Radio Derb Is On The Air: Is Your Old Hard Drive Going To Be “Recycled” In China?, Etc.


As a podcast on iTunes, listenable/downloadable onscreen at Taki’s Magazine, or as a transcript here.

This week, in reference to the missing emails at the IRS, I go anecdotal:

When I was back in the U.S.A. earlier this year, I did a little spring cleaning at the Derbyshire estates on Long Island, and found a pile of old computer equipment that needed throwing out, including a complete desktop.

My Long Island township has a dump, and in the dump is a big open shipping container where you can leave electronic stuff you’re throwing out. I drove my old desktop over there and was lifting it out of the car trunk to put in the container when I had a thought. I put it back, closed the trunk, and went over to the guy in charge of the container. What happens to all this stuff? I asked him.

“Oh,” he said, “It’s sold to some firm in the Far East—Taiwan, I think. They extract all the rare elements and reusable components. The township has a contract with them.”

I drove home with my old desktop still in the trunk. An hour later I brought it back to the dump. By now it’s in Taiwan … but minus the hard drives, which I took out and put on a shelf in my basement until the next time we have a bonfire. You can’t be too careful nowadays.

Mind you, none of that erases my email trail. For years now I’ve been using gmail, which lives in the cloud. Does our federal government know about the cloud? Probably not. I bet they’re still using PROFS. (That’s an old mainframe-head joke. Those who understand, will understand.)

The full Radio Derb playbill:

  • Crashing disappointments.  (At the IRS hearings.)
  • Data security 101.  (Mind your hard drives.)
  • The installed base.  (Down with the income tax!)
  • Iraq is the new Yugoslavia.  (Breaking up is hard to do.)
  • Hillary: lead balloon … (The book tour bombs.)
  • … Or Great White Hope?  (After Obama, she’ll look moderate.)
  • Clueless Old Party.  (GOP doubles down on donorism.)
  • Sell Marmite, buy falafel.  (Living in the wrong country.)
  • American jihadis.  (We’ve got ‘em too.)
  • Vulgar Bulgars.  (Wise up, guys.)
  • A coyote would have chewed it off.  (Could have been worse.)
  • Soccer madness.  (They’re going nuts in Brazil.)
  • Flapping ears at the White House.  (Let’s have a little respect.)
  • Another excursion into the Celtic twilight.

It’s all there at Taki’s Magazine.