Author Topic: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)  (Read 7144 times)

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Offline Rick Law

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The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« on: May 30, 2018, 02:38:20 am »
We all hear of "disruptive technology" but the darker side of a disruptive technology is can be rather sad.  RIP and condolences to the families.

Another Taxi Driver in Debt Takes His Life. That’s 5 in 5 Months.

New York Times, May 27, 2018; By Nikita Stewart and Luis Ferré-Sadurní
...
police found the man’s parked taxicab, the biggest investment of his life. The man, Yu Mein Chow, had taken out a loan seven years ago to buy a $700,000 medallion that gave him the right to operate a cab.
...
His body was found floating in the East River about nine miles south, near the Brooklyn Bridge, on Wednesday. Friends and family members believe Mr. Chow jumped to his death, adding to a string of apparent suicides of traditional taxi and livery drivers in the city.
...
New York City’s cab industry, dependent on the market value of the once-coveted taxi medallion, has been upended by the proliferation of Uber and other ride-sharing services. Drivers have been demanding changes at City Hall to protect their livelihood, but at least five cabbies have buckled under the strain of debt since December as others describe working 12- and 14-hour shifts to make up for the lost income. One driver shot himself in February outside City Hall after leaving a message on Facebook blaming the industry’s demise on politicians. ...
...
The medallion system was created to limit the number of cabdrivers, but ride-sharing apps have rendered it useless, said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance. Last year, data showed that more people used Uber than yellow cabs in the city. Once sold for more than $1 million, taxi medallions are now selling for as little as $175,000, according to data collected by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
...


[RL - Bold added to quotes above]

Link to the article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/27/nyregion/taxi-driver-suicide-nyc.html
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 02:40:21 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 03:29:13 am »
Good. Every time I took a taxi in San Jose, CA area I've got real shitty experience. One time a driver barely spoke English and I had to tell him what roads to take to get downtown from the airport, not some remote obscure place. On the other hand I have never had anything but great experiences with Uber.

I would not mind using taxis if they actually organized and created their own app that works everywhere. The times of making a call and waiting for an hour are over. But instead they just ruthlessly compete with each other and don't want to cooperate for a second for long term benefit.


Obviously NY is a bit different in that respect, but still.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 03:31:33 am by ataradov »
Alex
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 04:09:46 am »
The real problem I see here is the need for a $700,000 medallion in order to operate a taxi cab. That just screams corruption and reeks of mob protectionism. Such a system of artificially limiting the number of cabs is ludicrous, I think it would be completely reasonable to require some sort of training course with a special license but it should be a few hundred bucks a year, not $700k.

This is the sort of thing that makes me root for Uber and others, the existing system deserves to be disrupted until it collapses.
 
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Offline rdl

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 05:40:13 am »
On the other hand these uber drivers are not "ride sharing". Few people drive in NYC. They are just doing the same thing as the taxi drivers but without licensing, training or regulation.
 
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Offline ataradov

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 05:42:06 am »
They are just doing the same thing as the taxi drivers but without licensing, training or regulation.
I submit that Uber does a better job at "regulating" than the officials. You get your average rating below 4 stars and you are out. Taxi drivers don't give a shit about their rating.
Alex
 
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Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 11:03:50 am »
your gov system is just as corrupt and bad, so it should be forced to collapse, and take you down with it?
 

Offline CM800

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 11:58:36 am »
The real problem I see here is the need for a $700,000 medallion in order to operate a taxi cab. That just screams corruption and reeks of mob protectionism. Such a system of artificially limiting the number of cabs is ludicrous, I think it would be completely reasonable to require some sort of training course with a special license but it should be a few hundred bucks a year, not $700k.

This is the sort of thing that makes me root for Uber and others, the existing system deserves to be disrupted until it collapses.

Thats not the half of it in NYC:

 

Offline langwadt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2018, 01:20:03 pm »
The real problem I see here is the need for a $700,000 medallion in order to operate a taxi cab. That just screams corruption and reeks of mob protectionism. Such a system of artificially limiting the number of cabs is ludicrous, I think it would be completely reasonable to require some sort of training course with a special license but it should be a few hundred bucks a year, not $700k.

This is the sort of thing that makes me root for Uber and others, the existing system deserves to be disrupted until it collapses.

the point of limiting the number of taxis is to make sure that they can make living, in exchange for the "monopoly" they are required to keep cars on the street at all times
and do rides that might not be profitable




 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2018, 01:23:37 pm »
The real problem I see here is the need for a $700,000 medallion in order to operate a taxi cab. That just screams corruption and reeks of mob protectionism. Such a system of artificially limiting the number of cabs is ludicrous, I think it would be completely reasonable to require some sort of training course with a special license but it should be a few hundred bucks a year, not $700k.
This is the sort of thing that makes me root for Uber and others, the existing system deserves to be disrupted until it collapses.

Yes, that existing system was ridiculous. Anyone who took out that sort of debt to start a business is taking a huge risk. They should not be entitled to be protected or guarantees a return on that investment, or guaranteed no competition can come along.

Same thing happening with AirBnB. Not only in the hotel market, but also in the "experiences" market. I'm currently in a bit of a debate with an adventure sport company owner that appears to be a bit upset that someone offering the same adventure trip on AirBnB for 1/3 the price he charges. The AirBnB dude doesn't have a national parks license, or presumably insurance, and doesn't appear to be operating a business. Indeed, it's almost as if he's running it as a hobby. And doing such a thing as a hobby without a license or insurance appears to be perfectly legal. Heck, even I do it, I advertise my adventure trips and take out beginners, potentially "robbing"  the adventure company of that business.
I think it's just new competition enabled by technology that they are going to have to deal with.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2018, 01:54:12 pm »
Its going to cause more issues than a few taxi drivers.

Think about how many truck drivers are currently on the road.  What the happens when they all find themselves on the streets.

Just another technology that disrupts things in a massive way and gets to externalize a lot of the associated costs on to the tax payers.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2018, 02:26:28 pm »
The real problem I see here is the need for a $700,000 medallion in order to operate a taxi cab. That just screams corruption and reeks of mob protectionism. Such a system of artificially limiting the number of cabs is ludicrous, I think it would be completely reasonable to require some sort of training course with a special license but it should be a few hundred bucks a year, not $700k.

This is the sort of thing that makes me root for Uber and others, the existing system deserves to be disrupted until it collapses.

the point of limiting the number of taxis is to make sure that they can make living, in exchange for the "monopoly" they are required to keep cars on the street at all times
and do rides that might not be profitable

Compare and contrast with London.

All taxi type drivers and services are licenced and regulated - so that's both Licenced Taxi Drivers (black cabs) and Private Hire Drivers (classic mini-cabs, Uber at al). There is currently no cap on the number of licences and there has never been. A cap is currently being considered. In financial year 2017/18 there were 23,826 Licenced Taxi Drivers and 113,645 licenced Private Hire Drivers.

The licencing authority is required by law to spend all fees on running the service (i.e. it's not a stealth tax).  The only significant bar to entry, aside from a clean criminal records check, driving test, medical and an adequate licensable vehicle, is for Licenced Taxi Drivers who have to pass the 'Knowledge' [of London] test before they can get a licence. Licencing fees are reasonable, if you meet all the requirements your first Black cab license will cost a total of around £1000 including tests, medical examination, criminal record checks etc. etc. For a Private Hire driver it's closer to £700.

