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January 17, 2012 11:46 PM   Subscribe

This notice is here to tell you not to remove this notice.
posted by latkes (134 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Am I supposed to find this hilarious or depressing? Because I'm mostly filing that under the "oh, Florida! Do you ever stop entertaining?" folder.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you want a vision of the future, imagine a recursion stamped onto a vending machine--forever.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:53 PM on January 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Pure, distilled Republican talking point fuel.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:53 PM on January 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


This culture of subordination and subjugation going too far. Florida has violated the inalienable freedoms and liberties of vending machines. What next?
posted by polymodus at 11:55 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


LOOK AT THIS DOG
posted by thewalrus at 11:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [20 favorites]


But... But the phone number you call to report a machine without the sticker is on the sticker itself.

I guess the smart move is to take the sticker off so that you have the number in case you see a machine without a sticker.

Oh, there's one!
posted by ODiV at 11:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [78 favorites]


in other news, Florida has introduced legislation to have a sign placed on the state capitol's front lawn with only the text "please replace sign if moved" printed on it.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:59 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


As you might guess, what happened is the bill removed the requirement to post the owner's name and address, but forgot to remove the surrounding bit of law which specified all the "THIS STICKER MUST BE AFFIXED BLAH BLAH" text. Page 15 of the PDF you get if you download the bill.
posted by hattifattener at 12:03 AM on January 18, 2012 [24 favorites]


It's time to start requiring minimum IQ scores and mandatory aptitude tests for politicians and legislators before it's...

...actually, it's probably already too late. The movie Brazil is starting to look more and more sane and rational than reality.
posted by loquacious at 12:03 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Obey the daleks.
posted by vrakatar at 12:07 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This comment is here to comment on the comment after it.
posted by not_on_display at 12:09 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


This comment is here to comment on the comment preceding it.
posted by not_on_display at 12:09 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


If this comment is deleted, please contact mods by flagging it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:15 AM on January 18, 2012 [57 favorites]


There must be a German word for this.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:17 AM on January 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


If this comment is deleted, please MeMail me.
posted by Heretical at 12:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


There must be a German word for this.

Following hattifattener's explanation, I'll go with "Redaktionsversehen."

Still pretty embarrassing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:22 AM on January 18, 2012


I like the simple "Florida" tag, very self explanatory.
posted by arcticseal at 1:12 AM on January 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Reminds me of this.
posted by Decani at 1:17 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sounds kind of Vogonian
posted by neversummer at 1:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


What? None of you ever had a mattress with a "DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG" tag? Old joke.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:25 AM on January 18, 2012


No, this is equivalent to having a tag on a mattress that reads: if this tag is not present, please call Batman. He can be reached via cellphone at xxx-xxxxxxxx.
posted by lydhre at 1:50 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


This comment is required in any thread where it is required. If this comment doesn't appear in this thread, make a comment in this thread about how this comment did not appear.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:20 AM on January 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is itching me in the same place the CA kerfluffle regarding the donors who supported the hateful anti-gay petition wanting to have their names hidden so that people didn't discover said donors were, in fact, hateful anti-gay people.

Florida: "Well, it's obviously an invasion of the business owner's privacy if people know where to complain about their shitty vending machine which ripped off the consumer. Ripping off the consumer is as American as a (moldy) apple pie!"
posted by maxwelton at 2:30 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"must be posted on all Florida vending machines preceded by its quotation" must be posted on all Florida vending machines preceded by its quotation
posted by Omission at 2:40 AM on January 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


This reminds me of the time I cast Word of Seizing on my opponent's Merieke Ri Berit and used her ability on herself.

you control Merieke Ri Berit as long as you control Merieke Ri Berit
posted by NMcCoy at 2:48 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm reporting the lot of you to the Department of Redundancy Department.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:08 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


TWICE.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:08 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


And people wonder why conservatives get upset about government regulation. Criminy.

No doubt there will be a small army of inspectors, drawing a government wage, whose sole purpose is to levy fines on operators for not displaying a notice that they are required to display a notice.

The bureaucracy exists to serve the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.
posted by Malor at 3:12 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


So as far as I can see, Florida has a tax on vending machines which requires them to be registered. This is an astroturf campaign by Vending Times ("addresses the business, legal, legislative and regulatory concerns of companies providing industrial, institutional and public vending, refreshment, feeding and recreational services") to generate hassle for Florida's Taxpayer Services and the official named in the link. Because it's supposedly absurd that registered vending machines should have a compulsory sticker.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:35 AM on January 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


So if the sticker basically says "this is a registered vending machine", i.e. it is effectively a license plate, why didn't it just say that? Are we looking at the result of once-sensible legislation made ridiculous by enemy action?
posted by epo at 3:42 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pure, distilled Republican talking point fuel.

