Weekend Thoughts - 1.27.18

Image  by  susannp4 , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by susannp4, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. It's been roughly six months since Amazon announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods Market. When that story first broke, I speculated that it wouldn't be too long before we would be "walking into a store and making a purchase without interacting with another human being." Well, that time is now. Amazon opened the first store cashier-less in Seattle this Monday, dubbed Amazon Go. It is essentially a partially-automated grocery store, stocked with sandwiches, salads, snacks, and even beer and wine. There is little-to-no interaction between customers and human employees—once you scan your cell phone at the entrance, cameras track your behavior in the store and your credit card is automatically charged when you leave the store. That's right, there is no cashier at all. The only time you would need to interface with a human is if you were attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage, because that would involve someone verifying that you are of legal age to buy booze. If you're interested in seeing what the store looks like, Recode has an excellent set of photographs for you. Just walking out of a store and not being required to wait in a line is an innovative, exciting concept. We'll have to wait and see how this experiment goes though—unless you're in or near Seattle this type of store isn't yet available.

2. Burger King came out with an advertisement dubbed "Whopper Neutrality" this week that explains the basics concepts of Net Neutrality. After interviewing several people in a Burger King parking lot about their understanding of what Net Neutrality really is and finding out that the general public is fairly clueless about this issue, the video moves into the restaurant. The prices have been changed to reflect the speed with which the customers will receive their Whoppers. Customers who want to get their burgers quickly must also be willing to pay $26! In addition to being entertaining in a kafkaesque way, this ad may do a lot for helping the mainstream understand this topic a bit better.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.