That we are all subjects in a psychological stress test.
You go to the gas station and are aurally assaulted by “Helpful” video screens telling you the weather, the latest scandal, and “Oh, while you’re here go inside,” to buy an overpriced snack that you don’t need, loaded with chemicals.
I’ll often go inside just to avoid the annoying noise coming from the top of the gas pump.
Everywhere you go there are screens, and sound, and a billion things vying for our attention. It’s like our fight or flight instincts are being tested 24 / 7.
At work, in our lunch room there are 5 TVs, one or more of which is always blaring about someone’s view of a sports team. Often on different channels.
Without looking, you know that the TV station is being politically correct by presenting a white commentator and exactly splitting the time with a black commentator. It’s no surprise either, that the volume creeps up by about two decibels whenever the black commentator is speaking. Both are having a disagreement about some trades or teams. It’s loud, contentious, and … ANNOYING!
At my cubicle there is a cacophony of conversation. 50 people in close proximity all talking on their various phones at once, the conversations are always a selection from 5 basic themes. I can tune into one, or all of the conversations and know almost exactly what the person on the other end of the phone is saying.
The one thing I can’t do, is tune them all out.
It’s a constant stress, like drowning all day long. It takes considerable energy and focus to be able to do my job.
“Open Work Spaces” are, I suspect experiments designed to test the limits of human endurance while imposing rules that prevent normal human methods of blowing off steam. Conversation with each other, sharing the misery, bitching about the work, or company, or boss, etc. All are forbidden because the company demands that you be ready at all times to answer the next call. And you know that the next call will be a call that is going to be covering one of the five questions you answer ten times each and every day.
By the time I end my day I’m emotionally exhausted and physically tired as well.
Walking outside is slightly better.
Even there, the constant noise of the traffic, construction, aircraft, and people yelling into theie cellphones creates a din that is hard to ignore or escape. I’ve found that even the wildlife seems more contentious in the areas around work. They’re always bickering and fighting each other.
I come home seeking peace. But that’s not to be had because even with the doors and windows of the apartment closed I can hear other people going about their day. Sometimes I’ll go home and just sit for an hour, in pseduo-silence trying to breathe and let my ears and mind rest.
Even sleep doesn’t provide much respite because to sleep I still have to filter out the general noise of humanity, the gurgling of the refrigerator, the whine of the neighbors A/C unit below the bedroom window or cars coming of going from the complex, and all the other normal noises associated with humanity.
But it’s better.
I was considering all of this the other day and thought, “It’s no wonder people are so pissed off all the time. Everyone is always working to keep everyone else’s bullshit at bay.”
Then I remembered torture techniques used throughout the Cold War and realized that one of those had to do with sensory overload. There are studies that suggest if you keep a person over stimulated for long enough you’ll eventually break them, and if the person is pushed a bit further with the right stimulus you can cause a psychotic break. Literally driving them crazy.
It made me wonder if we’re not all rats in a maze.
I remembered a study about rat populations that showed if there are too many rats in a closed environment, but they have abundant food and water, eventually there will be so many rats that they start killing each other. They’ll keep screwing but they’ll eat their young. They’ll display all kinds of aberrant behavior, then they’ll start dying off. If a “famine” is created by limiting the amount of food and water, the process is accelerated.
I couldn’t help noticing that we’re a lot like the rats.
If, as many Alien researchers believe, we actually do have alien overloads…
Here’s a simple warning to the overloads…
The last rats standing are going to be really pissed off and perhaps you should watch Willard before continuing this experiment. The last rats will be crazy psychotic fuckers and you’re not going to be able to control them.
Imagine a combination of charactistics like Kim Jil Un, ISIL, Al Qaida, Rasputin, Hitler, and Pol Pot, in a single individual. Then picture a billion of those individuals all with an ax to grind with you.
If that doesn’t cause an Alien’s (or whoever is running this experiment) sphincter to pucker… Well, they deserve what’s coming to them.