The Hidden Life of an Amazon User, the weight of a purchase


If the digital economy is now based on the abstraction of the shop into coding and interfacing its space on a screen, its epitome is the boundless Amazon experience. In “The Hidden Life of an Amazon UserJoana Moll ‘declassifies’ the code behind a simple book purchase (symbolically “The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success: The Journey, The Teachable Moments & 10 Rules for Success Cultivated from the Life & Wisdom of Jeff Bezos”). The hidden code, shown in all its glorious length, is progressively and precisely quantified in downloaded Mb and watt presumed consumption (87.33 Mb, 30 WH for each of the 12 interfaces). The insane evidence of waste is experienced by the user through the amount of scrolling needed to get to the end of the list. The energy cost is just the tip of this melting iceberg of online hyper-capitalisation.