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Posts Tagged ‘Whole Foods’

Who Needs Stuff So Quickly?

June 21st, 2017 No comments

Source: Why Amazon is eating the world | TechCrunch

By now we know that Amazon has become ubiquitous in our modern lives.  The erstwhile bookseller has become THE 800 pound gorilla in the retail space as its shadow looms over all types of commerce.  Not content to just sell books, Amazon’s reach extends to every consumable product imaginable and recently, they’ve made a foray into the grocery business by buying upscale grocer, Whole Foods.   Lesser known perhaps was the purchase of the Washington Post newspaper by owner Jeff Bezos, giving them a political platform as well.

After reading the convincing story in the above link, we feel that Amazon is not done with world domination.  There’s no reason to think that they would not one day push into the field of pharmaceutical delivery or even for medical services.  Why not legal services, dating services and pet adoption?  Home and car buying are probably already in the works.  How much easier would it be to get a new spouse online?  A few convenient clicks, no expensive dating required and especially if they have the no hassle return policy.

Amazon is not as some think, a technology company.  They are the epitome of the most efficient logistics company.  They are able to provide consumers with the cheapest, largest selection of goods in the most convenient way for customers.  As Bezos famously said, “I’ve never had someone come to me asking to be charged more and to have it delivered more slowly”.  That is the nub of the business model: people want convenience.

How lazy have we become as a society when we can’t even be bothered to go to the mall to buy shoes?  Are we really that busy?  What are we doing that’s so important that we can’t do a stroll to buy something?  There was a story today which claimed in despondent terms, how customers at McDonald’s would now have to wait….one extra minute for their burgers because they were going to  use fresh meat instead of frozen!  The horror!  How is the company going to survive?

In unrelated developments, the rush is on to introduce self driving cars, because apparently, driving and parking are too much trouble for a stressed populace; and besides it’s easier to use Amazon apps to buy stuff if you’re not actually driving.  It all sounds good as a marketing ploy; convenience, cheap and likely green, but aren’t many of these inventions and services created in search of a use? Sort of like an electric dog polisher or an automatic nose picker? How did the world get along before expecting things to happen instantly?  How are we better off because we received the latest shoe 3 days earlier than by standard means?  How did our time become so precious, that saving a bit here and there is essential for happiness?

A friend remarked about how purchasing the latest space age bicycle seat post on his $7000 road bicycle would shave 150 grams from the curb weight of the machine.  In reality, a quick trip to the bathroom would save just as much if not more weight.  But it all sounds good, so it must be better.

Need Longer Extension Cord

March 12th, 2013 No comments

link Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret.

We see this often these days.  People are so smart that they are actually dumb.   From the very first time that Cro-Magnon man picked up a stick to beat up an adversary, necessity has always been the mother of invention.  That’s the way it works.  People will always tinker with things just for the intellectual amusement of tinkering, but for the most part, inventions make it to general usage because there’s a practical and commercial utility to it.  Some inventions are really of marginal utility; they exist only because someone sold the idea of its usefulness.  The electric toothbrush is such an example.  I’m sure many would be lost if they had to manually brush their teeth.  Up, down, up, down, oh the humanity.   Still, it does fulfill some consumer need.

For this reason, my invention of a gas powered pillow fluffer never took off as I had originally anticipated.  Neither did my solar powered dog polisher,  or hand cranked nose hair plucker.   Because of the mass delusion that has been foisted on a naive public by global warming zealots over the past few generations,  vast resources have been given to people preaching the quixotic vision of green power.   While it’s hard to argue with the general intent of this vision, the free market has not adopted the results of the “innovations” thus far.  In the case of many consumer items today, the populace have come to embrace the whole notion of green/sustainable/organic/natural items.  It’s only a matter of time before they start selling shoes made of seaweed at Whole Foods.  They’re only good for about 300 steps, but at least they are green.  In the case of battery powered green cars, the resources put in compared to the results achieved are truly dismal despite what the optimists claim.

Spending $40,000 to buy an electric vehicle with the lofty range of 60 miles would have no commercial takers unless you were a) an idiot, b) a zealot, c) too rich for your own good, or d) all of the above, the worst possible combination.   Instead of spending untold billions of taxpayer dollars to fund technology that is inherently flawed, the simplest solution is right in front of us.

Buy cars with smaller engines.  The internal combustion engine has been around for a long time and has gone through numerous refinements by all manufacturers.  They have never been more efficient in power transmission and continue to be cleaner burning as well.  Porsche goes as far as to claim that the air going in to their engines is not as clean as the air coming out of their exhaust pipes.  That may be a stretch, but if you’ve ever breathed the air in Beijing or Shanghai, it’s somewhat believable.  Regardless, the technology already exists for fuel sipping small displacement engines that are as efficient as some so called green electric vehicles, especially when factoring in the cost of battery production.  More importantly,  the biggest advantage of existing gas powered cars is that people can actually afford them and are able to plan trips beyond the range of what their eyes can see.   A road trip in an electric car is essentially a ride to the city limits.

In this day and age, with a gas station every mile or so in most cities, idiots still manage to run out of gas.  What makes people think there will be charging stations available when the battery goes kaput while on their way to a doctor’s appointment?  The irony is that they will call the automobile club for a rescue.  They of course will show up with a gas powered car.   If people really want to push the green powered nonsense, maybe they can bring back horses and covered wagons.  We know horses are good for at least 60 miles, although acceleration is nothing to brag about.