from the it's-good-to-share dept
As sales of its products soar, and its share price continues to climb, Apple has come under increasing scrutiny because of the working conditions in the Chinese factories where its iPhone and iPad are manufactured. This has led Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, to announce recently that the Fair Labor Association will be conducting audits of Apple’s final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in China.
That tension between the undeniably desirable products and the not-so-glamorous conditions under which they are made powers a monologue by Mike Daisey, entitled "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," which we discussed last month, and described by the New York Times as:
a mind-clouding, eye-opening exploration of the moral choices we unknowingly or unthinkingly make when we purchase nifty little gadgets like the iPhone and the iPad and the PowerBook.
The NYT also has an interview with Daisey in which he makes clear his view that, for all the shiny-toy ecstasy Apple's leader purveyed to the world, Jobs could have done better:
This is someone who had an opportunity to transform the world with these devices and then did. He started as someone whose devices were forged out of piracy, and today it’s the most locked-down computer company in the world. As a capitalist I’m sure that it’s very attractive. But if we’re talking about him as an artist, I’d say that he completely lost track of his ideals.
Given that jaundiced view of "the most locked-down computer company in the world", it perhaps shouldn't be too much of a surprise to discover that Daisey the artist is trying to stay true to his own ideals by opening up his work to everyone, not just to download, but to perform:
after nearly 200 performances, the monologuist Mike Daisey was to release a theatrical transcript of his latest one-man show, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” through his Web site, mikedaisey.blogspot.com. It will be free to download and in a rare twist, if an aspiring performer should want to mount a production of the show, Mr. Daisey will not ask for payment.
Rare indeed. Given Jobs' allergic reaction to letting people 'do what they want' without significant limits or tollbooths, would he have approved?