Innovation

Thanks to Late-Stage Capitalism, You No Longer Need To Leave Your House

It's the end of the decade, and groceries, birth control, and weed can all be delivered straight to your door.

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Happy (almost) New Year! There's never been a better time to be an introvert. Over the past decade, it became a whole lot easier to practically never leave your house.

Say you just woke up on a Saturday morning and you realize there's a long list of errands to attend to. Don't want to do any of them? Prefer to stay in and watch a movie on Netflix? It's almost 2020 and now you can automate chores to your heart's content.

Open a new tab to Amazon Prime or Pantry to order the paper towels, toilet paper, and toothpaste you've run out of—if you stock up and order $35 worth, you can get free shipping, with items dropped off at your door within a day or two.

Need groceries? Open a tab to Instacart or Prime Now and browse Whole Foods' (or your local supermarket's) selection of produce, dairy, snacks, meats, and seafood. Plan your meals for the week from your bed or couch. And if you're feeling too lazy to cook (or do the dishes), your fallback plan can be ordering Thai via DoorDash or Chinese via Grubhub.

Realize you're out of birth control pills and don't want to miss a day? No need to visit the gynecologist to re-up when your prescription is running low; log onto Nurx (or Alpha, or HeyDoctor) and order your next month of pills. If a more serious malady ails you—mysterious food allergies?—order an at-home testing kit from EverlyWell and, later, send it off to a lab. And if acne is keeping you even more shamefully sequestered within the cozy four walls of your house, log onto your Curology dashboard, take some selfies of the problem, and chat with your remote dermatologist to get cream prescribed and delivered to your door.

Though feeding your family, taming your zits, and not getting accidentally pregnant are top priorities, we all know what Saturday mornings are truly about. If you live in a legal weed state, open up your Weedmaps or Budly app and pick which gummies, chocolates, and flower you want delivered to your door. This is the future libertarians want and, thankfully, increasingly have.

In the rare and startling occasion that you're forced to leave your house, at least someone else can drive you to whatever horrifying social fate awaits. Thanks, Uber.

What is often disparagingly called late-stage capitalism is not just an introvert's dream but also a huge blessing for those who want their time freed up. Though a common criticism levied at those who take advantage of the fully automated millennial life is that such pleasures are only enjoyed by the wealthy, on the backs of gig economy workers, late-stage capitalism's little conveniences offer something to those who don't fit the stereotype. Disabled or chronically sick people who legitimately can't leave their couches now have more ways to get the groceries they need. People who are too old to drive no longer have to fear a loss of mobility when they lose their licenses. Working parents who want to spend more time with their little kids no longer have to tarry about waiting for a prescription at CVS, or take hours out of their weekends to joylessly peruse the grocery store aisles.

For now working-class people may be more likely to be driving for Uber or DoorDash than using the apps themselves, but that will change. Just as Netflix and Amazon Prime have become widely adopted by a broader pool of people over time, so will these other services, enabling more and more people to buy themselves some free time—the greatest scarcity of all.

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  1. How dare you!

    1. maybe a ride on your yacht would cheer you up

    2. Did you skip your Aspergers Support Group meeting?

      1. they stopped doing house calls last week. So, no………

  2. And those living outside large cities will continue to live as before. There really is an urban bubble.

    1. It will get there. Roads eventually got to the country. Rails eventually got to the country. Television and radio eventually got to the country. And even the Intarwebs eventually got to the country. so will never having to leave your home.

      In the meantime, just imagine how wonderful life will be once this thing called Amazon eventually makes it past the big city boundaries. Really it’s cool. It’s like the Sears Catalog, but better.

      1. The big breakthru, though, will be teleportation. It’ll probably make cities obsolete if it gets cheap enough to install a booth (or whatever) in every building, preferably wirelessly. No way to foresee when that’ll be, though.

        1. It will happen as soon as people from the future start showing up.

          1. That’s only if some of them want to share.

            It’d be a hell of a thing if we never develop teleportation (or time travel, which will require teleportation) because we’ll always be waiting for people from the future to show us how. Someone’s going to have to prime that pump.

