By Darryl Lick
Post Contemporary Consumer Forensic Anthropology (PCCFA) is the study of the immediate artifacts created from exhausting the perceived value of a consumable commodity, including forensic analysis of such objects in an attempt to ascertain what place/function/value the commodity had in the life of the consumer and why it is no longer useful or valuable, ownership rejected.
This study tries to include only objects that were abandoned without any expectation that they would be recycled or otherwise reused such as ‘gifted to the street’ items like books, clothes or anything that would not go directly to a landfill. These items can contain much or more of the original information of the product consumed in that the consumer imparts their own ‘fingerprint’ (haha) to the examined object (consumer demographics, habits, etc.) as well as the OEM encoded info (composition, function, place and manner of manufacture). One trend chronicled post anthrax scare in 2001-2002 was that 26 months later Cipro started showing up in a few ‘upscale’ dumpsters (Cipro is an antibiotic that is supposed to protect against bacteria like anthrax and has a shelf life date of aprox 2 years). Highly touted in the mainstream media, Bayer AG sure made out well. transforming Cipro into the most sought-after pharmaceutical since Viagra. (some high government officials supposedly began taking Cipro weeks BEFORE the USA weaponized anthrax germs were discovered in the post-Hmmm… ) Was the appearance of this PCCFA in the trash of the well-to-do related to the terror scam?
Another example could be the proliferation of discarded electronic devices from TV/computer/phones to wifi Internet of things dog poop scoopers. Moore’s law suggests that the complexity of of quite a few of these devices will increase at near expotentality. What becomes of the obsolete?
When laptop computers started getting better in the late 90′s the desktops started showing up on the street. Not so much anymore. Maybe people caught on to the fact that Computer circuit boards have gold and other precious metal traces in densities comparable to mined ore.
When LCD monitors became widely available there was a proliferation of toxic CRT monitors dumped on the street. Now the trend in this area seems to be flat panel screens LCD and LED, although most of the LCD screens examined still function…
A recent discovery has shown that most advanced microprocessors manufactured in the last 20 years (in computers , smart phones and most everything else containing a microprocessor that uses “speculative execution”) have an unrepairable security defect baked into their silicon (haha).
Will this be a new tsunami of E-waste when all these machines are replaced?
A different case is jetsam found in the street. This researcher’s most commonly discovered items now include: gloves (3 to 1 right handed), used condoms (don’t pick those up), lighters (40% are functional), money, phones, and of course the ubiquitous cans, bottles fast food trash, ciggy butts and plastic bags. Interestingly, now in CA, marijuana accouterments are beginning to show up, plastic baggies, bottles and tubes, plastic blunt wrapper packaging and dumped tobacco contents.
Yet another example is food production. In the United States alone it has been estimated that that 30-40 percent of food production is tossed before its intended application (getting munched).
What is the ownership of these objects? Who owns these things once the perceived value is depleted and they become regarded as waste, garbage, rubbish, trash. Who owns the pollution, and environmental degradation due to ‘outsourcing the cost of production’?
The illusions of ownership and commodification are some of the foundations of capitalism and imperialism made manifest usually through violence or threat thereof.
Are the discarded artifacts of 10,000 years ago that different than the artifacts of 10 minutes ago? Who ‘owns’ any thing really? The oxygen, the water, the earth, the universe?
Nature seems to have evolved interlocking systems of life cycles where one organisms waste becomes another’s essential resource. When a group of organisms outstrip their input of these essential resources or produce more waste than can be consumed by something else they tend to starve or drown in there own shit like the yeast that lived in your beer. Did they ‘own’ the sugar? Will worms ‘own’ our silly arse’s when there time comes?
I’m sure if the reader just stops and takes a good look around, vast and fascinating fields of PCCFA’s to examine can be discovered on hand!
The forensic anthropologist seeks to construct models of life and values from the debris of the distant past. The PCCFA tries to do this for the immediate past with the after effects of consumption and over production. Also, its a good line to lay on the a$$* getting in yer face for exercising a right to the commons.…
So remember kiddies, when the man or some mindless trash talk’in capitalist consumer tells ye “git out of dat garbage scumbag!!” tell em “I’m with the PCCFAS and you can go take a flying fuck to the dumpster on the dark side of the mooooon!!”
To the trumblers!!!
Viva la trash!!