Blog Post

"Against Nostalgia": a brave critique of Steve Jobs and Apple following Jobs' death

Author and performer Mike Daisey has written an OpEd for the New York Times titled "Against Nostalgia", which serves as an "anti-obituary" of sorts following the death of Apple's Stve Jobs: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/opinion/jobs-looked-to-the-future.html

I had the privilege of working with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art Festival last month, which included assisting Daisey with his unprecendented 24-hour monologue, "All the Hours in the Day". At this same festival last year, Daisey presented another original solo work, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs", in which he skeptically examines Apple's cult-like (in some ways almost fascistic) following, Jobs' lack of philantropic giving (including to arts and creative organizations, which overwhelmingly helped boost Apple to the top of the tech food chain), the inhumane labor conditions for Apple employees in southern China (Daisey made trips to the factories in this region to interview workers), Apple's fascistic operating systems that prevent user freedom, and the company's severance, under Jobs, from its countercultural roots. Here, he revisits some of these very themes in light of Jobs' death and the public's response to it.

As we revel in the possibilities of digital counterculture and participatory media, we must not forget that the technology we use today--including for subversive and social justice purposes--is rooted in capitalistic agendas, profit-making motives, and the communications needs of world wars. There is a violence to technology--and a literal human cost, as discussed in Daisey's OpEd, that is easy to overlook when we become lost in its utopian visions. At this historical moment, upon Jobs' death, Daisey makes a brave and bold move in critiquing how Apple under Jobs has shaped the cultural landscape.

Daisey re-opens "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" at the Public Theatre in New York on Oct. 11th. The show runs through November 13th: http://www.publictheater.org/component/option,com_shows/task,view/Itemid...

 

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1 comment

Anonymous (not verified)

I like to commend you for this beautiful essay, it is  not eassy to take a differnt view especially when the majority accept the other view overwhemingly.However , I think that Job was a visionary leader who during his time worked to develop the mobile industry.My friend Iwant you to understand that first Job was not only a business man but was a top executive whose work  was to bring profit; so  the criticism you cited above  only shows the quality needed for a business to be successful.To emphsize my point I will to quote a few part of your work.


'Job lacked the philantropic giving ...which overwhemelly helped boast apple to the  top of the tech food chain... the inhumane  conditon for  apple employee...'


 However no bisness will grow if workers do put additional time, If bissness executive keep giving money out on free willthe  companythe manage will soon fold up and  people will lose their Job; so am sorry to say thing dont work that way . Jod did his best to every one.


 Book you need to read is:


Niccolo Machivelli. The Prince .

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