It also made me think about how archaic the act of sticking out our hands to summon a vehicle is.
“Grandpa, what’s a taxi cab?”
“Oh they were these yellow automobiles, driven by humans, that would take you where ever you wanted to go in New York and you would get them to pick you up by standing in the road and sticking out your arm to hail one.”
“They didn’t drive themselves and you couldn’t use your neural chip to give it commands?”
Drivers wielding megaphones stood atop giant piles of dirty snow in Queens this morning, railing against Uber’s recent decision to cut fares by 15 percent. “Shame on Uber,” chanted hundreds of New York City-based drivers, in between the airing of grievances. As the crowd occasionally got too close, Uber’s private security guards would emerge to shoo protesters away — only to be met with a chorus of boos. They all want to get paid.
Uber says that since the fare reduction went into effect, driver earnings have gone up 20 percent, compared to the prior two weekends before the fare cut. “That’s a lie,” Diallo said, shaking his head. “It doesn’t take a math degree to know that less does not mean more.”
Taxi owners and lenders on Tuesday sued New York City and its Taxi and Limousine Commission, saying the proliferation of the popular ride-sharing business Uber was destroying their businesses and threatening their livelihoods.
The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court accused the defendants of violating yellow cab drivers’ exclusive right to pick up passengers on the street by letting Uber drivers who face fewer regulatory burdens pick up millions of passengers who use smartphones to hail rides.
There’s a reason people flock to Uber: the experience of requesting and paying for a ride is seamless. What pisses me off is hearing taxi owners whine, bitch, and complain about Uber rather than figure out a way to improve the process of hailing a cab. No group should have an ‘exclusive right’ to business over others. Fuck that noise.
[To be clear, I could spend many blog posts on how much Uber’s business practices piss me off too. They’re a shady bunch.]
When it comes to American politics, “progress” has no set definition. But it is usually associated with figures who in another era would’ve been called “liberal.” Progressives are almost always supportive of LGBT rights, feminism and the sexual revolution; and that’s forward-thinking in its way. But when de Blasio (or most anyone else) calls himself a progressive, he isn’t claiming to be a man of the future. He’s merely signaling to voters that his ideal government is hands-off on sexuality but supportive of the welfare state.
It shouldn’t be necessary to point this out, but there’s nothing about that version of progress that requires de Blasio be nice to Uber. The kind of progress that Uber represents (which is technological, not social or political) has nothing to say about civil rights or redistribution. It doesn’t have a point of view; it just is. But because we use the same word for two different concepts, many of us assume — often unconsciously — that political and technological progress always walk hand-in-hand.
As IsQuith says, being technically progressive and politically progressive are not the same thing.