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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 23:19, 6 January 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 24 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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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 (as portrayed in the T. H. White novel series The Once and Future King and many subsequent works) and B. Button (from the short story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and its film adaptation). Neither character travels back in time, but Merlin remembers his future life instead of his past, and Benjamin Button grows younger as time progresses. Such "Merlin Sickness" is a fairly common trope 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.



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