Licenced Cab Drivers can ply for hire on the streets (i.e. you can hail a Licenced Taxi) whereas Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked, even if it's as immediate as using an app. Black cab hire fees (what you the customer pays) are fixed by regulation and have traditionally been quite expensive. Private Hire fees are a matter for the individual firm to set and are not regulated.

Black cab drivers must by law take any fare, no matter how long, short or inconvenient, as long as the journey is 12 miles or less (or 20 miles if the destination is Heathrow Airport) and terminates within the "Metropolitan Police District or the City of London". Private Hire firms can pick and choose what journeys to accept, but in practice don't generally refuse any. Black cab drivers set their own hours and there is no obligation to work particular times or a minimum number of hours, ditto licensed Private Hire drivers.

The Licenced Cab drivers have never liked Private Hire operators, and have always done their best to wrangle for a monopoly, which they once had. Getting a black cab licence was hard, because the 'Knowledge' is hard and takes years to study for. As well as the actual streets, black cab drivers are expected to know where hotels, restaurants, museums and the like are as well. A cab licence was a traditional way for a working class lad (and the very occasional lass) to get a relatively high paying job. Even competing with modern GPS navigation a black cab will still probably get you there faster because black cab drivers have an intimate working knowledge of London's streets, all of them. Black cabs deserve a premium for this, but the days of being able to charge much, much more than the Private Hire operators and still get plenty of customers have passed now that anybody can get you accurately to your destination.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2018, 02:36:51 pm »
What I read over the last year is that lots of Uber drivers are also underpaid by UberScrooge, too little to earn a decent living on an 8-10 hour shift.
While Uber is filling its company pockets with the money that is actually earned by their "slave"drivers in the cars.
Perhaps the old system was not good, but this seems not much better.
 

Offline helius

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2018, 03:31:29 pm »
What I read over the last year is that lots of Uber drivers are also underpaid by UberScrooge, too little to earn a decent living on an 8-10 hour shift.
While Uber is filling its company pockets with the money that is actually earned by their "slave"drivers in the cars.
Perhaps the old system was not good, but this seems not much better.
"Uber has just revealed its fourth-quarter financial results, which show that the ride-hailing company's loss jumped 61 percent in 2017. The company lost $4.5 billion last year, up from $2.8 billion in 2016, according to figures first reported by The Information and confirmed by CNBC on Tuesday."
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/ubers-loss-jumped-61-percent-to-4-point-5-billion-in-2017.html

Companies like Uber are transferring billions of dollars from their investors into the pockets of their users.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2018, 07:14:02 pm »
your gov system is just as corrupt and bad, so it should be forced to collapse, and take you down with it?

If there was a viable alternative then sure, but comparing a business that has multiple alternatives to the entire governing body of a nation is hyperbole to say the least.

There is NO reason a taxi medallion should cost such an obscene amount of money. The system is corrupt and broken, and better alternatives exist. The existing taxi system is outdated and the monopoly gives them no incentive to improve. The whole premise is something I find rather un-American. I've taken only a few cab rides in my life and was not the least bit impressed. The cars were dirty, the drivers rude, and not particularly good drivers. I've used Uber a couple of times and the contrast was like night and day. Clean cars, friendly and courteous drivers, absolutely painless process of scheduling a ride and paying for it, with that option available I would never even consider a traditional cab.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2018, 07:55:56 pm »
The real problem I see here is the need for a $700,000 medallion in order to operate a taxi cab. That just screams corruption and reeks of mob protectionism. Such a system of artificially limiting the number of cabs is ludicrous, I think it would be completely reasonable to require some sort of training course with a special license but it should be a few hundred bucks a year, not $700k.
This is the sort of thing that makes me root for Uber and others, the existing system deserves to be disrupted until it collapses.

Yes, that existing system was ridiculous. Anyone who took out that sort of debt to start a business is taking a huge risk. They should not be entitled to be protected or guarantees a return on that investment, or guaranteed no competition can come along.

Same thing happening with AirBnB. Not only in the hotel market, but also in the "experiences" market. I'm currently in a bit of a debate with an adventure sport company owner that appears to be a bit upset that someone offering the same adventure trip on AirBnB for 1/3 the price he charges. The AirBnB dude doesn't have a national parks license, or presumably insurance, and doesn't appear to be operating a business. Indeed, it's almost as if he's running it as a hobby. And doing such a thing as a hobby without a license or insurance appears to be perfectly legal. Heck, even I do it, I advertise my adventure trips and take out beginners, potentially "robbing"  the adventure company of that business.
I think it's just new competition enabled by technology that they are going to have to deal with.

Incidentally, on-going in the last couple of weeks, NYC news have news item/segment about some AirBnB tax (as they called it).  The "traditional" side is discussing with city-hall to take action to give them some protection.

I agree with your point that the business owner is solely responsible for the risk.

Similar to choosing a career, at times, it is difficult to see that far ahead.  According to data reported by WSJ*,  only 9% of the job lasts 20 years or more.  So most of us will face some significant change in our career lifetime.   Every industry undergoing a disruptive change is going to cause a big spike.  That means a lot of broken life.  As former Intel CEO Andy Grove titled one of his book: "Only the Paranoid Survive"

* Number cited from Wall Street Journal article "Seven Careers in a Lifetime? Think Twice, Researchers Say" By Carl Bialik back in 2010.  Based on context, I interpret their numbers are for USA and not international.

 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2018, 08:18:37 pm »
If the protectionists had their way, technology would never advance. We'd still be riding around in horsedrawn carriages so the blacksmiths and carriage makers could earn a wage. We'd be using steam locomotives to keep the firemen employed. We'd be using candles for illumination to protect the candle makers, etc. That's not to say there shouldn't be *some* protection to give people some time to adjust, but adjusting to changing realities is just a part of life. The taxi companies have enjoyed their cozy little monopolies for far too long and I welcome a change.
 
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Offline Gyro

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2018, 08:21:51 pm »
The real problem I see here is the need for a $700,000 medallion in order to operate a taxi cab. That just screams corruption and reeks of mob protectionism. Such a system of artificially limiting the number of cabs is ludicrous, I think it would be completely reasonable to require some sort of training course with a special license but it should be a few hundred bucks a year, not $700k.

This is the sort of thing that makes me root for Uber and others, the existing system deserves to be disrupted until it collapses.

the point of limiting the number of taxis is to make sure that they can make living, in exchange for the "monopoly" they are required to keep cars on the street at all times
and do rides that might not be profitable

Compare and contrast with London.

All taxi type drivers and services are licenced and regulated - so that's both Licenced Taxi Drivers (black cabs) and Private Hire Drivers (classic mini-cabs, Uber at al). There is currently no cap on the number of licences and there has never been. A cap is currently being considered. In financial year 2017/18 there were 23,826 Licenced Taxi Drivers and 113,645 licenced Private Hire Drivers.

The licencing authority is required by law to spend all fees on running the service (i.e. it's not a stealth tax).  The only significant bar to entry, aside from a clean criminal records check, driving test, medical and an adequate licensable vehicle, is for Licenced Taxi Drivers who have to pass the 'Knowledge' [of London] test before they can get a licence. Licencing fees are reasonable, if you meet all the requirements your first Black cab license will cost a total of around £1000 including tests, medical examination, criminal record checks etc. etc. For a Private Hire driver it's closer to £700.

Licenced Cab Drivers can ply for hire on the streets (i.e. you can hail a Licenced Taxi) whereas Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked, even if it's as immediate as using an app. Black cab hire fees (what you the customer pays) are fixed by regulation and have traditionally been quite expensive. Private Hire fees are a matter for the individual firm to set and are not regulated.

