1869: Positive and Negative Reviews
|Positive and Negative Reviews|
Title text: This restaurant is great! I was feeling really sick, but then I ate there and felt better!
The comic shows customer reviews from people who purchased a made-up sports drink multi-pack containing twelve 20 oz (591 mL) bottles. The people who gave negative reviews are Merlin (the wizard from the legends of King Arthur) and B. Button (from the short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and its film adaptation). Merlin remembers the future; in the T. H. White novel series The Once and Future King, he was born at the wrong end of time and has to live backwards. Benjamin Button was born with the physical appearance of an old man and grows younger as time progresses. In this comic, they apparently perceive time backwards: Merlin was thirsty then he drank the SmartQuench 9000, but he perceived it as drinking and then becoming thirsty. Benjamin Button was dehydrated then drank 3 bottles and got better, but perceived it the other way around.
Particles of matter can have a positive or negative electric charge. Particles have associated antiparticles with opposite charge. For example electrons are negatively charged particles and their antiparticles are positrons, which are positively charged. Antiparticles can be interpreted as if they were the associated particle moving backward in time. Applying that interpretation to customer reviews gives the caption of the comic: positive reviews from people traveling backward in time are negative reviews (the "antiparticles" of positive reviews).
The caption seems to say that there are only positive experiences—some going forward, some backward in life. However, Randall gives an example in the title text of a positive review which is actually about a negative experience by a person traveling backward in time (the person ate at a restaurant then got sick). The conclusion is that there are both positive and negative events, but the way they are perceived depends on both the event and whether one sees it going forward or backward in time.
- [A picture with four small bottles and a larger one is shown. The text to the right reads:]
- SmartQuench 9000
- Sports Drink
- 20 oz 12-pack
- [Below is a list with reviews; a picture for the user (avatar) and the name below, the rating (in stars) and the text to the right.]
- ---Customer reviews---
- Amy 2015 (4 of 5 stars) Perfect after a run
- Anon513 (5 of 5 stars) My favorite flavor
- Merlin (1 of 5 stars) Drinking this made me thirstier
- Mike63 (4 of 5 stars) Good price
- B Button (1 of 5 stars) Drank 3 bottles on a hot day and got dehydrated!
- [Caption below the frame:]
- Physics tells us that negative reviews are really just positive reviews from people traveling backward in time.
- The use of the phrase 'physics tells us...' may be alluding to the way people use 'physics' or 'science' to justify nonsense. See 1240: Quantum Mechanics and 1475: Technically.
- There are many examples of "Merlin Sickness" in fiction. Merlin was mentioned earlier in 270: Merlin.
- Time-reversed aging is also explored in 560: Lithium Batteries.
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