Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bad Apple

I have never been a fan of Apple, call it a gut feeling, but I never trusted the company. Over the years I've seen more and more evidence to support my original thoughts. I decided to boycott them. I have never and will never buy an Apple product. The following is just some of the things I've found.

Apple's employment standard are deplorable. Apple came out 2 years ago and admitted to falsifying records and using child labour. They've beaten employees, worked them overtime and not paid for it. Employment standards are so low, that in the Asian factories there has been suicide of dozens of employees.

To "fix" the suicide issue, Apple "his included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching  large nets to the factory buildings" instead of making their employees happy by increasing wages and treating them well. There has been reports of the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, said to have caused  nerve damage to workers who were not supplied with proper safety equipment. 

The devotion of fans to the Apple brand is more than just brand loyalty. Its like a cult. Mac users are frequently known to use religious language in describing Macs and other Apple products. I'm an avid gamer, so I know about passion to a recreational pastime. I've been to one midnight video game release (Skyim). 
But the devotion that fellow gamers display towards their favorite franchise is at its extremes an addiction. Where as the extremism that Apple fans show can only be compared to relentless ridiculousness of the devoted religious. They both convey a blind faith and loyalty to their "cause", despite immoral acts done in its name.

This video for the launch of a new product is scary.

"The scenes I witnessed at the opening of the new Apple store in London's Covent Garden were more like an evangelical prayer meeting than a chance to buy a phone or a laptop. " — Alex Riley, writing for the BBC

"The Mac and its fans constitute the equivalent of a religion. This religion is based on an origin myth for Apple Computer, heroic and savior legends surrounding its co-founder and current CEO Steve Jobs, the devout faith of its follower congregation, their belief in the righteousness of the Macintosh, the existence of one or more Satanic opponents, Mac believers proselytizing and converting nonbelievers, and the hope among cult members that salvation can be achieved by transcending corporate capitalism." - Russell Belk, Consumer Behaviorist at the University of Utah

Steve Jobs was like a wrathful "god" to his employees. Biographer Walter Isaacson stated the following on '60 Minutes'; "He’s not warm and fuzzy … He was not the world’s greatest manager. In fact, he could have been one of the world’s worst managers...He was very petulant. He was very brittle. He could be very, very mean to people at times. Whether it was to a waitress in a restaurant or to a guy who had stayed up all night coding, he could just really just go at them and say, ‘You’re doing this all wrong. It’s horrible.’.

In the biography, Issacson states that "Jobs announced that he didn't want to have anything to do with worshiping such a God, and he never went back to church. Instead, Jobs pursued Buddhism, gurus, alternative medicines and hallucinogenic drugs."

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was quoted as saying "I just wanted to be in engineering only – I never wanted to run a company, never wanted to run things, step on other people – Steve very clearly did". There are many reports of Steve Jobs being a impatient, narcissistic control freak. And he obviously did not care about his workers. Yet when he passed away, Apple fans acted as if humanity had lost a great person worth of mass praise.

I'm not saying that Apple produces horrible products. Its the ethics the company demonstrates that bothers me. I know Apple is not the only company in the world to use the stated means of gaining wealth. But Apple and its fans tend to have this "for the people" motto, yet I can't see anything "for the people" about it.

Now I know its likely some Apple fan will say Microsoft is "evil" too. Microsoft has had some shady practices also. But Gates is not worshiped like Jobs and is a much better human being. He donated 50% of his fortune to charity, which Steve Jobs refused to do.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not loyal to Microsoft and am open to other options except Apple. I just think that the extreme Apple fans need to get off their righteous high horses and acknowledge the company and it practices that they are supporting. If your morally okay with supporting the type of company I described, then go ahead and do so. Personally, being I'm Canadian, if I were ever to blow money on a smart phone (currently own Pay As You Go basic phone), I would likely choice Black Berry. But I do need to do more research before I purchase a smart phone, if I ever do.

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