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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 22:26, 9 January 2013


Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki! We already have 5 comic explanations!

(But there are still 1901 to go. Come and add yours!)

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Making Progress
I started off with countless problems. But now I know, thanks to COUNT(), that I have "#REF! ERROR: Circular dependency detected" problems.
Title text: I started off with countless problems. But now I know, thanks to COUNT(), that I have "#REF! ERROR: Circular dependency detected" problems.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Still needs work - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Megan has made procras... progress. While she started the day with lots of problems, she has entered those problems into a spreadsheet. This could allow her to tackle her problems in a more organised way and fix them more quickly. The humor lies in that none of the problems have actually been solved.

In the title text she reveals that even her spreadsheet has a problem, because "#REF Circular Dependency detected" is a Microsoft Excel error meaning that a formula is using its own cell in the equation. This is because she has used the Count() function to attempt to find the number of problems to be solved, but since one of those problems is not knowing how many problems she has, it is trying to include itself in the count. Arguably, this has introduced a further problem, so she actually now has (#REF Circular Dependency detected)+1 problems. It's also possible, since Megan has chosen to interpret the error message as a numeric value representing the number of problems she has, that she simply is not good at using her spreadsheet software, which may be another problem that needs adding to the list.

Transcript

[Megan is sitting and looking at a laptop.]
Megan: I started the day with lots of problems.
Megan: But now, after hours and hours of work,
Megan: I have lots of problems in a spreadsheet.


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