Note — Dec 15, 2019

Jeff Bezos’ Vision of the Future Is Basically Blade Runner

The facts the author cites are pretty well known, but a fun read (can it be a fun read if it’s about dystopic ideas?) nonetheless, making a parallel between Bezos’ vision, especially the horrendous working conditions in Amazon fulfillment centers, and the language and actions of one Niander Wallace, of the Wallace / Tyrell Corporation.

Bezos is convinced that humanity will fall prey to “stasis and rationing” if we remain on Earth. The Jeff Bezos brand of never-ending growth will require constant population gains, increased energy use, and more resources than our planet can provide — so, into the stars we must go. […]

Like Wallace, Bezos wants humanity to grow to a trillion people, but beyond the thousands of “Mozarts and Einsteins” he imagines, he has little to say of the consequences for the hundreds of billions of people who won’t make it to the top of their fields. […]

Handheld scanners double as instruments of surveillance, with workers’ every movement timed, including bathroom breaks. Conditions are dire, with the company opting to have medics on standby rather than fit warehouses with air conditioning systems. With all the scanning and walking on concrete floors, injuries are common. Who needs Replicants when you can grind down the working class in the pursuit of your grand vision?