A Guardian article asks.
"What if a cold drink cost more on a hot day?
Customers in the UK will soon find out. Recent reports suggest that
three of the country’s largest supermarket chains are rolling out surge
pricing in select stores. This means that prices will rise and fall over
the course of the day in response to demand. Buying lunch at lunchtime
will be like ordering an Uber at rush hour.
This may sound pretty drastic, but far more radical changes are on the
horizon. About a week before that report, Amazon announced its $13.7bn
purchase of Whole Foods. A company that has spent its whole life killing
physical retailers now owns more than 460 stores in three countries."
It goes on further,.."Amazon isn’t abandoning online retail for
brick-and-mortar. Rather, it’s planning to fuse the two. It’s going to
digitize our daily lives in ways that make surge-pricing your groceries
look primitive by comparison. It’s going to expand Silicon Valley’s
surveillance-based business model into physical space, and make money
from monitoring everything we do.
Silicon Valley is an extractive industry. Its resource isn’t oil or
copper, but data. Companies harvest this data by observing as much of
our online activity as they can. This activity might take the form of a
Facebook like, a Google search, or even how long your mouse hovers in a
particular part of your screen. Alone, these traces may not be
particularly meaningful. By pairing them with those of millions of
others, however, companies can discover patterns that help determine
what kind of person you are – and what kind of things you might buy.
These patterns are highly profitable. Silicon Valley uses them to sell
you products or to sell you to advertisers. But feeding the algorithms
that produce these patterns requires a steady stream of data. And while
that data is certainly abundant, it’s not infinite.
That’s why Amazon has aggressively promoted the Echo, a small speaker
that offers a Siri-like voice-activated assistant called Alexa. Alexa
can tell you the weather, read you the news, make you a to-do list, and
perform any number of other tasks. It is a very good listener. It
faithfully records your interactions and transmits them back to Amazon
for analysis. In fact, it may be recording not only your interactions,
but absolutely everything.
Putting a listening device in your living room is an excellent way for
Amazon to learn more about you. Another is conducting aerial
surveillance of your house. In late July, Amazon obtained a patent for
drones that spy on people’s homes as they make deliveries. An example
included in Amazon’s patent filing is roof repair: the drone that drops a
package on your doorstep might notice your roof is falling apart, and
that observation could result in a recommendation for a repair service.
Amazon is still testing its delivery drones. But if and when they start
flying, it’s safe to assume they’ll be scraping data from the outside of
our homes as diligently as the Echo does from the inside."
It would all be eliminated in a commonly owned, democratic,
production for use of utilities, free access society, run by us all.
Value would be a priceless 'use value', with the satisfaction of human
needs the priority, rather than as presently, a market priced commodity
value, with the priority the satisfaction of profits for the parasitic
owning class while human needs go unmet.