POSITRACTION: Quiet is good; too much and we can’t function


Science How Long Could You Last in the World’s Quietest Room? The Record Is Only 45 Minutes
Posted on April 5, 2012 at 1:29am by Liz Klimas

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“When it’s quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You’ll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly.

“In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.”

And this is a very disorientating experience. Mr Orfield explained that it’s so disconcerting that sitting down is a must.
He said: “How you orient yourself is through sounds you hear when you walk. In the anechnoic chamber, you don’t have any cues. You take away the perceptual cues that allow you to balance and manoeuvre. If you’re in there for half an hour, you have to be in a chair.”

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If Orfield can only last in the chamber for about 30 minutes, how long do you think you could stand the silence?

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I had an interesting experience when I was working for AT&T many moons ago. It had to do with silence and how it changes you.

It was some one of their “fool” required “Management Exercises” — I swear that some PhD would come in and convince the Board that if they just ran all the middle management through their course every thing would be better — maybe if they had just let us do our work without drag us off for weeks at a time, everything would have been OK!

Any way, this was an exercise in “team building & trust” at Mohunk Mountain in upstate NY for a full 7 days.

When I checked in on SATURDAY night — and I was not pleased at that —  got the key to my room and discovered … not only no TV but no booze either. Argh!

So, many of the exercises were about sitting silent while a “facilitator” keep everyone quiet.


So at the end of a week where I thought I was going crazy, I returned home to my very patient spouse very late on a Saturday night. By the end of the next day, I though I was going crazy with all the noise.

The interesting comment from her on Sunday night was: “You’re so quiet that I think you are really listening to what I am saying for the first time ever.”


I guess after a week at a very stressful job, I reverted to old. She said the follow Sunday: “I miss quiet John”.

Maybe we should all a have quiet room?

I’m sure my fellow alum — to answer the article’s rhetorical question — could sit for hours in a quiet room. They’re really disciplined. Unlike this NOISY (and nosey) fat old white guy injineer!

Happy Easter.

Dona Nobis Pacem. … Quietly.

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