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@Rich

I have a long-term #invocation -- #sonic-neutrality :mute:

It's becoming normal to demand a carbon-neutral technical substrate for societies. So while we're retrofitting our energy, food, transit, housing and other systems to not release excess carbon into the atmosphere... can we also make sure they're quiet?

Imagine walking through a city where the passing vehicles, construction sites, ventilation systems, etc etc are no louder than two friends talking.

Can I tack this requirement on to the flowering #solarpunk visions?

@piet
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@Paul d'Aoust
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@Solarpunk Station
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@Solarpunk Station

Yes please!

I was reading The Nature Fix by Florence Williams and she was talking about how much background noise can increase stress and all the bad physiological effects that result from that, even if it's "white noise" that we tune out.

@nanomonkey
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@Mischa
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@Mischa
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@xj9
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@mycognosist
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@Jen
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@kaosat
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@viktor
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@Stian

For a long time I've half-jokingly uttered that vehicles ought to be taxed both by emissions and for noise - the decibel tax, seems I bring it up every time a particularly noisy truck or motorbike pass my office :stuck_out_tongue:

They closed down large parts of my city during a big week-long bike event last year, including the street where I have my office. The difference was astonishing, like night and day. You could easily talk while strolling down the street. With all the road noise gone you suddenly noticed bird chatter, etc, etc. More people used the public benches on the side walks (what's the point of relaxing on a bench with noisy cars blasting past you).

Local politicians are now running a pilot project to make one city district car free, which is fantastic. I don't however think it's feasible to do that in every district, but more quiet vehicles would go a long way..

@horsie
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@Daan (the same one)
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@Daan (the same one)

I live in a mostly car-free part of #grenoble and that's already great. I have an irish pub a few doors down, but at least I don't have the constant noise I was used to in my last apartment. What really gets me though are scooters. They're a big thing in France, and from what I can tell virtually unregulated in both emissions and noise. And even what little regulation is there is barely enforced, while the people using them often don't seem to care or actively push for making them more noisy for fun or extra street cred.

Lately though I've seen more and more electric scooters for food delivery and such, and I saw that in India for example, there are big networks of charging stations, albeit non-standardized, springing up.
So yeah, I'd love stuff in our towns to get less noisy, and it seems to be happening. But in large parts, that's just gonna mean to have less stuff on the roads.

@Giarc
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@dan hassan android
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@dan hassan android
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@dan hassan android
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@satz
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@satz

The push to electric modes of public transportation are huge in countries like India. Witnessed this firsthand - less noise, and atmospheric pollution. that being said, car free zones and towns are the way to go in the future. Energy efficient townships, with more flora to reduce overall pollution and then, being able to walk / cycle / use a electric public mode of transport to get to work and back is for me the ideal way to live.

I am actively seeking to move into a community that keeps in mind, the needs of the people where there are more paths than roads and more people-focused living. Living in the US on the eastern seaboard, however, this seems like a pipe dream.

@OxymoronSteinlausPC
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@Rob's Laptop

And here I am driving around with only the legally-required catalytic converters and a track pipe on my car. For those unaware, a track pipe is an otherwise normal exhaust pipe extension used to replace the muffler and bring the exhaust exit past the bumper of the car for safety/legal reasons. I love hearing all the rumbles, pops and 'after fire' my car makes, and when I'm sitting outside I love seeing other performance cars doing the same. To each their own. shrugs

At any practical car speeds (35+ mph) all unmodified cars make about the same amount of noise simply from their tires traveling over pavement. Electric or ICE doesn't matter at all I've noticed, and the more efficient (harder) tire compounds make even more noise.

Even as a car nut, I'm not opposed to car-free city centers, since at those population densities I agree with this crowd that cars are too big, loud, fast and polluting. I think scooters, bikes, and velomobiles (either human or electric powered) are a great solution to the last mile problem, and cars could very well be left near city centers in garages.

