When was the last time you experienced absolute silence; the kind where your ears registered the vibrations of a pin, as it hit concrete from fifty-feet away? I am not referring to a moment of clarity between the sound of a constant slew of buses, cars, and eager birdies - as you lay in bed on a hazy Sunday morning. But a stream of pure, unfiltered, silence; where the only sound you hear, is no sound at all.
Me and Marissa decided to venture to the Science Museum this past Sunday. The building belongs to many of those arbitrary places I have remained aware of for many years, yet never visited. The previous weekend we had been to the Natural History Museum; engaging ourselves in Dinosaur fossils, geological rocks, and ex-Arsenal footballer David Bentley carrying his baby girl around, and chose the land of Scientific human endeavour over the National Gallery and Victoria and Albert museum - which surprisingly, isn't run by anybody named Victoria or Albert.
Whilst walking around the slightly unnerving full scale mock ups of Victorian life - in particular a smartly dressed inventor messing around with electrical impulses in his living room, I began to consider the minimal distractions at his disposal; it struck me hard - no wireless radio, Television, or gramophone. And what could he hear outside? There were no screeches of an auto-mobile, roar of powered flight, or annoying kids playing their tinny sounding music too loud on public transport. Beyond echoes of nature, and the burning coal fire of a cold winters night, there was silence - even the sound of the human voice was limited by sheer insular nature of towns, limited to the locals inability to travel beyond the slow drudgery of foot.
To many, silence is a beautiful sound. To others, it is a form of torture; forcing the mind to ruminate without refrain. Before all inventions of the past one-hundred-and-fifty years existed, generations were used to the notion of quiet, peaceful thought; maybe this made them a more methodical, philosophical, and certainly patient people of history. The world today moves so fast, and there is such an abundance of media and information at our disposal, it is so easy to discard thought as much as we discard news and information.
Perhaps there is a deeper notion here; in which human society thinks less for itself, in conjunction with the greater diversity of sounds created for the subconscious to register through its ears; in essence, I am wondering if this means less independent thinkers in the future? But I doubt this societal prognosis - the likely outcome is the human brain will, as usual, evolve through the ingenuity around it; meaning new waves of original idea, merely based around the technology afforded to it.
And this is the beauty of the Science Museum; while we are often guilty of acts which to me go beyond basic realms of stupidity - such as Racism, War, and manipulation of social preference, the exhibitions remind me how incredibly innovative, curious, and diligent the Homo Sapien truly is. We are moving forward as a species, and are going to invent all sort of wild and wonderful adaptations we as yet cannot even imagine, over the coming centuries. I only wonder - if the price we pay for these endeavours, is the beginnings, of the end of silence...