Is this a parody, set up to bait MR?

by on August 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm in Current Affairs | Permalink

Park officials in China have found a way to stop people from hogging their benches for too long – by fitting steel spikes on a coin-operated timer.

If visitors at the Yantai Park in Shangdong province, eastern China, linger too long without feeding the meter, dozens of sharp spikes shoot through the seat.

The spikes are too short to cause any serious harm – but long enough to prevent people from sitting on them comfortably.

Park bosses got the idea from an art installation in Germany where sculptor Fabian Brunsing created a similar bench as a protest against the commercialisation of modern life.

"He thought he was exaggerating. He didn't foresee that a very practical country like China might actually use them for real," said one critic.

The article is here and I thank both Brendan and Jonathan for the pointer.  How should I have titled this post? 

1 spenser August 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

“China: We thank Brunsing for the pointer.”

2 Foobarista August 16, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Life imitates art…

3 Jamie August 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm

“Chinese architectural-control innovation produces MR-pleasing externality.”

4 Evan Harper August 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I doubt that this story would first break in English on a “quirky news” aggregator site — and the story has no names and very few details. And they spelled “Shandong” wrong. My guess, hoax.

5 Colin August 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Markets in everything, iron pincushion edition

6 Sean August 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Interesting. A lot of parks here in China just don’t install benches at all, because of the same problem. It’s hilarious to see an area designed for groups of people, filled with people, yet designed to deter people from loitering longer than they can stand.

One small northeastern town I visited removed all of the garbage bins because garbage would collect there and be unsanitary.

Can’t say they don’t understand incentives.

7 Matt August 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Markets in Everything: The Culture that is China

8 vanderleun August 16, 2010 at 10:12 pm

“China: Communist or Capitalist, It’s Still a Pain in the Ass”

9 Josh August 16, 2010 at 10:36 pm

The Marginal Revolution in a pain in the ass.

10 Steko August 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm

“How should I have titled this post?”

Portent of increasing homelessness in China?

11 Colin Danby August 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Butt tax

12 londenio August 17, 2010 at 1:51 am

How would a blog look like if its only purpose were to be picked up by MR?

13 GC August 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Clearly the title is: Pains in the ass

14 Hollywood_Freaks August 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Something with “pain in the ass” is a clear winner.

My suggestion: Pain in the ass markets in everything.

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