May 3 is a global event which is the "buy nothing day" of computers. The intention is to make people aware of how much of their best time and energy is being spent hunched over a keyboard. Sometimes you can't avoid having to be there -- in fact, if you are reading this at the kiosk at the opening night of the Emily Carr Undergrad Exhibition, 2008, I'm here at a computer myself! This one has been set to run 24/7 for the week of the show, so there IS no way to power down. If you look around right now, you will see me standing here hoping to have a conversation with you about my project, which is this blog. I'm the one dressed in black with the glasses.
But if you are at home, please bookmark this blog and come back tomorrow. Needless to say, today the website itself has been turned off. But come midnight, you could check it out to see reports coming of the many people who participated in the event by joining flashmobs being held around the world. Last year, according to reports, most people spent the 24 hours off from their computer having sex. This year, many will be doing the same, but it is nice to have an alternate. A flashmob gives the opportunity is go out and play with other people with a similar intention to risk taking the time to see how it feels to be out in a world unmediated by a computer screen. Last year I was out writing cherry-blossom haikus, as you can see in my video "Shutdown Day--One Year After" in the April 27 posting below.
2013 Update: Here is a Wikipedia article on Shutdown Day, which ended as an annual event in 2009.