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White Noise

At work I investigated white noise. The office is getting crowded enough and loud enough that some people are having trouble concentrating. As Office Goddess, I get the weird projects like that. This is a good part of my job.

I downloaded three different kinds of white noise for everyone, wind, waves, and rain. So far, I don’t think anyone but me has tried it out. I’m not sure it makes a whole lot of difference.

A lot of the white noise choices are for babies, so there is the typical vacuum and dryer white noise. There are recordings of air conditioners, fans, blow dryers, ticking clocks, radio static and more. The fan sample encouraged my inner child to cover her ears and run around in circles screaming, so I decided it would be counterproductive. I liked the clock, but it made me sleepy. The flowing stream obtruded with its chuckling over rocks.

The white noise people are not selling peaceful sounds. They are, I think, selling illusion. The illusion of space, of solitude, of quiet. The ability to pretend that around us is a world that isn’t full of people arguing on the phone, or sirens, or youtube videos.

They treat the symptom. I’d rather treat the disease, turning down the volume on life, going to hear an actual stream with time to enjoy its burble, allowing my thoughts to align with the rhythm of my real-life We Can Do It ticking clock.

I’m getting a whole new kind of Kool-Aid these days. And it’s not artificially colored or filled with HFCS. Good stuff, Maynard.



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June 2012
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