JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

copyright 2016, Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media
Jump Cut
, No. 57, summer 2016

How green was my media

review by David Zeglen

Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller, Greening the Media (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). 256 pp.

One of the introductory epigrams to Greening the Media is Walt Kelly’s famous “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us,” but the modification “We Have Met the Enemy and It Is Capitalism,”[1][open endnotes in new window] better captures the overall tone of Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller’s readable book. While many of the issues that Maxwell and Miller raise will be familiar to those already initiated by other well-known environmental advocacy works, Greening the Media recycles these continually relevant environmental problems and refreshingly links them together within the structure of the capitalist global production circuit. Greening the Media will no doubt appeal to the public’s growing interest in the environmental and human costs of the global production of commodities, as evidenced by the success of National Public Radio’s “Planet Money” online series on the making of a t-shirt in the global economy[2] as well as the popularity of Annie Leonard’s online video project “The Story of Stuff.”[3]

For Maxwell and Miller, it is the material production, consumption, and disposal of information and communications technology (ICT) in specific that poses the greatest threat to the environment and human beings. Throughout the book, the authors argue their case by carefully looking at each stage in the globally dispersed ICT production circuit. In the process, they uncover abominable and toxic working conditions as well as despoiled landscapes, imperiled skies, and poisoned waters. Although the authors give a clear sense of how ICT production has always had environmental consequences, they also frequently refer to the various facets of neoliberal globalization that have exacerbated the problem. For instance, the advertising-induced consumer obsession with newness, deregulated labor markets, bureaucratic corruption, and corporate greenwashing[4] are just some of the features that Maxwell and Miller describe to illustrate what drives the modern ICT production circuit.

Maxwell and Miller also evaluate current efforts to green the media. Finding contemporary approaches such as consumer activism via online video mash-ups and advertising parodies, corporate social responsibility strategies as represented by Apple’s 2011 supply-chain auditing of its Chinese suppliers, and government policy initiatives like the “smart-grid” electricity distribution system too deeply entrenched in capitalist growth models, the authors propose their own alternatives based on institutional reconfigurations and a renewal of civic duty. Although their proposal has several shortcomings, Maxwell and Miller nevertheless argue that their “green citizenship” and “green governance” will green the global ICT production circuit more effectively than previous strategies have.

Given the habitual failure of policymakers to get corporations to significantly change their environmental and labor practices, as extensively outlined in Chapter Five, Maxwell and Miller first analyze individual strategies for greening the media. Surprisingly, they are not outright dismissive of personal strategies like green consumption. Instead, they carefully consider its gains and limitations before proposing some modifications to the practice. While green consumption has prompted companies to adopt corporate social responsibility, a business trend that Maxwell and Miller rightly criticize for contradictorily promoting “the magical fusion of environmentalism with growth, profits, and pleasure” (p. 25), they also acknowledge that

“persistent consumer demand for corporations… to take greater responsibility for environmental harm has forced self-described green businesses to generate a steady stream of documentation on supply chains” (Ibid).

For instance, Maxwell and Miller note that due to mounting public opposition to Wal-Mart’s labor and environmental record, in 2007 the retail giant began their “going-green” policy by developing a publically accessible database for ethical consumers that tracks its suppliers’ environmental and workplace records (p. 123).

Building on this virtuous cycle of consumer knowledge and green consumption, Maxwell and Miller incorporate environmental science terms and ecological ethics paradigms with thought experiments to help the reader apply an elevated model of green consumption more deeply tied to the environment. In the section “The Wondrous Cell Phone” (p. 36-40), Maxwell and Miller draw upon earlier defined concepts such as source function (the environment’s ability to provide resources) and sink function (the environment’s ability to absorb wastes) to outline how a green consumer might evaluate the eco-ethical dilemmas associated with cellphones. To guide the would-be green consumer, three ethical positions are considered:

  1. eco-centrism, which demands that cellphone manufacturing be immediately terminated to protect the Earth;
  2. intermediate eco-ethics, which argues that cellphone manufacturing can be improved upon to find a balance between human and environmental needs; and
  3. anthropocentric eco-ethics, the notion that cellphones first serve the instrumental needs of humans, but that their manufacture could be improved upon because of its impact on human well-being.

