ideation / Technology

Meandering Monday about How It’s Quiet. Too Quiet.

Someone told me years ago that, when you make a phone call and hear ringing on the line, it isn’t really ringing at the other end. If a couple of seconds go by without a ring we think something’s wrong, so the phone company fakes you out in order to satisfy your expectations. The ringing starts at your end before it ever rings for the person you’re calling.

Of course, this messes with a different expectation. How often have you called someone, let the phone ring a dozen times before they pick up? You ask them why it took so long, and they tell you it only rang twice. You’re not happy with them, because you heard those rings, so the phone company is off the hook.

We had some security equipment installed this week, and the tech explained that the DVR was going to be a bit noisy, but it was to be expected because it was Chinese. That got me wondering – in the U.S., we’re so used to technology, we expect it to be a certain way – mostly quiet, and when it’s not then we think something’s wrong with it. But what about places where they’re not so used to technology? They probably think something’s wrong if it DOESN’T make noise. Does this mean the Chinese made it noisy on purpose? Maybe…

Have you ever listened to engines on early cars? The HORSELESS CARRIAGE came along when the main mode of transportation was horse-based. If you’ve ever watched a western about that period, you might notice how the cylinders sound clippety-cloppy, like horses’ hooves. Most likely, it was because the tech wasn’t smooth enough yet to be quiet, but imagine if it had been done ON PURPOSE because people were expecting that sound from their transportation.

I’ve heard talk about trying to make sure electric cars aren’t too quiet – pedestrians who are used to subliminal warning that an internal combustion engine makes might step out in front of a relatively silent electric car and not know it’s there until it hits them. People EXPECT to hear something that big coming.

When they can finally produce a powerful and effective electric car, someone will decide to create a battery-powered muscle car – maybe even a Hemi-Cuda. But it won’t sell unless they deliberately make it noisy, will it? What would be the point?

Just saying…


This week’s Smashword’s coupon is for “Dempsey’s Debut”:DempseysDebutCover

How would you like to be abducted by alien mantises for some live entertainment, and that just because of your namesake? Jack Dempsey feels ‘boxed’ in when he’s forced to carry on the family name, and certainly doesn’t want to become part of the Krills’ warped mating ritual. It’s hard to live up to your ancestors.

I was thinking about an alien species judging us by our violent past (maybe not just judging us on it, but interested in us specifically because of it.) As all distant relationships go, they were not reading us quite right (they were seeing our gladiator movies and boxing and other entertainments as a depiction of what we are truly like.) An alien procures a human for entertainment at a party, and then has to deal with the demands of his guests. I intended this to be comic, and once I decided on the nature of the alien, that added to the comedy (I have a fascination with praying mantises – I’ve watched them since I was a boy, and they figure in at least one other of my stories.)

Use coupon code PC82S to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until July 30th. Here’s the link:

“Dempsey’s Debut” is also available in the collection – And Yet Still Even More Things I Collection6eBookCoverCould Get OUT OF MY MIND.


I’m participating in Smashwords’ site-wide Summer/Winter Sale promotion – for the month of July, all of my collections are 50%-off with a coupon (the coupons is listed on the individual page for each book – it’s SSW50 in case you have trouble finding it.) The coupon applies to my seven OUT OF MY MIND collections, plus my Herc Tom Collection Cats of War I and the Detective Jimmy Delaney collection Broken Down.

All can be found on my Smashwords author page (listed below), or you can find the individual links on yesterday’s Selling Saturday posting by clicking HERE.

<<<>>> MatingRitualsCover

Only 4 days until my next release; PICK SOMETHING, BILL!


William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest
Publication “Mating Rituals”, can be found in many places, including:




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s