“The Noise is a man’s thoughts, unfiltered,
and without a filter, man is just chaos walking”
“Chaos Walking” is set in a near future. when men can hear each other thoughts… And they call their audible thoughts “The Noise”!
What is strange is that only men and animals release their Noise while women don’t !!!
Wow… can you believe it?
Women hear the Noise of men, but men can’t hear any sound from the mind of their sweet-hearts?
That is astonishing… Why it happens, is unclear: could it be because women filter their thoughts while men don’t? Maybe… anyway: men, no worries! this is just a fiction, isn’t it… maybe…
Well, imagine if we had already gained that capability in our time.
Imagine if The Noise exists nowadays…
The first visible inconvenience of the Noise would definitely be a dramatic increase in house price…
Why? In the story a wise lady says that she has to accommodate her husband in another room because she doesn’t want to hear the disturbing Noises her husband releases in the night… So, as women are half of the global population, this would be a potential issue affecting the house market.
On the other hand the Noise might provide some implicit benefits.
For instance, a single Inspector would be enough to carry out any investigation whether social, political or private…
That Inspector would come closer to the Noise producer, could just prick up their ears and… here is the truth, the audible, unfiltered truth!
Obviously, given that only men can produce the Noise, this option would only be suitable if the inspected person is a man. Nonetheless, it would enormously simplify our justice and political system as most defendants -according to the evidence of data- are men…
The Noise would facilitate the interpretation of laws
One more benefit, provided by the Noise, would be the immediate understanding of what is in the mind of leaders and ministers when they outline rules and guidelines whether about economic development or privacy or social behaviours. No more doubts, no more interpretations! just listen to their Noise…
Obviously leaders and ministers would be highly concerned for their approval rating as they heavily rely on the silence of their mind. For the moment.
Dear Leaders, do not worry!
In every risky lane there is an escape lane…
So, the story of “Chaos Walking” describes very accurately how a man can learn to filter his Noise by using various techniques.
How can Leaders override the Noise
For example, the main character of “Chaos Walking” -whose name is Todd Hewitt- engages all his mental strength to control his Noise by insistingly repeating himself: “I am Todd Hewitt, I am Todd Hewitt, I am Todd Hewitt…”
Todd is a young teenager and tries to gain confidence with this simple trick.
He is naif but genuine. Todd doesn’t aim to gain any leadership, he is in search his own individuality while trying to free himself from the oppressive control of the most experienced and powerful people in his village.
The other main character, David Prentiss, is the opposite to Todd. He wants to stand as a leader, keeps his grip on power and for this purpose he has developed a very different technique.
David asks his acolytes to repeatedly chant together: “I am the circle and the circle is me!”.
While chanting together the same rhyme, the villagers have the impression to control their Noise… well, in fact they cover up their Noise and actually bury all their thoughts under the chorus. Rather than the future this behaviour appear to be very similar to an old clan…
Does it matter? do villagers care for their freedom of thinking? or freedom of speech? what’s the point having another kind of thinking? In the end they are completely free to follow their leader and the leader reward them with safety, protection and daily bread…
Well, if we look at the present, we might have the impression that that future is already here, isn’t. Yeah, at the present we can already breathe that sort of future…
The imaginative future of “Chaos Walking” is however slightly different, so let me call the forerunners as the men of “Uniform Walking”!
What is “Uniform Walking”
Uniform Walking is not about politics, even if it might comprise them. Uniform Walking is about thinking in a “uniform way”, a unilateral way and it might affect everyone in every corner of our society and even in every niche of our mind.
Should the future villagers read about this uniform stuff, they probably see it just as abstract matter, even a bit disturbing perhaps.
In the end what really counts for them -in the present days or in the future- is that every member of the clan feels stronger, happier, thankful and united around their leader!
Luckily, “Chaos Walking” offers an alternative perspective, completely different from the dark attitude of David Prentiss and his followers.
Indeed, in a faraway village native people live in peace under the ruling of a wise woman.
Her simple policy appears to be very tolerant and respectful of diversity as she tries to find a place for everyone, including a bed for her beloved husband, the one who sleeps in another room because of his Noise.
The plot reaches the breaking point when the two leaders come to a hard confrontation.
What is at stake is not just what personality will prevail but their social vision.
A surprising, thrilling finale
The grand finale is so thrilling and surprising that it would be naughty on my side to reveal what is next.
May I instead encourage to read or watch “Chaos Walking” …
What I can say to those people who are a bit concerned about the uncertainty of the future, is: don’t worry, even in the future we will continue to live in a really mad mad mad mad world!
“Chaos Walking” by Patrick Ness (single book, set or film) is available on Amazon and other bookshops. Just search the title with Google and it will easily be at hand. Have a good reading! Or watching!