0314: "Dating Pools"

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aetherson
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Postby aetherson » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:07 pm UTC

themuffinking wrote: Actually, today is free hugs day.


I actually saw someone (a "normal" looking girl) walking down 6th street (the bar district) the other night carrying a sign that said that.
You'd be surprised how many people did (and didn't) take her up on the offer...
01001101 01100001 01100100 01100101 00100000 01011001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01001100 01101111 01101111 01101011 00100001

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Maurog
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Postby Maurog » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:13 pm UTC

I won't be surprised unless it doesn't add to 100%
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Postby petra » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:22 pm UTC

Kendally wrote:
I think this comic gives me hope, which is a bit pathatic.


What is xkcd about, except giving hope that there is a cute geeky relationship waiting for those who want one?



My highest hope of all hopes...

And today, my being 32 isn't such a ...bother.

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Clerria
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Postby Clerria » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:17 pm UTC

aetherson wrote:
themuffinking wrote: Actually, today is free hugs day.


I actually saw someone (a "normal" looking girl) walking down 6th street (the bar district) the other night carrying a sign that said that.
You'd be surprised how many people did (and didn't) take her up on the offer...


I swear it wasn't me.

(I don't like touchy people, especially on 6th street.)

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Postby Auroch » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:43 pm UTC

Lyra Ngalia wrote:Always thought that guy was creepy for being 23-24 and dating a college freshmen. Now there is mathematical proof! Yay.


Actually, I think that falls more in the category of an Upper Classman - Lower Classman creepiness factor, which is somewhat irrespective of age. I was completely within the constraints of the formula as 21 year old dating an 18 year old, but some people still found it creepy. Even I did a little until I found out her two best friends (also 18 ) were also dating 21 year olds.

But rather than amend the formula with a school and college specific variant, I'll submit the following correlation:

Propensity of given social group to judge your relationship = - (Propensity of said social group to get laid)

It's generally been used with respect to religious conservatism, but I think it has much broader applications.

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Postby Commander Bob » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:13 pm UTC

This comic made me smile. Especially the last word bubble.

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aetherson
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Postby aetherson » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:14 pm UTC

What....I thought she was a sweet girl...if a little, um, self medicated...
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Mokawi
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A better formula, someone?

Postby Mokawi » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:40 pm UTC

a/2+7 isn't perfect. For instance, it's true that at 26 your minimum age is 20, but it keeps being 20 for a while. More problematic, it would mean one could date a 67 yo at 120, which is pretty disgusting. Finally, it should involve fuzzy numbers, because dating on the edge is somewhat creepy.
I would guess a perfect formula would also take account of age milestones. For instance, your dateable age group augments drastically after you hit 20 because you are no longer a teen. There might be similar things for the barrier between high school and college years, and the mythical 25 (age by which a guy allegedly becomes available for something serious).
I guess the algorythm could go work like a spamfilter, with a creepiness score, which would be consistent with the fuzzy logic implementation.
I'm actually sad nobody thought about improving the creepiness formula. The only alternatives, which involved percentages, are only arguably better than the original formula.

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Clerria
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Postby Clerria » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:13 pm UTC

aetherson wrote:What....I thought she was a sweet girl...if a little, um, self medicated...


Her and everyone else on 6th. I like quiet bars anyway. It's bad for the bartender but good for my sanity. I hate mobs of drunken college kids.

And to almost stay on topic, I have never ever been hit on at a bar by someone I considered datable. I met my best friend in life online in a *gasp* chatroom on AOL almost a decade ago. Back when it was still forgivable to be there.

So there's a little tip/hope for the rest of you nerds and goofballs. I'm not condoning AOL use, but just the fact that you can meet people of worth online.

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How many actuaries does it take...

Postby AnActuary » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:57 pm UTC

How many actuaries does it take to dismantle an xkcd?

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuari ... p?t=118179

Just thought you would appreciate some other views on today's strip.

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Well, actually...

Postby jacqueline » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:44 am UTC

Considering that we are on XKCD.com forums it's likely that any girl reading them holds a larger chance to fall in the latter category than a random selection of the population... So, any females on here fall in the range of [(25.992/2 + 7), (25.992-7)*2] who live in the Iowa or Minnesota and is looking for a date this friday? ;)

Actually on friday it would have to be [(26.003/2 + 7), (26.003-7)*2]...