Black cab drivers must by law take any fare, no matter how long, short or inconvenient, as long as the journey is 12 miles or less (or 20 miles if the destination is Heathrow Airport) and terminates within the "Metropolitan Police District or the City of London". Private Hire firms can pick and choose what journeys to accept, but in practice don't generally refuse any. Black cab drivers set their own hours and there is no obligation to work particular times or a minimum number of hours, ditto licensed Private Hire drivers.

The Licenced Cab drivers have never liked Private Hire operators, and have always done their best to wrangle for a monopoly, which they once had. Getting a black cab licence was hard, because the 'Knowledge' is hard and takes years to study for. As well as the actual streets, black cab drivers are expected to know where hotels, restaurants, museums and the like are as well. A cab licence was a traditional way for a working class lad (and the very occasional lass) to get a relatively high paying job. Even competing with modern GPS navigation a black cab will still probably get you there faster because black cab drivers have an intimate working knowledge of London's streets, all of them. Black cabs deserve a premium for this, but the days of being able to charge much, much more than the Private Hire operators and still get plenty of customers have passed now that anybody can get you accurately to your destination.

Attaining 'The Knowledge' is a truly remarkable process, not only map study but also driving around London on a moped with a clipboard strapped to the front for several years or until they can pass the strict test. I saw a documentary where MRI comparisons showed that the average Black Cab driver actually develops an enlarged Hippocampus compared to the general population due to the amount of information they have to store away. They know every little side street and muse and can normally find the fastest route between two points at any given time of day. There's only so far a satnav will get you.

When my eldest son was a baby, he had problems, involving frequent visits and stays in Great Ormond St hospital. We would get a cab from Paddington Station to the hospital. More often that not, the cabbie would refuse to accept the fare. It used to go into the collecting box inside the hospital entrance instead. You wouldn't get that sort of heart and service like that from Uber!

Another couple of useless facts. A black cab isn't allowed on the road with any kind of bodywork damage - they will always back off (but let you know about it!) in a potential collision conflict situational. The have a turning circle of only 8m so that they can do a U turn on a typical London street (and also get around the tight roundabout inside the entrance of the Savoy Hotel!). There are very strict rules about taking the cab off the road and fully sterilizing it if a passenger happens to die in one!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackney_carriage
Chris

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Offline blueskull

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2018, 08:27:41 pm »
So what? Natural selection. Mother nature is harsh, and without humanity, in a wild world, the ones among the strongest survive.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2018, 08:27:49 pm »
The system is corrupt and broken, and better alternatives exist.

I was just keeping up with the tone.

The system you are talking about though was created by and is part of the governments, and permission was only granted and guaranteed protection put in place in exchange for a life's wages. The workers had no choice, there were no better alternatives. They subscribed to the program and then the governments now abandon an entire workforce. All the corruption and dysfunction here is the government, not the taxi industry - they are merely an expected product of that.

Uber is a taxi company just the same and I believe they are in violation, or if that loophole should stick then every driver is operating in violation.

Don't you think the value of all those medallions will be paid by you in one way or another?
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2018, 09:29:38 pm »
Perhaps they should have put a maximum price on the medaillions  :-//

Anyway if the above financial statement is correct and I think it is then Uber is throwing investors money in a business pit harming the standard drivers that can no longer compete.
It is like Apple with all their billions will sell their iPhones as of tomorrow for $50 (so $100 below cost) to dominate the market and ruin all other phone manufacturers. Then after a few years when the competition is gone they sell again for higher prices.
Something is fishy about this whole Uber business case and in some european cities even countries the app is already banned because there was too much unrest.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2018, 10:14:38 pm »
We all hear of "disruptive technology" but the darker side of a disruptive technology
I don't consider this disruptive technology, it's breach of contract by government ... uber is a taxi service.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2018, 10:16:23 pm »
The medallions should have gone in the bin years ago, they're as quaint as the previously mentioned horsedrawn carriages, a relic of another era that has no place in the modern world. Prices never should have been bid up to the range they are now, it's absurd, and everyone should know things can change and they cannot always rely on extorting the customer for lack of an alternative. The system is obsolete, it sucks for those currently trying to make a living doing that but what makes them special compared to all the other career paths that have vanished as technology and society marches on? If a business can't survive without heavy handed protectionism that excludes all forms of competition then it deserves to die off. There are very good reasons that most monopolies are illegal. After seeing the way cabbies are moaning and bitching up a storm about the loss of their unfair monopoly I would walk before I would ever consider taking a traditional taxi.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2018, 10:25:46 pm »
Perhaps they should have put a maximum price on the medaillions  :-//
They should have sold/bought medaillons to keep the price stable at some point.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2018, 10:40:25 pm »
This is a case almost like agriculture early in the last century.  The markets fluctuate over time scales that are not commensurate with investment payoffs.

Uber the company is losing money.  I don't see how Uber drivers can make money on the business model.  Buying a new car every three years will offering the lowest prices on the market doesn't appear to add up.  I know a couple of Uber drivers and they are doing okay on current expenses, but not able to put away anything for replacement of their vehicle.

Obviously the New York medallion scheme was working in some sense before price competition set in. 

Over time ride rates will have to raise to cover actual costs of the business (plus whatever profit keeps the money from going elsewhere).  This will mean higher costs for users.  Those costs might be high enough for traditional taxis to compete (if they still exist).

In the US (and I believe in most of the Western world) governments stepped in to stabilize agriculture prices.  That has had other, not always positive, consequences here but it did make agriculture a viable business over the last century without the extreme boom/bust/crop failure/weather hit problems that punished it previously.
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2018, 10:47:37 pm »
The taxis are actually not that much more expensive here. The problem is stupid stuff they do, like $15 minimum charge if you go to or from the airport. What difference does it make where I go?

And I personally would not care if Uber increased the price. I go for Uber because of convenience.  I want to pull up the app and tap the screen a few times instead of trying to explain where I want to go to someone in Indian  call center, or use a site with flash and ads, or some other stuff like that.

I also don't trust taxi drivers much with my credit card. The level of sketchiness there is astronomical.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 10:49:30 pm by ataradov »
Alex
 
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2018, 11:37:19 pm »
The medallions should have gone in the bin years ago, they're as quaint as the previously mentioned horsedrawn carriages, a relic of another era that has no place in the modern world. Prices never should have been bid up to the range they are now, it's absurd, and everyone should know things can change and they cannot always rely on extorting the customer for lack of an alternative. The system is obsolete, it sucks for those currently trying to make a living doing that but what makes them special compared to all the other career paths that have vanished as technology and society marches on? If a business can't survive without heavy handed protectionism that excludes all forms of competition then it deserves to die off. There are very good reasons that most monopolies are illegal. After seeing the way cabbies are moaning and bitching up a storm about the loss of their unfair monopoly I would walk before I would ever consider taking a traditional taxi.

The original reason for the medallion was to limit the number of cabs in New York City. There was too much congestion, too much competition for fares and too much reckless driving (two drivers see a person hailing a cab, and both try to occupy the same space at the same time). Thus the system was created,

Fast forward almost a hundred years. Those initial reasons are still valid. Congestion on NYC's streets is insane. Adding cars in the form of Ubers just makes matters worse.

As for prices being bid up, well, it's not the T&LC selling the medallions -- most sales/transfers are from auctions from current private medallion owners. Prices were bid up because the buyers saw value in them. That the medallion owners are left holding the bag for something worth considerably less than they paid for it is not the city's fault, nor really is it even the auction's fault.

