836: Sickness

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Sickness
At least, with p<0.05 confidence.
Title text: At least, with p<0.05 confidence.

Explanation

This comic was published 2 months after Randall's then fiancée, now wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer, (see Category:Cancer), which is likely what inspired this comic - even though Cueball sounds like he is the one afflicted by the sickness. The comic is thus about the existential questions that might arise from such a crisis. The moral could be interpreted as that you shouldn't begrudge your fellow human being, regardless of where they find comfort.

Also, any sentence is instantly funny if, at the end of it, you address your audience as "bitches". It may also be a reference to 54: Science.

Transcript

[The three panels are arranged diagonally, upper left to bottom right.]
[Two people are walking past a tree. One has a hat.]
Hat person: So, has this sickness opened you up to looking for answers beyond science?
Cueball: ... no, not really.
[Cueball turns to face the one with the hat.]
Cueball: We've groped for comfort before the slings and arrows of fortune for millenia, and I begrudge nobody their sources of solace.
Cueball: But Science provides tools.
Cueball: $100 billion a year in scientific studies and medical R&D has bought us some pretty damn powerful slings and arrows of our own.
Cueball: This world is amazing, and I'm going to live to experience more of it thanks to people who refused to gracefully accept the ineffability of reality.
Cueball: I find my courage where I can, but I take my weapons from science.
Cueball: Because they work, bitches.
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Discussion

Someone evidently didn't understand Hamlet too well. In "To be or not to be" he's contemplating suicide. "Take arms against..." means 'kill yourself so you won't have to put up with life's crappy bits. I would rewrite the Hamlet reference myself, but I'm too lazy. Could someone with a good understanding of the play do it? Please?173.245.48.85 01:42, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Change made. Orazor (talk) 08:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
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