I listen to white noise while I work. Do you?

Well, not exactly white noise, as in noise conforming to a Gaussian amplitude distribution and sporting a rather boring power spectrum. I just thought it’d make for an attractive node title. Rather than simply saying “noise”. That lacks something, doesn’t it? Doesn’t drip with limerick-y catchiness.

But I digress.

I listen to noise while I work. It’s the singing of an undefined frequency band (although sometimes the singing of certain undiscovered bands does classify as noise). It’s the sound of the static you get on TV after closing time. The voices of a million little dots banging on the glass, wanting out. The void between your favourite stations, the hissing that gives you a little private moment as you tune your radio, before the next segment of commercialized trash hits you like a homie you just dissed.

Of course, I don’t always have the luxury of a TV set tuned to nothingness with me, so I carry a portable radio receiver around. Comes in handy at the library, when I’m slogging for exams, or preparing notes for the next pointless paper due yesterday. I jog the dial all the way to the end, then a little past. It’s like taking a train ride. I zoom past all the stations, pockets of humanity, catching dribs and drabs of this and that as I pass:


“…news-/-today, a horrible accident-/-oops, I did it ag-/-esident Bush met-/-….”


Suddenly the dial sticks, and with a jolt I realize I have reached the end. And I plunge into limbo in one timeless, magical moment. I revel in the solitude and comfort that is mine, and mine alone; The smugness that comes from knowing I provide the only speck of awareness in this virtual environment of unrefined audio.

As I settle down to work, it floods my consciousness. It fills gaps in my logic. It perks me up. It’s comforting, it’s encompassing, not in the least distracting, and most importantly, it calms me.

I listen to white noise while I work. Do you?