701: Science Valentine

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Science Valentine
You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right.
Title text: You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right.


Cueball is trying to explain his love using science for a valentine card. His attempts to analyze his feelings with charts and graphs reveal to him that his happiness and romance with the recipient are declining, which presents him with a choice: Will he be a scientist and accept data that he doesn't like and publish it, or will he be romantic, and just make a cute card. He decides that he is a scientist, resulting in a sort of anti-valentine.


I wanted to make you a science valentine
with charts and graphs of my feelings for you.
[A graph shows romance and happiness. Romance cuts off, :indicating a breakup before the meeting of the narrator and his current SO, and happiness dips accordingly.
A line indicates where the couple first met; romance is jagged thereafter, initially upwards but later down.
Happiness climbs slightly more steadily and then dips again.
More lines indicate a period of dating and then one of engagement.]
and the happiness you've brought me.
But the more I analyzed
[The narrator works at a computer]
r_0 = 0.20
r_1 = -0.61
r_2 = -0.83
the harder it became to defend my hypothesis.
In science, you can't publish results you know are wrong
and you can't withhold them because they're not the ones you wanted.
So I was left with a question: do I make graphs because they're cute and funny,
[The narrator sits, looking at a sheet of paper.]
or am I a *scientist*?
Enclosed are my results.
I hope you can find somebody else
[A jagged, declining graph is superimposed over a red heart.]
to be your valentine.

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