Because this is a science-based webcomic, occasionally I will edit some of the previous comics when it becomes clear that they contain errors, or if new facts are brought to my attention which warrant inclusion. This page will be used to keep track of the changes, and to provide a place where earlier versions of the comics can be viewed by anyone who is curious. A couple of things you should note, however: first, I will only be correcting minor errors, which don’t require major revisions of the entire comic; in the event of more substantial mistakes, I would be better off simply drawing a new comic to explore the reasons why I screwed up the first one (after all, my intent is not to hide these mistakes but to learn from them). And secondly, keep in mind that there is a difference between unambiguous errors and controversial theories – I am well aware, for example, that not everyone thinks memetics is a particularly solid theory. Usually the controversy will be made explicit, but even if it isn’t, it should be obvious that my comics are simply representing a point of view, and that anyone who disagrees is free to do so in the comments section (or through email, if you’d prefer), but this doesn’t mean I am obliged to edit the comics accordingly. I would hope it goes without saying that any reading of my comics should be followed up with further research of alternate viewpoints, and nothing should be accepted at face value.

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#3 – Evolutionary Oddities

(Original) – 2010-10-03
(First Revision) – 2016-12-03

Pretty straightforward edit to this one, I redrew the first panel for greater accuracy, replacing the generic unreferenced dromaeosaur with Anchiornis huxleyi (the small mammal is based on Megazostrodon, I can’t remember if that’s what I referred to in the original, but I didn’t need to change it much lol).

 

#5 – All That Your Dissonance Smothers

(Original) – 2010-11-30
(First revision) – 2011-09-08

This comic was updated with a clearer definition of memes and a few other details at the start, to hopefully make the whole argument a bit more cogent (also, the final line of the “crane” panel has been changed, because duh Tim, denial can last a lifetime). On reflection, I actually have some slight regrets about my decision to blend the central concept of this comic with memetics – not because I am having second thoughts about the theory, but simply because I think discussing the nature of depression is a very important subject, and it would be nice if my arguments weren’t reliant on what is, admittedly, a fairly controversial idea to many people. I do believe that my central argument would remain standing even if you stripped away the memetic scaffolding: essentially, whether you call them memes, ideas, beliefs, thoughts, or some other definition of the brain’s logical sequences, we all possess these complex chains of information which our brains have painstakingly built up over the course of our lives by piecing together logical connections between one idea and the next (of course, the logic involved is entirely subjective; just because something appears to follow, doesn’t mean it actually does, from a more objective and knowledgable viewpoint). Occasionally (or perhaps even usually?) people will build up these long chains from a single, deeply significant starting point – meaning all their logical beliefs about the world are resting on a single conjecture, which can potentially be disproved by the various twists and turns that life takes. Common candidates for this starting point are obvious: belief in an interventionist deity who has always got your back; belief in the basic goodness of other people; belief in inalienable gender roles or sexual identities; belief that you will meet certain successes in life, such as finding a partner or getting a decent job – there are many others. The nature of the belief is largely irrelevant; what’s important is how the brain reacts if this belief is taken away, perhaps by a sudden new insight or some other process which renders the belief in question untenable (note, again, this is entirely subjective – if the initial belief can be irrational, the thing that invalidates it can also be irrational). This core belief is the foundation stone in an entire network of artificial ideas which the brain uses to understand and evaluate the world – meaning that if it is taken away, then that understanding is also taken away. The entire mental structure descends into chaos, and a major depressive disorder sets in. Much like a computer with a corrupted operating system, the brain is still potentially capable of performing its normal functions, but unless you supply new programs, nothing is going to work as it should. As I attempted to illustrate in my comic, this is a very difficult position to recover from; unlike a computer, the brain can’t simply be formatted and have its programs reinstalled from a convenient disk. You should not underestimate the efficiency with which this mental illness can ruin lives.