Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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There is no set rule that says the ground is down. Yes, that is what most people think, but down can be any direction. Beret Guy handles this in his usual way, by defining down to be toward the sky. Forcing yourself to think in a different perspective changes a lot of things that are usually thought of as mundanities. Here we are challenged with the perspective that we live pulled (by Earth's gravity) towards a ceiling (land/oceans) hanging over a bottomless abyss (space seems to be limitless). If gravity (under no control of our own) were to fail we would fly helplessly off into the abyss. If a hole actually had no bottom, there would be no gravitational force towards its non-existing bottom.
The title text continues this idea, where someone - possibly Megan or Beret Guy - claims to have dropped a bird, and never heard it hit the "bottom". Since "down" is currently the direction space is in, there would be no "bottom" for the bird to hit, unless one were to define it as the edge of the atmosphere. If the bird were to have made a sound there, it is unlikely that the person who dropped it would be able to hear it. However, it is more likely that instead of falling into space, the bird just flew away.
- [Megan approaches Beret Guy, who appears to be doing a handstand on the lawn.]
- Megan: What are you doing?
- Beret Guy: Clinging to the ceiling of a bottomless abyss.
- [Megan walks past him.]
- Megan: You are very odd.
- [Megan towards a mailbox.]
- [As she passes the mailbox, she looks up.]
- [This panel appears to be upside down. Megan is clinging to the mailbox, and Ponytail approaches her.]
- Ponytail: What's wrong?
- Megan: I looked down.
add a comment!
- This comic's official transcript actually refers to Ponytail as Ponytail.
As anyone who read Ender's Game know, "The enemy's gate is down". t must be noted that mentioned gate was in a zero-gravity environment so the usual definition of down being the direction gravitation is pulling us was not applicable. -- Hkmaly (talk) 08:09, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
The enemy's gate is down.
Furthermore, the last panel might be a reference to Nietzsche's quote: "When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you".
Additionally, it might also allude to the law of gravity, as it operates in the realm of Cartoon physics. This interpretation would seem to match the 'perspective inversion' theme of the entire comic.22.214.171.124 08:14, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I think the comment about a bottomless hole is misleading but I am not certain. the mass of the walls of the hole as well as surrounding matter would create a definite gravitational force, as would any gases or liquids that fill the hole. There would be a point (or possibly surface or line) depending on the composition and shape of whatever the bottomless hole is in as well as the contents and shape of the hole itself where the net gravitational force is zero, with all areas surrounding this point (surface or line) having gravitational forces pointing in the direction of the point/surface/line, unless the hole is in a body that extends in one direction off into infinity, in which case the mass of the entire system would be continually collapsing into a black hole as the mass of the body is infinite.
The comic also encapsulates a feeling about the sky. If you lie down in a flat area like the american southwest, all you can see is sky. All you can see is sky. All of the sudden, it feels like one little push could send you flying. You get the feeling that you are laying on a round, small surface, and are enveloped by a huge blue sky. In "Death comes for the Archbishop" There is a one line description of this feeling.
"The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still, — and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world. The plain was there, under one's feet, but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud. Even the mountains were mere ant-hills under it. Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky! --Death Comes to the Archbishop, Book VII, Ch. 4" [ http://www.en.wikibooks.org/wiki/American_Literature/20th_Century/Willa_Cather link title]
This comic seeks to describe that feeling of "The earth being the floor of the sky"
--126.96.36.199 00:41, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Shouldn't his beret be shown on the ground? Xyz (talk) 19:34, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
- Staples. Squornshellous Beta (talk) 14:53, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Anyone else reminded of the Stone Tower Temple from Majora's Mask? 188.8.131.52 08:41, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
- Add this to the incomplete explanations list
There's no coverage on the title text. 184.108.40.206 02:52, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
- Done. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:42, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I added an explanation on the title text. Anyone can feel free to correct it as they see fit. Codefreak5
) 13:08, 28 July 2014 (UTC)