The Ancient philosophy of Stoicism, as the ultimate life hack, has taken the world by storm. It seems particularly suited to providing pithy quotes for Silicon Valley desktops, doors of CrossFit gyms, and the bedroom walls of disenfranchised youths. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with that. But then again, didn’t the famous Stoic slave Epictetus warn us all about learning just a “little philosophy”?
According to the stoic Seneca, the need for absolute quiet as a prerequisite to serious reflection signals that one’s thoughts and emotions, not environmental conditions, are in turmoil. However, whether you are Seneca, The Who’s sound guy, or merely a modern apartment dweller, noise, as opposed to sound, is defined subjectively.