Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Making some noise on quieting

Saturday, August 02, 1997 06:17 Peter wrote:
> Thanks for raising the issue of what we can do to increase awareness that

> noise is a serious problem and not just one of life's little annoyances, 
> like potato chip bags that you have to open with your teeth.

Not only is noise a serious problem but so is the use of tobacco, alcohol
and drugs - human beings appear to have a self destructive streak in them.
Noise is definately addictive and, as I said before, the music industry
appears to have stumbled upon this fact - the ancients knew how to use
music/noise to good effect as a means to alter states of consciousness and
control the masses, ie its use as a drug. Standing up to the legal tobacco;
the legal alcohol; and the illegal drug industries, is extremely difficult
- just imagine what difficulties lie ahead with tackling the legal noise
industry! Most of our legal systems are reasonably effective at handling
physical violence, very poor at handling emotional and psychological
violence, and haven't even considered acoustical violence, even though this
could be the most destructive from a societal point of view. (Strangely
enough, all four of these forms of violence appear in the movie and TV
industry all the time...). For example consider:-

Even moderate noise levels can increase anxiety, decrease the incidence of
helping behaviour, and increase the risk of hostile behaviour in
experimental subjects. These effects may, to some extent, help explain the
"dehumanization" of today's urban environment.
Dr. Alice H. Suter
Anti-social behaviour caused by noise may be more prevalent than is
US Environmental Protection Agency   

The Argentinian conference on Acoustical Violence needs to be developed,
expanded and brought to the attention of central governments worldwide -
any thoughts on this - how do we advertise widely - do we need some
lobbying skills - how do we acquire them - how do we get medical science to
prove what most of us already know?

> I have seriously considered starting to wear my bright red industrial 
> earmuffs downtown, to make a point and get people to realize that it has 
> become a hostile environment. (Does anyone besides me think that chirping

> traffic lights are a bad idea? 

Go with the earmuffs - I am all for the idea! Yes, I detest chirping
traffic lights and all sorts of electronic noises - from those made by
computers through the whole spectrum down to electronic "music". I wear
earplugs to the ballet and opera when recorded music is used and the result
is a sound level that is just comfortable, and I can hear all the notes,
even the low ones! An added advantage is that you cannot hear the stage
whispers around you....
> 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.
Once again smoking basically affects the individual and the close
environment (secondary smoke) - alhohol much the same, drunken drivers only
affect those in their immediate environment - drug abusers only those whose
lives they make miserable and those they steal from to maintain their
addiction - BUT noise affects everyone within hearing distance!

> 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).

So in the light of the above and in addition to following up on the "noise
is addictive - noise is acoustical violence" themes with central
legislators - what about beginning with the school educational programs
that the League for the Hard of Hearing offers - e-mail = nnadler@lhh.org 


Ray Hattingh
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