1720: Horses

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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This car has 240% of a horse's decision-making ability and produces only 30% as much poop.
Title text: This car has 240% of a horse's decision-making ability and produces only 30% as much poop.


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If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Car engines are traditionally measured in horsepower, which (roughly) compares the power output of the engine to that of a horse. Randall suggests that an equivalent should be done for the computers in self-driving cars, comparing the car's ability to mitigate for a drunk driver and/or avoid obstacles to that of a horse - the car for sale in the third panel is 200 horsepower (on the higher-end of average for a family vehicle) and 3.5 horse-intelligences.


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Except, no one really worries about drunk drivers driving into a tree. If that happens, I'd say its all good, servers them right... The real problem is drunk drivers running into other drivers, pedestrians, property, etc. And even back in the days of horses and carriages, when forced to go at full gallop the horses would not be able to prevent such mistakes. 13:22, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it serves them right. We have no idea why the drunk driver is behind the wheel. They could easily be an alcoholic who was never given adequate treatment. We can't be judgemental about these things. A drunk driver's death is just as tragic as a sober driver's death.

A horse is a low tech version of KARR. Surely we want a KITT? 14:04, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

"A badly-driven horse can toss-off its owner"... *fnar fnar*. Perhaps "throw off" or "buck" would mesh less easily with the remnants of immature adolescent brain that I still possess? 14:12, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Alert: your car has noticed a wolf. Initiating auto-ejection procedure. Notice: your car has driven over a rattlesnake. Initiating horn honking and spinning out. WARNING: your car has drawn the attention of a pickup of the opposite sex. Program Sexy-fun-times is now running. Sux to be you. ~~ Siliconwolf (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

LikeMikemk (talk) 21:37, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
White Hat -- salesman or owner?

I personally think white hat is a salesman because in the title text a different car is described. It could be a different person describing it, or that white hat owns multiple cars (though given his friendship with black hat, this seems unlikely). I further think that the incomplete tag should be either removed or moved to the transcript section, and a note made in the article. Vote: salesman, vote: remove incomplete tag Mikemk (talk) 21:43, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Being sexist, under normal circumstances my wife would rather watch Golf on TV than stand around being regaled by a proud car owner, so I'm voting for car salesman. :) RoyT (talk) 07:03, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure he is a sales man. Megan could be a horse girl thus interested in the horse aspect. Also it could just as well be the same car in the title text, why could a car not be represented with these two lines: This baby has 200 horses under the hood and 3.5 in the computer -- and it has -- 240% of a horse's decision-making ability and produces only 30% as much poop. No reason to assume it is two cars. I guess this depends highly on what you thought of the first time you saw the comic? But I can easily imagine both that he brags about his own car or that he tries to sell this one (and maybe that it's another in the title text). Too bad Randall has stopped making transcripts when he releases comics. They sometimes get up later, but recently they have been up for the wrong comic... I have fixed the transcript so it is not assuming it is his car. --Kynde (talk) 13:45, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Personally I think he's a salesman. But both alternatives seem plausible to me, so I vote for keeping it as it is and remove the tag. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 13:29, 23 August 2016 (UTC)


Here is very recent example of the horse-powered argument https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC7_Hkf8wnA (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Para 3: "A cars "poop" would be it's exhaust" should be "its" -- 11:40, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Just fix it, its (it's ;-) a wiki. Has been fixed now. --Kynde (talk) 13:45, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Note that current programmers are VERY far from making an AI as intelligent as horse. They currently struggle with making drones as good in avoiding obstacles as bees are. -- Hkmaly (talk) 13:42, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Very similar to an old Dinosaur Comics, specifically the one from March 10, 2014: http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2588 04:09, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Not sure being very close to decomposing manure and urine is less toxic (or carcinogenic) than breathing our relatively dispersed modern car exhaust. Would be a very difficult thing to quantify. Might we change in some way "Of course the amount of pollution created by the cars of the world makes them much more toxic both for humans breathing the exhaust fumes and on the larger scale with the climate."? -- ‎Jubal Harshaw (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm removing the references to Randall as Ponytail for two reasons: 1) I haven't seen this done in previous comics, and 2) it's just a little weird having a guy playing a girl (this is not Shakespeare) --Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 04:16, 5 June 2017 (UTC)