Title text: To be fair, the braised and confused newt on a bed of crushed Doritos turned out to be delicious.
A genetic algorithm starts with a set of candidates and evaluates them. The best candidates are combined and randomly mutated to form the candidates for the next generation. After being allowed to proceed for an extended period, a genetic algorithm can often produce remarkable results. If the initial candidates are randomly-generated (as appears to be the case here), the initial generations are usually horrible.
In the comic, the computer science (CS) department is the host of a dinner party. They choose to create a genetic algorithm to generate their recipes. Based on the remarks of the second diner, this is probably not the first generation, and the results are still horrible. Vermouth is a type of fortified wine, usually served alone or in cocktails. It seems unlikely that cheerios would complement the flavor of it. Quail eggs are a delicacy in many countries, as opposed to whipped cream, which is usually served on desserts. It was topped off with MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate, which is a non-essential amino acid sometimes purported to cause headaches, known as "Chinese restaurant syndrome". The last person has skittles, a brand of candy with a hard outer shell and a inside composed of corn syrup and hydrogenated palm kernel oil. Deep-frying is usually done to savory starches and meats, not sweet confectionaries. The host of the party is so enamored of the promise of the genetic algorithm that he fails to take into account that it will be several years before the recipes become remotely good.
The title text could make reference to the fact that genetic algorithms will sometimes return results which are highly abnormal and vastly deviate from what we would think to be "selected for," but nonetheless can be quite successful, albeit unorthodox. Braising is a cooking practice involving both searing on an open pan and boiling in a pot with liquid; newts are a small lizard that are not commonly eaten in America; Doritos are a cheese-covered tortilla chip. None of these are elements that a sane chef would use together when preparing dinner, but the title text concedes that it did taste good despite the abnormality. It also showcases that the algorithm has stumbled upon a recipe that engages in wordplay with the movie and common phrase "Dazed and Confused".
- [Three people sit along a table with dishes and drinks in front of them. Cueball is walking in, a plate with food on it in one hand, a laptop in the other.]
- [Person 1 looks down at their bowl. They have a cup with what appears to be a lump of coal in it.]
- Person 1: I've got... Cheerios with a shot of vermouth.
- [Person 2 has a plate with some kind of cubic food on it. They have a cup of what appears to be two lovebirds in it.]
- Person 2: At least it's better than the quail eggs in whipped cream and MSG from last time.
- [Person 3 has a plate with a several lumps of some form of white stuff on it. They have a cup of what appears to be some kind of superfluid flowing out of it.]
- Person 3: Are these Skittles deep-fried?
- Cueball: C'mon, guys, be patient. In a few hundred more meals, the genetic algorithm should catch up to existing recipes and start to optimize.
- We've decided to drop the CS department from our weekly dinner party hosting rotation.
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