Talk:2536: Wirecutter

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Note: they don't say they tried out a large number of religions but a large number of belief systems. This could include things like "Libertarianism" or "Monarchists". (By CWALLENPOOLE, but not signed in.)

But the picture of the article title says “The Best Religion” 20:31, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

The phrase "highly controversial" should not be used in the explanation. For the record, I am opposed to the things listed in that sentence and my objection is not based in a desire to defend them. Religion itself might be said to be "highly controversial" so the use in the last sentence is both superfluous and biased. 00:34, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

I really want this article to be real. ----Dave

Me too. I did something similar in my early 20s, and feel such an article honestly done would be a great help to many. In fact, the current description is slightly inaccurate- in that even lifelong practitioners, do usually have a wandering time in early adulthood if not given direction. Such an article would give some direction.Seebert (talk) 15:03, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
Try . 00:16, 30 December 2021 (UTC)

The major problem with trying multiple religions is that to fully test a religion you need to die - and most people only die once, with the ability to die multiple times being exclusive feature of small number of religions. -- Hkmaly (talk) 04:49, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

I ain't mad Hkmaly, but the idea that a religion's primary purpose is to promote a vision of the afterlife is alien to a lot of religions (including my own flavor of Judaism), whose policy on the hereafter is "afterlife, shmafterlife, pass the bagels." Hence also my edits toning down the "religions are about provable belief claims" rhetoric (eyeroll). ----Ben
Reviewers rarely fully test tech items. (e.g. they often don't cover complete lifecycle costs - what happens to the device after it dies, how easy is it to move on to a new one, etc.) Don't have to test everything to have a meaningful review.
Many religions make claims about impacts in this life. (e.g., intercessory prayer) Such claims are eminently testable. A comparative review would be interesting. I am only aware of a few such tests, mostly comparing a single product to general average or to no intervention Efficacy of prayer. 19:18, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

It doesn't look like the search bar text says "search," but I can't make out what it actually says.--KrazyKat (talk) 06:33, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Maybe it says Seance, since for "seach" the high stoke from the H is missing. -- 07:33, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
or Sermon maybe, that would fit the theme
Could be Search with large S and smaller caps for the rest? Anyone subscribe to the NYT and care to visit the actual WireCutter site to see the formatting? 12:40, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
Don't need to be a subscriber to see the site. It says "Show me the best..." Paddles (talk) 13:26, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

I don't want to sound controversial but tithing would be a refreshing change comparing to current tax systems Tkopec (talk) 10:31, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Agreed- 10% is much less than the near 50% I'm paying when I figure it all in.Seebert (talk) 15:03, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
You really want to pay tithes AND taxes? 18:54, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Last night I was writing a huge thing about religions' almost universal reluctance to be 'tried out' (lestways allowing easy unsubscription at the end) but on reflection, after a night's sleep, I'm wondering if they just had 70+ 'mystery shoppers' tasked to report back on one assigned 'product' each, their reports aggregated so this didn't matter too much (to the overall report-writers, at least). 14:31, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Also, the 'religious' wars metaphor extends quite easily to different platforms, yet (say) laptop reviews might compare a set of Windows vs a Mac or two (vs Chromebook, and maybe others) as options. And when it comes to keyboards, the QWERTY-Othodoxy and the Dvorak-Reformists both have bad (and untrue) things to say about each other, when 'enough time' with any given layout should be good enough to prosper in that. (That said, I had a programmable calculator from the '80s until it gave up the ghost some time post-Millenium, and I really did not get on with its alphabetical-order keyboard all that time, perhaps because I was QWERTYing almost everywhere else.) 14:31, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

In the case of religions though, the wars are not allegorical, they are literal. Nothing else in human experience really compares to the effects of a religious war (except maybe our wars to support a certain socioeconomic idealogy). The impact of format wars don't even come close; even if you count Uranium VS Thorium. This comic doesn't really draw a comparison between reviewing religions & reviewing products; so much as it contrasts the enormous differences in how we approach the two subjects...
ProphetZarquon (talk) 17:41, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

(Also also: QWERTY with UK-layout is my own personal sub-sect, with occasional need to adapt to US-layout (physically printed keycaps and/or what the computer thought was plugged in) with " and # and ~ characters amongst the main jumbled up ones, and no easy £ access. Which wasn't actually as unnerving as being in the 'wrong' bit of Belfast, but had the same subtle note of discordant undertone to it until I shifted my mental gears or ideally corrected the situation satisfactorarily by configuration.) 14:31, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

There's a book by John S. Dunne, The Way of All the Earth, that advocates essentially trying out religions while keeping one foot in one's own (Dunne describes it as "crossing the abyss and crossing back"). 17:17, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Surprised no-one has yet mentioned this joke was done in almost exactly the same way on the UK satirical TV show TW3 in 1963 by David Frost (of later Frost/Nixon fame). --- jg

