Title text: 'Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with semen, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, bedbugs poured out.'
In this comic, Black Hat is putting bad reviews on all the hotels he has stayed at and likes and wants to stay in again, in order to lower demand for said hotel. He is simultaneously putting good reviews on bad hotels to steer other people there so there are more vacancies at good hotels. He claims he is not enough influence to put the good hotels out of business.
The Tragedy of the commons "is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource, even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen." This situation is not a complete example of this concept as Black Hat is the only one doing it. He understands, however, that if others do it, it would apply.
In the last frame, Black Hat references the invisible hand which is the term economists use to describe the self-regulating nature of the marketplace. Black Hat appears to be taking advantage of this invisible hand by cutting it with a knife and eating it.
The title text is an example of Black Hat's negative review, which is extreme and ridiculous. While bedbugs and semen stains are legitimate concerns for sanitation and comfort in a hotel, the circumstances for these problems described are beyond the realm of plausibility: it is highly unlikely that there is an entire room filled with semen, and that the bedbugs are infesting hotel staff rather than the building. This might have the opposite of the intended effect, as the reader of the review might perceive it as sarcasm. Another possibility would be that he would usually write it the other way round but thinks it is even worse this way.
- [Cueball is sitting at a desk with a laptop, looking at a review website]
- Cueball: What's with this negative review? You liked that hotel.
- Black Hat: I have a script that posts a bad review for every hotel I stay at. It reduces demand, which means more vacancies and lower prices next time.
- Cueball: What if the place sucks?
- Black Hat: I change the review to positive to steer other people over there.
- Cueball: You punish companies you like!
- Black Hat: The odds of my review putting a hotel out of business are negligible.
- Cueball: If we all did that the system would collapse!
- Black Hat: Doesn't affect my logic. Tragedy of the commons.
- Cueball: That's not even the tragedy of the commons anymore. That's the tragedy of you're a dick.
- Black Hat: If you're quick with a knife, you'll find that the invisible hand is made of delicious invisible meat.
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