Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The No Shut Up Gun
Ever been in a business meeting with one guy who just loves the sound of his own voice? Every culture that has business meetings has at least one of this guy, and it gets on everybody's nerves. Most societies chalk it up as a social problem and leave it at that, but Japan thought differently, and came up with a technological solution. The device is a gun-like device that, when the trigger is pulled, reflects all speech back to the speaker after a very short delay. This effect is very jarring, and while it could be worked around if you REALLY want to talk, it's enough to convince the average Japanese person to shut up, at which point you can put the gun down and continue the meeting. So the next time Yoshi won't shut the hell up about his new condo for seven minutes straight, suddenly you can whip out the gun, reflect his yammering back at him, and continue the meeting, as it'll only take a few milliseconds for him to realize what a doofus he sounds like. The effect is apparent to anyone who's had to work with a PA system or a shoddy cell phone. Hearing your voice after a short delay makes your brain not entirely sure if you actually finished what you've said, so you start getting confused, and after a minute or two of mumbling, the average person just gives up on speech entirely. The effect can be completely countered by plugging your ears, or just pushing on through anyway, as your brain can learn to adapt. Of course, if the gun doesn't silence a chronically disruptive person, the average company will likely resort to more extreme measures, like making the disruptive person leave.