Pos7ing on Fac3B00k Re: 3Gyp7

Everything ██is█████ ████ ████fine ███ █ ████ love. ████ █████ the ███ Egypt ███ ████ government ██#jan25 #Egypt #censorship

News is starting to come out from our contacts in 3gyp7 recently.   The most noticeable thing is that all the messages written to one another in Arabic and in English have numerals sprinkled into almost every word.   The Technocrati or Geeks of Color are assuming that the government will try to filter and censor the internet, but they realize it's a task that only a machine could do, and are using tricks to foil the machine.

(This NYTimes article, appearing a week later, seems written to describe exactly our techie friends)

Egyp7 has long been one of the most important markets for used and repairable computers.  There's a saying in the "e-waste" reuse trade, that if you find a discarded computer with Egyptian handwriting on it, don't bother trying to repair it, as it could not possibly have been discarded without good reason.

During the past ten years, I've directly or indirectly exported hundreds of thousands of used computers.  Pakistan, Dubai, Egyp7, Malaysia and Indonesia have been, taken together, the largest market (Dubai is a free trade zone used for Iran, Iraq, and other markets with high trade barriers).  If you consider Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and Cameroon as Islamic
countries, that's a much larger market than China.  If you consider that the Chinese "white box" manufacturers are selling primarily to the same countries, it is no surprise that the Arab world is online.

The doctors, engineers, nurses, commercants, and other people who rely on used and refurbished computers were at the top of their class - like the tops students I had in Cameroon.   I see a life or death struggle for democracy and hope.  I see dictators fighting to draw down a curtain on the internet.

Oh, the poison thing... witches brews, toxic trash, etc.   Hand disassembly of E-waste is safe, and if the boards are not soaked in acid or burned in a fire, there's nothing that a well trained tech cannot do to properly recycle it, given the right incentives and guidance.   The hyperbolic depictions of the TV and computer as filled with poisons and toxics serves only the people who raise money on the fear, and the people who raise the bar on the internet (dictators), and the planned-obsolescence interests fighting the white box and gray markets.

Getting doctors and medical students online will quickly lead to clean, proper recycling techniques, a larger market for new equipment in emerging economies, and better functioning democracies.  The bit about Iraqis and Arabs not being culturally a fit for democracy is contemptful... Americans said the same thing about Japanese.  Cross culture changes the flavor of democracy.  But irregardless, it's better to give them more choice of companies to import from, not fewer, if the concern is truly quality.

I hope others will join me in my quest for fair trade recycling, for fair trade with tinkerers and repairers and Techs and Geeks of all nations.   Exports of e-waste is definitely a huge opportunity for clean up and improvement.   But trying to close it down with boycotts and shredders is cruelly idiotic.

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