Paternalism and the iPod

Cite this Article
Geoffrey A. Manne, Paternalism and the iPod, Truth on the Market (February 03, 2006),

ipodI know it’s like shooting fish in a barrel to go after the tort bar and the cult of litigation masquerading as paternalism (or is it paternalism masquerading as litigation?), but this is too ridiculous to forebear. Over at Tech Law Prof Blog, Mark Giangrande reports that Apple has been hit with a lawsuit claiming its iPods cause hearing loss. Mark has a nice summary here (nice mostly because it references a great scene in that great film starring the Ramones, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School:

While the iPod does have a volume control, it can reach levels of about 115 decibels. By comparison, power saws produce sounds at about 110 decibels, and jet engines produce sound at about 140 decibels. An interesting volume comparison chart from Galen Carol Audio is here. Another from the NIH is here. Check out Chapter 8 of the Rock And Roll High School DVD where Principal Togar (Mary Woronov) demonstrates the comparative volume of the Ramones on a hapless mouse. No one knows how loud the sound is for those spastic silhouettes in Apple’s commercials urging us to turn it up, or something like that.

OK. So, I own a iPod, and I’m speaking from experience here. When the music is too loud (which is rare, but I do feel a tad twitchy once in a while listening to Sleater-Kinney at full throttle), I TURN DOWN THE VOLUME.

That is all.