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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1864 (37280%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

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Positive and Negative Reviews
This restaurant is great! I was feeling really sick, but then I ate there and felt better!
Title text: This restaurant is great! I was feeling really sick, but then I ate there and felt better!

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: New page

Positive and negative customer reviews are explained like matter and antimatter. Physically, antimatter can be seen as matter going backwards in time.

The people giving negative reviews are Merlin (the wizard from the legends of King Arthur) and B. Button (from the short story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and its film adaptation). Merlin remembers the future; in the T. H. White novel series The Once and Future King, he is said to have been born at the wrong end of time and live backwards. Benjamin Button was born with the physical appearance of an old man and grows younger as time progresses. There are many examples of such "Merlin Sickness" in fiction. Merlin was mentioned earlier in 270: Merlin.

In the title text, Randall gives an example of a positive review, which seems to actually be a negative review backwards in time.

So it gets philosophical and subjective: Are there only positive experiences in life - some going forward, some backwards in life. Or actually only negative ones.

Or is the positivity of an event not the only deciding property, whether one should see it as going forwards or backwards in life, like electric charge in antimatter: positrons, the antimatter counterpart of electrons have positive, i.e. reversed, charge, but there exist positive and negative matter, and positive and negative antimatter at the same time.

The use of the phrase 'physics tells us...' may be alluding to the way people use 'physics' or 'science' to justify nonsense. See 1240: Quantum Mechanics and 1475: Technically.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
SmartQuench 9000
Sports Drink
20 oz 12-pack
-Customer reviews-
Amy 2015
[4/5 stars]
Perfect after a run
Anon513
[5/5 stars]
My favorite flavor
Merlin
[1/5 stars]
Drinking this made me thirstier
Mike63
[4/5 stars]
Good price
B Button
[1/5 stars]
Drank 3 bottles on a hot day and got dehydrated!
[Caption below the panel:]
Physics tells us that negative reviews are really just positive reviews from people traveling backward in time.



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