It is in this new age we live in that questions regarding the ethics of expansion will come to light. The irony, of course, being that the people considering this ethical debate can remain blissfully unattached to it. I am, perhaps, the perfect example of this. As I write, trying to determine my relationship with technology or the effect Mr. Daisey’s monologue had on me, I sit nestled under a blanket, typing on my own MacBook Pro with my iPhone 4 resting by its side like a faithful companion. Two Logitech speakers transmitted Mr. Daisey’s words to me, because I like my volume just a tad higher than what my MacBook Pro allows, and when I fall asleep tonight, it will be after reading part of a book on my brand new Kindle I got for Christmas. Yet, I am the one, sitting, weighing the horrors occurring in Shenzhen against the benefits of an expanding technological era.

 

It is no wonder then, how so many people can remain so delightfully ignorant towards the plights of those who build our magnificent products. Because the products themselves are, in fact, so beautiful. While I cannot pretend to know the inner workings of any of my Apple gadgets, if the outside is any indicator of what is underneath, it is magical. Their sleek, silver exteriors seem effortless, and it feels as though you are part of some grand presentation the first time you see that tiny apple light up. Surely, something so sleek and effortless cannot be associated with something so tragic? Which is why so many people remain in the dark.

 

Even after stepping out into the light, we do not truly belong because we will never share in the same experience. It is a rare case that Mr. Daisey ventured to visit the actual location. Rare, that the images online so profoundly pushed him into action. Yet, I note, not enough to make him get rid of his Apple products. This is where the true question lies. We are in an age where questions about the ethics of expansion are emerging, but in the end, they are only theoretical debates. It has been shown that the costs of making Apple products in the United States are unreasonably high. So where can we go from here? The images coming out of Foxconn’s factories present a picture of life I would not wish on anyone.  Yet, I can’t pretend that I will stop using the technology that has made my life so much easier. No one recommends giving up their current situation, limiting themselves to a single Apple product, or downgrading to the previous generation.

 

Which is why I can think about this dilemma all night long, but in the end, do I really have any right to? And if I don’t, then who does?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2012/01/25/the-real-reason-the-u-s-doesnt-make-iphones-we-wouldnt-want-to/

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3 responses »

  1. lwt003 says:

    I liked how you mentioned how Mr. Daisey visits the factories in China, yet still refuses to give up his Apple products. Doesn’t that make him a bit of a hypocrite? He goes around essentially bad mouthing Apple and corporate America and yet he freely uses their products. He is reaping the benefits of companies like Apple, but still pretends to have the moral high ground. I would be curious if other individuals would still use Apple products after visiting the factories. One must assume that if conditions were so bad, a visit to the factories would immediately make you want to throw away your iPod.

  2. mbc014 says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing. People put on this act, this false face of shock and horror and demand action must be done while they tweet their frustrations on their iPhones. I think this hypocrisy stems fro m the fact that we live in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but most of us believe in helping those of us less fortunate as well; for some, this breeds a sense of false guilt. We are also generally taught to believe in cultural relativism, to respect other people’s beliefs, customs, etc. but then we turn around and try to impose a universal code of ethics on the world. It is like the age-old debate of whether a cutthroat capitalist can be a good person as well. These combatting ideologies leave us confused and paralyzed, like we discussed in the Sociological Imagination; we feel uneasy but don’t know what to do.

  3. cjt017 says:

    I think it is interesting how you pointed out how many of us if not all of us share in Mr. Daisey experience.Everyone who has learned of the ill conditions of workshops producing our technology, now has the responsibility to do something about it. However, we do the same as Mr. Daisey we stay comfortable with our apple technology and point the finger at apple for being so inconsiderate to the people who suffer the harsh conditions in the work space. I think your point that if we are not willing to abandon these products we so love what right do we have in talking about such issues is right on point.

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