The Atlantic

The Strange Infinities of e-Commerce

When it costs as much to retail 200,000 things as one thing, the world gets a little odd.
Source: Alexis Madrigal

When the tube from Walmart.com arrived at my door, I rushed inside, popped off the lid, and unfurled my inspirational poster. On it, a quote from the science-fiction author and journalist Annalee Newitz hovered in a curly font over a photograph of a pier reaching into a tropical ocean.

“When I was a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, I became obsessed with end user license agreements.”

I am a huge fan of Newitz, but you wouldn’t say she’s famous-famous, and I’m not sure this is a notable-enough statement by anyone to hang on a wall. So why was it for sale on Walmart.com?

The poster is not; Amazon, which has for sellers, says it has 1 million in the United States, although only .  

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min read
A Polarized City, Mirrored in Its Diaspora
Hong Kong’s protests have pitted relatives and friends against one another, including those who no longer live in the city.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
No One Knows International Law’s Failures Better Than the Rohingya
Grandiose talk of worldwide relief and justice has been accompanied by little to no action. Now the group’s options are narrowing.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
The Unraveling of Donald Trump
As the impeachment inquiry intensifies, some associates of the president predict that his already erratic behavior is going to get worse.