Let's see, (25.992/2 + 7)<25.972<(25.992-7)*2, Check.
Female, check.
Lives in Minnesota, check.
Looking for a date, check.
This friday - going camping, so, not so much. Possibly this part is negotiable?

[edited to add, also, happy birthday!]

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richlayers
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Postby richlayers » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:06 am UTC

Is it the same for males and females? Culturally speaking, which "creepiness" implies.

And... why does it fall after middle age? Is it just because people start dying off? But doesn't that open a pool of widows and widowers? Or do they not count as "single" on a statistical survey?

My great grandmother remarried at around age 80, so maybe that's what makes me wonder.... (She's outlived the second husband now, too, and is still pretty lively, if there's anyone around here age 57 or more who wants a date and IF I understood that formula....)

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Aperfectring
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Postby Aperfectring » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:41 am UTC

richlayers wrote:Is it the same for males and females? Culturally speaking, which "creepiness" implies.

And... why does it fall after middle age? Is it just because people start dying off? But doesn't that open a pool of widows and widowers? Or do they not count as "single" on a statistical survey?

My great grandmother remarried at around age 80, so maybe that's what makes me wonder.... (She's outlived the second husband now, too, and is still pretty lively, if there's anyone around here age 57 or more who wants a date and IF I understood that formula....)


*shrug* I am 24, so my range is 34 - 19. Yeah, that about hits the edges of where I would be comfortable. I probably would be OK with the extremes, but might have some awkwardness to begin.
Odds are I did well on my probability exam.

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Postby blue halax » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:19 am UTC

This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)

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Postby jacqueline » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:51 am UTC

blue halax wrote:This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)


Let us know if it works... :)

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Postby aetherson » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:17 am UTC

blue halax wrote:This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)


You have to give him props for the Stephenson referrence though...
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tanj
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Postby tanj » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:45 am UTC

Sometimes I hate reading xkcd because it starts up my old chain of thought of:
"A girlfriend would be nice" -> "I'm at an engineering school! There has to be a girl with similar interests" -> "Wait, this school consists of 20% females, and I'm not confident enough to overcome those odds" -> *Insert rationalization here*
Alternatively, xkcd will just further slow down the process of me doing my ConAps work.

I don't know why you gotta be like this xkcd, its not helping me. :(

This, however, is extremely awesome:
This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html

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Postby McLurker » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:57 am UTC

tanj wrote:Sometimes I hate reading xkcd because it starts up my old chain of thought of:
"A girlfriend would be nice" -> "I'm at an engineering school! There has to be a girl with similar interests" -> "Wait, this school consists of 20% females, and I'm not confident enough to overcome those odds" -> *Insert rationalization here*
Alternatively, xkcd will just further slow down the process of me doing my ConAps work.


You don't have to be terribly confident. You just have to be slightly more confident than the other young male engineering students who are sitting around thinking "I'm not confident enough to overcome those odds".

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madjo
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Postby madjo » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:21 am UTC

blue halax wrote:This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)

Man! $workplace has locked out that domain. I'm not allowed to peruse Craigslist, while we don't even have craigslist here in NL... *le sigh*
:)

You are carrying:
- a slightly paranoid Android
- two left feet (not my own)
- a still unfed and very hungry hippo
- broadsword of +5 ridiculousness stained with the blood of the undead souls
- a stetson Resistol, cuz stetson Resistols are cool.

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Clerria
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Please forgive my boldness

Postby Clerria » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:05 pm UTC

For those who can't peruse Craigslist at work:

men seeking women

Why we should hang out: a mathematical proof - 24

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to: pers-419154651@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-09-10, 7:00PM CDT


Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

Suppose that you can go out with some number of guys, n. Assume that after going out with any number r (1 <= r <= n) of the men, you can rank them from most preferable (rank 1) to least preferable (rank r). At any stage, you can either stop and commit to one man, or go on to the next one. Further, assume that once a guy is rejected you can never go back.