            1. That will be a job for the Brundleflies.

          2. That is not teleportation, that is time travel.

            Are you brand new?

        2. It will happen when the government mandates it.

    2. People living in the country tend to report feeling happier than those in the city, so maybe they’re fine with it

      1. Quite often delivery people come and case your joint, then sell the info to B&E boys.

        Be careful who you let come to your house.

    3. Been a while since you left your urban bubble? “Rural” doesn’t mean backpack in for five days.

      UPS and FedEx deliver to the bumpkins too. Restaurants can be a bit distant, but almost everything else works right now.

    4. We’re out in rural Sussex County, NJ, and got grocery delivery Sunday by PeaPod from Stop & Shop. And when I write “rural”, I mean it. A small cluster of houses — 6 counting both sides of the road — but a tree nursery across from us, and farm fields east and west of this cluster. Car’s out of commission, permanently (barring a miracle), can’t afford to fix or replace while still paying rent, but will rely on deliveries. I was in the same position 3 years ago.

      They did run a gas pipeline down the road a few months ago, though, just as far as NVE (makers of Stacker), not quite reaching Airport Road.

      1. Wasn’t it just a week ago here I was musing about the consequences if NJ adopts a ban on complimentary grocery bags? I see Stop & Shop is still using bags, as they and ShopRite were for deliveries 3 years ago, but the legislation hasn’t passed. It’s a single operator in these PeaPod trucks, driving and carrying to the door; if they had to switch to boxes, I don’t see how they could sustain that as a 1-person operation, unless they stop carrying up stairs.

        1. As of 3 PM last Sunday, ShopRite was still using plastic bags for delivery. Also a 1-person operation.

          For the past few months, they’ve also been bringing a shopping cart with them to cut the number of trips down.

    5. As someone who lives far-outside any major city, AmazonPrime & perscriptions delivered by ExpressScripts are a hell of a lot more of a convenience ‘in the sticks’ than they are when every retailer you can imagine is within a 10 minute drive…

      Stuff I’d normally have to drive for 30-60min each-way to buy in a store, now shows up in 1-2 days thanks to Amazon… WalMart loads our groceries into our car as fast as McDonalds serving up a bag of burgers in the drive-through – You only really have to go inside to pick out fresh fruit…

      Sure, we don’t rely on Uber or DoorDash… But thanks to app-based retail we can get pretty much everything else without actually entering the store….

    6. Outside the cities people may not have GrubHub or DoorDash. Or Uber. But travel to the grocers is typically a short trip. And there is still USPS, UPS, and FedEx to bring stuff to you.

  3. Thanks to Late-Stage Capitalism, You No Longer Need To Leave Your House.

    And judging by peoples’ fat asses, it appears that many people are doing just that.

    1. If they don’t leave their house, how can you see their fat asses?

      1. Instagram.

        1. Links, please. Asking for a friend.

    2. I was at the big mall the other day for a walk about. I do that when it rains …. I hadn’t realized how absolutely disgusting the female form has become since … it appears .. most women have chosen to be quite fat and right on up to obese …. whilst insisting on traipsing about in nothing but spandex.

      I don’t know where their shame has gone, but I recall women of the 50s and 60s … nearly all more or less svelte …. Very attractive and not nearly the miserable b!tches we have so many of nowadays.

      No wonder lesbianism in on the rise. What man wants these ‘tanks’.

      1. “Most” women? I see plenty of fat women and men, but “most” seems an exaggeration.

  4. Great, first someone looking forward to living like Asimov’s Solarians.

    1. I have aspired to live like them since I first read the story when I was 8. They seemed like they really had a lock on things, y’know?

  5. Of course, certain political parties openly tell you that this evil lifestyle has to be eliminated. You must walk to a store and stand in line for things they are out of, or enter an ‘end of life sanctuary’ to be starved to death.
    But as you stand in line, or gaze out the dirty window of your cell, you can see pristine green spaces preserved by the elimination of all modern conveniences (except those ‘necessary’ for the elites) in order to keep the planet from boiling away.

  6. Working parents who want to spend more time with their little kids

    Should think again.