As a result, the book successfully draws in the reader/consumer by providing a conceptual bridge between the popular approaches to green consumption and more comprehensive ethical positions that can lead to “green citizenship.” Chapter Four also proposes the need for international solidarity since Maxwell and Miller note that “low levels of unionization in the global supply chain of media technology severely hamper research that could empower labor organizers, environmental activists, and industry audits aiming to oversee and improve working conditions and eliminate environmental hazards” (p. 96). They therefore implicitly promise that green citizenship will include a framework to unite a variety of global actors to improve the global ICT production circuit.

Maxwell and Miller also vividly illustrate the cumulative impact ICT has had on the environment and human labor by laying out a detailed history of its material changes starting in the feudal period and ending in the capitalist present. As the book’s historical narrative moves through each technological moment, the ICT production circuit grows more complex while also becoming more hazardous and destructive. Indeed, one of the book’s most admirable features is its Benjaminian conceptualization of the history of the ICT production circuit. In “On The Concept of History” Walter Benjamin critiques the Enlightenment version of human history based on an exponentially progressive sequence of human achievements. Instead, Benjamin argues that history is akin to artist Paul Klee’s print Angelus Novus:

“his face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet… That which we call progress, is this storm.” [5]

Similarly, Maxwell and Miller depict the material history of ICT as a constellation of human and environmental injustices that continue to blindly move forward, leaving only destruction in its wake.

While Maxwell and Miller’s historical narrative ought to make it difficult for people to ignore all the environmental damage and human suffering ICT manufacturing has caused so that these issues weigh “like a nightmare on the brains of the living,”[6] many will still remain convinced that contemporary ICT technologies like e-readers have finally liberated them from the guilt of environmental destruction and labor exploitation that has long accompanied ICT production. But as Maxwell and Miller remind us, the Angelus Novus of ICT History continues to wreak havoc into the modern age, since “the environmental costs of production for one e-reader… far outweigh those of one book printed on recycled paper” (63).

Although one e-reader ends up being the equivalent of hundreds, and possibly thousands of books, magazines, and newspapers over the long term, the usage of such e-readers also consumes high volumes of electricity (generated predominately by coal in the United States) such that a half hour of e-reading is equivalent to the printing of one newspaper (Ibid). E-readers also require rare earth elements, which, unlike trees, cannot be easily replenished. The mining and eventual disposal of these rare earth elements, especially when exacerbated by consumer demand for newness, is also highly toxic both to the environment and to the health of laborers and communities near the supply stream or waste disposal facilities. Thus Maxwell and Miller illustrate some the complexities involved in calculating the overall environmental impact of contemporary ICT.

While Maxwell and Miller show the unique historical moment we live in right now, as the damage ICT production circuits causes has never been so severe and the burden for change never more necessary, the book doesn’t explain what motivates changes in technology from the fifteenth century to the present. Simple production circuits for paper in the feudal period are shown to have contributed to mass deforestation and water contamination, and early inks and paper chemicals frequently poisoned workers, yet there is no sense of any countervailing forces working to improve these problems as history moves forward. Although it is not fatal to Maxwell and Miller’s argument that they exclude a more dialectical unfolding of ICT production, as there is still some sense that it is ultimately a history of capitalism’s expansion of markets, it still leaves open the suggestion that ICT is inherently destructive to the environment and human beings. If this is the case, then it raises the question of exactly how much environmental damage and human suffering is acceptable, if it is inevitable, for ICT production circuits to operate—a question that becomes more central as the book begins to develop its own solutions to greening the media.

Although Maxwell and Miller never propose a deep ecology position that calls for a return to some earlier age in human history, they do suggest that a return to the public sphere, particularly public libraries (Ibid) could lessen the environmental impact of contemporary ICT production and usage; a move that anticipates the direction of the authors’ main intervention into greening the media in the book’s final chapter. Maxwell and Miller elaborate on their strategy on their Greening the Media blog:

“If we focus our attention on public libraries, debates about electronic versus paper distribution are transformed. These technologies become mere tools to support a model that is a proven facilitator of reading, thinking, research, conversation, and social mobility.”[7]

In short, providing e-readers in public libraries is supposed to offset the environmental impact of their production since the public will use them frequently enough to make them more viable than traditional paperbound books.

