[…]Humans have irrevocably altered the acoustics of the entire globe — and our racket continues to spread. Missing or altered voices in a soundscape tend to indicate broader environmental problems. […]
Soundscape ecologists hope they can save some ecosystems, but they also realize they will bear witness to many finales. “There may be some very unique soundscapes around the world that — just through normal human activities — would be lost forever,” Pijanowski says — unless he and colleagues can record them before they disappear.
An even more critical task, he thinks, is alerting people to the way “soundscapes provide us with a sense of place” and an emotional bond with the natural world that is unraveling. As children, our grandparents could hope to swim in a lake or lie in a meadow for whole afternoons without hearing a motorboat, car or plane; today the engineless hour is all but extinct, and we’ve grown accustomed to constant, mild auditory intrusions. “Humans are becoming an increasingly more urban species, and so we’re surrounding ourselves with concrete and buildings” and “the low hum of the urban landscape,” Pijanowski says. “We’re kind of severing the acoustic link that humans have with nature.”
[my emphasis, small part left out for faster reading]
I honestly think that an ‘engineless hour’ would be a great idea to introduce: just one hour once in a while that we shut down all cars, machines, computers and what else, go outside and be quiet. Just sit there listening to the natural sounds of our surroundings.
Do you support webcomics? Take this one question survey:
1. Do you take the RSS feed of over 90 webcomics, rip the images, put them in your Android app, and then put your own advertisements next to them in order to make money?
Congratulations: If you said “Yes”, then NO, YOU DO NOT SUPPORT WEBCOMICS
Click through for the whole rant, but as Jeph Jaques wrote in his latest blog post, this is straightforward piggybacking on someone else’s work. If you like having a way to look at your webcomics in aggregate on your Android device, download an rss feed reader instead and add the webcomics you’re reading for the same effect. Ad revenue, donations, and merch are the only ways that webcomic creators make money, so I will always encourage the readers of this blog to do what you can to support them financially.
The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.