I recently attempted to address the question of whether all the new technology in our lives has really improved our quality of life. I have also written in the past about the stupidity of the “green building” movement. Today, I need to briefly address the intersection of these two topics. And, I’m warning you, it ain’t pretty and it might get a little personal.
I recently moved into a new office building in the PRM (People’s Republic of Maryland). I didn’t ask to see the LEED certification before I took a sublease, but I’m sure it qualifies. One of the technology features it has is motion activated lights. I hate them. My mom taught me when I was very little to turn the lights off when I leave a room and I do so to this day. But, I can deal with having my office light be motion activated. I’m a fidgety guy so even when I’m just sitting there reading, there’s enough motion to keep the lights on. That’s not the problem.
The problem is the men’s room. It turns out the idiot green construction people put the only motion sensor right near the door and the toilet stall in the far corner. You see where this is going, right? It’s great when you walk in the door – the light pops right on. It’s also just fine for a #1 at the urinal, which is not only quick enough to be within the time out limit before the lights go off, but also within view of the motion sensor. But, God forbid you’re sitting in that back corner for more than about 5 minutes. The lights time out and the motion sensor can’t see you.
So, there I was earlier today, just about ready to finish up my business and, boom, the whole bathroom went dark. I did try waving my arms madly, but to no avail. This is where the other part of technology comes in. As I mentioned in my prior post on technology, we all take our electronic devices into the bathroom with us. It’s great for catching up on e-mail or reading the Wall Street Journal. But, it never occurred to me that I would have to wipe using the light from my iPad. My most humble apologies for the visual image, but that’s technology gone very very bad.