A Megacynic? Me?

By Phil Plait | July 2, 2012 7:00 am

I wouldn’t say I’m cynical, merely skeptical. Still, the webcomic Megacynics does capture how I look as a typical conversation I might have degenerates into nonsense. Click the drawing to see the whole strip!

I’m pleased to join my pals Bonnie Burton and a certain red-headed lady in the comic, too. One of the brains behind Megacynics is my old friend Steve Dengler, who runs the fantastic DracoGen website, where he backs geeky and techy ventures. Steve’s one of the good guys, and I’m glad to be a cartoony part of this.

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MORE ABOUT: Megacynics, Super Moon

Comments (9)

  1. Peter Davey

    In T H White’s “The Sword and the Stone”, Merlin claims that “humour is the prerogative of the wise”. Shakespeare says: “better a witty fool than a foolish wit”.

    The rest of your viewers and contributors might care to decide which comment, if either, is the more relevant to this present topic.

  2. Yavor

    Actually, being cynical might be well related to being a philosopher and, at the end of the day, astronomy is, in my opinion, tightly well connected to philosophy.

    Cynic has its roots in Greek word kynikós (like a dog) but hey, hold high the lantern of Diogenes and (continue to) light up the Universe ;-]

    Warm regards,

  3. How many different web comics have you been in? I know there’s more than the “related posts” list tells us. You should have an ongoing gallery of these somewhere.

  4. I’d define a cynic as someone who tends to assume the worst of other people — who habitually leaps to the conclusion that other people are being either immoral or stupid. It’s far closer to “pessimist” than to “skeptic”. It’s pessimism applied to human nature. Skeptics have more of a grip on the fact that you don’t have to be stupid or bad in order to be wrong.

    Many years ago, someone told me that a friend of hers had reported an experience of being abducted by aliens. I asked if she believed the alleged abduction had actually occurred, whereupon she became very defensive, insisting, “My friend would not lie”. I didn’t have a chance to point out that lying and being right are not the only possibilities.

  5. Keith Bowden

    “Sure, why not.” Bwa-hahahahahaa!

  6. Matt B.

    The wild claims in the comic (pocket-dial your ex!) remind me of a really dumb chain e-mail I got last year claiming that July had 5 full weekends (Fri, Sat & Sun) only once every 753 years (or some such huge non-round number, rather than the actual average of 7). The ridiculousness was compounded by the addition of a claim that the Dao De Jing (from way back in 6th-Century BC China) had attributed some character to this occurrence (a consequence of the Gregorian calendar from 1582 Europe).

  7. vexorian

    Dear Phil, I tried the tin foil hat, but where are we supposed to place it?

  8. Nick Theodorakis

    Maybe it won’t cause hemorrhoids, but what about asteroids?


  9. Chris A.

    Oh dear. They made you repeat NASA’s PR Dept. math error. To wit, from “apogee distance is 14% larger than perigee distance” it does NOT follow that “perigee distance is 14% less than apogee distance”!


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