Because anyone who thinks regulation can get excessive and absurd has a flowery shrine to Ayn Rand in their attic, right.
posted by unigolyn at 3:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


This comment intentionally left blank
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:04 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the second link:
According to National Automatic Merchandising Association senior vice-president of government affairs Ned Monroe, the change will protect vending operators from unscrupulous individuals who were stealing business and tax information from current vending machine labels.

There is no fiscal effect on the industry from the changes to Florida's HB 7157, Monroe explained, "but complying will assist in protecting your corporate identity and tax information."
Unscrupulous individuals. Or ripped-off customers. Or terrorists.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:07 AM on January 18, 2012


They used to have a sticker with the vendor's tax ID and other information that could be used to rip off the owner of the machine, or allow competitors to survey where and when a company is installing new machines.

The new sticker simply points out that the machine next to it without a sticker, put up by a fly-by-nite company, is not legit, and offers a reward to people who notice the machine is not in compliance.

This is a very smart and shrewd move in any world without laser printers that can print on peel-and-stick paper. Since we are not living in this world... LOL Florida!
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:29 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Our "IT Coordinator" (IT is outsourced) recently sent an email to notify us that the Exchange server was unreachable.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:44 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


This reminds me of the time I cast Word of Seizing on my opponent's Merieke Ri Berit

I clicked and was greeted by a black screen with white lettered explanation. "Go Wizards!", I thought. "At last you got something right!"
Then I read:
"Wizards.com is down for routine server maintenance."

Oh well.
posted by hat_eater at 4:46 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Our "IT Coordinator" (IT is outsourced) recently sent an email to notify us that the Exchange server was unreachable.

I received once a scathing email reminding me not to log in because the servers (including the mail server) are down.

It turned out that I managed to log in in the brief moment when the admin was just checking if the whole setup won't catch on fire when turned on for reals.
posted by hat_eater at 5:05 AM on January 18, 2012


this sign has sharp edges
posted by h0p3y at 5:08 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds as though Balko is right, and this is an absurdly stupid regulation. But here's what kills me about this particular strain of libertarianism (and I'm someone that considers myself somewhat libertarian): Balko is a journalist. Why not call up some people in Florida and see what the regulation's purpose is, and why vending machine owners are asked to place that sticker there? Why not ask the Floridian readers to do the same?

Instead, what happens is, folks simply point and laugh at the dumb rule without furthering their understanding of a) governance and the weird forms it takes sometimes or b) how to actually advocate for public policies friendly to your ideology. I guess, this way, everyone can stay cool, hipster, and ironically detached - and also stay pessimistic about how government operates.

Ah, libertarianism.
posted by downing street memo at 5:12 AM on January 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


He can be reached via cellphone at xxx-xxxxxxxx.

Not fair. I dialed 999-99999999 and the operator came on and told me to stop being an idiot.
posted by eriko at 5:14 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everybody knows that to reach Batman you call 1-800-BATMANN. The extra N is for Dark KNight.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Pure, distilled Republican talking point fuel.

Funny, is this where we point out the law was passed by a Republican Majority House, a Republican Majority Senate, and signed by a Republican Governor?

Why yes, yes we do.
posted by eriko at 5:21 AM on January 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


John Stossel called Florida Dept. of Revenue and was told, “A vending machine operator that does not place the notice on the machine presumably is not in compliance with the other requirements such as registration and payment of the tax.”

It's the brown M&Ms rider of regulations!
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 5:35 AM on January 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Pure, distilled Republican talking point fuel.

Funny, is this where we point out the law was passed by a Republican Majority House, a Republican Majority Senate, and signed by a Republican Governor?

Why yes, yes we do.


That actually makes perfect sense. Because it's been my experience that while Republicans campaign on no government regulation, when governing they don't just remove it - they create government regulation that is either defanged or unhelpful (to quiet people down) or business-friendly or not-actually-regulatory(for obvious reasons); that way they get to go back out and campaign about how the defanged, unhelpful, business-friendly government regulations that they helped create doesn't actually help anyone, and start the cycle over again.

Rinse, blather, repeat.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:44 AM on January 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


At my work, when new management took over they replaced all internal signage on doors with paper versions of the same signs.