That said, the reality is that yellow cabs are awful. They're supposed to take you anywhere, but good luck getting one to take you to "certain" parts of the city. (Though the same can be said for Uber.) And when the shifts change and all the cars need to be at the depot, you won't be able to get a ride. So clearly, competition in some sense is necessary to get the traditional industry to fix itself, but I am not sure that flooding the streets with more drivers in private cars is the solution.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 11:40:56 pm by Bassman59 »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2018, 11:52:43 pm »
Uber the company is losing money.  I don't see how Uber drivers can make money on the business model.  Buying a new car every three years will offering the lowest prices on the market doesn't appear to add up.  I know a couple of Uber drivers and they are doing okay on current expenses, but not able to put away anything for replacement of their vehicle.

Uber does NOT want to make money in the first place. Uber model is also used in China by 2 Uber-like companies (pun) invested by Tencent and Alibaba, two of the world's most rich companies.
Guess what? The 2 companies all offer great discount and subsidization to their customers, in favor of market share.
At the end of the day, it is not who offers the better service wins, but who can last longer wins.
Once the winner's name is ironed in a generation of people's head, that company can ask for whatever price, because it is already the monopoly.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2018, 12:03:51 am »
There can be rules and training required without needing $700k medallions. If this sort of gouging is happening then perhaps they need to change the system, making it illegal to for a private party to sell the medallions. Maybe the whole taxi system should be a state run entity like the rest of the mass transit system? Hire professional drivers, have the car fleet owned by the same entity that owns the buses, that actually sounds pretty reasonable.

Regarding the number of cars on the road and congestion, sure that's a problem but given how bad traditional taxis are, I own my own personal car and continue to do so. A car is a car, whether it's a taxi or being driven by the person it is transporting. If there is a need to limit the number of cars on the road then why limit taxis specifically and not all cars? The whole thing just stinks like a racket and I'm sure somebody is making a whole lot of money off it otherwise it wouldn't be the way it is.


Yeah I wouldn't care if Uber prices went up a bit, or if older cars were allowed. Who cares if it's a brand new car or something 10 years old as long as it's clean and well maintained? Heck I'd even pay extra sometimes for a ride in a cool classic car if such a service existed. The real advantage of the whole system is the mobile app. Dead easy to use, put in the address you want to go to and the location and time you wish to pick up, it gives you a price and you accept, done. Car shows up at the arranged time and place and off you go. No money or credit cards exchanged directly with the driver, no language barrier, no fuss, it just works and is absolutely painless. The existing taxis are going to have to adapt to this century and implement a similar arrangement if they want to survive. Expect an ever increasing stream of propaganda if they fail and continue the downward trajectory.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 12:10:31 am by james_s »
 

Online BravoV

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2018, 12:07:07 am »
At the end of the day, it is not who offers the better service wins, but who can last longer wins.
Once the winner's name is ironed in a generation of people's head, that company can ask for whatever price, because it is already the monopoly.

+1  :-+

Its all about who is the strongest to endure & survive the early days of fierce competitions and and deepest pocket to sustain that early period, its well known & understood business model.

For those who are old enough to remember when search engines roamed the earth like ... AltaVista, Yahoo etc, and for sure we're now all see what happened to the winner today.  >:D

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2018, 12:09:16 am »
What I read over the last year is that lots of Uber drivers are also underpaid by UberScrooge, too little to earn a decent living on an 8-10 hour shift.
While Uber is filling its company pockets with the money that is actually earned by their "slave"drivers in the cars.

Yep they are still a massively unprofitable company that is hemorrhaging cash, how?  :-//
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2018, 12:11:53 am »
There can be rules and training required without needing $700k medallions.

If the medallion system is abolished right now, more people will commit suicide or homicide -- because their life time saving's value gets instantly nullified.
If anything is to blame, blame the starting of the system. Once the mass goes beyond a critical mass, changing the system will be painful to everyone in the party.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2018, 12:16:57 am »
Sure and I can sympathize with that, but change is coming whether they like it or not, either rip the bandaid off quickly or drag the suffering out for many years. I cannot fathom how someone could justify paying such an absurd amount for a taxi medallion, I mean holy cow, $700k! That's enough to pay for a full ride through a top notch university to earn a degree in anything imaginable, with enough left over to buy a modest house in some areas. It's not like driving a cab is a prestigious career that pays a load of money. Frankly I'd rather drive a garbage truck, less dealing with the public.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2018, 12:21:14 am »
Sure and I can sympathize with that, but change is coming whether they like it or not, either rip the bandaid off quickly or drag the suffering out for many years.

Head of DMV may not be as patriotic as you thought. From his mind, he probably wants to serve his terms as peacefully as possible, and build interstates and other fancy projects, aka face projects, as much as possible, to gain his own political achievements.
Once his term has ended and he built enough political achievements, he runs for mayor and leave the mess the the next head of DMV, and the cycle continues.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2018, 12:44:53 am »
Sure and I can sympathize with that, but change is coming whether they like it or not, either rip the bandaid off quickly or drag the suffering out for many years.

Same thing happening here in Australia in regards to out crazy investment realestate system. There are ridiculously generous benefits for investors to leverage themselves up to the hilt with debt, and young people can't afford a home now as a result of the absurd price growth caused by the investors. But those benefits that caused the problem can't be removed say the politicians because it would impact those investors. Thin of the poor mum and dad investors with those five properties!
The answer is of course, so 'effing what! They are investors and they have to accept responsibility for taking on that debt and adapting any changes to the system that might happen. You can't legislate that the gravy train must go on forever, it's ludicrous.
I'll vote for the first politician that has the guts to say screw the investors (that includes me BTW), scrap all the ridiculous tax benefits and lift the interest rates.
 
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Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2018, 01:23:30 am »
I'll vote for the first politician that has the guts to say screw the investors (that includes me BTW), scrap all the ridiculous tax benefits and lift the interest rates.
Not saying it's exactly fair, but inflating debt overhangs away is less painful than "creative" destruction.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2018, 02:11:08 am »
. You can't legislate that the gravy train must go on forever, it's ludicrous.
I'll vote for the first politician that has the guts to say screw the investors (that includes me BTW), scrap all the ridiculous tax benefits and lift the interest rates.

Would agree with that, however I don't think if technology X comes out and drives up unemployment by a substantial amount the costs should be bared by the tax payer either.  Somewhere their is a balance.  Putting incentives to take out debit seems ludicrous, on the flip side we do the same for farmers,oil companies, EVs, and a long list of things.  If something can't stand alone in the market, maybe it shouldn't be.  That said, things like health care become extortion by threat of death in in the free market, at least here in the US.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 02:14:03 am by orion242 »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2018, 04:18:16 am »
Things like health care shouldn't be free market, there is no (reasonable) alternative. Things like a taxi service almost ideal for a free market, many alternatives exist and competition benefits the consumer. A taxi service that is not profitable will go out of business and one that tries to cut too many corners to boost profit will lose either customers, employees or both and the situation will correct itself.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2018, 09:31:11 am »
I'll vote for the first politician that has the guts to say screw the investors (that includes me BTW), scrap all the ridiculous tax benefits and lift the interest rates.
Not saying it's exactly fair, but inflating debt overhangs away is less painful than "creative" destruction.

