Archive for Base 6: Information Management

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?

junkyard jumbotron

by cindy

brought to you by those always inventive folks at MIT:


clean rooms

A quick follow-up to last night’s discussion:

Elizabeth Grossman in High Tech Trash (2006) on clean rooms, the hub of sub of semiconductor fabrication

(99) Getting Wasted 2.0

RE: contemporary LSD – my guess would be that conscious expanding, extension, nowadays might be those who invest (divest?) their lives, time, energy, feelings, etc into an avatar inhabiting a virtual world(s).

When thinking about information security, the first thing that comes to mind is Wikileaks. Many articles, namely Cukier’s piece “Data, Data Everywhere”, brought up the problem of security that comes along with storing information in cyberspace and the hardware that we use to organize this information. In April of 2010, WikiLeaks released a video of a US helicopter in Baghdad firing down and killing 12 people, which led to the US army intelligent Bradley Manning, who allegedly provided the footage to Wikileaks. Apparently, the blame directed towards a  flashdrive that got into the wrong hands. How easily storage devices with important information on them can be forgotten or lost or stolen. Also brought up the idea of how we think of trash as gone forever, out of our sight, after we dispose of it. In fact, we don’t think of it at all. But what we hardly ever think about is the high possibility of people in Guiyu or other places where our old computers and cell phones are shipped to who go through our devices and have access to our personal information such as old text messages, photos, etc. It brought me back to the film Wasteland where garbage pickers go through our waste and can see what kind of person we are by analyzing the items we throw out.


electronics recycling

You do have to wonder whether some of the companies claiming to be “green” are really that green?  (But I guess ‘greenwashing is really an other topic)  Elizabeth Royte writes in Garbage Land that while following her trash streams and despite wanting to do the right thing and making the extra effort to properly recycle,  she couldn’t be sure that some items still didn’t just end up in landfill or that toxic e-waste wasn’t bundled and sold overseas to countries with lax environmental regulations and a population desperate for jobs.

I came across this place on Sunday for electronic recycling—Mr. Rubbish – on 9th St and Smith in Brooklyn.

While it sounds good  —Per Scholas is a not-for-profit helping technologically underserved neighborhoods like the South Bronx — there is nothing on either Mr. Rubbish or the Per Scholas website saying where/how the electronics are recycled beyond saying that it is done in an ‘environmentally compliant manner’. That doesn’t mean they are not sold and shipped overseas, unlike the 4th Bin that Cindy posted about, which clearly states exactly how and where any toxic materials are recycled.

“With the exception of rechargeable batteries, it is legal for nyc residents to discard electronics in the trash until the year 2015. Recycling electronics, such as cell phones, televisions, and computers (along with rechargeable batteries found in many of these items), keeps potentially harmful materials out of the waste stream and the environment.”  That’s going to be an awful lot of e-waste over the next few years.

So I was thinking last weekend as I was taking all sorts of recycling away by bike (compost and textiles to the green markets, paint to the DSNY drop-off) and wondering how I could carry all the electronics in the basket to a drop-off)  that it would be great if someone came by with a cart  (or something non-polluting?) in the neighborhoods, with the ‘bring out yer metal, bring out yer tvs” approach of rag and scrap collectors of the past. Maybe more people would actually recycle their electronics and appliances if it were easier (without a car, many of the recycling places are hard to get to) and it didn’t cost anything?