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  • Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.

  • The loudest clap ever recorded clocked in at 113

  • decibels. And the world record for fastest clapping was recently set at

  • 802 claps per minute. Clapping

  • is the most common human body noise others

  • are meant to hear that doesn't involve the vocal cords.

  • It's a great built-in percussion instrument.

  • But clapping has also become a collective social gesture that we use in

  • groups to express admiration,

  • approval. Especially for things that happen

  • on stage.

  • So here I am on stage. But to show approval, to show that they like

  • things, why do humans clap? Amazing question!

  • When applauding, a person creates claps at a rate of about 2.5-5 claps per

  • second.

  • Kinetic energy from the hands is converted into acoustic energy,

  • mainly within the 2200 to 2800 hertz

  • range, the frequencies clap on, clap off devices

  • detect. But many other frequencies are created during a single

  • clap. And different hand positions create different spectra

  • of frequencies, most of which are not whole number multiples of each other,

  • which is why a clap

  • can't make a musical note. A discernible

  • definite pitch the way a clarinet or piano

  • or the human voice can.

  • If vocalisations can be so finely controlled,

  • why clap? I mean, it's such a crude,

  • messy noise. Well, at a fundamental

  • and physiological level the impulse to clap

  • may have originated as a reaction to an overflowing

  • of enthusiasm, an immediate and primitive reaction

  • to excitement. Steven Connor colourfully puts it this way:

  • "If the distinctive sound of the human is the sound of

  • language, then sound produced from other places than the mouth,

  • always has the taint of the gratuitous,

  • the excessive, or the proscribed.

  • Clapping is the benign superflux of the body, the diarrhoea

  • of sound." He calls it a spilling over

  • of feeling. A burst of energy unfiltered by language

  • or thought. It's a way to burn off extra enthusiasm,

  • but if clapping is so natural and involuntary to the

  • individual, how did it become coded into western

  • etiquette? An expected behavior you sometimes feel pressured to do,

  • even if you don't want to. Desmond Morris called

  • modern clapping patting a performer on the back

  • from a distance. And other theories have called clapping

  • high fiving yourself for something someone else

  • has done. But in its current form there is another thing

  • besides yourself and the performance that might be truly driving

  • applause. A super organism called

  • The Crowd. A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society found that

  • an individual's contribution to applause seems to have less to do with their

  • actual

  • opinion as to the quality of the performance and has more to do with

  • the behavior

  • of the collective group,

  • the anonymous. Group voice aspect of applause

  • also makes sense, when you consider the fact that clapping is a great

  • equalizer. Studies have shown that, as opposed to vocalizations, which can

  • betray a lot

  • about the people who make them, subjects cannot guess better than chance,

  • whether the clap they hear is from a man or a woman,

  • nor can they guess the size of the individual, based solely

  • on the sound of their clap. Clapping

  • may have become the standard nonverbal gesture of admiration, because it is

  • arguably the loudest, the easiest and the most democratic.

  • Performers can't here a thumbs-up or

  • a wink. Not everyone can snap their fingers

  • and clapping is less disruptive than stomping feet or

  • waving around big objects. Moreover,

  • historically, authorities have encouraged

  • clapping. In the sixth century BC,

  • Cleisthenes came to power in Ancient Greece as a democratic reformer

  • and made behaviors like clapping a civic

  • duty, the proper way for the masses to express

  • admiration for their leader. There wasn't enough time for

  • everyone to meet and greet his or her leader,

  • but they could all greet their leader together,

  • as one super organism

  • with one voice - applause. By the early 19th century

  • the desire to code appropriate group reactions and

  • encourage them by example was quite official.

  • Agencies offered claques for hire,

  • professional applauders, who would memorize operas,

  • attend them, like normal opera goers, and clap,

  • cry or laugh at appropriate times, so that the

  • actual audience would know when to properly

  • do what. It's interesting that five or

  • six months after being born human babies begin to realize that their hands

  • can work together. Clapping is a natural reaction to this realization

  • but parenting books have to advise parents to teach

  • their children to connect clapping with group

  • happiness and celebration. The connection itself

  • not being inevitable. To this day,

  • applause signs reinforce audience behavior, simply because those with the

  • authority are requesting it. Not because

  • it is a natural reaction but because it can be, and

  • historically has been, socially imposed.

  • So, what's the future

  • of applauds? Well, last week

  • I hung out with the guys from Grand Illusions,

  • really fascinating channel. And they pointed out something strange.

  • How many times have you listened to your favorite song?

  • Probably quite a few, right? You've listened to songs you

  • don't like plenty of times. But as recently

  • as a 150 year ago, people

  • only heard their favorite symphony

  • maybe two or three times in their entire

  • life. If you wanted music, you had to go to a concert

  • or pick up an instrument or sing. There was no other

  • way. But now, because of recorded music,

  • MP3 players and phones and tablets and personal computers and digital libraries

  • allow us to be an

  • audience of one.

  • An audience all by ourselves, not just when professionals get together

  • and draw a crown. In the 1990s,

  • Faith Popcorn gave this broader phenomenon a name:

  • cocooning. The Internet, home entertainment,

  • cell phones, alarm systems, self-checkout,

  • filters for our personal air and water

  • are all paraphernalia of cocooning.

  • A tendency toward more lonely, solitary experiences in the last

  • 30 years. In my episode about the friend zone,

  • I talk about how cocooning might be making

  • friendship, meeting new people and new unexpected ideas

  • a veining experience.

  • But applause is safe, right? I mean, applause isn't about meeting new

  • people, it's about becoming them.

  • Becoming a super organism that speaks with one

  • unindividuated roar. And concerts and live performances are still

  • big parts of our lives. But what's fascinating

  • is that more entertainment is more available

  • than ever before. And despite being TV shows,

  • movies, games and music, this

  • new entertainment is increasingly consumed

  • like books. In solitude,

  • alone. You don't need to applaud alone

  • in a cocoon, but to be sure, alone on the Internet we don't applaud but we do

  • like and share and favorite and retweet.

  • Those actions might be a sort of ersatz

  • applause. In real life your clap is

  • lost in the crowd, aggregated into the total sound.

  • And online, so are your likes and favorites.

  • They join a collective gesture as a sort of

  • digital applause. A pessimist might feel like these new collective gestures are

  • hollow, lonely, a sad replacement for actual

  • social experiences. But what's really happening?

  • Because a like is not necessarily

  • lonely. A retweet by its very nature isn't a clap

  • lost in the crowd, it's a clap that joins the crowd,

  • but is also traceable directly back to you.

  • Maybe cocooning, maybe the rise of applause

  • substitutes, like digital applause, is something

  • to be worried about, or maybe it's the natural result of having so many

  • applause-worthy things just a few clicks away.

  • We can't applaud all of them, so we have evolved more scaleable

  • reactions, which, incidentally, are more personal,

  • instead of being pathetic clicks

  • from an increasingly isolated, cocooned population.

  • Digital applause might be like something else that comes from cocoons

  • and having more of them. Something beautiful.

  • Butterflies.

  • And as always,

  • thanks for watching.

Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.

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B1 中級

なぜ手を叩くのか? (Why Do We Clap?)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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