It wouldn't be "destruction" to remove negative gearing and raise interest rates, far from it. It would mostly just change peoples mindsets, and that's the most important thing.
The current drop in the Sydney housing market for example after the biggest bull run in history is hopefully showing many investors, who have never ever seen house prices drop, that it can actually happen and it's not a guaranteed gravy train. They need that kick up the arse.
Australia has a housing investment culture problem the same way America has a gun culture problem.
But I'm getting off-topic...
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2018, 09:52:30 am »
If he wanted to drive something, he could have invested this money to become a pilot for a 747. And he would have been left with half a million dollars. Nobody and nothing will prevent you from stupid investments. If you cannot make back of the envelope calculations in the 21 century, it is the same as being the weakest guy when we were hunting for mammoths.
 
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Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2018, 10:16:24 am »
If he wanted to drive something, he could have invested this money to become a pilot for a 747.
Don't know how the jobmarket is today but three years ago I took a trainingflight from a C lisenced pilot, he could nowhere find a job.
He had a studydebt of €220000 and rented this plane to earn money giving first flight experiences.
He did have offers to fly with a South American airliner, but no salaryoffer, the experience was the reward.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2018, 10:53:50 am »
It wouldn't be "destruction" to remove negative gearing and raise interest rates, far from it. It would mostly just change peoples mindsets, and that's the most important thing.

It only works if you allow banks to go bankrupt ... and make bank creditors eat the losses (you can afford to pay deposit guarantees).

A true deflationary spiral wipes out nearly everyone, creditor classes and lender classes alike. Only the landed gentry survive mostly unscathed, but those can be controlled by taxes. The modern deflation where the creditor classes are bailed out just locks a nation into a situation where growth is impossible, less a reset and more a way to cement a dystopian situation. Then again, true deflationary spirals have a nasty way of ending in war, so they aren't a good idea either.

As in so many other things I think Japan has always been the one to have it right here and literally almost everyone else has been wrong, economists have a consensus of idiocy. They persist in the idiocy till today, instead of saying "well I guess internal government debt doesn't really matter" they say, well government has to start repaying any day now, any day now, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. Except of course the obvious, to which they have a self imposed blindness ... just ignore it indefinitely. There is literally no limit to how much they can "borrow" from their own central bank. It's just paper, deficits can be unsustainable at 10% debt to GDP, yet can be sustainable at 1000%, debt owned to your own central bank is almost irrelevant to the equation. Current account balance more so.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 10:57:58 am by Marco »
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2018, 11:27:06 am »
I'll vote for the first politician that has the guts to say screw the investors (that includes me BTW), scrap all the ridiculous tax benefits and lift the interest rates.
Not saying it's exactly fair, but inflating debt overhangs away is less painful than "creative" destruction.

It wouldn't be "destruction" to remove negative gearing and raise interest rates, far from it. It would mostly just change peoples mindsets, and that's the most important thing.
The current drop in the Sydney housing market for example after the biggest bull run in history is hopefully showing many investors, who have never ever seen house prices drop, that it can actually happen and it's not a guaranteed gravy train. They need that kick up the arse.
Australia has a housing investment culture problem the same way America has a gun culture problem.
But I'm getting off-topic...

The original idea was, apparently, to increase the availability of privately funded housing, decreasing the requirement for public housing.
OK, public housing is a State responsibility, but the Feds are involved indirectly when the State whinges about needing more Federal funds.
Like always, the law of unintended consequences intervened, with so much investment going into property.

That isn't the only reason that house prices have escalated in Sydney & Melbourne, another contributing
factor is the retreat of many Public & Private organisations from the other States back to those two cities.

At one time, the ATO had large staffed premises in Perth, with the corresponding staff.
My old Super Fund had a large office where you could go in and talk to real humans.
Before I left them, they had closed down the Perth office, so if you wanted to talk with someone, they were in Sydney.
This has happened over & over with various organisations.

Of course, this is the same thing (only on a larger scale) as happened within the States, where regional towns lost their local Banks, Railway staff, Telecom Aust staff, & so on, all retreating to the State Capitols.
 

Offline helius

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2018, 05:28:34 pm »
They persist in the idiocy till today, instead of saying "well I guess internal government debt doesn't really matter" they say, well government has to start repaying any day now, any day now, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. Except of course the obvious, to which they have a self imposed blindness ... just ignore it indefinitely. There is literally no limit to how much they can "borrow" from their own central bank. It's just paper, deficits can be unsustainable at 10% debt to GDP, yet can be sustainable at 1000%, debt owned to your own central bank is almost irrelevant to the equation.
Modern Monetary Theorists are on board with that view. It's really amusing seeing the (incoherent) objections that get raised against it.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2018, 05:37:27 pm »
If he wanted to drive something, he could have invested this money to become a pilot for a 747.
Don't know how the jobmarket is today but three years ago I took a trainingflight from a C lisenced pilot, he could nowhere find a job.
He had a studydebt of €220000 and rented this plane to earn money giving first flight experiences.
He did have offers to fly with a South American airliner, but no salaryoffer, the experience was the reward.

Getting the education doesn't guarantee anyone a job, but there is a demand out there for pilots and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Like any job, you usually have to start at the bottom and fly for a small regional carrier for low wages, then you gain the experience and move up.
 

Online schmitt trigger

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2018, 05:52:03 pm »


That said, the reality is that yellow cabs are awful. They're supposed to take you anywhere, but good luck getting one to take you to "certain" parts of the city. (Though the same can be said for Uber.) And when the shifts change and all the cars need to be at the depot, you won't be able to get a ride.

Indeed;
ask them to take you to, or to the vicinity of Times Square.

Granted. Times Square is absolutely insane. I once stayed at a hotel at 43th or 44th st between Broadway and 6th Ave, and had to walk from Penn station.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2018, 07:56:09 pm »
The cab driver made a rational decision when he invested.  But times changed.  Uber came along.  As Blueskull says, the only way the Uber model makes sense is as a drive to achieve monopoly and then recover dollars.  I am not sure that makes sense since there are no strong barriers to other Ubers entering the market.  So how was the cab driver to predict this apparently irrational change in his market?

You can argue that the cab driver should have foreseen this market shift, but there was a many decade experience base saying this was the way the world worked.  Just like the housing investors in the US, who had 20 years of growth.  Since many only intended to be in the market long enough to flip they were only extrapolating by a few percent of the history base.  Only luck allowed some to pick the right time to jump off the carousel.

People in this field may be less sympathetic to people who can't see or expect these changes since our field has been changing more and more rapidly over the last several decades, and more rapidly than most others.  No one in our field expects their skill set to survive a career.  But the vast majority of people are still doing the same thing their grandparents did with minor trims around the edges.  A secretary has had nearly a century to transition from carbon paper on a manual typewriter through a move to the electric typewriter and finally a keyboard on a microcomputer - but the job remains unchanged in its essence.  Same for insurance salesmen, farmers and a whole list of other people.  Only recently have professions like retail clerk seen any real change, and that change is the disappearance of the job as online takes over.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2018, 08:04:03 pm »
There can be rules and training required without needing $700k medallions. If this sort of gouging is happening then perhaps they need to change the system, making it illegal to for a private party to sell the medallions. Maybe the whole taxi system should be a state run entity like the rest of the mass transit system? Hire professional drivers, have the car fleet owned by the same entity that owns the buses, that actually sounds pretty reasonable.

Well, see, there's the problem -- New York City has a huge mass transit system and money is not being appropriated to maintain and upgrade it. And that's because the people who can most afford to pay the taxes for those appropriations do not use public transit. They don't have to. And they don't care.

But I agree, having yellow cabs and black cars operating under the umbrella of the MTA, with licensing and route controls and all of that, would go a long way towards solving the general traffic problems in the city.