I was just looking for psychological/psychiatrical papers that say something about the frequency of mental illnesses by religion. Maaaaaaaaaayyybeeeeeeeeee there is a religion that is clearly superior to other religions in that regard, and so government health officials could make a recommendation to change to a specific religion. :-P -- 10:58, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

But then, illnesses (as well as the symptoms of the same illness) depend on the culture, so my sardonic idea was probably left unresearched...-- 12:23, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

Feels like there should be a line in there about how religion is itself often "that which determines what is valued" and therefore very hard to treat objectively. So, for example, if your religion taught that discipline was inherently good, you would think less of another religion that specifically warned against the dangers of excessive discipline. Meanwhile, a member of that religion might think YOUR religion was worse, because - according to the tenets of THEIR religion - you put TOO MUCH emphasis on discipline, while you think your emphasis is correct and THEY are wrong for not having it. Now, granted, people might want different things from their technology - one person might want user-friendliness, another might value greater customizability - but religion is different in that it, in itself, informs our understandings of "what is valuable". It would be like if Apple users actively began extolling the benefits of user-friendliness BECAUSE they are Apple users and Apple itself is what taught them to value user-friendliness, while Linux users were originally indifferent but BECAME fans of customizability BECAUSE they used Linux. (And yes, there can be cult-like elements of both fandoms, but hopefully the distinction I'm drawing here is reasonably clear: religion tells you what is valuable, technology does not.)

(Also, why all the Judaism-specific stuff now?) --mezimm 16:42, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

Rather than picking one religion - join them all. Slag-blah takes a militant agnostic approach (we don't know, and neither do you). So they believe in/practice all religions (one a day for a year, so their calendar is 7,823 days long). From Buck Godot Zap Gun for Hire - Learning about Slag-blah by Phil Foglio, Dec. 2007 Sadly hard to find online, but here is the relevant page from the archive. 19:18, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

Went to graduate school (Wash U, St Louis) where one of my classmates said [of the weather!], "I don't know what religion to be." Huh? He explained his habit was to try out a different religion each season, but the weather that month had been changing so often that he didn't know which one to follow on a given day! [Think he was only half serious]

I feel like the explanation's focus on "can't easily change religion" is both inaccurate and quite missing the point. Religious freedom is not about whether belief is inherent or chosen, but rather about the fact that no one has the right to tell anyone else what to believe. The controversial part, IMO, is not "criticism of an inherent feature like race", but rather, it's the fact that Wirecutter is analysing belief systems, not by trying to judge their truthfulness, but in simple ROI terms. It's a bit like analysing whether female or male children are more cost-effective; people will get upset about the fact that you made the analysis in such mercenary terms at all.

I am also concerned with the paragraph speculating about ease of changing religion and its possible implications towards comparison between discrimination on the basis of political belief versus skin color. This is a topic about which there is much debate in many places and I'm not sure that debate is appropriate for this site. I say this not out of any particular stance regarding that debate, I say that because this site is intended to provide explanations relating to XKCD and not really for comparison of different kinds of discrimination. I'm going to remove that paragraph. If you strongly disagree please feel to revert my edit but I'd appreciate it if you would then share here why you think it helps explain the comic to someone who might not otherwise understand. Tomb (talk) 13:31, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

The fact that people cannot compare and choose a religion (and are also willing to die with their chosen religion, e.g. in the face of persecution) is the very reason religious freedom exists. Thank you for deleting the section. I will not contribute here for a while.-- 22:42, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
This wiki is exclusively about presentation of the comic, not discussion. Nor is it a Mom an' Pop shop where you can threaten their lively hood and stomp out and feel superior. Consider going to reddit or any other media to discuss the expanded meanings of these comics. 18:00, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

Pascal's Wager has literally nothing to do with this comic. Literally nothing. I'm tempted to remove that paragraph altogether, especially since it's also presenting an atheistic critique of the idea and thereby slanting the neutrality of the explanation. --mezimm 13:46, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

The assumptions here really need pruning. For starters, groups *exist* to do exactly what is suggested here: being a perfect example. Just as brand loyalty to car manufacturers doesn't prevent reviews, neither does loyalty to religions. And while the claim that all wars are purely economic has been debunked, the idea of purely religious wars will get similar mocking from historians. The claim of exclusivity is absurd, given that Christians use the Jewish scriptures, and Muslims regard both Moses and Jesus as prophets; the Messianic Jews are the most famous example of belonging to two religions.

Huh? Mystery worshipper isn't about reviewing *religions* but different congregations of the same religion (at least if we consider Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox etc. all part of the same religion, which many do). This is a much easier (and less self-defeating) task than what the comic suggests.-- 01:48, 3 November 2022 (UTC)
"...which many do..."? It depends upon who you ask... (Multiple versions there of the one that I mean!) 06:45, 3 November 2022 (UTC)

Well Christans, Jews and Muslims all belive Moses to be a prophet. And Jews and Christans (and maybe Muslims??) worship the same God(kinda, Christans belive Christ is God as a human, and Jews say that Christ is a false prophet.). So everything before 3 B.C. they agree on, thats why they use the same religous texts. However after Christ died, 27 new texts were created talking about his life, death, and teachings. Obvously the Jews dont use these texts so thats where they differ. Just wanted to clear that up, they are very different religions and belifs, they just all agree on what happened before Christ. Also the part where it says in the explanation about how that most people don't change their religion, I'm not sure if thats true for other religions, but my religon(non-demoninational Christian) is all about choosing wether or not to accept God into your heart. Also most teens or college students fall away from God and later in life they come back (Quite a few of them, in fact, my youth pastor went through the same thing). My pastor grew up in a house that practiced "magic", and most defently wasnt taught religon, but in his later years he became a Christian. Apollo11 (talk) 14:38, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

Religion is ...complicated. And it might help to realise that what you experience as 'most people do this' might be a bit skewed towards only what your experiences have been. I think you're mostly amongst practicing Christians where you find that those who left and returned seem to show that people 'leave and return'. Others may have communities who shun returnees, and/or where leavers (perhaps of a distorted belief system) see absolutely no reason to return to the now obviously broken system. Some people grew up without a great faith, but find themselves drawn to one, fervently (perhaps your pastor was one, I don't know what you/he means by "magic", possibly he was in a synchratic system so instead just rejected one bit of his family's faith and concentrated on the rest). There are those who have taken up surprisingly different creeds from where they started off. People might also have been brought up as essentially secular and remain secular (give or take a 'social nod' towards the local spin on communal religion, but as habit rather than true belief).
You can know your own heart, and believe you know the hearts of others (and, indeed, God in whatever form you believe exists), but faith is a tricky thing. Could be as solid as a rock, easily windblown into a handy corner, just like autumn leaves, or as ultimately fragile as a cobweb, if not as intangible and transient as a dream. And, if you want my opinion, all of these can (and do) co-exist. Where there's trouble is where the ideology (with or without any actual belief) violently tries to create a lock-step culture in its own strict image. You can't truly make (or change) genuine beliefs, in others, especially if you don't believe it yourself.
One can only be whatever it is that one believes is right. If you're lucky, that may not include making compromises for outwards appearances. And, if you're kind, that will not mean forcing others to compromise on your behalf. That should apply whatever shade of religion (or none) you subscribe to. But there's a world (at least!) of possibilities out there, and you are always a product of your own particular lived life. I can only hope that you be happy with that. 15:25, 29 March 2024 (UTC)
Your right I don't know what other religons are like. I can only speak for my religon and my experiences. And yes, many religions (or even demoninations) arent very reaccepting or forgiving. A lot of people have left and been unable to return. Or somepeople just don't return, I know several people who've done that. My point wasn't that even if someone leaves their religion that they'll come back, it was that people do leave and change religions. Those people I talked about changed religions twice, thats why I brought it up.
And I 100% agree with you that nobody should force their opinion on anyone. I would never try to pressure anyone to belive anything, or yell at anyone for beliving in a certain religion.Apollo11 (talk) 15:53, 29 March 2024 (UTC)
Was mainly responding to "most teens or college students fall away from God and later in life they come back". I might not argue that they fall (or move) away from their household's interpretation (as a teen, you're biologically programmed to look at things differently than you did when younger, and moving away to college also takes you outside your 'silo' to potentially expose you to alternate viewpoints - anyone who doesn't, I'd consider 'indoctrinated', rather than merely lovingly guided). That "most come back", I'm not sure about. I'm not saying that most will abandon all faith, or most will go to a new(ly discovered) one, but "back" is relative. Even those broadly settling back in the same 'spirit' may have evolved their faith (e.g., their opinions on evolution!). Greater or lesser fervency.
In the broadest view, you'll probably end up the same type of faith as you used to be. A vast number of the world's population probably don't 'rebel' very far (not much scope for investigating shintoism if you live a substistance lifestyle in an Indian village, or encounter much scientology in the Amazon) and social pressures will keep many well within the same brand of monotheism (if that's where they were), even if no more than a 'casual adherence'.
More narrowly, generations do tend to change, especially in 'the modern world'. Immigrant families may arrive with a basic 'lived' version of their native religion (but not so fervant thst they couldn't move away, and may even have done so to escape it), their children may almost completely secularise to fit in with(/not stand out from) their new home's society (with maybe a nodding acquaintence with the local temple/mosque/gurdwara/chapel, for appearances), the grandchildren may 'rediscover' and become far more adherent to their 'ancestral' faith than their great-grandparents ever did.
But all these examples depend upon the scope of anyone's premise of where boundaries are between brands/intensities of faith. Hence it being 'complicated', and using personal experiences does not necessarily map to the universal.
Mostly, though, you do not choose how you were brought up. This would greatly influence both where you might naturally drift in and out of and how others treat you if you even try to take up a different scope of faith. Perhaps most easy to just drift out of organised religion and stay out of it, except where some religion has a stranglehold on you (whatever your true feelings). 16:45, 29 March 2024 (UTC)