Given their polemic in Chapter Five about the collusion between government bureaucracies and corporations that renders any public policy initiative relatively ineffective, Maxwell and Miller’s public library proposal belies their earlier argument. Indeed, as Maxwell and Miller acknowledge on their blog, public libraries are already being hollowed out. Municipal governments across the United States have increasingly conspired with businesses to segregate neighborhoods along race and class lines in many cities making it all the more difficult to publicly fund libraries. In her study of the gradual gentrification of New Haven due to the collusion of the mayor’s urban renewal projects and community development block grants with big business, Micaela Di Leonardo writes of the impact on the city’s main public library:

“On Mondays at noon, within ten minutes of its opening, a line of at least a dozen eager New Haveners, most of them of color, is waiting to check out books, and every computer terminal is immediately taken, with hardly a white face to be seen. The visitor, looking down, would realize that this public space, like the streets outside the highly gentrified, privatized core, is rarely cleaned.”[8]

Even if public libraries that hadn’t already been privatized were burdened with the task of mitigating a portion of the environmental costs of ICT, Leonardo shows that the alignment of state and corporate interests has already contributed to deep-seated social inequalities related to limited public library access. If Maxwell and Miller, invoking Stuart Hall’s claim of the poor’s “legitimate materialism, born out of centuries of physical deprivation and want” (23) would like to lessen ICT’s burden on the environment and humanity while supplying it to everyone, then individuals should be encouraged to generate an intersectional mass movement to overwhelm the capitalist state, rather than look to it for green solutions.

This problematic proposal based on neoliberal state intervention and civic duty is returned to in more detail in the final chapter. Throughout the book, Maxwell and Miller chronicle the deep structural problem of global ICT production circuits and intimate a global mass movement that ties together “green consumers, activists, policy makers, and unionists” (p. 125), presumably in order to overthrow the state-business alliance. Yet “green citizenship” ultimately ends up relying on the corrupted neoliberal nation-state, since the three forms of green citizenship proposed—environmental, sustainability, and resistance—“offer strategies for change that can be channeled to representative government” (p. 144). This same representative government that Maxwell and Miller chide for claiming that “the private sector can play a role, along with government” in environmental policy (p. 119), is also supposed to be the mechanism for regulating the very companies that continue their harmful production circuit practices.

Maxwell and Miller accompany green citizenship with “green governance,” an organizational reform of government based on participatory inclusion and decentralization. But this proposal is just as fraught with problems. Even though Maxwell and Miller claim that “research… provides evidence that decentralized, participatory governance can play a vital role in policy making” (p. 147), international development practice has long since problematized the assumptions behind government decentralization and participatory reforms. As Jonathan Rigg points out,

“Decentralization and democratization do not go hand-in-hand and decentralization—like participation—tends to become caught up in local-level political tensions and asymmetries… Decentralization, therefore, when there are deep-seated inequalities in terms of wealth and power, and when local level institutions are dominated by elites will only further empower those elites while permitting them to capture an even greater share of resources.”[9]

Despite the repeated emphasis on individual strategies throughout the book, Maxwell and Miller remove the human element from government by not considering local cultural power relations and conditions, while inadvertently universalizing organizational solutions that shouldn’t be universalized. As just one example shows, China has been decentralizing its environmental governance gradually over the past several decades, yet local authorities continue to favor economic growth policies over standards and regulations,[10] despite growing protests from ICT laborers. Furthermore, Maxwell and Miller graft the notion of “green citizenship” onto various local movements that may not necessarily identify first and foremost as “green citizens.” In their examples of “sustainability citizenship,” Maxwell and Miller include the Latin American, Brazilian, and California-based ragpickers who have mobilized to protect their work, yet, these groups might just as easily identify as “laborers” rather than “citizens,” relating more to their own material conditions instead of the liberal notion of rights and duties under green governance.

Given the emphasis on the deplorable conditions of laborers coupled with the sustained critique of the economic growth models of government institutions, it is therefore surprising that Maxwell and Miller don’t come to a more grassroots solution for greening the media. This contradiction occurs mainly because the authors demonstrate a latent ambivalence towards using ICT itself. For example, in Chapter One, Maxwell and Miller denigrate the efficacy of “blogging or posting videos online to riff on commercial culture” (p. 23). They rightly argue that focusing on digital strategies usually leads to the cultural and academic valorization of the immaterial labor of Internet users in the Global North (pp. 15-16) while the labor conditions of workers toiling away in the ICT production circuits of the Global South are ignored. Yet they also consider Greenpeace’s “Green My Apple” campaign—an Internet riff of Apple’s own website layout—emblematic of a more radical form of green citizenship (p. 144). Although Maxwell and Miller are critical of the ICT advocacy wrought by so-called immaterial labor, they are nonetheless reluctant to reject it outright.[11]

Because of this ambiguity, Maxwell and Miller overlook the grassroots possibilities for change in the Global South that could be facilitated by ICT. Although the disparity in technology access between global regions—the “global digital divide”—continues to impact the educational experiences paradoxically needed to develop ICT skills, studies have shown that less-infrastructure dependent ICT, particularly mobile phones, are growing exponentially in the Global South, suggesting a possible inroads for mass mobilization.[12] In Chapter Four, Maxwell and Miller lament how the ICT production circuit fragments workers making mobilization practically impossible:

“with labor so geographically dispersed via international subcontracting, union density in the ICT/CE industries is ‘startingly low around the world’” (p. 96).