We should make the most of any technology, and the best use for cars is not crawling in gridlocked city centers with bikes and pedestrians overtaking them. Neither is the open road in rural areas the best use for electric vehicles.

@Daan (the same one)

@Rob's Laptop just pointing out: 35mph ~ 56km/h. A road where cars are allowed to go over 50km/h is already way outside the "pedestrian friendly" regime IMHO.

Here in Grenoble, most roads in the center are 30km/h (~18mph) and only the bigger ones are at 50km/h (and thus very unpleasant for pedestrians) and the highways are at 90km/h:

5131_465_La-ville-au-1er-janvier-2016.jpg

Personally, I am very happy that the local administration pushes quite hard to get the city car load down. They don't have much of a choice there either, beyond tearing down historic buildings.

@dasanchez
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@Paul d'Aoust

Heck, I'd be happy to just have a quiet fridge and house heating/cooling system. Ambient noise inside our buildings is just as bad as the noise outside. One of the nice things about #low-tech solutions is that they're very often quiet. I remember watching Global Gardener, and being really interested in David Holmgren's passive larder: it seemed to be some sort of cupboard with a tube coming into it from underground (an earth tube) and a tube going out of it into the outside air. There was a thermosiphon effect, I think, which constantly pulled up the cool underground air. You'd never be able to get below 10–20°C (depending on the part of the world you live in), so it'd require a shift in food acquisition and consumption habits (not to mention all the excavation you'd have to do), but it feels very delightfully #solarpunk to me.

@lilly

@Richard D. Bartlett You may already be onto this thread, but R. Murray Schafer did a lot of work around noise and soundscapes (the latter word his coining) in Vancouver, BC in the 1960s and 1970s. This resulted in some interesting books -- here's a pdf of his Book of Noise: http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio-webdav/WSP_Doc/Booklets/BookOfNoise.pdf -- and some of the first urban noise ordinances. A lot of folks have continued similar inquires under the broad field of "Acoustic Ecology" (https://www.wfae.net/). Definitely worth checking out at the very least as a predecessor to whatever you're up to.

A lot of this work in acoustic ecology is super interesting, but much of it as well is uncritical of some of its foundational concepts like Nature, the urban, and tranquility. And consequently the field has trended heavily white, western, and male. I once attended a concert by Barry Truax, another original acoustic ecology guy, that was eight channels of synthesized 'shaman' voices wailing and presumably healing us. So romantic and out of touch that you had to laugh but Truax definitely was not! Hildegard Westerkamp is another interesting figure from the scene whose work I think is a bit more complex and reflexive than a lot of associated folks: here's her 1989 'Kits Beach Soundwalk':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg96nU6ltLk

@punkmonk.phone
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@not not charlie

The engine noise of electric cars is minimal - they have a noise maker you can turn on (e.g. for reversing) because people aren't used to silent cars.

@not not charlie

@Paul d'Aoust We have such a cupboard. The intake is underground and warmer air escapes above. To increase efficacy we'll probably put in a solar fan to move things along.

@Anders
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@Robert Julius
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@Paul d'Aoust

@charlieeeeeeeeeee that's really cool! How well does it work, and what part of the world do live in? Any changes you've had to make -- e.g., buying smaller cartons of milk, cooking meat the day you buy it, that sort of thing?

@not not charlie

@Paul d'Aoust Really not much of a change as it's the cabinet for our fridge. I'm surprised for a lot of offgrid living that it hasn't involved heaps of lifestyle changes (we're not opulent folks to begin with, so :smile: )

It's all just a basic space with an air pipe below and one above. Everything is done passively, but we'd like to put a solar fan in, as I wrote above, as during the summer it needs a bit of help. I think if we were to do it again, I'd put the pipe further into the ground - I think it'd be more effective if it was deeper in.

No meat here as we're vegetarian, and we don't use milk :smiley: We're in the Top of the South, New Zealand.

