Difference between revisions of "2466: In Your Classroom"

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Revision as of 08:58, 22 May 2021

In Your Classroom
Ontology is way off to the left and geography is way off to the right.
Title text: Ontology is way off to the left and geography is way off to the right.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a QUASAR IN YOUR CLASSROOM. The table is still a work in progress. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Randall has created a thought experiment and corresponding chart about school courses. The idea is, "the subject of the class appears in the classroom" and the chart compares how dangerous and how unusual that would be.

Breakdown of Subjects
Course Topic Weirdness Danger Explanation
Atmospheric Physics 0% 0% The presence of atmosphere in the classroom is quite common, as humans require the presence of an atmosphere to remain alive, and cannot learn while dead.[citation needed]
Ethics 25% 0% Ethical thinking and behavior are widely considered good and should normally be present in education, but are sadly not universal.
Education 0% 10% Learning usually goes on in classrooms, so education as a concept is both being learned about and present in the form of learning itself.
Bibliography 25% 7% A bibliography is a list of sources, and students should ideally learn to cite their sources. Presumably, this would be a bibliography at the end of a school paper about bibliographies.
Human Physiology 0% 20% This comic assumes that there are humans learning in the classroom, which was true at the time this comic was published. However, as of 2038 the Earth has been overtaken and education is forbidden for mere mortals.[actual citation needed]
Public Speaking 25% 15% Some classes require students to present things in front of the class, which is likely a requirement in a public speaking class. Thus, public speaking itself would be present in the class.

Some classes also have a teacher talking or presenting to the students from the front of the class, another form of public speaking.

