I found Mr. Daisy’s “story” about his quest to find the origin of his Apple products extremely enthralling and interesting. The reason I referred to it as a “story” in quotation marks is because although Daisy’s trip to China to find out where Apple manufacturing products was completely real, he weaves the series of events in an extremely riveting way that makes you feel as if you are listening to a grand adventure. Daisy began as a simple Apple user curiously asking Siri where she was from, and by the end he has become spy-like, pretending to be a large businessman in order to gain insider access into these extremely private and gigantic technology manufacturers. Along the way what he gains in knowledge of the manufacturing of his technology, he equally loses in innocence and blind-positivity towards the Apple brand and how his favorite products come into existence.
While I knew that the working conditions in these factories were appalling and terrible, that was not enough for me to be able to visualize and comprehend how bad it truly is. This is where Daisy’s storytelling really helped get his point across, by illustrating these conditions through first-hand accounts as well as statistics. One encounter that really stood out to me was when Daisy talked to the old factory worker who lost use of his hand due to having to repeat actions constantly in his role in manufacturing iPads. Despite spending so much time manufacturing iPads, the worker has never actually interacted with a working iPad or seen how it functions. Daisy then takes out his iPad and hands in to the man to play with. The man’s reaction is simple: he finds it to be like “magic”. This interaction was astounding to me, as it shows both sides of the Apple product experience. This man represents the production of the Apple product experience and how horrible it is for workers, but even the worker himself realizes how amazing the technology is. I saw this as a validation of our ignorance towards the horrible production conditions: if a man who was physically scarred making iPads can appreciate its functionality, someone continents away definitely will be able to despite the working conditions in which it is made.
A final theme that I found interesting in Daisy’s story was the “loss of human touch”. One quote that stood out to me was when Daisy talks about how although more products are being made by hand nowadays than ever before, there has been a loss of “human touch” on these products. Production by humans used to involve personality: people built things that they loved and “put themselves” into their items. Now we have reached a state where humans have become mechanized and robotic when producing goods, used simply because they are cheaper than machines and can be replaced easily (as seen in the insanely high 10-20% monthly turnover in these factories). Finally, while Daisy talks about the loss of human touch in products, I saw the conclusion of his story as a humanistic discussion about the loss of a human connection. Daisy has a moment of reflection with his translator, Kathy, where they both realize how these working conditions they have heard about were so much worse than they thought that they can not believe they are real. Living on a different continent and getting to experience these fantastic products has caused people to turn a blind eye towards helping other humans. We have distanced ourselves from these “other people”, simply for personal benefit of obtaining consumer goods. Overall I extremely enjoyed Daisy’s story and found it to be unsettling in a good way, confirming that he was able to get his point across.