Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2023/ Quiet and Loud

Quiet and Loud

Recently I had a pair of earbuds that were dying. As earbuds die they often get quieter, and I often found myself pressing the earbud against my ear to hear my podcasts clearly. (The fact that I have been listening to earbuds for over a decade and thus am probably going deaf did not help.)

This made me upset, because I was scheduled to volunteer at Fertile Grounds and I usually listen to podcasts as I murder weeds. Unfortunately murdering weeds is a two-handed endeavour, so holding a dying earbud close to my ear was a non-starter. Finding a new pair of earbuds was the obvious solution, but I wanted to put that off as long as possible.

To my surprise, I found that I was able to be out on the farm and listen to podcasts without pressing any earbuds to my ear. This is in stark contrast to walking down the street in town. It is amazing how much quieter it can be in rural areas. Often I associate rural areas with a lot of noise, because people drive tractors and cows moo and such, but in fact I found it much quieter. I guess this is why I can hear birdcalls out on the farm but don't hear as many in the city.

Even in the city there is a lot of variance. When I am at home there are some noises, but for the most part I need not hold dying earbuds against my ear. As soon as I step outside I do, even if there is not much traffic. Heavy traffic is much much louder, and if it has been raining then traffic is louder still.

Rural people have complained a lot about windmills in recent years. There are all kinds of conspiracy theories about the harmful vibrations they produce. In fact, I'll bet that rural windmills are quieter than city traffic (and probably less harmful) but that the difference between quiet rural areas and the rhythmic whoosh of turbine blades is quite pronounced, so people accustomed to quiet rural areas notice it a lot more.

I guess that proper noise-cancelling headphones are the real solution here, but I doubt I will go down that route. Deafness it is, then.