Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(Test)
 
(28 intermediate revisions by 3 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
 
__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
 
<center>
 
<center>
 
 
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font><br>
 
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font><br>
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
+
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:All comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:All comics|R}}-1}}''' xkcd comics]],
<!-- Note: the -13 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
+
<!-- Note: the -1 in the calculation above is to discount "comic" 404,
     as well as [[List of all comics]] and the pages it has been split across, which are obviously not comic pages.
+
     which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so. -->
    The extra one difference corresponds to 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so.
+
and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}}
-->
+
({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}}
+
({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete articles|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
+
 
</center>
 
</center>
 
== Latest comic ==
 
== Latest comic ==
Line 15: Line 12:
 
<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
 
<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
 
<br clear="right">
 
<br clear="right">
{{:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
+
{{:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}</div>
{{#ifexist:Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}|<h2>Discussion</h2>
+
{{Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
+
}}</div>
+
  
 
<small>''Is this out of date? {{Purge|Clicking here will fix that}}.''</small>
 
<small>''Is this out of date? {{Purge|Clicking here will fix that}}.''</small>
  
 
== New here? ==
 
== New here? ==
<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|Lots of people]] contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
+
<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|Lots of people]] contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have [http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=Special%3AContributions&contribs=newbie just joined]. You can do it too! Create your account [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
  
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.
+
You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to [[Special:UserLogin/signup|sign up for an account]] and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|comics]], [[:Category:Characters|characters]], [[:Category:Comics by topic|themes]] and [[:Category:Meta|everything in between]]. If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
*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.
+
* If you're new to wiki editing, see [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit wiki pages]]. There's also a handy {{w|Help:Cheatsheet|wikicode cheatsheet}}.
  
*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
+
* Discussion about the wiki itself happens at the [[explain xkcd:Community portal|Community portal]].
  
*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete articles|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
+
* You can browse the comics from [[List of all comics]] or by navigating the category tree at [[:Category:Comics]].
  
*If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
+
* There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  
*We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go [[explain xkcd:Advertise Here|here]].
+
* We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go [[explain xkcd:Advertise Here|here]].
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== 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.
+
 
 +
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.
 
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.
+
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 [[explain xkcd:Administrators|admin]], post a message to the [[explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests|Admin requests]] board.
 
If you need assistance from an [[explain xkcd:Administrators|admin]], post a message to the [[explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests|Admin requests]] board.
  
 
[[Category:Root category]]
 
[[Category:Root category]]

Latest revision as of 23:05, 16 October 2016

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1865 xkcd comics, and only 23 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

[edit] Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Russell's Teapot
Unfortunately, NASA regulations state that Bertrand Russell-related payloads can only be launched within launch vehicles which do not launch themselves.
Title text: Unfortunately, NASA regulations state that Bertrand Russell-related payloads can only be launched within launch vehicles which do not launch themselves.

[edit] Explanation

Russell's Teapot is a philosophical argument that reflects on the difficulty of trying to prove a negative. It involves a hypothetical teapot orbiting a heavenly body, whose existence hasn't been proven, and states that it cannot be disproven (Somebody put it there secretly?). While an instrument could be theoretically engineered to pick out a teapot-sized object of any luminosity, the teapot would be very easy to confuse for other pieces of space debris, and the space to search is extremely massive; the task is thus akin to the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack.

Bertrand Russell devised this analogy "to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others." As such, it is very often used in atheistic arguments.

"He wrote that if he were to assert, without offering proof, that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, he could not expect anyone to believe him solely because his assertion could not be proven wrong." (Wikipedia)

Cueball is trying to settle the teapot argument by actually launching a teapot into space via a crowdfunding campaign.

"CubeSat-based design" refers to a type of miniaturized satellites that is made up of 10-centimeter cube units (here seemingly consisting of 3 units) and enables cost-effective means for getting a payload into orbit.

The title-text refers to Russell's paradox, also formulated by Bertrand Russell. Russell's paradox was a flaw found in naïve set theory where one could consider "the set of all sets that do not contain themselves" (a "set" is a mathematical term for a "group of things"). The paradox arises with whether this set, in turn, contains itself: if it does, then it cannot; if it doesn't, then it must. Similarly, like in the barber paradox, the vehicle which launches only vehicles which do not launch themselves is impossible: if the vehicle takes off, it must launch itself as well as the teapot, and thus can never be launched (without violating alleged NASA regulations, at least).

The barber paradox can be stated as follows: "Consider a town in which a man, the barber, shaves precisely those men who do not shave themselves. Does the barber shave himself?" Either answer, yes or no, leads to a contradiction. Sometimes the paradox is incorrectly stated, replacing "precisely those" with "only". Under that scenario, there is no paradox; the barber is merely unkempt.

A launch vehicle that does not launch itself is a contradiction in terms in a way that a barber who does not shave himself or a set that does not contain itself is not. NASA's regulation is not so much a paradox in itself as a ban on launching Bertrand Russell-related payloads.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball is standing in front of a blueprint labeled "CubeSat-Based Design", containing a satellite with a teapot in the top.]
[Caption below the panel:]
I'm crowdfunding a project to launch a teapot into orbit around the sun to settle the Russell thing once and for all.


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

[edit] New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account 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 and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

[edit] 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, post a message to the Admin requests board.

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?