Noise Trespass

We need a noise trespass law.  At the very least, the concept of noise trespass should be as familiar among the general population as physical trespass.

Why is going onto someone’s private property without permission (physical trespass) considered a wrong?  Because doing so is intrusive (presuming a right to privacy) and potentially damaging.  The same goes for sending noise onto someone’s private property.

Noise is intrusive because it—the sound of machinery, loud music, screaming kids, even conversations (having to listen to someone have an extended cellphone conversation, for example)—detracts and distracts from whatever one is trying to do, whether that’s watching tv, listening to (one’s own preferred) music, writing an essay, filling out income tax returns, sleeping…it doesn’t really matter.  Surely we have a right to privacy concerning our attention; noise hijacks our attention—it coerces us to pay attention to something we don’t want to pay attention to.

Noise is potentially damaging in a number of ways.  Depending on a number of factors (of which dB is only one), noise “damages hearing [at least 20% of teenagers now suffer from slight hearing loss], disturbs communication, disrupts sleep, affects heart function, intrudes on cognition…, reduces productivity, provokes unwanted behaviors, and increases accidents” (Mitra).  It can also cause or contribute to “anxiety, stress, nervousness, nausea, headache, emotional instability, argumentativeness, sexual impotence, change in mood, increase in social conflicts, neurosis, hysteria, and psychosis” (Noise Free America).

Noise produced by industry, airports, and so on is already being monitored and regulated.  I’m talking here about the noise caused by individuals in residential neighborhoods.  Various sound charts put city traffic at around 80dB, the subway at 88dB, a garbage truck at 100dB; lawnmowers and leafblowers can also be as high as 100dB, and chainsaws, dirt bikes, ATVs, boat motors, and PWCs are louder still, at around 110dB.

But, one might object, although we own our own property, and so have a right to object when someone trespasses on it, we don’t own the air over our property, and sound travels through the air.  There are several replies to this: we shouldn’t own the land either (and yet physical trespass might still be wrong, merely because of occupancy); we should also own the air over our land (in which case, noise trespass is as wrong as physical trespass); we collectively own the air (and that’s sufficient to consider noise a trespass); ownership is irrelevant altogether (occupancy is sufficient).  People get upset when a neighbour’s dandelion seeds travel through air and land on their property; is there not similar justification for getting upset when a neighbour’s sound waves travel through air and ‘land’—ah, but they don’t land on one’s property.  No, but they ‘land’ on one’s eardrums: sound is not perceived until the sound waves ‘hit’ one’s eardrums.  Surely that’s even more intrusive: the sound waves actually touch our body, not just our property.

In any case, smoke from burning tires travels through air, and if it travels from your neighbour’s property through the air onto your property, or, more accurately, into the air over your property, perhaps even through your open windows into your house, you would, I think, cry foul.

In addition to the intrusion and the damage, most of the annoying noise caused by individuals is avoidable.  Manual lawnmowers, rakes, and clippers have enabled people to take care of their lawns for almost a century.  I suspect that dirt bikes, ATVs, and PWCs can be redesigned to be quiet; for starters, could they not use electric motors rather than two-stroke gas-powered motors?  They certainly don’t have to be modified to increase their noise (as they often are), and they can be driven in a fashion that minimizes their noise (as they often are not).  And, of course, people could use instead bicycles, kayaks, canoes, and so on.  And earbuds or headphones.  And landline phones inside buildings.

All of which begs the question: why don’t we consider noise trespass to be trespass?  Are we so unable to consider the invisible and the intangible?  It we can’t see it or touch it, it doesn’t exist?  Despite its obvious effects?

Or is it that men like noise?  (After all, for the most part, they’re the ones making it.)  And it is the male view, male interests, male values that dictate law and custom, make no mistake about that.  This is the view presented at Manly Power Tools.  It’s also the view endorsed by a certain electronic composer who, when asked why he writes such loud, dense music, replied “Besides the obvious?  The desire to fill all this space with sound?”  Perhaps men are still being led around by their primitive brain, and all their noise is just a sublimated roar, mistakenly believed to be necessary for survival.  (Which begs the question: when will they evolve into homo sapiens?)

