Julian crams a staggering amount of information into this 5-minute talk, and makes every point in ways that are simultaneously interesting, clear, and extremely persuasive.
I work in an open-plan office, and find (like everyone else in an open-plan office) that when I have no noise in my space, I'm radically more productive. My secret weapon: rain sounds in my iPod.
Julian talks about sound being deployed inappropriately or counterproductively in commercial contexts. As I get older, I find more and more that I simply can't tolerate shopping malls for very long, and sound is a big part of that. The hard surfaces and closed-in spaces of most shopping malls concentrate both people and sound in a way I find extremely stressful. I avoid it whenever possible.