When you mess with shopping habits, people get mad. An avalanche of rightful indignation followed the announcement of Bodega, a startup founded by two ex-Google employees that would install shiny glass boxes selling odds and ends inside pre-existing buildings instead of independent corner stores. From the questionable name to the even-more-questionable business model to the veneer of gentrification — who would these actually be accessible to? — the company seems to epitomize so much of what we dislike about Silicon Valley interfering in our lives in the hopes of profit. The product is insidious: It portends to keep track of purchases and install a box every 100 feet of urban space, disrupting local shops. But Bodega is only one of the smaller attempts to present retail as more than just a way to buy things, spinning shopping into a kind of replacement for public infrastructure as well as the communal institutions and experiences that we increasingly take for granted. Simply purchasing things isn’t enough anymore; we must inhabit the platforms that these companies construct, whether it’s Bodega, Apple, Google, or Amazon-Whole Foods. Retail brands are invading every aspect of our lives, though the companies would prefer you not notice the sneaky shift. Read more at Racked.