Saturday, September 03, 2011

Stuff . . .

GEORGE CARLIN was very perceptive about our stuff. You know, all the artifacts of life we seem to assiduously acquire.

How all that stuff gets made and distributed has shaped how we live for well over a thousand years. From Greek amphorae of antiquity to the 2-litre pop bottle of today.

TXCHNOLOGIST is an interesting site devoted to technology and science, paid for by one of my less favored corporations, General Electric. With that caveat, I detect no sign of corporate editorializing. And there is a fascinating article, worthy of your attention: "10 Factories That Changed the World". From the Venice Arsenal of 1104, below,

to 2011's Foxconn contract factory, below, very much the descendant of those dark, satanic mills of yesteryear.

Employing 500,000 workers and producing everything from toys to Apple’s iPad, Foxconn’s Shenzhen network of factories has leveraged low labor costs – like many factories around China – and attracted business from the world’s leading multinationals. But if this gargantuan plant symbolizes China’s industrial might, it also symbolizes China’s problems: some 13 workers committed suicide at the Shenzhen plant since 2007, sparking labor unrest and criticism of “hellish conditions” from human rights advocates.

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