Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 22, 2015

The Tecnica video is back online

Filed under: Film,nicaragua — louisproyect @ 8:06 pm

In July 2008 I digitized a video about Tecnica from VHS and posted it to Google/Video. This was before Google bought Youtube and when it was a reasonable alternative for longer videos like “Tecnica—at Work in Nicaragua”, which ran for 20 minutes.

I just took a look at my posting of the Google video on my blog that month and was pleased to see the late Roger Burbach’s comment:


Great article and video. You captured the spirit of the 80s in Nicaragua and among those internationalistas to went to participate in a dream.

Drop me a note.

Roger Burbach

I was not so pleased, however, to have learned a few months ago that the video had disappeared. A bit of research turned up the following on Wikipedia:

On April 15, 2011, Google announced via email that after April 29 they would no longer allow playback of content hosted on their service, but reversed the decision one week later to provide users with greater support for migration to YouTube. Google Video was shut down and replaced by Google Videos on August 20, 2012. The remaining Google Videos content was automatically moved to YouTube.

Well, I never got any fucking email from fucking Google because I did not have a Gmail account at the time. Or maybe I had a Gmail account and they never bothered to contact me. In the meantime I had disposed of the VHS tape and was now shit out of luck. Email to the few Tecnica returned volunteers I had contact with turned up nothing.

Searching around desperately, I discovered that a copy of the tape was in the University of Wisconsin’s historical archives for Tecnica—I guess a cardboard box sitting somewhere for people doing research on Nicaragua. I called them up to see if they could send me a copy but was upset to learn from the first person I spoke to that they did not do such things. When I remonstrated with the person about how we had risked our lives in volunteering in Nicaragua (Ben Linder was not a volunteer but our volunteers completed his project), she turned me over to the head librarian who was kind enough to have a DVD made. This is the finished product, hopefully something that will not get lost in a corporate black hole again.


1 Comment »

  1. […] to sit down with a calculator and do all of this manually, including the signature on the check. In the TecNica video, one volunteer recounts how the introduction of a modest computer cut the time for a state-owned […]

    Pingback by An uncommon life in Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — June 12, 2017 @ 6:26 pm

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