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"Social work is hard to do."

Shree and I were standing outside Kali Baba's kuti (hut), talking about Shree's new project.  He and I had been tossing around ideas for the better part of a week and we had a plan worked out, but as Shree said, it wasn't going to be easy.

It's been an interesting couple of days.

 

The Death-Star Platforms vs Co-operation meme is the latest soap-box for the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, academic/punditry division. Uber and AirBnB disintermediate the taxi and hotel industies. They are cold-blooded, VC funded extractive businesses. But we must not misunderstand the re;atove value of their "platform" (the software) in their business model.

An old Nepali friend* and I were walking through the narrow, cobblestone streets of Bhaktapur yesterday when a large blue sign above a shuttered store front caught my eye. “Oriental Co-operative Ltd.”

“That's what I'm talking about,” I said to my companion, pointing to the sign. I've been regaling him about the wonders of cooperative economics for a week now, and he's become familiar with my obsession.

There's nothing quite like traveling in the “third world” to put one's own situation in perspective. I like to flatter myself by thinking that I live a fairly spartan lifestyle, and in the context of the United States it's true. While I try to avoid the conspicuous consumption that often seems to define American culture, and to limit my use of non-renewable resources, these are conscious decisions that I make. Not everyone in this world, however, is so lucky as to be able to get to choose to live on less. Many people are just forced into it.

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