Thursday, March 26, 2009

If You Read This Kill Yourself

I worked for a company years back, that prided itself in its portfolio of intellectual property. Patents that it used to terrorize a whole industry. They were very successful for a long time. thank goodness they are now gone and forgotten.

One day I was in the CEO's office and i happened to look down at some documents on a side table. My eyesight was still pretty good in those days, so I could read it without picking it up. Good thing, the very top of the document had a paragraph of text that went something like this... If you are reading this and are not authorized stop. If you ignore this warning and continue to read this document you may be subject to fines / imprisonment or both.

I stopped reading right there. didn't even try to read the rest. I can only imagine the next sentence which could have read "OK now you've done it. hands up! you are under arrest for violating the don't read this sentence statute of 1995. please make your way to the nearest police station and turn yourself in"

The only thing that came to mind was a cartoon i had seen many years earlier where 2 ants pass by a sign. One of them says wait here I will up go see what it says. The cartoon followed with several panels showing the ant crossing the printed text which eventually read "keep off this sign". When he returned to his friend he said "your not going to believe this..."

Here is another example from xlcdForm

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