Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Friday, April 18, 2003

 

Noise pollution


Ever have a psychic cell phone call? Just as you dial the friend that you haven't talked to in weeks - he/she calls you? People have connections more subtle than 3g, longer range than 802.11(b,a,g) networks, with more content than can be contained in a web page. Some deep conversations reverberate in the collective subconcious... get carried along below layer one of the network... and leap, sans bluetooth, into receptive souls.

The Net pushes our mass-mind-space across geographical lines. Seed crystals strike multiple people simultaneously. Serendipity? Nahhh...

Twice a day I call up http://news.google.com and read the headlines on the top of the page. Maybe one time, in three, I scroll down. Yesterday, there was a link to a study by the University of California - and republished in the Times of India(!!) on the side effects of continuous noise on the development of the brain. Sound processing functions... are delayed/reduced in size, in rats. Aha! maybe there really is something to this trend of inquiry.

I am not conciously looking for this sort of news. Maybe google has figured out where my head is at.

I can envision, one day, the noise polluters, the makers of lousy fans and power supplies and loud computers - after a multi-decade people vs tobacco-industry-like fight, having to post warnings on their products:

Warning, the continuous noise generated by this device
can be hazardous to your health.


In my home office, I hear: squirrels chasing each other around the redwood tree, 3 bluejays cay-ing at each other, at least a half dozen other unidentifiable birds chirp. I can hear my cat purring. Sit up, quietly in your office/cubie/whatever - and listen for a few minutes - try to identify all the sounds. You'll be shocked at all the noises you are trying to tune out so you can concentrate, so you can work. See if you feel differently if you can eliminate some of that. You don't need to go to the extreme I've gone to, but... Let me know.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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