Spence Green

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I work at Lilt. In addition to computers and languages, my interests include travel, running, and scuba diving. more...

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

On Noise

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Following my comments yesterday on pianos and noise:

The whole world has changed around us in ways we can only guess at. In an age when any stereo system can re-create the full range of tones audible to the human ear, is it any wonder that piano tuners are expected to make the instruments bright and clear, and, above all, loud? In this sense, the modern ear can be seen as a response to the assault–both in volume and in sheer quantity–of noise in our time, and it’s a process that began nearly two hundred years ago. (Thad Carhart, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank)

Certainly pianos are not the only casualty. The trend in record mastering has been to create walls of sound. Today, perhaps it is not the content of what is said, but the force with which it is said, that makes the difference.

Written by Spence

June 30th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Material,Writing

The Book I Want to Write

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For several years now I have wanted to write a book. What to say has been the problem. For one thing it is difficult to say something that has not been said, or that is not being said, amid the noise in the present world. Walking in Barnes and Noble is like watching a comedy with too many good jokes: the laughing is at first satisfying and deeply felt, but fatigue eventually sets in. There are so many good books (and so many bad ones) that it seems futile to hope that any new commentary on a topic, however compelling, could arrest anyone’s attention.
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Written by Spence

June 29th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Posted in Essays,Writing

Notes on Status

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I have an attractive friend. A few days ago, she sent an email to me with a familiar post-script: ‘Sent from my iPhone’. To my surpise, the image of her clutching that sleek device made her all the more appealing. My reaction was instinctive and without premeditation. How does possession of a consumer good confer status upon the owner? What is the nature of that status? Perhaps it is one of my vanities to think that I am conscious of consumerism’s influence on me. In this instance, however, it seemed that something more fundamental was at work.
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Written by Spence

December 30th, 2008 at 11:34 am

Posted in Writing