October 19, 2011 - Food.docx

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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2500A/B
John Reed

Food October 19, 2011 Industrial (tree, mold, modern): a. Taylorism/Fordism/industrialism b. Mcdonaldization extends c. Factory food The posts (grass, star, POSTMODERN) a. Post-industrial b. Post-fordist c. Post-modernism d. Googlizing food e. Digital monoculture From material to immaterial From industrialism to the “posts”: Don’t replace, overlay Part 1: Industrial Age Tree example: Centralized, it has a hierarchy Food as an example: McDonald’s training video The one best way; rationalized, very little variety to do your job. Technologies, equipment and rules to help you do your job the best way to satisfy the customer. Taylorism present in the workplace. There is an emphasis on specialization, breaking down tasks into their simplest component. Not too much emphasis on quality; predictable, consistent, same components. The value menu at McDonalds: Very rationalized way, standardized meal combos, speeds up the order. These take away a lot of choice and make things faster, the reason why we go. Emphasis on speed and predictability. Mass production = Fordism Rationalized environment, the more you make, the less expensive it becomes, the less a product cost = MORE PEOPLE BUY IT. Control through mechanized technology: Machines, robots, and computers continue to increase speed, increase productivity and monitor the workers. McDonalds example: Everyone has one task; even though it looks very busy it’s all under control. Standardized routine, intensification and de-skilling. Work faster, sell more. McDonalds = Food assembly line i) Inflexible technologies No rule of thumb, highly automated ii) Highly deskilled work environment. Example of cutting the feet off of pigs in the factory, less skill = less pay iii) Speed Repetitive motion injuries: Repetitive motions begin to take a toll on the human working. Employees are highly expendable, cheap reasonably priced food but on the backs of injured employees. Food processing according to human rights watch is the most dangerous job in America. Recall of ground beef example: When there is such an emphasis on speed, if one animal comes through that is sick or diseased it is extremely easy to contaminate a very large food supply. Emphasis on speed, living animals seen as raw materials Easy contamination Industrial Model: Monoculture Monoculture: A lack of variety, highly concentrated in dominating the market, making lots of one thing e.g.. Apple is creating a monoculture for devices McDonaldization Fast food in general extends Fordism, taylorism, and industrialism. Bringing fords ideas to food! Bureaucratization: Making life more rational Industrial: Division of labor/centralized Rationalized: Simplified/Bureaucratic Taylorism: Divide head/hand Fordism: Higher wages=consumption/inflexible production/standardized, mass produced/assembly line Weber: Rationality is dominated by efficiency, predictability, and standardization Responds to the crisis of control Soup Nazi Seinfeld: Highly standardized Calculability: Buttons on the microwave for defrost, warm coffee, and make popcorn, sensor reheat, and etc. highly rationalized, predictable environment. Predictability: Rules and regulations, fast food menus, Part 2: The Posts McDonaldization: A general condition to the postindustrial approach to food. You see this transition essentially in the 1970’s. Post-industrial: Exists with the industrial age Toffler: Speaks in very Binary ways, breaks down history. Not revolutions, evolutions, everything was improved upon. Industrial to the Post-industrial The rise of decentralization, computers and automation Industrial: Steel, autos Post: Information Industrial: Education/Healthcare/Knowledge 1) Immatrial: The trafficking of sales, information Facebook doesn’t make anything…it is just a platform in which anything can take place, still produces money, value. Facebook = a platform, the opposite of a Fordist factory In the industrial you cant really change what is produced; it is designed for one thing. The fordist factory In the post industrial it isn’t made for just one thing, it is a platform; you can do many things with it 2) Services Google takes the chaos of the Internet in a very rationalized way and presents it in a very easy way for us to us. Google doesn’t produce much…it enables communication, it produces profit just like a factory. Google would be the opposite of the Ford factory, provides something that is essentially free (Gillette, cheap low cost affordable razor = RICH…giving away something for nothing but getting many customers from it. Buy shaving cream and get free razors). Not Fordist (1 style) But it may be fordist that it is a monoculture 3) Information YouTube, immaterial it does not need to be tangible, it is about the flow of information 4) Still tied to Indu
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