Sep 122011

I grew up on the phone. My mom, a sole proprietor, expected me to help with whatever was on. The San Francisco phone book was nearly 10cm thick and I knew how to use it. “I need 8 dozen beeswax candles and the color has to match.” Yellow pages. Candles. Rotary dial. I called every candle store in the Bay Area. They all answered the phone. Handed my mom a report 45 minutes later with […read the rest]

May 292008

No one existed for them who could not be governed by their intentions, Patricia Wiliams, The Alchemy of Race & Rights M.I.T. has recently discovered third world poverty. A number of institutional projects have emerged which endeavor to put M.I.T.’s considerable resources to use in service of poverty alleviation and development. In 2007 and 2008 I had the opportunity to spend nine months doing ethnographic observation of these projects.  As a sociologist of political economy, […read the rest]

Apr 132008

I’ve been writing about the ravages of globalization and peoples’ ferocious rejection of its conditions for a long time. I researched and wrote about the emergence of an anti-globalization movement before the Seattle protests of the WTO in 1999.[1] Now that circumstances are…er…changing, it’s time to get serious about finding alternatives. Thirteen years of avoiding corporations has delivered a detailed knowledge of alternative production and retail. In addition, I’ve been part of the local food […read the rest]