Chapter 4

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When somebody's car alarm goes off in the driveway, usually they'll run to get it shut off. But there are quite a few people who will let their dogs bark all day long.

That doesn't make sense. A dog that is barking, and a car that is beeping, sound about the same. In fact, the dog is worse, because the barks are irregular. You can't just let the barks become a part of the environment like you can a regular beep. A set of barks will come and poke you, and then you'll be apprehensive for another poke for a while, and just as your tension starts to fade, there comes another set of barks to set you on edge all over again. Not even to mention the malevolent tone that these barks often posess.

I think that most of us would rather have the beeps.


Some people get dogs for the express purpose of barking whenever anyone walks by their Precious house. And the dogs bark, and bark, and bark, long after the poor pedestrian has passed.

Suppose someone had a loud beeping alarm that cranked away for five minutes whenever someone walked by his house. Same situation, same loudness, same duration, same everything. Except that people would be outraged, and demand that the beeping be stopped.

Why? What's the difference?