Quote
Regarding the number of cars on the road and congestion, sure that's a problem but given how bad traditional taxis are, I own my own personal car and continue to do so. A car is a car, whether it's a taxi or being driven by the person it is transporting. If there is a need to limit the number of cars on the road then why limit taxis specifically and not all cars? The whole thing just stinks like a racket and I'm sure somebody is making a whole lot of money off it otherwise it wouldn't be the way it is.


There are regular discussions about the ways to limit all vehicle traffic in the city, mostly centered around a London-style congestion tax in the form of tolls. There are two forces at work against it, though. One is technological (how does that get implemented) and the other is purely political.

Quote
Yeah I wouldn't care if Uber prices went up a bit, or if older cars were allowed. Who cares if it's a brand new car or something 10 years old as long as it's clean and well maintained? Heck I'd even pay extra sometimes for a ride in a cool classic car if such a service existed. The real advantage of the whole system is the mobile app. Dead easy to use, put in the address you want to go to and the location and time you wish to pick up, it gives you a price and you accept, done. Car shows up at the arranged time and place and off you go. No money or credit cards exchanged directly with the driver, no language barrier, no fuss, it just works and is absolutely painless. The existing taxis are going to have to adapt to this century and implement a similar arrangement if they want to survive. Expect an ever increasing stream of propaganda if they fail and continue the downward trajectory.

Oh, I agree, the thing that Uber and Lyft have done is to make the customer experience as pleasant and simple as possible. Anyone who's taken a NYC taxi and an Uber will agree about which offers the best service. Can yellow cabs improve their service, by offering the app and eliminating the cash-exchange/credit-card-swipe? Absolutely. Can cab drivers clean their fucking vehicles and not have text conversations while driving? Absolutely. And those are the real and compelling arguments for alternative services.

Part of me cringes at the destruction of peoples' livelihoods by forces beyond their control. Another part of me recognizes that, for the most part, it's the NY taxi industry that is to blame, and it was just a matter of time before that out-of-their-control force appeared.


One other thing not discussed here. The above is all about options in New York City. But what about places outside of cities?

I just got back from a weekend vacation with friends. One, who lives in Northern New Jersey, maybe 20 miles from Newark Airport, mentioned how much easier it is to get to the airport from his house. (He doesn't own a car.) You cannot hail a cab from a curb; you have to call and arrange a ride in advance. In the past, you had to arrange a day or so in advance with a black car service, which would run nearly a hundred bucks. Hopefully the car showed up on time. You could call a shared service like Super Shuttle and pay $40 and be in the van for sometimes 90 minutes. You could take mass transit, which meant a New Jersey Transit bus that went into Manhattan to the Port Authority and then another shuttle bus out to the airport. That cost about $20 and took if you were lucky two hours, most of it waiting.

Now? Wake up in the morning, do your thing, get ready, and then punch up the app and have an Uber or Lyft appear at your door within minutes. You know what the fare is in advance, and off you go. It's a lot cheaper than a black car, and a lot faster than the shuttle or mass transit option. So from a consumer point of view, it's a real win.

The real mistake is calling these services "ride sharing." That's bullshit. They are taxi services with a more efficient dispatch mechanism.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2018, 08:08:55 pm »
The cab driver made a rational decision when he invested.  But times changed.  Uber came along.  As Blueskull says, the only way the Uber model makes sense is as a drive to achieve monopoly and then recover dollars.  I am not sure that makes sense since there are no strong barriers to other Ubers entering the market. 

Uber has been clear: they want to be out of the human-driven car business entirely, hence the push towards driverless vehicles. It's a brand-building exercise. Money for the self-driving car R&D comes from the VCs. They're spending money to ensure the name "Uber" is synonymous with "on-demand transport," in much the same way that Xerox is a name synonymous with photocopying. (How many times do you hear someone say, "I'm calling an Uber?" instead of "I'm calling for a ride?")
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2018, 10:58:02 pm »
I have no interest in driverless cars. If they switch to that model I'll switch to a different service.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2018, 11:24:52 pm »
Many people report shoddy taxi services at extortionate prices. If taxis provided a proper service for a fair price Uber wouldn't be much of a threat. It seems taxi companies liked the privilege of being protected and in turn didn't mind playing along with the stupid licencing game.

I'm not saying I fully agree with what Uber does and how it goes about its business, but you can't create an artificial vacuum and expect it to last forever. Someone will come along and show it can be done differently. Play shitty games, win stupid prizes.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #50 on: May 31, 2018, 11:59:37 pm »
Uber has been clear: they want to be out of the human-driven car business entirely, hence the push towards driverless vehicles.

And if that comes to fruition I predict a big (maybe niche) market demand for "retro" taxis with real humans you can talk to, instead of Johnny Cab.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #51 on: June 01, 2018, 01:25:12 am »

Uber has been clear: they want to be out of the human-driven car business entirely, hence the push towards driverless vehicles. It's a brand-building exercise. Money for the self-driving car R&D comes from the VCs. They're spending money to ensure the name "Uber" is synonymous with "on-demand transport," in much the same way that Xerox is a name synonymous with photocopying. (How many times do you hear someone say, "I'm calling an Uber?" instead of "I'm calling for a ride?")

Totally agree with what they are doing.  But do you do your Xerox's on a Xerox machine, or one of the many others.  Do you buy BandAid brand bandages and Kleenex tissues?  In each of these cases the barrier for competitor entry was higher than for Uber's product.  Uber has a very high risk long term business plan.  Made riskier by the plan to take on the capital costs of the vehicle fleet and the liability issues with a very new technology that may or may not be ready for prime time in the next decade or two.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #52 on: June 01, 2018, 01:28:54 am »
And if that comes to fruition I predict a big (maybe niche) market demand for "retro" taxis with real humans you can talk to, instead of Johnny Cab.
Someone will figure out he can outfit the automated cabs with a television screens and an uplink to an Indian call centre with real human cabby stand-ins.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #53 on: June 01, 2018, 06:48:31 am »
Many people report shoddy taxi services at extortionate prices. If taxis provided a proper service for a fair price Uber wouldn't be much of a threat. It seems taxi companies liked the privilege of being protected and in turn didn't mind playing along with the stupid licencing game.

I'm not saying I fully agree with what Uber does and how it goes about its business, but you can't create an artificial vacuum and expect it to last forever. Someone will come along and show it can be done differently. Play shitty games, win stupid prizes.

That's the thing, being a protected monopoly they have long had absolutely *no* reason to provide anything resembling reasonable service, because if you don't like what they offer, what are you gonna do? Regardless of what one thinks of Uber, I'm happy to see some competition. The traditional taxi services *could* get their act together, implement a nice modern web/app hailing system, keep their cars clean and be friendly to customers. Unfortunately I suspect most of them will instead fight tooth and nail in a losing battle to stamp out the competition. They will not go down quietly, expect a constant stream of propaganda, lawsuits, political lobbying, protests, and slandering of alternate ride providers at every opportunity.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #54 on: June 01, 2018, 08:21:57 am »
Perhaps in large cities, here in a small town cabbies replace their cars each three to four years most have luxury Mercedes to attract customers and I don't recognize this picture. I must admit that most clientele is businessman or tourists, most people that do not use their own transportvehicle will use public transportation.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #55 on: June 01, 2018, 06:05:49 pm »
That's the thing, being a protected monopoly they have long had absolutely *no* reason to provide anything resembling reasonable service, because if you don't like what they offer, what are you gonna do? Regardless of what one thinks of Uber, I'm happy to see some competition. The traditional taxi services *could* get their act together, implement a nice modern web/app hailing system, keep their cars clean and be friendly to customers. Unfortunately I suspect most of them will instead fight tooth and nail in a losing battle to stamp out the competition. They will not go down quietly, expect a constant stream of propaganda, lawsuits, political lobbying, protests, and slandering of alternate ride providers at every opportunity.
It's basically the music industry and news papers all over again. They've sat atop their thrones for decades or even centuries and start kicking and screaming when they suddenly find themselves irrelevant because they simply refused to change when the world did. Too bad money allows you to do a lot of damage on the way out.
 
