Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Museum of Mistakes

See and learn from the worst errors, miscalculations, ill-advised plans, and ill-fated ventures in history!
  (+41, -2)(+41, -2)(+41, -2)
(+41, -2)
  [vote for,

This idea is pretty much just what it sounds like.

Inside the magnificent marble foyer, there would be a mural or sculpture depicting "The Charge of the Light Brigade," along with an excerpt from Tennyson's poem:

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"/Was there a man dismayed?/Not tho' the soldiers knew Someone had blundered:/Theirs was not to make reply,/Theirs was not to reason why,/Theirs was but to do and die:/Into the valley of Death/Rode the six hundred.

The museum would feature rotating exhibits dealing with all of the most spectacular mistakes from ancient times right up until the present: Egypt's refusal to free the slaves, Napoleon's invasion of Russia, Neville Chamberlain in Munich, the Pontiac Fiero, the silly and anticlimactic death of Boba Fett in *Return of the Jedi*, New Coke, etc.

The museum would not focus exclusively on mistakes made by nation-states, world leaders, captains of industry, public intellectuals, entertainers, and other well-known figures; some space would be dedicated to the personal mistakes of normal individuals like you and me. The mistaken person (or a friend) would be able to submit an application to the museum describing the nature and consequences of the mistake, be it a relationship mistake, a friends and family mistake, a work mistake, a financial mistake, a spiritual mistake, or whatever. Each application would be investigated, but only the most devastating, rare, interesting, ridiculous, pitiable, and exotic mistakes would be considered for inclusion in the museum. Successful applicants would see their mistakes brought to life by museum professionals and shared with the world, so that others might avoid the same fate.

The museum would include a Hall of Tactlessness, a Hall of Jackassery, a Hall of Disastrous Advice, a Hall of Gullibility, a Hall of Haircuts, a Hall of Underestimation and Overestimation, a Hall of Predictions, a Hall of Naivete, and a room simply called "Don't Eat That."

One of the best parts about this institution would be its self-reflexivity. The staff would be trained and encouraged to make mistakes constantly - while making change in the gift shop, or giving directions, or explaining the rules regarding touching and climbing on the displays. Maybe, instead of *training* people to make mistakes, there would be an HR policy of hiring only the most foolish, impulsive, harebrained candidates. The space itself would incorporate several grave design mistakes, and many of the signs and "you are here" maps would be incorrect or for another building completely.

The museum could also offer a permanent home to the collections of the Museum of Bad Art, which I believe is currently stored in someone's basement in Boston.

earl, May 24 2002

Homo autocatalyticus http://www.plausibl...om/text/moral2.html
From the conclusion. Support for experiential learning. [reensure, May 24 2002]

Archimedes Lever http://www.halfbake...chimedes_27_20Lever
One of Bozo's ideas [stupop, May 27 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

cannot wait for rmtmaine (bless) to get his act together http://www.amazon.c...441#product-details
link may or may not work [po, Jul 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       The main lobby should be decorated to appear as a restaurant or shop of some sort, making one stop and wonder if he/she's wandered into the wrong place by mistake.
waugsqueke, May 24 2002

       Would General George Custer fall into the "Hall of Haircuts", "Hall of Underestimation and Overestimation" or "Hall of Naivete"?
phoenix, May 24 2002

       //Hall of Gullibility//   

       Just a set of signs to it would suffice.
drew, May 24 2002

       we could donate the Millennium Dome. where are you siting this museum?
po, May 24 2002

       Chamberlain and Munich wasn't a mistake, it was the only option.
[ sctld ], May 24 2002

       <StarWars pedant>Boba Fet did not *die* in Return of the Jedi - he was swallowed by sirlaac (sp?) to be digested slowly over a thousand years... StarWars conspiricists even postulate that his specialised armour allowed for a possible escape from even that.</StarWars pedant>   

       This is semi-baked in book form under "The book of Heroic Failures," by Steven Pile (Again, from memory, so maybe sp is wrong).
yamahito, May 24 2002

