Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Thursday 12 May, 02005

On theme

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:30 pm

Jonathan Rowe, down on cellphones
Jonathan Rowe on the corporation

3 Responses to “On theme”

  1. dan says:

    Cellphones:
    I largely agree with Rowe.
    I catch the train to and from work each day, and if you’ve ridden the Auckland trains you’d know that even if every person in the carriage had their lips zipped, there is no way in the world they could be considered a peaceful haven of silence, enjoyable relaxation nor a place where uninterruptable work can be performed.
    Our trains are ancient, cacophonic, violent, juggernauts.
    So I have to say I enjoy observing others talking on their cellular phone.
    Firstly, as Rowe notes, people on cellphones talk louder than average; even more so on Auckland trains.
    Secondly, as Rowe also mentions, people are rarely talking about work on their cellphones. Which is great, since personal conversations are much more interesting to the eavesdropper than are work-related discourses.

    I think it comes down to one’s personal expectation for a given environment.

    There are some situations where a person bellowing will get on my nerves, but it’s not at all about the cellphone. People bellow offensively into land-line telephones. People bellow at their kids. People bellow at street vendors.

    If we’re a little less selfish and a little more forgiving, we can begin to marvel and be grateful for those who are willing to share their personal and often amusing conversations with us – perfect strangers – for our enjoyment.

  2. richface says:

    i also agree.

    and i don’t think its technology that gives noisemakers precedence over the quiet. i think that is just the nature of noise — by definition noise takes precedence over silence. it reminds me of that riddle: ‘when you speak my name, i am gone. what am i?’ (the answer is ‘silence’ in case you can’t work it out).

    there are a million types of situations where people who would prefer quiet begrudge people (or things) that are making noise. whether that is reasonable depends on the context of each scenario.

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