I’ve been thinking about technology a lot lately and it still seems we’re far too dependent on it for our daily lives — at least here in the West.
Ironically, it seems the bulk of our gadgets, iPods, mobile phones, TVs come from the East. Sweat shops in China, Korea, wherever they can find somewhere that will build these things for the cheapest price.
What’s worrying is the number of stories we’re hearing about workers in these places dying or killing themselves. How much do you want an iPad?
But apparently the iPad factory isn’t the worst place to work – and Steve Jobs says it’s okay. And if we shut it down there’d be no more Playstations or Wii’s, Dell computers (a bad thing?) or anything else remotely cool and gadgety.
I guess this brings me around to the point about how the world economy is tied together now. If I stop buying beans from Kenya, what happens to the farmers there, now we’ve altered their growing cycles to provide green beans all year round? (Okay, I’m quite happy to boycott tomatoes from Israel, particularly lately, but that’s a whole ‘nother can o’ worms).
And as an aside, I’m reminded of the slogan that revives itself every so often in my home country: “Buy American”. Right. How easy is that? Where do you think Wal Mart gets its cheap clothes? It sure isn’t from some factory in the mid west. A quick look at TVs on the Wal Mart website reveals their best sellers are from somewhere else, too (or brands no one would be caught dead buying). So good luck with ‘buying American’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as conscious of global warming as the next guy — I just don’t see what we’re going to do about it without bankrupting these goods-producing countries. I buy local produce where I can, but I know that the chances of buying everything I need in east London isn’t likely. I must have missed the banana plantation near Romford…
So, how much do you want an iPad?