Getting quieter to get louder

Published on 
2 min, 391 words

Categories: life

Austin Kleon wrote an article about how we can get used to anything. Something is new and exciting but before too long it becomes the normal and we are no longer excited by it. It seems to be part of our nature.

He refers to a section in a book by Tom Holkenborg where he talks about how to “continuously build on that anticipation of what comes next,”

Every time the DJ drops a new track, it feels louder than anything else that you’ve heard before, which is actually not the case! What happens is you drop a new track, and then over the course of three to five minutes, you make it ever so slightly quieter. And then the new track comes in and it’s back at the level where the original one started, and then everything feels so loud.

It would be interesting to try this as a way to maintain excitement - dial down the use or interaction with something over time and then use it again after a while. Will we get a level of excitement back again?

Could this observation be used in education in some way to maintain focus and interest? Maybe the structure of the lesson could be changed so that it effectively gets gradually "quieter" and then louder when the next piece of information/learning is introduced. A lesson then becomes a cycle of new information that continuously engages the learner.

He also mentions "We tend to think a lot about what we do, but we rarely think about the order in which we do it.". This is a really interesting observation and he calls out self-education as one area that can be impacted by this. This could also potentially be applied to the approach above - could changing the order of learning or the type of presentation of learning change the overall result?

Software development went through a phase where the focus was writing the tests before the code which for some people made a huge difference. Agile development also shook up the order things were done - not waiting for the full design and architecture to be complete before starting the development.

What other areas could be impacted if the order of doing things was changed?


DJing on the hedonic treadmill