Uh, no, he didn't have to lie

Bird Dog's picture

My title is in response to the title of this, the story of Mike Daisey and his phony baloney investigation of Apple and its main supplier, Chinese-based Foxconn. The gist:

The main point he drives home is that he felt it was necessary to embellish his story in order to retain the “truth” of the message of his show. He lied to tell the truth, basically.

This is no different than the Dan Rather "fake but accurate" defense when it came to the phony National Guard memos. Mike Daisey didn't have to lie. All he had to do was actually work at verifying what allegedly took place instead of make s**t up. The truth is, if you have to bend the truth to communicate some "larger truth", then you've undermined the truth, and that's exactly what Daisey did. And for that, his fifteen minutes should expire, like, right now.

UPDATE: Daisey not only lied, he was substantially wrong. So much for "greater truth" rubbish (h/t Wagster).

 

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Relevant article

(#277346)
HankP's picture

Bloomberg: Foxconn auditor finds 'Serious' violations of Chinese law

I blame it all on the Internet

So, 50 violations of Chinese labor law by Foxconn.

(#277352)

That would seem to put the controversy in a different light.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Yikes

(#277374)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I'm not sure I'd want to be accused of violating laws in a nation that thinks of prisons as "organ supermarkets."

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Yes, and as we all know

(#277359)
HankP's picture

Chinese labor law is by far the most liberal and protective of labor rights anywhere in the world (/sarcasm)

I blame it all on the Internet

My New Retina Display iPad is Awesome!

(#276946)

Wait. Wrong thread?

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

Posted without comment

(#276947)
HankP's picture

God Apple I'll do anything for you

(#276969)
brutusettu's picture

God Apple just tell me what you want me to
God Apple nail me up against the wall
God Apple don't want everything it wants it all

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Actually, Harley, I have Played with One...

(#276948)

...and your observation is correct.

 

We tested it against several other Tablets that people had at the meeting, (people are fiercely protective of what they purchased, learned & now love)....and while I like the big 10 inch (?) Galaxy Tab, the iPad three, I thought, as a cultural artifact, represented the absolute apogee at this moment, of everything about us...

 

It was, to me, a religious icon....instantly.

 

(I note that I own no tablets at all)

 

People argued passionately that I was wrong, that this android machine or that was superior in various regards...and they are right, movies are wider, text larger....but the text is crisper, so are the movies and pictures on the iPad...I shot some damned good pictures even.

 

For...absolute perfection...the iPad3 is pretty dynamite.

 

Though, if push ever came to shove for me, I would buy an Android...but I do understand your feelings in this regards.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

 

 

I don't care about Mike Daisey

(#276813)

He lied, yes, but his lie was not about the events he described, such as the n-hexane poisoning or the guy who was literally worked to death by a 34 hour shift. These are true events. His lie was putting himself in the middle of them for dramatic effect, but never bothering to make a disclaimer.

 

The fury against the man, though, has little to do with his lies and embellishments. It's all about taking a desperately needed opportunity to defend a huge advertiser, and portray it as a victim, though the underlying story is really quite sad and pathetic: The tech industry uses 19th century labor practices to supply our 21st century technology.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Nonsense

(#276875)

Here's a good corrective:

On the radio, he states that among the Foxconn workers he met in Guangzhou, 5 or 6 percent were underage. Later fact-checking revealed that the real proportion is closer to 0.05 percent. He also specifically exaggerated the suicide rate at Foxconn factories. And his story—essentially a description of an ad hocexperiment for which he surveyed a random sample of workers—suggests false prevalence rates for other kinds of abuse, too.

In a science context, this would be considered outright fraud. No one would say, “Ah, it’s too bad—the published paper was fraudulent but the conclusions were fundamentally sound.” They’d say, “The experiment was bogus, the random sample wasn’t random, and all the inferences drawn from the data are probably wrong.”

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

It's not so simple...

(#276904)

Foxconn has hundreds of thousands of employees, a bit over a million, IIRC. This means Apple audits are essentially paper audits, as is true for other manufacturers. Allow me to be skeptical about how faithfully they reflect reality.

