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Discord: The Story of Noise
     

Discord: The Story of Noise

4.0 3
by Mike Goldsmith
 

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We live with unpleasant noise all the time: the humming of our computer, the traffic outside, other people's radios. Indeed, noise management is serious business for some professionals—such as those who design our schools, shopping centers, and public spaces. And even the harshest noise has its positives: dissonance is integral to music; medicine

Overview

We live with unpleasant noise all the time: the humming of our computer, the traffic outside, other people's radios. Indeed, noise management is serious business for some professionals—such as those who design our schools, shopping centers, and public spaces. And even the harshest noise has its positives: dissonance is integral to music; medicine harnesses it to shatter kidney stones; and the military even uses it as a weapon. Mike Goldsmith, a prolific author of popular science books, spent over twenty years in the Acoustics Group at the UK's National Physical Laboratory. In Discord, he reveals how noise levels increased with the development of urban living and with industrialization; explains how our scientific understanding of sound and hearing has developed; and looks at noise in nature, including the remarkable ways in which some animals, such as shrimps, use noise as a weapon or to catch prey. And he looks to the future—the noise sources which are likely to dominate it and the ways in which new science and new ideas may change the way our world will sound.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From the moment the alarm clock sounds until our heads hit the pillow again at night, noise assaults our ears. Yet, as British acoustic scientist Goldsmith reminds us in this sometimes harmonious and occasionally dissonant history, noise has been a part of human society, especially urban society, since ancient Mesopotamia. As society has evolved, the level of noise has grown, accompanying industrial and technological development: the building and operation of factories, railroads, cars, and airplanes. Goldsmith reminds us that both unproductive noises (a neighbor's late-night party) and annoying noises (the garbage truck at 3 a.m.) fill our world. So does productive noise—Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, which introduced listeners to new sounds (which some listeners still considered noise). Goldsmith concludes unremarkably that even though we'll always have noise with us, we can have a quieter future if we work together by using the technology of noise reduction and establishing noise-control regulations 20 illus. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"[A] spectacularly good book"—The New Scientist

"A treasure trove of curious facts and anecdotes...Discord is an extremely attractive and accessible, well-written and engaging book, an excellent starting place for readers who want to understand the physics and politics of noise."—American Scientist

"[A]n enjoyable history..."—Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199600687
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/12/2012
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Mike Goldsmith is the author of many popular science books, two of which have been short-listed for the prestigious Aventis prize.

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Discord: The Story of Noise 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The cats, groaning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She surrounds herself in a dome of ice and falls asleep.