Thursday, May 15, 2008

Schopenhauer, On Noise


One half of Travelmarx (the one hogging the electronic pen so-to-speak) is interested in noise and the seemingly plentiful abundance of it when it doesn’t seem necessary. Therefore it was with great pleasure I happened to stumble across an essay on noise by Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860). Honestly, I haven’t read all his positions or works and I can tell that some of his thoughts (e.g. on women) just seems plain strange and wrong. I do have to say though I like his essay On Noise which is part of a larger work called Studies in Pessimism (crushing-pessimism some might say) which are selections from yet another work. There is even a YouTube video that reads about 80% of this essay. The essay is quick read (10 minutes). Here is the text on Gutenberg. The quote I include here is dedicated to the famous via del Canneto green door (my emphasis added):

“It does not disturb them in reading or thinking, simply because they do not think; they only smoke, which is their substitute for thought. The general toleration of unnecessary noise -- the slamming of doors, for instance, a very unmannerly and ill-bred thing -- is direct evidence that the prevailing habit of the mind is dullness and lack of thought.”

Thank you, I think, Mr. Schopenhauer.

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