There’s a recent piece in The New Yorker on the new Amazon Dash Button. For those who don’t know, the Dash Button is a small button you place in your house, which orders regularly-used products (detergent, macaroni, and coffee, if the promotional video is any guide) every time you press it.
Over at The New Yorker, Ian Crouch is a bit put-off by the Dash Button. Here’s why:
But what if there is actual value in running out of things? The sinking feeling that comes as you yank a garbage bag out of the box and meet no resistance from further reinforcements is also an opportunity to ask yourself all kinds of questions, from “Do I want to continue using this brand of bag?” to “Why in the hell am I producing so much trash?” The act of shopping—of leaving the house and going to a store, or, at the very least, of one-click ordering on the Amazon Web site—is a check against the inertia of consumption, not only in personal economic terms but in ethical ones as well. It is the chance to make a decision, a choice—even if that choice is simply to continue consuming. Look, we’re all going to keep using toothpaste, and the smarter consumer is the person who has a ten-pack of tubes from Costco in the closet. But shopping should make you feel bad, if only for a second. Pressing a little plastic button is too much fun.
I encourage you to read the whole article.