111: Firefox and Witchcraft - The Connection?

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Firefox and Witchcraft - The Connection?
ThisadpaidforbythecounciltopromoteMicrosoftandChristianity. Remember, The Bible is Closed Source.
Title text: ThisadpaidforbythecounciltopromoteMicrosoftandChristianity. Remember, The Bible is Closed Source.


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The comic shows a chart between the number of members of the pagan religion Wicca and the number of times Mozilla's web browser Firefox has been downloaded, the implication being that Firefox is related to Wicca. The page lists Internet Explorer, a rival web browser, and the cross, representing Christianity, on the bottom, implying that it is an attempt at discouraging Firefox by both Microsoft (creators of Internet Explorer) and a Christian source.

The title text is reminiscent of political commercials, which tell you who paid for them. The last sentence is a play on the term of Closed source software, which Internet Explorer is, as opposed to Firefox, which was open source in development. Similar in that vein, the Bible can be considered "closed source" due to God's prohibition on altering its contents.

This type of statistical ploy is used again in a few other comics, like 925: Cell Phones, 552: Correlation, and 523: Decline.


[Y axis]:membership in wicca
[X axis]:total firefox downloads
[Positive slope graph.]
[Internet Explorer icon.]
Keep the Faith
[Outline of a cross.]

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Correlation does not equal causation.... I think that's one of the underlying points of this. That, and people who use IE don't understand that. ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The link to Revelation 22 is misleading. It was written several centuries before the Bible was compiled, and the phrase "this book" presumably refers to the Book of Revelation. A better scripture to link to is [Deuteronomy 4:2], which prohibits editing the words that god commands you. That's not the entire bible, but it's enough that you could realistically call it closed source. 00:23, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

The use of the open-source closed-source terminology is flawed here: open-source simply means that the source code (the program for IE and words for the Bible) is available to be read.

It does NOT mean that you can edit it (even if you don't distribute it) as anybody who owns a TiVo or has tried reading a Terms of Service document knows; that 'right' would come under the more important "Free Software" umbrella, as this article by Richard Stallman explains. YatharthROCK (talk) 06:03, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Open source does mean you can edit it. See the Open Source Definintion: "The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software." 02:48, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be opensource.org's definition? 22:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC) Steven

It looks like Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's statistics on the relation between pirate's numbers and global temperature[1].--Anodibdogb (talk) 12:50, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

The Microsoft + Christianity is probably a reference to Microsoft acquiring Christianity.