The Shredder

Recently at my place of employment, our shredder broke, and I had to purchase a new one. My criteria going into the purchase were to find a shredder that did a fine cut and was around $50-60. I ended up buying the Ativa DQ81M*.

Shred IT!

The Ativa DQ81M was in the price range, did 8-sheets a go in a diamond cut and also came with one feature I hadn’t expected. To see the mystery-shredder-feature watch this movie of my use of the shredder.

Did you notice anything odd? It is okay if you didn’t. Behold, I have a second movie for you to watch, of Bob and I shredding in the dark.

What did you see? You saw a light, not from my Mini Mag-Lite, but from on the shredder itself.

Think about that.

I have my own conclusions as to why a shredder would come equipped with a light, but rather than expound on them, I wanted to pose the question to the wider Protozoic forum. So:

  1. Why would a shredder need a light?
  2. Are there any further-reaching, perhaps darker, implications of shredders with lights on them?

9 thoughts on “The Shredder

  1. The light is there for a couple of reasons. One, it shows how full the basket is, this can sometimes be hard to gauge without the light because its a mesh basket. Second, ever had one of those things jam? I have, they are a bitch to locate the jam in the blades/motor. The bulb or LED may help shed some light on where your jam is located. Third, it may be a complete gimmick, kinda like Knight Rider’s KIT.

    I purchased a $2,000 shredder for my office at work. It is bad ass, maybe I’ll get some video over the next couple of weeks to show how wicked it be.

    1. I can think of alot of reasons: a. Children who need to shred documents at night and are afraid of the dark. b. With a mesh basket it can be difficult to see inside the shredder to make absolutely sure the document has properly shredded. The light helps users view the degree to which their document has shredded. c. Sterilization: Maybe the light has some special properties like UV illumination and actually kills off any harmful bacteria that might be a problem for custodians or recycling workers. At my place of work we have these tiny desktop centrifuges called “picofuges”. Some of these picofuges are made of clear acrylic showing their electronic components and they have a purple, ring shaped neon or flourescent lamp circling inside their components. Is this lamp a blacklight for sterilizing samples? Thankfully not, since if you have DNA in your samples or bacteria that you are trying to grow then you don’t want UV light being directed on the samples. Turns out it’s just a little counter-top bling for the labrats in MBPG. d. Minor reward: The light represents a illumination in the darkness. A little pick-me-up in the middle of a dreary day at the office. A symbolic indicator of accomplishment, inspiration, celebration, sunny days, etc.

    2. The darker side of shredder lighting is also manifold though: a. Addiction – If it really does give you a little joy to see the light turn on then you may come to look forward to the small rush it provides. As you come to enjoy your time with the light more and more you may even start shredding papers unnecessarily, just to get yourself through the day. And you’ll think it’s nothing. “I can stop any time,” you tell yourself, until one day you realized you’ve shredded all the important documents and half the leaves on the office ficus plant. The fact that you might lose your job over this only bothers you because it would take you away from the solice of the shredder light. b. Disillusionment – Alternately maybe the shredder light amuses you a little at first but then you get over it. You see that this stupid light is just someone’s attempt to brighten up a dull corner of the world. Of course, like all machines constructed to create perpetual cheer, it’s novelty will wear off in time. The eventual failure of this well meant gizmo might make you a little sad as you lose faith in the ability of human enginuity to create lasting happyness. Or maybe it will make you bitter and cynical: These inventors either naive or just another symptom of group think. Honestly do they really believe that putting a light in my shredder is going to make my work day in this hell hole any more bearable? c. Paranoia – As loki apparently does you might start to suspect that there’s a fouler purpose to the light. Perhaps you are supposing that it’s the light from a micro-thin scanner placed there by the government to scan your sensitive documents an instant before they are disposed of. Or maybe within the shredder’s brief flare you imagine you glimpse Azathoth’s maddening radiation whose baleful tidal forces are harnessed by the infernal machine to literally rip the paper along lines of non-euclidean symmetry. c. Utility dollars going to waste with every extra erg of power unnecessarily expended in the illumination of trash. d. By freeing up bound and ordered energy you are helping entropy along it’s course, thus incrementally hastening the heat death of the universe.

  2. Good answers, but let’s investigate further.

    Different question (not a trick question either) when would you use a flashlight?

  3. I could see using a flashlight in two situations: 1) to see in the dark, or 2) to momentarily blind an attacker to provide an opportunity for escape.

  4. I have Witnessed. I have seen the Light. It works on several Astral Planes. I, for one, have been transformed by the Event. The Event represents the highest order of cross-sensory metaphors, with absolutely no self-conscious displays of pop cultural posturing.

  5. Apparently those who love hamsters and those fascinated by shredders can now satisfy both their fixes at the same time here.

    All it needs is a little light powered by the wheel as well so the hamster can see while he’s running.

  6. I’ve had mine since Christmas. It’s the end of July. I have to now keep mine in the OFF position because it will not STOP shredding. on and on and on and on and on aaarrrgggghhhhh It drives me CRAZY. So I have to keep it off, and then turn it on when I want to shred something. Otherwise it’ll keep shredding until it catches on fire or something. Ticks me off. I have a cheaper one at home that I’ve had for a few years. It works GREAT. 🙁

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