Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Hand-made envelope

In Musings on Nov 13, 2010 at 00:01

Yesterday, I got a small cardboard box from India with some geared DC motors I’d like to experiment with. It came wrapped in this:

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Quite sturdy and hard to remove, in fact. Note also the text on the declaration for customs: “Parts” – heh, yeah, that’s all they need to know :)

And it’s… hand-stitched!

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Amazing. I now have this mental picture of someone with needle and thread, sitting in lotus position in the shipping department, in charge of wrapping up all the outgoing packages :)

I find these small glimpses of the cultural richness on our planet one of the most thrilling aspects of doing business these days. Long live human diversity!

  1. I would avoid buying Mrs JC a knitting machine for Christmas, it might start an argument!

  2. And you don’t think this is an example of child labor by any chance?

    • Extra glimpse: In (south-)Indian shops you are sometimes forced to take a bag, otherwise there is “ guarantee..”. India being covered in plastic, we decline anyway. Sometimes you then get a cotton bag. And hopefully, these bags are fair-trade productions.

  3. Okay, don’t buy your children a knitting machine for Christmas, it might start an argument!

    Actually, that’s a good idea, I have an 18 month old nephew, I wonder if his little fingers would be any good for SMD boards… I’ll ask my brother how much they want for him ;)

  4. RJ, probably, but best not to jump to conclusions. Russian post office staff hand sew, and then wax seal, custom cotton sacks for overseas parcels being sent out. Just because most of us couldn’t conceive of it as being financially viable doesn’t mean it’s slavery.

  5. @RJ – hard to tell, but to be honest: you can ask that question for just about anything these days…

    FWIW, TED has a very interesting presentation by Auret van Heerden, about fair trade and fair labor.

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