Aug 292017
 
CULTUREASIAN FILM Film lays bare ‘toxic’ impact of our dependence on tech gadgets A new documentary from American filmmaker Sue Williams, Death by Design, holds up a mirror to modern consumers, exposing the environmental and health costs of our reliance on devices that have depressingly short lifespans “I could have made it (the film) about plastic bottles or blue jeans, but I wanted to take something that everybody feels really attached to.” Williams tells Asia Times. “I think it’s a powerful way to make people think about how they consume.” A screenshot of the Death by Design website homepage. Photo: Ambrica Productions Documentaries about the environment and technology are not new. But Williams’ 73-minute production takes things up a notch, tying up multi-faceted concerns with its focus on indispensable gadgets in our modern lives such as smartphones and computers. The project started off as a profile of Ma Jun, a Chinese environmentalist and one of the main characters in the film. He has done groundbreaking work on electronics companies’ environmental violations in China. “I actually never even thought about [electronics being unclean],” says Williams, who after some research and trips to Silicon Valley and China realized the subject lent itself to much more than a story about one person or community. “It became very clear that as I learnt more about it that [Ma] is one valuable part of a very big global problem.” Referring to the industrial transfer from the US to China that began in the late 1970s and 80s, William says: “It’s very important to know what the industry knew before they went to China.” The film first takes us inside US factories back in the 1980s. A former IBM employee who worked on a US semiconductor production line at the time, while pregnant, later gave birth to a brain-damaged son. She had not been informed about the toxicity of the materials with which she worked every day. IBM workers in purportedly ‘protective’ clothing. Photo: Ambrica Productions Workers were provided with protective clothing, but “that was to protect the products, not the people”, says the woman in the film. The film uncovers an internal IBM database that shows extremely high incidence of cancer among retirees. From there, Williams’ lens shifts to the Taiwanese manufacturer, and Apple’s biggest supplier, Foxconn, whose workers have also suffered health problems. Low-paid Chinese workers on a production line. Photo: Ambrica Productions/ Death by Design’s Facebook page In 2010, (more…)
Jan 212016
 
Source: www.medium.com | Original Post Date: December 16, 2015 – Most of us haven’t quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that kept me locked up into the system. Since then, I see the world from a different perspective: the one that everything is going through change and that most of us are unaware of that. Why is the world changing? In this post, I’ll point out the eight reasons that lead me to believe it. 1. No one can stand the employment model any longer. We are reaching our limits. People working with big corporations can’t stand their jobs. The lack of purpose knocks on your door as if it came from inside you like a yell of despair. People want out. They want to drop everything. Take a look on how many people are willing to risk entrepreneurship, people leaving on sabbaticals, people with work-related depression, people in burnout. 2. The entrepreneurship model is also changing. Over the past few years, with the explosion of startups, thousands of entrepreneurs turned their garages into offices to bring their billion-dollar ideas to life. The vortex of entrepreneurship was to find an investor and get funded — to be funded was like winning the World Cup or the Super Bowl. But what happens after you get funded? “Isn’t it absurd that we, 7 billion of us living in the same planet, have grown further apart from each other?” You get back to being an employee. You may have brought in people not sharing your dream, not in agreement with your purpose, and soon it’s all about the money. The financial end becomes the main driver of your business. People are suffering with it. Excellent startups began to tumble because the money-seeking model is endless. A new way to endeavor is needed. Good people are doing it already. 3. The rise of collaboration. Many people have figured out that it doesn’t make any sense to go on by yourself. Many people have awakened from the “each man for himself” mad mentality. Stop, take a step back, and think. Isn’t it absurd that we, 7 billion of us living in the same planet, have grown further apart from each other? What sense does it make to turn your back on the thousands, maybe millions, of people living (more…)