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 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

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 Atlantic25 min readPolitics
An Abandoned Weapon in the Fight Against Hate Speech
A 1952 Supreme Court ruling gave civil-rights groups a way to combat anti-Semitism and other prejudices—but in the years since, it’s largely gone unused.
The Atlantic5 min read
The Joy of Writing a Book With My Dad
For much of my life, he has told me we should work on a book together. When we finally did, it was more rewarding than I could have imagined.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Tyranny Of The 70-Somethings
The Democratic Party’s gerontocracy is holding back the political causes it claims to want to advance.