       [blissmiss] - I would say yes. It's not one of life's most destructive mistakes, but shouldn't there be room in the museum for mistakes that are extremely widespread and to some extent define us as humans, consumers, social beings? Things like getting stuck on the exit ramp, falling in love with an idiot, drinking contests, washing whites with colours, and as you say, commandeering people's shopping carts.
earl, May 24 2002

       [yamahito] - I take your point, but the mistake I'm talking about is how Boba Fett was treated - the tone that was used in that scene. It was entirely wrong. Thousands of Boba Fett fans felt betrayed. Boba Fett is not a Little Rascal.
earl, May 24 2002

       But if the museum itself were so ineptly designed that people were a) dissuaded from entering and learning from others' mistakes, or b) distracted by the entertainment of finding all the designed-in "mistakes," then the intentional "mistakes" would have to be deemed successes, wouldn't they? But if they were successes, then their inclusion would be a mistake, wouldn't it? Which would ultimately be a successful demonstration of a mistake. Or is that penultimately? Or penpenultimately? Or...
beauxeault, May 24 2002

       // Might my mistake qualify for a spot?//   

       I was sure that this said sport... There's an idea there, Blissmiss.
yamahito, May 24 2002

       [phoenix] - It's entirely possible that Custer would appear in a highly inappropriate part of the museum (given the whole building's reflexivity), but to take your question more seriously, maybe there should be a Hall of Delusions of Grandeur.   

       Oh, and I guess there should also be a Hall of Paranoia for things like witchhunts (various eras) and McCarthyism, a Hall of Incredible Waste, a Hall of Misguided Patriotism, and a Boy Who Cried Wolf room.
earl, May 24 2002

       As per Beauxeault's comment, the museum presents some interesting epistemological and ontological problems.
earl, May 24 2002

       I never understood that whole *Return of the Jedi* "digested slowly over a thousand years" thing. Does that mean that if a typical human falls into the monster's pit in the desert, his or her lifespan is somehow extended from 75-80 years to a thousand years or more by the workings of the monster's digestive system? Does the monster keep its victims alive for that whole time? Backing up even further, how do you breathe, drink, and eat? It seems implausible that someone could live for even a day.   

       I'll tell you, if the monster's biochemistry really does keep people alive for a thousand years, there's a more lucrative business venture on Tatooine (sp?) than moisture-farming, droid wholesale, fixing bits of rusty junk, smuggling, droid retail, bounty hunting, and pod racing all put together.
earl, May 24 2002

       I want to see a "Hall of Second Chances" --- people who really *screwed up* and then rebounded to be outstanding successes....   

       and howabout a "One Hit Wonder" Tribute ---for those bands/singers that had one hit and then disappeared....
runforrestrun, May 24 2002

       earl: granted, granted and granted. But what kind of sicko would want to live for that long in such pain?   

       As they say in New York, sophisticated...
yamahito, May 24 2002

       I was thinking that researchers could develop anti-aging drugs or treatments based on insights from the way the monster's body works, kind of like they do right now with frogs and toads and such in the Amazon. So, the equivalent of Pfizer or SmithKline Beecham in the Star Wars universe could make a bundle.
earl, May 24 2002

       I guess John Travolta would be in the Hall of Second Chances, and there would have to be a big display about the ozone layer.
earl, May 24 2002

       Only if episode II is in the hall of second chances.
yamahito, May 24 2002

       Yamahito, I didn't say this before, but your use of the word "conspiracists" reminds me of how much I love the words "conspiracy," "conspiracism," "conspirator," "conspiracist," and their distinct meanings.   

       As for *The Phantom Menace*, I think the Museum of Mistakes will have to battle furiously with the Museum of Let-Downs and the Museum of Things With No Heart for the right to put it on display. Concerning *Attack of the Clones*, I think certain scenes should definitely become part of the museum's collection, such as Yoda [verb]ing around like a [noun] on [noun].*** I have the same objection to Yoda in a [noun] [noun] [noun] that I do to Boba Fett rocketing, slapstick-style, into the pit: it just doesn't feel [adjective]. The [noun] [verb] [adjective].   

