Pluralistic: Autoenshittification (24 July 2023)

Today’s links Autoenshittification: How the computer killed capitalism. This day in history: 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading Autoenshittification (permalink) Forget F1: the only car race that matters now is the race to turn your car into a digital extraction machine, a high-speed inkjet printer on wheels, stealing your private data as it picks your pocket. Your car’s digital infrastructure is a costly, dangerous nightmare – but for automakers in pursuit of postcapitalist utopia, it’s a dream they can’t give up on. Your car is stuffed full of microchips, a fact the world came to appreciate after the pandemic struck and auto production ground to a halt due to chip shortages. Of course, that wasn’t the whole story: when the pandemic started, the automakers panicked and canceled their chip orders, only to immediately regret that decision and place new orders. But it was too late: semiconductor production had taken a serious body-blow, and when Big Car placed its new chip orders, it went to the back of a long, slow-moving line. It was a catastrophic bungle: microchips are so integral to car production that a car is basically a computer network on wheels that you stick your fragile human body into and pray. The car manufacturers got so desperate for chips that they started buying up washing machines for the microchips in them, extracting the chips and discarding the washing machines like some absurdo-dystopian cyberpunk walnut-shelling machine: These digital systems are…Pluralistic: Autoenshittification (24 July 2023)

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