Except the new signs had "This is a temporary sign" at the bottom.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:53 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of Jessamyn's technically legal Patriot Act sign for libraries:

THE FBI HAS NOT BEEN HERE

watch closely for the removal of this sign

posted by Rock Steady at 5:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


This comment has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.
posted by 445supermag at 6:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is actually, counter-intuitively, brilliant and money saving. Think about it.

Florida seems to have had a small problem with unlicensed/untaxed vending machines which it solved using an ancient and time tested method of applying a stamp to the registered and taxed ones that Florida wants. There were presumably inspectors who would roam the state looking for unregistered and untaxed ones, but there was a new problem. Unscrupulous folk were finding it worthwhile to get business and tax information off of the old stamp from people complying with the law.

This new stamp fulfills all of the functions of the old one, lacks the old ones problem of non-securely transmitting apparently sensitive information, and has a new function. It asks consumers to save the state money by reducing the need for inspectors (Small government!), citizens of Florida can instead be on the lookout for unregistered machines and get a tidy reward that is cost effective for the state. Everyone wins but lawbreakers, apparently now including pundits.

Fuck the pundits, this is engaged and critically thinking governance, even if it would have likely benefited from a more detailed explanation on the sign.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:37 AM on January 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


This new stamp fulfills all of the functions of the old one

I presume the old one probably took less than a laser printer, an Avery template, and five seconds to fake.
posted by Vetinari at 6:44 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


This comment has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.

This comment has also been edited for content, and to fit in the time allotted.
posted by pjern at 6:44 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


To be blunt, John Stossel is just an older James O'Keefe. He goes around the country doing talks on how medication shouldn't carry medical warnings because children fall into backyard pools.
posted by Nomyte at 6:46 AM on January 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


This comment has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.

Liar! We don't have an edit window around these parts (unlike SportsFilter. Just sayin').
posted by NoMich at 6:52 AM on January 18, 2012


Fuck the pundits, this is engaged and critically thinking governance, even if it would have likely benefited from a more detailed explanation on the sign.

They couldn't have come up with:

"This vending machine is legally registered with the State of Florida. If you see one that doesn't have this message on it, call 1-800-FLORIDA. You may be eligible for a reward."

People are going to call any number they can find on it when it eats their money, so don't bother with the overly aggressive "Don't call if..." wording since they are going to call anyway. Ideally, you would add a website they can go to on their smartphone that can detect their location automatically and submit the report for them, but that may be asking a bit much from state government.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:57 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


John Stossel is an absolute tool, and I say that as someone who has worked with him on far too many occasions. A lot of the time he was wearing shirt, tie, jacket and bike shorts behind whatever desk he may have been seated behind. Such a dick.
posted by nevercalm at 6:58 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


That number won't accept calls from my location outside of Florida. :(

I wanted to see if it was someone's elaborate prank to spam a 1-800 number.

And help.
posted by edguardo at 7:00 AM on January 18, 2012


nevercalm: GO ON
posted by leotrotsky at 7:02 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


I've found that if you remove the "You are here" from a mall map, you disappear.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:04 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


As you might guess, what happened is the bill removed the requirement to post the owner's name and address, but forgot to remove the surrounding bit of law which specified all the "THIS STICKER MUST BE AFFIXED BLAH BLAH" text.

I knew it. I saw the sticker on several vending machines after not having used a vending machine in Florida in years and wondered what the hell happened to the owner's name and address. They ought to bring it back so you know who to call when the machine steals your money.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:06 AM on January 18, 2012


A lot of the time he was wearing shirt, tie, jacket and bike shorts behind whatever desk he may have been seated behind. Such a dick.

Just because someone is wearing bike shorts doesn't mean it's ok to stare at their crotch.
posted by 445supermag at 7:16 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


This comment unintentionally left blank.
posted by Infinity_8 at 7:29 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Press comment button firmly. Form box is in triplicate.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:43 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Right next to this is a sign that reads "DO NOT READ THIS SIGN"
posted by briank at 8:00 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


No doubt there will be a small army of inspectors, drawing a government wage, whose sole purpose is to levy fines on operators for not displaying a notice that they are required to display a notice.

Oh please... (eye roll here)

posted by aspo at 8:10 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks the sticker is at worst a little poorly worded, and not inherently worthy of ridicule at all? It gives you all the information a non-vending machine professional needs to know and is written in big, friendly letters. What more do you want?

It's certainly a step in the right direction compared to byzantine legalize in small print explaning the legal code the machine might be violating, along with the reporting line phone number.