       ***edited for the protection of those who haven't seen the film just yet
earl, May 24 2002

       UnaBubba, when you say *The Postman*, is that the same movie as *Il Postino*? If so, do you really think it was one of movie-making's darkest hours?
earl, May 24 2002

       Don't spoil it for the not-yet-initiated, Earl. It wasn't that bad, considering I was half expecting a Miss-Piggy style uppercut...
yamahito, May 24 2002

       Planet Earth is the insane asylum of the universe. (Bumper Sticker)
"du hope du hope … sure did make him look like a dumbass." (MoM patron chatter)
Planetoftheapesarium (Relive the blunders -- heads up, and eyes wide!)

       Is there an irrational part of the brain (like your conscience is the remorseful part) that predisposes folk to make mistakes; I mean, is it possible to learn from mistakes?
reensure, May 24 2002

       Yamahito, I have taken steps to protect the innocence of the uninitiated. Please see above.
earl, May 24 2002

       reensure, the first thing I thought of in response to your question was how sometimes the unconscious mind causes people to sabotage their own efforts, in a way that might be construed as a "mistake" (e.g. a mysterious and overwhelming urge to break up with someone you really like, rooted in insecurity that you haven't even articulated to yourself). You know, the whole "I don't want to be part of any club that would have me as a member" thing. More fundamentally, though, I don't think anyone would live past the age of 3 if they had no capacity to adapt or learn from trial-and-error (e.g. that hurts, so I won't do it again).
earl, May 24 2002

       Witness the fallen ego (Museum of Mistakes -- Pop psychology area)   

       If self-actualization were achievable through learning, I'd eagerly watch the annual televised ‘Darwin Awards’. Sadly, I believe such a telecast would have the moral imperative of ‘Funniest Home Videos’.
reensure, May 24 2002

       They televise the Darwin Awards? Really?
earl, May 24 2002

       No. That would be a mistake (maybe).
reensure, May 24 2002

       What happens to Mr. Fett is detailed in the book of short stories called 'Tales from Jabbas Palace' - the thousand years thing is the consciousnesses(sp?) of the sarlaac's victims being amalgamated into a mind for the sarlaac which talks crap and pisses off Fett - the armour issue is also resolved   

       you're going to have to have quite a large building (or landmass) if you want to display all the major mistakes ever especially if you want to include politics
chud, May 25 2002

       Although I am aware of the tome in question, I beleive it is not ratified by Mr Lucas himself, so therefore falls under the title of speculation.   

       But it would get my vote, anyway.
yamahito, May 25 2002

       if he hasnt ratified it is it ok to make it into a film with just the author's permission ( though he would doubtless prefer it to be Lucas)? but they would need original footage and a huge budget to meet modern expectations
chud, May 25 2002

       Having given the matter some consideration, I believe that the museum should be rededicated as a Temple of Mistakes with its own God of Errata. Problem is what is his or her name? Come to think of it Errata is probably a good name for the Goddess of fuck ups
IvanIdea, May 26 2002

       Eratta's tatas -- they're bustooned by silicone, no doubt.
reensure, May 26 2002

       <more Star Wars crap>In the book "The Bounty Hunter Wars Book 1: The Mandalorian Armor" it is explained that Boba Fett did not die, but rather he killed the sarlacc by detonating a bomb in its stomach. Fett was later found in the desert of Tatooine and nursed back to health by someone named Dengar.   

       The Sarlacc did keep its victims alive for a thousand years through the use of "a fibrous network of vessels that attach themselves to a swallowed victim, grotesquely incorporating the being into the Sarlacc's own biological system. Such immersion is accompanied by mind-altering neurotoxins which keep the victim docile. The hallucinations coaxed by the toxins suggest that the Sarlacc somehow absorbs the intelligence of all its victims, who live on in disembodied torment."</more Star Wars crap>   

       I'm not a geek.
mighty_cheese, May 27 2002

       Another good room would be an 'Archimedes lever' room, where seemingly minor blunders had unfeasibly huge consequences.
stupop, May 27 2002

