1: Barrel - Part 1

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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1: Barrel - Part 1
Don't we all.
Title text: Don't we all.

[edit] Explanation

The comic shows a young boy floating in a barrel in a seemingly endless ocean. It comments on the unlikely optimism, and perhaps naïveté, people sometimes display. The boy is completely lost, it would seem hopelessly alone, without any plan or control of the situation. Yet, rather than afraid or worried, he is instead quietly curious: "I wonder where I'll float next?"

The title text expands on the philosophical content, with the boy representing the average human being: wandering through life, with no real plan, quietly optimistic, always opportunistic, and clueless as to what the future may hold.

The isolation of the boy may also represent the way in which we often feel lost through life, never knowing quite where we are, believing that there is no one to whom to turn.

This is the first in a six-part series of comics whose parts were randomly published during the first several dozen strips. The series features a character that is not consistent with what would quickly become the xkcd stick figure style. The character is in a barrel.

In 1110: Click and Drag there is a reference to this comic at 1 North, 48 East.

After Randall released the full The Boy and his Barrel story on xkcd, it has been clear that the original Ferret story should also be included as part of the barrel series.

The full series can be found here. But below they are listed in the order Randall has put them in his collection linked to above:

[edit] Transcript

[A boy sits in a barrel which is floating in an ocean.]
Boy: i wonder where i'll float next?
[A smaller frame with a zoom out of the boy in the barrel seen from afar. The barrel drifts into the distance. Nothing else can be seen.]

[edit] Trivia

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Doesn't his big interactive piece (#1110) refer to this one? -- ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It does. There's a note somewhere in that explanation page referring back to this page. Davidy22[talk] 09:28, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

This comic under my interpretation is that like the kid in the barrel his mind was wandering at the time of his drawing of the comic and it reprsents his wandering mind as he may be bored and it is in the middle of nowhere but at the same time it is somewhere. but its waiting to get someplace (an island?)

--TheWeatherMan (talk) 13:57, 23 January 2013 (UTC)TheWeatherMan

when ever I feel isolated from society, I like to contemplate the ladders I could build for them to see things from my perspective. We will never manage to teach kids how to exist in chaos, we need to outsource our thinking, share ideas, to see new options for each of the impossible answers. Sic-if is here to stay, because it's the only hint we will get of the perfection they want us to achieve. Anything less then the total perfection is unsustainable. - 14:22, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
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