Omnipresence in Modern Life
Assaults on the Ear in Cities, Suburbs
The U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development conducts a survey every year to find out what city residents dislike about their living environment.1 Each year since 1973 the same condition has been named most undesirable. It is not crime, air pollution or traffic congestion. It is noise — an undesirable ingredient not only of city life but also of life in the suburbs and even rural areas. A trip to the suburbs may leave behind the city's jackhammers, pile drivers and traffic noises, but other assaults on the ear lie waiting outside city limits. “The kid next door is engaged in an exotic activity called motorcycle ’scrambling,’ the neighbor across the street is shaving ...