February 06, 2001
I tore my mind on a jagged sky

I went to a teach-in about the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) summit that's coming up. Some activists from Quebec gave a great presentation. More later, but I thought I'd post my notes verbatim, just because I can, and because it'll take me a while to put this into some kind of publishable form. This is more or less what I wrote on my Palm Pilot (w/ keyboard) at the meeting, with links added hastily thanks to Google.


Ethyl: produces MMT, an additive which makes gas more efficient.. but: cancer-causing. Canada says: ban it. Nope. Chapter 11 sez: Ban that Canada posed was "discriminatory". Ethyl *threatens* to take it to tribunal. Canuck govn't backs down, gives Ethyl 20 Million for lost profits.

Methanex: California finds gas additive bad for fresh water, bans. Same thing. Methanex sues, California gives $900 million for lost profits.

Metalclad: wants to build plant for toxic waste. Local officials shut it down, Metalclad sues, gets $25 million for lost profit, builds plant..

Sunbelt Water: fresh water's not a commodity... yet under NAFTA, if water could conceiveably be a commodity in the future (under the FTAA, maybe), then it can sue for lost profits now.

Corpos don't have to reveal tribunals.
Chill effect: fear of getting sued.
Laws aren't being passed, and we don't know that they aren't.

Other stuff: "tourist activism" is unsustainable. "Summit hopping" is inefficient. Activism needs to be local and ongoing.. integrate it into our lives, not just have fun because some well to do activists can afford to. Stay local, yo.

What kind of democracy?

Oscar: targeted for being a part of student strike, political refugee.
Anyone who stands up for rights is harrassed and threatened. Kidnapped by army.

"they ask us things like 'do you advocate the overthrow of the american government', and we have to lie and say no."

colours of resistance - an organization
summit hopping
what moves us
where were the people of colour in Seattle?


Travelling the slow road to getting paid for content.

Jakob Nielsen, whose solipsistic jabbering is starting to annoy me, is featuring a new voluntary micropayment system from Amazon.com on his site.

Looks like it hooks into Amazon's server, and if you have an cookie from them, then there's no login process, which is nice, because with small payments, speed of transaction is essential. I just wish the graphic wasn't so big, ugly, and colour scheme-specific.

Here's the sign-up page. The service is US only. That sucks. The FAQ has some interesting details, though.

A really pressing problem with pageview-based automatic payment (which Jakob advocates): With a little javascript, who's to stop a site from popping up 300 windows and extorting a few bucks from any visitor who happens to drop by?

posted by dru in blog