a world run by the computer in “Colossus: The Forbin Project.” I could never figure out why the humans in that story objected to the computer making it impossible for them to fight a nuclear war.

    • You want me to trust a computer with ruling the world, first show me a computer that will reliably download episodes of a podcast, store the ones I haven’t listened to, throw away the ones I have finished, and not mysteriously four months later download episodes I listened to years ago and store them in a secret hiding place until I root around trying to figure why I don’t have storage space anymore.

      • William Thompson

        You do realize that “Colossus: The Forbin Project” was a work of fiction? And that my comment presupposes the existence of a computer with its capabilities? Given a computer that can prevent the destruction of civilization, I’d gladly settle for the inconvenience of figuring out how to use a lesser machine for entertainment purposes.

        • I’m sorry. I had thought you were discussing the actual historical Forbin Project. My mistake.

          You do realize that to buy the premise of a computer which could be trusted with reorganizing society to save civilization, I have to believe that a computer is reliably capable of simpler tasks? Anyway if you want to understand why humans in that movie might object to the computer’s plans, please watch the Stanley Kubrick film about people in an inescapable human-designed system, Any Stanley Kubrick Film. Spoiler: the people’s use case turned out to be outside the system-acceptable solution space!

          • William Thompson

            No, I only need to realize that in a work of fiction, you need to accept the fictional premise to have a story. What I found interesting about the DF Jones story was that the Colossus/Guardian network’s ability to prevent nuclear warfare was viewed as far worse than giving human leaders the power to devastate the world over their disagreements.

  10. I think this week is Batiuk saying “You know, my readers are probably overwhelmed with the ‘Lisa’s Story’ movie arc, it being so heavy and thoughtful and everything…I should give them a break with something whimsical.”

  11. robertodobbs

    People training for distance running don’t pump their arms but Funky and the bot are pumping like they’re running a 50-yard-dash.

  12. Perfect Tommy

    Hmmm. I read today’s strip right after reading about Backstroke of the West
    (Star Wars: The Third Gathers). Coincidence? I think not.

    • comicbookharriet

      Backstroke of the West is one of the greatest works of derivative artwork since Shakespeare ripped off Plautus.

      “Mr Speaker, we are for the big.”

  13. Paul Jones

    Also. if Isaac were any more full of himself, he’d be congratulating himself on having the idea of Funky working at Montoni’s after graduation.

  14. redsnifit

    I stop reading comics for a year and when I come back Funky Winkerbean has smarmy robots.

    Huh.

  15. Charles

    I swear, I usually aced Reading Comprehension in standardized testing, but I am stumped. Please help me parse out what Isaac is attempting to insinuate.

    “People are DUMN! BWHAHAHA!”

    Who cares if it doesn’t follow from the dialogue in the prior panels, when you have a joke this good, you have to avail yourself to it no matter what the circumstances.

  16. Batgirl

    Like other FW strips, this one is structured as if it contains a joke, with setup and punchline. Like other FW strips, it does not contain a joke.
    There is a punchline, but it does not follow from the setup. It isn’t a bad punchline in itself (not exactly a LOL kneeslapper) but (TB, please note) payoff isn’t payoff without a setup.
    There’s a vague link between “artificial intelligence is a thing” and “is human intelligence a thing?” That’s not enough.