Knee-jerk mockery is kind of depressing to watch.
posted by jsturgill at 8:15 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]



Uh, is it okay if I just get this bag of peanuts?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:21 AM on January 18, 2012


From the 2010 article in Vending Times:

According to National Automatic Merchandising Association senior vice-president of government affairs Ned Monroe, the change will protect vending operators from unscrupulous individuals who were stealing business and tax information from current vending machine labels.

What I want to know is why stupid laws are viewed solely as a failure of government, and not as a failure of the moneyed interests who influence the law.
posted by compartment at 8:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


My last hometown had a sign up that read Sign Now Fixed. Sure, you could mock it, and say that it's a recursive bit of nothing you needed to know. But I loved that sign. To me, it promised the triumph of human ingenuity over the forces of entropy. We can fix signs, dammit, and ain't that something?
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:26 AM on January 18, 2012


Am I the only one who thinks the sticker is at worst a little poorly worded, and not inherently worthy of ridicule at all?

Probably. It really only makes any sense when you realize that it used to have more information on it.
posted by smackfu at 8:34 AM on January 18, 2012


This reminds me of when I was very little and I would write letters to my grandma, with the PS reading: "If you do not get this letter, please let me know right away!"
posted by routergirl at 8:36 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to get my haircut at a salon that had a notice up that began: "Due to a company policy we will not …"

Every time I sat down in the waiting area I would stare and stare at that sign until I wanted to scream: You don’t need the first phrase. Because the thing that follows IS THE POLICY. So you don’t need to say it’s due TO a policy.

But somehow they'd come up with that bureaucratic-sounding blame-shifting. "Sorry. It's Due to a Policy."
posted by NorthernLite at 8:36 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I see it as a modern-day zen koan. If the label with the phone number is not on the machine, you must call the number on the label that is not on the machine to report the absence of the label. Then you must clap with one hand while an isolated tree falls in a forest.
posted by zompus at 8:46 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Probably. It really only makes any sense when you realize that it used to have more information on it.

No, it makes perfect sense. It's not asking you to report this machine if it doesn't have this particular sticker on it. It's asking you to report any vending machine that doesn't have one of these stickers on it.

Characterizing it as being recursive or somehow self defeating is a whole lot of careless reading, with a side of groupthink internet pile-on bullshit. Human beings should be better than this. Metafilter should be better than this. The sticker is not funny or inept, even coming at it from a position of ignorance, and if you look into the story of why it is what it is, the sticker is clearly a pretty good solution that solves a real problem.
posted by jsturgill at 8:48 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you want a vision of the future, imagine a recursion stamped onto a vending machine--forever.--R. Schlock

As has been mentioned, what's to stop people from putting on counterfeit signs? When they realize this, they can require a sticker on the notice. It would say that if they see a notice without the sticker, you can call in for a reward. But what if they start copying the sticker?
posted by eye of newt at 8:50 AM on January 18, 2012


As you might guess, what happened is the bill removed the requirement to post the owner's name and address, but forgot to remove the surrounding bit of law which specified all the "THIS STICKER MUST BE AFFIXED BLAH BLAH" text.

It is my job to point this sort of thing out in the bills in my state legislature, before they get passed. Luckily I do not work for Florida, but this is my nightmare scenario, definitely.
posted by JanetLand at 8:51 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


You guys are forgetting that Florida is the land of the old retired busybody. They probably had this number burned into their brains long ago.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:51 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Methinks the sticker is not there for consumers -- as noted, consumers aren't going to write this down in case they find one in non-compliance.

No, the sticker and the law are there for vending machine operators to inform on their competitors that aren't paying taxes. The operators know who to call.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:56 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]




Do not read this sign under penalty of law.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:01 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


> No, the sticker and the law are there for vending machine operators to inform on their competitors that aren't paying taxes. The operators know who to call.

I was thinking something similar, but it seems that anyone can just buy those labels without necessarily having any permit or paying tax on revenue.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:03 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


445supermag: "This comment has been modified. It has been formatted."

Please do not read the above comment. Prosecutors will be violated.
posted by Splunge at 9:15 AM on January 18, 2012


Please do not read. You'll be disenchanted.
posted by hat_eater at 9:22 AM on January 18, 2012


jsturgill: the sticker is clearly a pretty good solution that solves a real problem.

The sticker gives zero information, other than that I might get cash for calling a phone number. You may think that's a good thing. I don't. Training people to call random phone numbers for unknown reasons isn't a good thing.

Also, how is this "clearly a pretty good solution"? Has it vastly increased tax revenue? Do you have some statistics the rest of us lack?

