New Jersey teen is halfway through his pledge not to speak for a year!
March 3, 2001 7:28 AM   Subscribe

New Jersey teen is halfway through his pledge not to speak for a year! He writes that he came up with the idea because his inability to follow through with his commitments was troubling him. He's getting quite a bit of media attention, too - he's even got a publicist. (via NPR this morning).
posted by beth (19 comments total)
posted by samsara at 7:43 AM on March 3, 2001

Hmmmm...wonder if I could interest my kids in that... :)
posted by slackbash at 8:33 AM on March 3, 2001

Karen Phat Buds and "Silent Brett" will be in the second installment of the Jersey Trilogy :) It's impressive...I tried not typing for a year this morning, but failed when I realized how hard it is to get to google without having it bookmarked...
posted by samsara at 8:56 AM on March 3, 2001

Hey, wow. How often does life imitate The Twilight Zone?
posted by Aaaugh! at 9:33 AM on March 3, 2001

I wonder how many responsibilities he's had to ignore in order to "follow through" with this commitment?
posted by alobar100 at 9:39 AM on March 3, 2001

Neat! Unfortunately, as he'll soon find out, life is never so simple. Commitments can come into conflict with each other and require difficult choices. For example, what if the only way to save a friend's life was to speak? Truth is... there are no moral absolutes. Still, it's a good and interesting kind of commitment.
posted by muppetboy at 9:46 AM on March 3, 2001

It's a good thing we're around to remind him that his silly bet has life-threatening consequences. Perhaps we should kidnap his girlfriend or something.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:06 AM on March 3, 2001

Am I the only person that wants to smack this kid...and his publicist?

The little speech about being committed to his friendship and going over to fix the computer was sweet, and all. Apparently he's not all that committed to himself.

I'm not interested enough to read and find out, so could somone fill me on in why he's making money? There are
several mentions on the front page.

6 months, seven and a half minutes, no difference to me. He'll go away soon. It's dotcomguy and Living in Public all over again.

posted by Su at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2001

Self-imposed silence is actually one of the classic tasks undertaken by sadhus in order to concentrate the mind. That said, relying on written communication is a bit of a cop-out: how many of us type more words than we speak in an average day?
posted by holgate at 11:31 AM on March 3, 2001

Don't monks all over the world do this vow of silence thing? Just because it's some twerp from New Jersey, he gets to be on Oprah. You'd never see monks on Oprah, or even with a Motorola pager, for that matter.
posted by amyscoop at 6:31 PM on March 3, 2001

Right, well good for him I guess? At least he recognizes the importance of setting goals for himself.
What I don't get is how he's going to pass his college courses. I know that I speak a WHOLE LOT every day and still my Spanish instructor wants me "to paticipate more."
posted by nyukid at 6:59 PM on March 3, 2001

Hmm... at the bottom of his page is a shameless plug for the talk-about pager. "The children do listen very carefully to Motorola."

He does seem sincerely thankful, though. Another example of the oblivious corporate pawn? Perhaps the next six months of silent contemplation will do some good.
posted by Dane at 9:35 PM on March 3, 2001

Following from Holgate's Indian mysticism ref, I'd like to see the kid hold his right(?) arm in the air until it atrophies. THAT'S committment, if just a bit stupid.

NYUKid: He's going to pass his courses by the kindness of his understanding instructors, of course. They'll be nice enough to rearrange their procedures so that he can participate without speaking. Maybe Motorola will donate another talk-about to the school, which will be placed under an overhead projector, so that his contributions will be displayed to the class?

Yah. Thassit.
posted by Su at 1:11 AM on March 4, 2001

(Am I reading his site wrong, or does it actually say that, soon after deciding to not speak for a year, he gave a RADIO interview?)
posted by MarkAnd at 12:06 PM on March 4, 2001

Huh and to imagine a deaf-mute not speaking for a whole life! You'd think a kid who doesn't have to speak for a year could committ himself to his spelling.

(Am I reading his site wrong, or does it actually say that, soon after deciding to not speak for a year, he gave a RADIO interview?)

Who knows? Maybe he has one of those speaking machines like Stephen Hawking. He said he was on the Today show on 2/29. I wonder how that worked out. Doesn't the Today show archive its video on the web?

posted by redleaf at 10:38 PM on March 4, 2001

I heard the interview on NPR. His mother and his brother did all the talking. His mother is quite proud of him. It's not clear why.
posted by Mekon at 9:24 AM on March 5, 2001

Maybe she's just thankful for the quiet.
posted by jennyb at 9:56 AM on March 5, 2001

I'm trying again...I just installed speech to text software, and am well on my way to knot typing for a year! Sombody find me a publicist

posted by samsara at 6:40 PM on March 5, 2001

The typos are a really nice touch, Samsara.
posted by Su at 8:24 PM on March 5, 2001

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