0958: "Hotels"

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jpk
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0958: "Hotels"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:52 am UTC

Image

Alt-text: "Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with semen, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, bedbugs poured out."

Zunesis!!!! Get out of Randall's head!!!!

scarletmanuka
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby scarletmanuka » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:56 am UTC

jpk wrote:Zunesis!!!! Get out of Randall's head!!!!

Isn't this the wrong forum for that?

Is the title text a reference that I should probably be grateful for not knowing, or is it just random?

I do like the line: "That's not even the tragedy of the commons anymore. That's the tragedy of you're a dick." Nice to see the other characters in the comic calling him on it.

jpk
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:12 am UTC

It's a great line, true, but wrongly applied. Anyone who relies on a rating they find on the wub-wub-wub deserves what they get. Does black-hat's downrating mean anything at all, given how easy it is for a hotel chain to game one of those sites?
For the love of science, people, we're living in a world where merchants report each other closed on google places, and you think a rating you find on squalor.com or whatever site you favor is worth a dried-up poodle turd? This is hardly "you're being a dick", this is "you're wasting your time, I thought you were smarter than that".

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Vnend
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Vnend » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:20 am UTC

It is still an example of the tragedy of the commons.

But the 'commons' in this case is the hotel rating service on the travel site. He is valid, to a point. He is using it in a way that benefits him, and, as long as he is one of a small minority who do so it might benefit him. However, if his method becomes common, then the utility of the rating service(s) declines for everyone, including him. Eventually he is back to the luck of the draw, along with everyone else.

Unless he writes a filter that compares his 'reviews' to those of other named reviewers, allowing him to screen for the bias. That would delay the decline in usefulness (for him) for a while.

Graff
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Graff » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:22 am UTC

jpk wrote:This is hardly "you're being a dick", this is "you're wasting your time, I thought you were smarter than that".

Well, he did say that it was a script so presumably it doesn't waste that much of his time. Even if the effect is negligible it still might be worth the effort.

Kayangelus
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Kayangelus » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:31 am UTC

only problem is that given how many people read xkcd, now I have a feeling a lot of people are going to start doing this.

top1214
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby top1214 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:43 am UTC

Instead of bed, room contained a bobcat. Would not stay again.

jpk
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:46 am UTC

top1214 wrote:
In bed, room contained a cougar. Would stay again.


ftfy

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Feddlefew
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Feddlefew » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:51 am UTC

top1214 wrote:
Instead of bed, room contained a bobcat. Would not stay again.


Instead of water, pool contained bobcats. Would not stay again.
My spelling is abysmal. Just saying.

karanj
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby karanj » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:58 am UTC

jpk wrote:It's a great line, true, but wrongly applied. Anyone who relies on a rating they find on the wub-wub-wub deserves what they get. Does black-hat's downrating mean anything at all, given how easy it is for a hotel chain to game one of those sites?
For the love of science, people, we're living in a world where merchants report each other closed on google places, and you think a rating you find on squalor.com or whatever site you favor is worth a dried-up poodle turd? This is hardly "you're being a dick", this is "you're wasting your time, I thought you were smarter than that".

What's the alternative, relying on word of mouth and advertising? consistent brand reputation? Nay, I say, no return to these outdated methods!

Harold
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Harold » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:01 am UTC

Instead of steak, meal contained bobcats. Would stay again.

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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:05 am UTC

Instead of bedsheets, bed contained bobcat. Scratchy but comfortable. Would stay again.
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Wooloomooloo
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Wooloomooloo » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:12 am UTC

You know there's something horribly wrong with you when you read today's comic and instead of economics you think of Elfen Lied...

someguyyy
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby someguyyy » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:04 am UTC

Alternate alt-text: "Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with bedbugs, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, semen poured out."

coffeefrog
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby coffeefrog » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:09 am UTC

'Rating: 2/5. Room filled to brim with bedbugs, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, semen poured out.'


ftfy.

Tobu
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Tobu » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:34 am UTC

I disagree with BHG's logic. More popular hotels make money more reliably and can give you cheaper rooms. With an unpopular one, you pay for the risk of the hotel being under capacity.

Gargravarr
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Gargravarr » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:37 am UTC

I'm surprised this wasn't about Hilbert's Hotel

Kurz
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Kurz » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:38 am UTC

Could somebody explain, what the last sentence ("If you're quick with a knife...") could possibly mean?
I don't get it...
(Sry, I'm a non-native english speaker and I'm currently trying to improve my English)

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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby chernobyl » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:43 am UTC

It's quite interesting how modern economics theory relies, mostly, on the assumption that everyone's a dick. SMBC did a comic on that yesterday, now xkcd.

naj
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby naj » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:48 am UTC

jpk wrote:It's a great line, true, but wrongly applied. Anyone who relies on a rating they find on the wub-wub-wub deserves what they get. Does black-hat's downrating mean anything at all, given how easy it is for a hotel chain to game one of those sites?


