I’ve used Uber a few times.
One ride the driver was scary. His driving was fine, but he was a kook. I got the feeling if he wasn’t an Uber driver he’d be leading some kind of militia.
Another ride the driver and I were chatting up how off the charts the real estate market is in Denver. The driver was a real estate agent, bemoaning the low inventory of properties for sale hence them moonlighting for Uber. I mentioned my parents were old. When I got out of the car the driver asked me, “What’s your Dad’s first name”? I told them. But then I realized what I had done — given the driver a lead. I bet right now that Uber driver is calling or sending mail to my Dad, with a pitch to sell his home. I hope not. But why else would the driver ask for my Dad’s first name? To send him a Christmas card?
One Uber driver kept trying to one up me, to make excuses for being an Uber driver. He spent the whole ride wanting me to know he used to be somebody, before being an Uber driver. I didn’t think I came off as a guy who cares about socio status.
I was reading this piece today, it got me thinking:
I’d been thinking if I was going to continue using Uber. I’m a tech guy, I know what’s going on. No doubt about it, tech is killing way more jobs than it’s creating. This piece makes some excellent points.
“There seems to be a lot of blind trust in new apps that make something in our lives a little easier.”
I couldn’t agree more. We keep downloading apps with no thought to the bigger picture. If anyone doesn’t get it, Uber and Amazon are using humans as beta testers for jobs that’ll be taken over by robots. Does anyone really think that Amazon would employ humans if they don’t have to? Same thing with Uber. The writing is on the wall. In Uber’s dream world, there are no drivers. Nope. Driverless cars, owned by Uber, pick us up and take us to our destination.
You may think, that’s life. That’s progress. No, that’s greed. Because when Uber is successful at wiping out cab drivers and defunding public transportation, the only one’s who’ll be able to afford their service are the well to do. Everyone else? Look no further than what the writer of the piece points out. The CEO of Uber is fascinated with Ayn Rand.
The rest, those who can’t afford Uber will be thought of as moochers, because they use and rely on publicly funded transportation.
Tech people who drink the Kool-Aid keep telling us that they’re making the world a better place. But they can never explain how. For example when Uber wipes out the taxi business then makes a dent in public transportation, where will those taxi drivers get jobs? How will those who rely on public transportation get to work?
I know I’m being fatalistic. You’re right, buses and light rail systems aren’t going anyway anytime soon. Or are they? The Republican party doesn’t believe in handouts, they’re also big believers in Ayn Rand. There’s a guy running for President who made his money on the backs of poor people then turned his back on them. This guy could win.
At some point, we passed that point years ago, we need to make decisions about the companies we support and now the apps we use. We need to look at the bigger picture. If not, don’t blame Uber for wiping out the taxi business and public transportation. We were the one’s who got in the Uber car.