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The sweet sound of silence

Silence. In this world of near constant noise and motion, it really has become a sadly neglected and undervalued commodity. Yet, as I sit, looking down on a bustling metropolis of speeding cars, people, and minds, I can’t help but wonder what impact this sensory overload will have on not just our generation, but on all those to follow. Without wanting to get all new agey about it, when is enough enough? I just know that my ears are ringing from the constant barrage, though that may have more to do with my preference for really loud music than any deep societal issue. Though, really, some albums only work with the volume switched to max. Anyway, I was walking through the inner-city streets one morning last week, trapped in a haze of thoughts, when it occurred to me that we — this great global melting pot of cultures — would be lost in any other era. So much of our life now is wholly dependent on instant solutions — be it communication or transport. And while the global population continues to grow, the world – on many levels – is getting smaller and smaller. Legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, summed it all up very nicely. Many years ago he delivered a two-word poem to a Harvard graduating class. ‘Me … We’, he said; as eloquent and concise a summation of our steady drift inwards as that offered by any twenty-first century philosopher. [illustration by Jordin Isip]