This is a pretty interesting mini-lecture by Nicholas Carr on media design and its impact. Along the way, you get to see how ads are starting to be sprung on us in new ways:
Sweaty hands: Where would anybody sane rank this on the list of humanity’s current problems? What does the fact that new, heavily promoted package goods to combat sweaty hands are now much more on the agenda than, say, serious ecological reforms imply about corporate capitalism and its highly engineered socio-cultural order?
The new product that prompts this question is Carpe Hand Anti-Perspirant, which, if one is gullible enough to believe the public story of the stuff’s inventors, was created because people urgently needed it:
For years, hyperhidrosis treatment required multiple visits to a doctor or dermatologist. Individuals often had little choice but to dedicate ample amounts of time and money to hyperhidrosis treatment at a medical facility.
Ever the heroes, our valiant entrepreneurs — TRIGGER WARNING: the story involves graphic tales of “a lot of people were wiping their palms on their clothes” — knew of this crisis and pursued a solution:
The research that led to this wondrous breakthrough? Turns out, it is organized by an MBA, and takes surveys of its own conference attendees to document the disease to which it claims to be responding.
As Preacher Daniel told the folks in Matewan, draw your own conclusions.
Joe Strummer foresaw it. Automobiles are not just core vehicles of hyper-commodification/waste, but are themselves sites of selling and commercial indoctrination.
This is a photo of the arrival of the further commercialization and commodification of the experience of riding in cars, to wit, the arrival of Cargo-in-Uber:
Now, if they can just figure out how to get robots to drive…
Apart from providing invaluable, presumably at least partly unintended assistance to the overclass by helping legitimize the catastrophic “vocabulary of consumption” as the prevailing way of describing issues of product design and product use, Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, has a long history of getting weaker and worse at pursuing its own mission. The accommodationist process is approaching its logical end. Having long ago chosen to refrain from investigating and reporting on issues of political economy and product policy, Consumer Reports now faces competition from other mere product review enterprises. In reply, what is Consumers Union doing? Why, capitulating further, of course. It has just now created the first-ever marketing campaign on behalf of the “Consumer Reports” brand name.
Big Brother was a rookie.
When one edits a blog on cars-first transportation and a blog on market totalitarianism, news such as this poses the question of where to comment. Since marketing and market totalitarianism are the bigger, deeper phenomenon, I choose TCT.
Shopping, despite the obvious distracted driving portents, is about to enter the cockpit of the car in a serious way.
Here is a screenshot of General Motors’ initial version of its Marketplace dashware:
“Marketplace is not meant to be an in-vehicle digital billboard,” Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of global connected customer experience [ROFL!], says to Automotive News.
That, my friends, is a lie.
The other factor here, as is the case with the corporate command over paid labor processes, is the question of skills. At this late stage of corporate capitalism, the overclass stands so confident and unchallenged, they don’t even feel much need to euphemize about this. Witness Alexa Skills, which shamelessly names the process of alienating, commercializing, and commodifying human abilities.
If you think this doesn’t matter because each individual skill transfer is trivial, recall the piranha effect. Then, ask yourself: How many phone numbers do you know these days? Where did that form of mental acuity go?