 

Further, Foxconn is not the worst offender, because it has had high visibility for years now. The worst offenders are suppliers two or three tiers back, about whom information is even less reliable. There is no way for a single individual in China to propertly gage working conditions with meaningful statistics, nor can the Chinese authorities be counted on to do anything except hide any problems.

 

This is not science, and to pretend it should be is disingenuous, because a full set of of objective data will never be made available. The industry, the Chinese government, and suppliers all have strong vested interest in keeping the system as it is. They will put lipstick on this pig and compile incomplete or irrelevant metrics that show constant steady "progress".

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

But why use our standards to judge them?

(#276949)

You're taking it for granted that we know best what is appropriate for a Chinese environment. We do not, and to pretend we do is paternalistic in the extreme.

 

Now, I'm not going full relativism on you: there are certain places where we are right to draw the line... child labor, for instance. But labor standards are a thing that are determined by many cultural and economic factors. We would not be pleased if Denmark, say, insisted we raised our minimum wage to their standards, and made 6-week vacations mandatory, before they would deign to trade with us. Likewise, we should give 3rd world countries some leeway. There are some protections that simply cannot be afforded by poor countries, because regulations have costs that are sometimes too onerous to bear. We are making those calculations for ourselves every day, and they are extremely difficult to make. To pretend we can answer them better for other people is the height of hubris.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

WHo's "we" kemosabe?

(#277207)

"We would not be pleased if Denmark, say, insisted we raised our minimum wage to their standards, and made 6-week vacations mandatory, before they would deign to trade with us."

 

Sounds great to me. I wouldn't resent workers from other countries in the slightest for helping out conditions here.

Counterpoint

(#277217)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Denmark can take their sissy 6 weeks of mandated vacation and use them to take a long walk off a short pier. :-P

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Indeed

(#277216)

And it wasn't so long ago that "Free and Fair trade" was a centrist slogan.

 

But bow it's going to far to use our buying power to promote improved worker and environmetal conditions.

 

 

Why use our standards?

(#277162)

Because we're buying them? Because they're for sale in our shops? They compete with us for the job of manufacturing them? People in our countries negotaite the contracts that result in these working coditions? If it was a Chinese product made in China sold in China to be used by Chinese people then have at it, but this is pretty much the opposite of that.

I call BS on that argument

(#277134)

The thing about exploitation is that it looks the roughly the same now or 150 years ago, in China or in Dickens' London. The signs are easy enough to read, and they are universal, so long as you believe that Chinese workers are human.

 

Nobody is saying that the wages should be the same in every country. But an environment where a 34 hour shift can happen is clearly far, far beyond any reasonable deference to local culture. Being seared to death or disfigured by burning aluminum dust likewise, or being poisoned by N-hexane. The list is long and not very hard to understand.

 

Also, let's stop pretending these are Chinese companies. Foxconn is from Taiwan and Apple is American. Wage levels are controlled as a labor input in Tim Cook's famous spreadsheets, where he tracks cost suppliers have, and operations people like him are well known to push hard to reach the absolute limit of what suppliers (and thus their workers), will bear. In other words, the salaries and benefits these workers get, and their hours, are directly determined by Apple.

 

Also, let's stop pretending that Chinese workers have choices or the ability to organize or defend their interests. We know that the Chinese government routinely suppresses demonstrators.

 

Finally, lets stop pretending that the industry cannot exist without cheap off-shore labor. Apple built Power PC based Macs, including the Power Macs and very successful early iMacs, in the USA, and was profitable doing it. In fact it dug itself out of its late 90's hole selling computers assembled not just in the US, but in California. Apple is certainly more profitable building in China, so at the end of the day we are talking not about competitiveness but profit. There is a relationship between Apple's 100 billion in the bank and exploited Chinese workers. These are not independent items.

 

Why is it so hard for you to see the obvious? These are poor people with few choices laboring under an oppressive regime. Be honest like Bernard and tell me you don't care. But don't try to paint this as cultural sensitivity, because it's not.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

+1. The thing is

(#277156)
mmghosh's picture

as these things go, Foxconn employees in China are probably getting a better deal than other local Chinese employers (who may not be in such a spotlight).  

