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__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
''Welcome to the Explain XKCD wiki!''
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<center>
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
'''The latest comic is number [[1090]].'''
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We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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    as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
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and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
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({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%)
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remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
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== Latest comic ==
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All the comic explanations (so far) are [[:Category:Comics|here]].
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Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the Explain XKCD wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com XKCD] web comic, it should be here.
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<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|Lots of people]] contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
  
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You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
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* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
  
[[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all XKCD comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them!
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* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
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* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
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Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
  
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its Discussion.
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If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
  
Please only submit material directly related to&mdash;and helping everyone better understand&mdash;xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users posting such are at risk of being blocked.
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Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
  
 
[[Category:Root category]]
 
[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 21:16, 24 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1837 (100%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Anti-Drone Eagles
It's cool, it's totally ethical--they're all programmed to hunt whichever bird of prey is most numerous at the moment, so they leave the endangered ones alone until near the end.
Title text: It's cool, it's totally ethical--they're all programmed to hunt whichever bird of prey is most numerous at the moment, so they leave the endangered ones alone until near the end.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: People at work.

Law enforcement and security agencies often use birds of prey to combat drones flying unlawfully over restricted sites. This is often more cost effective than using technological means (such as scramblers and counter-drones) and safer for the public than using conventional weaponry (such as shotguns).

Eagles, being predators, have natural tendencies to attack the central components of drones while avoiding the sharp and spinny bits.

Cueball argues that this is unethical as it forces rare animals to put their lives at risk, and compares it to using police dogs for traffic control, which people would generally frown upon.

Not only would it be unethical, but also ineffective. The supply of Eagles is rather limited, and there are biological limits to how fast it can be replenished, whereas more drones can be created very quickly to replace those that are destroyed. Traffic control dogs would be similarly ineffective, as dogs would struggle to run as fast as a speeding motorcycle, and would be powerless to stop the motorcycle even if they could.

Megan thinks both ideas (eagles and dogs) sound cool, but she understands the ethical argument against using them for traffic control.

Black Hat, on the other hand, goes a step further and says that he has created a drone that hunts the eagles. In the title text, he continues that is ethical because they (only the title text mentions that there are several of such drones) only target the most populous species first, although they will eventually eradicate the endangered ones once they bring down the number of all birds of prey (note that this implies that he wants to make all eagles extinct or endangered). He seems to miss the point that it is not merely the relative number of birds that creates the ethical problem, but the fact that animals' lives are being put at direct risk by humans.

Transcript

(Cueball, Black Hat and Megan are standing.)
Cueball: Everyone loves these eagles that take down drones, but ... I dunno.
Megan: You gotta admit, it's pretty cool.
(Close-up on Cueball's face)
Cueball: Yeah, but ... training rare animals to hurl themselves at whirling machinery can only get us so far, you know?
(Regular shot)
Cueball: At some point, it's like releasing police dogs onto highways to attack speeding motorcycles.
Megan: Also cool, but I see your point.
Black Hat: Plus, I just finished my autonomous drone that hunts eagles.
Cueball: Man, you are an entirely separate class of problem.


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

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