And if you haven't measured the effect the sticker has had, how exactly have you arrived at the conclusion that this is "clearly a good solution" (or even any solution at all)?
posted by coolguymichael at 9:23 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


But what if they start copying the sticker?

Or what if someone invents a vending machine that dispenses these stickers?
posted by R. Schlock at 9:24 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I believe this is the kind of thing Russell was getting at in On Denoting.
posted by stargell at 9:25 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


thewalrus: "LOOK AT THIS DOG"

Related.
posted by brundlefly at 9:29 AM on January 18, 2012


Metafilter: Knee-jerk mockery is kind of depressing to watch.
posted by yoink at 9:30 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to get my haircut at a salon that had a notice up that began: "Due to a company policy we will not …"

Every time I sat down in the waiting area I would stare and stare at that sign until I wanted to scream: You don’t need the first phrase. Because the thing that follows IS THE POLICY. So you don’t need to say it’s due TO a policy.

But somehow they'd come up with that bureaucratic-sounding blame-shifting. "Sorry. It's Due to a Policy."


"Pleased be advised that ..." also drives me crazy. Especially when it announces some onerous rule or cut in service. Then when someone complains, the response can be, "Well, we ADVISED you."
posted by stargell at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2012


In college, my major department had an internal fight about how to organize its offices, with some faculty (the quantitative folks) arguing for some sort of use study to measure student traffic. To mock them, one of the more qualitative faculty posted signs up along most of the hallways with two columns: "Sign here if you passed this sign" and "Sign here if you did not pass this sign."

This particular sticker reminds me of that.
posted by hank_14 at 9:33 AM on January 18, 2012


I presume the old one probably took less than a laser printer, an Avery template, and five seconds to fake.
posted by Vetinari


Vetinari makes a great point. Without a unique anything on the sign, it's awfully easy to counterfeit.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:39 AM on January 18, 2012


There seems to be an assumption by some commentors that the sign is purchased from the State. Signs like this usually aren't - things like pool safety signs, and other regulatory compliance signs are produced by commercial vendors according to state standards.

The commercial vendors just make and sell the signs. They don't verify whether or not their customers are in compliance with any laws.

So, what that means is that the handful of people here who are reeeeaaallllyyyy stretching their argument to a thin, transparent sheen of its former self that this sign does serve some sort of indication of legal compliance are overlooking the fact that anyone can buy one of these signs and slap it on their machine.

Here's a relevant, if tangential observation. The next time you go into a business, if the "Better Business Bureau" sign is prominently displayed, be careful. The BBB makes a hefty chunk of revenue off of people looking to establish credibility when their business model doesn't otherwise lend itself to credibility-establishment.
posted by Xoebe at 9:50 AM on January 18, 2012


A man was walking through a street market and noticed a shopkeeper painting a sign which read FRESH FISH SOLD HERE TODAY.

"I can save you some work", he told the shopkeeper. "You don't need FRESH, do you, because you're not going to be selling rotting fish, are you?"

"No, I suppose not", said the shopkeeper. "Thanks".

"And you don't need TODAY. I mean, you're not selling it yesterday, or tomorrow, are you?"

"I guess not".

"And HERE is redundant. I mean, where else are you doing to sell it?"

"Now you put it like that", said the shopkeeper, "it does seem superfluous".

"And SOLD is unnecessary. I mean, you're hardly going to give it away."

"You're right", said the shopkeeper. "You've saved me a lot of work".

"One more thing", said the passer-by. "You needn't bother with FISH either. I could smell it two blocks away".
posted by unSane at 9:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Bill stickers will be prosecuted!
posted by dr_dank at 10:00 AM on January 18, 2012


Every now and then I'll encounter a door somewhere with a sign on it stating:
This door must remain closed at all times.
What could you possibly be thinking to come up with a sign like that? Why did you put a door there when clearly a wall is what you wanted?
 

posted by Herodios at 10:06 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I stopped reading at"John Stossel."
posted by klanawa at 10:15 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


thewalrus: "LOOK AT THIS DOG"

Related.
posted by brundlefly at 9:29 AM on January 18 [+] [!]


That is a Pallas Cat, aka "Manul", native to the high mountains of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and northern Pakistan. And I can confirm for you that it is awesome.
posted by thewalrus at 10:19 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


POST NO BILLS
posted by thewalrus at 10:21 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am surprised that the Conservapedia article on John Stossel in so short. It's always a little exciting when Conservapedia lets you down in an unexpected new way.
posted by compartment at 10:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not asking you to report this machine if it doesn't have this particular sticker on it. It's asking you to report any vending machine that doesn't have one of these stickers on it.

