walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Mailchimp on MagicBands

I saw it at gigaom:


It's got a few different aspects to it than the usual, so if you're interested in Disney/smart watch/payment systems/RFID/wtf, maybe you'll find something amusing.

Inevitably, I'm here to critique.

First: one of the most annoying things that I hear people say -- people who I otherwise love, respect, and admire, and people whose parenting style I aspire to someday meet, never mind exceed -- is that they never want to go (back) to Disney. Often, they say they never will, then they have kids and the kids wear them down and etc.

Now, to be clear, I _get_ that Disney as a company and as cultural artifacts is sexist, racist, heterocentric, overly normative in general, doesn't treat its employees well, has co-opted the few unions that ever made inroads and blah, blah, bleeping, blah. They distort local and regional governance and probably should be excised from the planet as a form of cancer. I don't disagree. In the course of attempting to understand how I could so enjoy Disney in the face of all this, I discovered an academic niche known as "Disney Studies", and I've read a scary number of texts within that niche. I liked a lot of them.

But pretty much what it comes down to is that Disney made me smile a lot when I was a deeply unhappy child and it made me keep smiling as a deeply unhappy young adult and it's is still making me smile as a middle aged, often, but not always, happy mother of two special needs children. Part of the smiling is The Rides, which are fun, and stimulating in more than just the spin you around sense, and not so overwhelming they make me puke. Part of the smiling is that Disney has, for decades, let me enjoy a vacation including eating out without drastically limiting the food I can order at restaurants because of my food allergies.

Part of the smiling is that Disney is a reliably good time (if you time your visit correctly), even if you are on the spectrum (subject to some caveats regarding just what your sensory issues are -- if you are chronically overstimulated, not for you!).

There is very little on the planet that can do all of these things. Possibly nothing, but I'm open to suggestions.

Second: as annoying as I find people who swear up and down that they hate Disney and they are never going (back), I actually find it marginally more annoying when they discover the thing which honestly, how oblivious do you have to be to fail to notice this: kids like Disney.

Not all kids like Disney. And if the kids don't like it and the parents don't like it then Hallelujah and Stay the Fuck Out of the Mouse's Land and leave the space for those of us who do.

Anyway. John Foreman over at MailChimp is one of the garden variety silly people who swore off Disney and then took the kiddies to see Buzz Lightyear. So that is not a positive start to the article. He concludes by noting that while we complain about NSA and our data, we happily give our data away (way more than the NSA can get) for things like LinkedIn on our phone. A valid point, but while he seems a little distressed by it, of course my sister and I spent a bunch of time on FB a while back saying we just wanted the NSA to provide backups when our computers crashed and assorted other minor data support services in exchange for spying on us (you know -- maintain the grocery list, type of thing). Also, I feel like any organization dumb enough to collect millions of tweets a day deserves whatever they get. I hope they enjoy every last one of them.

John Foreman, like most of the people commenting on the massive IT upgrade at Disney, failed to notice the really big impact of MagicBands. It is the payment system Holy Grail of being fully and constantly transparent, while being less difficult to use than any other payment system ever invented (<-- not strictly speaking true). You just wave your wrist and the popcorn is now Yours. Also the pencil case, the flip flops, the flashing pink sequined Minnie Mouse ears (both pairs, because my son wanted one, too), a bunch of t-shirts, countless plastic and vinyl figures, a pen ...

When we used MagicBands in November, it had such a massive impact on me, that I started shopping for Smart Watches, and was devastated to discover _no one_ had an integrated payment system of any sort -- not even the Dunkin Donuts app or the Starbucks app. I was _crushed_. And post CES 2014, I am sad to say that that does not appear to have changed. If a Smart Watch with a Secure Element existed that required me to give up or deprecate all of my Apple equipment and switch to Android, I would probably have placed my order before I finished reading the description of the product.

But, you know, people are obsessed with privacy. If I were obsessed with privacy, I probably wouldn't maintain a blog.
Tags: disney, our future economy today

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