 

Blind to Natural Beauty

Living in a world in which most people are blind to natural beauty is so painful.  What little beauty there is left so often gets destroyed, irrevocably, without a thought.  After polite requests and rational explanations, I simply beg, Please don’t, but they just smile at me, with incomprehension, perhaps amused by my apparently baseless hysteria—and carry on, tearing me apart as they cut down all the trees in one of the few remaining untouched coves and park a dirty aluminum boat right in the middle of the now decimated, and ugly, shoreline, as they put up gaudy halogen lights lakeside ensuring I will never again be able to gaze at the glimmering moonlight on the dark water, as they park a bright yellow floating raft ruining yet another view of nothing but trees and water.

I want to write a victim impact statement, I want to make them see what they’ve done, I want them to appreciate the full extent of their obliviousness, their negligence, at the very least their lack of respect for something they cannot see that is, so clearly, of such great value to another.  I don’t ‘get’ men’s love of cars, but I get that they do love them, deeply, and on that basis alone wouldn’t spray paint someone’s truck with pink polka dots.  I don’t get women’s love of shoes, but I get that they do love them, and, so again, would not drag them through the dirt.  But I swear I am sorely tempted.

(Even though that wouldn’t make my point because they could simply repair the truck and replace the shoes.  Options not available to me.)

 

Life as We Know It

So I noticed this morning the birds are gone.  They used to wake me up every morning around five o’clock and since I’d just gone to bed at two or three, I’d roll over, put in my earplugs, and go back to sleep.  And I just realized that I haven’t had to do this for…must be a week now.

And it occurred to me.  This is how it will happen.  This is how it is happening.  I’ve been hoping for, waiting for, some catastrophic event, some wake-the-fuck-up change that will make the world sit up and take notice and finally, finally, do something to fix, to save, the planet.

But that’s not going to happen.

When’s the last time you saw a frog?  A bee?  Fish swimming in the water?

In March, it’s 80 degrees in Canada and 30 degrees in Greece, food prices have increased 25% because of droughts, and still people drive their cars into town several times a week, still people go on vacation by plane, and what’s on tv?  Nonstop coverage of the Olympics.  Of people trying to run a little bit faster than someone else or throw a ball a little bit further than someone else.

So I’m pissed off again at everyone.

And I’m pissed off at the scientists.  The point of no return has been moved from 2040 to 2017.  It’ll take just 2 degrees.  We’re at 1.6 degrees.  And what have they done?  Quietly, politely, filed their reports.  Just continued to publish their papers in journals that only a dozen other people read.  They should be taking political leaders hostage!  They should be—I don’t know, isn’t there any way they can force someone to do something?  Students organize protests against higher tuition, larger groups made the Occupy Wall Street movement happen—where are the scientists storming Ottawa and Washington saying “LOOK, YOU MOTHER FUCKERS, YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING NOW!!”?

And why isn’t the rest of the world boycotting us?  Telling us they won’t buy any of our shit until we get our act together about the environment?

So, this is how it’ll happen.  First the frogs, then the bees, then the fish, then the birds…  Life as we know it will end while everyone in the States and Canada is watching tv.  Probably some new reality show.

 

Private Property and Visual Intrusion

There should be regulations about what people can put on their private property that will be in view of their neighbours.  Even more than in public spaces, visual material on private property is not easily avoided.  If you put a swastika or a pornographic image on your garage door, and that door is right across from your neighbours’ living room window, they will have to see it every time they look out their window.  Asking them not to look out their window is unreasonable.   If they were there first, they have a right to ask you not to put the image on your garage door.  If you were there first and had the image on your garage door when they were looking for a place, they could have chosen to not move in (and so don’t have the right to ask you to remove it) (maybe).

But it’s not even, or not only, so-called ‘offensive’ images that I’d prohibit.  It’s anything the neighbour doesn’t want to see every day, anything that’s an unwanted intrusion on their consciousness.  It could be a ‘Jesus Loves You’ sign (unwanted by the atheist), the Canadian flag (upsetting to someone who is well aware of Canada’s environmental record), or even an inoffensive and non-upsetting image of an infant playing with building blocks.  Who knows?  It doesn’t matter.  The people who are forced to see your house every day are the ones who get a say in how it looks.  From the outside.  To them.  What you put in your back yard doesn’t affect them, so they don’t have a say.  What you put inside your garage, or inside your house, doesn’t affect them, so they don’t have a say.  But what you put in plain view?  They should have a say.  A reasonable say.