The recursive part is that seemingly the only point of the sticker is to give you a way to report it being missing.
posted by smackfu at 10:32 AM on January 18, 2012


signed,

The Mgt.
posted by Tom-B at 10:32 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Every now and then I'll encounter a door somewhere with a sign on it stating:

This door must remain closed at all times.

What could you possibly be thinking to come up with a sign like that? Why did you put a door there when clearly a wall is what you wanted?


We had a sign like that at one place I worked. It was because people going in and out was fine, but if the door was constantly open it sucked all the heat out until we were wearing woolly hats and typing with gloves on. People would prop it open because apparently it was an enormous trial to use the handle. It got to the point that we knew someone had done it AGAIN because the temperature dropped twenty degrees in five minutes, and so finally we put up the sign because that was easier (though less satisfying) than posting a sentry by the door tasked with bludgeoning to death those people who left the door open.
posted by winna at 10:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine the sign actually did anything, other than causing you to get even more annoyed because now people were ignoring the damn sign too.
posted by smackfu at 10:50 AM on January 18, 2012


The recursive part is that seemingly the only point of the sticker is to give you a way to report it being missing.

There is no recursive part. Any recursivity is an artifact of poor reading comprehension.
posted by jsturgill at 10:57 AM on January 18, 2012


I can only assume Florida State Representative George Brecht is behind this.
posted by Human's Nephew at 10:58 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any recursivity is an artifact of poor reading comprehension

I don't really see the need for insults. Can you explain what you feel the point of the sticker is, and why this particular sticker wording is a good solution to that point? Clearly there is some miscommunication going on here if you feel the sticker is an example of good government, and others feel the exact opposite.
posted by smackfu at 11:08 AM on January 18, 2012


There are plenty of doors that remain closed at (almost) all times for security purposes but must installed in case of fire or for other safety reasons. But as soon as you write "This door must remain closed at all times except in emergencies" everybody starts thinking that them being inconvenienced is an emergency. Not saying this is the case in the aforementioned examples but because it's standard sign speak, I can imagine people using it because they've seen it before.

I will fully admit to thinking about this after reading this morning, trying to 'stretch myself thin' for any reasoning. But it seems that most of the arguments have already been made, mostly by Blaselb.

As for the sticker not being helpful if it isn't there, if I was hypothetically going to install an unlicensed vending machine, I'd probably end up doing it in a high traffic area with the proper electric outlet. Like a place where another vending machine is. And the unlicensed vending machine that is taking business away from the licensed one next to it is probably the one that is causing the most outrage.

Also, in many states, the Department of Revenue very much tries to make itself invisible by not stamping "TAX" and "LICENSE" on everything, and I can see that there would be a business upside to this as well. I wouldn't be surprised if leaving those things out wasn't a conscious, if foolish to some consumers, decision.

Is this sign perfect? No. Is it regulation-as-driven-by-committee-and-corporate-interests? Probably. But it does serve it's purpose better than the previous solution and isn't oppressing anybody.

Also, anything that drives John Stossel around the bend is okay by me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:15 AM on January 18, 2012


It got to the point that we knew someone had done it AGAIN because the temperature dropped twenty degrees in five minutes, and so finally we put up the sign because that was easier (though less satisfying) than posting a sentry by the door tasked with bludgeoning to death those people who left the door open.

Why not install one of these and put up a sign that says "Do not prop this door open"?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:22 AM on January 18, 2012


Because that's more work and money than a little sticker?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:28 AM on January 18, 2012


I can't imagine the sign actually did anything, other than causing you to get even more annoyed because now people were ignoring the damn sign too.
posted by smackfu at 10:50 AM on January 18 [+] [!]


My brother lived in a commune shortly after leaving college. I was visiting him and noticed a sign above the sink that said "I wish people wouldn't leave dirty dishes in the sink."
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:40 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bill stickers will be prosecuted

I always think of this when I read that phrase.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:57 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The break room in a building where I once worked had a vending machine with a separate row of buttons for gum and mints. One day, the row of buttons broke; and so the staff room committee installed a sign:

"NO GUM OR MINTS ONLY"

I loved that sign.
posted by steambadger at 11:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's not these vending machines we have to worry about. Everyone knows it's the gumball dispensers that are run by the mob!*

I don't care if the vending machine has a sticker, unless it tells me how old the STUFF in the machine is. Those Butterfinger bars have probably been in there for years. No one really likes them, right?

