1. The joke is that if everyone has someone behind them, the line would effectively be infinite. Although, I think there is also a gender joke here (he only says, “behind every woman there’s somebody”) which I don’t quite get. What is the point there?

  2. Targuman’s point about the infinite recess arises for me when thinking about ideas like “our purpose in life is to serve others”.

  3. Mitch4: One of the few Peanuts that I liked enough to remember had Linus telling Lucy that our purpose was to make others happy; her response was to ask what the others were here for.

  4. WordPress always asks me to log in again these days every time I comment: “You are being asked to login because [email address] is used by an account you are not logged into now.” I’ve idly googled the issue but don’t quite get it what I am supposed to do about it. It only started happening in the last few months.

  5. I also first interpreted it as “a long line of dialogue” — meaning that a while back one could get away with just stating a short version that “Behind every great man there is a woman,” but that nowadays one is encouraged to broaden the adage to be more inclusive (not only men are great, not all great people are heterosexual, etc.). But I realize that probably was not what the author actually intended.

  6. He switch from “behind every great” in the first panel to “behind every” in the second, so there is an infinite line of people supporting each other (or maybe just some circles of people, since they can support each other in a loop.

  7. The ancestral “line” concept is effectively the same as the ancient question about “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” There’s simply no originating endpoint.

    P.S. Logging in on my desktop browser (ages ago) worked fine, and WordPress seemed to have no trouble “remembering” my status there. Using our tablets was another matter. It took a long while for the first one to work without having to repeat the login, and the device I am using right now managed the same trick only a few weeks ago. I think the difference may have been privacy and/or cookie settings. I still cannot comment from my phone without repeating the login process.

  8. Here are the settings that bear on commenting.

    The first and second ones in the “Other comment settings” might have some bearing on this signing-in business.

    The second one was briefly checked ON when Bill was getting this site in order after the GoDaddy-hosted site broke. You may remember that , it required an elevated degree of sign-in. I don’t remember whether you actually had to sign up for a WordPress account, but as a minimum you had to register with this site, and sign in the same way. don’t think we need to experiment with that.

    The first box, “Comment author must fill out name and email” has AFAIK been checked ON pretty much continuously since then. It really is a lesser requirement. But it could be causing the annoying sign-in requests several of you have reported. This might be something to experiment with. I’m not sure what the risks are of turning it unchecked OFF; maybe an increase in spam or rude comments. We can try it if people want.

  9. When I first heard “Behind every great man is a woman,” I thought “what about Jesus?”

    Whether Jesus is great or not depends on your religion, I suppose, and if you are Roman Catholic then the Blessed Virgin Mary is pretty important so it works for Catholics. But most of the Protestants don’t attach a lot of importance to Mary.

    OK, I guess at the Wedding at Cana Mary pushed Jesus into show business earlier than he would have liked, so there’s that.

  10. I thought Shrug wasn’t all that far off. “Behind every great/successful man is a woman”- Short list, two people. But if you “update” the quote to be more inclusive, then it can get a bit more wordy, and you wind up with more people involved.

    One popular variation of the quote is “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.”

  11. Behind every great woman or man, there is a great education.

    Conversely, as Hal Abelson once said, “If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders.”

  12. I’m a day late. When I clicked on the “CIDU” link to this comic. I got to today’s page, not this one. Clicking on the “15 Comments” link got me here.

  13. Correction: Clicking on the “CIDU” links on both posts get me back to the same home page. Clicking on the “Comments” links gets me to the comments page. I may be forgetting how to navigate this site. It’s been awhile. So has it changed, or have I gone crazy … -er?

  14. I have already changed that one setting discussed with the screenshot earlier, which was the only thing that looked like it might have an effect on the sign-in requirement several of you have been discussing.


    (For standard web browser view — rather than WP Reader View, or RSS feed, etc)

    Responding to Bookworm’s and Brian in STL’s discussion, but also offered for anyone interested. (But I will be referring back to Bookworm’s comments about where they clicked)

    Screenshot from web view:

    The link to get the home page for the site is the HOME marked with orangeish arrow, first item in the menu at the left column.
    If that menu is not showing, click on the three-line menu icon at top left, with the deep-purple arrow.

    Clicking on the “CIDU” links on both posts get me back to the same home page.

    Right – the red arrow CIDU link is a Category link. It is not actually a site-home page link — except sort of by accident, as in this case. Much like the additional tags right below it with blue arrow, these links take you to a feed scroll of ALL the POSTS it can find on the site that are marked with that same category or tag. In this case it made a scrollable feed of all the posts marked CIDU. And since the top post today was one of them, it in effect was like a HOME link — but just in effect.

    Similarly, if you click on a tag like the DARK SIDE OF THE HORSE just below the CIDU, with the blue arrow, it will make a scrollable feed of all posts on the site with a DSOH comic (if it had been correctly tagged, that is).

    When I clicked on the “CIDU” link to this comic. I got to today’s page, not this one. It should now be clearer how that happens?

    Clicking on the “15 Comments” link got me here.

    Clicking on the comments-count item, like the 20 COMMENTS here with the gray arrow, will take you to a full view of the single post and its comments. (If there are more than 50 comments, it will jump to a later web page, with the end of the comments thread showing.)

    That is, these will all be comments for that particular post. There are also a couple ways to get a list of recent comments. One is to click the folder icon near the top left, marked with a green arrow in this screenshot. That will change the contents of the left side column (darker cream area), to a number of widgets you can see by scrolling down. The first of those will be RECENT COMICS.

    By coincidence, the RECENT COMMENTS widget currently is set to show 15 comments, in recency order and without regard to what post they came from, and I think Brian knows that so when Bookworm talked about clicking on “15 Comments” Brian may well have thought they meant this sidebar widget!

    If you don’t check all that frequently, I might suggest LarK’s page. You can get many more than 15 past comments: http://scrape.nowis.com/CIDU/ That’s also a great idea, in terms of finding postings and comments that are not on the very near horizon.

  16. @ Mitch – That’s an excellent explanations, but it’s going to get lost if it’s filed only here in a DSotH post. Can you place a copy of it in “Site Comments”?

  17. Horace isn’t referring to the saying, he’s commenting on something he sees outside. Notice his pupils. In the third panel he’s resting his arm on the windowsill and looking to his left at something. In the other two panels he’s looking at the same thing, though from farther away.

    It’s true the line doesn’t have to be long, though. It can stop as soon as there’s a man who’s not great. (It’s still possible there’s somebody behind him, but it’s not required.)

    And “great” can also mean “very large”. Maybe that’s why the line is so long.

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