ICT could help mitigate this problem, as demonstrated by farmers of the Filipino People Power II movement in 2001 utilizing cell phones to organize mass protests that led to the overthrow of President Estrada.[13] As environmentalist Giles Slade notes, the cellphone “permits a new micro-level of social coordination previously unavailable and indeed unimaginable” to human beings.[14] Thus the potentialities for a labor disruption on a mass scale coordinated with help from ICT micro-coordination could provoke several significant outcomes.

Maxwell and Miller also express frustration at consumers who worship ICT as if their mobile devices came into the world independent of any labor or material inputs—what the authors call “the technological sublime”; a reconceptualization of Marx’s commodity fetishism (p. 7). Maxwell and Miller’s aforementioned three paradigms of ecological ethics are meant to reacquaint consumers with the materiality of their ICT, but the increasingly international division of labor in ICT production also provides various access points for laborers to disrupt the technological sublime. In 2008, a worker who assembled iPhones in Apple’s Foxconn factory in China accidentally uploaded a photo of herself and saved it as the default background on several phones before they shipped to North America for sale.[15] As a result, her image disrupted the consumer commodity fetish of Apple products by revealing, if only for a moment, the human labor behind the iPhone’s construction. Although an accident that likely had little, if any, long-term effects on the consumers who received these iPhones, this fortuitous encounter reveals the kind of imaginative possibilities available to laborers in the global production circuit.

All of this is not to imply that the Global South simply be provided with computer and iPhone donations from the Global North, an idea trotted out by Maxwell and Miller as part of green citizenship (p. 142). As Jan Nederveen Pieterse points out,

“the Internet is principally a middle-class medium; as a medium, essentially an extension of the typewriter, it presupposes literacy and the ability to absorb or create content and digital literacy. It may be termed a Starbucks approach to [development].”[16]

This also applies to social movements. Instead, Pieterse sensibly suggests that we look at how individuals have used traditional ICT such as television, radio, and the telephone—more ubiquitous forms of media across the Global South that can broadcast to mass audiences than modern digitalia—for their own political purposes.[17] Indeed, this notion of using contextually appropriate and broader ICT to develop social movements is not only more ecologically sound since it relies on pre-existing resources, but it is also more culturally embedded as a social practice. For instance, more Chinese currently have access to television than they do to smart phones. Thus it is not surprising that an underground network of Chinese democrats recently hacked several Chinese television networks instead of Chinese websites in order to denounce the Communist Party’s policies.[18] Likewise, during the Arab Spring, the media activist collective Mosireen used basic video cameras and projectors to educate Internetless communities about the Egyptian military’s crimes against civilians.[19] Contextually specific ICT can be used in a similar fashion to disrupt and/or green various points in the ICT production circuit in the Global South.

This is not to endorse political quietism in the Global North, where activists merely wait for the structural conditions of global capitalism to collapse on their own. As much as Maxwell and Miller would be loath to admit, one way to assist the Global South via ICT is through digital activism. One reason Maxwell and Miller outright dismiss the “playful hackers, YouTubers, bloggers and other volunteers” is because they require free, or nearly free resources for its revolution—presumably such things like free software, public domain licensing, free file-sharing, etc.—a model that the authors claim is identical to

“what paper-mill owners must have said about the rivers and endless forests at their disposal, or how the first voltage barons and their banking and communications customers felt about cheap coal” (161).

Maxwell and Miller rightly draw attention to the lack of consideration over what negative externalities digital strategies impose on the environment. Yet disavowing an entire online community for some of its theoretical flaws ignores how hacktivists and highly knowledgeable users have developed ICT disembedded from capital in ways advantageous to the Global South.

