Saturday, July 5, 2008

Defining Silence

I got to visit the Alamo twice while I was in San Antonio. The first time we didn't go inside as the Apple Distinguished Educators group were putting on an Improv stunt outside and we all participated in "ADEs Frozen in Texas". Video of this should be available soon.
We decided to return later in the week to spend time there and have a good look inside. The significance of this site in Texan history was pretty apparent from the sign at the door to the repeated signs inside requesting silence as this is a shrine.
We were rather surprised at how little attention was paid by the many tourists to this request and I couldn't resist pressing the record button on my camera to capture the 'silence' - which you can hear below. It reminded me of an occasion when I overheard a teacher in a library informing the class that this was to be a time of silent reading. This was followed up with the following statement, "This means that your voice shouldn't be heard more than 3 people away". What is the definition of silence in the 21st century? Has it evolved from the dictionary meaning? How many of us can operate effectively anymore in the absence of sound? Perhaps I should be conducting a poll here.