This is the next step after ‘ghost kitchens’ — a multitude of virtual brands that basically offer the same thing but packaged differently. As the article explains, the step after this is inevitable: companies like Uber Eats cut out the middleman and open their own ghost kitchens and virtual brands.
Proponents of digital brands and ghost kitchens often pitch them as a way for chefs to experiment. When you don’t have to lease new space or hire new staff, it becomes less costly to try something new. At the same time, the availability of data about what works, platforms that algorithmically reward success with more success, and the way people search for generic products all create evolutionary pressure in the same direction. It’s a push-pull we’ve seen play out on other platforms. In theory, people are free to try weird things; in practice, most everyone makes wings.
🧠 I Feel Better Now — “Brain chemistry and childhood trauma go a long way toward explaining a person’s particular struggles with mental health, but you could be forgiven for wondering whether there is also something larger at work here—whether the material arrangement of society itself, in other words, is contributing to a malaise that various authorities nevertheless encourage us to believe is exclusively individual.”
😟 Where loneliness can lead — “Totalitarianism uses isolation to deprive people of human companionship, making action in the world impossible, while destroying the space of solitude. The iron-band of totalitarianism, as Arendt calls it, destroys man’s ability to move, to act, and to think, while turning each individual in his lonely isolation against all others, and himself. The world becomes a wilderness, where neither experience nor thinking are possible.”
🙍 The problem is poverty, however we label it — “If your only choice of an evening is between skipping dinner or going to sleep in the cold before waking up in the cold, then you are not carefully selecting between food poverty and fuel poverty, like some expense-account diner havering over the French reds on a wine list. You are simply impoverished.”
👩💻 Malware found on laptops given out by government — “According to the forum, the Windows laptops contained Gamarue.I, a worm identified by Microsoft in 2012… The malware in question installs spyware which can gather information about browsing habits, as well as harvest personal information such as banking details.”