I was very shocked to hear the conversations that Mike Daisey had when he visited the factories in China. In the beginning of the podcast when he spoke of his love for technology in a quirky way, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the rest of his talk. I found it clever and humorous how he referred to his commitment to technology as a religion. This gave me a better sense of the kind of person he was, and what I was to expect from him. I really connected to the talk when he brought up the point about how few Apple users are aware of where in China their goods are coming from. This put me in a different mindset as I finally started to see where the talk was going in terms of social responsibility.
I was surprised to learn the name of the city where most factories are in China. I had never heard of Shenzhen before and automatically felt very ignorant. Learning about the special economic zone that was promised in order to create a modern China was new news to me. I was also very shocked to learn about the amount of workers that work in each factory. I have a hard time conceptualizing 430,000 people in one factory. The way Mike described the factory was surreal to me. Hearing about the suicide nets, the cement rooms to live in, and the amount of bunk beds they cram into one room to the point where they have to wiggle their way into bed. This entire description was unimaginable to me and there was nothing in my life that I could relate to this. I began to feel guilty as I listened to the podcast on my MacBook Pro.
The conversations that Mike referenced in his talk were another aspect that I could barely grasp. The quote that meant the most to me was when he asked one of the Foxcon workers what they would change if they could choose one thing, and Mike’s response was that each person he asked had a confused look on their face and responded “I’ve never thought about that before”. Getting an education here at Bucknell has really taught me to appreciate change. I have often been asked the question of if I had the ability to change one thing, what would it be. This is always one of my favorite questions, as I always strive to improve my surroundings. The fact that it had never crossed through the minds of the Foxcon workers seemed crazy to me as this truly highlighted cultural differences.