Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Are we really that gullible?

There's a two-hour documentary about Amazon on PBS tonight. The Washington Post reviewed it today (ironically owned by Bezos). They ended their review with this:
Are we really so tech-besotted that anything goes? No one forced us to hand over all our personal data and install Amazon’s listening devices or surveillance cameras in our homes — we just did, because we, too, want the future to be cool. We rationalize our immediate need for its delivered products against environmental impact or any other effect, be it physical or psychological.

The creepiness of all this comes through in Amazon’s recent holiday campaigns, where its smiling cardboard boxes sing Supertramp’s ’70s rock ballad “Give a Little Bit” on their journeys to customers’ doors.

“Even in Amazon’s commercials, the people are almost like shadows and silhouettes,” says Bloomberg News e-commerce reporter Spencer Soper. “Happy boxes singing and bumbling their way to your door. They don’t even want you to think about how they do this, they just want you to be wowed. . . . They wanted people to think, ‘Whoa, magic!’” (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
Moral of the story: Buy local? Well, that's just part of it; perhaps a better moral: Don't get suckered into thinking that the consumer society is the pinnacle of civilization and that stuff makes you happy! If that were the case, we, as the richest society the world has ever produced, would be the happiest. But we aren't. We are sick, fat, lazy, and depressed. Ponder that before you hit the buy button. Maybe a brisk walk (or even a not-so-brisk-walk) would be better for your happiness than that latest little do-dad that you could easily live without.

Just an
</idle musing>

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