Monday, November 15, 2010
The consequences of our love affair with gadgets
This is a bit off-topic, but I came across this article in "Wired" magazine and thought I'd go ahead and share it with our bloggers. It wouldn't be a bad idea for teachers to share with students. As Americans, we have always had a love of material things, but the new love affair with iPhones and other electronic gadgets has incurred some very bad human rights problems for the people who spend most of their day making these gizmos in order to feed our desires. (Full disclosure - I have an iPhone and an AT&T plan.)
After viewing the video bashing Steve Jobs (of whom I have always been a huge fan, so it's hard for me to watch this), then click here to view a slideshow of the horrible places these workers have to live in order to make our iPhones. (You think our school buildings are bad...) And then click here to read the full article about the company FoxConn, Taiwanese maker of electronics for the rest of the world.
I hope teachers use these kinds of news reports (and their Promethian boards?) to truly educate our children as to the interconnectedness of all of us in this world. Your actions and desires here in the states—gadget addictions, designer clothing addictions, jewelry and diamond addictions and drug addictions—can have a profound, often negative effect on the quality of life of others, thousands of miles away.
Tangentially, we have terrible crimes committed here every day by people whose desire is to simply steal that gadget, gizmo, purse, shoes, iPod, cellphone, scooter, car, or drugs from their fellow human being.
How do we teach young people to think more globally, more responsibly and with greater empathy for others and greater concern for mankind? How do we even get them to stop fighting in their own neighborhoods and pulling guns on each other or stomping each other to death? Can empathy be taught? I understand it's a parenting/societal issue, however, unless we bond together and purposefully teach mutual respect and personal responsibility, any one of us could be the next victim of a senseless crime by a troubled youth out to take away some small material possession or just to vent anger.
Check out the latest headlines. Something has to change. So many of our young people are out of control.
In response to Bobby Tillman's death, hundreds meet to stop the violence
DeKalb schools officer shoots student near Redan High School
18-year-old shot to death after party