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Author Topic: Pintsize's fundamental character  (Read 15960 times)

O8h7w

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Pintsize's fundamental character
« on: 14 Dec 2010, 17:00 »

We need this thread, we absolutely do.

And we do, because that guy has a mind of his own. A mind almost, but not entirely, unlike any other mind known to mankind. So, for the sake of knowledge, let's dissect it! I do fear that even the vast language known as English might not be enough to describe such a mind, but let us try not to be limited by such trivial constraints.

- - - - - - - -

Something that was an eye-opener for me on Pintsize as a character was strip 1796. How so? Well, he didn't do what I expected him to do.* I still think that how he acted that time was way out of character for him, and that very thought is what opened my mind - out of character? Man, that damn little PC has a character. I hadn't even noticed, but I had already started to treat him just as the other characters, which actually is not strange at all when looking back at the first few strips. Although in strip 33 it seems like he's on a mission from his owner...

Anyway, was he out of character in 1796? There is mention of porn, and he doesn't even make a joke about it. And somehow I think of the creepy little guy as loyal to Marten, may have something to with those early strips... (33 again) On the other hand, it is absolutely unlike Jeph to write his characters out-of-character.** The only possible explanation, as far as I see, is that even Jeph himself got caught up in the drama. I'd guess he was already focused on how to word the breakup at the time he wrote that.

* I still don't really know what I expected him to do. Joke around? That's simply not enough...
** Can the original writer even do that, one might ask? I think they can.


- - - - - - - -

So, that was my initial thoughts on the matter. Let the discussion break lose!
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tomart

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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #1 on: 14 Dec 2010, 17:20 »

Before the heavy hitters* engage, here's a couple thoughts:

Pintsize is Marten's (and/or Jeph's) id, let loose upon the world, able to do all the dangerous, perverse, crazy things the human characters can't, or won't - and enjoy every minute of it!   :evil:    He's not evil, per se, but totally irreverent, and collateral damage is the least of his concerns, he just wants to have fun.  He's the product of internet culture, especially the cesspools like 4chan; and putting that corruption up against people like Hanners, Winslow, Faye, even Marigold, can create comic gold.   


*for example, raoullefere has already put forth some shrewd analysis (which i can't find right now, and can't do justice to) ...  ...
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #2 on: 14 Dec 2010, 18:40 »

Pintsize is fundamentally loyal, but so perverted that it only shows when the chips are down. I'm thinking of his leading the party to disable Vespabot.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #3 on: 14 Dec 2010, 19:29 »

Note to self: start drafting ideas for a second essay about Pintsize to be published after the one on Marten. I will rock this forum with my overly-stylized scholar vocabulary until every forum goer is staring at the screen like so  :psyduck:
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #4 on: 14 Dec 2010, 20:02 »

Note to self: start drafting ideas for a second essay about Pintsize to be published after the one on Marten. I will rock this forum with my overly-stylized scholar vocabulary until every forum goer is staring at the screen like so  :psyduck:

yeah except when i see a bloock of text that huge ANYWHERE my immediate response is to move to the next post. i don't read that much into ficticious characters, they are made up and i believe that the author tells us everything they mean to tell us and no mure than what it says
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #5 on: 14 Dec 2010, 20:41 »

I used to think that, too. 

Then I started reading this comic.  It was my second webcomic (after xkcd), and it blew me away.  I read a bunch of others now also (about 2 dozen? I try to keep it down to the length of the comics page in a newspaper, or I'd never get any work done), and this one's still far and away the one that pulls hardest at my heart. 

The characters in any great work of fiction take on a life of their own.  Some are completely contained within their story, and others live on well beyond the limits of their creation (Sherlock Holmes comes to mind).  Many authors say their characters take on lives of their own, and that's clearly what's happened to Jeph with the QCverse.  The hint of believability makes it possible to flesh them out, and in a series where the author continues to do so with backstories and trails of easter eggs, it's only natural that we try to complete the picture ourselves.  Even Jeph may not know the whole story about a character until it's written, but that doesn't mean we can't know the characters just as well as we know a friend. 

