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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 09:15, 8 February 2016

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 2049 xkcd comics, and only 21 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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6/6 Time
You know how einstein figured out that the speed of light was constant, and everything else had to change for consistency? My theory is like his, except not smart or good.
Title text: You know how einstein figured out that the speed of light was constant, and everything else had to change for consistency? My theory is like his, except not smart or good.

The original image has a link to a previous comic 1061: EST which is explained here.

Explanation

Cueball here suggests a regional time system similar to that used in Japan during the Edo period, where the day is separated into two parts based on night and day and then subdivided by hour, minute, and second to give season-variable lengths for each. The caption, though vague, can be assumed to relate to the gradual deviation of certain regions from the Coordinated Universal Time zones with "Daylight Savings Time" that is observed inconsistently and smaller regions opting for awkward fractional increments of deviation from Greenwich Mean Time.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Please edit the explanation below and only mention here why it isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Cueball and White Hat are walking.]
Cueball: Under my time system, the sun rises at 6 am and it sets at 6 pm, as it should.
Cueball: The length of the second is different each day and night, and the current time shifts with your latitude and longitude.
Cueball: Today is one of the two days each year when my clocks run at the same speed as everyone else's.
[Caption below the panel:]
Time standards are so unfixably messy and complicated that at this point my impulse is just to try to make them worse.

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