Quiet-List 1997

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Making some noise on quieting

Dear Peter,

>It would be nice if more list-members would initiate or join in discussions.

I agree with you. I'd like to discuss the following. 

People individually tend to accept that a detrimental stimulus is so only
when society accepts as a long-established fact that it is indeed 
detrimental. Note that when I say that "society accepts" I mean that there 
are several affirmative societal attitudes either systematically avoiding 
that stimulus or coping with it. For example, society is aware of dental
caries so everyone washes his or her teeth on a regular basis. Society is 
aware of the danger of long expositions to direct sun rays, so everyone 
protects his or her skin and wears dark glasses.

But nothing like that happens regarding noise. Maybe society is aware that 
it is disturbing, but not that it is indeed deleterious to the internal 
ear and other parts of the organism. I've *never* seen anybody wearing
ear protectors outdoors (exception made of some --some-- workers handling 
a pneumatic drill). Yet, there are several now long-established scientific
facts about the effect of even moderate sound levels on a semipermanent
basis (such as that prevailing in the community environment) upon the 
hearing acuity.

The question is how could we, quiet activists, manage to create the social
conciousness about that corpus of facts, so that people started to take
individual initiatives (the first step towards societal behaviour) towards
protecting not only their own ears (which could be done with rather 
discreet foam earplug-type protectors) but also the acoustic environment,
avoiding such unnecesary noises as loud music, shouts, blasts of the horns, 
and steering household appliances industry towards more quiet products.

Of course education is one important move, but it requires that at least 
the educational system aknowledges the need for that social conciousness,
and that funds are provided to allow the necessary expenses (educational
materials, short courses or tutorials for teachers). 

All the best.

Federico Miyara

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