Apple Could Lead If It Had An iConscience

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Here’s is what I believe to be a sneak preview of the most important product Apple will ever put out.  Yes I said ever.

THINK CONSCIENCE.  The Verge quoted my poster today.  MacRumors and The  Mercury News had earlier posted my photos and my sentiments about the mystery cube Apple invaded my (supposedly  public) campus with.


Tim Cook says he wants Apple to be about more than just profit .  Among other things the quote “We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment,” stood out to me. I applaud the sentiment, and when Apple takes positive action and when they make changes after I’m encouraged, but I can’t be silent while this amounts mostly empty rhetoric. I’m looking forward to future Apple where it takes the initiative to better the world.

Today I was at the Apple launch event at De Anza College. Rather I was outside. Protesting. Speaking out about Apple’s poor record on human rights.  From the small box the De Anza police had designated as our protest zone.  Mind you this is MY campus and the building just across the little access road is where we hold our weekly club meetings. Yesterday we weren’t allowed to have our meeting there because of Apples invasion of our campus.  For almost a month the corporate bully Apple has intimidated admin, faculty and staff into being silent or scared.  What happened to Tim Cook’s recognizing ¨workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment.¨ Far from safe and fair, palpable fear was evident when we the students asked to speak or even speculate about what this monstrous mystery cube that was dominating campus was about. Today the police said if we crossed the few feet over to where we normally meet we might be arrested.  What a crazy situation our corporate overlords have driven this species into.  It has to stop. Now.

The full list of Apple (among the world’s leading ¨Super Evil Mega Corps¨ human rights violations is lengthy but here’s the summary:

  • being a neighborhood bully to the De Anza campus, Cupertino, Santa Clara Valley/County (ie. the so-called ¨Silicon Valley¨) and beyond.  The unsafe environment Apple created at De Anza this month is just an microcosm of  what it does to this valley.
  • building barriers to the human right of access to knowledge (A2K) and amplifying the Digital Divide.
  • and possibly the drive behind all these misguided policies, perpetuation of the patriatriarchy. White males predominate Apple’s workforce (and btw, did you notice the veritable affirmative action program for white males today — every single person on the stage today was a white male)

Human Rights focus needed

I’m pretty sure  that man who walked through our designated protest area on his way to the event, ducking his head a bit to the side like he was worried somebody would recognize him, looking remarkably like Tim Cook, was in fact Tim Cook.

What would have turned me from being a protestor to an admirer? Lets call it “the launch of the iConscience”.  The corporate commitment to public benefit built directly into the corporate charter and mission statement of every for-profit corporation.  Eventually this is very likely to become the norm, and even required by law.  But why wait until then when Apple could take advantage of their lead to become beloved for really good reasons, not just gimmicks.

What might the launch of the iConscience have looked like today? Say for example Tim Cook had turned to us and asked us what our concerns were and then taken an off-script moment to address them even briefly during the presentation.  A significant slice of humanity was paying attention to this presentation.  Bono and Tim Cook revelled in the point that iTunes has half a billion (yes that’s with a ¨b¨) subscribers.  Apple really could have made a difference to humankind and life on Earth.  A huge opportunity was lost.

Ironically when Cook was introducing U2 he went out of his way to say “They’ve also focused on human rights causes and the advancement of the human race.  If he had then said something about needing to turn Apples sorry human rights record around.  Just outside the monstrous three story cube where Cook ad U2 stood in their mutual admiration society we were raising those very issues, but getting no attention from Cook.

Apple … get an iConscience.

I’m pretty familiar with Apple. I worked at Apple in 1989.  Since 1987 I’ve lived around n the community where Apple is headquartered. I’ve lived mere blocks away from 1 Infinity Loop (till the rent was raised about $1000 within one years time.  I’ve been using Mac s since probably 1986 or so until their planned obsolescence and shackled products drove me away and to GNU/Linux.  When I turned 30 I was in grief because I hadnot made a splash in the world compared to those pirates of privateering, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.  Not in the same way they did, mind you.  More like how MLK made a difference in the world.

Steal this idea!

Well I dont know that I’ll ever achieve that honor, but by proposing the launch of the iConscience I’d like to speak into the universe my highest, and look forward to Apple stealing this idea and implementing it, just as they stole the technology for the Mac and so many other of their ¨innovations¨.   This is one case where I’d fully approve of corporate theft of so called ¨intellectual property.¨ So I’ll make it Creative Commons (see bottom for details).

Apple would be THE company to lead the way in the upgrade to humanity, leading us into a new and better direction.  Apple has the position to make the pursuit of human rights as an integral component of corporate behavior cool.  Until I learned better, from the quotes I’d heard I thought Steve Jobs and Apple was concerned with bettering humanity’s place in the world when Jobs challenged John Sculley to come to Apple to ¨change the world¨. And maybe the Jobs family was more philanthropically active than he let on.  I think of the   Here’s To The Crazy Ones / Think Different ad campaign.

So here’s the thing:  As Tim Cook follows through with his statements on sustainable corporate behavior and alters the direction of businesskind as we know it, he WILL BE achieving the highest good he could ever hope to achieve in his lifetime.  It will truly be the revolution Apple has always given lip service to.  Not mere technological revolution. Real social revolution. The P&L statements will come and go, but humanity is facing crises that threaten our very survival, and must be solved by the most sophisticated collaborative efforts in history. What must become an integral feature of future business if humanity is to survive is the iConscience.

Apple don’t just Think Slightly Different.  And don’t wait for us protesters to badger or government to force Apple into doing the right thing.  Proactively make this a central part of your corporate mission.  Change history! Lead the way! Think Different. Think Conscience.  Act Different. Launch the iConscience.

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  • NOTgaltHouse

    apple will never be forced to do the right thing…They have too much money.