Silent retreats’ rising popularity poses a challenge: How to handle the quiet.
"In a 2006 interview David Foster Wallace said, “it seems significant that we don’t want things to be quiet, ever, anymore.” Stores and restaurants have their ubiquitous Muzak or satellite radio; bars have anywhere between 1 and 17 TVs blaring Fox and soccer; ... Even some libraries, ... now have music and special segregated areas designated for “quiet study,” which is what a library used to be. ... People are louder, too. They complain at length and in detail about their divorces ... a foot away from you in restaurants. ... People practice rap lyrics on the bus or the subway, barking doggerel along with their iPods .... Respecting shared public space is becoming ... quaintly archaic .... philosopher Aaron James posits that people with this personality type are so infuriating ... because they refuse to recognize the moral reality of those around them." [previously]
The Quiet Carriage (slv). Author Geoff Dyer discourses on the politics of the quiet carriage in trains. Part of the 5x15 initiative.
The Quietest Place on Planet Earth Measured at -9.4dB, this is the quietest place on earth. There is a standing bet that anyone lasting 45 minutes in the chamber, in the dark, earns a case of beer of their choice. No one has lasted more than a half hour.
"The Thing on the Fourble Board" is a nicely creepy episode of the fantasy/horror radio program "Quiet, Please". You can stream or download it from the link. Originally broadcast on August the 9th, 1948, it's widely considered one of the best episodes of the series. (Here's an archive.org MP3 mirror, also.) [more inside]
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Now watch the greatest fight in movie history (SLYT).
Silence Like Scouring Sand. "One of America's quietest places, and the valiant effort to keep it that way." (Previously.)
One Square Inch of Silence. Gordon Hempton wants to preserve the natural quiet of the Olympic National Park.
Come to the Quiet Party. No loud music, no yelling, no cell phones and one designated area where there is no talking AT ALL!!
Quiet that computer! This site offers some great tips on reducing the noise produced by your computer. I just got a new Power Mac G4 and a couple of external FireWire drives to go with it, and was appalled at how loud the setup was -- particularly the fans in the FireWire drive cases. Mike Breeden at Xlr8yourMac.com has a great tip on reducing the fan noise on the G4 itself, which I applied to the FireWire drives with good results (haven't tried it on the G4 yet). If your computer (Mac, PC, or otherwise) is loud enough to be heard over your MP3s, maybe these pages will help.