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Who Makes Our Crap?

Last week, I turned on WCPN, one of our NPR stations, while I was in the car and heard the end of This American Life. The segment concerned the conditions under which Chinese workers produce our iPhones and other technological devices. This just after, as I wrote in my last post, having received a new, exciting iPhone for Christmas. Why, I wondered, did I have to turn on the radio just at that moment?

Mike Daisey, a monologist, reports on his visits to Chinese factories and talks with Chinese workers in an excerpt from his one-man show. A self-described Apple fan-boy, Daisey, like me, had never really thought about how his cherished electronic things were made.

On his undercover trip to China, he visited Foxconn sites–a manufacturer of much of our technology. He saw 13-year-old workers. He saw 20,000 people working in utter silence for 12 or 14 hours or more. He saw dorm rooms with fifteen beds piled into small rooms.

It’s a great program. Give it a listen, and tell me what you think.

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