Drones and the Sound of Silence


Amazon just announced its plan to offer thirty-minute
delivery of products to Amazon Prime members.
I greet that announcement with a
sigh, rather than any real enthusiasm for the process.
Soon it will be followed by pizza
and fast-food deliveries, anything light enough for Wal-Mart to send your way
and surveillance by local police as well as private companies promising a good
night’s sleep.
If only you could sleep. And
that’s my point.

The now society demands immediacy and the silent
yearns for quiet in a battle that can never satisfy both.
Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence comes to mind.
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence
Good luck with that. As our cities become more and
more noisy, there’s a national outcry against honking horns, emergency vehicles
at all hours and gangs of drunks smoking outside pubs. We can now add drone
delivery. Nothing is sacred, including the nocturnal vision softly creeping,
that left its seeds while I was sleeping
It’s impossible for a drone (much
less numerous drones) to whizz by our windows or across our gardens without
leaving its smear of noise.
All of that so my (or your) neighbor
can get his fucking pizza ten minutes earlier.
And the vision that was planted
in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
Yeah sure. I can only speculate on
the visions that are planted in our brains without silence. Close your
windows folks and retreat even further into the mousetraps our homes have
So, back to Amazon for a second or two. Someone was bound to
light the fuse, exploding into drone-age America. And who better than Amazon,
the all-powerful, ubiquitous purveyor of the quick and cheap.
But that’s not even the main
complaint. We might even survive Amazon’s intrusion and mark it off as another
annoying oh-shit moment.
But speed demands speed and if you
can’t keep up, you’re dead meat. So the competition will keep up,
everywhere. Everywhere is huge territory and it includes the most private,
intimate, soothing areas left to us in an increasingly noisy and exposed
(Harvard Business Review) It’s already possible to buy
one of a new generation of hobbyist aircraft — unmanned aircraft systems
complete with cameras, GPS, infrared sensors, and microphones, all under the
control of a smartphone or tablet — for less than $300. Not surprisingly,
people are lining up to buy them. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates
that, within a decade, private drones will constitute a $90 billion industry.
And it all began with Amazon.
Thanks for that, Big Business.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *