Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

A CURSE
Michael Corrado | NC | June 09, 2014

Computers in the classroom are a curse! And it isn't just that some students are browsing the web or checking their email. Even those students who are most diligent are apt to be hurt by the use of computers: they try to get down everything the instructor says, and it goes from their ears to their fingers without passing through their brains. I have banned all electronic devices in my classroom (except phones for mothers and fathers with small children -- and even then the phones must be kept packed away unless there is an urgent call). I have done this for about four years, and the students by and large agree (1) that classes are more interesting; and (2) that they seem to learn more without the computers.

FALL 2014 TERM
David Hallett | St. John's, NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR | June 08, 2014

First day of Fall 2014 term, this is image #1 for "enhanced learning" in my courses.

HAVE TO WAIT
Barry Cochran | Portland, OR | June 08, 2014

Damn you, Trudeau, for drawing today's strip at the end of the academic year. We educators will have to wait until September to print this out and post it on our office/classroom walls.

CLASSROOMS WITH COMPUTERS
A Prof | Hempstead, NY | June 08, 2014

I teach in classrooms with computers. At one point instructors could see what was on the student's screen. That changed with smart phones (and budget cuts for underutilized software). It truly amazes me that many students will come to class and spend the whole time browsing or chatting on the web. Perhaps I'm teaching to those who don't care about the cost or don't care about the grade or have some social dependency for perpetual communication and support. Whatever the case, time and money is being wasted. It had been my practice to call on students who were otherwise engaged with an irrelevant or non-existing topic. It went like this:

Instructor: "Well, Mr. Smith, which argument has the most merit?"

Student: "Uh, sorry I wasn't paying attention."

Instructor: "I know. That is why I called on you."

Most of the class would smile. Now many won't know I called on a student. Sigh...

COLLEGE STUDENT
Fred McDonald | Bristol, WI | June 08, 2014

Electronic Sniper: As a 44-year-old college student I have to ask, where can I sign up to be on the team for this? Back when someone else would have been paying for it, perhaps I would have been the same way. But today, I want my money's worth!

SNIPER
Christine Blouke | Las Vegas, NV | June 08, 2014

A Paintball Sniper for inappropriate electronic media use. Brilliant!

Editor's Note:

 And available!

DIDN'T REALIZE
Oin-oin Schmilblick | Fribourg, SWITZERLAND | June 07, 2014

Whoa.... I never realised that at some point Duke didn't wear Ray-Bans. I thought he was born with Ray-Bans!

UNCLE DUKE
Bert Katz | Silver Spring, MD | June 07, 2014

In this past week's Classic strips from 1974 I think Uncle Duke doesn't quite look like himself. but resembles a character who came on board later -- Jeremy Cavendish, fellow bird-watcher to Dick Davenport, and later wannabe-boyfriend of Dick's widow, Congresswoman Lacey Davenport

UNCLE?
Margaret Delgatty | Vancouver, CANADA | June 03, 2014

Uncle Duke? All this time and I don't think I ever knew he had a family connection to anyone else...

NICE GUY
Pat Goudey OBrien | Warren, VT | June 03, 2014

Sigh. I'm beginning to think I wish Zonker were my best friend. He's such a nice guy.

DON'T BE EVIL
W.L.W. | Boone, NC | June 01, 2014

“DON’T BE EVIL” -- Yikes! What a scary rabbit hole that search went down! I had no idea Google is backing so many of the Koch brothers' favorite groups

APPOSITE
T.J. Martin | Denver, CO | June 01, 2014

Todays strip; Apposite to a tee and absolute perfection! What needs to be the motto/mantra of the 2010s: "Don't Be Google."

BO TREE
Jim Smith | Jamestown, CA | May 31, 2014

My only house plant is one I started from a seed in 1974 She is a Bo Tree (Ficus religiosa). I greet Her every morning and when She talks back I know that I will have attained enlightenment!

VERIFY
Edward Cherlin | Columbus, IN | May 30, 2014

Trust, phooey. I always get this overwhelming urge to verify, and I am delighted that more and more people are coming to share that urge, using the ever-more-powerful digital and legal tools available to us. The Barna Group, an Evangelical polling company, reports that 38% of young Evangelicals fact-check sermons on their smart phones. Watch out, pastors!

WALTER
Keith Ward | Decatur, IN | May 30, 2014

God, I miss Walter.

JACK AND ARETHA
Bill Hansen | Adamawa, NIGERIA | May 28, 2014

C'mon Zonk, lighten up. Anyway, where I live it's May so let Jack and Aretha have at it.

TROUSERS
Joshua Rey | London, UK | May 26, 2014

I'm loving the synchronicity on the Flashbacks page today, though I think Uncle Sigmund would be interested to know why GBT is so interested in how people put their trousers on.

WORK
Grant H. | Hamilton, CANADA | May 25, 2014

Today's strip is the only time I have disagreed with Doonesbury. Automation puts people out of work who would be doing the simpler tasks. With increasing technological demands, it is mostly the better educated, more creative and more intelligent people who are able to find work. At the risk of sounding elitist, I suggest these are the very people who would be doing original creative work if they were freed from the need to earn a living. Moreover, people with well-paying jobs generally work many more than 40 hours a week. I further suggest the majority of corporations would prefer machines over people -- no strikes, no complaints, no retirement, no benefits to pay. Look at how people who could once be free of work at least when they were in airplanes, their cars, or their homes are now expected to be constantly engaged.

COMMUNITIES
D.B.H. | Santa Barbara, CA | May 25, 2014

In this particular march towards automation, the reach of outsourcing enabled by the digital age finds a much larger number of "skill communities" vanishing locally, since they are not being integrated into sort-of-similar automated versions of what they were doing previously. "Skilled labor" dwells in communities of old and young, vendors and suppliers, which depend on commerce to finance their continuity. These communities cannot be stopped and started at will. They are complex networks that, with enough lean years, can go away and maybe not come back.

PHENOMENON
Seth | Philadelphia, PA | May 25, 2014

"Because each successive advancement liberates us to do higher-value work." Like administrator at a university or high frequency trader? Come on, Mike! I suggest you read David Graeber's article "On the Phenomenon of B***S*** Jobs."