Quiet-List 1997

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...what the Disappointing Article was perhaps saying.

        I think what the wannabe-standup-comedian-author of this "article"
is really pointing out (and quite inarticulately) is the often futile
reliance on heavy fines as a solution to eliminating offensive behaviour.

        We are living in an era where belief in civic responsibility is
hovering around zero.  Consequently, if the ticketee believes they were
wrongfully fined, the tendency is to ignore the citation as evidence of a
some municipal crackpot scheme to  yet again gouge the overburdened

        Why do we continue to believe that others will modify their
behaviour simply because they may be heavily fined?

        ...and why are we so shocked and surprised when people react
negatively to fines and bylaws, as this bit-of-a-numbskull writer did?

        More importantly, why are people so reluctant to look beyond the
surface of the noise issue, and examine the _desire_ to be loud, the
_desire_ for loud machinery or music, the _desire_ to do whatever the hell
you want without any regard for your neighbor's well being?

        An ancient Chinese proverb:

        "Moralists today forbid what is desired without finding out the
basic reasons for desire; they prohibit what is enjoyed without finding out
the basic reasons for enjoyment.  This is like trying to dam a river with
your hands.
        Moralists cannot get people not to want; but they can forbid what
people want; they cannot get people not to indulge, but they can prohibit
what people indulge in.
        Even if fear of punishment makes people afraid to steal, how could
that compare to freeing people from the desire to steal?"

I realize that my opinions may differ greatly from those which dominate
this list, however, please realize that I am on _your_ side.


(a member of th Canadian Association for Sound Ecology)

PS In case there is any confusion, I AM NOT the Richard who wrote the article.

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