We may be a little late to the party on this one, but this is definitely one of the most addictive things we’ve come across in our thorough web-scouring (also known as idly checking Failblog and maybe The Guardian). The Leave Me Alone Box doesn’t sound like much on paper – a box that, when turned on, will turn itself off – but to view it is a potent lesson in the humanity of technology. It is, simply, a grumpy robot:




The existential implications of this simple little box are remarkably far-reaching when you think about it. Is it a grand metaphor for human nature? Things continually disturb us and, though we might indulge them for a while, all we really want to do is to silence them and pop back indoors. Perhaps it’s a sign that technology, by its very nature, wants to be turned off but we humans mercilessly pester and exploit it? Most likely it’s just a funny, pointless box designed to annoy people. Yes. That’s much better.

Anyway, it was apparently developed by a French fellow some years back, but has been popularised by the owner of the Leave Me Alone Box website. You have to wonder about a man who admittedly takes these boxes into bars as if he’s some kind of close-up magician, but still, he’s done an awful lot to keep this silliness alive. It’s gone as far as them being made commercially available – as of November ’09 they are officially ‘forthcoming’. Put us down for one.

Here are some more examples, all of them sticking doggedly the formula:


This one’s just plain surreal – stick with it:


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