Maybe even better. 
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #6 on: 14 Dec 2010, 22:18 »

yeah, plus i've never been any good at finding hidden meanigs and all that jazz.... i REALY hated english classes, that's why i became an engineer
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #7 on: 15 Dec 2010, 01:50 »

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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #8 on: 15 Dec 2010, 05:55 »


Something that was an eye-opener for me on Pintsize as a character was strip 1796. How so? Well, he didn't do what I expected him to do.* I still think that how he acted that time was way out of character for him, and that very thought is what opened my mind - out of character? Man, that damn little PC has a character. I hadn't even noticed, but I had already started to treat him just as the other characters, which actually is not strange at all when looking back at the first few strips. Although in strip 33 it seems like he's on a mission from his owner...

I think Pintsize was in character, although he seemed a little subdued.  He enjoys sharing and talking about smut and has no concept of boundaries whatsoever.  I think we probably missed the first twenty minutes of Pintsize bouncing off the ceiling, perving out on Dora and thrilled that someone actually wanted to discuss his purpose in life, porn.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #9 on: 15 Dec 2010, 08:05 »

I disagree with the interpretation of strip 33 as posted. If I had a roommate in a similar situation, I would be constitutionally incapable of keeping myself from asking the same question. I would not have sent the roommate on that mission, however, but I would be unable to keep from attempting to profit from it.


This ties into one of the foundation blocks of the QC universe - that girls bosoms are rad.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #10 on: 15 Dec 2010, 08:30 »

Here's where I am going to Blow. Your. Mind.











Pintsize is Jeph's view of these forums.

We Are Pintsize.

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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #11 on: 15 Dec 2010, 08:46 »

Has anyone read the Dresden Files at all? Pintsize is remarkably similar to Bob, the talking skull. Both are creatures of intellect, but not subject to any real moral code that people can recognize.

Also, they're both filthy perverts.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #12 on: 15 Dec 2010, 11:36 »

« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2011, 04:10 by cyro »
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #13 on: 15 Dec 2010, 13:12 »

Just starting from the original strips it's clear to see that Pintsize is, at the core, of things a narcissist, which makes me think that he isn't the personification of Marten's or Jeph's ID.

Given the later introduction of a story arc that explained he is of military design, his other character traits become obvious as a reaction to being programmed without boundaries or a moral centre (as you would want in a AI maching designed for killing). His narcissistic personality ultimately lead him to the pursuit of excess as defined by his interaction with humans.

Or for short he's a cheeky wee mink.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #14 on: 15 Dec 2010, 14:10 »

@Kazukagii: I look forward to reading that essay, and I'm beginning to hope you'll do even more of those. If you make it through all the main characters like this, that's a decent sized book...

- - - - - -

I disagree with the interpretation of strip 33 as posted. If I had a roommate in a similar situation, I would be constitutionally incapable of keeping myself from asking the same question. I would not have sent the roommate on that mission, however, but I would be unable to keep from attempting to profit from it.

My interpretation of that strip is not at all about the question, it is about the answer. It's not the typical "Those are AWSOME" that you would expect from someone who has an opinion, it reads more like a scientific report to me. And this is what I find odd about Pintsize, he has these moments when he's not his usual selfish self.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #15 on: 15 Dec 2010, 18:06 »

Given the later introduction of a story arc that explained he is of military design, his other character traits become obvious as a reaction to being programmed without boundaries or a moral centre (as you would want in a AI maching designed for killing).

But he's not military design, only the chassis is military; his essence, the AI that is Pintsize, was uploaded into that chassis. 

He was already this way long before getting new hardware! 

Quote
Or for short he's a cheeky wee mink.

