Is this a parody, set up to bait MR?

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? 


"China: We thank Brunsing for the pointer."

Life imitates art...

"Chinese architectural-control innovation produces MR-pleasing externality."

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.

Markets in everything, iron pincushion edition

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.

Markets in Everything: The Culture that is China

"China: Communist or Capitalist, It's Still a Pain in the Ass"

The Marginal Revolution in a pain in the ass.

"How should I have titled this post?"

Portent of increasing homelessness in China?

Butt tax

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

Clearly the title is: Pains in the ass

Something with "pain in the ass" is a clear winner.

My suggestion: Pain in the ass markets in everything.

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