When a blind flaneur walks down the street, he’s likely to be taking care of business, paying close attention to sensory cues and landmarks. The last thing he expects is to hear an advertisement coming from somewhere inside his own personal soundscape.
So a chill went through me when I heard an interview with Clive Thompson on this weeks On the Media. Here’s the blurb:
In New York City a billboard emits highly focused sound that resonates within the skulls of passersby. It’s a novel way of advertising, a potentially terrifying intrusion and, according to technology writer Clive Thompson, the leading edge of a new civil rights battleground – the right to privacy in your own mind.
This assault on the senses is the polar opposite of playing by ear, the joy of skillful, curious, and expansive listening. It can only lead to what I call foot rage.