2 min read

Artistic verisimilitude

Scene: the back room of a gas station not far from a Research 1 university, late twentieth century. 

“Chris? You got a minute”

It’s Chris’s ‘lunch’ break, which by natural justice and state law should be the time for daydreaming about attractive members of the appropriate sex while trying to start an assignment on Banach spaces. 

“The boss read an in-flight magazine again” 

Chris sighs. Having the owner away for a week was good, but he always seemed to get…ideas

“He says we need visual analytics to optimize our product mix. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re a gas station. We sell regular and premium. We don’t even got diesel. You’re studying analytics, right?”

“Not analytics, analysis. It’s … no, ok… what do you need?”

“A graph. Number of gallons, Total cost. Then use analysis to work out the price”

“But we know the price! It’s on the sign, in large friendly letters. You just made me change it.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. He wants a graph, we give him a graph. He’s paying a bonus for it.”

“That’s different. Ok. You got graph paper”

“Graph paper?”

“You know, blue ink, little squares?”

“Oh, that stuff. My kids have some. Maybe I could get Sandy to do it?”

Chris saw the bonus slipping away.

“We got anything with squares?”

“Well, there’s the grid that Pat uses for D&D layouts, Would that..”

“Perfect. Just give me a few minutes. He’ll have the best-fitting line graph ever seen in the industry”

“You want help with measuring?”

 “I’m not wasting time measuring. Like I said, we know the price.”