The elegance of tidy assortment has not been lost on generations of statisticians, management consultants and computer scientists.

As these assorted databases become hyper organized, computerized and utilized there is a very palpable push back on the standardization of consumers into flat transactional units. Think of the last time a JetBlue flight attendant took your drink order on a piece of paper (instead of pushing a cart), or when you paid premium for anything handmade, handpicked, or curated (all human verbs).

A few years ago I tried articulating this same feeling under the umbrella of soft technology, and the slow movement, but I think that with the collective discomfort we’re feeling around attention economy, machine learning in the marketplace and the romanticizing of serendipity this idea is worth a revisit.

March 17, 2019