Technology- a blessing and curse


After watching the Bucknell produced version of Mike Daisey’s monologue, “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”, I want to reflect on one question. This question is “does his monologue become more effective the more I listen and analyze, it or does it become repetitive allowing me to find deeper meanings?” Honestly I have not come to a solidified conclusion about this question.

Daisey clearly exploits the horrible conditions of the Foxconn factories, but the play brings the reality that many people are ecstatic to be working at places like this. These factories offer them the opportunity to escape poverty back home and move to the big city, where the neon lights shine the brightest. We wouldn’t understand this because of the giant social gap that we see as basic social rights, but this is a superficial analysis of the situation. The lives that we live are mediated by technology and that is something that becomes more and more clear every time I listen to Daisey’s monologue. I become more upset that I give into the trends of technology and Steve Job’s ability to force upgrades. The quote “being in love with Apple is like being in love with heartbreak itself” really stuck out to me during this play. That quote really hits the nail on the head. Not only do we face heartbreak when we hear stories like Foxconn, but also every time our phones or computers don’t function in the exact way we want them to or a new software update doesn’t quite meet our expectations. The realization I have come to from this quote is that it’s pretty pathetic that these heartbreaks (the conditions of Foxconn and flaws in our devices) are on similar levels despite the dramatic difference of severity. One thing I am sure of  is that I think everyone needs to reanalyze what Daisey is communicating to us. Perhaps he is not just communicating these terrible conditions and Apple’s lack of concern, but also the sad truth that we are OBSESSED with technology. Although we are creating opportunities for the people in China by buying them, we need to re evaluate this addiction and not give technology the power. The play made me come to the realization that we often give technology the power it has. For example, by putting extra software on our computers we are only making them more powerful. In a way when we buy more Apple products we are giving the workers more power by creating the need for jobs in the factories and giving them the opportunity to be employed. So is our obsession with technology a blessing for some?iphone

Let the obsession continue…introducing the iPhone 6

Dhiram Shah Fareastgizmos.com

I leave this post thinking Daisey communicates so many more issues then just the working conditions. Despite the fact that they violate basic social rights imagine how worse off these people would be without any jobs at all? As we continue to feed into the demand and success of Apple when will we feed into closing this social gap and supplying these workers with not just opportunity, but also the right to a socially just life?

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6 thoughts on “Technology- a blessing and curse”

  1. Interesting remarks– I think it is true that we are way too obsessed with technology, especially the iPhone 6, to really care about what is going on within the confines of Apple. And yes, I am sick of hearing Mike Daisey incandescently smear Apple.

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  2. I really like your point about providing workers “with not just opportunity but a socially just life.” I believe this must be the ultimate goal of worker’s rights in countries where manufacturing is such an incredible industry. People really look at this point as black and white, either the workers receive the opportunity to work or they receive a socially just life and no job. However, this simply is not the case. We must delve further into the issue and problem solve how to come up with a compromise.

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  3. I enjoyed the picture of the man celebrating purchasing his treasured iPhone 6. I cannot fathom why people decide to camp out for the new release of a product and have so much joy from the HUGE (sarcasm) upgrade from the iPhone 5s. Its comical because with Moore’s Law, even the newly released iPhone 6 will be just a memory from the ‘stone age’. Yet, it is not just these Apple fanatics that feed the demand of Apple. I am just as guilty, while I may be delayed in my purchase. After reading your post, I considered the question you posed, “As we continue to feed into the demand and success of Apple when will we feed into closing this social gap and supplying these workers with not just opportunity, but also the right to a socially just life?” Sadly, I think the answer is that consumers won’t be the agent of change that provides these workers the right to a socially just life. If left to the market, things will continue as they are without government regulation or a radical change of ethics by the majority of consumers.

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  4. You bring up a good, and very much under- appreciated point: the idea of our unhealthy obsession with technology. It has become marginalized by the more emotionally appealing sides of the story (narratives of Foxconn workers, etc) yet it is one of the most powerful elements in the story. Our obsession with technology, in this case Apple, has lead us to a point of severe desensitization to anything that gets in the way of technological innovation. One thing was consistent across each of our week 1 blogs: We were horrified by what was reportedly taking place at Foxconn, but it wouldn’t prompt us to ditch our iPhone or MacBook. Our obsession is far too great for that. Foxconn as it is today exists because of our obsession with technology. Its processes are centered around one thing: efficiency. Each atrocity, or horrific aspect of Foxconn is in place to get you your new iPhone or new Macbook faster. What’s unfortunate still, is that our obsession is almost incurable, and perhaps a situation like Foxconn then is too.

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  5. I think you can start to think about helpful uses of technology versus less helpful or distracting.

    Small example, TAL is a radio show. Digital playback technology means that so many more people could hear the podcast. Helpful?

    If you or others feel addicted or obsessed with devices and the information they provide, then let’s address that in more concrete ways. Small changes in behavior may have big impacts. Turn off your phone for an hour here and there. Walk from point A to B without ear buds in. Read a physical book or newspaper.

    Small steps can lead to big journeys over time.

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