271: Powers of One

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Powers of One
It's kinda Zen when you think about it, if you don't think too hard.
Title text: It's kinda Zen when you think about it, if you don't think too hard.

[edit] Explanation

This is a parody of the short documentary "Powers of 10," which can be found here.

As in the documentary, the comic features a man and a woman having a picnic on a blanket. In the documentary, the apparent distance from the scene, and thus the zoom level, gradually changes by a factor of ten every ten seconds (hence the name "Powers of 10": 1, 10, 100, ...). In the comic, powers of one are used. Since all powers of 1 are 1, the image doesn't change at all, showing a series of identical images.

The title text refers to the Zen meditation (zazen), in which the meditator is supposed to suspend all judgmental thinking and let thoughts pass by without eliciting them consciously and without getting involved in them.

[edit] Transcript

[A sequence, presumably continuing endlessly in both directions, of identical images of a couple lying on a chequered blanket, with a picnic basket, on grass. Each image has a rule at the bottom giving measurements in meters, with the scale in terms of 1 to a particular power. The powers visible are the -1st (part), 0th-2nd, and 3rd (part).]

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


I got the math joke but did not know about the documentary, very interesting. 04:26, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Personal 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?