Saturday, March 10, 2012

"annoying": you mean there's science behind what is bugging me?

I've certainly got a long list of things that bug me.

Some things have gone beyond pet peeves -- all the way to obsessions.

So, you'll understand why it's bugging me that I haven't had time to read this book. (I've been carrying around a clipping of a book review from an airline magazine since July 2011.  Of course, that's another obsession for another time.)

One example in the book review -- why is that guy talking on his cell phone over there so annoying? For one, it’s unpleasant and distracting. Second, we don’t know, and can’t control, when it will end. Third, we can’t not listen! Our brains are hardwired to pay close attention to people talking and follow the conversations. The loud chatter pulls our brains away to listen to half of something we’re never going to understand. 

In ANNOYING Palca and Lichtman can talk about annoyingness in any context: business, politics, romance, science, sports, and more.  Check out the authors' website at

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