 

While, yes, I agree with you that both Apple and Foxconn should be in the forefront of pushing forward employee benefits, but private firms typically do not push the envelope as far as employee benefits are concerned.  IIRC, my first Mac in 1991, an LCII was assembled in Malaysia or Ireland.  

So The Argument Is. . .

(#276829)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .that he's talking about basically true stuff, but lying by claiming to be a witness to instances of said stuff?

Sounds like he's trolling for a prize from some gullible Norwegians. Someone page Dinesh D'Souza and let him know there's a lefty fraud to deal with who's right in his wheelhouse.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

No, that's not my argument at all.

(#276841)

My argument isn't that he's somehow innocent. My argument is that I don't give two craps what he is. He is one guy trying to get some fame and fortune. Who cares?

 

What I care about, what saddens me and makes me mad, is that I cannot buy a decent piece of computer-based electronics without being a party to Dickensian labor practices, and as if that werent enough, practices carried out under an authoritarian and unfriendly regime that is stealing our engineering effort.

 

Off-shoring our industrial production to China on this scale is a form of national economic suicide. In the overall scheme of things, Daisey is a fart in a stiff wind.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

It was actually Bird Dog

(#276837)

It was actually Bird Dog who raised the issue of 'the larger truth' in the body of the diary. If you have problems with the concept, you can lay them out for us.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

No. . .

(#276839)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .he just pointed out a long-standing alibi from the left for when one of their mouthpieces is caught in a provable lie.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Bingo

(#276844)
Bird Dog's picture

nt

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The left is partisan

(#276857)

'The left is partisan.' That's the message that moved you to post this diary? This is so banal that it verges on idiocy. I suggest you mull this over a bit. You can do better than that.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Funny

(#276877)
Bird Dog's picture

Left-wing intellectual arrogance once again rears its intellectually arrogant head.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I am pointing it out

(#276956)

I don't see left wing intellectual arrogance here. We both know the left is partisan, we all do. There is no argument there. I am saying you can do better, is all. A writer tarting up his story on labour practices in China can take us in any number of directions. You have chosen the laziest and most unenlightening tack, and I am pointing it out.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Nope

(#276967)
Bird Dog's picture

That's not what you're pointing out. And BTW, I reject your opinion.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

'from the left'

(#276843)

Is Daisey 'from the left'? I didn't get that from the linked article. Aren't those from the right interested in exposing the harsh working conditions in communist China? They certainly were when I was a lad. Anyhow, I don't see how his political views are relevant to the story, and I don't think Bird Dog is either.


 

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

the novels of Dickens

(#276807)

Your link implies that he did have to lie, in order to get the media exposure he thought his story deserved...


Fiction does not necessarily undermine a larger truth, and those who benefitted from the reforms instituted in response to the novels of Dickens know this well. I don't see any larger truth undermined in this case either.


Of course Dickens presented his work as fiction, whereas Daisey did not. Even so, when reading fiction, I've come across instances where I assume what is presented is true, and felt cheated when I later discover the author had made it up. Usually, I am pretty confident of the veracity of most fiction - like Margaret Atwood's Elias Grace, for example, a novel based on an actual murder that took place north of Toronto during the rebellions of the early 19th century in upper and lower canada. (that's what the back cover says anyway)


I suppose if we scrutinize supposedly factual reportage closely we'd find an awful lot more 'fiction' that we assume there to be. In my own contributions to the press over the years, I've been pretty good with the truth, but there has been an occasion or two when literary considerations take precedence over what is strictly true.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Yep

(#276842)
Bird Dog's picture

The Dan Rather "fake but accurate" defense. Perhaps Daisey would've been better off writing a fictional story about a company named Schmapple and OxFeyOnKay.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

But those things are documented as having happened

(#276848)
HankP's picture

Daisey may not have witnessed them and may not have met the people involved, but the things he's talking about did happen.

