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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Health Data
Donate now to help us find a cure for causality. No one should have to suffer through events because of other events.
Title text: Donate now to help us find a cure for causality. No one should have to suffer through events because of other events.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by EFFECTS THE SITUATION - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Cueball is at the hospital for some form of check-up. Ponytail comes in to inform him of the tests they have ran, but her statements are frustrating, vague, and tautological. She says that his health data has revealed some "variables" but dances around what those variables are, only that they are the number one cause of "outcomes." This is tautological, simply defining what the words "variables" and "outcomes" mean.

Cueball tries to cut to the root of the issue by asking "what are my chances of survival?" Ponytail asks what is Cueball's family history, but rather than asking if his family has a history of similar symptoms to Cueball himself she is just asking if he has any family history whatsoever, another unhelpful inquiry as it does nothing to help with Cueball's questions.

The comic might be making fun of poorly defined health statistics: statistics for the leading causes of accidental death in the United States, for example, typically cite 'poisoning' as the number one cause, even though poisoning other than drug overdoses is actually quite rare. The comic takes vague statistics to the extreme, citing 'causality' as the leading cause of death.

It may also be a joke about replacing the name of an effect with simply, "effect", thus being similar in a sense to a simple random generator, like 2243: Star Wars Spoiler Generator.

The title text simply continues the joke, claiming that doctors are searching for a cure to 'causality'. This is obviously absurd and impossible, as it would destroy reality as we know it.

The comic as a whole is reminiscent of 830: Genetic Analysis and 1840: Genetic Testing Results (particularly the title text of the latter), as the information given by the doctor in all three is self-evident and useless as a result.


[Cueball and Ponytail are talking to each other. Cueball is sitting on an examination table and Ponytail, in a doctor's coat, is looking down and reading from a clipboard with some illegible writing on it.]
Ponytail: I'm taking a look at your numbers, and it doesn't look good.
Ponytail: You have a lot of measurements. Quite a few variables.
[Ponytail looks up.]
Cueball: Is that... bad?
Ponytail: Variables are the #1 risk factor for outcomes.
Ponytail: The past is a big contributor to the future.
[Ponytail puts her arm with the clipboard down.]
Cueball: Isn't that just causality?
Ponytail: Causality is the leading cause of death in this country.
Cueball: So what are my odds?
Ponytail: Do you have a family history?
Cueball: Of what?
Ponytail: Just, in general.
Cueball: ...Yes?
Ponytail: Oh no.

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