un/real and un/true: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs


            I really enjoyed Bucknell’s adaption of Mike Daisey’s play they called “”un/real and un/true: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” I thought that the combination of Daisey’s original story with the interludes throughout the play was particularly interesting in telling the story of Apple’s history. Although I enjoyed the play, the one thing that bothered me about Bucknell’s play was that I was not entirely sure what they were trying to accomplish with the play. In Daisey’s version it is clear that Daisey was trying to bring to light the working conditions in Foxconn’s factories in China. In Bucknell’s version, there were too many things going on throughout the hour and a half. Was Bucknell’s adaption to tell a more truthful version of Daisey’s story, to point out Daisey’s faults, or to tell the story of Steve Jobs? To me, the fact their play went in so many different directions, it took away from the overall product.

         A friend of mine, Bo Yao, who is a senior at Bucknell, grew up in China and came to the United States for an education. I’ve known him for almost three years but I’ve never actually talked to him about life in China before. So it was interesting to hear what he had to say. One thing that he told me, which was a surprised about, was that the workers in China are starting to get more power. They are demanding higher wages and better working conditions. The problem with this though is that many manufacturers are leaving China and moving to Southeast Asia because labor costs are cheaper there. After hearing all the stories about the working conditions in China, it is hard to imagine that there are countries where they are even worse.

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4 comments on “un/real and un/true: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

  1. I think it’s interesting that companies are moving out of China and into Southeast Asia. It kind of seems like this will be a trend around the world, companies will leave once workers begin to get power and move into new areas to exploit labor there. I wonder how your friend feels about this move and if he thinks that companies in China are helpful to give workers jobs and economic security or if he dislikes them because of the lack of respect many of them seem to have for human rights

    • This trend of companies pressuring their subcontractors to move to places with limited working protections (including wages) was also a key point in the Nike Case Study. It seems to me as if companies will continue to move until humane working conditions are present around the globe. I did wonder if eventually the electronics/clothing production will happen outside of Asia as Asian countries strike to increase worker rights.

  2. I think it’s interesting that manufacturers are leaving China once there is a cheaper source of labor or labor conditions start to improve. I feel like there will always be a cheaper cost of labor as long as there are developing nations with citizens willing to accept such a low wage or poor working conditions. The only way to stop it is a global effort with cooperation from all countries around the globe, which will be hard to coordinate.

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