Tag: logistics

Writing

Studies in Sortation

Amazon is a hybrid company, equal parts Walmart and FedEx. Like all great retailers of the modern moment, it is an outsized presence masking the hundreds–thousands–of individuals using its infrastructure to build business behind house labels and simplified searches. But it is distribution that girds the company’s foundation and prefigures its future. In this respect, […]

Logistical Fictions

Supply Chain: The Game

Or at least, Assembly Line: The Game… with aliens. Factorio is β€œa game in which you build and maintain factories.” As the developer puts it: You will be mining resources, researching technologies, building infrastructure, automating production and fighting enemies. Use your imagination to design your factory, combine simple elements into ingenious structures, apply management skills […]

Announcements

Food Infrastructures

The editors of LIMN were kind enough to let me contribute a small historical overview to the recent Food Infrastructures issue. While I’m no expert in food studies (other than in the eating of it), I think it serves as a reasonable primer (particularly with regard to packaging, production, distribution, and data) for the articles […]

Logistical Fictions

The Breakfast Machine

One of the more familiar examples of Rube Goldberg machines, Pee-wee’s elaborate contraption, while not at all efficient in the conventional sense, seems to operate precisely to the particulars that Herman has specified. Global logistics shares some important distinctions with what might be termed logistics at the small-scale (tabletop, or perhaps, factory floor logistics), and […]

Writing

Manifests of the Standing-Reserve

Recently I’ve had the chance to give some talks on the history of trade infrastructure, bills of lading, factories, and the intellectual history of “supply.” I shared a similar version of this talk at both the Neil Postman Conference and the Media, Materiality, and Infrastructures workshop here at NYU, so I thought I’d do so […]