Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th May 2010 11:45 UTC
In the News Now this is a subject I've been tiptoeing around for a while now, not entirely sure what to do with it: the suicides at Chinese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Instead of acting all morally smug and superior from my comfortable rural home in one of the richest countries in the world, I want to talk about two things journalists and bloggers should really stop focusing on when writing about this story: Apple, and the suicides. Wait, what?
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 26th May 2010 12:20 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

A young kid moves and gets a job hoping to make it big; they soon realise that the dream they wish to live is so far out of reach that any effort would be futile. Some unfortunately find that the life of being on the never ending treadmill so depressing they take their own life. What one see's in FoxConn isn't something new - it happens all around the world. The illusive 'dream' being sold like a carrot dangling on the end of stick; some keep running on the treadmill hoping to one day they'll be able to reach, others lose hope and commit suicide whilst others jump off the treadmill entirely and realise that the dream they're being sold is that - a dream thus find other things to aim for.

The suicides we see is the result of a dream and false hopes being sold around the world which propels consumerism forward at the relentless pace. As long as the economy keeps growing, the plebs get their gizmos, they can upgrade their car, go on pointless holidays, and spend spend spend, that seems to be the culmination of humanity to this point. It is pretty depressing when you start thinking about how much time is wasted but I doubt things will change anytime soon.

If I was a little younger I would be optimistic that maybe one could change the world but being older, more cynical and exposed to more people has woken me up to the same reality that Bill Hicks and George Carlin realised earlier on about humans. There is a reason why I am a misanthropist - the way people conduct themselves keeps re-enforcing it each and every day I am alive.

Reply Score: 17

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by bnolsen on Wed 26th May 2010 12:43 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

talk about nihilism. Not every single hire is detined for the floor. To handle that many people requires managers, infrastucture, skilled maintenance crew, capital purchasing, etc. There are some people left behind here but also more than a few who are able to do well for themselves. What would these 400+k folks do without these jobs?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by Kyuubu on Wed 26th May 2010 13:03 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
Kyuubu Member since:
2007-09-07

Some people left behind? I'm afraid it's the other way around, some people manage while the majority strive. Even if the suicide problem is statistically hard to prove, I'm glad Thom didn't occlude the fact behind it; we live everyday on other's hard and barely-rewarded work, simply because the almighty economic model allows us to do so while keeping our conscience clean.

But I'm not as pessimistic as others seems to be (maybe younger, too?). After all, we can all do a little something against this false dream that keeps spreading around, especially in our "richer countries" where we have much more time and freedom to think this through, where most of us aren't suffering from the lack of money on an everyday basis. And it begins with such articles.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by vodoomoth on Wed 26th May 2010 13:24 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

/begin massive OT

[...] go on pointless holidays, and spend spend spend.

- I wouldn't say that holidays are pointless. They just fail to fulfill their purpose, or, more accurately expressed, people fail to use holidays in a way that yields proper rest. Debatable.
- The "spend, spend, spend" motto also occurred to me when I listened to podcast #25 a few days ago, with Thom, Kroc and Mike talking about computers built in the 90s. "Built" like in "built to resist". Same thing when I heard about Android 2.2 being released just a few months (4.something to be precise) after 2.1! Devices running 1.5 or 1.6 are still being sold at this moment in France, probably elsewhere in the world as well, and I thought "with these manufacturers who don't want to support previous generations of devices? Come on!" I don't mean to hamper innovation, economic growth, etc., but consumers have other rights than the gladly-granted right to spend money for overpriced so-called revolutionary products (yes, I'm specifically referring to Apple here, but all other manufacturers are no different; they are very good at "sucking", so to speak).


If I was a little younger I would be optimistic that maybe one could change the world but being older, more cynical and exposed to more people has woken me up to the same reality that Bill Hicks and George Carlin realised earlier on about humans. There is a reason why I am a misanthropist - the way people conduct themselves keeps re-enforcing it each and every day I am alive.

You've gone a step further than me on the "being a misanthropist" thing. I've come to realize and accept that everyone has (and must have!) their own interest in mind before anything else. But I still have the illusion that one can do so and yet be decent.
/end OT

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by lucas_maximus on Wed 26th May 2010 13:33 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I normally don't agree with many of your comments ... but I wholeheartedly agree with this one .. chapeau

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Neolander on Wed 26th May 2010 13:47 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

If I was a little younger I would be optimistic that maybe one could change the world but being older, more cynical and exposed to more people has woken me up to the same reality that Bill Hicks and George Carlin realised earlier on about humans. There is a reason why I am a misanthropist - the way people conduct themselves keeps re-enforcing it each and every day I am alive.

We mere individuals surely can't globally change the world. It's actually a blessing that the average isolated human being hasn't such a global influence, otherwise the berserk ones would quickly lead us to a rampage.

However, I still think that we mankind can change some unpleasant things on a local scale, and that if we did only that on the time we usually spend running after some unreachable grandiose dreams of making coconut grow on the Groenland, we could actually make our world a better place.

There's no such thing as breakthrough changes, but incremental changes (like global warming =p) do exist, in my opinion, and history of science tends to proceed according to that law too. Maybe I'm still too young though.

Edited 2010-05-26 13:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by lucas_maximus on Wed 26th May 2010 22:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The thing is if everyone thought they are on their own and they cannot change anything themselves. I am sure that none of the freedoms that first world nations enjoy today would exist.

If you are against something and think a certain way... there are always people who think along the same way ... It is finding them and convincing other people to think the same way as you ...

For example I am very pro-cycling ... All I did was cycle to work everyday, I did nothing else except just cycle to work and people were asking me about doing it... and then did it .. and some are very committed to keeping it up for life ... I did nothing except for cycling every day and say why it benefitted me ... I did nothing else and I encouraged other via that ...

just keep educated people.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by razor on Thu 27th May 2010 02:56 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
razor Member since:
2010-01-13

Nicely written, and completely agreed. This whole "american dream" thing is the biggest scam ever pulled in the history of the world.

kids (western and chinese) were taught from the very beginning of their lives to work hard and chase fame, wealth, and power. the truth is some poor kids do make it while most do not. but almost everyone tries. suicide (depression and many more issues) are by-products of this social behavior.

check out this link, it sums up my points exactly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Lebow#Price_Competition_in_1955

Reply Parent Score: 1