On noise

Category: Lifestyle

Struggling with a noisy environment? Difficult to communicate? Losing focus? For one, get used to it. Work in such settings. Become less sensitive. Don’t always count on those ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones, otherwise you’ll become fragile and dependent on assistive aids. Enable your thoughts to proliferate irrespective of the surrounding chaos.

I can work almost anywhere of generally distributed Gaussian noise. Conversations, ambient sounds, tools, utensils, etc, are all fair game. What I struggle with are the concentrated sources of audio, usually the propagandistic sort. News programming, media, unsolicited podcasts cause me severe allergies.

You might consider certain semblance in the above to an arrangement of a random guest being invited into your space without sanction. Except I would much prefer (and often welcome) a truly random guest off the street. With a random guest I’m likely to experience a distribution of topics - part benign, part intriguing, part inspiring, part complaints, part irrelevant, part bullshit. Listening to media journalists, on the other hand, I’m virtually guaranteed irrelevant and bullshit.

So far, I resist such environments without headphones or sufficient Gaussian noise to diffuse the source. There’s also the option to simply abandon the setting. Walk out. After all, the majority of landscape respects a standard Gaussian distribution.

A curious observation I’ve noted with regard to propagandistic noise. The cheaper the establishment (ie restaurant), the more likely you’ll encounter television monitors with sports programming (if fortunate) or likely ‘news’. We pay premium for tranquility.

However, when not for the above, I’ve found few noise I could not digest with moderate effort. I’ve studied academic materials in ultra loud music dance parties. I’ve written outlines during festivals. I got accustomed to sleeping in disturbing settings of street traffic, noisy radiators, obnoxiously creaking floors, and loud nightlife. Maybe it did impact the long-term quality of my sleep. I’m no specialist.

Now, if you struggle to communicate in the midst of noise, consider embracing a few hidden opportunities. Learn sign language. Or the NATO phonetic alphabet. Read lips. See Mindhacker by Ron and Marty Hale-Evans to further explore these ideas. Meditate perhaps. However, whatever you do, this is no cue to summon your bloody phone. Resist the urge and be present.

Questions, comments? Connect.