Earplugs, Force Fields and Cones of Silence

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July 3, 2015 by phicks2012

zMH900437803Do you ever wish — when someone starts talking to you about something you KNOW is leading up to their wanting you to solve a problem that you absolutely do NOT want to deal with, or when a really boring person starts talking about actuarial tables or what happened at their hypochondriac support group — that you had perfectly engineered earplugs that would block it all out? I mean, people don’t come equipped with MUTE buttons, and you can’t just put your fingers in your ears and babble nonsense, because then they KNOW that you’re blocking them, right? Right, and mostly we hate to be that tacky and obviously thoughtless.

Okay, so maybe you COULD go that route if, after telling them you don’t want to deal with whatever it is, they still want to blather on or to argue with you about it. I mean, if they want to push it after you’ve made it clear that 1)you are in no mood to be sucked into yet another problem or one-sided conversation/boring narrative or 2)that their timing absolutely sucks, or 3) that you have absolutely zero interest in what Kim Kardashian is wearing or in some TV wrestler’s latest tattoo, then maybe they deserve to see you shove your fingers into your ears and launch into The Ride of the Valkyries, right? Probably not though, because people don’t usually start up those things thinking they’re going to really annoy you, do they?

Sometimes I think it’s really a shame that sci-fi force fields or Get Smart “Cones of Silence” don’t really exist. I tried designating my home office as a “Drama-Free Zone” a couple of years ago — there’s even a sign advertising this on the door — but I’m not entirely sure that other people comprehend my personal definition of DRAMA.

Sometimes when life is stressful, or your virtual plate is full, or you’ve managed to contract an annoying tummy bug, or you have a sinus or migraine headache you just don’t feel like dealing with more. That’s life, and other people certainly share in that, but normally when you tell someone you really don’t feel up to dealing with something at the moment they back off , right?

Well, it turns out — and I’ll bet you know this from personal experience — that some folks simply will not walk away even when told point blank — and with no remaining tact at all — to leave you the hell alone! They will follow you from room to room to drag out an argument or conversation you never wanted to have, until you manage to lock yourself away and crank the volume on your TV up to maximum, or totally leave the premises.

So here is my proposal: Science needs to invent a functional personal force-field that also cancels out noise. Hey, it could double as a device for personal protection, right? You’d just click the control button and it would expand around you forcing other people out of your personal space (this could be adjustable) and muting or nullifying noise. It would repel muggers, biting dogs, pushy salesmen, abusive spouses, stalkers, political candidates, pollsters and lobbyists, gang bangers, annoying co-workers, and even inclement weather! Police officers would be equipped with nullifiers to prevent felons from using these devices to escape justice, but unless we found ourselves stalked by crazed cops we’d generally be okay, right?

Think about it, and if you are an inventor in search of an invention — Try for this one, okay?

What do you think?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/946a4d08-bf80-856c-580774f09fbf6104/

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phicks2012

phicks2012

I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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