There we were immersed in an article about recycling electronic waste. It occurred to us we hadn’t used the words tech and trash in the same phrase before but technically there’s trash in everything. One company claims to recycle 95.3 percent of what it collects. We feel so much better about the world because of them.
And that’s when things started to get hairy. A little bullet point, sidebar mentioned that 65 million computers, 99 million televisions sets and 126 million cell phones are yet to be recycled. How’d they know that? Who’s been cruising our basements and garages? But it didn’t take the rocket science part of our brains to figure out that they simply got the statistics from sales data. Subtract the number of electronic items received for recycling from the number purchased and there it is.
Knowing this, we set our brains ticking about the amount of data we leave out there. The great Buddha advanced the idea that all life is suffering. We don’t often take issue with renowned spiritual leaders but we’d like to advance our own idea that – all life is data. Beyond the stuff on social networking sites, there’s the cell phone, the debit card, the GPS system in your car and the list goes on. Call for pizza delivery and your hard to find phone number makes someone’s data list.
Even if you made a bold attempt to live off the grid, carrying actual dollar bills in your wallet, taking public transportation and the like, you would need to move to a rather remote part of the world to avoid the ubiquitous cameras in stores, parking lots and the like. Remote parts of the world are fine but they don’t hold any charms for us so we’d rather take our chances with the data trail. And we’ll try to recycle our electronic trash soon.