Old Books and Elevator Music

Apple have just released the iPhone 6 with digital wallet feature and also the Apple watch which can monitor and share your heartbeat with others. Cool stuff, but not really game changers. Nice to be connected to the internet, but sometimes it is even nicer to disconnect! I drop our kids off at a bus stop in the mornings and the number of who now stand around motionless staring at and fingering their screens saddens me. Hey kids, try kicking a ball around, or something really left field...talking to one another!

We live in a rambling old house and are fortunate to have a dedicated room at one end which we have filled with books. How I enjoy taking time out at the end of the day just to relax in my favourite chair, read a book and listen to music. Re-reading books can be even more enjoyable than the first time around! I was reading "The great deep" by James Hamilton-Patterson. I quote....


"allowing electronic devices to replace our senses while reducing so much information to visual imagery must have its consequences. Generally speaking, underused faculties tend to atrophy. It has long since become a cliché in the pages of the Lancet and the BMJ to wonder whether the old fashioned, pre war GP with his training in how to listen, to smell, touch and even taste may have understood more about his patients' health than does his modern counterpart with his reliance on laboratory techniques and diagnostic machinery. It is not only sensibility but memory itself which atrophies, since the need for attentive observation is less. The camera takes the place of the eye, the recorder the ear, the computer the memory. A laconic finger on the keyboard summons up data, an image"

 James Hamilton-Patterson

So how about trying an experiment in revitalising your atrophied senses.

Play Pink Floyds' "Dark side of the Moon" in it's entirety under the following conditions.

  • Be alone 

  • Reduce visual stimuli...darkened room, no TV or eye candy to distract.

  • Be perfectly positioned for listening to stereo by using triangulation techniques.

  • Use only quality hi fi componentry.


Imagine yourself to be one of those old fashioned GPs', critically listening to each track, trying to extract and recall as much information as possible. The difference may astound. Life is too short for elevator music and besides, some activities like reading books and listening to good music were meant to go together.


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