"Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory" Where Apple Products Are Manufactured

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    Jan 09, 2012 11:54 AM GMT
    Mike Daisey was a self-described "worshipper in the cult of Mac." Then he saw some photos from a new iPhone, taken by workers at the factory where it was made. Mike wondered: Who makes all my crap? He traveled to China to find out.

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

    It's an hour long show about a guy going to China and sneaking into factories to see what there is to see.

    Mike Daisey talked with a factory worker who cleans iPhone screens, so he pulled out his iPhone and said to her that she may have once cleaned this one but we'll never know. She then took it from him and wiped it on her pant leg and gave it back to him. icon_smile.gif


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    Jan 09, 2012 9:15 PM GMT
    Does anyone here listen to This American Life regularly?

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    Jan 09, 2012 9:23 PM GMT
    Chaax saidDoes anyone here listen to This American Life regularly?

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    Not regularly but I do like it. I support NPR financially but forget to listen to it, as ridiculous as that sounds.
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    Jan 09, 2012 9:53 PM GMT
    Me too, I just happened to hear this show yesterday on the radio. It's depressing but I'd like to hear the rest of his performance.

    I thought This American Life was not affiliated with NPR like other shows broadcasted out? Sometimes it's Public Radio International, PRI?
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jan 09, 2012 10:06 PM GMT
    I'm surprised Apple hasn't tried to take some kind of legal action against him. Apple banned an app recently, after ok'ing it, that gave a satirical look at mobile phone production.

    Apple Bans Phone Story Game That Exposes Seedy Side of Smartphone Creation
    Apple has removed an iPhone app called Phone Story — a darkly satirical mini-game collection that exposes the ugly side of smartphone production — from the App Store, perhaps after realizing that the subject matter hit a little close to home.
    ...
    The game was approved by Apple (unlike the Android Market, every app that is submitted for release on iTunes is thoroughly checked and tested by the Cupertino gatekeeper) and hit the iPhone App Store on Sept. 9. But on Sept. 13, Phone Story was taken down and banned from sale.


    But then again Apple is against satire and all about censoring information and technology they don't like icon_neutral.gif
    Jobs Rewrites History About Apple Ban on SatireSteve Jobs dabbled in a bit of revisionist history onstage at the AllThingsD conference Tuesday, saying that Apple had fixed its iPhone store ban on political cartooning before political cartoonist Mark Fiore won the Pulitzer Prize, an honor that came just months after Apple rejected his app for “ridiculing public figures.”

    Jobs’s swing at the ugly case of Mark Fiore appeared to miss and, instead of clearing the air, left the broad subject of Apple’s vetting media apps as murky as ever — and provoked the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist anew.
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    Jan 09, 2012 10:24 PM GMT
    Chaax saidDoes anyone here listen to This American Life regularly?



    Long time listener. Usually streaming from the TAL website.

    It's one of the most consistently brilliant things on the planet.
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    Jan 09, 2012 10:45 PM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    Chaax saidDoes anyone here listen to This American Life regularly?



    Long time listener. Usually streaming from the TAL website.

    It's one of the most consistently brilliant things on the planet.


    My favorite episodes are the personal history ones.

    When a young girl and her little brother just leave their mom for the summer and pretend to visit this family's beach house; I think they just stay on the beach. The mom doesn't question it and she never finds out ever; she's too senile now to even understand.

    Or the deserted house left intact by it's former occupants mysteriously.

    Or cramming as many stories into an hour as they possibly can. One of the stories was a fight to name a puppy Pasta or Batman. These two boys kept arguing and then the mother said, "Stop. It's PastaBatman." That's the whole story! LOL

    "Living Without" was a great one. The speaker talks about her gluten-free existence.

    There's so many!
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    Jan 09, 2012 10:49 PM GMT
    Anto saidI'm surprised Apple hasn't tried to take some kind of legal action against him. Apple banned an app recently, after ok'ing it, that gave a satirical look at mobile phone production.




    Yes, that's strange. They just don't care about one little man? Or maybe they can't do anything legally. They didn't wish to participate in this TAL Radio show.

    There's more to the monologue about Steve Jobs I think, but you'd have to buy a ticket to hear it.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jan 10, 2012 1:42 AM GMT
    I don't think that would stop Apple from suing or threatening to sue at least. Maybe they are afraid of the bad PR it might create if they were to give it that kind of attention.
    Recently Apple threatened to sue a company in China over it's creation of Steve Jobs look-alike dolls:
    Apple threatens to sue makers of uncanny Steve Jobs action figureIn Icons received a letter from Apple that threatens legal action. Apple believes that it owns the rights to sell Jobs’s likeness, and wants In Icons to stop production immediately.
  • zackmorrisfan...