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #56 on: June 01, 2018, 08:55:39 pm »
If the protectionists had their way, technology would never advance. We'd still be riding around in horsedrawn carriages so the blacksmiths and carriage makers could earn a wage. We'd be using steam locomotives to keep the firemen employed. We'd be using candles for illumination to protect the candle makers, etc. That's not to say there shouldn't be *some* protection to give people some time to adjust, but adjusting to changing realities is just a part of life. The taxi companies have enjoyed their cozy little monopolies for far too long and I welcome a change.

I agree with your point here about protectionism in general.  However, two different issues are rolled into one.  Dumping is the other issue.

Dumping is the process of selling below cost to kill an industry, then, with the competition dead, you control the price.

For the purpose of discussion, here we are not talking facts and real numbers but made up just for discussion of dumping:
- Country X can manufacture steel at 20% cheaper than Country Y.
- Country X subsidize and export steel to Country Y so it sell at 50% Country Y's cost of manufacturing.
- Steel plants in Country Y cannot compete, it starts to close
- Infrastructure to support steel plants in Country Y starts to wither and dying as well.
- Country Y totally lost the factories and infrastructure to product steel.
- Now Country X increases price to a point where it controls the market (enough but not enough for Country Y to restart from scratch)

Now back to the real world.  In my view, protection against dumping is a good idea.  Otherwise, industries in a country could be picked apart.  On an on-going basis, being economically isolated is not a good idea for any country

Things like health care shouldn't be free market, there is no (reasonable) alternative. Things like a taxi service almost ideal for a free market, many alternatives exist and competition benefits the consumer. A taxi service that is not profitable will go out of business and one that tries to cut too many corners to boost profit will lose either customers, employees or both and the situation will correct itself.

First, thank you for bringing in "other disruptions".  My OP really wasn't to talk about taxi/uber per se.  I was reflecting on how major change changes life.  This 5 suicide in 5 month is just stunning to me to actually see it in the raw.

Health care is another one like the "$700k medallions".  Government regulation made the disruption.  Left to itself, there would have been some disruption but not as significant.  When it was free-market driven, there was health insurance, health maintenance plans, and catastrophic insurance.  Now it is reduced to just health maintenance plans.  You can't by health insurance against the unexpected - it must cover certain things even if it is expected and planned.  Same for catastrophic coverage - it is near extinction.  By-and-large, we are left with only costly health maintenance plan that covers everything - whether you need it or not.

* * *

But, let's just focus on disruptive technology and disruption - there is disruptive technology in the winds for health care outside of governmental stupidity.  Health care, along with legal profession, are likely going to be significantly affected by robotics and AI.

Legal profession is almost entirely rule driven.  Legal research used to involve a lot of "remembering" (finding) prior cases one can leverage on for legal precedence, or examples of innovative invocation of certain rules and regulations.  AI can do wonder with that.  What would happen to that profession when a "print out" basically outline the entire case strategy making the lawyer merely just a presenter in front of the judge?

What a doctor do in diagnoses as much direct judgement than symptom/pattern matching.  He has this, his face shows that, his MRI looks like this...  So it is illness X.  So treatment is Y.  Perfect for AI to handle.  Oh, the best doc is in the south pole, but worry not, remote control robotics means Dr. Best can do your surgery by remote...

So this wave of disruption of easy-communication & technology will continue with a lot more yet to occur.  It will go beyond sending X-Rays for overseas-doctor interpretation report, or annual income tax-return send overseas to be done.  Heck. I don't even know what real value in-store Pharmacist has anymore in the USA that an AI machine can't do.


 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #57 on: June 01, 2018, 11:19:35 pm »
I agree with your point here about protectionism in general.  However, two different issues are rolled into one.  Dumping is the other issue.

Dumping is the process of selling below cost to kill an industry, then, with the competition dead, you control the price.

Dumping can be a problem, however the way I see it, once the status quo as been disrupted it is then much easier for additional competition to come into play. The thing about the Uber/Lyft model is the infrastructure is lightweight, it's really just an app/back end service that any couple of decent software engineers could build in a matter of months. Once services like this become the norm, free of draconian regulation that makes breaking into the market nearly impossible, more of these services can pop up overnight. If Uber prices themselves too high, someone else will show up with a better deal.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #58 on: June 02, 2018, 04:01:56 am »
It's really difficult for me to respond to the discussion as there seems to be a disingenuous presentation of the elements. I do not perceive a tech advantage, but rather a social one. The gov is not enforcing the same rules, regulations, and costs to each market segment. This is an artificially biased environment not born from technologically advantageous parameters.

All the rest of philosophical, why not keep it in the Gregg Spriggs thread, that was closed by Dave on principle?

Talk about USPS and email seems a more relevant analogy.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #59 on: June 02, 2018, 06:44:03 am »
It's really difficult for me to respond to the discussion as there seems to be a disingenuous presentation of the elements. I do not perceive a tech advantage, but rather a social one. The gov is not enforcing the same rules, regulations, and costs to each market segment. This is an artificially biased environment not born from technologically advantageous parameters.

All the rest of philosophical, why not keep it in the Gregg Spriggs thread, that was closed by Dave on principle?

Talk about USPS and email seems a more relevant analogy.

I agree, the Technological advantage is more perceived than real.
The only "tech" in the manual Uber cars is a smartphone "app" for Pete's sake!

I can pick up  my home phone, call a taxi company & a recorded voice asks me " Do I want to order a taxi to come to my home address?"(which they mostly know because I've used them before)

If I'm not careful they will send one straight away, unless I select a later time.
In any case, after a while, a clean taxi turns up, driven by a friendly, competent driver, who takes me where I need to go.

Why would I want to fart around with a silly "app" on my non-existent smartphone to get some bloke in his own car, who may or may not be competent or insured to carry passengers for hire?

Of course, if I was a young person half or fully intoxicated out at 2am Saturday night, it may be hard to get a taxi, but how easy would an Uber car be at the same time?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 06:48:22 am by vk6zgo »
 
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Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2018, 08:43:16 am »
In some crowded cities with traffic jams the company can detect that the requested route is jammed so they  should sent a motor instead of a car, now that would be ingeneous improvement.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #61 on: June 02, 2018, 09:47:21 am »
Why would I want to fart around with a silly "app" on my non-existent smartphone to get some bloke in his own car, who may or may not be competent or insured to carry passengers for hire?

Because you are one of the few people who don't spend their entire lives glued to a smartphone.
That's why Uber exists, Tinder works, and Apple and Facebook are worth squillions of dollars.
 
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Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #62 on: June 02, 2018, 03:42:12 pm »
It's basically the music industry and news papers all over again. They've sat atop their thrones for decades or even centuries and start kicking and screaming when they suddenly find themselves irrelevant because they simply refused to change when the world did.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice scream.

Music industry loudly complained about piracy, which was and is illegal and where the government consequently does have a responsibility to ensure effective policing ... making them fully justified in being loud and they have had quite a bit of success in doing so.

