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Bundling and Unbundling — Real Life
Reducing the world’s accumulated complexity — businesses, institutions, or cities — to sets of discrete tasks or features requires viewing the world as a computer does: quantifying value, weighing costs against benefits, and disregarding ambiguity. As if the messy analog world was code itself, unbundling frames each desirable feature of the world as an independent module that can operate anywhere without a loss of performance quality. The process rests on a faith that technology can isolate the true value of anything useful, removing it from its context without any loss of utility or desirability. Everything that can’t be valued and compartmentalized in that way — that can’t be conserved in the form of a worthwhile module — is discarded in the course of unbundling it. A newspaper’s localized audience, for example, previously developed a shared sense of identity as a community by reading the same publication every day. But that particular collectivity could only arise from the audience assembled by the bundle. “Community” can’t be broken out as an isolated independent “feature” to be consumed on demand by individual consumers.
november 2019 by copystar
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