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 giving all the hotels he has stayed at, likes, and wants to stay in again bad reviews, 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 also claims he is not influential enough to personally put the good hotels out of business. But even if he didn't put the hotels out of business, the market would certainly still be affected, and all so he could enjoy a lower price, once again proving he's a classhole.
Cueball objects that, if this practice became widespread, the good hotels would all go out of business. Black Hat responds by invoking the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy of the commons is a classic thought experiment which posits a group of farmers sharing a common grazing field. It would be in each farmer's self interest to graze as many cattle as possible to make as much money as possible. If all the farmers did this, they'd overgraze the land, ultimately making it useless for grazing. The "tragedy" is that, assuming self-interested farmers and nothing to restrict their actions, this outcome would be inevitable. Even knowing the dangers of overgrazing the land, each farmer would know that others would overgraze it, and therefore would want to profit as much as they could before it was all destroyed. Black Hat uses this to explain his own reasoning: his actions don't determine what other people do, he clearly rejects the notion of an implied social contract, and so he's simply going to act in his own self-interest, regardless of whether other people do the same.
In the last frame, Black Hat references the invisible hand which is the term coined by Adam Smith and used by 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 reviews, which in itself is a surrealist joke about the hotel. A somewhat believable (if exaggerated) set of complaints about an awful hotel is that the "Room filled to brim with bedbugs, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, semen poured out". However instead, the objects of focus are reversed, creating a ridiculous scenario for the reader to enjoy, if they are not too disgusted by the imagery of the text.
- [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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