Researchers compared hearing loss evaluated in two national surveys, one conducted in 1988-1994 and the other in 2005-2006. ''In the initial assessment back in the early '90's, about 15% [of teens] had any hearing loss," says researcher Gary C. Curhan MD, ScD, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.
''More recently, it was 19%," he says.
What's the correct transhumanistic conclusion to draw from this report? Regular readers, what am I thinking right now? This is a problem, yes. But how should it be solved? Reduced teen blasting of their ears in the short term would be a good idea (and good luck with convincing them). But what does this report point out the need for?
Correct answer: We need biotechnology that either repairs the damage caused by listening to loud music or that protects the ears from damage.
The bummer here is that listening to, say, Dark Side Of The Moon or Exile On Main St. is best done with plenty of volume. Even Capprichio Espagnol and Scheherazade sound better loud. Or how about Jeff Beck's Freeway Jam: loud. I could go on. Great music and medical research reports like the one above are all the evidence I need to decide that we've got to reengineer and repair our bodies to make us better able to partake in life's great pleasures.
A recent Australian study, however, found a 70% increased risk of hearing loss associated with the use of headphones to listen to portable music, and many experts suspect they are the primary cause of hearing loss in teens.