Sunday, August 08, 2010

Do I help the world or just myself?

Due to unforeseen circumstances I've ended up living in a house with very little furniture and no TV. Having subscribed the largest Sky TV / Virgin Media package I can at every opportunity presented to me in the past, I was quite scared by the prospect of no TV.

After a few days of going cold turkey I realised my life was richer without it. I suspect I lost around a day a week of productivity to television - and what was I watching - utter crap. After Lucy Griffiths left Robin Hood, Neighbours moving to channel 5 and the rise of Quiz Shows and reality TV I felt my relationship with my television (a historically close one) was coming to an end.

I still use the Iplayer and the various commercial offerings from ITV, Channel 4 etc.... but never leave it on just as background noise. Have you ever seen the movie They Live? Well after a few weeks I realised that I was thinking differently, being able to choose which information I watched and read via the wonders of the Internet made me draw different conclusions. I found that my views were quite often different to my television watching friends, that of the Sun newspaper and even my most trusted news channel BBC News.

It is that background noise that I now realise subliminally fills your head with rubbish about what reality TV star said to which footballer, which products are best to have to improve your life and the news channels that constantly reminds us of how many murderers, rapists and drug dealers there are in our society. Fear is a great tool for promoting social cohesion. I find it strange that when I look outside - the world seems as safe and as risky as it ever did..... I don't subscribe to the belief that society is in someway in a downward spiral of crime - it all seems quite safe out there.

There is so  much advertising everywhere. Something I didn't realise till I went to Cuba where there is very little advertising as there is very little private industry. I must say however, Cuban television wasn't up to much. It infuriates me that we spend most of our lives buying into a system that perpetuates itself through consumption of products and is weighted so heavily in the favour of the rich - who can own Ipads whilst thousands of children a day die of preventable diseases. Anyway, I digress. Wasn't this rant about television?

So, what am I going to do with the time I gained by giving up television? I think I'm going to spend it designing an advertising campaign to make people buy my products and services for my new business CCS So that I can have a bigger house to put more stuff in. I justify my existence on the basis that by repairing things that are broken and recycling things that are unwanted I spare new things having to be made and resources consumed. Saving our precious little planet for a short while whilst hopefully we sort out this sustainable food and energy problem we seem to be having. Also I like to think I help people and make them happier. Thus my business is of a benefit to our planet.

I've done some basic mathematics based on some figures I just pulled off of the net (I'm unsure how accurate they are).

This paper states that approximately 6400 megajoules of electricity to make a desktop computer and a 17" CRT monitor in 2000, which would be about 1778 kwh. As much electricity as the typical household uses in two months.

I'm currently fixing between 5 and 10 PC's per week. Lets say 7 per week to make it easy. meaning that every year I save the planet 60 years worth of household electrical bills.

I know that isn't strictly true - as the parts would probably be recycled. But it lets me sleep a little bit easier   at night.

1 comment:

Mad Tony said...

I'm loving the creative mathematics Garry. Next time I'm having my accounts done. Your getting the business!