    Posts: 300

    Jan 10, 2012 1:51 AM GMT
    Yikes. 13yo employees at the plant? That sounds... not so great. icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:24 AM GMT
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:34 AM GMT
    I listen to the podcast every week. I thought this week's episode was their best since The Giant Pool of Money.

    I used to be one of those guys who oversaw social compliance for a company that manufactured in China. It was depressing. Child labor, non-existent worker safety, minimum wage is a joke, overtime doesn't exist. The factories all keep two sets of records so that they can show the compliance people they are paying minimum wage, OT, etc, but nobody really is. The dormitories are squalid. All of the major manufacturers and licensors know what is going on, but they just want a report that shows they checked and everything is almost okay. I was glad to get out of that business 10 years ago.

    I've read the stories about Foxconn and wish there was another way to get all the wonderful devices without resorting to that sort of inhumane manufacturing. I'd even pay more if suddenly all the jobs were shipped back to the U.S. or China at least played on a level playing field.
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:56 AM GMT
    It brings to my mind Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle, about meat packing and its disreputable practices in the past. Maybe if we ate our iphones and gadgets like beef and poultry things would change faster. icon_rolleyes.gif

  • johndubuque

    Posts: 319

    Jan 10, 2012 6:56 AM GMT
    I often listen to This American Life, and I did hear this episode. I wonder if it's worse than he was able to find out.
    I think the best point he made was that when people talk about removing regulations from business, we don't have to imagine the results, we can see the actual results in factories like this. American businesses would do the same things without government regulations.
    This should be required listening for Republican politicians, but I know they can't be bothered with facts.
  • johndubuque

    Posts: 319

    Jan 10, 2012 7:01 AM GMT
    Chaax saidIt brings to my mind Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle, about meat packing and its disreputable practices in the past. Maybe if we ate our iphones and gadgets like beef and poultry things would change faster. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Remember that The Jungle was mostly about the terrible working conditions of immigrant workers in the slaughter houses, and only mentioned as a side note that the meat was often unsanitary. But the laws that were passed after that book were only about keeping the meat sanitary...politicians didn't care about the conditions of the workers.
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    Jan 10, 2012 7:14 AM GMT
    Yes, the relationship between the consumer and the producer aren't so strong as to be noticeable. The translator even had a hard time believing all of the stories at first.
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    Jan 10, 2012 7:20 AM GMT
    Chaax saidDoes anyone here listen to This American Life regularly?

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    I dont but I'm very familiar with the show, last 2 semester I had to write bunch of papers on their radio podcast for my economic class, such a horrible time icon_sad.gif
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    Jan 11, 2012 10:08 PM GMT
    I listened to the show this morning, spooky. Slave labor making all those popular products. I wonder what all the liberal mac fanboys do when confronted with the problem of supporting child slave labor. 12 year olds making Mac products? Must make them want to throw that Ipod away.
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    Jan 12, 2012 12:50 AM GMT
    smartmoney saidI listened to the show this morning, spooky. Slave labor making all those popular products. I wonder what all the liberal mac fanboys do when confronted with the problem of supporting child slave labor. 12 year olds making Mac products? Must make them want to throw that Ipod away.


    It's not just Mac, there are many companies that make products in that city. Apple is just picked out because of its preeminence.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jan 12, 2012 6:28 AM GMT
    Chaax said
    smartmoney saidI listened to the show this morning, spooky. Slave labor making all those popular products. I wonder what all the liberal mac fanboys do when confronted with the problem of supporting child slave labor. 12 year olds making Mac products? Must make them want to throw that Ipod away.


    It's not just Mac, there are many companies that make products in that city. Apple is just picked out because of its preeminence.


    Apple has brought it upon themselves though because of how they market themselves and treat other companies, users, and developers.
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    Jan 14, 2012 2:09 AM GMT
    "After Labor Criticism, Apple Releases List of Suppliers for First Time"

    http://mashable.com/2012/01/13/apple-labor-conditions-report/

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    Jan 14, 2012 2:37 AM GMT
    TAL is great and Daisey's piece deserves the highest praise any piece of journalism can get - it's important and is making a difference.

    Thanks for starting the thread, Chaax.
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Feb 15, 2012 7:35 AM GMT

    Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/apple-announces-independent-factory-inspections/
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Feb 16, 2012 12:04 AM GMT
    metta8 said
    Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/apple-announces-independent-factory-inspections/


    Because of bad PR?
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Feb 16, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    Anto said
    metta8 said
    Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/apple-announces-independent-factory-inspections/


    Because of bad PR?



    I'm glad that they are working on it. Something needs to be done. It makes me want to buy alternatives when I hear about the stories that I have heard. I'm glad they are taking this seriously.