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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Universally Annoying

The human brain is a pattern recognition machine. Our brain literally stitches together our reality based on the patterns of the past. That’s why—even though the nature/nurture distinction is on the way out—I think there are some situations we are hardwired to find annoying. Essentially, these are two aural experiences that should go on a list with “the uncanny valley.” We hear something, our brains have to figure out the pattern, but too many pieces are missing.  So annoying.  


1. I know it’s a language but I can’t even tell if they are happy or sad.  

2. One half a phone conversation of two strangers.  

I think the immigration debate would be advanced by acknowledging that foreigners are annoying. Contact hypothesis still stands: what counts as a “foreigner” is 100% down to socialization. But as NBC used to say about its summer schedule full of reruns: “If you didn’t see it the first time, it’s new to you.”

2. Millenials suck. Someday they’ll understand.  

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