Waste and Desire

I’m realizing that one of my next projects is going to be to probe the questions around the creation, maintenance and disposal of computers. I love computers. I love using them and I think that the technology, blogging and all the other new communication tools we have are really good not just for society in North Atlantic countries but for the well-being of people throughout the world. I can learn much more about Haiti by paying attention to Global Voices than by listening to NPR. But I’m really ignorant about what it take to make my technology [3,000 gallons of water to make an ounce of silicon?] the sources of the raw products [coltan, which is basically controlled by a paramilitary group in its country of origin] and the disposal of old computers [to china in big toxic heaps?] If I want to own this many computers and use them this much I’m going to need to know more in order to be a more responsible citizen. Part of this comes from reading Adam Greenfield’s note on his book Everyware.

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