Pico Iyer: The Joy of Quiet (The New York Times)

By Pico Iyer, December 29,2 2011 in the New York Times

ABOUT a year ago, I flew to Singapore to join the writer Malcolm Gladwell, the fashion designer Marc Ecko and the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister in addressing a group of advertising people on “Marketing to the Child of Tomorrow.” Soon after I arrived, the chief executive of the agency that had invited us took me aside. What he was most interested in, he began — I braced myself for mention of some next-generation stealth campaign — was stillness.

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/opinion/sunday/the-joy-of-quiet.html?_r=2

One Response to Pico Iyer: The Joy of Quiet (The New York Times)

  1. Susan Cooke says:

    Thanks so much for writing this. I hope you’ll write also on the scarcity of quiet in neighborhoods where we live, and in banks, even drugstores, grocery stores, Starbucks and often other coffee shops, etc. where we are forced to hear music we may not particularly want to hear, and often so loud that I can almost feel my blood pressure go up. I actually cannot stay in such places more than a couple of minutes. While trying to get well from a clinical depression, I WAS (and often am still) highly sensitive to such noise. Also, while I find my garden meditative and restful, many times I can’t stay there either, due to enormous loud trucks and some cars with artififcially-loud 9my husband thinks) engines, and the worst machine humankind ever invented–the leaf blower. It’s not just the noise, it’s the fumes. (What about global warming–do we need all those extra fumes? The things sound like jet engines and smell worse.)
    It’s been proven in studies that such noises drive up crime rate, frustration in general, relly do raise blood pressure, and are not good for us. But I don’t think you have to consult a doctor or study to know this. It seems only the very wealthy can afford to go away far enough to get away from this. If we all had more access to nature, say many experts, we would be calmer, healthier, and as you point out, could think straight. Yet local council members who care about noise in towns like Cambridge, MA have a heck of a time getting anyone to listen to them concerning legislation. Yesterday an almost-peaceful walk for me up the hill was ruined by an enormous moving truck following me the whole way looking for a parking spot, then back down again. It was half my walk. Why do we need to move on Sundays? I hear in Germany (from a friend) that hardly anything happens on Sunday so people can have some peace!

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