Well, for instance hrs.{com,de} only sends you the evaluation link after you booked via their site and did not cancel until the date of the booking. So that makes it a bit more difficult to game the system.

Istaro
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Istaro » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:53 am UTC

someguyyy wrote:Alternate alt-text: "Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with bedbugs, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, semen poured out."


Maybe I'm just tired, but this post and the one after it made me laugh so hard my eyes watered. What's the acronym for that?

Andromeda321
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Andromeda321 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:54 am UTC

naj wrote:
jpk wrote:It's a great line, true, but wrongly applied. Anyone who relies on a rating they find on the wub-wub-wub deserves what they get. Does black-hat's downrating mean anything at all, given how easy it is for a hotel chain to game one of those sites?


Well, for instance hrs.{com,de} only sends you the evaluation link after you booked via their site and did not cancel until the date of the booking. So that makes it a bit more difficult to game the system.


Yeah, it depends on the site. Because I am cheap/have no money my site of choice is hostelworld.com, and you can only fill out a review when you've stayed at a place.

Of course for that site by this point I've learned to not pay attention to reviews that aren't good from people who have only been to a hostel once or twice as half the time their complaints focus on not knowing what hostel life is like.

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AvatarIII
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:59 am UTC

Kayangelus wrote:only problem is that given how many people read xkcd, now I have a feeling a lot of people are going to start doing this.


Doubtful, I think xkcd's readership is intelligent enough to realise that it would be pointless, every hotel has bad reviews anyway, but if I go to trip advisor and a hotel has 400 five star reviews and 8 one star reviews, even if the 1 star reviews are all genuine, it still means I'm 50 times more likely to have a 5 star experience than a 1 star experience, and to be honest, that's good enough odds for me.

scarletmanuka
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby scarletmanuka » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:09 am UTC

chernobyl wrote:It's quite interesting how modern economics theory relies, mostly, on the assumption that everyone's a dick.

I think it's because the assumption has been pretty well validated historically.

xarob
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby xarob » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:10 am UTC

Istaro wrote:
someguyyy wrote:Alternate alt-text: "Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with bedbugs, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, semen poured out."


Maybe I'm just tired, but this post and the one after it made me laugh so hard my eyes watered. What's the acronym for that?


Ah - that would be TPATOAIMMLSHMEW (with an optional MIJTB prefix :-)

scarletmanuka
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby scarletmanuka » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:18 am UTC

xarob wrote:
Istaro wrote:
someguyyy wrote:Alternate alt-text: "Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with bedbugs, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, semen poured out."


Maybe I'm just tired, but this post and the one after it made me laugh so hard my eyes watered. What's the acronym for that?


Ah - that would be TPATOAIMMLSHMEW (with an optional MIJTB prefix :-)


I'm pretty sure just the LSHMEW part would be sufficient, and much more broadly applicable.

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jestingrabbit
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:41 am UTC

Kurz wrote:Could somebody explain, what the last sentence ("If you're quick with a knife...") could possibly mean?
I don't get it...
(Sry, I'm a non-native english speaker and I'm currently trying to improve my English)


There's sort of missing middle part of the sentence, "If you're quick with a knife you can kill and eat the invisible hand and you'll find the invisible hand is made of delicious meat" or something like that anyway. There's an implication that the black hat man is eating the invisible hand, anyway.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

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J L
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby J L » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:46 am UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
Kurz wrote:Could somebody explain, what the last sentence ("If you're quick with a knife...") could possibly mean?
I don't get it...
(Sry, I'm a non-native english speaker and I'm currently trying to improve my English)


There's sort of missing middle part of the sentence, "If you're quick with a knife you can kill and eat the invisible hand and you'll find the invisible hand is made of delicious meat" or something like that anyway. There's an implication that the black hat man is eating the invisible hand, anyway.


My question exactly. You mean like, the invisible hand of the market, as in economics?

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hifi
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby hifi » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:49 am UTC

What with all the bobcat posts and the alt-alt-text here, I think this is one of those times when the thread's been funnier than the comic.

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jestingrabbit
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:56 am UTC

J L wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:
Kurz wrote:Could somebody explain, what the last sentence ("If you're quick with a knife...") could possibly mean?
I don't get it...
(Sry, I'm a non-native english speaker and I'm currently trying to improve my English)


There's sort of missing middle part of the sentence, "If you're quick with a knife you can kill and eat the invisible hand and you'll find the invisible hand is made of delicious meat" or something like that anyway. There's an implication that the black hat man is eating the invisible hand, anyway.


