A question I've been posing to people recently: if you were undergoing Chinese water torture, would it be worse if the drops came relentlessly at regular intervals, or if they always kept you guessing?
About 2 out of 3 people think the first is better because you could possibly tune it out. The other 1 out of 3, myself included, think the irregularity would at least keep things interesting, and that the sheer inevitability of a regular beat would drive one insane.
Well, this is by no means an exhaustive study, but I tried it out in the bathtub tonight. I was definitely wrong about the irregularity keeping things interesting. Although the beat was fairly regular, every once in a while the faucet would machine-gun me with 10 drops in rapid fire; not knowing when this would happen was awful. If the drops come at small, even intervals you could tune it out I found. Still, if the interval is like 30 seconds, you're not going to be able to time them anyway, and in this case forcing the victim to watch the drop form and anticipate its fall will probably drive them crazy on a longer time scale. I also found out it's still pretty bad with your eyes closed...when the drop suddenly detonates on your forehead it scares the crap out of you. This too would drive you nuts though in a jittery sort of way. So I guess it's all about your intended psychological effect.
I hope this information will be of use in your future endeavors in the field of torture.Posted by Alan at February 1, 2004 09:05 PM