    1. It all depends-for some things like laundry detergent and toilet paper delivery is great, but they often mess up meat and produce, also have ended up with expired milk. So there’s still a need to go to the supermarket IMO.

      1. Who specifically has disappointed you with meat, milk, and produce? Once a few years ago from PeaPod by Stop & Shop, they delivered chicken parts that were about a day before the sell-by date, for which they gave me a credit.

        PeaPod works something like MasterCard or Visa, in that it’s a system licensed locally by some underlying supplier. In this area it’s Stop & Shop.

        Back in the Bronx I could fairly easily find produce and fish cheaper and/or better quality than the big supermarkets had in the city or anywhere else. Apparently a tradeoff in either price or quality is what you pay in exchange for one-stop shopping, whether you’re going there or getting delivery.

      2. In years of having groceries delivered, I have never experienced this.

  7. or take hours out of their weekends to joylessly peruse the grocery store aisles.

    I love to go grocery shopping when I’m high, and haven’t eaten in 8+ hours.

    1. How many hundreds do you spend that way?

  8. Theory: the closing of video rental stores like Blockbuster had contributed to the plight of incels because back then, cute girls would at least have to say hi to the pimply faced dorks who worked there

    1. Also, some of them had porn in the back room, a nice perk.

      1. But now they have 24/7 free porn and can spank it in the comfort of mom’s basement

        1. Who hurt you, sweaty?

  9. Sounds like a desired outcome of the New Green Deal bullshit. Everyone will live in tiny cells designed for maximum “efficiency”, with a few token People’s Garden Plots to provide wrinkled vegetables to supplement their Soylent Green.

    1. While I’m in no way onboard with the green-new-deal…

      The app-ified retail stuff works as well for me living in a good-sized house out in the sticks as it does for some human-goldfish living in a glass-walled highrise in downtown Seattle….

      Much easier to get your groceries loaded-up like drive-through produce when you have two under-4yo kids in the back seat, than to take them in the store & pick it all out yourself…

      Definately much easier to let Amazon send me stuff, than to drive 45min each-way to reach a store that has it in stock on a shelf….

      1. As long as They let you live in your own structure (how inefficient!) or permit deliveries outside the pedal-cab area.

  10. Need groceries? Open a tab to Instacart or Prime Now and browse Whole Foods’ (or your local supermarket’s) selection of produce, dairy, snacks, meats, and seafood.

    Whole Foods sucks. No Cheese It’s, and the Mac and Cheese is $4 a box and made with broccoli and it’s gluten free.

    1. That’s not food, that’s what food eats!

    2. I just don’t “get” the whole idea of boxed macaroni and cheese (“Kraft Dinner”), when you can buy boxed macaroni and jars of Cheez Wiz. Is it for those without refrigerators for the Cheez Wiz?

    3. You can get cheezits from Prime Pantry.

  11. >For now working-class people may be more likely to be driving for Uber or DoorDash than using the apps themselves

    haughty.

  12. joylessly peruse the grocery store aisles

    What kind of freak doesn’t enjoy grocery shopping?

    1. Yeah. I just love having to navigate the aisles working around people who think shopping for food is a social event.

    2. The kind that has to haul a 1.5yo & 3yo out of carseats, put them in the cart, and play ‘wouldyoustoptouchingthat’ x2 until the food you have selected is bought/bagged…. Then reseat said kids & stuff the food into the car yourself

      Vs either having it delivered, or driving it up and having an employee put it in the trunk while your kids stay securely strapped to the car….

  13. When this whole buying online just got going about 8 years ago and some stores started to offer online groceries and free delivery. a friend of mine taught it was the greatest thing. Some day, he said, you will never have to leave your house, everything will be delivered to you, anything you want, including groceries and food. You will never have to leave the house, he repeated. I said, Mike, they already have those kind of places. They do? he asked. Yes, they are called jails, I said. Everything you need is provided, You never have to leave.
    Personally, I like going to the store, watching people and squeezing a few lemons or tomatoes.

