Outsource yourself to infrastructures!

The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a piece on how the flood of app-based service provision can make you lazy.
There are apps that let you call someone to wash your car just where you parked it; apps to let somebody queue for you; and certain apps like TaskRabbit let you “Get just about anything done by safe, reliable, awesome people”. Or, if you are lucky enough to be living in San Francisco, you may want to use “Get It Now” to “Have the best of San Francisco delivered to you in under one hour”.
Appropriately for the Journal, author Jessica Vascellaro uses the terminology of outsourcing to describe what is happening in the use of these app-based services. As we are outsourcing all kinds of activities to other people via our smartphones, however, the question may not only be whether we become lazier, but also whether we become embedded. Can there be any doubt that we do? The tone of cultural criticism in the WSJ piece suggest that we are losing something here but are we not in fact extending ourselves in truest McLuhan style? In that sense, the work I am outsourcing is still there, and it is still my work – done by others. In outsourcing activities, I am simply using the infrastructure of mobile communication in order to make many things happen simultaneously. Does service provision through infrastructures turn us into small-time Leviathans?

1 thought on “Outsource yourself to infrastructures!

  1. <html><body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><div>Well, that is a topic you know I like. You know, Eriche from our Cleveland (Go Browns!) 4S meeting is working on a justification for "nano-translations" as a way to capture super-super micro processes that, when aggregated in particular network relationships or compiled according to some algorithm, produce the groundwork of supra-macro processes and entities such as, for example, globalization and multinational governance conglomerates, respectively.&nbsp;</div><div>.</div><div>One of the key issues being that the super-micro stuff undergird super-macro processes appear somehow detached from one another; however, a complex accounting necessarily hold them together EVEN IF micro happens appear divorced from macro-processes AND even if macro processes appear set-apart from their micro-underpinnings through some sort of algorithmic camera obscura.</div><div><br></div></body></html>


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