Manifesto for Silence: Confronting the Politics and Culture of Noise

Manifesto for Silence: Confronting the Politics and Culture of Noise

Manifesto for Silence: Confronting the Politics and Culture of Noise

Manifesto for Silence: Confronting the Politics and Culture of Noise

Synopsis

This book makes an urgent demand for silence. The ability to think, to reflect, and to create are all highly dependent on regular access to silence. Yet in today's noisy, 24/7 society silence and quiet are under threat. And the business world only makes this worse with cynical marketingstrategies abusing the power of noise: ever-diminishing oases of calm are hard to find. Stuart Sim argues that we need more, not less, silence. He explains why silence matters, where it matters--in our environment, in religion, philosophy, the arts, literature and science - and why the human race will suffer if we do not make space for it. The confrontation between the politics ofnoise and the politics of silence affects all of us profoundly: we cannot stay neutral on this issue.

Excerpt

We live in an increasingly noisy society in which silence is a threatened phenomenon. Noise and silence are locked in conflict in contemporary existence, with noise pollution becoming a major problem of the developed world, one that encroaches on the life of nearly everyone in the West. It is a growing problem in the Third World too, with China’s seemingly inexorable industrial and technological advance rapidly bringing it into line with the West in this regard. Struggling to cope with the demands of the biggest building boom on the planet today, the Shanghai City Council authorised 24-hour construction in the city in 2006, which means 24-hour noise pollution from that source too. As that example indicates, there are simply more sources of noise each year, building up in relentless progression: more cars on the road, more roads for those cars; more planes in the sky, more flight-paths for those planes; and of course, more airports to cope with those planes and chart their flight-paths. Our culture is committed to such expansion, and the current enthusiasm for globalisation can only make it worse: to export technology is also to export noise. On an international scale, noise is altering the environment for the worse.

Yet silence has played a crucial role in human history in such key areas of activity as religion and the arts, and its loss would seriously impoverish our lives. The ability to think, to reflect and to create are all to a significant degree dependent on our being able to access . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.