For i = 1, . . .,n, let U(i) be the utility of selecting the guy with rank i among all n guys. We shall assume that U(1) >= U(2) >= . . . >= U(n). Let the random variable X denote the rank of the man that is selected. The goal is to find a rule with maximizes E(U(X)).

For a = 1, . . ., r and r = 1, . . ., n, let U*(a,r) denote the expected utility of the optimal continuation when r guys have been inspected and the rth guy has been found to have a rank a among the r. Also, let U_0(a,r) denote the expected utility if the rth man is selected, and dating is terminated. Since we fixed an n,

U*(a,n) = U_0(a,n) = U(a)

Now consider the probability than a man with rank a among the first r actually has rank b among all n men: (b – 1 choose a – 1) * (n – b choose r – a) / (n choose r).

The rank b must lie between the bounds a <= b <= n – r + a. Therefore,

U_0(a,r) = the sum from b = a to n – r + a of U(b) (b – 1 choose a – 1) * (n – b choose r – a) / (n choose r)

Clearly, after inspecting r guys, the expected utility of inspecting one more an continuing optimally is 1/(r+1) * the sum of b = 1 to r + 1 of U*(b, r+1).Call this expression Z. From this, we can see that U*(a,r) = max (U_0(a,r), Z). The optimal procedure is to continue if U*(a,r) > U_0(a,r), and to commit when U*(a,r) = U_0(a,r)

Now, consider the choice of utility function. Assume a spherical cow. Also, assume that U(1) = 1, and U(b) = 0 for b = 2, . . ., n. Then U_0(1,r) = r/n, and U_0(a,r) = 0 a = 2, . . ., r. Note that this is a fair approximation for the case of a soulmate. Then U*(1,r) = r/n, and should be continued if U*(1,r) > r/n.

It then follows that the optimal procedure is to go out with 1/e of the guys, and then select the first one thereafter which has rank 1.

Now, if n isn’t fixed, utility can be maximized by maximizing n. I’m a guy. QED.

An alternate proof can be constructed by assuming we’re both Bayesian reasoners, that disagreements about priors are irrational, and that my priors are rational. The proof is left as an exercise to the reader.
Last edited by Clerria on Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby entropomorphic » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:07 pm UTC

According to this (which I'm inclined to believe, despite the lack of citation), this rule was originally formulated by Hugh Hefner for an article in Playboy magazine. Although, it seems that it was intended as the ideal age for a woman, rather than a range going in either direction, for either sex. As a guy who used to be at the young end of the range of my relationship, but who is now sliding more comfortably into the middle zone as time passes, I think in "these modern times" the formula is fairly accurate as described in the comic, where (x/2+7) <= y <= (2x-14).

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Postby zenten » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

You know, I think n/2 + 8 might actually be a better formula.

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Postby jtniehof » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:00 pm UTC

blue halax wrote:This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)

Ripped straight from Innumeracy, although I like the twist of maximizing n.

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Postby Pau! » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:01 pm UTC

The formula works quite well, and I have used it many a time to stop a friend from doing something really creepy. However, the 'social class' issue is also very important, and should not be ignored.

For example, I'm 19, so my minimum age is 19/2+7=16.5 years. However, since I've been living on my own for a while now, and any girl of that age is probably living with her parents, it would still be kind of creepy. Even though our ages wouldn't be that far apart, our life status is worlds away, thus disqualifying any potential get-together. In the same way, even if there was a girl who was only a year older than me, but had a full-time career and a child, while I'm still just a student who's figuring stuff out, the relationship would also be doomed, as I know she's just too far ahead on the 'growing up' scale for me to really understand.

Sadly, this reduces the dating pool even further, but luckily, there are a whole bunch of people out there. I mean, hell, on this very University of Ottawa campus, there are at -least- 5000 girls that are both single and within my dateable range. Hmm... I'll keep that in mind in case I ever get over my 'fuck relationships' funk.
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Postby zenten » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:03 pm UTC

blue halax wrote:This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)


A spherical cow?

Pau! wrote:Sadly, this reduces the dating pool even further, but luckily, there are a whole bunch of people out there. I mean, hell, on this very University of Ottawa campus, there are at -least- 5000 girls that are both single and within my dateable range. Hmm... I'll keep that in mind in case I ever get over my 'fuck relationships' funk.


