'That’s nothing to be ashamed of,' Major Major counseled him kindly. 'We’re all afraid.'
'I’m not ashamed,’ Yossarian said. ‘I’m just afraid.'
I'm not ashamed of techies in the developing world, but I'm kind of afraid of BAN. Not that they have bad intentions. During the past 4 years, while debating and defending the potential for fair trade in the "e-waste" export market, I have repeatedly been caught in a kind of Clevinger's Trial or Catch-22 (that novel by Joseph Heller was my favorite book in 9th grade, and I performed in Clevinger's Trial as the Colonel at Fayetteville High School).
Catch-33, the "ewaste" dialogue, is not as funny.
Robin: We have visited and audited the reuse end market, and we have complete assurance that the WR3A partner is repairing 90% and the 10% they cannot repair is being completely recycled in a glass-to-glass manner. Any parts replaced or upgraded are properly recycled, the same as when they had incidental breakage as an original equipment manufacturer.
Sarah: You say that. But we don't know that. You won't submit any data, or let us audit you. How can we know this is a good arrangement?
Robin: Well, if I provide you with all of the data, and prove what I just said, will you accept us as a non-polluter, Pledge Signer, or E-Steward?
Jim: No. Because even if you have a proper recycling facility in a non-OECD country, we disagree with your interpretation of Basel Convention Annex IX, and do not like the fact that your importing country agreed with you. We would prefer to see the equipment tested and working before its exported, or all non-working parts removed.
Robin: So, if I provide the audit to Sarah, and demonstrate that no pollution results, you will protest to the host government and try to have the fair trade recycling factory shut down?
Robin: And if I do not provide the information to Sarah, she will cast doubt that we have a properly audited, fair trade recycling arrangement? She will maintain that we may be shipping to a primitive, wire-burning operation?
Robin: So if I do provide it...
Jim: Damned if you do.
Robin: And if I do not provide it...
Sarah: Damned if you don't.
More from my favorite Joseph Heller novel....