Yesterday, I made a video clip -- intending to overlay the video with the soundtrack I was hearing as I spoke. But I forgot to record the sound, and anyway, I think it's interesting to see how utterly foolish I look trying to speak while hearing my voice processed through this program. The old post highlights the boffin's line "That is something very similar to the effect of drugs." He's describing the subjective effect on the person listening to the sound produced by the app. But this video clip shows that it makes the listener look mentally disabled in a manner very similar to the effect of drugs. [The loss of synch at the first edit is unintentional and not meant to demonstrate anything. Sorry for the additional disorientation!]
Notice the addition I put on the old post earlier this morning:
I realized that running this app into your own ears is like imposing a "Harrison Bergeron" program on yourself. Are some children smarter than others? Let them listen to the teacher through "Echolon."You know what I mean by "Harrison Bergeron"? It's a Kurt Vonnegut story, and that Wikipedia link above, has this link to the full text of the story. It's pretty short, and I think it's pretty important to upload it into your brain for future reference. Yesterday, we were talking about "book groups" and Ron -- "Please, mum, can I be frontpaged for no reason at all? Or would that be ef-frontery?" -- said:
Maybe we could do this here on Althouse. Ann picks a book, we read it, and live-blog our agreed-upon discussion...Well, far be it from me to impose a big old book on everyone when this blog is all about disorienting shuttling from one thing to another, but I will call an instant story club on "Henry Bergeron." It begins like this:
... and, hell, we could still get drunk and live blog our bitching about our spouses!
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.Don't worry, Hazel. You can download RjDj into your iPhone. It's really interesting, hearing all the different sounds....
Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April, for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.
It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.
George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel’s cheeks, but she’d forgotten for the moment what they were about.
On the television screen were ballerinas.
A buzzer sounded in George’s head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.
“That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,” said Hazel.
“Huh?” said George.
“That dance – it was nice,” said Hazel.
“Yup,” said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really very good – no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.
George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.
Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.
“Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer,” said George.
“I’d think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds,” said Hazel, a little envious. “All the things they think up.”
ADDED: Clive Davis emails:
Very funny video, Ann.In England, periods and commas refuse to be caged in by quotation marks.
Maybe the nearest equivalent to the B-word is "rocket scientist", a term which is causing some dissension at the Daily Dish today. The only time you see "boffin" in print nowadays is in newspaper headlines - much like "fillip".