1102: Fastest-Growing

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I lead a small but extraordinarily persuasive religion whose only members are door-to-door proselytizers from other faiths.
Title text: I lead a small but extraordinarily persuasive religion whose only members are door-to-door proselytizers from other faiths.


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Using percentage of growth can be a misleading value to use for gauging the importance or popularity of something. If you have 5 members and then add 10 more that would mean you have achieved a growth of 200%. However in the case portrayed in this comic the claim appears to be somewhat substantiated as the door-to-door proselytizer claims to have 38,000 members (meaning they would have grew from 20,540 the previous year by adding 17,450 new members).

Black Hat attempts humorously to show the flaw in using a percentage of growth statistic by growing his group by 100% by increasing his membership from 1 to 2.

It would appear the joke in the title-text is that Black Hat was able to get another door-to-door proselytizer not shown to join his new religion.


[A man sporting a thinning comb-over is holding a black book and a clipboard]

Person 1: You should check us out. We're the fastest-growing religion in the country.

Black Hat: "Fastest-growing" is such a dubious claim.

Person 1: It's true! We grew by 85% over the past year.

[Black Hat turns to off screen right]

Black Hat: Hey, Rob — Wanna join my religion?

(from off): Sure, whatever.

[Turning back, Black Hat pulls out a steno notebook and pencil]

Black Hat: Well, looks like my religion grew by 100% this year.

Person 1: We have 38,000 members!

Black hat: Hope they're all OK with second place.

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It's about Apple fanboys.

And how is that? 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. --

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 ∞ %. --
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.--

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. 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)

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