Oddly enough the woman I'm going to marry next month went to U of O, as did I, yet we didn't meet there.

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xkcd 314.1

Postby woktiny » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:11 pm UTC

Hi, I've been reading xkcd for a while, and lurking here to read the commentary. when I read this strip, This is the first thing that came into my mind, so I made it:
Image
http://comic.woktiny.net/17



with regards and apologies ...

(constructive critique welcome)
(hack url for larger version)


In other news...
zenten wrote:Oddly enough the woman I'm going to marry next month went to U of O, as did I, yet we didn't meet there.

My wife and I went to the same school, but never met until well after I graduated. Also, we're just about as far from creepy age as a couple can be, with an age difference of 19 hours, which, in itself, might be kind of creepy.

EDIT:fixed BBCode link
Last edited by woktiny on Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:56 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

blue halax
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Postby blue halax » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:33 pm UTC

Ripped straight from Innumeracy, although I like the twist of maximizing n.


Obviously the the proof about optimal stopping isn't original, but this has been done before? Curses, foiled! :(

spherical cow

Just a silly way of saying make a crazy assumption.

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Postby Leliel » Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:29 pm UTC

zenten wrote:
blue halax wrote:This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)


A spherical cow?


I think it's a reference to an old joke, actually. I tried to see if it was already in the Math Jokes thread but apparently not.
---
A dairy farmer hires a psychiatrist, an engineer and a physicist and asks each of them to tell him how to improve production on his farm. The psychiatrist comes in, looks around and declares "Paint everything green. Cows like green, and a happy cow produces more milk." The farmer nods and thanks the psychiatrist.

The engineer sits down and redesigns the milk processing equipment to improve efficiency. The farmer takes the plans and thanks the engineer.

The physicist says "Ok, first of all, assume a cow's a sphere..."

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Postby bookishbunny » Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:32 pm UTC

^^^

Hahahaha!!! It's true! It's true! :'D
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madjo
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Postby madjo » Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:41 pm UTC

owkay... those maths went straight over my head, did not pass start and did not collect $200...

But I liked the spherical cow. :) (and the QED)
:)

You are carrying:
- a slightly paranoid Android
- two left feet (not my own)
- a still unfed and very hungry hippo
- broadsword of +5 ridiculousness stained with the blood of the undead souls
- a stetson Resistol, cuz stetson Resistols are cool.

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Postby lihan161051 » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:46 pm UTC

Clerria wrote:
aetherson wrote:
themuffinking wrote: Actually, today is free hugs day.


I actually saw someone (a "normal" looking girl) walking down 6th street (the bar district) the other night carrying a sign that said that.
You'd be surprised how many people did (and didn't) take her up on the offer...


I swear it wasn't me.

(I don't like touchy people, especially on 6th street.)


Agreed, 6th Street + touchy usually equals "Ewww".

And I'm normally touch-friendly, but in some environments even I get twitchy .. :|

lihan161051
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Postby lihan161051 » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:09 pm UTC

zenten wrote:
blue halax wrote:This comic inspired me to write this up: http://austin.craigslist.org/m4w/419154651.html :)


A spherical cow?


I guess that would be better than an oblate cow .. ?

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Postby woktiny » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:12 pm UTC

zenten wrote:You know, I think n/2 + 8 might actually be a better formula.


That would mean no dating until age 16, and a 30 year old's range would be 23 - 44 (instead of 22-46) which is more in line with what I've heard when and where I grew up.

I think, in more general terms, it would be n/2+m where m is varied by (or proportional to) regional mores. For example, on the internet, m would be much lower.

Then, if you want to date outside the (un)creepy boundary, you can just say "oh, its ok, I come from a region with a lower m-coefficient"

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Postby Vandole » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:20 pm UTC

Leliel wrote:I think it's a reference to an old joke, actually. I tried to see if it was already in the Math Jokes thread but apparently not.
---
A dairy farmer hires a psychiatrist, an engineer and a physicist and asks each of them to tell him how to improve production on his farm. The psychiatrist comes in, looks around and declares "Paint everything green. Cows like green, and a happy cow produces more milk." The farmer nods and thanks the psychiatrist.

The engineer sits down and redesigns the milk processing equipment to improve efficiency. The farmer takes the plans and thanks the engineer.

