petej + convenience   21

The Cost of Convenience – BLARB
Life becomes so convenient there is scarcely time for anything else. We become managers of our own convenience, constantly vigilant lest we miss out on a new gadget or lifehack. Life is increasingly put on autopilot for us, but instead of being freed from drudgery, we find ourselves stuck in the cockpit — only now with less control over the plane and with innumerable new functions and features to consider, buy, and oversee. We become so preoccupied with tweaking our virtual dashboards that we forget to look out the window.

Instead of bringing things together the new convenience separates us from them. It pulls us out of the world and makes us spectators of our own practical activity. In the same way Facebook monetizes our social lives by turning them into a form of entertainment — and can thereby distort and alienate where it purports to foster and connect — Amazon and company place screens between us and our practical lives. We stand by and monitor things, manning the controls, but with little idea of where we’re heading.
Amazon  convenience  automation  overwork  Juicero  complexity  anxiety  technology 
9 days ago by petej
Ryanair’s crisis shows the true cost of the low-cost revolution | Gwyn Topham | Opinion | The Guardian
Ultimately, the cheaper deal is making us all pay. Unbundling doesn’t eliminate costs, it just makes them external. And they still have to be met by someone, somewhere. The unravelling of corporate responsibility that accompanies it, vividly evinced in the creative employment contracts now endemic in road, rail and air, could leave society with costs as small as the individual medical care of a burnt-out pilot or cabin crew member – or something far worse.
Ryanair  air  travel  cancellations  business  hubris  costs  unbundling  Uber  Amazon  convenience  demand  CAA  regulation 
september 2017 by petej
Life on automatic: Facebook's archival subject | Mitchell | First Monday
"Facebook provides its users with a single, persistent identity [44] that is connected to other single identities and openly disclosed to the world. It is a variation on the classical liberal, economic subject, atomistic, rational, and self–interested; connected and informational; narrativized and receptive; virtual in its tentative purchase on a world understood as a screen [45] to be browsed [46]. This subjectivity is constructed through a repeated engagement with the quotidian medium of the Internet — something casual and inconspicuous, to deploy Heidegger’s (1995) language of boredom, and something that works to so effectively construct subjectivity because it holds the subject in a state of temporal abeyance. This understanding of the world is seductive [47]; there is a pleasure in holding the world in reserve. Facebook is successful because it promises to deliver this world: its mechanisms symptomatize the ontological pre–understanding of the world as something that waits to be browsed. This pre–understanding takes the form of a map that renders reality convenient and interesting and an archive that renders it automatic and coherent. In both cases, reality is taken to be available. Facebook is thus the dream of an augmented, effortless, transparent world where technology will deliver some form of “freedom” through openness and connection.

When representations lie in front of the reality that they are intended to represent, they obscure that reality; the two begin to blend. Facebook’s archival subject browses the world by way of representations that lie in front of reality and thereby constitute it, minimizing the chances of inconvenience and chance encounters, moving toward a pre–conceived connection. Even when these chance encounters do take place, they are less likely to be the sort that inspire frustration or demand attention. In themselves, these changes in the way that people interact with the world may not necessarily be a “bad” thing, but when the convenient path that they establish becomes the only path that a user ever takes, this user loses some of the experiences that characterize communal living.

This is the real sense in which Facebook operates as a map on top of reality: it obscures the dirt of the world — those inconvenient “imperfections” that impede friction free movement. Facebook may map the world at a scale of one to one, but it remains a map, free of the imperfections of the people and places it maps; it helps its users present cleaner, better curated versions of themselves, and helps them avoid the difficult demands that they sometimes face when they navigate the rocky terrain of friendship. Insofar as users of social media turn to this graph of the world with greater frequency, they face fewer (social) inconveniences — something that is not in fact an unadulterated good."
Facebook  identity  digitalIdentity  archives  relationships  representation  ideology  subjectivity  individualism  convenience  FacebookTimeline 
april 2014 by petej

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