01 April 2011

Friday Top 5

Last night, the spouse and I saw Mike Daisey perform "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" at Woolly Mammoth. If you're in DC, it is a MUST-SEE show.

A little background: Daisey is a storyteller/monologist who has taken on all sorts of topics in his one-man shows, many of which I've seen at Woolly over the last several years.

In this show, Daisey speaks about his (and our) lust for all thing technological and the human cost it extracts, viewed through the lens of Apple fandom and the history of the company (and Jobs).

This Friday's Top 5 is in honor of the show: the Top 5 Things I Learned About Apple (caveat: other electronics companies are equally guilty, but Apple was the focus of this show):
  1. Most Apple devices are assembled by human hand in Shenzhen, China, where, to quote Daisey: "The cost of labor is effectively zero."
  2. iPhones cost $.84 to assemble. By hand.
  3. Apple devices are assembled using child labor.
  4. There's been a rash of suicides among the workers who labor in sweatshop conditions to make iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs.
  5. Workers who are discovered trying to unionize in China are sentenced to prison. For life.
So what can you do? Daisey doesn't recommend throwing out all your computers (remember, it's not just Apple at fault) and becoming a Luddite. What he recommends is a campaign similar to the one directed at Nike to get them to end sweatshop practices. He also recommends that we all be more thoughtful and aware consumers of technology.

See what Woz had to say after he saw the show.

Edited to add: Woolly just posted the "what can I do?" flier that was handed out at the end of the show online. Yes, I plan to email Steve Jobs this weekend.  

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