Architecture 0% 30% All buildings can be considered architecture, and most classes take place in buildings. This comic also refers to a classroom, which is a room, and therefore considered architecture.
Library Science 25% 25% Library science is concerned with the organization of knowledge, and is useful for finding information. Many classes require research papers that require the use of books and other sources of information to complete them.
Furniture Design 0% 40% Most rooms have furniture,[citation needed] so this would probably be present in a classroom
Culinary Arts 40% 30% Most studies of culinary arts include the teacher and/or students preparing food using the tools and/or techniques that have been taught, so it would be fairly normal for food to be a result of classroom activities. How good it is, however, can be a mixed bag, especially for student cooking attempts.
Ergonomics 5% 45% Ergonomic equipment and workspaces promote comfort and efficiency, while non-ergonomic ones may be unpleasant, unhealthy, or even immediately dangerous.
Botany 40% 40% The near-neutral position of Botany (aka Plant Biology) obscures a wide range of possible outcomes, from the banal to the malignant. A teacher might have brought in a potted plant for decoration or show-n-tell, which would have zero weirdness and (if a non-allergenic species) zero danger. Or, a tree might have fallen through the roof, highly dangerous and weird, especially if it occurred during calm weather (weather likely to result in trees falling would probably have closed the school prior to treefall). This assumes that the event involves a vegetable and not an element of consumerism or purchasing.
20th Century Authors 65% 10% A literature class would, normally, benefit greatly from an open discussion or interview with the author himself. Sadly such things are rare. Authors who were published in the 20th century would mostly be in retirement age in 2021, so securing an interview with them could be somewhat difficult.
Exobiology 100% 0% Exobiology is the study of extraterrestrial life. This would mean that an alien life-form was in the classroom.
21st Century Authors 60% 20% 21st century authors have the advantage (over 19th and 20th century authors) of being alive and active at the time this comic was published. However, few of those born during the century have had time to achieve professional success, while those who have published in the 21st century mostly await final literary judgement on their work. Those authors with sufficient notoriety to be welcome in a classroom might charge appearance fees that schools cannot afford, and might, regardless of money, only agree to appear via virtual conference - hence, an elevated weirdness score. Dangers of an actual physical appearance include COVID risk and possible clashes between an author's activist stance and school policies.
19th Century Authors 100% 15% Like other authors, the class would benefit from having an actual author show up, but this would be extremely weird since no 19th century author is still alive.
Paleontology 100% 25%
Robotics 55% 30% A course on robotics would often be expected to have some form of working models of the robots being discussed.
Martian Soil Chemistry 100% 35% Martian soil only reaches Earth in small amounts, so it would be unusual to find a meaningful amount anywhere.
Tourism 75% 40% Tourists coming into an active classroom would be quite unusual. It could refer to the students leaving to become tourists in another location.
Child Psychology 60% 45%
Entomology 15% 55% Insects in the classroom.
Occupational Therapy 10% 62% Injury, illness or mental health problem that hinder your participation in life/school. Many students who have significant physical injuries and conditions that require occupational therapy would generally not engage in those activities during a class.
Hydraulic Engineering 40% 62% Likely in the form of flooding or plumbing problems.
Pest Control 25% 70%
Foodborne Illness 15% 80% Sometimes students in a culinary arts class do not properly observe hygiene standards and the food they present would lead to illness in those that consume the food. Thankfully, this is rare if the teacher is paying enough attention to proceedings.
Criminal Law 45% 85% This might happen if a crime occurs in the class.
Physiology of Stress 0% 90% This would be a sign of stress severe enough to affect bodily functions, likely to an unhealthy extent.
Oncology 25% 100% Someone in the room likely has cancer.
Ornithology 60% 55% Birds in the classroom?
Animation 100% 56% Examples of animated works might be displayed to the students in an animation class.
Petroleum Geology 65% 60% Crude oil coming up through the floor of the classroom would be very weird.
Highway Engineering 75% 65% A highway being built through an active classroom would be very unusual and not that safe.
Toxicology 55% 75% Someone in the room has been exposed to a toxic substance.
Hematology 75% 70% Hematology is the study of blood. Given that there should be blood in each of the students present[citation needed], we should probably assume Randall means "large quantities of blood outside of one's body", which would indeed be both bad and weird.
Hostage Negotiation 70% 85% Reasons as to why there would be hostage negotiations taking place at a school have horrifying implications for the students and teacher.
History of Siege Warfare 100% 80% This would mean that the students would be trapped in the building until they ran out of resources, possibly dying of thirst and starvation (depending on whether or not the opposing army destroyed the school's water lines).
Trauma Surgery 55% 95% Trauma surgery is an incredibly painful procedure, and difficult to look at for many. It would undoubtedly be disturbing to the class, especially if the patient was one of them.
Volcanology 75% 95% Having a live volcano in one's classroom is both very dangerous and very weird, as volcanoes take very long times to form. Note this also applies to baking soda and vinegar volcanoes that are offshoots of much larger vinegar hotspots.
Quasar Astronomy 75% 100% Quasars are distant astronomical objects that release large amounts of energy. Not only would the power of a quasar destroy the classroom (as well as the building the classroom is in, the town the school is in, and the entire planet Earth,) quasars are too large to fit inside any known classroom. For example, [ULAS J1342+0928](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ULAS_J1342%2B0928) has a mass of 8*10^8 solar masses. This means the event horizon of the black hole is almost 16 AU in radius, and this size does not include the accretion disk.
Ontology (Title Text) <0% ? Ontology is the philosophical study of existence and being. Since there must be something learning in the classroom, it is unsurprising that ontology is a normal subject to appear in the classroom.
Geography (Title Text) >100% ? Logistics aside, having a planet's terrain in one's classroom would almost certainly be a distraction to the learning environment.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Caption above scatter plot with labeled axes]
Caption: The thing you study just showed up in your classroom! That's...
Upper y-axis label: Good
Lower y-axis label: Bad
Upper x-axis label: Normal
Lower x-axis label: Weird
[First quadrant (left to right, top to bottom):]
20th century authors
Exobiology
21st century authors
19th century authors
Robotics
Paleontology
Martian soil chemistry
Child psychology
Tourism
[Second quadrant]
Atmospheric physics
Ethics
Education
Bibliography
Human physiology
Public speaking
Architecture
Library science
Furniture design
Culinary arts
Ergonomics
Botany
[Third quadrant]
Entomology
Occupational therapy
Hydraulic engineering
Pest control
Foodborne illness
Criminal law
Physiology of stress
Oncology
[Fourth quadrant]
Ornithology
Animation
Petroleum geology
Highway engineering
Toxicology
Hematology
Hostage negotiation
History of siege warfare
Trauma surgery
Volcanology
Quasar astronomy


