Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quiet please.

Maureen Dowd, that is, the brilliant Maureen Dowd, has a surpassing column in today's "New York Times" that puts a finger on much of what is wrong with our industry and the world today. Her column today is titled "Silence Is Golden" and if you have a couple of minutes (that you're not wasting on Facebook, Twitter or some other diversion) you can read it here:

Dowd's column is about our loss of silence.

Near its start she provides this 50-year-old quotation by Swiss philosopher Max Picard:
“Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence,” once as natural as the sky and air.

Dowd continues: "fiendish little gadgets conspire to track our movements and record our activities wherever we go, producing a barrage of pictures of everything we’re doing and saying..."

What's lost today is all this:

Silence is something you hear.

Quiet and solitude are things you can do or seek out.

Repose and "being in the moment" are special activities and should be cherished.

She points out, silence is like a zero in mathematics.

It's not nothing.

It's powerful.

It can lead to actual thought.


Hannah said...

A friend mentioned an article to me about how cell phones are increasing ADD because they're innately irregular. They're an interruption from whatever you may be actually focusing on, and cause your brain to totally shift gears to some snippet of a social interaction, leaving both thoughts underdeveloped. She mentioned that from the time you get a text message it takes your brain 8 minutes to fully re-engage in whatever you had previously been doing.

Anonymous said...

read also Kundera's Slowness (if not already).
same thing.