SMC 41: Deaf by Distraction

Spoilers don’t spoil? (Reporting, Lehrer blog)

Bavarian star symphony.

(Underneath: the radioactive orchestra, interactive isotope music.)

Spaceweather Radio.
Phil Plait’s entry on the topic.

Geminid meteor shower 1998 sound at NASA.


Inattentional deafness. (Coverage, study)

Gorilla attention thingy we mentioned.


Gum-leaf, one of three Australian aboriginal instruments.

(Underneath: Herb Patten on Australia’s Got Talent.)


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3 comments to “SMC 41: Deaf by Distraction”

  1. avatar

    1Terence Martinon 13 Sep 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I hate spoilers too. The element of surprise can be an important part of the film maker’s intent. (The same applies to an author, composer, etc., but I’ll stick with the movie example.) IMO, each person should have the right to experience the movie for the first time, along with whatever surprises might be in store. If somebody gives away a spoiler, they’ve stolen your first experience, and that can’t ever be replaced. If people enjoy the second viewing more, even knowing the surprise ahead of time, that’s fine for them, because they are free to watch the movie as many times as they want. I may also enjoy it the second time even more, but I also want the chance to enjoy being surprised.

    Personal anecdote: The first time I watched “The Sting” I was totally surprised and baffled by the ending, and I loved it! I enjoyed the movie even more on the second viewing, and noticed subtle things that I had missed earlier that fit perfectly with the ending. I would venture to suggest that I enjoyed it more the second time BECAUSE I was so surprised the first time.

  2. avatar

    2Scopes Monkey Matton 14 Sep 2011 at 9:59 am

    That’s a good point about The Sting. Watching a second time after finding out the surprise means you notice entirely different details; it can be like a different film.

    (A friend and I watched Memento the 2nd and 3rd times together, keeping notes, expressly to see if all the details work out. SPOILER as much as I love that movie, I’m afraid to report that they don’t.)

  3. avatar

    3Linda Pon 24 Sep 2011 at 6:24 am

    I agree with Terence, but my experience was with “Fight Club”. The ending took me completely by surprise and when I watched it again it was fun to spot the things I’d missed first time round. To contrast with that, I came across “Sixth Sense” on someone else’s TV part way through. *SPOILER ALERT* I asked, “Is she dead?” to be answered, “No, he is” which meant that when I did see the film all the way through I didn’t have the element of surprise.
    Similar, but not quite the same, as soon as I finished reading “The Time Traveller’s Wife” I went back and read it again to try to fit the pieces together. That book sort of has its own spoilers all the way through, but that’s OK because it’s what the author intended.

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