There is a sound that does not exist
Philosophers torture themseves (and us) with silly questions such as, “if a tree falls in a remote forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Meanwhile, they (and us) ignore the stranger phenomenon of sounds that do not exist, yet we hear and do not think them at all unusual. Allow me one example.
You are watching a movie or television program. Someone is talking on the phone. We can hear both side of the conversation, that of the person we see on screen, and that of the person on the other side.
Sometimes that other person is a bad guy making threats. Sometimes it’s a victim pleading for help.
The call ends abruptly when the other side hangs up or the line is cut, etc.
Then we hear a sound, a strong, steady tone that does not occur anywhere else in the universe. It’s what we call a dial tone, even though phones no longer have a dial. (that’s for another essay).
Have you ever heard that sound of a broken connection anywhere in the real world? Have you ever been on one end of a phone conversation and gotten that noise when the other person disconnected while you still have the phone to your ear?
Of course you haven’t. No phone does that.
Let me give you another example of a sound that does not exist but we all have heard.
A Senator, Congressman or even a President wants to cut “the deficit,” so he or she or they propose to cut Social Security benefits for the elderly, sick, crippled (I am not a politically correct person. crippled is not handicapped; it’s crippled) or those otherwise unable to earn a living.
What’s that sound we all hear but does not exist in the real world?
It’s when one of those politicians stands up in public and says, “Yes, I know that Social Security is not bankrupt. Yes, I know that it is not funded from taxes but from the money paid in by workers. Yes, I know that it would be far more fair – and a long term solution – to simply increase by 2% the level at which higher income earners continue paying into the fund. Doing that would cover the cost of Social Security for at least a few generations and have no negative effect on the deficit.”
What? Are you saying you have never heard that sound? You say that all you are hearing is mumbo jumbo about “Chained Consumer Price Index” and eliminating Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) corrections due to inflation and similar lies that claim cutting Social Security benefits will reduce the national deficit?
Hmmm, now that you mention it, neither have I.
All I am hearing is the dial tone of a broken connection.