Apple Podcast Response


The most striking part of this podcast to me was definitely when Daisey was talking about how everything was made by hand.  When I think of factories I always in vision machines doing most of the assembly and the workers mainly monitoring or using the machines, similar to Daisey’s perception of a factory before doing his study.  Thinking of computers and iPhones and all of the different electronics that people use, I am now thinking of all the little parts that make up these devises.  It almost doesn’t seem possible to me that people could put all of the tiny pieces in the right places and secure them by hand, and in such mass quantities.  Now, after hearing the podcast, I cannot stop thinking about how many people but have touched and put so much effort into putting together my iPhone, or my MacBook.

Similarly, one of the parts of the podcast that really effected me was when Daisey was talking to the Union workers and some of the factory workers and he said many people get there hand ruined from doing all the work with there hands.  Because of the long hours and the repetitive jobs that they are required to do, it actually handicaps them and makes their hands not able to function properly.  I find it so unethical that the companies know this is happening to the workers, and they still enforce work hour restrictions.  This is one of the main problems that stood out to me through out the video.  However, I was pleased to hear towards the end that the companies cannot simply fire these employees if they become disabled from their work, and that many workers have begun suing employers that have done this.

Additionally, I found it so interesting that one of the workers that Daisey was talking to, although working and building iPads everyday, was in awe of Daisey’s iPad because he had never seen one turned on.  It is so weird and sad to me that these workers who dedicate the days to building these electronic products, do not get to see the finished product, and cannot afford these products themselves.  Whenever I work on any project, it always give me intrinsic rewards to see the finished product and be proud of it, no matter how much I hated the project.  Although these workers are probably jaded from working on so many of these products, I find it very sad that they never get the reward of seeing a functions iPad or iPhone or MacBook, or whatever other electronic they are working on.  It would be so incredibly hard to be doing the same tedious tasks, with no types of intrinsic rewards, and in such terrible conditions, and this podcast really made me think so hard about this, when it is very easy to overlook or not think of the lives of the people who manufactured the electronics we use.

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4 responses to “Apple Podcast Response

  1. I was also struck by the idea that Apple products are ultimately manmade. I think we have a construct in our minds that since the products are technological, then so must be the production process. I also think that we associate Apple products in particular with sleekness, uniformity, and efficiency, which we associate with a more mechanical, conveyer belt image of production. The saddest realization for me was that this construct isn’t entirely inaccurate, it’s just that the people are being treated as the machines. Unfortunately, when a machine is overworked, it can be repaired or replaced. When a human is overworked, they are left with lasting psychological and physical damage that cannot be repaired, but will certainly cause them to be replaced by anyone among the insane pool of prospective workers.

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  2. I found your point about how the factory workers never even see the final product in action very memorable. I completely agree. I think that intrinsic rewards are some of the most rewarding feelings a worker can receive. This is what usually gives me confidence to continue working. The fact that Daisey says there aren’t iPads or Apple products in China was shocking to me. It it so crazy to me to think that every single product is made there, yet they never get to see the products work or use them. In our society we are so dependent on Apple technology and it has come to the point where many people around us have at least one Apple product if not multiple. To think that in China they can’t afford any of them is so sad considering they are the reason we can afford them here in the US.

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    • I appreciated your comment on the worker with the iPad. We really take for granted how common these devices are in our society. It’s an impactful thing to realize the people who essentially slave over these products all day never get to take advantage of the actual products. It puts into perspective just how jaded we as a society, even about things that don’t necessarily seem that important in our daily lives.

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  3. I agree that it is horrifying to hear of such negligence in the workplace, especially when small changes, such as rotating jobs, can have a profound impact. I’ve read many comments/posts about the responsibility of Apple and other corporations as well as the responsibility of the consumers and society in general. The most evident piece missing here is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens. Where is the Chinese government and why are there no standards being implemented to force change?

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