Choices – Light or dark?

I’d had the idea for a long time, perhaps ten years or more. It started out as almost a philosophical theory and then gradually morphed into a mechanical representation of that idea. It went something like this.

You are sitting in your favourite chair reading a really good book. You know the one, the one you wished you had written but knew that you really weren’t capable of producing. It is one of those late autumn dreamy afternoons where the evening arrives earlier than you had expected. What happened to those long summer evenings that seemed to go on late into the night when you were a child, at home during those never ending, magical summer school holidays? It starts to get dark. It becomes increasingly difficult to make out the print so what do you do? You reach up and flick a light switch on and the problem is solved and you carry on reading for as long as you wish, regardless of the sun’s desertion to more southerly parts of the world.

Later, when you have finished reading and there are other demands on your time, you casually flick off the light switch and darkness returns to the room. Is it just the lack of sunlight that makes it dark or is there an unseen dark star in the sky that produces the darkness? Call it, perhaps, anti light in the same way that physicists say that matter is balanced by anti matter and gravity is balanced by anti gravity. Confucianists have thought this way for millennia with the idea of everything in nature having a balance, as exemplified by the concepts yin and yang.

Think back, to picture yourself sitting in the chair. Perhaps it is earlier in the afternoon and the sun is streaming through the windows making it unpleasantly warm and too bright for your eyes as the sunlight reflects off the page into your eyes, making you squint. You feel sleepy and decide to have a snooze but it is too warm and bright.You have only one option, pull down a blind or draw a curtain to screen you from the sun. Why can’t you lean over and flick on the dark switch?

There would be many benefits if you could. One would be that you would not need to buy blinds or curtains. Another is that the dark, being antilight, would cancel out the light, and therefore the electricity used to produce it. This would mean that as your use of dark during the summer increased, it would cancel out the cost of the light that you used during the winter. You would become truly carbon neutral – for light and dark anyway – I’ll come to the rest of it later, maybe.

I spent another five years working out the technology to generate, distribute and control this new dark energy. It was a lot easier than I thought as it was possible to use the National Grid to distribute the dark energy from the production sites, which were of course the same power stations that produced the electricity for converting into light. All it needed was a small modification at the power stations to produce the dark energy from the waste heat. Coal fired power stations are only about 33% thermally efficient so there is plenty of waste heat to use.

It was easy to use the existing grid to carry the dark energy in the same way as you can download an e mail while carrying on a conversation on Skype, using the same broadband connection, at the same time. I never have understood why the two don’t get mixed up and you end up talking to your e mail account – I am just happy that it works.

I now had the idea and the system designed,. All I needed now were backers and customers. I decided to go on television and pitch to some millionaires on one of those animal alliteration shows; Sheep’s Shed, Pig’s Pen, Horse’s House or some such. There are many of them these days on television. My pitch went very well, Duncan and Theo started fighting over their bids as soon as they saw the full potential but it was Peter Meaden who came up with the best offer. I grabbed it and the rest is history, as they say.

That is why there is a three way switch in every room in your house that gives you the choice of how light or dark you want the room.

What next, you ask. Well, light switches sometimes have dimmers so I have developed a brighter system for the dark switches. It is now in production and will be launched early next year. I am now looking at heating and cooling systems and perhaps a secondary application of domestic water heating and refrigeration.

I had a passing thought the other day about gravity. I was reading about Isaac Newton’s trinary mathematics system and I wondered if…


© Richard Kefford                                                                                                        Eorðdraca


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