Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Porter, on divergence
Porter comments on the great divergence of our time: technological advances that formerly powered such developments as reduction in infant mortality, less communicable disease, food abundance and the staples of bourgeois existence now descend to base production of baubles like Facebook, internet porn and console games.
I can think of an important exception, that being the immense amounts of capital which Amazon devotes to realizing more and better ways to bring whatever product you need right to your door. And the talented people at that company are just getting started; at some point you will get your groceries from them as well.
And then there's the cornucopia of private entertainment on offer--iTunes, Roku, cable, internet streaming.
Note that the customer service interface for these transactions can be (actually, is) completely automated.
Add telecommuting, homeschooling for your kids, liberal gun laws, an advanced and sophisticated security market, and you need never leave your house.
Which, it struck me in a moment of jaw-dropping realization, is the whole point: you need never leave your house.
Go to your local shopping mall and soak up the atmosphere over a weekend. Don't let the uber models in the slideshow at that link fool you--malls would kill for actual demographics like that. Then contrast your mall experience with online purchases from your living room, decorated and climate-controlled to your own specifications, around family and friends of your choosing.
App by app, automated process by automated process: technologically-savvy whites are withdrawing.
The campaign is so concerted and energetic, I wonder if it's instinctive.