The Power

Awhile back I reblogged a piece from one of my favorite bloggers, Matt Eilar, and he has now posted an update that I hope you read as well. The original piece highlighted a story done by Mike Daisey on “This American Life” and involved a supposed expose’ of Apple and Foxconn with their working conditions in Shenzhen, China. Daisey’s story has now been debunked and retracted. And I make no apologies for why I believed it. I read many newspapers not the least of which are the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and both have done stories on Foxconn and Shenzhen. So they were not unknown to me. But China is immense and still relatively unknown, and of intense interest to those who tend to read business publications or the business pages of a newspaper. Yes, I’m sure it’s of interest to some others, but I doubt few knew the names Foxconn and Shenzhen until Mike Daisey decided to tell a story.

His story is unfortunate in the sense that it’s not reliable, and now Daisey is probably history because of it. How it will affect “This American Life” remains to be seen. But the incident is fortunate in the respect that until a few weeks ago, most people did not know squat about Foxconn or Shenzhen or even thought much about China. Daisey’s story has more than likely changed that. A “real life” friend of mine who had listened to Daisey because of my talk about it is curious about the real story of the labor issue. My instincts tell me she is far from alone. Such is the power of a story to go where no dry news piece ever could — into the imagination and perhaps ultimately into the heart.

One more nod to Matt, and this one is for all of you Apple bigots. It's also a fitting post for the Chinese New Year.

m•tth•w|k•rl

EDIT: This American Life has retracted the episode after Mike Daisey was found to have fabricated some of the information he presented in the episode. Links to clarifying information and my take here.

If anybody didn’t catch last week’s episode of This American Life, “Mr. Daisey and the Factory,” you should listen to it right away. The episode is an hourlong excerpt of Mike Daisey’s one man show, The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs, a timely monologue about Steve Jobs and the working conditions in the factories in China that make most of the world’s electronics, from iPhones to Xboxes.

One thing that I was thinking about while I was listening to the episode was what it means, in this day and age, to be a prophet. Because Mike Daisey sounds like a prophet. I think we have a confused concept of what a…

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Have You Read Matt Yet?

Hmmm, two pieces in a row with a question in the title. I need more coffee. That little bean is the source of about half my clever thoughts. The other half is from reading people who take me on a journey and make me consider or reconsider. One of them is Matt. Originally, I read his blog to hear his thoughts about music, and I’ve stayed to learn much more. Over the two years I’ve been reading, Matthew has been evolving as a writer and thinker, and usually posts something fascinating. The piece today highlights beautiful explanations, and is the perfect piece for me to bring to your attention since I often think of Matt’s blog pieces with that description.

Hope you check him out. And believe it or not, most of my favorite websites have nothing to do with Richard Armitage although I would imagine he would like Matt too.

Note: never saw Matt before I started reading his blog. Just giving credit where it’s due. :D