Technology Should Be Able To Fix This

Apr 13, 2020Writing

Technology Has Failed Us

This is something technology should be able to fix and something that I have failed to understand for decades. The paragraph below is a post from 2009 about the failure of technology to silence something that it surely could. Of course, leaf blowers, power washers, lawn mowers, weed whackers, and any other device powered by a tiny, under 200 c.c. gas engine.

I am prompted on this date to re-post the paragraph following a neighbor’s decision to power wash something for four days. Consecutively. I would have loved to ask them what on earth could be so filthy it needed nearly 20 hours of washing. But in a Pandemic it is not cool. So, without more words, here is the post from 2009.

2009 –

My neighbor’s truck has an enormous V-8 engine which the designers thought necessary to haul around the empty metal box attached to the back of cab. However silly this application of the internal combustion engine may seem it does possess one impressive feature. You can’t hear it coming. Those same engineers made sure that the noise reduction and muffler system of this behemoth; usually carrying one person; works so well that cats sleeping in the driveway are surprised at its approach.

Let us compare this to the Leaf Blower. A device which uses an engine probably less than 5% of the size of the truck, and yet makes as much noise as a small Cessna aircraft landing in ones yard. Why?

It’s not as if these infernal devices were any more efficient that the rakes they replaced. I would bet that one man with a rake and a broom could clean up a leaf covered driveway in about the same time or less than two men with blowers. It would also be a lot more peaceful and less polluting.

Way back in the 1980’s I actually bought an electric version blower. Replace Cessna with Lear jet and you have the noise level. And of course the pollution occurs far away at the power station, but it does happen. Was it faster? No, it was fantastically frustrating. After a few weeks, it was shelved in the garage and remained there until we moved. We remained a raking family, and I recommend this to all. Get out there in the leaves, rake, and enjoy. Don’t give me that, “Oh, but my yard is so large” nonsense. Start a neighborhood raking team. Rake, drink cider, beer, schnapps, tell long involved stories about rakings of the past. Make huge piles, watch your children jump in them and laugh.

Kill your blower!

Current Day – 

I think you get the drift. Technology has failed us. Technology should be able to fix this. It has failed to make things quiet so that we can enjoy sitting in our yards. Or listen to birds and hear the wind in the trees. Or our children playing. I have sent an email to a famous manufacturer of yard machines. I got a reply that thanked me for my input and assured me it would reach their product development department.

A cynic has told me, “Live in Hope, Die in Despair”. Nevertheless, I invite you all to contact your favorite transgressor and support the idea that if a Ford F150 can be silenced, so can a power washer.