First Comic Previous Comic Random Comic Next Comic Current Comic
First Comic Previous Comic Random Comic Next Comic Current Comic

In order to exist in society, we have to assume that the vast majority of people are sane.

In order to eat a slice of pizza, you have to assume that no one in the vast supply chain that provided each of the ingredients and proto-ingredients had snapped and decided to dump arsenic or anthrax or polonium into their vat.

You also have to assume that no one sprinkled poison onto your slice while your back was turned, or when you blinked between bites.

You have to assume that there isn't someone lurking behind you with a knife, or that there isn't a bomb under your chair, or that a sniper isn't targeting you from a half mile away.

While we're throwing caution to the wind, let's also assume that sending signals down the nerves in your arm will cause it to move the pizza to your mouth, and not the fork to your eyeball. Let's assume that the information being delivered via our senses corresponds to reality, and that we can make decisions based on it. Let's assume that our memories of the past five minutes also correspond to reality, and that the next five minutes will proceed logically from events in the present. Let's assume that the universe will continue to exist, rather than spontaneously ceasing.

That's a lot of assumptions.

(Tuesday midday, INT: Capsaicin Lounge kitchen)

JH: When you think about it, most of the food industry is based on trust. We buy vegetables, meat, oil, flour, cheese... we have to take it on faith that the farmers and manufacturers are giving us what they say they're giving us. And then, in turn, customers have to trust us to cook it safely and properly.
ChA: It's not just trust. I mean, if some butcher was giving out human steaks and calling them porkchops, there'd be legal ramifications, right?
JH: Yeah, but those only kick in after the fact, once people have already started getting sick. You'd have to assume the butcher in question cared about future consequences of his actions.
ChA: All civilization is based on that - the assumption that your fellow economic actors have forethought and self-interest. I wouldn't really call it trust to assume that cashiers will give you correct change, or drivers won't intentionally ram your car, or employers won't fire you when they find out you don't actually have the formal education they assumed you had but that you never actually said you had.
JH: Employers can totally fire you for that.
ChA: I know, I was just indulging in a little wishful thinking...