Monday, May 15, 2006

Science 1, Racist Hooligans 0

Also via BoingBoing comes this article from

Soccer hooligans could be silenced by a new sound system that neutralises chanting
with a carefully timed echo.

Stadiums could use the technique to defuse abusive or racist chants, say the Dutch researchers behind it. The echoes trip up efforts to synchronise a chant, neutralising an unwelcome message without drowning out the overall roar of a crowd.

Sander van Wijngaarden, who researches human acoustics at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research in Delft, began working on the technique in 2004 after several Dutch soccer matches were blighted by abusive chanting.


Zick said...

"If you frustrate an audience by making it impossible to chant, you need to be very careful how you channel their frustration," he says. "If they stop chanting but start rioting out of frustration, then you're worse off."


Big Blue Monkey said...

Zick, I was just thinking about that quote. Soccer teams have tried lots of ways of stopping hoolganism and racism. One method was to simply price the tickets out of the reach of the commonly understood hoodlum who chants loud racist chants.

It doesn't stop racism, but it stops racist chants. Charge enough, and the angry white underclass can't get in. Doesn't do a thing to actually stop racism, though.

The echo thing may be similar, if somewhat different. Stopping symptoms of racism, and not root causes, will probably always end up in this sort of conundrum.

Zick said...

Hey, I want to respond to your e-mail [although my response will probably be unsatisfying], but the reply-to address is [email protected] or something. Would you mind e-mailing me your e-mail address?

Big Blue Monkey said...

that should be fixed.