“Imports by airplane have a substantial impact on global warming pollution. In 2005, the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables into California by airplane released more than 70,000 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to more than 12,000 cars on the road.” according to Food Hub. Rather than reducing the impacts of food transportation, with 3-D printing we could eliminate them.
“Imagine being able to essentially ‘grow’, ‘cook’ or prepare foods without the negative industrial impact – everything from fertilizers to saute pans and even packaging,” says Homaro Cantu, chef and owner of the Moto Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, who has printed sushi using an ink jet printer. “You can imagine a 3D printer making homemade apple pie without the need for farming the apples, fertilizing, transporting, refrigerating, packaging, fabricating, cooking, serving and the need for all of the materials in these processes like cars, trucks, pans, coolers, etc,” he adds.
Continue reading 3-D Food Printers: A Delicious Solution
Although Daisey wasn’t initially a journalist, he became one once he decide to investigate what happens at Foxconn. He went to a foreign country, interviewed people, and then reported back a story to the public. That is journalism. And Investigative journalism is a daunting task. For one, the journalist must dig really far, including traveling into foreign countries, to find the truth. He or she must then take the ‘factual’ information they found and transform it into something that people will find interesting and want to listen to. These are the sort of pressure Mike Daisey was facing when he decided to twist the truth in This American Life podcast.
Even though This American Life retracted the story about Apple, doesn’t mean that there weren’t facts that went into the story. As is with every sort of published piece of writing, film, or theatre, there is always going to be some subjectivity to it. There is anything that is truly objective. So for anyone to believe that initially about the podcast really needs to reconsider how much they trust everything and see in the media, in magazines, and books. So similar to everything else, Mike Daisey colored this story with his own subjectivity. He really wanted the viewers to grasp what was happening in China and make an impression on them. And as I wrote about in my last blog post, he really was the first person to make an impression on me about Apple and human rights issues. And that was his end goal.
Despite believing that it is okay he twisted reality quite a bit, I do think that this retraction immediately takes his creditability away from his viewers. The average person is going to dismiss everything that was said in that podcast, despite some of it being true. So in the end, he probably made the problem worse by fabricating parts of the story. Did you dismiss everything you heard in the podcast once you heard the retraction? Do you still think that major human rights abuses occur in Foxconn’s facilities?
As graduation looms ever closer, I have been searching through various networks, production companies, and cable providers in an attempt to remedy my currently unemployed status. HBO has most definitely been one such network. Over the years, I’ve known high school acquaintances who have gone on to intern at HBO and enjoyed the experience immensely (as noted by never ending Facebook updates and tweets). Even looking further into employee reviews of working a HBO, the company seems to be a fun and creative work place with a level of prestige in the entertainment world.
As of 2011, Business Insider ranked HBO as the seventh best media company to work for citing that “HBO presents new and exciting challenges for its employees to complete.” More recently, HBO received the seventh place honor for The Most Innovative Company of 2015, according to Fast Company. One of the reasons they have received such recognition is their current project titled HBO NOW, which allows consumers to pay to stream HBO content without having a traditional cable package. The move to reach the enlarging streaming consumer base, makes HBO one of the first television companies to keep up with the digital Jones’s, Netflix and Amazon.
Continue reading It’s HBO. So Original.
The goal for an employee is to work at a great place, where they are respected and can grow their career. On another level, many people want to work for a company that contributes to society in a positive way. But do those two circumstances happen together? And is a company that respects their employees and builds their community always ethical? There isn’t an exact formula to this question, because it’s complex and circumstantial.
Whole Foods Market has been a highly respected since its start. It prizes itself on being focused on a healthy diet and lifestyle. All employees are benefited with 20% off store purchases, and 30%, if they enroll in a healthy lifestyles program. In addition, employees are given memberships to a gym! They hire a range of employees, with 44% being minorities. In addition, Whole Foods was #55 on Forbes’ List of ‘100 Companies to Work for.” Not only do its employees enjoy working at World Foods, many environmentalists praise it for selling mostly local, sustainable, and humane food. On the whole, most people would agree that Whole Foods respects its employees and also betters the community.