 

Why conservatives now support communist slave labor is among the stranger things I've seen happen in my lifetime. I guess everything does have a price, in this case getting electronic devices inexpensively outweighs every other moral consideration.

I blame it all on the Internet

Eh

(#276876)
Bird Dog's picture

And now you're making s**t up. One, Foxconn employees aren't communist slave laborers. Two, I never opined support or opposition of Foxconn and its practices.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Then what's the point of the diary?

(#276887)
HankP's picture

of course it's defending Foxconn by attacking one of its critics.

I blame it all on the Internet

Of course it's not

(#276966)
Bird Dog's picture

You're still making s**t up. Sad and pathetic.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

PRV, again nt

(#276968)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Not even close

(#276985)
Bird Dog's picture

You inferred that I supported "communist slave labor" and, by extension, Foxconn's labor practices. It's on you, Henry. Back up your assertion. Until you do or until you retract, I stand by my statement that you're making s**t up. Put up or shut up, bub.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Ahem.

(#276850)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

Calling them "slaves" is silly, hank. They get paid, they are generally free to quit, they make serious efforts to get a job there in the irst place, etc. They have in no reasonable sense been alienated from their labor. That they don't make as much as an American would is of no particular importance, and will shift as coastal China finds itself running out of younger workers (which is already starting to happen.)

Also, Daisey is not merely a liar, but a clumsy one. The hexane issue happened at Wintek. Apparently he didn't read the documentation. :^)

anti-suicide netting

(#276853)

The company Foxconn was forced to put up anti-suicide netting in stair wells and around the roof. That indicates an alienated labour force. And Foxconn, as you point out, represents the best choice available to these workers.


Out of curiousity, is anti-suicide netting at the work place common today in the US? Was it common for plantation owners to install measures to prevent suicide among their slaves? The slaves were, after all, far more valuable to the owners these Chinese kids are to their employers.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

The idea that they're worth....

(#276858)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

....very little to their employer implies the precise opposite of slavery, you realize? You protect chattel property, it's a capital investment. Plantation owners generally made sure theirs were well-fed; can't get work out of the starving. The free factory workers of Lowell, not so much.

(The above should not be taken as an endorsement of slavery. I feel people hold not be stripped of their self-ownership. Also, it's not my problem if people can't feed themselves.)

"should not be taken as an endorsement of slavery"

(#276907)
mmghosh's picture

Why should you not endorse slavery if it 

 

a. works efficiently

b.  makes you richer

 

conventional morality should not veil pragmatism. 

Ignoring All Other Arguments. . .

(#276910)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . . the simple problem is that neither a nor b are true, at least in comparison to a modern capitalist economy.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Are you kidding?

(#276911)

Assuming that you could actually maintain a chattel slavery system...that is assuming you have a foolproof way of preventing slave revolts in the age of iPhones and Jersey Shore and can actually control your own slave population...the ability to dispose of labor at "cost" (nutritional minimum) would quickly make you one rich mother.

 

I think what you mean is, it's impossible to maintain a slave-owning system from within a modern (western) capitalist economy. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

In schools perhaps

(#276861)

I understand your point, and it's a good one but my point is that these kids are treated worse than slaves, and that comparing them to slaves minimizes their predicament. I commented here to counter your implication that they were in a better situation than slaves, supposedly enjoying the ability to return to their families with a pocket-full of cash whenever they wish &c.


You live in the US, don't you? Are you aware of anti-suicide netting at work places in your neck of the woods? In schools perhaps?

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Actually, usually on....

(#276878)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

....overpasses, pretty much everywhere I've lived.  Though at least 50% of that is keeping the litttle ^%$#@& from throwing stuff over the side and killing somebody else. :^)

 

As to leaving "with a pocket full of cash", I said no such thing.  I said the can leave; they can.  Whether they find a life back on the subsistence farm in Xinjiang or Yunnan is up to them to decide, no?  They might well decide so.  Force current U.S. labor standards on them and I'll guarantee the result; I-pads will get manufactured in a right-to-work state in the U.S. (or Mexico, more than likely) and those folks will get shipped back to Xinjiang regardless of their wishes. 

