What does Amazon do, basically? It spots the discomfort of waiting: waiting in line, waiting for a package, waiting to choose the best product…it then comes up with a technology that bypasses the discomfort of waiting, the discomfort in the gap between desire and its fulfillment.
That is Buddhism, the removal of the gap between craving and the attaintment of craving. Of course, Buddhism is that which sees the fallacy in this gap, the pain in craving.
Is Amazon a consumer Buddhism? Is Amazon a perversion of Buddhism that seeks the end of suffering, the pain of time? Buddha says the cause of dissatisfaction is craving. Amazon bypasses it through the Satori of a new technology. Is there no stopping Amazon? Do we want to stop it?
What is the Promised Land here, the Utopia according to Amazon?
I think it’s the Jetsons. Remember that cartoon story. By now we should all be living like the Jetsons with flying cars and robots serving our needs like the servants of the royal family.
Put on the wide-angle lense. From the front porch of my 100 year-old house on Main Street in Blackstone horse and buggies used to pass. Now there is a steady stream of cars and trucks. The whole world seems to pass by my front porch. Where are they going? Somewhere in time, somewhere in time.
But I sit on the timeless front porch of this old house. Will an Amazon robot deliver a package tomorrow. Will the cars and trucks eventually be still in our utopian future where everything will be delivered to my front porch. My wife got a new bicycle, and it was delivered to the front porch.
There was no going to the bike store, checking out the bikes, riding them, testing them, choosing one and then going home with it ready to ride. The process was removed. While we did have to wait for the bike to be delivered, in the future that can be fixed, I’m sure, and we would get it the next day. Damn time…let’s get rid of it, the pain of waiting for my desires to be filled. We want it all NOW!
The fallacy here, which we all can see at one time or the other, usually from the Front Porch, is that life is a process, like cannot be separated into means and end, process and result, and the pleasure is not in the result but also in the process. When we remove the means or the time to get something, and make life all about getting there faster and faster, the meaning of getting there is lost…So life has no meaning when this Fallacy gets embedded in our lives.
There is no more Front Porch. You are just in traffic all the time. No matter how fast you travel, you never get anywhere.