In a revealing post over on New Scientist’s Environment blog, correspondent Fred Pearce recounts some of the cultural and economic back story to his being able to buy a new, handmade PC from Dell:
To keep the lines running, Asustek trains a staggering 7000 new operators every month. Right now a new influx of young girls is heading for Suzhou and the other computer cities, part of China’s rapid urbanisation – a process demographers are calling the biggest human mass migration ever seen.
I don’t quite know whether it is the dynamism or the heartlessness of the Chinese economy that I find most stunning. But in my small way, with my purchase, I am part of it.
Disturbing, and mildly thrilling. (And what he doesn’t tell you is that consoles are made in the abyss by the ravaged souls of tiny old ladies.)