Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How Are You?


The Economist [UK]
10 April 2008

Family ties
Kith and kin get closer, with consequences for strangers

[...] The spread of “hands-free” Bluetooth devices, with hidden earplugs seemingly attached to nothing, [can lead to embarrassing situations]. Steve Love, a psychologist, was travelling on a train from Edinburgh to Glasgow once when a girl standing next to him started talking to him. She asked him how he was and how his day had been, and Mr Love, though a bit shy, politely told her how much he was looking forward to watching Scotland play football that evening. As he spoke, the girl looked at him in horror, then turned away. Only then did Mr Love hear her say “OK, I’ll call you later.” Not a word or gesture was exchanged for the remainder of the (suddenly uncomfortable) journey. [...]