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“Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?” (When Applied Logic Fails)


NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics The title to this post is the quote currently used in my email signature file. I’ve written and presented a number of times on using email signatures to drive business and how they’re one of the original forms of social media.

People regularly respond to my email signature quotes. This tells me lots of them read beyond the email body itself and thus all those links in my signature file (I’ve included today’s email signature at the bottom of this post as an example) are seen. I’ll bet they’re acted upon more often than most people would expect because I’ll also receive emails from people who write that they’ve clicked on a link in my signature file, so on and so forth.

But today I got a response that really threw me.

I read your quote and laughed because the answer is so obvious. Everybody knows pressing twice makes the elevator come faster. You press the button and wait, sometimes 15-20 seconds and nothing happens. The lights don’t change and the elevator doesn’t move from the floor its on. You press it again and it begins its descent with 3-5 seconds. So the total time from the second push to the elevator stopping for you (not counting any stops it makes for other people) is maybe 30 seconds, the total time from the first push to the elevator stopping for you (not counting any stops it makes for other people) is

Time from second push to stopping on your floor + time from first push to second push

and this always has to be greater than the time from the second push to the elevator stopping for you.

Come on, J, you’ll have to come up with better problems to solve, LOL.

When I strain myself, I mean, when I literally pull a mental muscle, I can almost understand where they’re coming from.

But, as they say, I doubt the elevator stops on her floor.


Zeno would be proud of her, don’t you think?


Email Signature file example:

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

Joseph Carrabis
CRO and Founder, NextStage Evolution
Senior Research Fellow, USC’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future
Senior Research Fellow and Advisory Board Member, Society for New Communications Research
Scientists Without Borders

NextStage Evolution, LLC
49 Brinton Dr
Nashua, NH 03064-1274
603 577 4575 voice, 603 791 4627 fax
You can find me on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Skype (as nseJDC).

NextStage: Results. Nothing else. Nothing Less.

This email message and any attachments are confidential and may be privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify NextStage by replying to this message or by sending an email to
and destroy all copies of this message and any attachments. Thank you.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Malandra permalink
    2011/08/03 5:45 pm

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. 2011/08/17 11:21 am

    Hello, Malandra, and thanks for reading and commenting. It’s taken a while to get another post up due to summer slowdowns and we’ll have a new post, The Archeology of a Life, going up sometime today. Enjoy, and again, thanks for reading and commenting.

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