Defining E-Waste Racism: Part III Caste Irons

I'm on vacation and so I'm not interrupted, as I normally am.   That's good and bad.

Before posting the next part of my Marlow-inspired (I've just finished Joseph Conrad's 1902 work "Heart of Darkness") rant on the people who illogically criminalize contact between rich and poor, I thought I'd post this link to a morning story on Romeo and Juliet -in India.

As the USA celebrates the Loving v.Virginia interracial marriage, which was an imprisonable offense during my lifetime (and an annual theme of this blog), the growth of cities and expansion of information (parents and local society no longer control all the ideas of heaven, hell, and society) has led to inter-caste marriages in India.

BBC Reports on "A Hideaway for India's Rebel Couples", and interviews a woman who married a childhood friend - a barber from a lower caste - and the threats from her family to get a gun and shoot him dead.

I'm thinking there has to be some Stephen Pinker brain evolution behind the fear of intermingling.  But just as used computers sold Egypt made it stronger (democratically, by weakening the sick and weakened ruling class), diverse genetics make our species stronger.

Finding a case where marrying a lower caste turned out badly... that was the main enforcement in Virginia prior to the Loving marriage... threats of how badly in might turn out.   That's the tactic trying to keep companies like mine from negotiating terms for the sale of capacitor-plague boards, which can have the tiny caps replaced by a smart kid with a soldering iron.

File:VingtAnnees 258.jpg
No, we don't do ivory or pentium 2
BAN has made the case that replacing that tiny capacitor is illegal (it's not), that replacing the tiny capacitor is     dangerously toxic (it ain't), that it's a "ruse" to burn the capacitor or boil it in a primitive acid bath (nope), and that by keeping the bad capacitor boards in the USA and shredding them we create more jobs (nope...  I employ just as many people in de-manufacturing, but add a job to sort the PCs by board type).

So the next tactic is show completely primitive Africans burning (old outdated, mostly Ghana-generated) computers in trifling amounts, to make us feel the risk that maybe, just maybe, THIS is what is really happening when Robin negotiates a separate price for 3.2ghz dual core Pentiums with bulging cap heads.  Or the HP Blackberry... remember HP's detailed instructions, how to cut off each capacitor on the power supply (all the ones in the diagram were working, which makes them candidates to replace with the bad caps... what a coincidence they must be removed in a way that ruins them).

How do we know, for sure, that the African is going to repair the capactitor board.  Perhaps, just perhaps, they are going into the Agbogbloshie wienie roast.

2012 Little Rock Primitive
But... If that were the case, why does the African refuse 1.6ghz, or for that matter, why refuse a Pentium 2? A Pentium 1 has more gold and copper in it than the PCs the purchase order accepts... if the Boogey Man Recycling is really behind the African Fly-and-Buy, why bother flying over to cherry pick and eliminate the ones with more scrap value?  He could save his money and have an even bigger fire, and pay less for the entire load.

Here is my brother in law Jay working to fix a bulging cap on his plasma television in Little Rock, Arkansas.   He's white, which is a good sign, but he's in Arkansas, which is 49/50 on most USA lists for "proximity to non-OECD" statistics.

It looks a lot like the young man I photographed doing the same work in a slum in Lima Peru.

This is racist BS.

Why is no reporter or journalist working on the story?

Geek of Color, Lima 2012
The CBS 60 Minutes crew were spoonfed a story by a man who has no credibility, whose story fails, a priori, before you ever make the trip because his numbers don't add up.

His story doesn't explain the actual buying and selling practices of fly-and-buy.

He has brought down respected NPR and PBS organizations, wasted the time of Terry Gross, and now has well meaning young film makers like Fedele spending their money flying around and filming a tiny sliver of the export business and posting absurd 200,000 tonne figures upon it.

This racist poison has taken down Greenpeace.  It has led to the actual arrest of Africans, it has set back the Arab spring as PCs are seized at ports in North Africa.

It has taken away the best jobs you can hope for in the developing world, the repair and reuse and "tinkerer blessing" which led to Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and other resource-starved nations which are the opposite of the "curse of natural resources?"

Why am I the only person writing about this?

We tisk tisk at India for enforcing caste marriage, we exhale with relief at the end of Apartheid, we fret about   the integration of Sunni and Shiite, we sign "touche pas a mon pote" in Paris and we expel Greek Olympic tweeters who make fun of Africans with West Nile virus.

But when it comes to E-Waste, we applaud people who are telling a lie and using pictures to support a law which bans trade with SIX BILLION PEOPLE, and which takes Americans assets - the used devices worth billions of dollars, and tells us we are Stewards if we shred them.

I'm thinking "Steward" in the Robin Hood story, the theives who pursued the lands abutting the Abbots.

This thing stinks, it stinks to hell, and I'm not a professional writer.   It should not be left to my rambling Marlow Heart of Darkness chants, my techspeak vocabulary.   The ban on trade between rich and poor is wrong, and using race-scare photography to nudge out the gray market is inexcusable.  We need to rescue environmentalists from this Roots Kunta Kinte Toby-ization of the geeks of color who fly to buy based on Megahertz, RAM, hard drive gigs, and display screen type.  They aren't burning them, you dolts.

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