please knock to be entered

The people in the office next to ours are guilty of some truly world-class bad signage.

Let's go through them one by one, from the point of view of a customer, walking down the hall looking for these people.
Ok, so there are three companies in this suite. Sure, no problem. One of these companies is probably the one I'm here to see. I'll just--

Whoa, okay, that's a little strange for a office door. Am I welcome here? Maybe they've had problems with delinquent teenagers or homeless people? Let's see...

Okay, now I'm confused; I can come in, but only if I'm not trespassing. Well at least this seems to imply that there is a business here that wants customers. Since I'm here to see these people I'll probably be fine. The sign says I should just come in, so I'll just open the d--

Oh, a doorbell. Well, maybe I'll ring the doorbell then, instead of walking in? Maybe then they can determine whether or not I'm trespassing... Here goes, ringing the--

Wait, what? Okay, I don't even know where to begin unpacking this one. First of all, I came here to talk to you people, not to be probed or penetrated IN ANY WAY. Second of all, if I did want to be entered, whatever that means, should I knock or ring the doorbell? Maybe the doorbell is for people who don't want to be entered? It's pretty ambiguous. I know one thing for sure: I am not walking through that door. I am leaving and driving home.

Here it is all together, in all its glory:

The cognitive dissonance of this display is startling. Why does nobody talk to the manager and say, "look, your signs are awful and they are scaring us." I... just... the... HOW CAN THIS BE THE PUBLIC FACE OF YOUR BUSINESS? IT'S COMPLETELY SCHIZOPHRENIC! WHERE IS YOUR SENSE OF PRIDE?

I mean, how hard is it to create a display that doesn't argue vigorously with itself?



...I like to try to give people the benefit of the doubt wherever possible, but this just kills me. The grammar issue with the paper sign is probably the funniest, but it's honestly just the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. What really, really bothers me about this door, day in and day out as I walk past it, is it's blithe ignorance of its own conflicting messaging. The concepts conveyed by the signs on this door are in direct opposition to eachother, and its left to the reader to sort it all out. Thus the signs more than cancel themselves out, they leave the reader with a vague uneasiness about the entire business. These signs are almost certainly driving away customers, and I guess that bothers me.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

Holy crap this is fantastic. Or at least, this is my exact rant, distilled, in blog form. Thank you internets, for doing my work for me.


Here is an interesting story about FBI agents at Guantanamo Bay, and what they observed there. With tables.

United States Budget Game

I found this "game" really fascinating.

Make a federal budget and compare your budget with other budgets made by people in your demographic group, or other demographic group. It's put together American Public Media, the big operator of public radio stations, with relatively authoritative numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, etc..

The interface is kinda dumb, but if you push through it, it's an interesting high-level view of US government spending. You pick from an array of cards that let you affect the budget by implementing different policies, and you try to earn badges that reflect your political values.

Taken as a game, it's easy to min/max, and cut everything that doesn't get you a badge, but taken seriously it's a pretty good tool. Go play, and see what badges you earn, and how far out you push the budget bust. Then come back and put your results in the comments.


It was great to see everyone yesterday, and the Jonathan Coulton concert was totally awesome. I really wasn't expecting them to take their clothes off(!) but hey, it all worked out.
Check out the fort as actually constructed.

How many differences can you find?