I first must address the way in which Mike Daisey told this story. He did an incredible job keeping the listeners tuned in and on their toes. It was thought provoking, funny, and intellectual all in this one piece. He also did a good job at being open-minded rather than biased. The podcast pointed out the good and bad. It told a story rather than bashing a company. The piece was not infuriating or moving to me but rather eye opening. We hear all of these horror stories about child labor laws and how kids work long hours in factories. We also have images from television or movies of tightly packed Chinese work lines with thousands of people doing monotonous jobs. But, at least for myself, these were always just made up or stereotypes that I believed were not true. Daisey made these images real by telling his experience. It’s amazing that workers are made to stand, put into dormitories like sardines, and work for possibly 24 hours straight. It is a reality that is so far removed from our world.
It’s true that I have hardly ever thought of where the products I buy com from. I am more concerned with how they are working, how much they cost, or what they do for me. Our products are simply products to us. But they are actually many hours of intense work from people that are not as well off as the people using the products. After listening to the podcast I see how that is self-centered knowing that it put together by hand with extreme detail.
I would really like to see a follow up on this investigation. It would be nice to hear what Daisey thought in a few years if he returned. I am sure it would be much harder for him to get an inside look after revealing the harsh conditions in the factory however. It would be cool to see if progress has been made on living conditions and safety standards for workers. Those two issues would not be too difficult for the major tech companies to fix considering how much capital they have.