Fair Trade Recycling Visit: Angola - Middlebury 2011

Geek Meets Geek:  Angola and Rhode Island In VT
I've been working on a Memorial Day blog all weekend, but it became a bit of a treatise as I was interrupted along the way by visitors from far away lands - Providence Rhode Island and Luanda, Angola.

This holiday weekend, we have a visitor and "E-Waste" Buyer from Africa, here in Middlebury.  Coincidentally, he got a press interview - A local reporter and photographer were at Good Point yesterday for an interview about Rhode Island, New York, and Vermont "legislated" e-waste contract work.  By introducing Miguel (about whom I'll write more extensively about this week), I was able to kind of personalize this challenge
  • Five years agoour biggest competitors for e-waste recycling work were "sham recyclers", recyclers who undercharged us but were not accountable for much of the material they collected.
  • Today, our biggest competitors for e-waste recycling work are "no intact unit" shredding companies, who imply (or state) that I'm a sham recycler, because I have people like Miguel, Wahab, Hamdy, Fang, Jinex, Oscar, Mariano, Somda, Nikita, and Gordon visiting my home and my facility.

From Angola Vermont WR3A Visit 2011
If Miguel's clients must buy a new computer with a new OS license, Angola will be stuck in a rut. The politics of the laws to stop "ewaste" exporting are, at root, a pawn in a war of "rights" and "ownership".  The non-profit advocates no both sides ("e-waste export prohibition" vs. "fair trade recycling") believe passionately that they are on the side of the poor.  

The memorial day post may wait awhile.  Sometimes when I struggle with one like that, it turns out pretty well (Monkeys Running the Environmental Zoo was tweaked for months).  Sometimes I get restless and post it too early, like the commentary on Boma West's paper (which someone anonymously attacked.  I rewrote it, and then curiously Jim Puckett accused me of rewriting a completely different post, which he commented on publicly, which I vow I absolutely did not alter following his posted comment.  Hmm).

The theme of the longer post is patent exhaustion principle, and my use of video and other peoples content in the blog.  I try to make the case that fair use hinges on adding a philosophical meaning or derivative revolution (which sometimes succeeds and sometimes does not), but at the same time it is about how the internet gives people like Miguel access to what I have access to.  Information, right to speech, etc.
From Angola Vermont WR3A Visit 2011

Nate, from our Rhode Island partner "IndieCycle", was a founder of "FREE GEEK".  It was a hoot listening to Nate and Miguel compare stories about techniques - like backing motherboards in an oven at 225 degrees, just hot enough to re-connect cracks in solder.

Oh, and yes I did know what they were talking about, the ending was for effect.

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