Nathan’s post on Coke machines got me thinking about food. Food, at least in the fast food sense, seems to be in the commodified imagination realm. It’s main purpose, as stated in its name, is to be fast, convenient, and appetizing enough to want to eat. I think its safe to say fast food has easily achieved each of these goals. As a society, we definitely want fast food to be a part of our lives even though, on the surface at least, it’s just about the most revolting thing around.
In the context of other commodified products, it is easy to call producers out on their shit. Have a [thing] that isn’t working? Take it back. Buy [another thing] that broke immediately? Buy one of their competitors. Affecting change here is comparatively easy compared to other commodified products.
Fast food presents a challenge that, perhaps, can be seen in the digital realm as well. To affect change, however, would mean admitting that we have a problem, that we have an addiction. That we’ve gone all this time eating this terrible food, believing whatever we’d want to believe while scarfing it down. We’d also have to admit to being wrong and not just “different.” This is a lot easier when our physical bodies, our pride, are not on the line and when we can decide that the utility of getting something done is more important than being the one who got it right (imagine if Sony stuck to Betamax or Microsoft to HD DVD). I think, just as we are addicted to unhealthy food, we are also addicted to social media, video games or the like.
Even the justifications are the same: I have to eat, don’t I? And, I have to get on Facebook to keep up with what’s going around the cohort! But, what other kind of food that is as convenient? And, it’s where all of my notifications are!
It would be interesting to see if there is a framework that could affect change here. More interesting if a digital framework could inform the culinary.