Ever hear of enclosure?

(#276884)

Well it works in Hebei Province today as well as it used to in Wessex. Like as not all these people have to "go back to" is low-wage employment in a different industry.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/19/china-food-illegal-lan...

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

LOL! This has a couple of gems in it, sir.

(#276886)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

[quote]But this is not a simple case of impoverished farmers being dispossessed. Although they earn only 9,000 yuan (£855) a year for each mu (1/16 hectare) of crop land, most seem to get considerably larger incomes from second jobs, including - in one man's case - buying and selling handbags made in the factories they are protesting against. Several protesters drove new Mazda saloons.[/quote]

Cute! CS Monitor has more...

(#276889)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/0206/China-One-fire-may...

Consider the fact that across China each year, approximately 4 million rural families lose their land to local governments and well-connected developers – often without compensation or consultation, as was the case in Wukan.

 

This further exacerbates the rural-urban divide in China that has left the majority of China’s 700 million farmers embittered and living on less than $2 a day and lagging far behind their urban counterparts in schooling, health care, and other socioeconomic indicators.

 

These disenchanted and dispossessed farmers are an extremely destabilizing force across China. Indeed, in 2010 alone, according to Chinese researchers, 187,000 “mass incidents” (demonstrations or riots) erupted across the country – 65 percent of them related to land disputes.

It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... it's enclosure.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Some more from the Grauniad.....

(#276892)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

[quote]

"It's true that we could make more money as factory workers, but the land is our safety net. Even if we have only a little land, we will be able to eat. Without it, we have to be concerned about the possibility of food running out," said a farmer named Huang from the neighbouring village of Huaziying, which is also caught up in the dispute. Huang said he had recently starting hoarding corn because he is worried about the global food supply system at a time of natural disasters, political instability, rising prices and declining crop land.

 

"We think the central government will support us," he said. "The state has a good policy to protect arable land. We wouldn't be fighting if we didn't believe they would be on our side." One hopeful protest banner reads: "We welcome the National Resource Department to come and inspect this area."[/quote]

 

 

4 million dispossessed farmers each year. -nt-

(#276898)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Four million families

(#276959)

Four million families, not farmers. And, as my American friend used to say, I can guaran-ass-tee you the expropriated farm land is the best, most productive land, well drained and closest to markets.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

That's what.....

(#276900)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

....0.3% of the population?  Personally tragic, in aggregate miniscule.

That's miniscule?

(#276901)

20 million people in five years, forced off subsistence land and driven into wage employment? Three New Yorks every 6 years or so?

 

Your ability to laugh off other peoples' problems is, as always, impressive, but I've never noticed that it makes the problems go away.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I repeat, 0.3% of their population.

(#276951)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

And if that right-wing rag, The Guardian, is to be believed, it doesn't sound like some of them are all that troubled. FWIW, two guys I work with hail from the Chinese hinterland. The amounts they send home in remitances to their folks (after paying for the McMansion & the kids, mind) amount to a pretty penny in yuan. I'd suggest that holds true domestically for those with jobs on the coast.

you go all uncle tom on us

(#276955)

Whether they like it or not is immaterial. You started this part of the discussion here by pointing out the importance of the possibility to choose. When confronted with evidence to the contrary, instead of taking a principled stand against the communist policies, you go all uncle tom on us.


Not an impressive performance, Bernard.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Consider this a warning

(#276988)

Remember:  attacking a comment--e.g. "That's the stupidest thing I've read."--is fine, attacking a commenter--e.g. "You're pretty stupid."--is not.  Calling someone an Uncle Tom (even if your terminology is confusing) goes beyond the bounds of acceptable.

 

So:  You're warned.

Posting Rules

(#276958)
M Scott Eiland's picture

And flagrantly so.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

From what I understand of the comment, it's not a PRV

(#276970)

Calling someone an "Uncle Tom" is an epithet, but MIcky's not saying Bernard is selling out fellow  members of his enthnicity.

 

My interpretation is that Micky's saying that Bernard is using the same kind of reasoning that the character Uncle Tom used.

