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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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''Welcome to the Explain XKCD wiki''
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__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
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<center>
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
__TOC__
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We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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<!-- Note: the -9 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
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    as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
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and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
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({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / ({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9) * 100 round 0}}%)
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remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
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</center>
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== Latest comic ==
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<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:#eee; padding:1em;">
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<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
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<br clear="right">
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{{:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
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{{#ifexist:Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}|<h2>Discussion</h2>
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{{Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
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}}</div>
  
==Comics==
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<small>''Is this out of date? {{Purge|Clicking here will fix that}}.''</small>
The latest comic is number [[1090]]
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All the comics (so far) are [[:Category:Comics|here]].
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== New here? ==
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You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
== Welcome ==
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* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
Please sign up for an account and contribute to the Explain XKCD wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com XKCD] web comic, it should be in here.
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If you need help with the wiki syntax, Mediawiki has a great wealth of information to help you the syntax right.  In particular, their instructions on [http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Navigation Navigation] and [http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Editing_pages Editing] are strongly recommended (but do be aware that these links take you to ''their'' site; you'll have to come back here to participate. ;-)
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* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
== Getting started ==
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* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! [[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]].
For new comic pages:
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1. Every registered user can upload images.
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== Rules ==
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Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
  
2. Put the comic number, the date it was posted and a link to the comic above the photo.
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If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
 
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3. Put the image text below the photo.
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4. Explain away below that.
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If you are setting up a new page for a new (or old) comic, please make sure you also redirect the comic number to that page as well.
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The syntax for redirects is:
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For example, on the page for 1045 is:
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<nowiki>#REDIRECT [[Constraints]]</nowiki>
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That allows the users of the site to search via the comic number or the name of the comic.
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== Rules ==
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Don't be a jerk.  There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
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If you want to talk about a specific comic, the Discussion page is perfect for that.
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Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
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If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
  
The Admins are [{{canonicalurl:Special:ListUsers|group=sysop}} here].
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[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1705 (34100%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Walking Into Things
A childhood spent walking while reading books has prepared me unexpectedly well for today's world.
Title text: A childhood spent walking while reading books has prepared me unexpectedly well for today's world.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Still not complete. Still needs a review.

Cueball comments on the rate of his walking into things while distracted by various stimuli, comparing it to a controlled study where the aim is to research whether he is most likely to bump into something while looking at a book, at his phone, or staring at the sky (something Randall does a lot with his interest in both astronomy, optical phenomena, kites, and weather phenomena).

Megan replies that if this is the case, the rate of the "control group" colliding with things is also weirdly high. In Cueball's metaphor, the "control group" would be his walking around without being distracted, so you would expect him not to collide with anything when able to give his full attention to where he's going. Thus, Megan is implying that Cueball is simply clumsy or easily distracted by other events or his own thoughts, and that his walking into things has little to do with whether he's looking at his phone, in a book or at the sky. Cueball responds defensively, saying that "walking [without bumping into anything] is hard, okay?"

Actually walking is hard as can be observed when trying to teach a robot how to walk.

At the time the comic was released, Pokémon Go has been gaining popularity, with many people raising concerns about the dangers of walking around while staring at a phone screen. (See 1705: Pokémon Go released two weeks before this).

In the title text, Randall remarks that his childhood spent walking around with his nose in a book has prepared him "unexpectedly well" for today's world. Years ago, walking around while staring at something in your hands - such as a book - was considered odd, antisocial and dangerous, and was mostly the province of bookworms and nerds. Yet now, it's commonplace for people to walk around staring at their phones. This, ironically, makes those "antisocial" people who grew up used to walking around while reading the best-adapted to navigating while using a smartphone.

Transcript

[Meagan and Cueball, holding a smartphone in his hand, walk through a landscape with patches of grass. They are just passing behind a stump of a tree, a small bush is in front of them and there are two rocks on the ground which extends to rolling hills in the distance under a clear sky with three small white clouds to the right and two seagulls drawn as lying down 3 to the left with four more birds further left and much further away.]
Cueball: My life is basically a big controlled trial of whether I'm more likely to walk into something while looking at a book, my phone, or the sky.
[Zoom in to Megan and Cueball while they're still walking, no background is shown. Beat panel while she ponders his statement.]
[Megan and Cueball still walking.]
Megan: The weird thing is that the rate for the control group is so high.
Cueball: Walking is hard, okay?


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

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