4 Replies to “The Paper Towel Dispenser Puzzle

  1. I suddenly noticed that the sign has a scope ambiguity. Which one makes a toxin puzzle?
    1. Please try to (touch “No Touch” dispenser without touching it)
    2. Please (try to touch “No Touch” dispenser without touching it)
    To clarify: the first asks you to attempt something that is impossible; the second asks you to combine trying to touch with not touching.

  2. Yeah, I noticed that too. I was thinking (2) was like the toxin puzzle. (2) also seems like the more charitable interpretation of the signmaker’s intent (Simon Rippon’s comment only makes sense if it’s (2)). It seems like most of the commenters at failblog were reading it as (1), the uncharitable bastards. Both interpretations raise questions about the nature of trying and the connection between trying and doing, so either way, it’s a cool sign.

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