 

That's the high grade moderation this site pays for.

It's Pretty Clearly Meant As An Insult

(#276971)
M Scott Eiland's picture

However, if that's going to be the interpretation of similar comments going forward by other commenters, that's certainly within the discretion of the troika to call.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I think Andrew also thought it was an insult

(#276986)

I'm happy to defer to any moderators who are probably parsing Micky's comment better than myself.

My reading

(#276975)
HankP's picture

is that Mickey doesn't seem to understand what an "Uncle Tom" is. But maybe that's just me. It would be like you calling me an ultra right winger, it just doesn't make any sense.

I blame it all on the Internet

Whaaa??

(#276963)
HankP's picture

how can Bernard even be an Uncle Tom? Maybe a Tio Tomas.

I blame it all on the Internet

Maybe you don't think

(#276960)

Maybe you don't think uncle tom would have been impressed if he saw a house nigger drive up in a mazda, or its antebellum analogue. I do. If you want to make an argument, even a flagrant one, go ahead.  


 

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Posting Rules

(#276961)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Repetitively so.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The golf links lie so near the mill

(#276873)

That almost every day

The laboring children can look out

And see the men at play.

 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Thank you for that one.

(#276874)

It was new to me.

Ahem yourself

(#276852)
HankP's picture

of all the people here, you're the last one that I thought would be overly concerned with the distinction between de facto or de jure slavery. They're not you or yours, right?

I blame it all on the Internet

I'm saying it isn't....

(#276859)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

....even de jure slavery. They can leave if they like, and people survive out in the farm country. That they choose not to is just that, a choice.

Of course it's not literally old fashioned slavery

(#276867)
HankP's picture

it's the new version that requires even less responsibility from the employer. Work them until they die or can't work anymore, there are plenty of replacements available who don't want to starve. And the state will ensure that they don't cause any problems.

 

When I was a kid this kind of stuff was the subject of dystopian science fiction, not something that I'd expect to see conservatives celebrating.

I blame it all on the Internet

New version?

(#276881)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

You saw me mention Lowell, MA above, right?  I think you're making a very interesting argument, hank, which is only mildly weakened by the fact that it's nearly identical to [url=http://books.google.com/books?id=ECdb7EjiBnEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=cannibals+all&cd=2#v=onepage&q&f=false]apologia for slavery written by George Fitzhugh[/url]. :^)

I don't see that kind of paternalism

(#276974)
HankP's picture

not to mention racism as an apologia. But I'd guess that if there was a huge supply of blacks available to southerners during slavery they wouldn't waste any time caring for them, just wear them out and get new ones. Hell, modern factory owners don't even have to pay to acquire new ones, just pay the barest of subsistence wages.

I blame it all on the Internet

Hmmnn.

(#276808)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

"Fiction does not necessarily undermine a larger truth"

 

The problem is, it doesn't support the larger claimed truth.  The truth is, of course, not a divinely revealed one.  Rather, it's a theory about what is going on.  Daisey presents his story as evidence.  Data, if you will.  The trouble with lying, or passing off fiction as documentary evidence if you prefer, is that it asks us to accept as evidence or data in favor of Daisey's chosen theory/story that which is in fact not true and does not support it.  Further, since Daisey at no point claims to be an impartial scientist but rather has a desired set of changes, his actions suggest to the outside observer that if he did not present real evidence in favor of his theory it must be because he could not find it; if he could have, he certainly had reason to.  It may turn out that there is such evidence, and it may turn out that the evidence supports Daisey's theory as far as both direction and prevalence, but Daisey manages via his fiction to, if anything, undermine belief in it.

Any writer worthy of his craft

(#276814)

I agree with you, but I think it's important to note that while Daisey and other writers 'present their story as evidence,' their story remains just that, a story. The boundaries between the literary categories of fiction and non fiction not so clear as we might like them; there is truth in fiction and fiction in truth.


