Why Do Rich People Love Quiet?

The sound of gentrification is silence.

I didn't yet know that you don't live on an Ivy League campus. You reside on one. Living is loud and messy, but residing? Residing is quiet business. [...]

I soon realized that silence was more than the absence of noise; it was an aesthetic to be revered. Yet it was an aesthetic at odds with who I was. Who a lot of us were.

Within a few weeks, the comfort that I and many of my fellow minority students had felt during those early cacophonous days had been eroded, one chastisement at a time. The passive-aggressive signals to wind our gatherings down were replaced by point-blank requests to make less noise, have less fun, do our living somewhere else, even though these rooms belonged to us, too. A boisterous conversation would lead to a classmate knocking on the door with a "Please quiet down." A laugh that went a bit too loud or long in a computer cluster would be met with an admonishment.

In those moments, I felt hot with shame and anger, yet unable to articulate why. It took me years to understand that, in demanding my friends and I quiet down, these students were implying that their comfort superseded our joy. And in acquiescing, I accepted that.

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Smells like a phone call that should have been an email

Archive of Lost Objects:

  • They are life-sized replicas of old electronics.

  • They aren't funny, except in the sense that it is funny to decorate your home with obsolete electronics, while also underscoring their impermanence by setting them on fire.

  • They are unscented, even though it would have been funny if we had made them smell like melting plastic.

From the people who brought you the NFT-scented candle.

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  • Previously