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Silence Disturbed: Our Techno Age

Ever since I began the Silence I have noticed that all of my sense have been heightened. My own perception has been raised infinitely, most notably in my hearing.

One of the first things I began to notice was a hum. A constant hum that I could not track down. One day, I discovered that my power adaptor for my computer was producing a high-pitched whine

I have read many articles in National Geographic, the New York Times, and other publications about the dangers of light pollution. It disrupts our natural sleep cycles, it disrupts the sleep cycles of nature, and it generally aggravates many of our co-habitators on this earth.

I have never once heard about sound pollution. Instead, our market seems geared towards covering sound, with louder music, with earplugs, with white noise machines. Almost all solutions are either adding to the chaos or accepting it as a status quo.

I do not know how we can rationally acknowledge that light pollution is destructive to ourselves and our eco-system without accepting that the same is true of noise pollution, perhaps to an even greater extent. I believe that this often escapes our notice because unlike light pollution, we adjust to noise pollution. If a loud person enters our space, most of us will speak much more loudly, rather than speaking at a normal volume and encouraging the other person to speak more softly. Thus, our ingrained tendency is to amplify noise and chaos.

Given what I have noticed about the improvement of my own cognitive function by reducing my own personal noise level, I think it is a community good to reduce noise en masse.

In this vein, I have undertaken several steps in my home to reduce the constant buzz that is driving us all crazy with heightened anxiety, worry, and fear. I have plugged all my appliances and electronics into power strips. I can then turn them all off without actually unplugging anything. I have also taken steps to reduce the rushing of water around me. Between my dripping taps, the roar of my showerhead, and the rush of a flushing toilet, I am constantly confronted with the sheer enormity of the water I use. I think this is something we miss when we don’t pay attention to the sound of our actions, and the vast amount of resources lost in the rush and hum. So, I have replaced all my plumbing fittings to make them low-flow. I hear far less waste, and much less of an overwhelming noise whenever I shower. I recommend reading this site, which is where I found the best toilets for people who want to use less water, and the best low flow toilet reviews. Perhaps it is because I live in an older house, but I calculated that I use less than half the water now that I used to with my old toilet, and I have noticed no downsides in function.

By taking these steps, I believe I am not only conserving resources, but doing my own individual part to prevent sound pollution from continuing its ravage upon our civilization. 

The Journals of a Self-Imposed Silence

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