Here is one possible telling of the tale , although it doesn’t exactly match the one that I recall. Explanation [ edit ] This comic illustrates the old saying “Differentiation is mechanics, integration is art. However there are still many functions for which the Riemann integral doesn’t converge, and consideration of these functions leads to the Lebesgue integral. A human would have to be pretty desperate to attempt this presumably by hand. Phone calls to mathematicians This step would indicate that the flowchart user, desperate from failed attempts to solve the problem, contacts some more skilled mathematicians by phone, and presumably asks them for help.

By finding appropriate values for functions such that your problem is in the form , your problem may be simplified. If it’s exercise in book, the ones for differentiation are done by thinking about some interesting function and putting it there. The isolated ‘mystery DLL dependency’ reminds me of the Programmable Gate Array evolution experiment where an interesting solution to a problem created an efficient but highly unintuitive circuit ‘design’ within it that contained a segment that was not actually connected to anything else but performed a vital function removing the isolated elements from the ‘design’ produced a non-working circuit, as would ‘attaching’ it, even neutrally, to the surroundings , though not by any method that the design and specification would make obvious. I understand mathematically that integration is much more difficult than differentiation, but is there a possibility that Randall is making the comment that the same is true for Society? I pulled out some of the old papers to review my knowledge of symbolic differential algebra it’s been a while!

After all, Gen 8 Pokemon was announced the other day, so you read it as “Pokemon League Integration”. Note the exception of writing an IDE in your toolkit, for your toolkit, is not only okay, it is doing it wring.

Does that make sense?

Differentiation and Integration – explain xkcd

A great deal of all that we do, as individuals, and as a society, directly or indirectly maintains our ability to do so. Current summary says that the comic overstates the case of how difficult integration can be. The Compuer algorithm is a notoriously complex procedure that, given a certain class of symbolic integrand, either finds a symbolic integral or proves that no elementary integral exists.


In this context, a library is a part of a computer program which is developed separately, with the idea that the library will be used for more than one program and therefore saving effort, as the library has to be developed only once. Probably a reference to Explanation [ edit ] This comic illustrates the old saying “Differentiation is mechanics, integration is art. Look at the paragraph immediately under the “Evolving Complexity” heading for this version, however.

It is often used to compute integrals on the real line by xomputer the path of the integral from the real line into the complex plane computed apply xckd formula, then proving that the integral from the parts of the contour not on the real line has value zero.

xkcd computer problem solving flowchart

In the title text Randall realizes that what he really wishes to do it often only to learn about and discussing new tools to improve the chain. An example can be fkowchart character limit in the Windows path for a file, which has been inherited from MS-DOS way, way before and is still there up to Windows 10 [ citation needed ].

627: Tech Support Cheat Sheet

Reminds me of https: Navigation Main page Latest comic Community portal xkcd. Description of the boxes [ edit ] There are 18 boxes in the chart, but only 12 different texts. No [Arrow returns to “Try applying” step.

In this view, the box labeled “things I actually want to use my computer for” could refer to simple actions like transferring a file and all the rest of the graph are unsuccessful tiring attempts to solve the problem by installing increasingly complex tools which end up not solving the simple problem properly.


Randall is presumably spending all his time installing and maintaining tools but never using them for their intended purpose. Bessel function Bessel functions are the solution to the differential equationwhere n is the order of Bessel function.

xkcd’s Tech Support Cheat Sheet

By finding appropriate values for functions such that your problem is in the form your problem may be simplified. Awful hack from A repository is a perfect location for “dumping” things where they never come back Elektrizikekswerk talk By the way, the Android story actually happened to a friend of mine just as told.

The joke is that there are a compuher of running components in Randall’s computer services, daemons, applications For any andit follows that. Undocumented Featurecombined with the next item “Chat client”. They just have developed an intuition which works in many situations. When an awful hack is necessary, it is often because less awful alternatives do not exist; so awful hacks tend to remain useful for many years. What the heck is a Bessel Function??

xkcd computer problem solving flowchart

Retrieved from ” https: It has two entries, one from the most active library compute arrows and one from the already mentioned VM. The code that is hosted in the repository is only ultimately required because of the need for the repository to host thing code that the repository runs on. Things I actually want to use my computer for: Substitution The “chain rule” run backwards.

Integration has proved very difficult, and has led to riots, but experience shows that dividing our society up into small subgroups that then argue with each other, but don’t spend enough time together for riots is relatively easy.

Any other path not from “DLL needed by something” ends at “Repository”.