For instance, the online distribution of manuals and software for reverse engineering ICT hardware—including smart phones, televisions, and radios – not only circumvents WTO intellectual property rights, but also fosters indigenous modifications to locally established technologies. Robert W. Gehl similarly notes that reverse engineering as a social practice can lead to the construction of ICT tools that help shape a better politics beyond capitalism.[20] Although reverse engineered ICT is always threatened by the prospect of being appropriated by capitalism, companies like Microsoft clearly feel threatened by the prospect of reverse engineered ICT, and have initiated strategies in various Global South countries to reassert capital’s dominance.[21]

Additionally, efforts to make software platform independent—programs designed to run on any computer regardless of its operating system, be it whatever various versions of Mac O/S X or Windows—mitigate Maxwell and Miller’s concern about the consumer obsession with ICT newness. Maxwell and Miller retort that digital labor invokes “the Schumpeterian fantasy of entrepreneurs leading the way” (Ibid), yet this mischaracterizes digital activism since one of its primary tendencies is the notion of collective innovation, which also includes collaboration with non-technical users.

For the less technically inclined, YouTube, Twitter, and the blogosphere (an outlet Maxwell and Miller are familiar with) provide interactive opportunities for users to contribute to and join in on the critique of global ICT production circuits. Over the past several years, a litany of social media campaigns on supply chains have gone viral, including the Rainforest Alliance’s Follow the Frog video, the World Wildlife Foundation’s palm oil program, and Greenpeace and Global Witness’ online spoof commercials. UNI Global Union, an international worker organization dedicated to forging solidarity between laborers around the world, has also joined in by posting videos on YouTube that show Wal-Mart’s egregious supply chain practices.[22] Crucially, these organizations are not just throwing videos up for users to simply consume. Indeed, Maxwell and Miller downplay the reasons for the success of The Story of Stuff by referring to it as a short film rather than an online project (p. 161). As Michael O’Heaney, executive director of The Story of Stuff, points out, online videos must engage audiences as “co-creators” by providing materials and resources to help users become more active in developing their own projects, repurposing online content, and developing their own networks for action.[23]

But all these possibilities are not considered in Greening the Media since the root of Maxwell and Miller’s ambiguity over the usage of ICT stems from the unanswered question of how much damage to the environment and human life is acceptable for the development of ICT if such outcomes inevitably result from production circuits. As suggested above, the answer to this question lies within the various articulated social formations of the Global South in collaboration with the digital labor of the Global North. In short, whatever ICT the bourgeoisie develops that becomes dominant in a given social formation thus becomes one of the tools that can be used to dig their own graves. Instead, Maxwell and Miller get caught up in the environmental contradictions of the Global North, proposing a sustainability citizenship that engages with capitalism’s growth model, even while they repeatedly deem the latter problematic.

Maxwell and Miller state at the beginning of the book that the reader “will be startled by the scale and pervasiveness” of the environmental and human risks of global ICT production circuits (p. 1), and, as such, Greening the Media is indispensable for understanding capitalism’s structured exploitation of people and nature. Yet by the final chapter, having suggested some kind of grassroots solution against the corporate state along the way, Maxwell and Miller ultimately resort to a modest liberal proposal for reforming capitalism. As a consequence, Maxwell and Miller limit their ambitions by not considering the possibility or even necessity for a revolutionary grassroots movement to institute another mode of production.

Sadly, the growing difficulty with writing in more radical terms says more about the contemporary neoliberal colonization of the imagination than they do about this book’s particular solutions to greening the media. To invoke Fredric Jameson’s oft-quoted remark, it has now become “easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.”[24] To be sure, one of the latest left critiques of current environmental strategies, Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, contains several similar conceptual moves as Greening the Media. Like Maxwell and Miller, Klein articulates a fundamental contradiction with state-endorsed market-based plans to improve the environment, this time related to global warming, such as cap and trade schemes and “clean” fracking.[25] Klein argues that the problem of climate change cannot be resolved without challenging the intrinsic logic of capitalism, whilst advocating a grassroots movement based on deeper and more decentralized democracy as one possible solution - a notion identical to Maxwell and Miller’s green citizenship and governance. Finally, Klein concludes her book by reassuring the reader that revolution as a means for social transformation isn’t a viable option because history has shown that they “don’t have much to offer in the way of roadmaps.”[26] As Jodi Dean points out, this is nothing short of a disavowal of the achievements that the radical left has won from almost two centuries of large scale mobilizing and strategizing, while also delimiting the range of tactics available to address what is clearly one of the most pressing issues of our time.[27]

With this in mind, it must be acknowledged that Maxwell and Miller have done a tremendous job laying out the imperiled nature of our particular moment in ICT history. To move forward, the planet and its inhabitants now need more uncompromising strategies from the left on how to dismantle the capitalist state.

