Talk:55: Useless

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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There seems to me to be a philosophical monologue going on here: What is the root of love? What is the angle of love? What is the derivative of love? What is the identity of love?

Unfortunately, I don't know much about the Fourier transform, so I'm at a loss for describing it in layman's terms. Anyone wanna lend a hand? 16:59, 13 February 2013 (UTC)MagnusVortex

I think the better reading is:
  • What is the root of love? (i.e. Where does love come from?)
  • What are the signs of love? (Sine is a periodic function, and laypeople would confuse sin(heart) with sinning against love)
  • How do you derive love?
  • How do you identify love? (i.e. How do you know when you've fallen in love? How do you know when someone truly loves you?)
The last one is a bit harder to interpret. Possible interpretations include:
  • What is the frequency/wavelength of love?
  • How often do you fall in love?
  • How do you transform love?
  • What is the spectrum of love? (gay, straight, bi, asexual, &c.)
  • How do you find love analytically?
Randall Munroe would likely consider the possibility of multiple interpretations of the last one to be a feature, not a bug.
I worry that most xkcd readers would not realize that Munroe is posing specific questions.
—DrDnar 22:52, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

I believe the last one is:
What is the frequency of love?

-JD 18:02, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

For those of you who have used Mathematica, if you replace the heart with "Indeterminate", you'll find yourself in a similar situation: essentially all functions of Indeterminate yield Indeterminate. It can be frustrating. --Quicksilver (talk) 20:11, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

It is clear that the author has yet to study non-linear dynamics as this approach has already been covered in

Strogatz, S. H. (1988) Love affairs and differential equations. Math. Magazine 61,35.
Strogatz, S. H. (1994) Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: With Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Engineering. (Perseus Books, Reading, Massachusetts)

One is forced to conclude that love is chaotic.

-Boyd 07:59, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

I feel like there's a pun within the alt-text: "Even the Identity matrix doesn't work normally" but I'm not sure I "get" the pun. It could simply be a reference to the fact that love tends to change who you are, in marriage the idea of two becoming one, or it could be referencing the Identity (0) directly. Even the Identity formula doesn't output zero. 00:35, 24 September 2017 (UTC) Sam

These observations should have been enough of a warning to those of us who don't have "other approches" figures out to just stay away... it wasn't in my case. I regret that.--TheTimeBandit (talk) 21:55, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

Ok, I know this comic was posted 16 years ago and someone who was born the day it was published would be in high school today. (Feel old?) However, it looks like no one has mentioned it til now, that this comic is almost a direct rebuttal to the previous comic, 54: Science. --mezimm 20:34, 1 March 2022 (UTC)