Zen of Arrogance: Confessions of a USA Recycling Madman

"Might as well be me"
If you've followed this blog for much of the decade, you know how much "guilt and privilege leverage" I write about, the liability culture within both liberal and conservative "gotcha-ism".  Let me indulge in a backhanded swing, to return the ball to the court of European Recycling Overlords.  Basel is Better?  Or is it a new "infant formula" for Africans?  No, breast is best... and used and repaired goods are best for emerging markets, be they in the Ozarks or Cameroon or Ghana.

The irony of Europe's infatuation with Basel Action Network is that they think they are owning up to their post colonialism. But instead of "environmental justice", they accidentally delivered racial profiling of the talented tech sector.  Once again, USA is less racist, if you can drop the smug confirmation bias.

Case in point.  I used the n-word in a story.  Since it was quoting another person - a judge - who used the word in a sentence to me personally, I've always thought it was fair to leave it in the judge's quotations - that the use of the word impugned the judge. In that context, I'd be making any censorship on the judge's behalf, at the expense of the folks he was impugning (me and some black folk).  But I heard through the grapevine that the Europeans thought it was verboten, and another black mark against exporting fairly.

So let's go there. How does a guy from the Ozarks get to know more about Africa than Europeans do?

In the context of the N-word, I was in Austria, speaking on a panel, and told the story to other panel members (not to the audience).  I was telling them I was on my way back to Ghana and Agbogbloshie, and trying with the story to self-deprecate the part of America I come from.  The story is humiliating, which is a form of humility.

This was some racial tolerance inside baseball.

Fair Trade Recycling [WR3A] Launches "E-Waste Offset" Initiative In Africa

[Middlebury, Vermont May 22, 2017]  Fair Trade Recycling has launched a strategic partnership in West Africa to create capacity for proper recycling of junk "e-waste" devices without impugning, racially profiling, or interfering with the imports of Africa's talented "Tech Sector".

The initiative is based on "carbon offset" models, and is derived from conclusions Fair Trade Recycling representatives arrived at during research in Ghana from 2015 to the present.

Under the new program, African Tech Sector buyers will be rewarded with lower prices for used computers and tech sector equipment they import when they "offset" or "exchange" the tonnage for a similar quantity of obsolete or irreparable electronics taken back from African cities.  The model is patterned after "carbon offset" or carbon exchange models.

For every 50 containerloads of used electronics imported by Ghana's Tech Sector, the reuse shops will take back 10 containerloads of junk TVs and computers which were imported to Ghana two or three decades ago.  And the Tech Sector will pay for proper tools, training and methods - all funded by the profitable and appropriate reuse of newer second-hand products.

The "Agenda Shift" has already resulted in calls from major manufacturers interested in promoting takeback in Africa as a solution to junk buildup.

10 Tools & Techniques To Change the World from the Inside

Here, briefly, is my advice to college graduates seeking to employ social justice and change, and to use their idealism within the economy to earn their own way, make a living, and still change the world "from the inside".  If any famous people are planning Commencement addresses and haven't started, feel free to use this.

Twitter is a good utility. I usually praise it for its "search box", you can find breaking insider news if you ignore the "feed" and search for something.  Amazing links show up.

Another good thing is that forcing yourself to make a point in 140 characters can make for better journalism.

Here are my 10 Techniques to "Change the world from the inside", something my friends told me would be impossible when I left Fayetteville Arkansas to attend an MBA program in Boston.  You can choose something, some industry you want to change, and make a living doing so, and in the process actually alter the way the entire world does and sees things in the industry.

In order (Tweets below posted in reverse order).

Tool #1 Humility.   
Tool #2 Math and Secondary Research.
Tool #3 Psychology (including your own)
Tool #4 Networking
Tool #5 Humor (can combine with #1)
Tool #6 Scout Everyones' Perspective (clients, suppliers, regulators, everyone)
Tool #7 Pacing
Tool #8 Statistics and risk analysis and lifecycle analysis (see #2)
Tool #9 History of the field
Tool #10 Be a good citizen.


"Freemium High": Psychological Reward On Fury Road

Comment Field Social Media Adversaries, Check Your Buzz

This year, I have made a concerted effort to referee the internet.  Crack your fingers, place them on the keyboard, and enter the Fury Road of Comment Field Politics.

It was late. I'd had two glasses of Shiraz. And thought I'd check out Tucker Carlson, Bill O'Reilly's timeslot replacement on Fox News.

Had been listening to MSNBC and NPR side of the "Trump vs. Comey" story, and needed to clear my head of bias confirmation. It's our civic duty to understand both sides of the story. In high school, our debate coaches and senior team members would say "hey, the X high school seniors have a really excellent Negative Debate rebuttal vs. Solar Power, you should go listen, they meet Y team at 3PM"

I've known and somewhat respected Tucker Carlson from his bow-tie days, when he was the anti-populist alternative to Pat Buchanon.  He seemed to be aiming for the vacancy of Ivy League conservative William F. Buckley Jr.  His track record seems libertarian - Turned anti Iraq War (after the 1st year), supported Rand Paul, said gay marriage is a "civilizing force".

Now the abrupt cancelling of O'Reilly Factor put Tucker into the 8PM time slot, with the job of keeping O'Reilly's conservative viewers.  But those are a different age, and a different economic bent than traditional William F. Buckley, Heritage Foundation viewers.

So I was perturbed by Tucker's interview of an advocate for legal Haitian refugees, when Tucker brought up the topic of rounding them up and expelling them.