Prompt for this week: infrastructure mapping. Consider any essential service or commodity. What kind of infrastructure exists or needs to be created and maintained in order for it to keep it functioning, or existing continually? (Say think of the service trucks around your house! What do they do?) Second: How are some of these infrastructure made invisible? (Examples: undersea cables which we don’t know existed, cell-phone towers morphed as trees, supply chain logistics working at night). Please use your imagination and also research to answer this prompt. Looking forward to your posts and responses. Also make sure you start a chat and respond to at least two other people!
here are other people comments so you can add a comment on there’s but make sure you answer the question above first yourself
One service that I can think of which falls under the terms of an invisible infrastructure is the idea of “self-delivering groceries.” By this, I mean the service that many store chains (such as Amazon and Walmart) are offering, where a customer can order their groceries online and have them directly delivered to their house within a couple of hours. This process is often advertised as being extremely easy, efficient, and seamless. In certain neighborhoods and housing communities, you might even be able to hire someone to bring your groceries inside and put them into your fridge for you! While this might sound outlandish to some, it is slowly becoming a reality. The essential service of buying groceries for yourself and your family is now being offered an entirely new infrastructure, thanks to technological advancements and the internet.
There are several services needed in order to make this infrastructure work. First, the customer will need internet access to place an online order of groceries. Next, the order would be sent to the store, such as Amazon, and a specialized worker would pick out the items you ordered, another worker would organize the items, and another would package them for delivery. What really makes this an “invisible” infrastructure is the fact that it’s all done very quickly and with the convenience of multiple store workers picking out and delivering your groceries for you, so you don’t even have to leave your home. All of these processes seem invisible because now, you aren’t the one who has to go to the store and do the work. In theory, you could order your groceries in the morning, have them delivered and brought inside in the afternoon, and then all the food you need is already in your fridge by dinnertime! For many people, this transforms a lengthy trip of back and forth from the store into a seamless, invisible infrastructure process. Perhaps grocery delivery will slowly become more popular. Who knows, we might all be doing it one day!
second one – My example of an essential commodity is gasoline. While not everyone owns a car, chances are you have filled up a gas tank at least one point in your life. Despite the expanding market of electric cars, until these machines become more affordable to the masses, we will have to depend on gasoline. We have all seen first hand the effects of refinery shutdowns, stock market crashes, and natural disasters on national gas prices, conveying the critical importance of this commodity. In breaking down the infrastructure, certain aspects of the product acquisition process are more visible than others. When you go to a gas station, it is made clear the grade and prices of each fuel option. There is a certain script we all follow. You pull up to the pump, turn off the engine, pop open the gas cap door and gas gap, insert a payment card, remove the nozzle, select a grade and then insert the nozzle and begin fueling. Since you are the one actively performing all of these actions, the pump itself is the most visible part of the infrastructure. Other prominent components include fuel delivery trucks that may be parked to unload at the gas station, or you may pass a truck on the highway that makes you think about gasoline transport. The more invisible aspects include the importation and transportation of gasoline. The journey starts with either domestic crude oil or imported crude oil which is has been acquired by rig drilling. After the oil is procured it is taken to be mixed at a refinery where it transforms into gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum products. Then the gas usually moves from the refinery into pipelines which transport the gasoline to storage terminals. It is stored there until trucks pick it up and drive it to gas stations.
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