Passivity #socs

Since most of you are writers, you know that there are two voices, active and passive. “I took out the garbage” is active voice, while “The garbage was taken out by me” is passive voice. It’s also clumsy to say, which is why we’re told in every book on writing to avoid passive voice like the plague, just like cliches.

Electronic circuits can also be described as being active or passive. (Just because they tell you to avoid passive voice doesn’t mean you can’t use it, like I just did. It’s like adverbs, which they tell you to avoid but are actually quite valuable.) For example, I recently bought a pair of headphones that have a passive noise filter rather than an active one. Active noise-canceling headphones have a circuit that blocks all (well, most) outside noises. These don’t have that, but they do a good enough job of blocking noise without it. Plus, since there’s no active noise filter, you get better battery life, which is important, because the headphones do have Bluetooth. If only I could get Bluetooth working on my laptop, the world would be made of donuts. But that’s another discussion. I did have noise-canceling headphones a while ago, which cost a small fortune normally, but because I bought them with American Express points (which I accumulated from all the travel I did), I didn’t pay for them. Having used both, I like these better. Plus, they have Bluetooth, which didn’t exist (or at least it wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is now) when I bought the last set.

Bluetooth, needless to say, is an example of active electronics. At least I think it is. If it isn’t, I’m sure Mark, who spent a good amount of time as an electrical engineer and is probably the biggest wise guy smartest guy I know, will set me straight.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now this word from ice-blue Aqua Velva. There’s something about an Aqua Velva man!

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

11 thoughts on “Passivity #socs”

  1. Nice take on the prompt, John.

    My daughter gave me a nice pair of active noise cancelling headphones for Christmas. I didn’t think I would like them nearly as much as I do. Since the hearing problems I had last year, I find loud or constant background noise very hard to deal with, and it brings back the symptoms I experienced. I charge these up and listen to a “travel” playlist when I’m stuck on a plane these days. It’s the best thing ever.

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    1. Mine were a really nice pair of Bose headphones that retailed for over $300, and I brought them everywhere until they fell apart on me. The one thing was they really didn’t help the tinnitus, and in fact it got worse when I used the noise-canceling feature. Also, my cellphone was creating all kinds of noisy interference, which sort of defeated the purpose….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen a good number of old, black’n’white commercials on archive.org and they’re wonderful!

    Eskimo pies, burgers and fries, chips and colas – you name it!

    Many old commercials were seen by this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hmmm welll, for jetgirl, (when I am working) I rely on active noise canceling headset. Can’t fly without it. And yes, guy in 2B, your cell phone that you refused to turn off does cause staticky interference in my ears. If everyone followed that rule, my life would indeed be “made of donuts.”. I love that expression, John. May I steal it? 🍩

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  4. I should get these headphones for my hubby. He has severe ADHD and noises just get to him which makes it very difficult for him To concentrate or sleep.

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    1. There are the two kinds, active noise filtering that generate white noise and passive noise filtering that just muffle the sound. You might want to try both and see which he likes better.

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  5. Did I tell you about the headphones that sit on your ear bone and remove tinnitus issues? One of my friends got a pair and she’s crazy about them.
    I don’t really use mine except at the gym, and that’s flash mobs and TED Talks, so it’s no big deal to me. My kids have definite preferences though.

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