Hitting the Books: How Amazon laundered the ‘myth of the founder’ into a business empire

We’ve heard the fable of “the self-made billionaire” a thousand times: some unrecognized genius toiling away in a suburban garage stumbles upon The Next Big Thing, thereby single-handedly revolutionizing their industry and becoming insanely rich in the process — all while comfortably ignoring the fact that they’d received $300,000 in seed funding from their already rich, politically-connected parents to do so.

In The Warehouse: Workers and Robots at Amazon, Alessandro Delfanti, associate professor at the University of Toronto and author of Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science, deftly examines the dichotomy between Amazon’s public personas and its union-busting, worker-surveilling behavior in fulfillment centers around the world — and how it leverages cutting edge technologies to keep its employees’ collective noses to the grindstone, pissing in water bottles. In the excerpt below, Delfanti examines the way in which our current batch of digital robber barons lean on the classic redemption myth to launder their images into that of wonderkids deserving of unabashed praise.

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Source: Hitting the Books: How Amazon laundered the ‘myth of the founder’ into a business empire | Engadget

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