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A Quiet Period

Earlier today I was walking around San Francisco listening to a podcast. This is normal. If you were
The Happy Hour
A Quiet Period
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #117 • View online
Earlier today I was walking around San Francisco listening to a podcast. This is normal. If you were to see me walking around on the street, you would always see me with my AirPods in, listening to something. But what’s also increasingly normal, at least for me, is noticing how hard it is to hear said podcast (or other content) while walking around a city.
That is to say, I guess I finally discovered noise pollution. 
Nothing new, obviously. But I’ve become acutely aware of it in my always-listening-to-something world. Often, there are loud trucks, motorcycles, commuter trains, and the like that drown out the sound of what I’m trying to listen to. Such noise has always been annoying, of course. But it’s especially annoying when you are trying to listen to something.
Anyway, I’ve found myself thinking about this more and more. Mainly in the context of how crazy it will be in X number of years when everything is electric and as such, nearly silent. 
I imagine it will be on one hand eerie, and on the other, beautiful. Imagine a city with no noise pollution. That will raise other issues of course – will accidents go up as a result because no one can hear vehicles coming towards them? Or will automation/safety features negate this before that happens? How long will it take trucks and other “heavy duty” vehicles to get fully electric? Etc.
But just walk around a city now and listen to just how noisy it is. And realize that the vast majority is caused by vehicles that are now loud but won’t be forever, and maybe even not for long. 
Drinking: a New Belgium “Tartastic” Raspberry Lime Ale (quite good) 🍻

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M.G. Siegler

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