Silence is hot right now. On the market, it takes the form of headphones, train compartments, dishwashers, vaccum cleaners, and a whole lot of other products that have taken the absence of sound and packaged it up for capitalistic consumption. Not to say that there is necessarily anything wrong with this–but how does it reflect on our society’s reception (ha-ha) of sound? According to a recent New Republic article, the commoditization of silence is a testament to today’s consumer’s itch “to shed modern life’s “noisy” baggage: all those emails, texts, and bits of media—digital, social, etc.—that clutter our consciousness.” Ironically, the increase in the past few decades of aural turbulence, which has accompanied the technological revolution as it was ushered in, is responsible for a new trend of wanting some sort of simplicity or purity; in the case of “sound pollution”, this means silence. In the article, those following this trend are referred to as “disconnectionists”. Read More
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