Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Price Of Silence

Middle Of The Rum River- Anoka, Minnesota.

   It was still tonight on the Rum and, for some reason, it was much quieter than usual. It wasn't silent, the Highway 10 bridge a half-mile away saw to that, but it was at least an order of magnitude (-10dB for you tech-savvy types) less noisy than it usually is. What is the price of silence? It used to be simpler. Just drive out in the country somewhere, or go up to the lake. Now most of the lakes are built-up, lake homes all around, jet-skis and speedboats buzz from dawn to dusk. Lakeshore property is plenty expensive too, in many cases worth more that the 'house in town'. The country has a similar case of the 'jitters', with sprawl, ATVs, SUVs and motorcycles breaking the peace.

   Is there any value in silence anymore? In primitive society, the sounds of nature are the audio backdrop, no added charge. Now the noise has been made internal, via a personal stereo system smaller than a deck of cards. Price? About $200 or less.

   There will always be a place for silence, if marketers have figured out how to charge $1.10 for a bottle of water, they can make silence pay too. Now where did I set those $250 noise-cancelling headphones? This paddle is too noisy!

By Professor Batty



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