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I felt quite identified with the comments of the Mr Prochnik because I'm always craving for a silent, quiet place where I can see my toughts... People around me seems to be undisturbed, no matter how loud and/or persistent the ambient noise is. All day, every day... How do they endure it? Even some people seem to be terrorized by silence and immediatelly turn on something (like a radio, not to hear some program but to "make noise"!) if by chance we are blessed with a silent moment...
The article focuses on how noisy are the americans (that definitely shows that the author has never been in Argentina), but I believe applies everywhere).Two paragraphs specially attracted my attention:
There's a reason people are turning their iPod volume too high. People are responding to several generations of mounting infrastructure noise. We are so loud in part because we have to create our own personal noise so that we don't feel like we're being held hostage to the grind and clash of the environment. I went to Florida, where these people were using their cars to blast super-loud music. But the places where these people live is horrifically noisy. When you're dealing with that kind of environment, I can really see the temptation to blast something that at least you like.
I can see myself in both situations (trying to cover external noises or being distracted by mounting ambient stimuli) many many times. How about you?I was asking my eldest at one point what he thought about his generation relative to mine. He said: "We're the most distracted generation in history. We all seem to have attention deficit of some degree." Maybe it's that we've become so accustomed to noise that it's an addiction -- it's a 45-second hit of distraction -- we crave noise as a way to keep from feeling like we're drowning in information and stimulus.
I saw a study this past week about our problems multitasking. It found that when, for example, you're reading a book and a fire truck goes by, the brain is so overwhelmed by the external stimuli that it can't link up with the goal-directed activity [reading the book]. You're incapable of doing it for a considerable time afterwards. So think of the way we're always being blinded by sonic and visual surprises, and the implications for deliberative thought are scary.
Best (silent) wishes...