January 16, 2017

XKCD Web Comic #1037: Umwelt (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

(BG note: You may have noticed that the xkcd comic for last Monday didn’t show up here. Apparently, Mr. Munroe got very ambitious and made a whole bunch of different xkcd comics for April Fool’s Day that show up according to several different variables, e.g., where the user is geographically, what kind of browser is used, even down to the size of the display. And frankly, after realizing there were something like forty different variations, our BG describer just locked up.  After much cajoling and the liberal application of both chocolate and coffee, we lured our describer back to the keyboard in time for that Wednesday’s comic, with the promise that we would pick one extra comic at a time for description.

Now, again on a Monday, Mr. Munroe has put up a rather difficult to describe comic (though not quite on par with #980, “Money,” which we are *still* working on), so, while our describer tries to wrap some kind of appropriate description around #1040, “Lakes and Oceans,” we are going to fill in with one of the many different #1037 strips.)

Panel One: Two stick figures sit facing each other across a desk. The one on the left is wearing a black hat and has electrodes attached to his head. Wires from the electrodes run to a device on the desk.

Figure 1: You come across a tortoise in the desert. You flip it over. It struggles to right itself. You watch. You’re not helping. – Why is that?

Panel Two: Close up of Black Hat Guy.

Black Hat Guy : It knows what it did.

Panel Three: Very wide panel, with the two stick figures from Panel One in the left corner and way over to the right, a tortoise on its back, struggling to right itself.

Hover text: Umwelt is the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit–from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your web browser.”


Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors). Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.



  1. David says:

    Totally a blade runner reference.

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