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By now, there's hundreds of hot takes on the Internet about Amazon's Dash button, a new technology that lets you order more diapers, K-Cups, and toilet paper by pressing a branded button stuck to a nearby cabinet. At the New Yorker, Ian Crouch makes an argument against the button not based on the specifics of Amazon's technology, but on the personal benefits of being able to run out of things:
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.
It's doubtful that Amazon Dash's early adopters are too hung up on the holistic gains of running out of toilet paper, but Crouch makes an interesting point about consumption and being able to exercise self-control.