Tuis, noise and technology

The song of the tuis has returned to the Napier hill.  No, not the snap of a can being opened or the splashing of liquid into a glass, but the song of our native bird.  This morning the birds were in full voice, filling the peaceful morning with a most enjoyable sound.  As I did my daily constitutional I realised that the noise usually present in our streets was absent.  The birds were having a field day and I could actually hear them.

Of course those who live in big cities won’t be used to peace and quiet like we are here in the provinces but I do enjoy those moments when the world seems to retreat and we can enjoy the sound of, well, less noise than usual.

We do live in a very noisy world.  If it’s not the banging and clattering in cafes (making a pot of tea is positively silent by comparison to coffee) or the “background” music in shops, it’s the noise of traffic reverberating through the suburbs.

When the residents of New York looked out their windows and saw the first horseless carriages I suspect they were probably looking forward to no more clattering of the horses hooves or the pong of their droppings.  Little did they foresee what impact the technology of the automobile would have on our planet.  Quite apart from the greenhouse gases they emit in their operation and the resources consumed in their manufacture and running, vehicles are noisy.  People ride in them, cocooned in an air conditioned environment with the audio system playing their favourite music while outside the rumble, rattle and roar of the engine resonates with the road noise from the tyres.  Anyone in the vicinity cannot but notice the passage of the vehicle.

Is there a lesson there for us –if technology does hold the key to our future is it a better future?  Does the lesson of our noisy world suggest that perhaps not?  Maybe the future will be different but not an improvement/

Ps:  some people will appreciate the irony of me writing about a noisy world given my hobby of playing bagpipes 🙂

Art Deco Napier
D&S Pipe Band on parade at Napier’s Art Deco

That’s me, front left talking to the band.

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  • chrissiebrand  On March 18, 2011 at 2:13 am

    In this noisy world we live in, I think the key is to filter out that which is not important to oneself and take time to listen out for the birds and those things that do matter; bagpipes maybe :-). Becoming deaf to our own needs and pleasures is really not a life worth living..
    ahhhh.. I digress

  • bonnie001  On March 31, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Just imagining listening to the Tuis in the Napier hills has given me a moments peace from work, from the crazy environment of working in Wellington city (I think though listening to the Tuis and cracking open a can of Tui would be even better! 🙂 ) . From my desk I can see no sunlight, freeze at my desk – due to the airconditioning, and hear phones going off all day, photocopier machines and not much else. I think you are on the right track – does technology make for a better life? One thing I know is on the weekends I want to get as far away from the city as possible and get fresh air and some peace and quiet.

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