The bearable lightness of being

Okay. Earth hour is over. We can go back to our old habit of wasting electricity... or not?

This was my first year of participation in Earth hour. I try to save electricity all the time, e.g. by shutting down the computer if I'm not using it, turning off my Internet connection (simply being online on MSN requires electricity), turning off my mobile phone reception if I'm not bringing it out with me, switching off appliances from the wall socket and unplugging them if they won't be used for long periods of time, so I think the amount of electricity I save each year far exceed what I can save by turning off the fluorescent lights for an hour. But I did it anyway for the experience.

So I turned off the lights and the computer (typing in the dark is bad for your eyesight). I tried to keep myself occupied by listening to the radio. After 15 minutes, I got bored. I neatened some of my stuff and shifted my computer table. I danced around a little (it's quite spacious here). Then I didn't know what to do. Perhaps I could have bought some coffee to make myself a coffee cocktail but then again it would feel strange sitting alone in the dark and drinking one.

Some other things to do in the dark:
1. Listen to music
2. Enjoy a drink
3. Dance (if it's spacious)
4. Stretching
5. Resistance training using own body weight (don't use free weights)
6. Meditate
7. Play with a pet
8. Sing (can sound creepy depending on the song)
9. Play a musical instrument (can sound creepy too)
10. Write
11. Listen to an audio book
12. Masturbate
13. Have sex

#13 was out of question this year for lack of a partner. I settled for #10. I opened my notebook to an empty page. I'm amazed how I managed to write without light. One good thing about writing in the dark is: I am unable to edit what I'm writing so I allow my thoughts to flow more smoothly. You should try this if you ever have trouble writing.

And then this thought crossed my mind: If I were blind, what would I do every day? This thought scared me. What is it like to be blind? There are people who living darkness or semi-darkness. How about the people who are colour-blind? They are unable to see the beauty of the world in full colour and the colours of traffic lights.

If I'm blind I won't be able to read books anymore. I will have to depend on audio books, braille and text-to-speech converters (which don't sound natural). Of course, I'm not saying people who are blind can't function. Beethoven who was almost blind and Hellen Keller who became blind when she was a child did very well. I wonder though: if they had full vision, would they have done better or worse?

This reminded me to take care of my eyesight: to wear my sunglasses, maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle (diabetes can cause blindness) and eat enough Vitamin A (carrots and wolf-berries are rich in Vitamin A. But do not over-consume Vitamin A).

(Intellectual blindness is a different topic and won't be discussed here.)


David said...


For someone supposedly bold and provocative, following the environment extremist and the other lemmings celebrating Earth hour makes you appear leaning towards conforming.

I celebrated Human Achievement Hour!!! ;-)

If anything, we should be looking to technology and innovation to help solve environmental problems.

Just like last year, countless individuals, organizations, agencies and businesses will be celebrating Human Achievement Hour without even realizing it.

Just by not shutting down their lights, operations and stores, they will be acknowledging that productive effort and the pursuit of happiness are a better alternative than sitting in the dark.

Maybe next year.


Yu-Kym said...

David, I never know what I can learn till I try it! Might switch back to Human Achievement Hour next year :P