385: How it Works
|How It Works|
Title text: It's pi plus C, of course.
The comic reveals discriminative jargon against women when doing tasks such as mathematics. When a guy does something wrong, it's his own mistake. When a girl does something wrong, it is taken as a confirmation that girls are inferior.
The mathematics displayed is neither semantically nor syntactically correct. To begin with, there should (reasonably) be a dx after x2. Adding this, we have an indefinite integral on the left hand side.
The answer π is just nonsensical: What we want is a function, whose derivative is x2. Now, x3/3 satisfies this condition. However, since adding a constant to a function does not change its derivative, the full answer is (any function of the form) x3/3 + C, where C is any fixed number. The "plus a constant"-part is very easy to forget, and might even be omitted by a (sloppy) professional mathematician. So if someone really gave the answer π, "you forgot to add a constant" would be a pretty funny remark, because in one way it's true, but on the other hand it wouldn't quite be the main thing to worry about. (It is especially inane as π itself is a constant.)
It would also be possible to fix the equation by adding bounds of integration, so that π becomes the area below a section of the curve x2. That is called a definite integral, and there would be no "+ C". The bounds would have to be somewhat awkward though; if 0 was the lower bound, the cube root of 3π would have to be the upper.
- [Cueball and a friend stand at a blackboard. The friend is writing, in standard mathematical notation, that the integral of x squared equals pi. No differential or bounds are given for the integral.]
- Cueball: Wow, you suck at math.
- [The same scene, except the writer is Megan.]
- Cueball: Wow, girls suck at math.
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