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26/30: Ambiance

This is so cool! I'm standing here at my work desk and I feel like I'm across the street at my favorite downtown coffee shop.

It's Coffitiviy, "Ambient sounds to boost your workday creativity".

I've read in a bunch of places lately (most recently this Smithsonian article) that creativity is boosted by cities, by metaphorical friction among ideas, by noise. The ambient sound of a coffee-shop, studies are suggesting, is just right.

I'd like to spend creative time at cafés--and god knows I live in a place with plenty of them--but several limitations have made this impracticable: my laptop is just a hair too big to cart around, and there's no slimmer computer in my near future. Keyboard+tablet has yet to equal actual fast typing for me.

Also, my creativity-hours and my caffeine-hours don't usually overlap. Or when they do, I'm still in my jammies with crazy-hair.

But right this minute, with Coffitivity playing in my earphones, I'm feeling oddly looped in, yet not chafed, engaged but free-floating, comfortably alone in my head but surrounded by a sense of people. It's surprisingly pleasant!

Try it and let me know what you think.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2013 09:57 pm (UTC)
Ah, but I hate coffee! The smell makes me feel ill. So I suspect that the sounds of a coffee shop may not have the desired effect...

Seriously, I don't think that the sounds of a cafe - even if it sold only fragrant hot chocolate - would boost my creativity. I like peace and quiet to be creative. I can't work to the sound of music, for example, and that's any music, classical as well as rock or pop or whatever. Silence, please!
Jun. 28th, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
Any activity requiring any kind of linear or aural thought (writing, most notably, but also calculations or just thinking-through) is impossible for me with music. Doesn't matter what kind of music.

However, I find total silence distracting. The sort of neutral-colored babble of Coffitivity reminds me a lot of the sound of water, now that a I think about it. I can write and create and think with a soundtrack of ocean waves or steady rainfall. But add in anything remotely resembling music or rhythm, and it steals my whole attention instantly.
Jun. 28th, 2013 11:01 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering now, on re-reading your comment, whether you consider yourself a primarily auditory information-processor (or whether that concept even has any validity for you). I'm super-slow, super-auditory, but it actually sounds like you're more auditory than I am. I like silence enough to "hear myself think," but I often fill it with my own mutterings and out-loud calculations. I talk to myself a lot, so "silence" is kind of relative.
Jun. 28th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
LOL I can never write in any public place like a coffee shop or even a library. Also, that noise would drive me nuts. I do my best writing in the dead of night or early morning before it gets noisy. Most of the time I don't even like having music on when I write. I'm odd, I know.
Jun. 28th, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
Apparently not that odd. You're in a 66% majority of commenters so far!
Jun. 28th, 2013 11:38 pm (UTC)
I am very private about writing as well--I cannot stand to have anyone read over my shoulder, etc. The only person who reads my stuff during the process is my beta.
Jun. 28th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
That, I totally get! I'd definitely be stationed with my back and my screen to the wall.

I think if I were editing someone else's work, I'd be fine. I'll have to try it--I have an editing job going at the moment.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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