Blinded by Pleasure


In “Mr. Daisey and Apple,” Mike Daisey makes several points that forces the audience to think about not only Apple’s behavior, but also the behavior of everyone who owns Apple products.  What I found most interesting was when Daisey explained that he gained so much pleasure from the beautiful technology of Apple products that he never even dared to question where and how they were made.  In fact, he even said that he had a picture in his head of a machine making iPhones.  He had no reasoning for believing this–he simply assumed that there was a flawless ethical process for creating iPhones.  He then explains that the reason Apple came under investigation is because someone bought an iPhone that wasn’t blank, but had manufacturing information on it.  When the iPhone 4s first came out, when asked where she was manufactured, Siri would respond “I am not allowed to say.”  Interestingly enough, when I asked Siri on my iPhone where she was manufactured, she responded, “I was designed by Apple in California.”  This response completely ignores the question I asked…

Daisey then continues to explain how one third of all electronics are made in the city of Shenzhen in China and how the working conditions are horrible with suicide rates through the roof.  FoxConn, the company that manufactures iPhones, had to place safety nets around its buildings to prevent workers from jumping through the windows.  The word “workers” bothers me.  Here in the United States, we would refer to them as employees.  However, the term “worker” implies that those people’s sole purpose is to work–not to live and be members of society.

As I mentioned before, what caught my attention most was Glass’s claim that he was blinded by pleasure.  This concept reflects not only the ethical issues of Apple, but a much bigger problem in our society.  It is a problem of justifying bad behavior.  We, as human beings, have a way of making excuses that put us to sleep at night.  Yes, we enjoy fruitful lives in the “land of the free,” constantly consuming and disposing of products.  It is an addiction.  We enjoy shopping and consuming so much that we don’t even want to know what the consequences of our actions are.  For example, my wardrobe consists of an unbelievably unnecessary amount of clothing.  Most, if not each and every article I own was hand-made by a person who is just like me.  Yet I don’t spend my days hacking away with a sewing machine with my hands slowly approaching the pain of arthritis.  After reading about the conditions at FoxConn, I feel that we need to make a change and accept lower levels of extravagance so that people in other countries can live better lives.  There needs to be more of a medium.

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3 thoughts on “Blinded by Pleasure”

  1. I agree that there needs to be a change in society, but I don’t think it has to be about the extravagant lives we live. Companies are competing against each other. They want something extravagant so that it will appeal to consumers. I think the real issue lies with outsourcing.

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  2. I have never thought about comparing the word “worker” and “employee” before reading your blog post. I agree with you about the fact that giving someone the label of “worker” boils them down to a robot without a soul and takes away their personality. Yes, maybe they are forced to work like robots, but could the main cause of this problem be how we perceive these Chinese “workers”? If we as consumers, and corporations like Apple or Dell, started seeing them as “employees”, would there be a change on the way they are treated?

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  3. I do agree with the concept of individuals justifying bad behavior without feeling ashamed. I believe our capitalistic society we have created plays a role in way we have shaped the behavior of individuals. A consumer culture has been built encouraging competition between companies to provide cheaper, high-quality product there is to offer. As our society focuses more on the status of an individual, as consumers we are willing to turn a blind eye and make up excused to fit in. There is a need of belonging in our community, which Apple products can provide to various individuals from being accepted in our overall society as well as being perceived as “someone” in our society. Our consumer culture is thrives on the fulfilling the wants and needs our society is creating for them, which is one method companies use to sell their products and maximize profit. How can we start shaping a culture for consumers to think about the kind of consumer goods they are purchasing and the story that comes along with them?

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