Friday, July 01, 2005 +

An Audio Age

This is certainly not a literary age, but it is also not primarily a visual age. Rather it is an audio age. Here is some evidence:

1. The best known artists are musicans. Today’s “Christian artists” almost always refers to musicians.

2. Most kids would choose an iPod over a digital camera.

3. People turn on the the television even if they don’t watch the show. Talk radio is the talk of the town. Audio books are popular.

4. With the green screen and computer effects, many movies resemble cartoons which move the audience mainly through sound. People on an airplane will watch a poorly displayed movie as long as they have their earphones. Blind people enjoy movies.

5. From John Maeda’s Simplicity blog:

Architect of the upcoming WWII museum Bart Voorsanger unraveled a mystery for me regarding restaurants. Ever been in a restaurant and you can't hear what the other person is saying because it's so loud from the noise coming from other tables. Apparently this is by design—restaurants that have a noisy buzz tend to be regarded as more popular and trendy. To design the acoustics such that you could actually hear your partner would run contradictory to the marketing effect of the crowd's drone.

I’m sure that others who are more attuned to the culture than I am can provide much more evidence.