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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Pockets of Civilization

Two wheels good

My friend Brian Biggs told this little story via email, and I got his OK to share it the May 2, 2022, issue of the free Disquiet.com weekly email newsletter, This Week in Sound (tinyletter.com/disquiet). For those requiring geographic context, “PA” is the state of Pennsylvania, where Brian lives.

Last year I was on a hard bike ride up in Central PA, and my phone was squished in a handlebar bag in such a way that the SOS had been triggered by pressing buttons on each side. So each time I went through a little service area, which in that area is up top of the hills where the fracking areas are located (the energy companies have their own cell towers I guess), everyone in the family would get a SOS notice. One of my kids finally messaged the family and showed how it must be an error, cause he could track me along these utility roads every half hour or so. Which means I was moving and not lying there being chewed on by squirrels.

Sometimes I’ll be riding with a group of people, and all at once all of our phones will start whooshing and beeping with messages sent and received. Little pockets of civilization in the wilderness.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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