Defense of Importation of Used Electronics and the Geeks of Color


Tonight I asked AI to summarize the theme of my blog in two paragraphs.

Meanwhile I have had zero feedback or demand for my company's INDIUM bearing panels

War and Peace and the Global South

 This early morning blog is inspired by a couple of Fareed Zakaria analogies posted on X.

Spoiler: It's the Females and Youths, Stupid.

This one with General David Petraeus explains why Israel's Generals are splitting with Netanyahu.  If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. Fareed and Petraeus describe America's success in uniting Sunnis and Shia Muslims in Iraq to counter the tribalist ISIS fear and threat-based war on "western civilization" / imposed democracy.

What America represents, at its best, is an alternative to tribalism. Melting iron and zinc together makes a stronger metal (steel) than either iron or zinc. The America "Melting Pot" analogy of the strength of immigration may well be over-plugged and can certainly be criticized for historical injustices, but it's not "wrong". The resentments of European tribes lasted far longer in Europe than their immigrants to the USA posted "Help Wanted: No Irish Need Apply". 

As this 2015 NYT article explains, in a review of classified ads from 1855 (ten years before the US Civil War, and during Bleeding Kansas), the employment discrimination was not just ethnic, but was also religious.  "Catholic" was interchangeable with "Irish" in job discrimination.  

Where the "Global South" has succeeded, an element of voluntary melting pot has been necessary, and where the north has waged economy-ruining wars - like Russia v. Ukraine - involuntary efforts to end tribes has been bad for everybody.

What brings hope is a future generation of 15 to 25 year olds who can envision post-tribal, post-lingual, post-religious, post-melanin (skin pigmentation) melting. And I am optimistic that the number of interracial, interreligious, intersectual, interlinguist, intertribal marriages are increasing the number of future 25 year olds able to see the potential wealth in places like Brazil and Nigeria.

Should we switch to Substack?

There are still important things that we, in the actual trade in electronics reuse and recycling, can share. But if Google is de-platforming its own blogspot platform, I have to consider moving this entire discussion to Substack.

The risk is that we lose the 30-55 average blogspot views (way down from 2015) and have an unviewed substack. Substack is not showing up in my page 1 Google searches, there's probably a riff (maybe Google is "protecting" blogspot while another wing of the office is killing it?)

And here is your reward for reading this.

Reused solar panels will be tagged with these Avery Labelled stickers, with blockchain tracked QR codes, which Africans can scan with their mobile phones to upload photos - which have GPS location - proving it is NOT IN AGBOGBLOSHIE.


Google Warning - losing 592+ Posts

Well, it was a depressing email in my gmail box this morning.  Google will stop indexing a huge number of posts from this blogspot.

I've always been aware of my mortality, and of the mortality of my ethical recycling messages. I have books on my shelf which are long, long out of print, which are both central to my morality and my thesis, and which I know are unlikely to ever be read again, much less appreciated by mentorees.

But the first one I looked at in the Google Indexing purge kind of stung.

It was from autumn 2009, when I had been a background check source for CBS Sixty Minutes producer Solly Granatstein, about Scott Pelley's notorious "wasted" minutes flying around with's Jim Puckett, who was describing huge imports of CRT desktop monitors (purchased for $10 apiece, bearing only $2 of scrap copper) as being "primitively" mismanaged in Guiyu.

Solly and Michelle Rey had stopped responding to my emails asking them to run a follow up or correction to the story, which had shown no evidence of CRTs processed in Guiyu, despite the claim "we followed the trail".

So I checked that one, and because the film evidence of the factories that had actually purchased the monitors circled by helicopter were posted in picasaweb, a google product offered to bloggers like myself for photo uploads, and Google has since stopped supporting picasaweb, that the blog will no longer show up in searches.  So if you are a journalism student looking for CBS Wasteland's Polk Award on CRT disposal allegedly occuring in China in 2008, you won't find me.

A lot of people I met - "Swordfish" - in my career met me through the circulation of that specific blog. Author Adam Minter for example asked what to look for when he visited Guiyu (the three-story integrated IC chip market - Guiyu was a reuse-of-CPU and chips market, not a CRT monitor refurbisher. And what is upstream of the river where BAN's "samples" showed poisons more associated with textile manufacturing than e-waste). Adam later visited CRT remanufacturing factories. He's a journalist with actual knowledge of recycling. But the blog that connected us is now gone unless Google accepts my correction (now linked to not picasaweb).

But am I going to take the time to re-edit 520+ blogs? I had to find the one on CBS Wasted Leads via the Wayback Machine site to locate it and find the dated address to correct it on blogspot.

Externalization Fallacy: Total Eclipse of the Truth 2002-2020

I recently met someone quite interested in Ethical E-Waste Blog who was 10 years old in 2002. 

Then I met someone who was 5 years old when CBS 60 Minutes broadcast "Wasteland" in 2008.

Both flattered me by saying this blog was "inspirational".  So I guess I gotta keep it up.

I also recently ran across a lot of film camera photos from my first visit to Guangzhou, China, in 2003. That was 21 years ago. It was a Shark Tank worthy experience.  Even if 5-6 blog visitors will find this to be a repeat, there are some new recruits whose minds have yet to be blown. And maybe some readers will be glad for the reminder.

Simon Lin. (Acer, Wistron)

Terry Gou. (Foxconn, Han Hoi Precision Inst.)

Rowell Yang. (Proview, "iPad")

These three men were the head of "contract manufacturing" when IBM, Dell, HP etc. declared that "display devices" were "commodities", not core manufacturing. Sony had, well, "colonized" Taiwan in the contract manufacturing of  CRT displays and now Guangdong Province had been "free=market" friendly thanks to Deng Xiaoping ... Who was famous for being patiently waiting for Mao to die while watching Taiwan and Hong Kong blow the gasket on free market manufacturing.

Used Ford Model As created the critical mass of users in the Ozarks and Appalachia who would vote to pave the roads.

Used VCRs and CRT televisions paved the roads for thousands of TV stations and satellites broadcasting to the "Global South".

Used CRT monitors paved the roads for internet cable investors.

Used Flip Phones paved the roads for 170,000 cell phone towers (2017 estimate) on the Africa continent.

Used Solar Voltaic Panels will pave the way for Africans to reduce diesel-electricity generation.

Despite the obvious facts about electricity access and consumption, the truth about the information and mass communications infrastructure, paved by progress from reuse and value-added repair, by the Tech Sector Auteurs, aka Geeks of Color like Simon Lin, Terry Gou, and Rowell Yang, the West (at least Europe and USA) press coverage of their bright past present and future has been eclipsed by an "externalization hypothesis" - that any capitalist trade between someone rich and someone poor is suspect. 

Imagine the Moon refusing to leave... a persistent, stubborn eclips of the truth...