Recently however, it was discovered that Whole Food’s Tilapia is prison –raised in Colorado Correctional Industry’s fish farm. The ethical problem surrounding the prison workers is the lack of labor rights and they are paid a meager $1.50 an hour. the question raised by many stakeholders is this socially responsible of Whole Foods? Also, does this one act make it unethical? In my opinion, Whole Foods is still socially responsible. But this incident definitely shows the true colors of Whole Foods, if they can earn more profit (the tilapia is cheaper to buy) then they will, even if it means they are cutting some ethical corners.
But the real question is how many times can a company cut ethical corners, until it is unethical? Whole Foods never openly stated where the tilapia was from because of loose federal regulation on prison farm products. So the company figured that customers would never hear of the true origins of their tilapia. In addition the company responded to the tilapia issue by stating, “no other national grocery store or fish market has standards like these.” Therefore justifying their actions by showing that although there practices aren’t ethical, they are more ethical than all the other markets. This is similar to Apple stating that although they had labor rights issues, they are better than most other technology companies. Just because one company is ethically better than rest in it’s industry, does that automatically make it an ethical company?
My father has bought almost every single Apple product since 1982, when he bought the Apple II Series. My very first interactions with technology was all Apple based. I played dozens and dozens of educational games designed for the Apple machines at home. When I had to start writing essays in the 6th grade, I would always end up with an essay full of weird programer language because when I tried to print on Windows Machines at school, they weren’t compatible with the Word I had at home. So indeed, my family has long been part of the Apple cult before Apple was even popular.
So for many years, I didn’t really understand or acknowledge any of the problems associated with Apple and their manufacturing plants. The worst I had heard was in the environmental studies class about how the raw materials in iPhone were very unsustainable. It was until I listened to this podcast did I really become aware of the problems associated with my beautifully sleek, white and gold iPhone that I carry religiously everywhere I go. And even bigger than that, my iPod, my iPad, and my Macbook Pro. It seems that all these electronics I use everyday are tainted with these issues.
Foxconn treats its workers not as people, as means of production. They over work them with long shifts that can reach up to 34 hours. Foxconn also has cafeterias and dormitories. These workers are force to live and breathe Apple (well and other companies). Mike Daisey reported that many workers suffer from major problem brought on by chemical exposure. Some of the workers are very young. In addition, the facility has had an “epidemic” of suicides. That is how miserable the working conditions are. They are physically and mentally taxing. And all of these problems are associated to my laptop, my phone, my tablet, and even the computer I’m writing this on.
Daisey acknowledges that Apple does put some effort into their human rights issues in these plants. They pressure Foxconn to follow a set of ideals and audits them to make sure they are in compliance, which they are always. However it doesn’t seem that ending their relationship with Foxconn is a option. So as a consumer how can I make a difference? Giving up electronics made by Foxconn would also include HP, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, Dell, Nokia, and Panasonic products. So how can I make a difference without giving electronics entirely?
This week’s blog council consisted of Jordi Comas, Luke Vreeland, and Will Owens. We really enjoyed going through everyone’s posts and comments and we hope you like our theme change. Before announcing what we thought were some of the best posts, we thought it could be helpful to give some general feedback:
- Should be informative but still hook the reader
- Tying the title back into the end of the blog can be a very effective literary technique
- Good job getting to the point
- Comments can be broken up into smaller comments if they are distinct points
- Proofread your posts before submitting!
- Example: This American Life should be in italics
Everyone did a great job, but here are a few posts that we thought stood out:
Featured Picture: Mike Daisey
This week, I listened to the Retraction episode of This American Life. I found the characters involved in the podcast to be more interesting than the topic they were discussing, and my blog post will focus on this aspect of the podcast.
Mike and Ira are two very interesting characters, and they are now forever connected. This post will analyze my emotional reaction to Mike’s apology, as well as my thoughts on Ira’s response to Mike’s apology.
Mike has a unique, deliberate speaking style full of uncomfortable, thought provoking pauses that truly give you the sense that he choses every word he says carefully. This same style that makes him such an interesting, attention capturing, thought provoking monologuist makes him very unlikable when he comes back on the show during the retraction episode. To say that it is his speaking style that made him unlikable in his return to the show sells himself short: it is his refusal to admit that he duped Ira, and duped the public that makes him the most unlikable. His speaking style simply exacerbates the frustration a listener feels listening to Mike defend his journey to China. I am honestly surprised he would return to the show if his message was going to summarize to the following in my opinion: he admits that he deceived listeners to make them care, but quickly, proudly, and loudly points to the fact listeners now care! They care! and that matters more to him than the fact that he deceived them, which I did not like.