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Discussion

yay! another one where a table is useful for an explanation! also first ALPHALUL 162.158.79.59 01:01, 22 May 2021 (UTC)Bumpf

Exobiology should not be in the Good area. I've seen those movies, I know what happens next. Andyd273 (talk) 02:18, 22 May 2021 (UTC)

I'm sort of sad that the the hover text, or perhaps the origin, wasn't simply "Tautology" 108.162.237.74 21:01, 22 May 2021 (UTC)

I think that the scales would be better shown as +/- from a (0,0) point than %'s from the top left. At least for the Good/Bad axis It's really weird to say that "Education" has 10% danger because it's not quite as good as having an atmosphere. Is it just me? --Bobson (talk) 01:51, 23 May 2021 (UTC)

Many students consider education - especially tests - dangerous. -- Hkmaly (talk) 02:26, 23 May 2021 (UTC)
No, I agree as well. Would it be out of line if I changed it? 162.158.75.18 17:26, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

Not sure how big is smallest quasar, but I suspect one appearing in class would be bad even for Sun and rest of solar system. -- Hkmaly (talk) 02:29, 23 May 2021 (UTC)

I agree. This should be sooooo far below the bad axis (or Volcanoes) that it should only have been mentioned in the title text. Of course Quasars do not exist in this age... But if one suddenly began in your class room it would be the end of the local spiral arm of the galaxy, and would devour most of what was there forming a new black hole center of the galaxy (a double black hole center). It would of course end all of Earth history as well as the solar system and the local cluster of stars. So putting it right under volcanoes, which would only destroy the local city (it was not given it was a super volcano), compared to ending Earths existence is not really serious. And as explained in the explanation he has previously also mentioned off chart points in the title text, as he does also for less interesting subjects in this one as well. --Kynde (talk) 19:06, 24 May 2021 (UTC)

Is vertical axis how dangerous? I read it as either being positive utility (Societal good and bad) or how much Randall likes it? Kev (talk) 10:19, 23 May 2021 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be vulcanology?Joem5636 (talk) 12:33, 24 May 2021 (UTC)

I thought that, but it appears that vulcanology/volcanology are both possibly equally valid (though the 'vulc' definitions point to 'volc' ones almost always in online dictionaries, with the reverse mostly only as 'alternative', and 'vulcanologist' seems less acknowledged than 'volcanologist' in related-words linking). In many ways, that annoys me, but that might be the classicist in me rather than the geographer/geologist who appreciates that "vulcanology" might be a rather more limited field that would require no more travel to extensively study than can be afforded by a handy Sicilian fishing boat or light aircraft. 141.101.99.19 14:48, 24 May 2021 (UTC)

Would an alternate Geography = weird be due to an invading nation-state? We already have volcanology and other similar "The earth came into the classroom" things in the graph. OhFFS (talk) 21:42, 24 May 2021 (UTC)

That would be bad, but still less weird than the actual Earth. 172.70.114.48 18:09, 26 May 2021 (UTC)

TL;DR: Too many "citation needed" tags! It's not funny if you use it too much.

Several parts of this explanation seem to have been written in such a way as to include statements against which nobody in their right mind would argue and, in any other context at least, would not require any supporting citation, and are hence appropriate places for the humourous use of "citation needed" often seen on this site.[citation needed] I very much appreciate the hitherto typical Explain-XKCD-style sparse (about once per article) use of "citation needed" but I feel that it loses much of it's comedic effect when used frequently (six times in this article as I write!) in text that appears to be composed with the purpose of including the tag several times. I appreciate that some of us enjoy reading explanations peppered with the tags, so I haven't removed any of them, but my feeling is that the 'too much of a good thing' concept applies here. In future articles I personally hope to see normally written explanations (or as normally written as we can reasonably expect given the subject matter) with "citation needed" tags used only sparingly.

Missed opportunity: "...and Quantum Mechanics is both way off to the left and way off to the right." --172.69.35.102 22:25, 1 June 2021 (UTC)