Any writer worthy of his craft should be able to skate around this without breaking faith with the reader. I think this is where Daisey failed.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Breaking faith with the reader

(#276820)

Breaking faith with the reader is just as tricky a concept as truth and fiction. In what many now regard as Agatha Christie's best work, (I won't reveal the title here and spoil it for everyone) it is the narrator who turns out to be the murderer, and at the time the novel was published, irate readers incensed over being 'cheated' actually sent her death threats.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Fainting couches! As the WMD story in Iraq taught us

(#276809)
mmghosh's picture

neither truth nor lie matter when sets of changes are made.

 

[quote]In one passage of his show, ­Daisey talks about workers who had been poisoned by a gas called n-hexane. That part was true — there had been workers poisoned by this gas at a Foxconn factory somewhere in China. But Daisey never spoke to them. Like many of the most upsetting moments in his show, Daisey simply fabricated the encounter.[/quote]

I'm not sure what lesson I'm to draw, M.

(#276826)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

A) Fabrication is okay in a good cause?

B) Hearsay - close enough for gubmint work?

C) "Wintek" can sometimes be misspelled "Foxconn"?

D) $&!@ Happens?.

E) Other?

I can work with any of these, I just want to know which direction we're marching in.

I think its called literary licence.

(#276913)
mmghosh's picture

The concerned gentleman was doing a show, IIRC.  As for your questions:

 

A) I don't know about OK.  I'm agnostic - it depends on outcome.  We Orientals are not overtly concerned about objective truth, sir!  What I do know is it is done all the time.  What about the Adam and Eve story, Noah's Ark etc?

 

B) See point A.  Example in this case - Iraq, WMD

 

C) Iron Law of 3rd World - always assume reality is worse than the reportage

 

D) Yes!

 

Edit:  I know I'm going on a bit about Noah's Ark.  [url=http://arkencounter.com/]And why not?[/url] Its the [i]most[/i] interesting sociological phenomenon in the most highly industrialised state in world history. 

Here you go Manish

(#276919)
HankP's picture

Baraminology

 

You can check out some of the related links there to see how some Americans want to go from a modern scientific society back to living in thatched huts and fearing demons.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Actually, WMD in Iraq wound up mattering a lot.

(#276817)

The Cheney administration got its war, but at the cost of massively discrediting the entire program once the nation figured out it'd been duped. If you want to take a Machiavellian lesson from all this, as it sounds like you do, the lesson is lie better.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Incoming Defense Of "Fake But Accurate" In 3, 2. . .-nt-

(#276764)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Defense of Rather?

(#276786)
brutusettu's picture

As for Rather, would someone claiming that they have lost footage of Wilt's 100 point game change anything about that game?

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

More Like Planting Evidence. . .

(#276788)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .to try to convict someone that the planter "just knows" (the paper mache puppets told them so!) was guilty, but they were never able to prove it.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Did Rather plant the documents?

(#276823)

Did Rather plant the documents? If he did he deserves more than a demotion at his work place.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

IIRC he

(#276825)

didn't plant the documents.  He did allow himself to be duped by a fake document, but more importantly, hesitated to retract and recant when some obvious inconsistencies were pointed out.   A competent and responsible reporter would have been among the first to notice the problems, instead of waiting until the entire population knew it was fake before he backed down.

 

Having said that, it wasn't the crime of the century, and the penalties he suffered were appropriate.

Looked like a trap to me.

(#276866)

We never did find out who was at the other end of that dirty trick.

If it was a trap, it was a trap that should have been

(#276870)

fairly easy to avoid.  Especially when you're given an "authentic" document that looks suspiciously like it was typed on Microsoft Word.  I mean the forger didn't even change the font to Courier.

I thought it took the combines powers of

(#276984)

100s of internet super sleuths and typewritter experts to de-kern the evidence and track down it's provenance?


 


I admit to not paying much attention though. I think I have a pretty good idea of what Bush was and is.

If you were alive in the 1970's...

(#277195)

...you would instantly find that document to be odd-looking.

 

The thing is, Dan Rather was alive in the 1970's, so I had a tough time figuring out why he bought it. I know some people are a lot less conscious of fonts and such than others, but still. The whole episode is odd, not quite right.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.