Sunday, October 18, 2009

Investigation, Not Conclusions

Some gentle thoughts to those suffering from an unidentified noise in their homes:

1. Be mindful of jumping to conclusions. Any investigation can be derailed by getting distracted & focused on one theory, or idea. The collection and analysis of hard data is very important.

For example (and the example is a bit dramatic for effect), imagine the embarrassment a person might feel, publicly stating the noise they're hearing is being caused by some secret military activity, only to discover that the pipes leading into their house are vibrating in their walls. Rule out the obvious :-)

2. Similar noise, different source. This can be a tough one to get one's head around sometimes (especially if the noise is keeping you awake!). We are considering that while the Noise we're hearing may sound the same as a noise being heard elsewhere, there may be very different causes of the same type of sound.

3. Be objective with observations. People being bothered from an unidentified noise are asked to write down what they notice, when they notice it, and at what times. An example:
- Oct 16, woken up at 4:14 AM by a low hum sound, intensity level 8/10.
> 7:30 AM, left for work, intensity level 1/10.
> 10:51 PM, low humming noise started, intensity level 6/10.
- Oct 17, quiet all day.
- Oct 18, quiet until 5:00 PM, low hum started, intensity level 5/10.
> went to bed 10 PM, intensity level 5/10.
- Oct 19, turned on furnace fan; didn't want to be bothered by the Noise.
Please note, the above is only an example. But, it does provide an exemplar of what an objective, anecdotal observation can look like.

4. Follow the scientific method. We are with our investigation. There are many definitions of what the scientific method is. One such definition of this can be found at:

5. Expect to be part of the solution. Help is available. With regards to our investigation, we just ask that you be willing to put in some effort, too. There are many ways to help out, just ask :-)

6. Go visit your neighbours. Consider asking around & seeing if others are being bothered by the same kind of noise that's bothering you. Stop in at each other's places and listen - is it the same in both places?


Anonymous said...

Is there a map or idea of which houses/people have noticed this noise? I just heard about this issue and find it interesting. I live in the dead center of Ranchlands but have never noticed such a noise, at least not an obvious werid noise.

Joe Midi said...

Anon. A great suggestion - thank you! Will keep you posted.

Joe Midi said...

At this point, there does not appear to be a discernible pattern to the places where the Noise is being heard. Hopefully we will receive more questionnaires &/or info from residents hearing the Noise. That would help the investigation immensely.

Eva.Ku said...

Hey I just got the newsletter in my mail today. I live in the Ranchridge area and no one in my house has ever heard this noise before. My mom also works at the Raintree Village apartment complex and no residents there have reported hearing anything. If we happen to we'll fill out the survey! I wonder what it is...

Joe Midi said...

Hi Eva.Ku,

Thanks for the post. Be sure to check back here periodically. We will be posting our findings as we go along.