Now, that  I'll agree with!
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #16 on: 24 Dec 2010, 23:03 »

I've noticed that a lot of what Pintsize does seems to be, at its core, derived from a need for constant sensory stimulation; most of the time this is visual (pornography, weird images), but occasionally it is also gustatory (cake mix) or tactile (groping Marigold*). It is therefor possible that he is mainly hedonistic because he is consummately bored with his basic "job" of acting as a computer, and so distracts himself in more and more extreme ways...

To wit, note that, while not "toning down" per se, he did sort of reach an even plateau of pervitude upon befriending Momo and Winslow. One might interpret that as him becoming somewhat less (increasingly) desperate for entertainment upon finding suitable friends/accomplices.

*He also obviously likes messing with people; this is probably for the same reason.
« Last Edit: 24 Dec 2010, 23:06 by Insignificant »
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IanClark

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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #17 on: 25 Dec 2010, 02:21 »

Pintsize is like the universe according to Douglas Adams. As soon as we make sense of him, he will instantly vanish and be replaced by something infinitely more bizarre. If that's possible.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #18 on: 25 Dec 2010, 07:14 »

There is another theory that states that this has already happened!  :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #19 on: 25 Dec 2010, 09:37 »

need for constant sensory stimulation
I think you're on to something. Even when he seems to be engaged in mischief for its own sake there's an element of seeking new stimuli, even if it's only a painting on the ceiling by a blender.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #20 on: 25 Dec 2010, 15:59 »

Tweeze denied beef worker isthmus,
winnow Trudy howes,
knot agreed juries during,
gnaw Tiffany moss.
This talking swear unbided Gemini wit cairn,
hint opus cynical ass sinewy dare.

You know how long it took me to figure out what that was saying? (And how the heck did you come up with it, anyways?)
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #21 on: 25 Dec 2010, 17:09 »

Didn't come up with it. It's from a long-ago Martin Gardner column, the result of some researchers programming a computer to generate near-homophones. It never made it into Googlespace, so I can't tell you how the rest of it goes: just that one of the lines is "ice brine bromine bad deucey woodwind schemata".

We've never seen Pintsize do anything actually mean-spirited, have we?
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #22 on: 25 Dec 2010, 17:21 »

I don't know about you, but the fleshlight episode was pretty dang mean-spirited IMNSHO.

Then again, I'm not Marten.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #23 on: 25 Dec 2010, 19:40 »

Do you think Pintsize meant it that way?
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #24 on: 25 Dec 2010, 20:56 »

his fundamental character is dicks
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #25 on: 26 Dec 2010, 05:52 »

Do you think Pintsize meant it that way?

Given that we haven't seen him SINCE then begs the question of what Marten did to him afterward...
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #26 on: 26 Dec 2010, 08:18 »

Mm. Waffles.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #27 on: 26 Dec 2010, 13:40 »

I'm thinking shutdown, tossed in the closet and considered opening an account on Freecycle.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #28 on: 26 Dec 2010, 15:37 »

Not Freecycle: the chassis is worth thousands.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #29 on: 26 Dec 2010, 17:10 »

It won't be after he finishes using it to pound out his frustrations.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #30 on: 26 Dec 2010, 17:44 »

Marigold commented on Twitter that on the military hardware the dents just pop out.

Now, Marten might feel like going beyond mere denting.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #31 on: 26 Dec 2010, 18:26 »

Marigold commented on Twitter that on the military hardware the dents just pop out.

Now, Marten might feel like going beyond mere denting.

Filled with peanut butter.  Rancid peanut butter.  Mad props to anyone that gets that reference.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #32 on: 26 Dec 2010, 20:08 »

Do you think Pintsize meant it that way?