    1. Be sure to get consent from the produce – – – – – – – –

  14. There is no consumption under late stage socialism.

  15. and the fokes who tout and promote this lifestyle are the very same ones who are all up in arms over our ‘carbon footprint” and our “greenhouse gas emissions:. Fairy talew, both, but the oxymoronic inconsistency is amusing to watch. House delivery of evertthing you buy is the most inefficient means of distribution. The total “environmental load” of that delivery system is huge. Now it is less when compared to having to hop in the car and drive however many miles to go get that one thing….. but if one plans ahead even just a little bit, (which one already must do to have the item before you run out.. it ain’t quite instant yet, is it?) one can make one trip, calling at ten different places along the way. One can also mix in a number of errands where one’s presence is necessary. The actual cost of the everything to your door delivery is high per item, but the consumer never sees that, as Amazon in particular never charge the buyer anywhere near actual cost for delivery. The seller must bear the difference between “shipping allowance” and actual cost to ship, even at greatly reduced prices, heavily subsidised by USPS. The seller also pays the lion’s share of FBA, those who use it. So Prime members get “free shipping” paid for by….. other customers and the seller of the item. But no one ever wants to discuss THAT aspect of everything to your door delivery.
    Once more the American consumer votes for his own convenience never thinking of the overall cost to othes… OR “the environment”. Its just loke voting for all that “free” stuff.. free to the recipient slopping at the public trough, but SOMEONE ELSE is paying for that. WHY?

    1. Ok, first, what the hell is a “fairy talew?” and second, it’s “folks,” not “fokes.”

      Now, as to your comment in general.

      Amazon and USPS are going to deliver regardless and we do pay for it. It’s called Prime Membership and the cost is also built into the price of the items you buy.

      Second, if you’d actually read the article, you would understand why this is amazing for people with disabilities who can’t leave their homes.

  16. So, for every fat, lazy bastard who sits at home all day ordering things off of the internet or through an app, how many people out in the real world does it take to fulfill those orders? And when those people have time off, do they just sit around and have other people do their bidding? Does this mean that national parks will be less crowded and amusement parks will have shorter lines because…how do you get one of those delivered to your door?

    1. The fat bastard won’t be inhaling the piney goodness of our parks, so there is at least -1 from the crowds of which you speak.

      Now, if we leverage each of those park goers with VR capture systems, even more latent fat bastards can be made to stay home.

      Wait… were you complaining about or contemplating a beautiful fat-bastard-free future? ‘Cause I’m not sure now…

    2. First off, I’m not fat or lazy. I work from home and due to a disability, I don’t drive.

      Rather than stop in the middle of my workday and go grocery shopping, leaving me no energy to complete the work for which I am paid, I order via Walmart and Amazon. This gives me more time to do things, like, oh, I don’t know, clean the fucking house or prepare a home-cooked meal instead of eating at McDonald’s. I see lots of overweight people who run around all day. Has nothing to do with being lazy. Has to do with Time Management.

      If you stop and realize that your time if finite, and you can’t get more of it when you run out, you’ll realize that this is called effective time management.

      Do a time audit and see how much time you waste shopping, driving and all that other useless shit you spend money on like going out to dinners. You could save that money for retirement.

  17. I can’t have a purchased gun delivered to my home. At least, I’m not aware of an FFL Doordash yet…

    1. ship my gun dot com lol

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  19. I didn’t bother reading the article. But I am wondering why they chose to bias the reader with the term “Late Stage Capitalism”. The term “late stage” of course is generally used to describe people with terminal cancer. Yet, capitalism is alive and well, as the article apparently illustrates.

    1. Maybe you should read the article then.

      1. Don’t bother reading the article. Capitalism is always referenced with some disparagement by those who are disgusted by the choices others make.
        And yet…
        This article reads exactly like product placement and marketing text.

  20. Imagine being so tone deaf and partisan that you credit a monstrous, bloodthirsty system of exploitation with quality of life improvements rightfully due to technology and science simply to advance the narrative of right wing economics that supposedly opposes the statism that produced them but weirdly cheers for it every time it wants to falsely take credit, as you did here.

    TL;DR – We should have teleporters and holodecks and replicators by now, but noooo our free market advocates are too busy cheering for “late stage capitalism”. slow clap, reason, slow clap

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