403: Convincing Pickup Line

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 14:54, 2 April 2014 by Daniel Carrero (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Convincing Pickup Line
Check it out; I've had sex with someone who's had sex with someone who's written a paper with Paul Erdős!
Title text: Check it out; I've had sex with someone who's had sex with someone who's written a paper with Paul Erdős!

[edit] Explanation

A graph is a mathematical object consisting of nodes connected by lines called edges. The nodes could represent for example people, and the edges could represent a connection from having slept together. Now, Megan has such a graph. Arguably, a graph that is symmetric is nicer than a regular one, which is why Megan suggests that they should sleep together.

The title text is a small-world joke on the concept of Erdős number. Paul Erdős was a Hungarian mathematician renowned for his eccentricity and productivity. He holds the world record for the number of published math papers, as well as for the number of collaborative papers. A person's Erdős number is the "collaborative distance" between the person and Erdős. Paul Erdős's Erdős number is 0 by definition. All of his 511 collaborators have the Erdős number 1; anyone who has collaborated on a mathematical or scientific paper with any of those collaborators has an Erdős number of 2, and so on. Thus, if you have written a paper with someone who's written a paper with someone who's written a paper with Paul Erdős, your Erdős number is 3. If you know a mathematician or are a mathematician you can calculate his/her/your Erdős number here.

Comic 599: Apocalypse also references Erdős numbers.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball and Megan sit at a small table in a cafe. Megan holds up a graph.]
Megan: We're a terrible match. But if we sleep together, it'll make the local hookup network a symmetric graph.
Cueball: I can't argue with that.
comment.png add a comment!

Discussion

I'm more intrigued by the Erdős–Bacon number, where Natalie Portman and Carl Sagan both have a six (5+1 and 4+2 respectively). Hogtree Octovish (talk) 06:47, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?