Useless Signage


Companion Care Restroom!? What on earth does that mean? I wonder if it got the ridiculous name because of political correctness when referring to a family, or some kind of bad translation. Either way, it’s absurd. This is a bathroom. For a family. Family restroom. Done.

Links o’ Interest

Christmas spirit

Drawing a spiral portrait. Wow.

Occupy Wall Street fail

How did we get seven billion humans on earth anyways (estimated to have happened Oct 31, 2011)?

Ah, Vegas

Your band sucks

I thought that was metaphorical

The number seven responds to the rumors

A mean joke

Great Halloween costume

Mug shot of the week – read all the way to the end

European flags

What the doctors said

Tea Party vs Occupy Wall Street. Good stats (particularly regarding “get a job!”)

Very misinformed

I don’t know much about Penn State. I’ve always liked and admired Joe Paterno. Yet, I find myself agreeing with this. Moral outrage, that’s what missing.

Harry Potter messes up

Heartwarming? Sad?

12 kinds of stock photos

Occupy Wall Street and Voting

I wonder what the voting participation rate is among the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Do you think it’s higher or lower than comparable cohorts?

After all, one answer to OWS is – why don’t you go out an elect candidates who will support your interests? If you want to increase corporate taxes (for example), why don’t you elect someone who will? Why don’t you run for office yourself? Wouldn’t all this be more effective than sleeping in the park?

Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t. Many of them would claim that the democratic process is so broken that it’s not worth it. Look at the marginalization of Dennis Kuchinik, Ron Paul, Howard Dean, etc. Any views not solidly in the mainstream are ignored. You cannot run for or hold office without corporate support and the quid pro quo that entails. You can’t fight the system.

And yet, I think for many that is an excuse. My guess is that the OWS people by and large choose to avoid the democratic system. I wonder if I’m right?

I agree with this blogger, who thinks that compulsory voting would be the best thing for OWS. Along the same line of thought, National Voting Day and the National Popular Vote movement. Or indeed any kind of systemic reform that makes it easier for citizens, (particular poor ones) to vote, or makes their votes worth more than they are today. It is no accident that the GOP so stridently objects to the census using statistical measures, and fights so hard to make voting difficult.

More Journalistic Innumeracy

I suppose I’m demanding too much of our local paper. But this bugs me.

11/11/11 is very special to two boys and two moms

Friday will have a date that occurs only once in a century: 11/11/11. Besides being the title of a movie thriller debuting this week, these numbers have significance for many people throughout the world.

It is unarguably true that 11/11/11 happens only once a century. On the other hand, so does 11/10/11. And 11/11/12. Every day of the century, represented this way, happens exactly once per century. That’s the whole point of the mm/dd/yy system, if the same mm/dd/yy meant more than one day it would defeat the whole point. Does it have significance for many people throughout the world? Probably. But it shouldn’t.

Notice that Scott Adams has done something clever here. This joke was not about the typical Y2K scare. The joke couldn’t be based on that, because that was a logical fear, given uncertainty about the technology that used timestamps. So he had to change the topic to have Dogbert claim the world would end, which didn’t match the real fears at the time.

Underlying this post is the idea of separating out numerical features of the measurement system, as opposed to numerical features of the underlying reality. A day is a day, no matter what system we use to indicate it. Daylight savings time does not actually change when the sun rises. A Mayan calender system than runs out in 2012 does not mean the actual world ends. And so on. The world is the world, no matter how we measure it. Features of the measurement system do not change the reality underneath.

Quick Update: I just found an old post on much the same topic.