Should we fear how much authority Amazon has over our culture? It's a difficult question. On one hand, you cannot deny what Jeff Bezos has done--bringing a company from nothing, and taking risks that could have easily gone badly, and turning it into a juggernaut. On the other hand, it has become so large that it has almost become a public utility. My guest, Dr. Emily West, and I discuss the ramifications of the rise of Amazon. Although the tone of the conversation might seem negative, in reality, the more important point that I think we're both trying to make is that there is something about the rise of Amazon that should at least warrant our attention. I still use Amazon for books, electronics, and even to look up reviews--as we mention in this discussion. The late, great George Carlin used to talk about the slow reduction of choices in American culture through the consolidation of market powerhouses. I think it's worth having a conversation about. I hope you do as well. If you want to support our continuing efforts to bring civil discourse back into the mainstream, hit the subscribe button, the like button, and share the show with a friend.
// EPISODE LINKS //
Emily's Book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/978026254330...
// EPISODE OUTLINE //
00:57 Introduction (having a little fun)
02:49 Start of conversation
03:34 What does ubiquitous presence mean in relation to your study?
07:02 How was Sears, in some ways, a kind of Amazon?
12:33 Why is Amazon a more pressing conversation than Walmart or Google?
18:04 How was Amazon so early on understanding the need for consumer interaction?
24:35 Why not let Amazon and companies like it handle distribution?
30:18 George Carlin and the reduction of choices where it matters
37:07 How did Amazon gain enough power to negotiate with the Post Office for Sunday delivery?
43:48 Could we shift the culture of desire to a more manageable one for the sake of workers?
49:48 What was your Amazon fulfillment center tour experience like?
55:41 Amazon is phenomenal at gathering just the right data
59:35 Apparently, I never owned that Christmas special.
1:07:03 Amazon is a distributor of ideas as well--with some pros and cons attached to that model
1:12:50 Final thoughts on the matter
// WEBSITE //
Head over to the website to learn more about me and to contact me. https://theneutralgroundpodcast.com/
// EPISODE SUGGESTIONS //
1. Why we crave narrative? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVqv1...
2. What we don't hear about incel culture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynYdp...
3. Why not violence? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohhht...
4. The need for the heroic narrative - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoCLH...
5. Why are we fascinated with psychopaths? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQgL1...
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