The new Akron, built on the site of the leveled buildings, refused to be a graveyard. The people who’d flocked to it to rebuild after the army and the mercs and the guardsmen had joined returning locals to build new kinds of buildings, advanced refugee housing straight out of the UNHCR playbook, designed to use energy merrily when the wind blew or the sun shone, to hibernate the rest of the time. The multistory housing interleaved greenhouses and hydroponic market-gardens with homes, capturing human waste for fertilizer and wastewater for irrigation, capturing human CO2 and giving back oxygen. They were practically space colonies, inhabited by some of the poorest people in the world, who adapted and improved systems so many other poor people had improved over the disasters the human race had weathered. The hexayurt suburbs acted as a kind of transition zone between default and the new kind of permanent walkaway settlement, places where people came and went, if they decided that Akron wasn’t for them.
“We really like the situation we’re in,” Glenney says. “It gives visibility to the context of people with disabilities. It keeps them ‘in the market’ of ideas, so to speak. Our symbol is most successful when it’s not fully legal—when there’s lots of wrinkles and questions.” As long as conversation channels are open, he says, there’s still the possibility for change even greater than the simple replacement of one blue and white sticker with another.
I really loved this whole series on building an iPhone from spare parts. There’s a great energy running through @strangepartscom and the Shenzen markets:
That’s why you never hear politicians talking about ‘citizens,’ it’s all ‘taxpayers,’ as though the salient fact of your relationship to the state is how much you pay. Like the state was a business and citizenship was a loyalty program that rewarded you for your custom with roads and health care. Zottas cooked the process so they get all the money and own the political process, pay as much or as little tax as they want. Sure, they pay most of the tax, because they’ve built a set of rules that gives them most of the money. Talking about ‘taxpayers’ means that the state’s debt is to rich dudes, and anything it gives to kids or old people or sick people or disabled people is charity we should be grateful for, since none of those people are paying tax that justiﬁes their rewards from Government Inc.