If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

…and ther is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Well, interestingly enough, yesterday I heard the answer ‘no’.  While the question is meant to make you think and not really have an answer, I would have had to say ‘yes’ but that there is just no one there to hear it.  On the Leonard Lopate Show on XM his guest, Daniel Levitin was discussing his book This is Your Brain on Music  and he plainly said, it takes a brain to process and turn things into sound.  Without a brain, one could detect atmospheric disturbances (sound waves, I’m guessing) but that it wouldn’t be interpreted as sound.  Which led to, ‘do we hear sound differently.’  I was going to say ‘fascinating’ but if that were the case I would be running out to buy the book.  So I’ll say, ‘that’s very interesting.’ 

And, did you ever notice that when you’re listening to a radio program about a new book that it sounds so interesting that you really really want to buy the book?  The next guy on the show talked about Pigeons and I found my self thinking, ‘Hm.  That’s really interesting.  That sounds like a good book.’  I found myself wanting to know more about pigeons.  I guess that means they’re doing their jobs.  Very well.

Anyway…now you know the answer to the question.  If a tree falls in the forst and no one is around, is there a sound?  The answer is ‘no’.  But now I wonder, ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’

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