What is "not evenly distributed" these days?

 

It’s complicated. Or maybe it isn’t.

I want a “smart” home because…

(this paragraph is a mash-up of real declarations by some contacts of mine, about their own “smart” homes)

  • I can turn on and off the lights with voice commands, and open my home door without keys, even remotely, which is very convenient. For example, a while ago my son came back home while I still was out of town, and I could open the door for him remotely.
  • In general, remote control of home devices is useful for twoo reasons: first, to control stuff from outside the home and second, to do it conditionally, that is being able to e.g. tell a Roomba things like:
    • “don’t clean the terrace now”, because it started raining
    • “don’t clean my son’s room” if he’s sleeping

“Smart deliveries”

This, instead, is a prediction I read about the interaction of smart homes with smart deliveries:

In the next few years small autonomous vehicles will bring whatever we brought online to our doorsteps, where other machines will autonomously pick those packages, without needing our presence.

I don’t get it

When did simplicity and pragmatism become less smart than “more of everything, as long as it’s new and has blinking lights”?

“Industrial IoT” can do wonders in supply chains, environmental monitoring and other fields, and the more the better.

Too much consumer-level IoT, instead, including most “smart home” stuff, still is little more than toys that are insecure /designed for obsolescence / non-recyclable / hardly interoperable, or all of the above. And all to handle what would be exceptions, not daily needs.

As far as “smart deliveries” are concerned, instead, home machines capable of “autonomously picking up what these vehicles will deliver” really seem to me an an absolutely disproportionate, surely not “smart” effort, compared to the benefits. Because it would cost infinitely less, and yeld amost the same benefits, to make city-level agreements with corner bars or supermarkets to have everything delivered there, and pick it up at our leisure. With open, standardized systems, of course, like Singapore did.

What is "not evenly distributed" these days? /img/diminishing-returns.jpg
Diminishing returns, anybody?

Of course, there is NOTHING intrinsically bad in longing for them. NOTHING, OK? I MEAN it.

But if certain products and services are too much like Ruby Goldberg napkins:

What is "not evenly distributed" these days? /img/professor-lucifer-butts.gif

actually proposing or buying them really seems to me, at best, a seriously… suboptimal uses of resources, that eventually creates more problems than it solves, for everybody.

When I first shared these concerns, I was told that ” it’s not for me or you to judge other people’s preferences, except if they directly harm others”.

Fact is, even good-faith ignorance of the TRUE cost-benefit ratios of certain “smart” visions DO harm everybody, owners or not.

If certain NOT “smart” appliances become the only ones that it’s possible to buy, everybody is forced to spend or pollute more, because everything has been filled with much more electronics than it needed.

Meanwhile, REAL people…

… maybe wish that the same money, political energies and yes, even the very same digital technologies, tackled other problems first. Take this lady, for example:

“As a renter, I can’t put solar on my roof. I can’t update my windows/doors for better insulation. I can’t better insulate my home. I’m not allowed to fill the gaps between the windows, doors and floors. I have done all I can to save energy and bring down our electricity bills. I am at a loss at what to do next. By this time next year, I will be working over 40 hours a quarter just to cover our electricity bill and I know I am one electricity bill away from dropping all I am juggling. How can I secure a safe financial future for us when I can barely keep up with the cost of existing?”

continues here.

What is “not evenly distributed” these days?

What is "not evenly distributed" these days? /img/future-is-here.jpg

“The future is already here - It’s just not very evenly distributed”, said W. Gibson. But maybe Gibson was wrong, or even just looking in the wrong direction. Maybe what is not evenly distributed is realism and pragmatism.

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