610: Sheeple

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Hey, what are the odds -- five Ayn Rand fans on the same train! Must be going to a convention.
Title text: Hey, what are the odds -- five Ayn Rand fans on the same train! Must be going to a convention.


"Sheeple" refers to people as sheep, who blindly follow direction without thinking for themselves. The phrase "Wake up Sheeple!" has been used in xkcd other times. In this comic, each person on the train considers themself to be an individual mind, and everyone around them as "sheeple." Ironically, although each of them thinks about how individual they are, they are all collectively thinking exactly the same thing. The comic can also be taken as a warning to not assume that you have more consciousness than someone else, since for all you know they could think the same about you.

Ayn Rand was a Russian-born American novelist and activist whose most famous books include, Atlas Shrugged, Anthem and The Fountainhead. She was philosophical pro-individual and anti-collectivism. Sheeple coordinates with Ayn Rand's novel, Anthem, set in the distant future in which the word "I" has been abolished and the "evils" of the communal values have created a new dark age.


[A thought bubble is shared between the five occupants of a subway car.]
All: Look at these people. Glassy-eyed automatons going about their daily lives, never stopping to look around and think! I'm the only conscious human in a world of sheep.
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Which one is Paul Ryan? 00:44, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

tsk tsk tsk... somebody has been watching too much of the msnbc propaganda... Douglasadams472 20:56, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Probably the one with the briefcase full of money. :P Hogtree Octovish (talk) 09:25, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

I find another possible humor in tile text: Ironically, Rand fans would find the concept of a collective rather revolting. A convention is in essence a gathering of everyone who has an interest in a subject, and is thus an "average of averages" (to quote Rand herself) on the respective subject. Fans who take Rand's philosophy as intended would probably find amassing themselves with others in a social hodge-podge of people without much function, mindless discussion, and re-iterating the ideas of someone else, to be against Rand's theory of Objectivism... Unless their Libertarians, of course. Jinx 20:31, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

I wonder if this was the same train that blew the Taggart tunnel... Nemo 14:46, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
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