Will Technology Like Amazon’s Dash Button Make Us Stupid?


For all the jeering that has accompanied Amazon’s new Dash Button this week, the little gadget feels an awful lot like a sign from the future. Right now, it may seem unlikely any sane consumer would decorate their bathrooms and pantries with thumb-sized, Wi-Fi enabled gadgets that let them instantly re-order coffee pods, instant breakfasts, disposable diapers, and other household necessities. But Amazon has already demonstrated how readily we adopt seemingly bizarre behaviors when we’re offered a potent new increment of convenience. With Dash (“Place it. Press it. Get it”) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is merely taking the model of instant, reflexive consumption he has already successfully promoted with Prime and One-Click (and soon, drones) and embedding it into the very architecture of our lives.

Dash is just an appetizer. By most accounts, these gadgets are the opening move in a much larger enterprise: merging the consumer marketplace with the…

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