In late 2011, ex-Amazon developer Steve Yegge’s rant about his former company described Amazon’s rapid transformation from an online bookstore to a web-services entity with a ruthlessly unified platform, all guided by the idea that the company’s effort to streamline its internal efficiency could be monetized, and the resultant software products sold through Amazon Web Services. The media consumerism that fed Amazon’s early years funded a surveilling behemoth, one that everyone feared Microsoft would become. As such, AWS has become a manifestation of the internet’s Lacanian unconscious (even providing the services and hosting for Reddit), structured around the optimization of Amazon’s business model, built line by line with the labor of easily discarded programmers. In this article, we shall examine the subtle and far-reaching effects of Amazon Web Services platform on the Amazon storefront, “cloud services,” and social media, as well as the origins of AWS in theories of programming grounded in neural network theory and “artificial life,” as opposed to AI. In the end, AWS will be shown to be its own unique entity, a platform infinitely extensible, inexhaustible, and a monument to the circumlocutions of cybernetic capital.
Armintor, Marshall N
"Amazon Web Services, the Lacanian Unconscious, and Digital Life."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 63 times as of 03/16/23.
American Studies Commons, Comparative Literature Commons, European Languages and Societies Commons, Other Arts and Humanities Commons, Other Film and Media Studies Commons, Reading and Language Commons, Rhetoric and Composition Commons, Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons