We're 297th! We're 297th!

[Warning:  Introspective Blog Alert.  Click up there to close browser; back away slowly]   Wow, I found out that this blog ranks number 297 in most-read technology blogs.   I'm kind of proud of that, though I admit it's kind of lame.  It's just not quite as lame as I would have thought.

Much of the readership has come from overseas. 

Mexico, Egypt, USA negotiate over Sushi outside UN
Two months ago, I was offered a job to blog for a professional site, it would have paid $600 per month, and had some nifty "tools" or "apps".  Being offered a paid job to blog is... I don't know... like being selected for a "Reality TV" show [no long term contract, probable destination nowhere].  In other words, I accepted immediately.

SSFF*.  It required too much html editing for my ability to learn quickly, and more "for dummies" topics for my interest, and the offer came at the very busiest time of year for my business.  But it struck me that I'd have been earning three times the average monthly wage in many African countries to write two posts per month.

So, I'd suggest to the publisher (owned by NYTimes) that they offer the blog-about-recycling job to a Geek of Color.  Find someone in India, Pakistan, India, Senegal, Egypt or Peru.   Too many Americans who write about recycling are just copying dogmas and repasting them.  (Look at me:  I ran a small junkyard in Vermont, and I'm an international expert).

Blogs have no editors (except for comment fields, pointing out I repeated the word "faggot" in a Dire Straits song, which I appreciate).  They are cheapo journalism.   I really notice how the cable news networks all do talking-head-opinion shows as much as they possibly can, and I know why they are profitable.  Cheap!  no travel, no remote crews, no investigative reporting.  Punditry is the fast food of journalistic nutrition.  And blogs are somewhere below that on the news-o-sphere, because they rely on one person's opinion.

When I used to drive long distances (commuting to jobs in Massachusetts before my wife had tenure-track reappointment), and I frequently listened to Rush Limbaugh on the AM radio.  Mostly because it kept me awake (and I had no CD of Japanese death-metal band Dir En Grey, "Agitated Screams of Maggots", which will also keep you up).  At times I could agree with 60% of what Rush said, but right or wrong, the way he "sold" his opinion to listeners was frequently disingenuous.   "The Clouds".  Aristotle he ain't.

What was really depressing, however, were his tribe callers who just got on the air to say "ditto".  I wrote a comic post about "dittoer.com" which made fun of the number of Twitter Tweets which were just doing the same thing as Rush Limbaugh.  People who call in to say "ditto" could be replaced by computers.  We can automate the twitter process of taking half baked arguments and pushing them forward on the power of weak-minded "repeat"-offenders. Computers connected to re-tweet one another could save everyone the time of re-reading and reposting.

So I could improve my 297th blog ranking by saying things that people tweet and ditto.  Do you think that's been done?

Yep.  Environmental issues are being promoted by dumbing down arguments to appeal to tweetcasters.  Just like anti-gay zealots, or America-xenophobes, or white-power bigots, we are too often willing to harness raw panic, and ride a wave of tweets and dittos. Wiki-modeling (crowd-sourcing) was great for many things, but it also slips into laughtracks and propaganda.

Some say this is how you win and lose on the battlefield, and General Patton (tonight's Veterans Day reference) would defend the environment the same way in order to succeed.  I respect friends who say that this is how unions are formed, this is how elections are won, this is how change is made.  But if the end result is that good tech recycling companies overseas are "clubbed to death", I think recyclers will regret mob-sourcing.

So... 297th.   Stay introspective, true, and low-on-reading-priority?  Or become the DrudgeReport of environmental stories? Perhaps if I actually work to overcome some bad habits, like publishing too quickly, stepping on my own headlines, pushing posts "below the fold" with too many updates, just perhaps I can reach some greater portion of the 6 billion people who think deeply about recycling, resource usage, sustainability, and positive globalization, to continue meeting people like Sranama Mitra, Frederic Somda, Hamdy Moussa, Lambert Faabulon... and that kind of reader will be my "good enough market".  And 100th blog may be good enough for me, like Fareed Zakaria's GPS is the best, if not most watched, of the Sunday morning talkingheads programs.

By the way, here's a copy of the latest propaganda war, a response letter from BAN to Willie Cade of PC Rebuilders and Recyclers of Chicago.  I had not seen Willie's email that BAN responds to.  I have heard the phrase "pay to play" regarding the E-Stewards campaign, there are a lot of people who share Willie's opinion about the cost of E-Stewards compared to R2.  I have mostly heard the complaint that the revenue to BAN from E-Stewards makes BAN unlikely to seek compromise with R2, and makes them less likely to discuss R2 fairly.   They are making money selling their own solution, a solution they admittedly worked very hard on to develop, and I don't begrudge them the income.  Not having seen Willie's letter, I have to agree with BAN that they have every right to develop a standard and I don't follow the stigma hullabaloo about the accreditation body.  Even if it is "Money for Nothing".   The letters are all CEFAD to me.

Here's the "Hello Kitty" version of Agitated Screams of Maggots.  I cannot post the "Eraserhead" version of the video, it's too unsettling, and I don't recommend you follow the link.  It will give you nightmares.

I purposefully buried this ewaste headline about BAN and Willie Cade.  A little piece of Drudge, like dessert at a healthy restaurant, ain't so bad.  I wanted to  be a philosopher, so I'll keep boring some with Plato and Aristotle and journalism-where-for-art-thou references.   But that's the beauty of CRTs and e-waste.   We think they are SO important.  But they really aren't that important for the reasons we say they are important.  What's important is reducing mining while connecting human beings so that people in tyrannical societies see that things like women's rights are not the Armageddon.  If the USA's deep south had gone online and watched Frederick Douglas, we'd have gotten through a lot of messy stuff that was stoked by fear and greed, harnessing of raw crowd emotions.   Truth is the best recipe.

*SSFF - "Started, Stumbled, Farted and Fell"

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