Obviously the effects of such a prohibition increase the more visible you are.  If you own a penthouse apartment that can be seen by thousands, guess what.  If you own a house on a lake that can be seen by everyone on the lake, guess what.

To provide just one example, I live in a cabin on a lake in a forest and several people consider it appropriate to ‘decorate’ their property, lakeside, with solar lights that can never be turned off.  Some are arranged in a runway fashion to mark a path from their house to their lake; some are arranged in a row along their frontage.  Needless to say, the lights really ruin the beauty of the lovely moonlight glimmering on the water, the otherwise dark forest…  I claim that such lights shouldn’t be allowed.

First, my right to revel in the natural beauty every night trumps their right to ‘decoration’ that isn’t even being appreciated (if they’re weekenders, they’re back in the city during the week and so don’t see their lights; if they live there, they’re typically asleep in bed after midnight and so don’t see their lights).  Second, my right to revel in the natural beauty trumps the marginal utility of the lights even when they are there or awake because there are alternatives (one can use a flashlight or install motion sensor lights that go on only when one needs to see the way).  People with lakeside solar lights are imposing their conception of decoration and utility on everyone else, and they are preventing others from appreciating their own conception of beauty (the dark night, the moonlight glimmering on the water).  If your property is in the middle of natural beauty, you have an obligation not to ruin it.  And if you don’t see that, you shouldn’t live there.  Similarly, people who don’t appreciate Beethoven shouldn’t go to concerts and talk all the way through.

And if those lights are blinking, it’s even worse: given the way our brains are wired, our attention is coerced.  No one has a right to force me to pay attention to something I don’t want to attend to, and blinking lights do just that.

One may counter by claiming that surely one is allowed to do what one wants on and with one’s own property.  Well, no.  For example, you shouldn’t be allowed to dump oil on your property because it will seep through the soil into other people’s property and into the lake.  When your actions affect others, there are limits to what you can do.

In short, even though your property is ‘private’, what you put on it is not: as long as it can be seen by others, it’s public.  And it should therefore be subject to restrictions: you don’t have a right to coerce other people’s attention, especially if what you’re forcing them to pay attention to is something they don’t want to pay attention to.

New and Improved

‘New and improved’ is not just a bit of harmless puffery; it’s a two-party addiction.  Stupid consumers must have and stupid companies must produce – new and improved stuff.  And it hurts third parties.  Such as the animals who are used to test a product every time it changes, every time it becomes new and improved.  And, perhaps more importantly (though I’m really not sure anymore), the people who won’t get their needs met because resources are being spent on stupid people’s wants.

There is a difference.  Between needs and wants.  One you can do without, the other you can’t.  People like to call wants ‘needs’, however, because needs are more compelling, and such people are thus being manipulative: to say ‘I need X’ makes it sound like it’s not an option, like X must be provided; but to say ‘I want X’ leaves the other more free not to fulfil the request.  We need clean water, nutritious food, shelter/warmth, and sometimes, medical care.  Everything else is a want.  (So yes, Freud and Maslow and every man since who says sex is a need – you’re wrong.  Evidence supports the contrary claim: surprising as this may seem, people who don’t have sex do not die.)

Nor do you die without the new and improved dish detergent or lip gloss.  Or this year’s Chrysler.  Don’t get me wrong: many improvements are indeed improvements; some are even valuable improvements.  The new detergents without phosphates are much better than the ones we had before, the ones with phosphates.  And the car with the catalytic converter and higher mpg is better than its predecessor.  But most changes are not improvements.  (There is a difference – between change and improvement.)  And most improvements are not significant enough to warrant new and improved products at the rate they’re being put on the market.

Most of the new and improved stuff is stuff we don’t need.  Actually, so is most of the old and unimproved stuff.  There’s a frighteningly high number of people in our society who exhibit arrested development, who seem stuck at the infantile phase of shouting ‘More! More! I want more!’  I yearn for the day when kids across our country do not start each day reciting a prayer or the anthem but the words ‘We don’t need.’  Because, by and large, in Canada, we don’t.  We don’t need.  We already have.  Enough.

Growth is not always good.  We have these good associations with the word because we think of a child growing.  But the healthy child stops growing when it reaches an optimum size.  There’s a name for unlimited growth: cancer.