       Or an empty room showing major and minor mistakes that haven't been discovered, yet.
FarmerJohn, May 27 2002

       Oh yes, of course. I forgot about that one. Silly me.
earl, May 28 2002

       Can I nominate school holidays for the museum?
DrBob, Jul 05 2002

       most of the great mistakes of history would be in the archimedes room eg. charge of the light brigade + the hindenburg, caused by slightly misinterpreted orders and bad static earthing respectively
chud, Jul 05 2002

       [DrBob] No !
po, Jul 16 2002

       Damn! Pooh poohed by po!
DrBob, Jul 16 2002


       I regret that I have but one croissant to give...   

       The museum could incorporate a convention center for hardcore business development courses (don't make these mistakes while you're working for us... ...or else) and could play host to the Darwin Awards and igNobel Prize ceremonies!
madradish, Jul 17 2002

       The Museum could be financed and built through a Public-Private partnership contract with The Dogbert Corporation, who would no doubt incorporate a multimedia experience called "Tales of InDuhViduals"...
8th of 7, Jul 17 2002

       "..only the most devastating, rare, interesting, ridiculous, pitiable, and exotic mistakes would be considered for inclusion in the museum.." That is OK for maximising entertainment, but for mazimum benefit to society, concentrate on the commonest (eating crap food & believing that stockbrokers want to make YOU rich).
pfperry, Jul 17 2002

       Well, we need galleries and halls for the personal-scale mistakes ("....in sickness and in health, from this day forward....."), the country-sized mistakes ("Ach ja, mein Fuhrer, of course ve can reach Moscow before zer Vinter"), and the global-scale ones ("Wood ? Well, why not just cut down all those rain forests ? No-one lives there...")   

       I would like to propose a Troll Garden Of Remembrance, a place of peace and contemplation, where the ashes of flamed Trolls have been raked into Zen patterns under a single wizened Cherry tree.   

       madradish: In fact, I think the Darwin Institute could be housed in a tasteful building somewhere in the museum grounds.   

       There also needs to be a research library.
8th of 7, Jul 17 2002

       Oops. I meant to vote for this idea, but I clicked the wrong link by...
waugsqueke, Jul 17 2002

       Any cynic will tel you it has been baked, as "The World".
pfperry, Jul 18 2002

       check out this book--> Complete and Utter Failure: A Celebration of Also-Rans, Runners-Up, Never-Weres, and Total Flops by Neil Steinberg   

       http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385472919/ qid=1027014334/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-8089704- 5586441#product-details
rmtmaine, Jul 18 2002

       [rmtmaine]: Thanks for pointing us toward the book - looks interesting and relevant, judging by the title - but generally it's faster and easier for everyone if you add links using the special link feature under the text of the main idea.
earl, Jul 18 2002

       ravenswood, it is in the institution pfperry lives in.
DrBob, Jul 19 2002

       BAKED-it's called the Smithsonian.
whatastrangeperson, Apr 10 2004

       [yama] Have you ever read the Bounty Hunter Wars? Boba Fett didn't die in the Sarlaac. Some girl rescued him after, or something...
ghillie, Apr 10 2004

       build it in the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy method, soimilar to wonko the sane's asylum just build an inside out building and put up a sign
engineer1, Apr 21 2004

       <Jedi> Threepio said "Slowly digested for 1000 years". He didn't say the victim would be alive all that time, thats just silly. He was saying your dead body would suffer the indignity of being Sarlacc food for a very long time. </Jedi>
simonj, Jul 29 2004

       + Now opening the George W. Bush wing...   

       8 floors and still expanding.
xandram, Aug 08 2006

       Many years ago I worked at a military company and my boss (a woman) with her secretary, a young female soldier, had their office as the last office in a long corridor, the next door being for the male bathrooms (ie. WC).   

       While talking to the boss, or to the secretary the door would occasionally open without knocking, with men unbuckling their pants, and, surprised to see the furniture and people, would say: oh! Then they would look again at the sign next to the door, while holding up their pants.
pashute, Jun 23 2014


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