What's the advantage to the consumer in having this sign, anyway? Who DO I call if the machine takes my money?

And what if they don't do anything when I call them--THEN can I call your 1 800 number and bitch about them to you? I want someone to vent to about that.

Otherwise, why have a vending machine operator regulated in the first place? Our lost quarters are paying for you sticker!

We are the 99 cents!**

*This is a commonly-held belief in Florida.

**As someone who doesn't buy candy from vending machines, this whole issue actually doesn't really affect me at all.

posted by misha at 12:04 PM on January 18, 2012


God help me, I'm going to take this thread seriously if it kills me.
> I don't really see the need for insults...
It's not an insult. Reading the sticker as being recursive is misunderstanding the grammar, either for laughs or because of a hasty reading or for some other reason.
FLORIDA LAW REQUIRES THIS NOTICE TO BE POSTED ON ALL FOOD AND BEVERAGE VENDING MACHINES.
No recursivity there.
Report any machine without a notice to 1-800-352-9273. You may be elligible for a cash reward.
Nor there.
> Can you explain what you feel the point of the sticker is, and why this particular sticker wording is a good solution to that point? Clearly there is some miscommunication going on here if you feel the sticker is an example of good government, and others feel the exact opposite.
> The sticker gives zero information, other than that I might get cash for calling a phone number. You may think that's a good thing. I don't. Training people to call random phone numbers for unknown reasons isn't a good thing.

Also, how is this "clearly a pretty good solution"? Has it vastly increased tax revenue? Do you have some statistics the rest of us lack?

And if you haven't measured the effect the sticker has had, how exactly have you arrived at the conclusion that this is "clearly a good solution" (or even any solution at all)?
Most people in this thread are saying LOL GOVERNMENT without commenting in any meaningful manner about the law or the sticker. That would be totally fine, except their jokes don't make any sense. And not in an Andy Kaufman way. In order to make the comments (most) people have made, they must have never read the sticker and just taken it on faith that it was stupid, or they read it and didn't comprehend it.

The third option is that they read it, comprehended it, and then decided to misrepresent it anyway due to a political agenda or desire to fit in. That seems like the most uncharitable reading of all. I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

What the sticker accomplishes: Where the sticker falls short: The original mis-reading of the label, which so many here have followed along with, was apparently a deliberate and calculated move designed to manipulate the public into dismissing the ability of governments to sensibly regulate business.

This is about the only funny joke in the whole thread, and it isn't about recursivity. It's about an amusing side effect that was created when the state very sensibly took a low-cost route to publicizing a reporting hotline that got them massive coverage to relevant demographics (people who own and use vending machines) without the expense of billboards, newspaper ads, or television commercials.

If you have any other questions, ask away. Apparently I don't have anything better to do today.
posted by jsturgill at 12:06 PM on January 18, 2012


This is what I think is the recursive bit.

This notice is required.
This notice (which says this notice is required) is required.
This notice (which says this notice (which says this notice is required) is required) is required.
posted by smackfu at 12:15 PM on January 18, 2012


The problem with the sticker is that it doesn't say what its function is.

It could simply say 'This sticker certifies that this machine is in compliance with Florida State Law' or whatever.

Without any such assertion -- even if that is indeed its function -- it's open to ridicule.
posted by unSane at 12:24 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This notice is required.
This notice (which says this notice is required) is required.
This notice (which says this notice (which says this notice is required) is required) is required.


Yet that is not what the notice says or requires. I can make up a notice that is just plain silly in my head, too! But that doesn't mean it makes sense to joke about this real notice as though it were the one I made up in my head.
posted by jsturgill at 12:30 PM on January 18, 2012


They probably had this number burned into their brains long ago.

It was easier to remember when the number was listed as 1-800-FL-AWARD.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:31 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It informs the reader that the sticker is legally required. Notices do that all the time. Look at the gas station pump next time you fill up.

The ones I see on gas pumps have information on them that is not about the stickers. You know - "Contains MBTE, a carcinogen;" :Contains 10% ethanol" - that sort of thing. The FLA sticker is required, but why is it required? Its presence does not indicate anything other than its presence. It doesn't mean that a tax has been paid, or that the machine has been inspected or registered, or anything else. What is its point?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:32 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Free market" ... AH ha ha!!!
posted by Twang at 12:32 PM on January 18, 2012


Also, before the sticker was changed, it actually DID have information on it that indicated compliance with licensing and tax paying. It was that information that the machine owners objected to, so it was removed. Now the sticker serves no purpose at all.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:35 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"But that doesn't mean it makes sense to joke about this real notice as though it were the one I made up in my head."

