Today Is "Computer Shutdown Day"

So if you're reading this on Saturday March 24, 2007, you lose!  Or something. 

Of course, it's after midnight on Friday March 23, 2007 so technically, I'm not participating properly either.  Of course, I'm too much of an addict rebel to go along with any set day like this anyhow. 

Actually, that's not so far from the truth.  Personally, I'm much much of a fan of constant, consistent, responsible recognition of any good cause.  Just like Earth Day is every day, Computer Shut Down day – or TV Turn-Off day or Christmas or pretty much any recognized or imagined holiday you find value in – should be something that you keep the spirit of every single day. 

For example, if this is a cause you feel is worthwhile, why not cut back on your computer usage for 15 minutes per day every day for a year instead?  That's over 90 hours computer usage saved each year – just about four days worth.  How do you save 15 minutes?  Quit reading any blogger whose entries are more than four paragraphs long! 

I wish I wasn't but I'm also naturally skeptical about any organization that shares less than nothing about themselves, who they are, why they're doing this, how they got started and so on, on their web site no matter how good their cause sounds from the brief blurb which is pretty much the only content on the page.  Oh, and a prominently placed “Donation” button.

I know someone is going to reply and say that it's only symbolic to have a single named day for various causes/celebrations/whatever. But this reminds me too much of people who only dig deep to give to charity during the Christmas season then ignore the related issues the other 364 days of the year.  Or people who drop a $20 on the collection plate at church then don't have a spiritual or pious thought for the other 167 hours of the week. 

Which is all a long way of saying that I'll probably be on my computer tomorrow at some point.  Although the forecast is +18 and I have a garage that badly needs cleaning so  those two factors are going to affect my computer usage more than any newly-coined, virally-spread yet strangely suspicious “day” will. 

Jason (rhymes with Contrarian…if you squint really hard…and how long has it been since I used the “Rant” tag?  Quite awhile.)

[Edit – what a surprise.  Other computer nerds agree with me – although there are a variety of other reasons given to oppose this day in the Digg thread in addition to some of the ones I listed above.]

[Edit #2 – oh, and for the record, I do celebrate the day popularly known as “Christmas” on that day.]

[Edit #3 – anybody know the costs for using a computer/laptop for a year versus activities such as driving the average commuting distance in Canada or choosing to be a meat-eater?  I know the day isn't just about reducing costs/environmental issues and is sort of a “just go outside” message.  But
that is a factor too in how “legitimate” a day like this is to me.  Is there a “Drive Nowhere” Day?  “Don't Have A Cow, Man (Literally) Day?”]

Comments 4

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    i had no idea. computer shutdown day. hmmm. when is it grandparents day? secretaries day? and yes, anything to make a buck. except for that buy nothing day. i like that. some word of mouth thing, that blossomed.
    Good post Jason the Contrarian.
    I did read past the 4th para cause I know I'll usually get a chuckle in or two as you close off.
    hope the garage cleaning is/was successful. I am working on my collection development project, so unfortunately will be at the computer for a shameful amount of time. it's rainy here and foggy and grey so a good work day. The kids have got their trumpets and saxophones out and one is playing the piano and they are jamming heart & soul. bring on the earplugs…wire me up to the computer…sorry those who are abstaining. I like Jason's suggestion for weaning ourselves daily from our techno obsessions. Plus now whenever I say to the kids they've had enough MSN time, they scream, Well, you waste your time reading Jason's blog!
    i'm running out of excuses. I say it's a professional development activity…
    linda b.

    Posted 24 Mar 2007 at 6:34 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Don't worry, I have had BOTH of my computers on all day, just to make up for anyone foolish enough to participate in this silly activity. Heck, I even had the one (dual-core) machine doing protein folding to make sure the wattage flows! Indeed, my room was a bit chilly today, but the hum of 4 2GHz processors is keeping it toasty now. Regarding the dolts putting this thing on, Engadget is reporting that the Shutdown Day servers are indeed, up and running today. Hmm. More seriously, environmental reform ain't going to occur through some feel-good half-ass attempts by consumers. Why not regulate COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL power usage, waste output, and other environmental problems? Oh wait, cause that would ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING and, of course, not sit well with the CORPORATIONS. Dream on, all silly Shutdown Day people.
    Written respectfully from my one computer connected to the other computer in a house that uses “green” electricity. Go figure.

    Posted 24 Mar 2007 at 9:13 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Yeah, some people in the Digg thread were pointing out that some people have to use computers, literally every single day, to get their work done.
    The garage cleaning was semi-successful. Things are more orderly yet we somehow seem to have ended up with *less* space than we had before. I think not just throwing things into giant heaps in the corners may be responsible. So it remains a work in progress. And if we get a chance to have a garage sale this spring, that will help too.
    Sorry to hear that this blog is competing with MSN for “biggest waste of time” in your family. I like your theory that it's PD though!
    Good luck with your CD assignment.

    Posted 25 Mar 2007 at 1:22 am
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Ha! Great post. Yeah, I can't imagine that computers suck up that much energy, even running all day, than a lot of other appliances or mechanised items we use.
    Good point that the Shutdown Day web site is…running today. Duh.
    I still harbour a suspicion that this is some kind of a brilliant scam, like that “Million Dollar Home Page” where some guy sold individual pixels on the site for a dollar each and is now a millionaire.
    http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/
    I'm with you too that the biggest contributor to these problems are commercial/industrial users, not individual consumers, even en masse.
    Green power is the way to go though – are you using Bullfrog by any chance? Heard about them on the news the other night and they sounded like a good (and growing) outfit.
    http://www.bullfrogpower.com

    Posted 25 Mar 2007 at 1:30 am

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