62: Valentine - Karnaugh

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Valentine - Karnaugh
Love and circuit analysis, hand in hand at last.
Title text: Love and circuit analysis, hand in hand at last.


A Karnaugh map is a Boolean algebra tool that is used to simplify expressions. The final picture, the one that looks like a crossword puzzle, is similar to the way that a Karnaugh map is used on a Boolean truth table, to identify areas that can be simplified. This PDF document shows how the process is used to simplify logic circuits. The lament of the Valentine is that feelings don't yield themselves to the same kind of analysis.

This comic has four pictures with lines of text alongside them. The text can be used to understand the picture. The first three pictures show love to become more coherent and well-defined but yet complicated. The last picture and text alongside it show Cueball's desire that there should be a way to simplify complications in love, just like Karnaugh maps for Boolean expressions.

The first line means that love is such an overwhelming feeling that it is hard to understand it and even harder to explain. The picture alongside has incoherent lines depicting the feelings of someone in love and hearts represents the overwhelming love.

The second picture and related text mean that the feelings are now identified to some extent but are numerous, and there are too few words to explain them. The picture depicts Cueball and Megan on separate side of his heart crisscrossed by many feelings. It shows that his inability to explain his feelings is like a barrier between them.

The third picture shows that Cueball has a much better understanding of love and now sees it as a matrix of desires and tangled relations, but it is still very complex to fully understand love.

The fourth picture shows a Karnaugh map that Cueball wishes he could find in the future to solve the matrix of desires and tangled relations that is love.


[Squiggly heart design.]
You make me feel so much
it all runs together
I wish I could tell you
[Crisscrossing heart design. Cueball and Megan on opposite sides of big heart.]
So few words
for so many feelings
crisscrossing my heart
[Heart matrix design.]
A matrix of desire
Tangled relations
I can't simplify
[Karnaugh map of hearts.]
I wish I could find
the Karnaugh map
for love.


  • Since at least 2021-04-16 this comics on xkcd.com appears rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise. Apparently, this is due to change to the image itself (and not, for example, because of HTML on comics' page).

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As of 16.4.2021 the image on xkcd.com is rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise.

Curious indeed. ISaveXKCDpapers (talk) 06:57, 5 August 2021 (UTC)