Charm Offensive

Being charming and being offensive at the same time is tricky.   It's also fascinating, an entire Hollywood genre.

Anti-slavery advocate John Brown may be my hero... he created a space for Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas to work inside.   But if you don't have a popularity guru, and aren't part of a Lincoln-F.Douglas team, it does help to build up chits, credits, and bitcoins of goodwill.  Count your cultural ammo before you embark on something really worth being contrary over.  It's not a secret, but it has to be a habit, like a banker saving interest, or a cowboy counting his bullets.

Sometimes we discover an injustice in our group, and we have to buy or earn attention to it, until we recruit our Great Communicator like Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain, or Frederic Douglas.

Until then, how do we promote justice while remaining acceptably affable?   How do we communicate the need for change to people who aren't really in the business and whose attention we are borrowing?  It's kind of like selling Civil Rights Movements at a Little Rock Garden Club meeting, or Women's Suffrage to a Chicago Country Club, in 1925.

Take note of what you are spending with this Charm Econ earnings report by Sebastian Drake.

13 Characteristics of Likeable People by Sebastian Drake
1. Smiling 
2. Eye contact – 
3. Touch – 
4. Not talking about yourself – 
5. Not talking too much 
6. Empathy – 
7. Not trying to impress – 
8. Showing praise and appreciation – 
9. Never criticizing, ever, for any reason –

10. Not trying to fix other peoples’ problems
11. Eliminate negativity 
12. Never complain –

13. Never impose weakness on others

Maybe we can assign earnings per day to each habit and treat it like a checklist.  Follow these steps, and be less unpopular.  But when is Charm over-rated?

Term Paper Required Reading: Waste Policy Haves and Have Nots

Here are three background reading assignments:

A:  History of the light bulb (Arizona State University INVSEE)
B:  Rapidly Urbanizing Populations Face Unique Challenges (WorldWatch Institute)
C:  Network of Tinkerers - 2007 US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Network of Tinkerers - Bureau of Labor Statistics

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
by PB Meyer - 2007 - Cited by 5 - Related articles
Nov 5, 2007 – Network of Tinkerers: A Model of Open-Source Technology Innovation. Peter B. Meyer, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Working Paper 413 ...

When you fail to understand that "waste" is relative, and you apply the precautions over past waste in present contexts, you would take the used printing press from Benjamin Franklin, you'd take the used RCA victrolas from from Japan Victrola Corporation.

VictorTalkingLogo.jpgThe movement of used goods from "haves" to "have nots" is a story of opportunity.  Sales of working product (USA producing new cars and selling them to Europe) is an exchange from "haves" to "have nots".   Donations of rice to children is an exchange.  Purchase of coffee from a country that has coffee, for consumption in a country that does not have coffee, is an exchange between haves and have nots.

When you study the history of development, and the history of tinkering, and the history of new products, from light bulbs to flush toilets, you prepare yourself to do a better job trading in commerce. Or you can tell yourself that prohibition, boycotts, and bans on commerce are the answer... if you ignore the history of prohibition, bans, and boycotts.

Mercury in Gold Mining in Africa

(Sarcasm alert)

"It's Ok!  It's recycled mercury, from USA lamp recycling.  We're using it to get virgin gold, not recycled gold!  USA lamp recycling (mercury retort) is all sold to us to get gold from rivers.  That's good!"

"It would be bad if we were getting value out of waste.  We get value out of rivers."

"And we don't have to work in a repair job."

Never mind THOSE poisoned children. (article on mercury poisoning of fish from African rivers)  The NGOs didn't photograph THEM.

(Link above to press release on mercury poisoning in African rivers, contaminating fish cultures and fish ponds established by Peace Corps volunteers like myself in the 1980s).

Mercury is used to mine gold.  News alert - it's far, far, far worse than gold extraction from aqua regia "acid baths", which I've never seen or heard of in Africa.   But all the policy debate is about how Africans "might" use acid baths for circuit boards, while in actuality, Africa is the final resting point for mercury which American recyclers spend billions of dollars to divert from our RCRA landfills.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.