From iGeek
Jump to: navigation, search
I'm neither advocate nor foe of Amazon. They are a company, that's doing their best to adapt to changing market demands. Some things they do, like offering me better selection at lower prices, is great. Other things they do, like censorship or partisan politics, is annoying. A company isn't made up of any one act or person, but the aggregate of all of them. This article is a list of different Amazon related topics/articles that touch on the Amazon Gestalt. While I have individual opinions on individual acts, I'm perfectly fine leaving it to readers to make up their own minds on those micro-acts, or the macro-organization and personalities.

Alexa's Listening


Who doesn't want an always on, listening device in their home? 1984 (Orwell) creeped us out by the idea of TV's that listened and Governments that monitored for political correctness -- Amazon just marketed it. The problem is without regulation, and little trust of Amazon protecting our privacy, there's valid concerns about what MIGHT be done. Here's an example of a design security flaw where folks who make a "skill", can allow Alexa to listen forever.

Sure, it'll listen in.... but you can order things you see on informercials, mindlessly, without having to shop for the best value or press a few buttons.

Throw on top that Alexa has a raging bias: Or that she won't answer if you talk to her rude/sexist, and how long until she starts lecturing and indoctrinating people, while monitoring them for truthiness?

Amazon Key

Main article: Amazon Key

Amazon decided if you were giving access to your shopping, always on wiretap in your homes (Alexa), why not give them access to your home and to circumvent the 4th Amendment (if it's by choice, it doesn't count)? And thus, Amazon Key: giving them the key to your homes. The delivery guy just unlocks your door, fights off your dog, throws the package in, and locks the door behind them - what's more convenient that home-invasion delivery?

Amazon Car Key

If strangers coming into your house isn't creepy enough, they also have delivery service to your parked car (as long as it is in a public space). That'll be convenient for the car break-in thieves in most big cities: they can follow the Amazon delivery guy around to decide what they want. Will the Amazon folks move the bodies out of the way to get the packages in? Can I get a singing telegram delivered this way? I'm thinking of hiring an Amazon guy to hide in someone's back seat wearing panty-hose over his head to sing the greatest hits from various horror films. I keep thinking there's gonna be a guy with a pet boa-constrictor that's going to ruin this for everyone else.

In case your invasion of privacy alarms aren't going off, they also offered stalker mode on your package delivery, down to a few feet. "That traffic delivery guy must have eaten poorly, he's stopping at a lot of restrooms".

Whole Foods


Amazon acquired WholeFoods, which sounds like an unusual purchase, until you think about the demographics and location of their stores: high density, urban, affluent. This is where Amazon would want to start if they're doing distribution from the most profitable and highest density places first.

Bookstore killer!

Amazon gets blamed for being too damn good and putting Borders or other booksellers out of business (and the struggles of Barnes and Noble). This is of course garbage: a well run company that adapted to the changing market-space would not have gone out of business. Proof is that many smaller bookstores have thrived in spite of Amazon, while some big box ones, were poorly positioned for the changing landscape. That's not Amazon's fault, and if it hadn't of been for Amazon, someone else might have eaten their lunch. Blame them for not being Amazon and disrupting themselves before Amazon did.

Amazon and Antifa

Main article: Amazon and Antifa

Bezos doesn't seem to mind selling hate on Amazon. Well, left wing hate. They blocked history and the confederate flag as too controversial -- but antifa stuff was sold well after they proved themselves to be a domestic terrorist organization.

NOTE: I don't mind Amazon taking a neutral position and claiming "free speech" and selling offensive material from both sides. And I don't even mind them deciding not to sell offensive material -- as long as they are consistent with left/right hate speech. You want to block BLM, Antifa, Che, Chavez, China, BDS, SPLC and other far left hate groups equally with Confederate Flags, go ahead. As long as they're consistently free speech or objective standards, and I'm good with it. But the hypocrisy, of saying, "Confederate flags" are too much. But violence/revolution encouraging manifestos from the left are acceptable, now THAT I have a problem with. That's the danger of stepping in an playing world-police.

Employee Outrage

Amazon employees outraged that the company’s facial recognition contracts with the U.S. government and police, could lead to more of the “immoral U.S. policy” around arresting felons, illegal aliens, and catching/killing terrorists or other threats to the U.S.

It also goes further, they want to attack anyone who uses AWS to create their own services that might be used to stop criminality (illegal immigration, or otherwise). I don't think they understand how business works, and confuses their political views with morals. While in real life and the big boy world, sometimes both sides can both be ethical/moral, because morals are often about intent. The intent of protecting Americans from murderous criminal foreigners is every bit as moral as the intent of protecting law-breaking refugees (or at least the people posing as them).

NOTE: I don't mine sincere concerns about 4th and 5th Amendment rights. But when far lefties are complaining, it's not usually about the Constitutional protection of liberties, but more about their concerns against the laws they created actually getting enforced. Especially immigration laws, or things that could detect things like Social Service fraud, or anything that might save taxpayers money.


I keep wondering if they ever field test this stuff before thinking up these ideas. Are we really beyond redemption, or are they?