Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Using percentage of growth can be misleading for gauging the importance or popularity of something. If you add only 4 members to an existing group of 2, you would have achieved a growth of 200 percent.
The well-combed proselytizer (perhaps reminiscent of a Mormon missionary?) advertises his religion by its fast growth. Black Hat in response grows his own group by a hundred percent, by adding his friend Rob. The well-combed missionary's religion apparenty also does have a significant amount of members (although not in Mormon numbers), which perhaps should be more relevant to the discussion. But it's not that Black Hat cares...
The title text ponders the ironic idea of converting only the zealous door-to-door proselytizers to a very persuasive religion of one's own.
- [A man with a combover, a book, and a clipboard approaches Black Hat.]
- Combover: You should check us out. We're the fastest-growing religion in the country.
- Black Hat: "Fastest-growing" is such a dubious claim.
- Combover: It's true! We grew by 85% over the past year.
- [Black Hat shouts to someone out of frame.]
- Black Hat: Hey, Rob — wanna join my religion?
- Rob: Sure, whatever.
- [Black Hat turns back to Combover and produces a notepad and pen.]
- Black Hat: Well, looks like my religion grew by 100% this year.
- [Black Hat begins to walk away.]
- Combover: We have 38,000 members!
- Black Hat: Hope they're all ok with second place.
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It's about Apple fanboys. 18.104.22.168
- And how is that? 22.214.171.124 05:52, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
What if I just started my own religion. Technically speaking it had 0 members, and then I joined it. Would this mean a growth of infinite percent? Also, a flaw with using percents is if a religion has one person, person a, and then person b joined it, it would have 100% growth. Then person b or a (doesn't matter which) leaves. The religion has increased by 100% and decreased by 50%. Now, you can't really add percentages, but I have just grown 50%! Ha! By adding no people! Then if the one tha left, comes and leaves again, I have grown by 100% this year. --126.96.36.199
- Technically, if you start your own religion, you start out with 1 member (yourself)... unless you invent a religion you don't actually believe in, and then suddenly, um, drink the koolaid. ...;) -- IronyChef (talk) 15:37, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
- OK. I create the religion. Leave it, and come back. It has grown by ∞ %. --188.8.131.52
- You left it? How do we know you weren't excommunicated? ;-) Also, along the lines of if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it..., if a religion has nobody following it, does't it cease to exist? BTW, ∞ is not a numerical quantity, so ∞ % isn't really possible, even if the growth is infinite. -- IronyChef (talk) 05:19, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The xkcd religion! Nice one, Black Hat.--184.108.40.206
The "claims to be fastest-growing religion" Wikipedia page is now a redirect to Growth of religion. I would change the link in the explanation, but, I'm not sure which section it should go to. 220.127.116.11 03:18, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
- I did update the link and moved it into the section Trivia. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:20, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
"It seems safe to assume he dislikes this type of missionary method."
Well, it does get pretty boring doing things the same way every night. Hppavilion1 (talk) 04:32, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
I love how the character is named "Combover". Fitting. --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 18:12, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
What kind of missionary do you think "Combover" is? Looks like a mormon to me... --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 18:15, 9 January 2017 (UTC)