19: George Clinton
Title text: I still wish it were true.
George Clinton is an American musician most famous for his funk music and wild hair style. His recorded music features themes of space, sci-fi, technology, and futurism. An example of his work most appropriate to this comic is the song "Mathematics" from the 1996 album T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The awesome power of a fully operational mothership)
- "I count the moments we're apart. And add them up mathematically
- and multiply them by the kisses supposedly I've been missing.
- Divided by the attention not to mention the affection.
- Subtract that from your gross potential and see I ain't missin' none.
- Cause any percentage of you is as good the whole pie.
- Any fractions thereof brings dividends of interest.
- Any percentage of you is as good as the whole pie.
- Any fractions thereof brings dividends of love.
- I take the square root and get boxed in every time.
- When I know the shortest distance between two points is in a straight line.
- I'ma go into you, I'ma come into you two times, and carry the fun over the one to where we equal one.”
- (Chorus 2x)
As Randall says, he had attempted to spread around an urban legend that George Clinton had a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics. However, the more Randall thought about this rumor, the more he found himself believing it was true. This behavior is related to Pseudologia fantastica, which is more commonly known as pathological or compulsive lying. This comic references the associated behavior that an "individual may be aware they are lying, or may believe they are telling the truth, being unaware that they are relating fantasies." These individuals may eventually stop the lie as demonstrated by the title text, which indicates that at some later time, the individual realized that the rumor was not true, but wishes it to be so.
This may also be a reference to James Thurber's 13 clocks, in which a character called the Golux has the following exchange with the main character:
- "When I was young I told a tale of buried gold, and men from leagues around dug in the woods. I dug myself."
- "But why?"
- "I thought the tale of treasure might be true."
- "You said you made it up."
- "I know I did, but I didn't know I had. I forget things, too."
The equations on the board are Laplace transforms of functions.
- [George Clinton indicates one of two equations on the blackboard to the left. There are one more equation and a diagram on the blackboard to the right that exits the frame. The first part of the text is above the blackboards:]
- I once tried to start the urban legend that George Clinton has a B.A. in mathematics
- [On the left blackboard are two formulas. George points to the lower one:]
- L(F(t) = F(s) = ∫∞0f(t)e-stdt
- L-1 (F(s)) = f(t) = ∫∞0 F(t)estdt
- [On the right blackboard are one formula (partly) and a diagram with an x-y scale and three other lines touching down to the base. Above these lines are some numbers that are partly indecipherable.]
- γn = 2n/12K
- 0 2 3
- [Below George and the blackboards are the part of the text:]
- ...but I wanted it to be true so badly that I started believing it myself.
- This was the 18th comic originally posted to LiveJournal.
- Original title: "Wednesday: George Clinton"
- There were no original Randall quote for this comic.
- This comic was posted on xkcd when the web site opened on Sunday the 1st of January 2006.
- It was posted along with all 41 comics posted before that on LiveJournal as well as a few others.
- The latter explaining why the numbers of these 41 LiveJournal comics ranges from 1-44.
- One of the original drawings drawn on checkered paper.
- The first Laplace transform has a mismatched left parenthesis, which was the topic of 859: (.
- The second formula is not the inverse Laplace transform as stated. It differs from the actual Mellin's inverse formula by its bounds and a missing factor.