Author Archive

thanks all, and stay in touch.

by cindy

hi everyone!

sorry i won’t be able to join you all for the final class of the semester.  i really enjoyed sharing the course with all of you and look forward to seeing all of your final forms in the weeks to come.

if anyone wants to stay in touch beyond the class/semester, my email is:

and then of course there is the time wasting, bytes wasting space of facebook!   i’m on there, you can just search for my name and i’ll come up.

good luck to all on your final weeks of the semester and i hope you all have a fantastic summer.

take care,



IMF implications in developing nations

by cindy

S.O.: great job last night.  if you are interested in learning more about the IMF policy impact on developing nations – in particular local food production –  you should check out this documentary about just this topic in jamaica:

it is extremely informative on the topic and very well done in general.




by cindy

Finally watched this movie last night.  It is really great.

In its own way the film covers so many of the ideas that we have discussed in class over the semester: the practice of gleaning, the process by which waste policy can be formalized by outsiders, the contents of trash as a reflection of a culture’s ideas and values, trash as the great equalizer (the trash of the rich mixing with the trash of the poor), the social judgements projected upon those who process our garbage, etc.   It leaves the attentive viewer with a lot to think about on the topic of waste management without becoming a didactic work on the subject.

Of course the film is equally about the transformative power of art and the evolution of the artist through the process as well.

The narrative reminded a bit of the Oscar winning film “Born into Brothels”.   While uplifting on one hand, Born into Brothers had did have some problematics around the lens in which it was observed, ie: western white eye goes to Indian brothels, uplifts street kids through art, sells art to rich white people.)  Wasteland is a bit less problematic in this regard since the subjects are adults (less inherently exploitable) and because they are being observed by a native of their culture and background.   I appreciated that aspect of the film making as well.

It’s worth a watch for sure.

when there is no such thing as too much information

by cindy

more info = greater productivity

or so at least according to one study:

Team E-Waste Inquiry #3: Digital Sorting

The digital information stream is growing by zettabytes annually.  From the formal to the informal, from the productive to the wasting, data surrounds us at all times and requires that we engage in a constant process of sorting the valuable from the waste.  Digital sorting involves mechanical processes such as saving, deleting, searching, filing, archiving and tagging as well as mental processes of consciously attending to and ignoring.  In some instances the process of sorting is the primary engagement mechanic behind consumption (what email to read, what channel to watch, etc.)

 How do you sort and discard digital information?  How much time to you spend sorting relative to consumption?

e-greenwashing, or right actions?

by cindy

google announces that it plans to invest $100m in a wind farm in oregon.

this follows an investment a couple of weeks ago in a solar energy venture:;txt

both of these possibly to offset at some measure the carbon footprint of its ginormous server farm in the dalles, OR.


Team E-Waste Inquiry #2: Immaterial E-Waste

Team E-waste is not only looking at the material waste streams of our electronic culture, but the immaterial waste streams as well.  Our question/s to you all on the topic if immaterial waste processing is/are below.

Wasting immaterial resources can seem more abstract, but perhaps you can share stories or reflections on how digital culture can be a waste of time and attention?  Does money seem material or immaterial when shopping online?  Do you use the web to discard (trash) or store (junk) less or unproductive excesses of information, such as old bills, emails, songs that you will never delete nor listen to, old pictures? Is electronic junk or even garbage in some sense an improvement over carrying LP records or CDs, encyclopedias, and photo albums around?

On the flip side of “getting rid of” there is “hoarding”.  With so much immaterial e-waste around us, we are by no means getting rid of it all.  From long ago received emails, digital photos, documents, text messages from your ex on your phone – much of this waste stays with us for reasons logistical, emotional, metaphysical.  Tell us what you are e-hoarding and why.