We were silent again and listened to the data center moaning.
December 8, 2019 12:25 PM   Subscribe

"Which was also, in a sense, the sound of us living: the sound of furniture being purchased, of insurance policies compared, of shipments dispatched and deliveries confirmed, of security systems activated, of cable bills paid. In Forest City, North Carolina, where some Facebook servers have moved in, the whine is the sound of people liking, commenting, streaming a video of five creative ways to make eggs, uploading bachelorette-party photos. It’s perhaps the sound of Thallikar’s neighbor posting 'Has anyone else noticed how loud it’s been this week?' to the Dobson Noise Coalition’s Facebook group." (Bianca Boster, The Atlantic, Nov. 2019)
The week I visited, CyrusOne had finished wrapping 24 of the now 56 chillers at the Chandler complex. The neighbors were split on whether the blankets helped, but they were unanimously livid that the city had allowed a data center in their backyard in the first place. They had a lot of questions about due diligence: What studies had been done? What measurements taken? None, I learned: Chandler’s city planners are not required to consider noise when issuing permits, nor did they.
Further reading:
posted by Not A Thing (7 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, that's very depressing.
Something around my house produces a high pitched whine sometimes, thank god it's not all the time but when it's here, it's here and it's horrible. We're at the mercy of these machines. When I was reading this story I was full of ideas about what I'd do in Thallikar's situation but I don't have the time, energy or money to do any of them for myself.
posted by bleep at 1:18 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


We're at the mercy of these machines.

The machines are just tools, built and operated by people who can be held accountable for their choices.
posted by mhoye at 1:47 PM on December 8, 2019 [9 favorites]


So I've been blaming my "sensory issues" for my intense physical and mental reaction to sound that basically lead me to following a neighbor with a bat to his place of work one day after his 20th weekend in a row of playing booming bass until dawn in the old house split into apartments with paper thin walls that we shared.

Now I see that it was completely within reason.
posted by Young Kullervo at 3:09 PM on December 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


If these complaints start to get real traction, I imagine the server farmers will learn some tricks from Big Ag and start getting state legislatures to pass Right To Serve Acts or some such.

Not looking forward to the relentless publicity campaign about "frivolous" nuisance complaints shutting down Ma 'n' Pa's Data Ranch, est. 1807.
posted by Not A Thing at 3:32 PM on December 8, 2019 [8 favorites]


Young Kullervo, "following a neighbor with a bat to his place of work"?
Nope, not ok
posted by nouvelle-personne at 8:58 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


All that human-made noise is the sound of capitalism, the sound of the 1% getting richer. Very little of it will be made to go away.
posted by bryon at 10:02 PM on December 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


Young Kullervo, "following a neighbor with a bat to his place of work"?
Nope, not ok


It's not OK, obviously, and I'm not condoning violence (nothing came from this, BTW) but this article is just a confirmation that certain disruptive noises, along with the feeling of powerlessness, sustained over time will drive anyone batshit crazy.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:39 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


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