Notes

 1. Fred Magdoff, ‘The Problem Is Capitalism’, Monthly Review Zine, 26 September 2014. <http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2014/
magdoff260914.html
> [Accessed 25 October 2014]. [return to text]

2. ‘Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt,’ National Public Radio, 2 December 2013. <http://apps.npr.org/tshirt/#/title> [Accessed 25 October 2014].

3. ‘The Story of Stuff Project’, <http://storyofstuff.org/> [Accessed 25 October 2014].

4. Marketing and public relations strategies that highlight superficial changes a company makes in order to claim that it is environmentally “friendly.”

5. Walter Benjamin, ‘On the Concept of History’ (1940), marxists.org. <https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/benjamin/1940/history.htm> [Accessed 30 October 2014].

6. Karl Marx, ‘Chapter One,’ The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), marxists.org.<https://www.marxists.org/archive/
marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/ch01.htm
> [Accessed 30 October 2014].

7. Toby Miller and Richard Maxwell, ‘Don’t Be Misled about Paper Versus Electronic Books’, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/greening-the-media <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/greening-the-media/201309/don-t-be-misled-about-paper-versus-electronic-books> [Accessed 31 October 2014].

8. Micaela Di Leonardo, ‘Neoliberalization of Minds, Space, and Bodies,’ in Jane L. Collins, Micaela Di Leonardo, and Brett Williams (eds) New Landscapes of Inequality: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Democracy in America (Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2008) p. 198.

9. Jonathan Rigg, An Everyday Geography of the Global South (New York: Routledge, 2007), p. 157.

10. Tony Saich, 'Citizens' Perceptions of governance in rural and Urban China', Journal of Chinese Political Science, 12 (2007), pp. 1-28.

11. One of Greenpeace’s most successful Internet campaigns involved spoofing Dove’s “Onslaught” campaign to show the consequences of Dove’s global production practices on the Indonesian forests and its inhabitants. Due to public pressure, Dove’s subsidiary, Unilever, was forced to modify their global production practices. ‘After Protests, Unilever Does About-Face on Palm Oil,’ The Wall Street Journal, 2 May 2008. <http://online.wsj.com/articles/
SB120966732426660143
> [Accessed 1 November 2014].

12. ‘Cell Phones in Africa: Communication Lifeline,’ Pew Research Center, 15 April 2015.<http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/04/15/
cell-phones-in-africa-communication-lifeline/
> [Accessed 16 June 2015].

13. Osvaldo León, Sally Burch, and Eduardo Tamayo, Communication in Movement (Quito: Agencia Latinoamericana de Información, 2005).

14. Giles Slade, Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America (Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press, 2006), p. 273.

15. Brian X. Chen, ‘Factory: “iPhone Girl Is For Real, Not Fired”’, wired.com, 27 August 2008. <http://www.wired.com/2008/08/factory-iphone/> [Accessed 2 November 2014.]

16. Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Development Theory: Deconstructions/Reconstructions, Second Edition (London: Sage, 2010) p.177.

17. Ibid.

18. Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Isaac Fish, ‘Hackers Infiltrate Chinese TV Station,’ Foreign Policy, 1 August 2014 <http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/08/01/
exclusive-hackers-infiltrate-chinese-tv-station/
> [Accessed 14 December 2014].

19. ‘Taking power through technology in the Arab Spring,’ Al Jazeera, 26 October 2012 <http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/09/
2012919115344299848.html
> [Accessed 22 June 2015].

20. Robert W. Gehl, Reverse Engineering Social Media: Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014).

21. Particularly by distributing low-cost laptops and software to the Global South in order to maintain technology dependency. Nederveen Pieterse, Development Theory, pg. 179.

22. ‘Wal-mart Supply Chain,’ UNI Global Union, 30 October 2013. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZC4neLax5o> [Accessed 24 June 2015].

23. Oliver Blach, ‘Movies and YouTube Hits Spurring Action On Supply Chain Issues,’ The Guardian, 17 October 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/oct/17/movies-youtube-hits-spurring-action-supply-chain-issues> [Accessed 24 June 2014].

24. Fredric Jameson, ‘Future City,’ New Left Review 21, May-June 2003. <http://newleftreview.org/II/21/fredric-jameson-future-city> [Accessed 2 November 2014].

25. Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014), p. 199.

26. Klein, Ibid, p. 450.

27. Jodi Dean, ‘This Changes Some Things,’ I Cite, 15 March 2015. <http://jdeanicite.typepad.com/i_cite/2015/03/this-changes-some-things.html> [Accessed 26 June 2015].