Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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A group of people wanting to hold a book burning find themselves in a conundrum as they only have one book. Going to an online retailer reveals that the Kindle edition of the book is considerably less expensive than the hardcover edition. Unfortunately for the book-burners, the burning of a Kindle proves fatal because of the toxic fumes from the burning of its plastic shell and/or the lithium polymer battery that powers it.
There is also a subtle pun in that "kindle" is a word meaning "to start a fire".
The title text further drives home the point that electronic media is becoming the norm, while print text becomes more obsolete with time.
- [Cueball holds a book aloft, displaying it to his two friends.]
- Cueball: This book is full of heresy!
- Friend: Let's hold a book burning!
- [They confer more, then one friend runs off.]
- Cueball: I only have one copy.
- Friend #1: I guess we could buy more.
- Friend #2: I'll look online.
- [A screenshot from an online retailer's page displays pricing for the hardcover ($17.99) and Kindle ($9.99) editions of the mentioned book.]
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- [The front page of a newspaper, titled "News", is shown above the fold. The first article's headline reads "Eight dead from toxic fume inhalation" and a picture is shown depicting three bodies strewn around a massive plume of tar-black smoke.]
"...the Kindle edition is the preferred method of buying a book."? A bit subjective, really. Needs more qualifications to make that sound right. (Except for the aforementioned price, I'm not sure what argument would convince me, however technophilic I am. I just like all my dead-tree publications, as a glance at my bookshelves and multiple other 'flat' surfaces around the house would confirm.)
Oh yeah, and as I forgot to sign the above, can I also add that I'm sure there's also a joke in that in an attempt to eradicate a book, the protesters are actually increasing the apparent demand for it. And, unlike a physical volume the misguided destruction of the electronic copy (or at least the medium it exists on) does not deplete any extant stocks. (In fact, the person who bought and downloaded the eBook can probably re-download the eBook if the download mechanism allows that for previously authorised purchases.) And do it enough and they may even print extra physical copies. (Soon to be coming to a remaindered book shop near you, and you, and you as well sir... Way to go to spread the Word!) "Epic Fail", anyone? 188.8.131.52 23:44, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
- Book-burning incidents
While the joke is about burning a Kindle, I'm still sad about burning books. Look here: List of book-burning incidents. Burning a book is a kind of violence, this should be mentioned here. This comic is marked as incomplete.--Dgbrt (talk) 20:36, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
The comic is obviously mocking the intelligence of those radicals that would really like to see "heretical" books burn.--Qwach (talk) 19:04, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
- The German Nazis did state Jewish and critical books as "heretical". But I'm still searching for some proper statements at this comic. Does Randall refer to the gas chambers at the concentration camps? By the end the Nazi empire did die in 1945. Nevertheless, burning books reminds me always on that historical incidents.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:51, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
There should be some mention about how the digital copy wouldn't affect the market as much, thereby making their intent null, and also the fact that burning a kindle as opposed to burning a book would actually increase the cost. --Lackadaisical
) 18:25, 22 November 2013 (UTC)