My question exactly. You mean like, the invisible hand of the market, as in economics?


Yes, that's right. The black hat guy is, metaphorically, killing and eating the invisible hand, by trying to make the hotel goers act against their better interests.

Similarly, I am metaphorically killing the joke, by trying to explain it to others.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

chernobyl
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby chernobyl » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:53 am UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:
chernobyl wrote:It's quite interesting how modern economics theory relies, mostly, on the assumption that everyone's a dick.

I think it's because the assumption has been pretty well validated historically.

Genuine concern for one's neighbor may be a pretty rare thing, but any theory that doesn't account for its existence is flawed because it distorts reality.

Kayangelus wrote:only problem is that given how many people read xkcd, now I have a feeling a lot of people are going to start doing this.

At least I've never gotten a bobcat from eBay so far...

thearbiter
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby thearbiter » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:09 am UTC

The odds of BHG's reviews putting a hotel out of business are negligible indeed as are the odds of his votes dissuading ANYONE from going to that hotel. Also he will have to tell the script which hotel he stayed at and whether he thought it was good or bad (what does he do with average hotels? Give them an average rating?) so by the time he's done that he may as well have written the review himself, especially as he probably would have had to write a variety of bad reviews for the script to use. Alt-text on the other hand: hilarious (oh and this thread.)

Jeff S
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Jeff S » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:06 pm UTC

I think one thing nobody's brought up is that *even if* BHG's bad reviews *did* have an affect and suppress bookings at the hotels he likes, it would be self-defeating. As the number of bookings go down, the hotels revenue goes down. It only has so much ability to raise price (and, if bookings are down, that ability is essentially zero), so it will have to offset the losses some other way. That probably means doing less maintenance, not replacing carpets/furniture/sheets and blankets/mattresses/etc as often, maybe cutting down on the housekeeping staff and other "corner cuts", which means when BHG goes back there in the future, his experience is likely to match the low rating he gave it.

Piskvor
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Piskvor » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:09 pm UTC

chernobyl wrote:At least I've never gotten a bobcat from eBay so far...


What? I must be the only one then - since that strip, I've been receiving nothing but bobcats! (I may or may not have ordered bobcats, but that's irrelevant to the discussion at hand)

Apeiron
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Apeiron » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:13 pm UTC

Most ratings systems on sites are pretty lousy. It costs the user nothing to post or to give any particular rating. i could give a 1 or a 5 with equal effort.

Gimme a system where users have to pay a buck, or can rate only one thing per day. Maybe for every star you give you have to say something positive and something negative for each star you omit. Maybe have meta ratings: if enough people claim the review was overly positive or negative it will lose influence in the overall rating. i think a simple thumbs up/down might be best. That way you have to take a stand.

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Karilyn
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby Karilyn » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:27 pm UTC

Bonus fun! Read the title text... swap the words "bedbugs" and "semen"

...

You're welcome.
Gelsamel wrote:If you punch him in the face repeatedly then it's science.

chrisk
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby chrisk » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:36 pm UTC

One other way that this might backfire on BHG is if you consider the possibility that hotel management would consider the ratings they get online to be a metric for their current practices.

Thus, he's giving the hotels that are doing everything right (by his standards) an incentive to change, and the hotels that aren't doing anything right no incentive to change.

mcv
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby mcv » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:39 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:Most ratings systems on sites are pretty lousy. It costs the user nothing to post or to give any particular rating. i could give a 1 or a 5 with equal effort.

True, but even if part of the ratings are random junk, as long as at least some percentage of visitors is honest and gives an honest review, the good hotels should still end up with a slightly better rating.

Unless of course people with various rating strategies are not distributed equally across all hotels.

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BrianB
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby BrianB » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:39 pm UTC

jpk wrote:Alt-text: "Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with semen, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, bedbugs poured out."

someguyyy wrote: Alternate alt-text: "Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with bedbugs, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, semen poured out."


It's "Title-text", not "Alt-text".

Directly from the page source...

Code: Select all

<img src="http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/hotels.png" title="&#39;Rating: 1/5. Room filled to brim with semen, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, bedbugs poured out.&#39;" alt="Hotels" /><br/>


As you can see, the Alt-text is simply "Hotels"

kargoth
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Re: 0958: "Hotels"

Postby kargoth » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Bonus fun! Read the title text... swap the words "bedbugs" and "semen"

...

You're welcome.


You're late. (By a few posts)


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