And it’s this not stopping, it’s this making and taking more than we need, that has gotten us into this dead end.  The oil supplies will run out, according to the oil industry, by 2040.  The ozone layer is still dealing with the CFCs we released in the 1980s.  We have enough radioactive garbage to make a six foot high pile stretching clear across our country and we don’t know what to do with it.  Isn’t it time to stop?  To grow up and say ‘No thank you, I’m fine, I have enough’?

 

On Power Outages in the Middle of Nowhere

I live in a cabin on a lake in the forest.  You’d think that whenever the power goes out, there would be silence.  Lovely silence.  And lovely dark.  And there is.  For all of thirty seconds.  Then everyone’s backup generator goes on.  And for the next five, ten, twenty, or forty-eight hours, I hear engine noise.  Constant engine noise.  Like a tractor trailer is parked in my driveway.  Idling.  Loudly.

Because my god but the world would end if people had to go without TV for five hours!  Or without whatever the hell it is they need their generators for.

Two hours in, and they’re driving into town.  Because ‘What about supper?’  What?  Food is that foremost on your mind?  You’re not in Ethiopia.  You just ate a couple hours ago.  And if you’re really that hungry, don’t you have anything in the house that can be eaten raw, out of the box, or out of the can?

Perhaps they can’t stand the silence.  No, that can’t be right, because everyone’s generators are on.

Is it that they can’t stand the severance from—what, exactly?  Civilization?  Please.  Most people here couldn’t care less about their neighbours.  When I asked one to join a sort of neighbourhood watch so we could call the fire department whenever, during a total fire ban, some asshole one had a huge, blazing campfire, as was his habit, she refused.  Didn’t want to stick her neck out.

Quite apart from the fact that a power outage doesn’t sever you from civilization.  Can’t you hear everyone’s generators?  Everyone’s still here.

Is it that people are so fearful they need the illusion of safety that noise and light provide?  Hm.  Now I understand why people have their TV on all day even though they aren’t watching it.  And it suddenly occurs to me that most of the people who live here never leave their houses, except to get into their car and go somewhere.  I never see them out for a walk, on the road, or in the forest.  I never see them down at the water, let alone out on the lake.

Or perhaps it’s just that there’s nothing going on inside their little heads, so they need the external stimulation to keep them from utter boredom.

Far more than pathetic, it’s scary.  That people are so dependent on that kind of (external) energy.

I can do whatever I want on my own property!

I am so very sick and tired of hearing ‘I can do whatever I want on my own property!’  The latest instance concerns a neighbour who has stuck some of those new solar lights in front of her cottage, lakeside of course.

Thing is, they don’t have an on/off switch.  So what she’s done on her own property means the rest of us will have to see her lights every night, all night, for the rest of our lives.

If we lived in the city, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad; they’d get ‘lost’ in their surroundings.  But we live on a lake in the forest.  Where the stars are amazing and the moon glimmers across the water. And now there are a dozen lights at eye level a little to my left whenever I look out at night. They stand out like a middle finger.

I can understand the desire for outdoor lights in order to see where you’re going, but then turn them off when you go to bed.  Or in this case, cover them.  And I can understand the possibility of all-night lights deterring wildlife, but motion-sensor lights would be a better choice, if only for the startle effect.

Please, people, are you really that stupid?  Do you really not see that what you do, even on your own property, affects others?  On that basis, those others most certainly do have a right to ask you not to do something.

In the same way, your pre-1980 use of spray cans is justifiably subject to my complaint.  It’s why I’m at risk for skin cancer now.  Your excessive use of fossil fuels was partly responsible for the flood or drought that destroyed my house.  (Let’s say.)  Your actions often have consequences for me.  Not immediately and not directly and maybe you’re too stupid to see any other kind of consequence, but nevertheless, most certainly, what you do affects me.

The really sad thing is that my neighbour doesn’t even notice the lights.  She doesn’t believe me when I say I do.  She’s that desensitized to her environment.  Or that inattentive.  She thinks I’m exaggerating the intrusion.  I received the same response when I complained about the bright red Home Hardware sign that suddenly appeared nailed to a tree at the end of the lane.  And when I’ve complained about any one of a hundred noises – dirt bikes, atvs, leaf blowers, weed trimmers, generators, chain saws.  Those of us who see things, who hear things, those of us who pay attention to what’s around us, we’re the ones to suffer.  The dullards who go through life with a ‘What?’ expression permanently on their face, who wouldn’t notice, well, anything, they’re the ones living happily.  So in order not to go crazy, I wear earplugs most of the time now.  And my reading glasses, so everything more than six feet past the tip of my nose is out of focus.  The alternative is to become as oblivious as the rest of ‘em.

