Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Post script: Contradiction

A couple more examples, as food for thought:

In his book For the City Yet to Come: Changing Urban Life in Four African Cities, AbdouMaliq Simone describes scenes he saw in Khartoum: devout Muslims hanging out in back lots, drinking alcohol as they arranged used car sales. Simone invokes the example to show how people might deploy different qualifications in different situations in order to create opportunities; ie., shape-shifting brings benefits, and to the people who do it, such transformations are neither contradictory nor solely instrumental.

In a presentation I listened to last week about “shanzhai” (bandit, counterfeit) phones in China, the speaker showed a photo of a tightly packed shanzhai shopping mall in Shenzhen. Someone had unfurled a large banner in the atrium: “Respect intellectual property. Every day is intellectual property day!” it proclaimed. Not quite sure what to make of that one.

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