Author Archive

the information leakage through papers

paper is a medium that delivers information.
many other wastes also do contain information as we read from Calvino for sure.
however, paper contains information very, very precisely.
this article shows such aspect of paper which we found interesting for our project.

Private papers found in trash

Law director not sure how documents got into the recycling Dumpster without being shredded.

MIDDLETOWN — For several weeks, a mound of city documents containing Social Security numbers, phone numbers and carbon copies of checks filled a Dumpster at Smith Park, where they were accessible to anyone.

The Journal received a tip that led to the discovery of countless junked records containing personal information for Middletown residents, along with blueprints, contracts and tax papers.

Most appear to have originated in the city’s public works and utilities department, with a few from the police and finance departments.

City Manager Judy Gilleland said normal records policy calls for documents of that nature to be shredded and not simply thrown away.

“We typically … have the Shred-it company come on site and take care of everything,” Gilleland said. “I don’t know why we would be dumping in Smith Park, other than those are our Dumpsters.”

Law Director Les Landen said he is not sure how confidential documents got into the recycling Dumpster, but he suspects they started in a recycling bin within the city building. Every piece of recycled paper from the city building eventually ends up in the container at Smith Park, according to Landen.

“Somebody made a mistake and threw something away that should have been shredded,” Landen said. “We do have a policy and process for getting rid of confidential and sensitive documents, but that clearly was not followed here.”

While Landen is not sure an incident like this would expose the city to potential legal action, he said it is still “a practice we do not condone.”

“We need to make sure our employees know where the material is going after it leaves their offices,” Landen said. “Sometimes situations like this help us self-check ourselves.”

A similar incident of public information being improperly disposed occurred last summer when attorney William Bowen’s office dumped stacks of business and real estate case files in a downtown public trash bin.

Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2871 or at



The New York City Museum of Complain

Institutional archives are huge. They contain a large amount of documents, photograph, video, etc. Although materials that exist in the archives are not classified as “waste”, it is hard to think that all materials are meaningful or in use. Actually, most of them are forgotten in the storage.

There is an inspiring artwork from the new york city municipal archives.
by Matthew Bakkom.
He looked into the letters that people sent to the mayor of new york city since 17C and published this photography book.

So, among the huge collection of documents, after ‘wasting’ a long time in the archives, Bakkom made this interesting collection of lay people’s voice. (many letters actually address the very problem of waste in the city!)

Slum tours

By Ran

From Packer’s travelogue, I remember that there are many kinds of ‘slum tours’ happening in various places. and I found this article.
Interestingly, the article on guardian points out a part of nyc as slums.





by Ran

Although we live in the age of digital, we still use paper as a productivity platform.

franklin planner

A Waste of Time

by Ran

click the image for larger version

I think the boundary between waste and non-waste has definitely been a huge issue in our class so far.

Apparently, waste has potential for a new creation. However, in this capitalistic society, without *selling* it, a creation from waste is still just a piece of waste. The cartoon I posted exactly reveals the reality.

Gone Tomorrow

by ran

Gone Tomorrow

Roger illuminates the history of waste in New York City since eighteenth century, particularly relating it to the history of industrialization and capitalism. It was an interesting reading that I could witness how waste is categorized by social norms and orders, which we have already talked a lot in the classroom, with concrete examples. Already in nineteenth century, “for the better classes, street waste was a breeding round for disease, a nuisance, and a symbol of social decay.” (Roger, 41) Roger successfully shows how waste becomes a field of class oppression, stigmatizing the lower class and slums.

In addition, Roger delves into the way in which today’s waste becomes waste. I will simplify the mechanism of considering massive stuffs garbage.

Industrialization (Capitalism)

1. Efficiency
2. Consumption (commodity fetish)
3. Social institutions that support consumption and make “efficiency” social norm.

What was fascinating in this article for me was the time waste part. She claims that waste, in capital’s eyes, is lost labor time. It is an irony in today’s world – trying not to lose something immaterial thing – time – produces massive material wastes.

heterotopia – sylvia’s place (NYC LGBTQ Youth Shelte)

by ran

sylvia's place
(Photo: Lucky S. Michaels)

Sylvia’s Place is an emergency overnight shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth, which is run by the Metropolitan Community Church of New York. People who come to this shelter are mostly kicked out from their ‘home’ because of their sexualities.

This place could be an example of “heteropias of deviation,” because their homosexuality or cross gender behaviors were considered to be out of the social norm in their families and communities. As Foucault illuminates, eliminating “abnomality” from the society inevitably creates “other place,” “heterotopia.”