Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Origins and the Moral Ethic

A few weeks back, I was listening to an incredibly fascinating episode of This American Life. It dealt with issues of technology and Apple, labor practices and social (in)justice. Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory contains a remarkable monologue from actor, author, commentator, playwright, and general layabout Mike Daisey. I know what you're thinking - "Great! Just what I need...a boring monologue." It is, however, anything but boring. If you're even halfway interested - heck, in ANY way interested - in where your gadgets come from and under what conditions they are manufactured (and we all should be), I beseech you to listen to this hour-long episode. It will grab your attention and start you thinking about things that may make you uncomfortable. And that's OK. You can't help but think! Maybe you will even go out and get tickets to one of Mike's performances (I sure wish there were some in my area). You can even grab it as a podcast and listen to it on your uber-techy iPod or smart phone on your bike/bus/train ride or walk to work! It's well worth the listen. 

After you listen to it, let me know what you thought about it? Will you change your consumer buying practices? And if so, how? Will I change my practices? I sure like that new Android smartphone and have been lusting after the new iPad for some time...but I'm not sure I can pull the trigger. Would buying it used make any difference, from an ethical standpoint, that is? Does it matter that all these electronics, when they've worn out their newness and the latest gadget comes along, get recycled...but not in the way you think? Shouldn't we, as consumers, be more concerned about all of this? And change our purchasing habits? After all, would you want the waterway in front of your house to look like this one in Nigeria? I sure wouldn't. 
I have to go now...and ruminate on how I can change my buying practices whilst still keeping up with the Joneses and the latest and greatest gadgets (I'll probably have to come to the realization that it may not be possible). I'd love to hear your thoughts, too...

1 comment:

  1. And a great followup piece by ABC's Nightline and article by Mashable: