Culture: Music: Song: Stuck
Weaponized Earworms   (+5)  [vote for, against]
Sadly, even the most noble and innocuous scientific discoveries and principles are often turned to war.

When reading [calum's] posting about breeding earworms to progessively supplant previous annoying earworms [link] I wondered if different cultures with varying language and musical backgrounds would be susceptible to different styles of earworms. If so, it may be possible to develop earworms which are majorly disruptive and annoying to one nationality but would be seen only as mere fleeting irritations to another population.

Using [calum's] premise as a starting point, it becomes easy to envisage secret government programs attempting to 'breed up' earworms which could cause distraction, chaos and anxiety amongst an enemy population whilst leaving the home population relatively unscathed. This would be an obvious advantage over biological weapons which can all too easily spread back across battle lines and borders into one's own soldiers and civilian population.

Enemy soldiers subjected to this weapon would arrive at the battlefront already tired, bleary-eyed and unsure of their orders because when they were being briefed all they could hear in their head was that thrice-damned polka waltz. Their generals and senior officers would become extra tetchy, making junior officers that much more reticent to pass on bad news. Enemy operators who rely upon their ability to quietly concentrate - such as technicians, tacticians and especially sonar operators - would be particularly susceptible.

At the end of the war these weapons, unlike landmines, radioactives, chemicals and biologicals, would just fade away as the enemy populace gradually becomes incorporated into the victor's culture which itself would have moved on. The only visible remnants might be aged veterans on the subway subconsciously humming to themselves and, perhaps, twitching.
-- AusCan531, Jul 06 2012

The peaceful inspiration for my idea. Scissors_20Paper_20...worm_20Crowd_20Sort
[AusCan531, Jul 06 2012]

(??) A better vector
[oscil8, Jul 07 2012]

[nineteenthly's] link
Not quite the same as it doesn't differentiate between enemy and home populations. [AusCan531, Jul 08 2012]

This is baked as an SCP, can't remember the number, i'll look it up.

Edit: can't link using this but it's SCP-609.
-- nineteenthly, Jul 07 2012

"I don't wanna be a chicken I don't want to be a duck so I'll shake my butt..."
-- RayfordSteele, Jul 07 2012

Warning [RS]. You could be charged with inciting a 'Blue on Blue' incident.
-- AusCan531, Jul 08 2012

random, halfbakery