The Weather Report

Does anyone else find the weather report really, really irritating?  All that drama!  It’s going to rain!  Oh how exciting!  A low pressure weather front is moving in!  Oh my, grab the kids!!

And the pseudo-scientific detail!  The rain is going to be caused by water droplets, that’s droplets of H2O, in the air that will succumb to gravity, under normal conditions, and eventually reach us, possibly at 6:20 or maybe 6:21.

Thing is, all that drama and detail distracts us from what’s really going on with the weather.  Notice the obsession with proximate causes?  Is it because if they addressed the real causes, those remote causes like CFCs and fossil fuel consumption/emission, they’d have to address blame?

 

 

Business in Denial

‘We’re just providing what the market, what people, demand.’  ‘The customer is squarely in the driver’s seat.’  Yeah right.  Gosh, shucks, don’t-look-at-me.

One, I doubt that’s true.  I mean, if people really wanted your product, you wouldn’t (have to) spend millions on advertising, advertising to persuade them to buy it.  Supply isn’t (just) following demand; demand is (also) following supply.  Your supply.  You’re in the driver’s seat.

Two, even if it is true, that people do want it, I find it hard to believe that someone with enough whatever to get into positions of power, decision-making positions, would be so meekly obedient to the desires, the demands, of the common people.

Or so helpless: ‘demands’ is such loaded language, implying that resistance, your resistance, is futile, implying that you are without power here.

Or so spineless – as if you have no mind, no desire, no will of your own.

Please, have the guts, the maturity, to take responsibility for your actions.  You have a choice.  You produce/provide what you do because you choose to, because you want to.  If you are acceding to market demands – and I have no doubt that you are – it’s because it’s profitable, it’s because (you think) it’s in your best interests.  You ‘want to make it easy for the customer to do business with [you]’ because business with you is business for you.  Customers are a means to your end of profit.  Otherwise you’d be as interested in poverty management as you are in wealth management.

‘Our shareholders demand high returns.’  Another pass-the-buck denial of responsibility.  One, again, I doubt that’s strictly true.  Did you ask them all?  And was their response fully informed?  Were they aware that their high returns come at the expense of others? (Others’ low wages, loss of employment; others’ high prices, loss of choice through monopoly; environmental degradation; etc.)

And two, even if they do, again, do you have to obey them?  Of course not.  Unless – and here’s the all important hidden (by you, from you) assumption – unless you want the value of your company to be ‘high’ so people will give you money.  There’s that self-interest again.

‘Return on equity is an important measure of our success.’  Not the amount of good one does, not the amount of happiness one creates, no, these things don’t matter; success isn’t even justice, isn’t getting back what one puts out, no, success is how much more one gets back than one puts out.  Self-interest.  Literally, interestFor the self.  It’s egoism, pure and simple.  And childish and dangerous.  I don’t think ‘society as a whole’ is in the vocabulary.  The total inability to recognize, let alone deal with, the moral dimension – i.e., the consideration of others – is frightening.

And the ego knows no satisfaction.  ‘From start-up to growth.’  The life cycle of a business seems to stop there.  At growth.  And more growth.  And more growth.  Excuse me?  What about stasis?  What about decline?  They are part of the entire life cycle.  Only a cancer grows and grows and grows.

 

Visionary?

Reading about Nipissing University’s Students in Free Enterprise (NUSIFE), which is a group of students who undertake projects “intended to increase the public’s awareness of entrepreneurship and business-related subjects,” it occurs to me to wonder why such an endeavour is undertaken only by business students.

Consider the projects listed below – and imagine…

– “Global Crusaders” educated high school students about minimum wages and exchange rates in five different countries – why not educate them about gender issues in five different countries?

– “Team Builders” led team-building exercises during a weekend program at the YMCA – my guess is that sociology students’ take on team-building would be quite different than that of business students…

– “Junior Tycoons” were high school students presented with a basic business plan – why not present “Junior Diplomats” with a recess plan based on insights from political science, history, and psychology?

