Since most of you are writers, you know that there are two voices, active and passive. “I took out the garbage” is active voice, while “The garbage was taken out by me” is passive voice. It’s also clumsy to say, which is why we’re told in every book on writing to avoid passive voice like the plague, just like cliches.
Electronic circuits can also be described as being active or passive. (Just because they tell you to avoid passive voice doesn’t mean you can’t use it, like I just did. It’s like adverbs, which they tell you to avoid but are actually quite valuable.) For example, I recently bought a pair of headphones that have a passive noise filter rather than an active one. Active noise-canceling headphones have a circuit that blocks all (well, most) outside noises. These don’t have that, but they do a good enough job of blocking noise without it. Plus, since there’s no active noise filter, you get better battery life, which is important, because the headphones do have Bluetooth. If only I could get Bluetooth working on my laptop, the world would be made of donuts. But that’s another discussion. I did have noise-canceling headphones a while ago, which cost a small fortune normally, but because I bought them with American Express points (which I accumulated from all the travel I did), I didn’t pay for them. Having used both, I like these better. Plus, they have Bluetooth, which didn’t exist (or at least it wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is now) when I bought the last set.
Bluetooth, needless to say, is an example of active electronics. At least I think it is. If it isn’t, I’m sure Mark, who spent a good amount of time as an electrical engineer and is probably the
biggest wise guy smartest guy I know, will set me straight.
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