Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am not the first to comment on our habit of trying to ward off lawyers. People here place so many warnings on so many things nobody reads any of them anymore. It is already the subject of no shortage of spoofs. We post signs for everything we can think of and then pay teams of safety and legal experts to think of potential problems where none existed.

I don't claim that this one takes the cake or anything, but it still strikes me as a bit absurd that we no longer take it for granted that a literate adult can infer the safe use of a mundane, household object with no power source or moving parts (the photo should get bigger if you click on it):

Here's another useless warning I spotted recently. In this case, the hazard is real (unreinforced masonry does not fare at all well in earthquakes) but it's not at all clear what I am supposed to do about it. The building should be fine if the ground is not moving (which even in California is most of the time), and nobody seems to be suggesting closing it down.


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