Yesterday was a strange day full of surprises. The fencing contractor I’d spoken to last week about a site visit for an estimate didn’t show up. Later, when I tried to attend a local community meeting in my neighborhood, I discovered that the indicated room was totally empty at the appointed time—apparently the meeting had been moved without my knowledge.
Oh yeah, and Amazon sent me unsolicited lumber.
The latter point requires a bit of explanation. A while back, my eyes fell upon the name of a new service on social media: Amazon Lumberyard. My heart skipped a beat: Was Amazon providing a delivery service for woodworkers and contractors? As someone who keeps a woodshop at home and often does home-improvement projects, the idea of getting lumber, whether specialty hardwood for craft projects or larger boards for construction, seemed like a dream come true. It’s a pain to find and buy and load and haul and unload lumber. Imagine being able to Prime it instead!
Except, that wasn’t the case at all. Amazon Lumberyard was the name of a new game engine developed by Amazon Game Studios. The name, I surmised, was the latest in the ongoing trend to style novel, immaterial, digital goods and services after established, material ones. Online marketing firms that call themselves “distilleries” or app developers that insist that they are really “forges.” Atoms are aspirational now.