The physicist says "Ok, first of all, assume a cow's a sphere..."

That's a derivative of Spherical Chicken in a Vacuum, which was in at least one of the threads here, if not the Math Jokes thread. (The difference is that the farmer wants his chicken plucked, and the punchline is "Assuming spherical chicken in a vacuum...")
Vandole wants you to read An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom (NSFW text).
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Postby Dustbin » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:45 pm UTC

Considering the number of XKCDers in Austin we should really have our own meetup on the same day as the Boston one. How about it? Hmm maybe I should start a thread somewhere.

Edit: seems like someone beat me to it http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?t=11891

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Postby lewis1350 » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:01 pm UTC

Okay, I'm on the edge right now.
I'm 16 dating and 18 year old.

Although one of my friends is 16 and dating a 24 year old.
That's getting kind of creepy.

In my opinion, though, age really doesn't matter.

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Re: Well, actually...

Postby keithc » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:58 pm UTC

jacqueline wrote:
Let's see, (25.992/2 + 7)<25.972<(25.992-7)*2, Check.


I hate to be a pedant (Audience: oh, no you don't!), but that inequality isn't right. It should be:

(25.992/2 -7) < 25.972 < (25.992/2 + 7)

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Re: Well, actually...

Postby Aperfectring » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:11 am UTC

keithc wrote:
jacqueline wrote:
Let's see, (25.992/2 + 7)<25.972<(25.992-7)*2, Check.


I hate to be a pedant (Audience: oh, no you don't!), but that inequality isn't right. It should be:

(25.992/2 -7) < 25.972 < (25.992/2 + 7)


By that argument, this person is looking for someone in the range of ~6 - ~20. The ranges were correct. Age/2 + 7 is the bottom of the non-creepiness range.

N/2+7=age
N/2=age-7
N=(age-7)*2

So, (age-7)*2 is the upper bound of the non-creepiness range
Odds are I did well on my probability exam.

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Postby ahecht » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:26 am UTC

[long time reader, first time poster]

I just had to create an account to say that I read this and immediately sent it to a friend who is 22 and dating a 17-year old. He'll be happy to know it won't be creepy in a month when she turns 18.

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Postby voodooKobra » Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:51 am UTC

dosboot wrote:When your kids ask why you won't allow them to date before they turn 14 you can explain it to them with this formula.

Before age 14, the graph doesn't hold true to anything.

Y < Age < O
13 < 12 < Irrelevant - Error; 13 < 12 does not compute.
13 < 13 < 13
14 < 14 < 15
14 < 15 < 17
15 < 16 < 19
15 < 17 < 21
16 < 18 < 23
16 < 19 < 25
17 < 20 < 27
17 < 21 < 29
18 < 22 < 31
18 < 23 < 33
19 < 24 < 35
19 < 25 < 39
20 < 26 < 41
20 < 27 < 43
21 < 28 < 45
21 < 29 < 47
22 < 30 < 49
22 < 31 < 51
23 < 32 < 53
23 < 33 < 55
24 < 34 < 57
24 < 35 < 59
25 < 36 < 61
25 < 37 < 63
26 < 38 < 65
26 < 39 < 67
27 < 40 < 69
27 < 41 < 71
28 < 42 < 73
28 < 43 < 75
29 < 44 < 77
29 < 45 < 79
30 < 46 < 81
30 < 47 < 83
31 < 48 < 85
31 < 49 < 87
32 < 50 < 89
32 < 51 < 91
33 < 52 < 93
33 < 53 < 95
34 < 54 < 97
34 < 55 < 99
35 < 56 < 101
35 < 57 < 103
36 < 58 < 105
36 < 59 < 107
37 < 60 < 109
37 < 61 < 111
38 < 62 < 113
38 < 63 < 115
39 < 64 < 117
39 < 65 < 119
40 < 66 < 121
41 < 67 < 123
42 < 68 < 125
43 < 69 < 127
44 < 70 < 129
If you need to reach me, email kobrasrealm@gmail.com

in b4 spam

Kobra's Corner - My horribly-written opinions that aren't worth reading. Seriously; you're better off reading Nietzsche translated into myspace user lingo.


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