Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This comic is a play on the popular school-yard taunt, "Girls go to college, to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter, to get more stupider," also commonly heard as "Boys go to Mars, to get more candy bars; girls go to Jupiter, to get more stupider." The words "boys" and "girls" may be interchanged depending on the gender of the person chanting. The schoolyard taunt embodies the competitiveness and separation commonly seen between young boys and girls, and ideas about the superiority of one's gender. The comic subverts the original rhyme by having both girls and boys go to college to gain knowledge, and then using that knowledge to go to Jupiter as part of a space program.
Going "to Jupiter, to get more stupider" is ironic considering that human beings have not yet even gone to Mars, so the ability to go to Jupiter would take a huge amount of knowledge that we don't currently have. Likewise, people in space programs going to Jupiter would definitely have advanced degrees, a great deal of knowledge, and a motivation to seek out more knowledge. Space programs and going to Jupiter would require the cooperation of many different people, men and women included, rather than the divisive atmosphere of the schoolyard.
The title text points out that the purpose of space programs is to advance science and wouldn't actually be dumb at all. So the task of going to Jupiter is absolutely dependent on going to college, cooperation, and getting more knowledge, completely opposite of what the schoolyard taunt suggests.
- Girls go to college
- To get more knowledge
- [Megan studying at a table.]
- Boys go to college
- To get more knowledge
- [Cueball studying at a table.]
- Girls and boys
- [Space launch control room with Megan and Cueball working together amongst other people.]
- Go to Jupiter
- [Rocket launch.]
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I figured it was a poem. Turns out it is, of a sort.
22.214.171.124 04:50, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- The original poem is "Boys go to Jupiter, to get more stupider, girls go to college, to get more knowledge. 126.96.36.199 03:23, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
I thought of Men are from Mars Women are from Venus by John Gray and the response Men Are from Earth. Women Are from Earth: Deal with It by Gorge Carlin. If only the sexes could work together we could go to Jupiter.
--188.8.131.52 08:12, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- This is wonderful and I think in the same spirit as the comic. Stop the 'sex war' jokes and admit that both boys and girls want knowledge. And to arrive to Jupiter. 184.108.40.206 14:02, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- Both of you need to read some feminist literature (real feminist, not pop-feminist). 220.127.116.11 18:03, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- For example?--18.104.22.168 01:26, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
- Anything by "bell hooks" (it's a pen name, and it is all lowercase) 22.214.171.124 19:16, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
- https://excoradfeminisms.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/bell_hooks-feminism_is_for_everybody.pdf 126.96.36.199 16:06, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
- Why would anyone need or even want to read anything like this‽ 188.8.131.52 20:04, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I would interpret differently the two last pictures: as girls and boys SEPARATLY go to college to get knowledge, Girls and boys TOGETHER go to Jupiter, meaning when a boy and girl interact, they generally act stupid... 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I cannot imagine the author of XKCD using going to Jupiter as an example of doing something stupid. Absolutely improbable IMHO.220.127.116.11 14:02, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- isnt thw rocket quite phallic? girlsnand boysngo to colledge to getmore....ehm... knowledge? 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- No, is only a rocket. But, thinking about your comment like it was a response from a rorschach test, well, it tell us something about yourself Chris-l (talk) 15:22, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- It tells us that he's drunk. 22.214.171.124 18:03, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- For rockets it's the aerodynamic, but some towers make you thinking, especially if some mayors compete who has it bigger ... I mean who has bigger tower in their city. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
- After reading the discussion here, I actually support the sexual innuendo explanation. Consider what you learn with american college movies, xkcd's tendency to subvert ideas (remember it's a child's chanting) and the rocket analogy. Also, the title text may have the purpose of correcting the reader's dirty mind. 126.96.36.199 02:09, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
- 188.8.131.52 11:26, 22 April 2013 (UTC)Sometimes a rocket is just a rocket.
- Looks to me like a typical Titan rocket. Zelmo (talk) 14:15, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- I wish today's comic made me laugh. 184.108.40.206 14:30, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- "Go to Jupiter to get knowledge" is a reference to the movie 2001. Also, I remember hearing the poem as "GIRLS, go to COLL,ege so THEY can get, KNOW,ledge, BOYS, go to JUpiter so THEY, can get STUpider" which avoids the "more stupider" construction. 220.127.116.11 17:57, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
- knowledge or no knowledge, I don't want to go TO Jupiter. Near Jupiter, maybe. Ganymede? 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- Not TOO near Jupiter either. Io is particularly unhospitable. Europe? -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
- Frankly, I am thanfull Mr. Munroe made this. This taunt, while never directly aimed at myself, was an irritant to me, a knowledge-lover. This comic reconciles the genders and deconstructs the taunt. (Of course, from what I had seen in my life, most school-age boys, even the adolescent ones, WOULD prefer getting stupider, what with their real-life trolling and immature behaviour.) Greyson (talk) 12:03, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
- Nah, most boys wouldn't like to be stupider, they are perfectly satisfied with how stupid they are :-) -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I first head of the taunt (but with the clauses reversed) in Hey Arnold! Greyson (talk) 12:05, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Girls think going to Jupiter is stupid? Typical. XY FTW :P 22.214.171.124 12:25, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm, I saw the rocket blasting off as sexual inuendo. And the alt text/pop up reference about going to Jupiter to get more knowledge I took as gaining carnal knowledge. 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Currently the explanation says that '.. human beings arn't yet even capable of going to Mars.' This is patently false - it confuses ability with desire. I'm going to change the wording on that. 188.8.131.52 18:08, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
A manned mission to Jupiter would actually be pretty stupid since it's made of gas. They're better off going to one of the moons. Europa, maybe, or Ganymede. Jake (talk) 15:51, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Oy. There is some serious overthink going on here. Orazor (talk) 12:42, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would you visit a gas giant with crippling gravity? The only thing stupider than going to Jupiter, is going to the sun, which is no fun. -- 00:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)