Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This comic shows a map of the world, the X indicating Randall's location in the U.S. and arrows pointing west and east from it. The map uses a format, popular in America, which places the American continents centrally, therefore splitting Asia, (parodied by "you-cut-asia-in-half"). The comic then shows Europe with the title "The West" as it is commonly referred to, despite being located to the east of Randall, and vice versa for Asia. Randall is therefore annoyed with the common terms "The West" and "The East" referring to locations east and west of him respectively.
Due to historical reasons, the terms "The East" and "The West" are Eurocentric, making perfect sense when looking at a map centered around that continent. But obviously this would cause some major problems when applied to an America-centered map.
The title text comments on the similarity in shape of New Zealand and Japan, and suggests that one may in fact be the other in disguise. The similarities are partly explained by both forming as volcanic island chains.
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- [Map of world with North America centered. An "x" is placed near east coast. Asia is labeled "The East" and Europe "The West."]
- "The East" <- West x (me) East -> "The West"
- This always bugged me.
Well, sitting in Europe, the East is in fact east and the West is in fact west of me. It's just a term made from an European point of view and has settled over time. The main problem is that east and west should be used as relative directions but are used absolute. (Contrary to north and south which can also be used absolute). --184.108.40.206 12:18, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
- I'm still accustomed to the use of the Pacific Ocean as the geographical split, centralising the Atlantic Ocean. However, since the UTC boundary sits east of the Atlantic, perhaps the East and West hemispheres should be reversed to match.
- Do we have enough dumptrucks to handle this formidable task? Thokling (talk) 08:35, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
- So what? The International Date Line sits within the Pacific. Also, for the reasons mentioned above (east and west being relative), I would refrain from using the terms eastern and western hemisphere. --SlashMe (talk) 14:17, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
- It's not only point of VIEW. Our civilization is based in Europe. Europeans first discovered and then conquered rest of world (doesn't matter if the people already living there wanted to be discovered or not). "West" is what was discovered when sailing to west from Europe, "east" is what was discovered when sailing to east. Americans (especially citizens of USA) sometimes forget they are (mostly) NOT native of America, but immigrants from Europe.
- Also, in Europe itself, the division between "east" and "west" was set at end of world war II, at Potsdam Conference, and I'm sure noone cared for geography there. -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:13, 13 November 2013 (UTC)