Considering who we're speaking of, it's impossible to tell.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #33 on: 27 Dec 2010, 23:43 »

(apologies in advance for the text cludge)

My own thoughts on this is based on a basic principle, I am guessing that standard AnthroPCs are meant to be social. Aside from the aspect of 'hey cool a robot' a computer that could offer me advice during a research paper or who could actually hold a conversation with me when bored/lonely etc. would be pretty nice. Pintsize might have been a 'save pennies' purchase by Marten or a gift from his folks after they found out he was dumped or a holiday/birthday gift from Steve after they became friends, mostly as a way of giving Marten someone else to converse with and help keep depression at bay. Pintsize was probably helpful in this endeavor but also might had early development formed in a behaviorist style, he saw that Marten seemed happier seeing porn or videos of pranks, people doing dumb things, etc (or at least saw shaudenfreude induced laughter and apparently lower stress) so he actively sought it out personally attempting to provide more happiness and positive interaction. As Marten grew happier he didn't 'need' pintsize as much and he still had to work so Pintsize had to find things to amuse himself, seeking more and more pranks/porn/things to keep his brain occupied he found 4chan and other odd hubs of the internet and also had an urge for stimulation. Touch, taste, new experiences drove him and caused him to want to do new things. Marten was amused by his actions so he found some reinforcement, though he also was developing a true personality of his own by this point so it might have also been for his own fun. Pintsize probably has some basic things hardwired into his programming that might be the building blocks of what he is now but I'd say a big part of what drives him is a hunger for sensations and stimulations coupled with a necessity of social interaction.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #34 on: 28 Dec 2010, 06:01 »

After today's comic, I'm starting to wonder if perhaps Pintsize was actually Veronica's old APC...
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #35 on: 28 Dec 2010, 09:06 »

Two really good ideas in a row. I'll put an empty Speculation section into the Pintsize article on the wiki.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #36 on: 08 Jan 2011, 20:21 »

Jeez, am I the only one who just thinks Pintsize is getting annoying? I man, I see why the strip needs Pintsize as a quick go-to gag to keep the story from getting to bogged down in drama. (It is a comic after all. From the Greek word komikos, which means "pretaining to comedy. Thanks Ms. Brazel!). But honestly, while his antics use to delight me, they've just become way to perdictable lately. Much like a good-natured coke fiend, or your very special cousion, Pintsize's antics become old and annoying fast. Honestly, it's  high-time Jeff flleshed out his character a bit more. Maybe make Pintsize a little more then a walking tinfolil ball of perversion and annoyance.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #37 on: 08 Jan 2011, 20:43 »

Your concern is shared by Pintsize, who has worried that he's become too predictable.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #38 on: 08 Jan 2011, 20:51 »

The touble is, I don't really see what he is to do to shake things up again. He's made it his sole passion in existance to push the envelope, and now he's run out of room. I mean short of killing Marten...Oh my God! Marten!
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #39 on: 11 Jan 2011, 12:16 »

I don't know about you, but the fleshlight episode was pretty dang mean-spirited IMNSHO.

No, not at all:  in fact, I think there's a real "wanting to help" aspect there that is missing from most of his pranks.    :-o
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #40 on: 11 Jan 2011, 14:09 »

Perhaps, but it's still a prank, and so at its core, it's mean spirited. 

Funny, though.  One of the few times the comic lives up to its name! 
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #41 on: 11 Jan 2011, 16:42 »

still a prank,

Are you sure?  With an AI, perhaps he thought it was a legitimate offer for a drunk human male.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #42 on: 11 Jan 2011, 17:24 »

Pintsize is known to try for "endearingly misguided" and miss. I forget the strip where he talked about that problem.
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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #43 on: 11 Jan 2011, 18:44 »

That'd be the peanut butter gum removal episode.
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akronnick

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Akronnick, I can think of no more appropriate steed for a Knight Of The Dickbroom than a foul-mouthed, perpetually shouting, lust-crazed bird with a scrotum hanging from its chin and a distinctive cry of "Gobble gobble gobble".   --Tergon

Is it cold in here?

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Re: Pintsize's fundamental character
« Reply #45 on: 11 Jan 2011, 21:16 »

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Thank you, Dr. Karikó.
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