Apple: Big Brother Incarnate (Part II)

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on Saturday, 16 June 2012 in Hairy Eyeball On...


Apple: Big Brother Incarnate (Part II)

by:  Collapse Network Staff



(click image above for video)

In Part I we discussed in depth Steve Jobs and Tim Cook's big picture for Apple and how they plan to monopolize the electronic information universe.   

In this second part, we will answer the following question:

So how has Apple implemented this big picture?  And what are the costs?

The ways Apple has gone about trying to implement its grand design has led to suffering around the globe.   Let us count the ways...

Apple is a known outsourcer of high-paying American jobs to slave-wage labor in China.  How many people lost their livelihoods so that Jobs, Cook, et al could increase their already nice profit margins.   Suicides are rampant at Apple factories in China.   You would consider committing suicide if you were forced to work 6 days a week, 12 hour shifts, for $17 a day, with no security, and if you complained you would instantly be replaced with someone worse willing to do it. 

The situation has gotten so bad that to stop people from killing themselves, the factories have installed netting around the claustrophobic dormitories where the Chinese workers live.  That's right; they live in cramped dorms with many to a room, not at home with their family.  This is so that the laborers can be quickly summoned on short notice to work 12-hour shifts 24 hours a day.

This type of flexibility/abuse is something that Americans used to tolerate before WWII, but we figured that slave-wage labor was no longer suited for us.  We demanded better pay, shorter days, safe work places, vacation time, and unions were the ones to make this happen.   However, at some point, we have decided as a nation that mistreatment was just fine for our Chinese brothers and sisters.

Would you work under these conditions?  Should anyone?

The problems are much worse.  In order for Apple to rapidly and exponentially increase in China it needed access to cheap and quick energy: coal-fired power plants.  Apple did not want to wait for cleaner alternatives, and why should they?  China is the industrial wasteland of the world.  It is a place where the Western powers have exported their pollution to.  

It has become so bad that Apple was ranked as the tech company with the worst environmental track record.  The report does not take into account all of the pollution generated by mining and transporting raw materials to Chinese factories.  Nor does it account for shipping the final products around the world to the pristine looking Apple stores and their approved retailers.   I am not so sure people would be so eager to buy Apple products if they were shown the ecological damage that it took to make them.

Apple's attack on privacy is well documented.  And Siri, Apples new iPhone personal assistant, and soon to be found on every Apple device, was designed to send private data to Apple's servers.  There is no way to turn this feature off without completely turning off Siri.  In an Apple world it is all or nothing, either you use this incredible technology and give Apple complete access to your private information OR you don't get to use it at all.  Now that doesn't seem very user-friendly.  

On top of that, now Apple is making it essentially impossible for an average person to upgrade and maintain their apple products.   This is Apple tightening the noose around consumers to force them to buy new products instead of upgrading their older ones.  This is an aggressive, and expensive (for the consumer) pressure tactic.

Now why hasn't all of this negative publicity hurt Apple more?   Money.  Apple is too profitable to sanction.   Apple is one of the few stocks breathing life into the stock market.   And while many look at GE, Exxon, and BP for dodging their taxes, Apple is up there with them.

So Steve Jobs and Tim Cook have created one of the worst polluting, privacy invading, human rights abusing, outsourcing, and tax evasive company in recent history.   These are the costs that it took to make Apple the most profitable (remember that word) company it could be.

And Apple thinks new token headquarters, with architecture plagiarized from the Venus Project, is supposed to make us forget everything.  As if some trees and a few solar panels are good enough to make up for Jobs and Cook's behavior. 

Now imagine if Apple partners up with the other tech giant, Facebook... oh wait, they are already planning on it...

An Apple/Facebook partnership would instantly create the most valuable company on the planet with a chance of a dual monopoly: one on electronic information (Apple) and the second on the people who use it (Facebook).  Big Brother incarnate.   No need to force it on people, they will wait days in front of Apple Stores to buy into it and sign themselves up.

Apple and Facebook have done something special; they have created a culture of sharing but secretly created the technology to abuse that sharing.  And governments around the world have sanctioned it.  An Apple/Facebook partnership would make it absurdly easy for Governments to monitor... thank you Patriot Act.  Even hackers and spammers would benefit because it would be easier for them to refine their weapons against this single platform. 

Can someone please say 1984?  Can someone please say Anti-Trust?   Can anyone stop this?


 

When will the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, Anonymous, WikiLeaks, the AFL-CIO, the Zeitgeist Movement, the ACLU, Michael Moore, Amnesty International, Ron Paul, CNN, MSNBC, Dylan Ratigan, the BBC, Greenpeace, academics, the World Social Forum, or anybody with influence stand up against all of this?  

Don't people outside the US see the dangers of a private/US company having a global monopoly and wielding such unlimited power?  Influence and control inside their homes, cars, work, and lives?

Someone has to stand up or we march quickly and steadily towards George Orwell's prophetic future.   

Collapse Network has said something, now whose next?

Note:  We don't just pick on Apple; they are doing nothing particularly unique.  Monopoly, greed, tax evasion, human rights abuses, spying, invasion of privacy, and indifference to environmental impacts is how capitalists have always practiced economics.   It's not personal remember, it's just business.  

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Read below if you want to know more about the author and his cherished apple:

I am a product of the 1980's and the computer revolution.  

Since my birth I have been constantly surrounded by marketing, advertising, and influences of popular culture:  Pepsi, ET, Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and yes, even Apple.  My school was one of thousands who were given lower cost or free Apple computers to use in the classroom.   I fondly remember the educational games on that green colored screen.  In two words this was: genius marketing.  Steve Jobs was marketing towards consumers decades before they could purchase anything.  

Throughout the 80's and 90's my family purchased Windows based PCs because of the cost; but I never forgot Apple and I would keep an eye on them as personal computers evolved.  In the 90's it looked like Apple was on the brink of failure, like RIM (Blackberry) is today.  However, in 1996 it was Steve Jobs (an ironic name) who famously returned to save the day and turn Apple into one for the largest and most profitable companies in the world.  We now know what price this comeback cost. 

I purchased my first and only Apple computer in 2006 at a rare reduced price when CompUSA was going bust; a forewarning corporate bankruptcy before the 2008 meltdown.

 



My Apple was the anti-PC: it was virus free, it never crashed, I never had to restart it, and all the software available was intelligently integrated with each other and the OS.  I would tell people that whatever Apple did, it did it better than a PC.   I was proud of my Apple; and I was the first one within my friends and family to own one.

 

Now I take every opportunity to remind people of the evils committed to bring them their cherished new toys and conveniences.

 

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