Talk:1701: Speed and Danger

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Worst Comic

I think this might be a strong contender for worst comic on xkcd. Although 1384: Krypton definitely makes for stiff competition. 14:28, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps "in worst taste" might be a better term than simply "worst". Certainly the fatality rate (in fatalities/crash) for rocket crashes is higher, but placing motor sports crashes to the extreme end of the safety-danger axis is a bit suspect in light of . 02:25, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Is there something this is referencing? Saklad5 (talk) 14:41, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

The worst? Have you looked at the first few hundred? 15:09, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

I think this comic is actually enlightening on a certain (albeit narrow level). People frequently lack a proper sense of perspective, and this comic illustrates this fact. While we might say "Wow, that Indy car is really moving fast!", it pales in comparison to other vehicles that some fortunate few travel in. -- BobTheMad (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

And I totally wanted to learn that from a comic that's supposed to be humorous... -- 16:50, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

1699 and 1680 would like to have a word with you. Also 1675. Actually, all of the last 25 or so comics would. I really don't know how the xkcd forums put up with being 500x smarter than all the comics they praise every day. Youforgotthisthing (talk) 17:18, 1 July 2016 (UTC)


Is sarcasm to be encouraged in explanations? “Here, Randall makes the truly astounding observation that the danger of a crash is directly proportional to its speed….” [Emphasis mine.] tbc (talk) 15:29, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

In this case it's definitely warranted...Jesus Randall, this wouldn't exactly have been hard to make funny/interesting. -- 15:51, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Well a rocket to achieve orbit hits about 18,000 MPH Where as NASCAR is only ~200 MPH Formula 1 is only ~257 MPH 16:51, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

I'm kinda shocked Randall didn't reference Star Trek for this comic, considering the number. - Michael C. 17:00, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Why only 4 examples?

Why not put things like biking, driving a regular car, WWI planes, WW2 planes, supersonic jets, satellites, Apollo, New Horizons... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Sports or Sports Cars?

I don't think the comic intended to say "Normal Sports CARS," as the explanation currently says, I think it means what it says, "Normal SPORTS" like foot ball, or hockey. On the linear scale of 0-to-rocket, running or walking is close to race car speed, compared to how fast a rocket is, and the graph illustrates that. Also, crashing a normal sports CAR is far more dangerous than crashing a professional race car because of all the safety equipment, so a sports car would be more toward the dangerous side. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Agreed. I was assuming the reference was to various contact sports such as football, hockey, and quidditch where collisions between players regularly happen. 20:52, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
What is the point of this comic and where is the fun

I don't know, I feel like people is missing the point of the comic, where is the funny on it.

I think finding Formula one on the slow an secure quadrant of the chart is surprising, so near to regular sports, until you understand that it is only compared to a rocket launch. People sure think of F1 as fast and dangerous, so this comic plays with our expectations.

Not exactly hilarious, but neither the worst XKCD comic.

Inconexo (talk) 20:19, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

One thing I think it might be interesting to indicate is how this is the first one of these plots where everything is in only two quadrants. There is no slow but dangerous crash nor fast but safe crash. Usually at least one these quadrants would have an entry, and probably a facetious one.

I also think the part about scale could be expanded to more than just the "relative to the speed of light." Something like "While we tend to speak of race cars as going fast, they are slow compared to rockets." --Trlkly (talk) 22:27, 1 July 2016 (UTC)