"This notice is required."

vs.

"FLORIDA LAW REQUIRES THIS NOTICE TO BE POSTED ON ALL FOOD AND BEVERAGE VENDING MACHINES."

Seems about the same to me.
posted by smackfu at 12:36 PM on January 18, 2012


"This notice is required."

vs.

"FLORIDA LAW REQUIRES THIS NOTICE TO BE POSTED ON ALL FOOD AND BEVERAGE VENDING MACHINES."

Seems about the same to me.


Yes.

But:

"This notice is required."

and

"This notice that this notice is required is required."

are in no way the same.
posted by jsturgill at 12:41 PM on January 18, 2012


Am I the only one who thinks the sticker is at worst a little poorly worded, and not inherently worthy of ridicule at all? It gives you all the information a non-vending machine professional needs to know and is written in big, friendly letters. What more do you want?

Um, I think you might be missing the bigger picture. The sticker accomplishes nothing except trying to enforce having the sticker on the machine. From your Department of Redundancy Department.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:01 PM on January 18, 2012


Man I wouldn't trust ceviche from a vending machine anyway I don't know why y'all down in Florida even have them.
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:15 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because it's supposedly absurd that registered vending machines should have a compulsory sticker.

If you don't find anything absurd at all about the sticker (eg, "please do not call us to report problems with getting change" etc) then, well, I don't know what.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:28 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seen at Seatac airport: Do not remove, adjust or alter this sign. It must remain in this location.
posted by bruceo at 2:06 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So... the notice is required, eh?

Let's stick it to the sticker stickers by sticking the sticker on backwards.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:25 PM on January 18, 2012


bruceo: in that case, it isn't really a sign anymore, is it? It's part of the architecture.

This comment has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.

My dream is that one day I will turn on AMC or FOX or whatever to watch a movie, and the film will be preceded by the following notice:

This film has been modified from its original version. Random scenes have been removed and replaced with Spanish language versions of 'The Three Stooges.'
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:19 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This dead horse must be beaten to death. If this horse has run away, please notify management.

Sincerely,

Management
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 3:24 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]



"This notice is required."
and
"This notice that this notice is required is required."
are in no way the same.


But if the notice contains no information but that the notice is required, and how you can report non-compliancy, then to what end is it required?


If the vendor's name and address was too risky, couldn't they have license numbers or something? It identifies nothing but that single machine, and the tax man is the only one allowed to look in the book that says who owns the license.
posted by RobotHero at 3:48 PM on January 18, 2012


It's certainly a step in the right direction compared to byzantine legalize in small print explaning the legal code the machine might be violating, along with the reporting line phone number.

But at least then I would be able to report them for something other than not having the notice that tells me how to report them.
posted by RobotHero at 3:59 PM on January 18, 2012


I don't know about you guys, but I love the fact that it's an "official" sticker that only states that it has to be there, in plain black text on white. I want to print up variations of these on vinyl sticker paper and see where I can put them, and make a game about how long they stay up unmolested.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:25 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because it's supposedly absurd that registered vending machines should have a compulsory sticker.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:35 AM on January 18 [11 favorites +] [!]


It is absolutely absurd that a machine must bear a sticker that conveys no useful information and serves no actual purpose.

When you defend the indefensible like this, you damage your own credibility for issues where there actually might be a reason to support a regulation. In this case, there is absolutely none. No matter how the wording on the sticker was arrived at, no matter what anyone's intentions were, you now have a sticker whose only purpose is to tell you about the sticker, which all vending machines are required to display.

If you don't think this is stupid and needs to be changed immediately, then I hope like hell that you're never let anywhere near the legal code. You have no business laying a finger on my income, much less being able to write laws that bind me.
posted by Malor at 7:52 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


    "Seen at Seatac airport: Do not remove, adjust or alter this sign. It must remain in this location."
So you found a sign that only seems to communicate a message to passerby that says it shouldn't be fucked with. Can you think of a reason why in an airport there wight be value in a sign that asks not to be fucked with but also communicates a separate message only discernible to the people who know what the sign is actually for?
posted by Blasdelb at 9:14 AM on January 19, 2012


a separate message only discernible to the people who know what the sign is actually for

So...the FBI hasn't been to that location, then?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:16 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: not funny or inept, even coming at it from a position of ignorance
posted by Foosnark at 11:50 AM on January 19, 2012


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