Title text: 'This space intentionally left blank' is less immediately provocative but more Hofstadterially confusing.
Application forms, examination papers, etc. sometimes instruct applicants to avoid writing in blocked out areas of the page, as those areas are intended for administrative, office, or internal usage or processing.
Nonetheless, a person might write in the blocked out section out of an urge to defy authority, as does Cueball in the comic. Consequences for flouting these instructions are typically trivial (e.g. perhaps the form may not be processed correctly). However, Cueball's disregard for the rules prompts the preparations for an armed response by some sort of law enforcement or private security organization, presenting a serious consequence for Cueball.
The title text refers to Douglas Hofstadter, an author associated with the philosophical concept of self-reference. "This space intentionally left blank" is "Hofstadterially confusing" because if a space on a form contains the words "This space intentionally left blank", then the space is not, in fact, left blank.
Douglas Hofstadter is also the subject of the comic 917: Hofstadter.
A similarly harsh consequence for a trivial misdemeanor can be seen in 292: goto.
- [There is a sheet of paper, with a series of check boxes. A white rectangle is the focus.]
- Do not write in this space
- [Cueball is standing with a pencil, looking at the page.]
- [Cueball writes something on the page.]
- [A group of people with helmets, black goggles, and rifles look at display screens. There is a radar system on a table between them.]
- [The screens show sheets of paper. On one screen, it shows Cueball writing on one.]
- [One of the men arms his weapon.]
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