A quick point on Ira’s reaction to Mike’s retraction. He did not take very kindly to Mike’s retraction, and I don’t blame him because I didn’t either. However, isn’t this the best thing that ever happened to Ira’s show? Mike’s original podcast was the most downloaded podcast ever of This American Life. And I firmly believe that the followup podcast amounts to “there’s no such thing as bad news” as a boon to Ira’s show. I wonder if his on air anger at Mike is supplemented by an off-air appreciation– one that he would never admit to Mike– that Daisey’s monologue on his show and the circus that followed was the best thing that could have happened to Ira: it did not damage his journalistic integrity, and created a huge boon of interest in him and his show.
I found the “Retraction” podcast very interesting for a few reasons. First, I found it strange that This American Life would spend an entire hour framing Mike Daisey as a liar. To me, it was somewhat unprofessional to use him as a scapegoat in this way, rather than to use the work they had paid for and broadcasted in a positive way. By this I mean that instead of bashing his claims, simply clarify that what was said was an act of fiction BASED on true events than an act of journalism. While in some parts they did just that, I think the overall tone of their podcast was meant to shame Mike Daisey, rather than clarify a confusing situation.
That said, I feel that there was absolutely fault on both sides. On one hand, Mike Daisey should never have positioned his story as journalism due to his lack of proof and frequent use of exaggeration. Continue reading Sacred Trust
Mike Daisey is an American author and actor, most famous for his monologue “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”. This American Life host Ira Glass has now produced two episodes on the subject, the first containing Daisey’s monologue, and the second retroactively exposing the inaccuracies of the first. Glass apologized for endorsing and reporting Daisey’s embellished story, explaining that journalists have an obligation to report facts- something Daisey’s story was apparently lacking. Daisey agreed that misleading the public is wrong, but argued that his monologue was art, not journalism. His goal was to make people passionate about the very real labor problems going on in China, and he thought that would be better accomplished by reporting what had been happening, even if he hadn’t seen it himself.
I don’t have an issue with Mike Daisey’s “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” monologue. Although the story is routinely embellished, if not completely made up, it accomplished its goal- to get the public thinking. As social commentary, the monologue is great. My problem with it arises from Daisey marketing his piece as journalism, a view that Glass shares. Art and journalism are two completely different beasts and should be acknowledged as such. A journalist should report the facts. Ideally, they would be free from biases and focus on informing the public as accurately as possible. Art, on the other hand, is much more open to interpretation. There is no “wrong” art in the same way that a journalist could be wrong. Art is used to express feelings and emotion, something Daisey did quite well. However, when he went on This American Life and discussed his “experiences” as “fact”, Daisey attempted to blur the line between art and journalism- without the public’s knowledge.
While I disagree with Daisey’s conduct ethically, and logically comply with the idea that journalism and art are different, I cannot refute that there is art in journalism. In describing the epitome of a journalist earlier, I used the key word “ideally”. In reality, and in concurrence with the technological boom of the past two decades, journalism has devolved into a competition to see who can create the most eye-catching headlines or tell the people what they want to hear. Generally speaking, I think mass media still has the ability to be a trusted news source, but it is not currently the case because of the merger between art and journalism. Daisey gives a perfect example of this mentality. There is truth in what he had to say, but he felt the need to dramatize it to increase public reception. In doing this, Daisey created a moving piece of art, but not a piece of journalism.
After listening to This American Life’s Retraction episode, I was still severely unsatisfied with Mike Daisey’s justification. After all, Ira Glass and the TAL staff made it abundantly clear to him the purpose of their show, and that everything he said “must live up to journalistic standards.” Yet through his own twisted moral compass and complete disregard for integrity Daisey chose to lie to millions of people anyway. Last week, I claimed that Mike Daisey did more harm that good to his cause by lying about what he saw at Foxconn. He discredited himself and everything he was trying to raise awareness about. I also could not bring myself to blame Apple or hold anything against them for the alleged conditions at some of their suppliers. This week, not only do I stand by both of these statements but the Retraction episode only strengthens by belief in them. Continue reading Daisey’s Failed Shot at Redemption