971: Alternative Literature
Homeopathy is based on the idea that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure that disease in sick people. This axiom is known as "the law of similars" or "like cures like". In practice this is more akin to in every lie there is a grain of truth, because there is sometimes a smallest trace of something helpful, but it has been so watered down it is considered mostly a placebo. In theory this is exactly what you want, if the problem is not truly a medical problem, you simply need to trick the mind into believing it is better and it will make itself better. The problem becomes visible when proponents of homeopathy believe that drinking tea with special herbs in it helps to fix a broken bone and other rubbish and what-not.
In this comic, the problem is homeopathic books. Someone has sold Person Two a bunch of blank books, convincing him that these are better than real books. Despite what he says in the last panel, he is in fact a sucker because you cannot enrich your mind without reading real books, and even if he didn't want to read, he wouldn't need empty books to do so.
- [Cueball and a friend stand in front of Cueball's bookcase. His friend flips through a number of them.]
- Friend: All your books are full of blank pages.
- Cueball: Not true. That one has some ink on page 78.
- [The Friend looks at page 78.]
- Friend: A smudge.
- Cueball: So?
- Friend: There are no words. You're not reading. There's no story there.
- Cueball: Maybe not for you. When I look at those books, I think about all kinds of stories.
- Cueball: Reading is about more than what's on the page. Holding a book prompts my mind to enrich itself. Frankly, I suspect the book isn't even necessary.
- Cueball: The whole industry is evil. Greedy publishers and rich authors try to convince us our brains need their words. But I refuse to be a sucker.
- Friend: Who sold you all these blank books?