@Paul d'Aoust

@charlieeeeeeeeeee ahhhhh, so is your fridge still electric, it just doesn't have to work as hard to pump all that heat out? I've heard of a guy in Nebraska, USA, named Russ Finch who did that with one of the early two-way heat pumps, and it heats his whole 115m³ house without any supplemental heat. Basically a blower pulls air through earth tubes in a cabinet that houses his heat pump, so the coefficient of performance at 12°C is way better than if it were outside in the -10°C weather.

What part of the South Island? My wife and I had our honeymoon in NZ and didn't spend nearly enough time in the South Island (we heard it was like BC, Canada, where we're from, so we thought "why bother"? Wish we'd spent way more time there, especially Nelson and westwards.)

@not not charlie

Indeed, our next plan is to remove the fridge altogether - so it is a work in progress!

South Island NZ is superficially like BC, but there is a lot of very different stuff packed into a compact space. Do ping me if you find yourself back here! We are west of Nelson :smile:

@Kevinisageek
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@mix

Apparently the growth of nature reserves like Zealandia in Wellington has lead to neighbours complaining about the noise of the thriving native bird population!

So I'm all for quiet, where quiet means quiet humans.

I fucking loathe people mowing lawns, running weed-eaters, or yelling across the car port. I judge cafes/ restaurant atmosphere harshly based on their acousitc sensibility. I kinda want a eatery overlay on other review maps which help me see where's terrible to be able to talk/ listen

@regular

One thing I am forced to think about several times a week is the completely idiotic honk-based communication system used by car drivers. They broadcast one bit of information that is received by hundreds of unintended listeners, causing annoyance, stress and even pain, just to get messages across like "I can't move my car because of that delivery truck parking in the second lane". Instead cars should communicate peer-to-peer, electronically and with messages containing more than one bit.

@mycognosist
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@mix

I've dreamt about p2p car comms before @regular ... recently I was playing MTG Arena (the new version of magic online) and they only have 5 messages you can send your opponent from a dropdown - basically 5 types of honks. A veteran said to me "they had to do that, because the abuse and harassment on the original magic online was horrendous".

So yeah, I think the key with p2p is creating a connection which supports empathy

@regular

@mix good point! If someone pushes that big button in the middle of their steering wheel while their car is not moving, instead of emitting a loud noise, it should pop up a wizard letting them select one of the cars is the immediate vicinity and then giving them these options:

  1. Send message "Thank you for delivering goods to businesses and individuals in the neighbourhood. I have benefited from your services in the past and will depend on it in the future. Currently however your truck blocks my way, so I can't get to the place I need to go in order to do my job. I am aware that you probably will be back in five minutes anyway and a five minute delay really is no big deal for me, so, no worries! If however you plan to stay longer, please move your car temporarily, so I can get out of here. Thank you very much!"

  2. Cancel

(also, their should be a five-minute debounce required by law)

@mix

wow @regular , I didn't know Germans did passive-aggressive! I like it

@lucaswilric
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@hoz

@regular We had fun with a flip sign with several messages on it when we were teenagers.

@kawaiipunk

This gif is so awesome! Thanks for sharing @mnin

@bundy
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@nanomonkey

@mnin When ever I see images like this it makes me think of how much wasted space our current roads take up that could be used for green areas or more housing. What's worse is that by separating all the buildings by such wide streets we spread out a city and make it all the more necessary to have a car.

@kawaiipunk

So true @nanomonkey

Picture all those old cities around the world that have narrow and winding streets mostly suitable for navigating by foot or bicycle.

@Mischa
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@Handy Hedgie
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@nanomonkey

Sadly my town, Oakland, prioritizes rectilinear power lines, instead of trees. Specially if those trees produce fruit or edible foods. Can't be feeding people from public spaces can we?

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@cel
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@Trav
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@joeyh
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@Enso

Ironically, having just spent 12 years living in Oakland, it has more fruit trees in yards than any other place I've ever lived...

@Gekisai
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@4eek
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