Friday, 30 April 2010
Keep The Noise Down!
Perhaps this scientist is not a commuter? Try listening to an ipod on the Tube and you will soon realise how incredibly noisy the London Underground is. Listening to music with a decent dynamic range is almost impossibility as you rattle and roar your way along dark tunnels between stops. No wonder we are subjecting our ears to in excess of 120Db – it’s because we can’t hear the bloody thing over the noise of the 21st Century!
Clearly, I am being flippant as there is a serious point to be taken on board to do with tinnitus and deafness generally so do be careful, but it would help us all if the world wasn’t so damn noisy in the first place.
In fact, all this makes you realise just how noisy our world has become. If we were to construct a telephone line that could reach back into history, say, 1,000 years and engage in a conversation with someone from that time, one thing would be immediately apparent: the world 1,000 years ago would be virtually silent. There would be virtually no music as this was largely confined to ecclesiastical establishments like churches and monasteries. There would be no radio, television, industrial machines, cars, aircraft, mobile phones, pneumatic drills, lawnmowers, chainsaws or anything that we today take for granted and which makes an almighty racket. All that would be heard would be the sounds of nature and the odd person killing another person with a huge sword.
Compare that with what the person at the other end of the line would hear of our world. What he would be utterly amazed to hear is an absolute cacophony of sound from a multitude of sources. So remember to speak up when addressing the fellow as he won’t hear you over the din.