Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This is a re-imagined road sign by Randall. The message is "be careful" because at the most basic level, a vehicle is a "box with wheels", and the rapid development of technology means that human physiology hasn't had time to adapt to the modern world yet.
The title text mentions that the warning could still apply beyond 5 miles
- [An American Diamond warning sign with the following message on it: You're in a box on wheels hurtling along several times faster than evolution could possibly have prepared you to go. Next 5 miles.]
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And also that riding in a car is one of the most hazardous activities possible, and people don't realize this, the common view is that walking or riding in a plane is more dangerous when really being in a car is by several orders of magnitude. 126.96.36.199 20:51, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
This comic is actally a great justification for repealing all those annoying safety laws. --Qwach (talk) 05:43, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
I have reworded the explanation (which said evolution had not prepared us for the modern world 'yet'). That implies that we are part-way along an evolutionary process that will see us well suited to motor vehicle travel in the forseeable future, which is not the case and which I don't think was intended by the comic. The sort of evolutionary adaptations required to make us fairly well suited to motor vehicle travel (as opposed to being well suited to walking around all day picking berries and spearing things, as we are now) would take at least several million years, and I think it is extremely unlikely we will still be driving around on highways in cars by then. So there will never be a successor species to the human that is adapted to motor vehicle travel. The main problems with us and cars are (1) reaction time, (2) durability in high-speed impacts and (3) a metabolism that is not adapted to sitting on our backsides whenever we want to get anywhere. For the past 3.5 billion years, none of our ancestors ever had to respond to mishaps at any faster than about 20km/h (running flat out). While our common ancestor with the chimpanzees was probably much better at surviving falls from heights than we are, surviving a collision at highway speeds is not something any of our ancestors ever had to do (at least not often enough to be adapted to it - they weren't adapted to occasional falls from very high cliffs either). Fast vehicles have only appeared in the last couple of hundred years and I would expect it to be many tens or hundreds of thousands of years before these new selection pressures make any noticable (although even then quite inadequate) difference to human physiology. So a very long-winded comment I know, but I hope it will give some perspective. Tarkov (talk) 09:34, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I do not think this comic is actually about cars (or other modes of transportation at all, really) but more about the great (and becoming greater still over time) divide between our biological evolution against our cultural, technological and governing ones and how we are not prepared to deal with this big mess that it creates in it's wake. Ragnarok700
188.8.131.52 22:26, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
To be hoenst I think we'd reach a point where motor transport is as safe as we can possibly make it, or completely redundant, long before we evolve to suit it.184.108.40.206 04:08, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Didn't it evolve box-like exoskglotons after the evolutions Airton Senior made dying?
Or was it designed to thwart any blamgamesmanship? I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 18:28, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I changed the bit talking about the "next five miles" because it didn't make sense. When that is on a sign it's talking about the area in which the sign is talking about, not the fact that the driver will be going five more miles. -Pennpenn 220.127.116.11 03:41, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Vehicles fast enough to injure people crashing in them or falling off them (e.g., chariots) have existed for several thousand years. Still, that's not long enough for significant evolutionary adaptation. Gmcgath (talk) 21:42, 17 December 2016 (UTC)