2273: Truck Proximity

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Truck Proximity
See also: Farm animals and dinosaurs. I am so confident that there exists children's media that involves dinosaurs driving trucks on a farm that I'm writing this without even Googling to check.
Title text: See also: Farm animals and dinosaurs. I am so confident that there exists children's media that involves dinosaurs driving trucks on a farm that I'm writing this without even Googling to check.


This comic is a graph showing the relationship between time spent in proximity to trucks and level of knowledge about different types of trucks. For the general populace the two tend to go together: people who do not spend much time around trucks are less likely to have knowledge about trucks, and people who spend more time around trucks are more likely to have knowledge about trucks. People with jobs or hobbies involving trucks spend a lot of time with them and must know how they work, so they fit this trend but at a higher level on both axes.

The outlier group presented here are parents of small children. Small children think trucks are cool and learn a lot about them, and then share this knowledge with their parents. The children themselves might be counted into the "people with truck-related hobbies" but parents won't and are unlikely to go near any truck. They might also try to keep their children away from them, which is why they have less proximity to trucks than most normal people.

The title text presumes that this graph could also be made about dinosaurs and farm animals. Randall confidently states that children like dinosaurs and farms and trucks, and so there must be multimedia featuring all three at once. In fact, books about dinosaurs driving tractors on farms do exist (Dinosaur Farm! and Dinosaur Farm are two examples), as are books about them driving trucks (Dinosaur Rescue!) as well as TV shows about dinosaurs that ARE trucks (Dinotrux). Not all three together so far, apparently trucks and farms do not mix very well.


[A chart is shown with two axes. Each axis has a label with an arrow pointing from the label towards higher values. No values are shown.]
X-axis: Knowledge of different types of trucks
Y-axis: Proximity to trucks in daily life
[Three sections are marked on the chart with dotted lines, drawn in imperfect ellipses. The first two circumscribe areas along the diagonal X=Y. A large one takes up about two thirds of the length starting from the origin, and a smaller one is separated a bit from the first one, but continuing the trend of X=Y. This takes up less than a third at the top right. Below this, close to the X-axis is a third even smaller section, its outer edge is as far to the right at the one at the top. Each of these three sections has a label written inside. From largest to smallest these are:]
Normal people
People with truck related jobs or hobbies
Parents of children age 2-5

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Lots of dinosaurs driving equipment on a farm out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bUmxUWs1Uk or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmgHz8zBZlk 20:47, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Being pedantic, those are tractors: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.imayi.dinofarmfree&hl=en_US Perhaps dinosaurs driving trucks on farms is a niche just begging to be filled ;-) 06:09, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Can see a strong argument that Randall got the axes wrong here... Heylukeatthat (talk) 21:09, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

How so? I don't see it... There are people with truck-related hobbies who know more info about trucks than the frequency of their proximity to them might demand; which accounts for the asymmetry in the upper-right cluster. Having kids (especially male children raised with heteronormative socially dimorphic entertainment sets, which frequently adhere to traditional social expectations of "stuff for boys") definitely increases one's exposure to truck-related topics. What's the case for the axes being reversed?
ProphetZarquon (talk) 21:30, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
I just read his comment as suggesting the x and y axes should be swapped, where 'proximity to trucks' should be on the x-axis. I'd agree that conventionally that would make more sense, and it was likely done this way to impact the 'reading order' of the clusters for comic effect. -- 22:18, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

This is a graph with two independent variables (x and y axes) and the dependent variables grouped on the chart. So it really doesn't matter which axis is which.Cellocgw (talk) 13:30, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Don't you know? Having knowledge of trucks causes a physical attraction force between you and the truck. 01:25, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
The real issue is that the most proximity (distance 0) is at some random point far away from the center of the coordinate system and the center of the coordinate system is some random distance away from a truck. Fabian42 (talk) 02:59, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
A graph doesn't necessary show that x axis causes y axis. even less when it is mapped on the plane instead of being a line graph. But even line graphs may just show correlation, see 111: Firefox and Witchcraft - The Connection? --Lupo (talk) 07:35, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Economics graphs often reverse the axes like that. Though in this case, I saw it as correlational rather than explicitly causal, so I didn't even notice.

Wait, has Randall come into possession of offspring? Specifically, of the "between 2 and 5 years of age, assigned male at birth" variety? 22:37, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

This is what I came here curious about! Or is he just making this observation about some friends/family he spends time with?-- 23:11, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Seems unlikely given the lack of units on the axes. -- 15:23, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
833 is about labeling axes in general, not about putting units on them. If you just want to show a correlation, but not detailed values, such as here, it is totally valid to not put units. --Lupo (talk) 15:25, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
It's not clear if it's linear or log or something weird. -- 17:44, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

I can think of one job that puts someone into that bottom-right corner: total loss valuation specialists (particularly ones specializing in commercial vehicles). We don't get within a hundred miles of trucks, and yet we know substantially more about them than the people who submit the claims to us do (and sometimes more than the owners do). --Skyrender (talk) 02:31, 27 February 2020 (UTC) <-- A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

Clearly Randall (and other parents) should investigate Dinotrux, which I enjoyed with my kids. 10:40, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

I agree, my kids were teens when we all watched Dinotrux, because even though it's for little boys it was so far beyond a normal kiddie show that we were greatly amused by it. We were hooked when we skimmed the first episode and it was really dark, involving the mass death of most of the dinosaurs in a catastrophe. quod vide: Dinotrux Pilot « Kazvorpal (talk) 21:14, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Wait... This is almost a Venn diagram -- does this mean parents of 2 to 5 year olds are not "normal people"? How DARE you, sir! I'm as normal as any other sleep-deprived person! (Well, I guess my sanity is questionable since I consciously and deliberately hang around with preschoolers...) --BigMal // 13:15, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

"Apparently trucks and farms do not mix very well." Seriously? Go spend half an hour listening to country music; that'll disabuse you of that mistaken notion rather quickly! :P ← Older edit 15:17, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

I can recommend The Dinosaur Truckers, though I didn't find any farm-related lyrics on a cursory search. But there's a modernized children's song/book "Old MacDonald had a Truck" by someone else. 03:37, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

The title text of the comic mentions children's media, not specifically books. The Google search, which Randall didn't perform, "dinosaurs driving trucks on a farm" does produce results. For instance, a game called Dinosaur Farm https://www.amazon.com/Dinosaur-Farm-Tractor-Truck-Simulator/dp/B01MSA2OVD. The images appear to show a variety of vehicles, including tractors and others that more closely resemble various kinds of trucks. --Shabegger (talk) 17:57, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

This mobile game was published for iOS in 2017. 03:15, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

"but parents won't and are unlikely to go near any truck." What? I know plenty of parents who go against this idea. This comic mostly just applies to urban areas though. Rural Canada or the States, you see tons of people with trucks just for everyday driving, even lots of non-farmers. For a lot of people, it can just come in handy from time to time (hauling boats or furniture (furniture stores etc may not deliver to more rural areas) or people), or they use it because it's better at handling bad road conditions, or for some, it's kind of a status symbol. 02:16, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

I wondered about that line too, but didn't feel confident enough to raise it. I think it partly comes from a misconception on what defines a truck. I think for many non native speakers it is a bit surprising that in the US basically any pickup is regarded a "truck". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck#Types_by_size - E.g. for me, until not so long ago, a truck always meant huge commercial vehicle. See the wikilink here, where also differences for UK/Europe are mentioned. Anything mentioned here as very-light and ultra-light might not be considered a truck for non-americans, and light trucks hardly exist outside the US. --Lupo (talk) 07:20, 28 February 2020 (UTC)