There are a lot of people walking around lately with massive headphones bleeding sound. It’s a symptom of the iPod revolution, but it’s also a sign of something else: people are slowly tuning the world out.
Whether it’s because of over stimulation, or the need to ego-map ourselves into constant oblivion, many of us seem to be eliminating outside interference in our daily lives in a number of ways. We censor our speech, we unfriend people who annoy us, we never challenge ourselves by deep study of a subject foreign to our experience… Climategate, Creationism vs Evolution – we choose our battles carefully to put ourselves on the highest ground possible, and refuse to fight under anything other than perfect advantage.
The whole phenomenon is rather frustrating.
So I’d like to set a challenge for the new year. Every month, even every quarter – whatever you’d call an acceptable rate – expose yourself in a meaningful way to something you oppose by default. Research another religion with an open mind. Read a book in a genre you hate. Listen to Country Music. Whatever. Just do something outside your experience, and see what it does to the rest of your automatic tune-out behaviour.