Locke and Demosthenes
Locke and demosthenes
Number 635
Date Sep. 10th 2009
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Locke and Demosthenes is the 635th xkcd comic.


This comic satirizes Orson Scott Card's classic 1980s sci-fi novel, Ender's Game. At one point in Ender's Game, two genetically-engineered (super intelligent) humans, Valentine and Peter Wiggin, decide to spread their influence through a grassroots-style movement by posting a series of "open letter" style messagess over a global communication system, the nets. It is largely analogous to blogs on the modern day internet. In the story, the two characters build up an enourmous following of readers, eventually becoming political forces and ultimately world leaders.

The comic pokes fun at the feasibility of such an endeavour in today's environment by suggesting that the characters, Val and Peter, would have very little success. This is highlighted by the fact that most of the posts on their wordpress site have (0 comments) despite their iconoclastic subject matters. Perhaps a deeper comment is made about blogs in general - that they are so numerous that most have become nearly invisible, and even if there was someone with the intelligence and knowledge to change the world, they would have no influence without a large number of supporters or followers.

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"Dear Peter Wiggin: This letter is to inform you that you have received enough upvotes on your reddit comments to become president of the world. Please be at the UN tomorrow at 8:00 sharp."

This is a further comment on the sheer unfeasibility of the novel's original premise in today's world.

See alsoEdit

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