– “Budgeting for Mental Health Patients” – how about “Philosophy for Mental Health Patients”?

– “My First Bank Account” – whatever happened to “My First Library Card”?

– “Nipissing East Community Opportunities” received a marketing plan – they could have used an environmental assessment plan…

– “Show Me the Money” was about financial planning guidelines on the web – how about “Show Me the Stars”, astronomy on the web?

– “A Feasibility Study” was presented to graphic arts students – how about presenting them with an ethics study?

Such projects, both by training students to apply their knowledge outside academia and by increasing the visibility of business in the outside world, probably contribute to the strangle-hold business – business activities and business interests – has on the world; therefore, suggesting that such endeavours be undertaken by humanities and science students as well is more than an exercise in imagination – it’s an identification of responsibility.

This particular infiltration of business is so developed that there are actually competitions among universities for their SIFE teams.  Yes, there are poetry and drama competitions too, but poems and plays don’t reach out and engage the community in the same way; they just present to, perform for, the community (except for those cool workplace theatre guerrilla groups).  Perhaps science does a little better – there are, of course, the annual science fairs, but from time to time I also see students out in the field with their lab kits.

This lack of engagement is rampant throughout the humanities curriculum.  We teach our English students how to appreciate and write poetry, but not how to find a literary agent; how to appreciate and write drama, but not how to produce a play.  Philosophy students are great at clarifying concepts and values, identifying hidden assumptions, testing for consistency and coherence; psychology students know all about how our minds and emotions work; sociology students know about people in groups, small and large, in cultures and subcultures and countercultures; history students know what hasn’t worked.  Along with our students of gender studies and native studies and our other social science students, humanities students (the humanities focus on humanity – and who, what, are we talking about when all is said and done?), and of course our science students (what is humanity but one bunch of carbon-based organisms among many), would be great consultants if they had any consulting skills.[1]  But we don’t teach them how to write a proposal, how to contract for business, or how to manage a project.

Until we do these things, our humanities and science students will be dependent on business students as go-betweens and as enablers.  And since business students, by definition apparently, have profit as their motivator, their purpose, and their goal, there is bound to be a certain amount of unfulfilled potential.  Business students are not likely to set up Sociologists, Inc. or History Is Us.  Nor are they even likely to engage the services of non-business students as consultants.

OPAS is another example of the deficiency I’m trying to expose.  It’s a partnership between Ontario universities and Canadian companies, named “The Office for Partnerships for Advanced Skills” with a mandate to “foster more effective relations between universities and companies who hire and maintain a highly skilled workforce” and “respond to requests and develop initiatives that promote increased use of university-based resources including advanced skills development.”  One might be forgiven, therefore, for thinking it was pretty inclusive.  This seems indicated even by the Special Events & Programs (which includes “the Visionary Seminar Series, Industry Sector Symposia, Internship & Reciprocal Exchange Programs and the development of a National Network”) and by the Skills Development statement (which says “In knowledge industries, skills requirements advance and change, creating new needs. OPAS responds to these changing skills needs with solutions designed and delivered by leading university programs across Ontario”).

However, a close look reveals that there isn’t a whole lot of room for humanities and social science; there’s something for science and engineering (an auto parts symposium is listed, as well as a biotech sector symposium), but it seems that the university programs they’re talking about partnering with are pretty much the BBA and MBA.  Their website welcome page confirms this: “In today’s knowledge-based economy, business organizations are faced with the need to address constant changes in operating practices, human capital requirements, and technology.”  That page is pure business buzz (“human capital”?!).  (And there you do see the specification – “business organizations….”)

Indeed, had I visited the OPAS website first, I wouldn’t have been so surprised to discover that the keynote speaker (the only speaker) at the “Visionary 2000” seminar was the CEO of the Royal Bank (how much more focussed on business, profit, money, can you get?).  And the very fact that his talk, nothing more than a Royal Bank promo, was billed as visionary indicates just how much we need to correct this deficiency.

 

[1] Marc Renaud, president of SSHRC, says “many of the key questions confronting our society fall within the realm of the social sciences and the humanities and our disciplines represent a goldmine of knowledge that can help.  We need to make sure that people outside the research community know about this goldmine, so that it can be put to broader use” (quoted by David Bentley in “Humanities for humanity’s sake” University Affairs).