Whether the the NY taxi drivers are justified in complaining about Uber and local government hinges on a semantic argument. Is Uber a taxi service. In the EU it is by law ... so it's not a prima facie absurd argument to make. I for one agree with the cabbies, they got unjustly screwed by government by unilaterally reneging on a contract granting them a monopoly. If NYC wanted to allow Uber they should have bought out the medallions at the then current market prices.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #63 on: June 02, 2018, 05:46:43 pm »
Why would I want to fart around with a silly "app" on my non-existent smartphone to get some bloke in his own car, who may or may not be competent or insured to carry passengers for hire?


I too have been guilty of rejecting new technology in favor of something I'm used to, but this sort of attitude is what leads to things like the music industry and taxi industry getting caught with their pants down and not recognizing the need to adapt until it is too late.

Someone could (and probably did) say something like "Why would I want to faff around with my non-existent MP3 player to listen to some song that may or may not be legal or of good quality when I could just stick in a CD or plop a record on my turntable?" Well, quite simply because that's how a substantial and rapidly growing portion of society expects things to work, and if you refuse to adapt you will be left behind. Not that there's anything wrong with staying behind, but recognize that most people, especially younger crowds have different expectations and being accustomed to using an app on their smartphone for all manner of things, having to actually dial a number and interact with a person or recording is going to seem very quaint, like using a physical card catalog to locate a book at the library. Nothing wrong with using a card catalog if any libraries even have one still, but ask a typical 20-something to do that and they'll likely look at you like you just asked them to walk to school barefoot in the snow uphill both ways. If you want to compete on the market with a product or service, you HAVE to adapt and keep up with the expectations of the customer or you will lose.

Now I myself am rapidly approaching 40 and I resisted having any kind of mobile phone until I was 30 but I have gradually embraced it and now use my smartphone heavily although only rarely to actually talk on the phone. Honestly I've never liked talking on the phone so the new paradigm of text messages and apps actually suits me well. The biggest perk of an app like Uber is I don't even have to know where I am, it utilizes the GPS in my phone and it lets me keep a list of saved addresses so I can be anywhere and just open that app, select Home, and it will dispatch a ride to pick me up and take me home. Sometimes there's a nearby pickup location that is cheaper in which case it will provide walking directions to the pickup location and it shows the car approaching in real time. I was really quite impressed, it's expensive but so is a traditional cab, there are situations where it could really be handy though.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #64 on: June 02, 2018, 05:55:09 pm »


Music industry loudly complained about piracy, which was and is illegal and where the government consequently does have a responsibility to ensure effective policing ... making them fully justified in being loud and they have had quite a bit of success in doing so.


Complaining about piracy is well and good, but their response was to try to stamp out the technology rather than embracing it. Cassette tapes came out and they tried to crush it, campaigning that it was enabling piracy and was killing music. They succeeded in effectively crushing several promising technologies like DAT and MiniDisc by insisting they be crippled by DRM schemes that greatly reduced their usefulness. They kicked and screamed and fought the digital revolution when they could have instead embraced it and offered digital music for sale. The thing is, people wanted the convenience of digital downloads so with no legal avenue, a culture of freely sharing and downloading music online developed. This culture was well entrenched by the time that Apple finally managed to twist enough arms to start selling music digitally and their smashing success absolutely proves that given the option people are willing to pay for downloadable music. Had the industry embraced this early on they could have headed the piracy revolution off at the pass but they didn't. They fought and fought and kicked and screamed and moaned and fought some more, and they lost.

There will *always* be piracy no matter what, but if you focus on providing a product that is at least as convenient as the black market offering and you adapt as needed, most people are quite willing to pay for the products and services they use. If like the music industry or the taxi industry, you are used to having your customers over a barrel then be ready for them to revolt as soon as something comes along that allows people an option to escape from your clutches. It's as simple as that.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2018, 11:16:14 am »
Maybe it's the laws that need to adapt.  Taxies are ridiculously regulated which makes their jobs/investment much more difficult.   Maybe it's time to ease on the regulations so they have a better chance at making a living without drowning in red tape.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2018, 02:06:42 pm »
Maybe it's the laws that need to adapt.  Taxies are ridiculously regulated which makes their jobs/investment much more difficult.   Maybe it's time to ease on the regulations so they have a better chance at making a living without drowning in red tape.

The counter argument to that is a bit like the counter argument when people advocate for relaxing human rights laws because they have some consequences that aren't politically convenient. (For the avoidance of doubt, the parallel is only to the counter argument.) Vis, "Which regulations would you like to live without? Criminal background checks? Vehicle safety requirements? Universal service obligations?".

Really, which regulations are you referring to? In what way are those regulations antiquated/surplus to requirements/overly onerous?
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2018, 03:41:59 pm »
Maybe it's the laws that need to adapt.  Taxies are ridiculously regulated which makes their jobs/investment much more difficult.   Maybe it's time to ease on the regulations so they have a better chance at making a living without drowning in red tape.

You mean, become Uber?  ;D
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #68 on: June 05, 2018, 05:26:32 pm »
The counter argument to that is a bit like the counter argument when people advocate for relaxing human rights laws because they have some consequences that aren't politically convenient. (For the avoidance of doubt, the parallel is only to the counter argument.) Vis, "Which regulations would you like to live without? Criminal background checks? Vehicle safety requirements? Universal service obligations?".

Really, which regulations are you referring to? In what way are those regulations antiquated/surplus to requirements/overly onerous?

I think the obvious one is the requirement of a medallion that costs as much as a nice house. You can't possibly be suggesting that a criminal background check, vehicle safety requirements and universal service obligations justify a cost of $700,000 per cab?!

It should be a license you renew each year for a few hundred bucks max, a written and road test and vehicle inspection, pretty simple really. And get with the times and provide a smartphone app for ride hailing because that's what an entire new generation is expecting.

 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #69 on: June 05, 2018, 05:30:29 pm »
It's kind of a job safety, 700k$ is extreme but look at what students nowadays pay for a 4yr education in an Ivy League university just as extreme
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #70 on: June 05, 2018, 05:48:46 pm »
Surely if you spend $700k on an Ivy League education you wouldn't be a cab driver?? For that kind of money you could be a doctor or a lawyer, or any kind of engineer you wanted, etc with money left over. The cost is absurd relative to the sort of job. I don't know how much a cab driver makes but it has to be less than any number of other careers out there with a far lower cost of entry.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #71 on: June 05, 2018, 05:55:03 pm »
You might be mistaken there, half of the fares are under the table , no taxes.
I once met a guy who sold stuff on fleamarkets in the weekend, he grossed more in a weekend than I do in a month.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #72 on: June 05, 2018, 06:10:22 pm »
The counter argument to that is a bit like the counter argument when people advocate for relaxing human rights laws because they have some consequences that aren't politically convenient. (For the avoidance of doubt, the parallel is only to the counter argument.) Vis, "Which regulations would you like to live without? Criminal background checks? Vehicle safety requirements? Universal service obligations?".

Really, which regulations are you referring to? In what way are those regulations antiquated/surplus to requirements/overly onerous?

I think the obvious one is the requirement of a medallion that costs as much as a nice house. You can't possibly be suggesting that a criminal background check, vehicle safety requirements and universal service obligations justify a cost of $700,000 per cab?!

It should be a license you renew each year for a few hundred bucks max, a written and road test and vehicle inspection, pretty simple really. And get with the times and provide a smartphone app for ride hailing because that's what an entire new generation is expecting.

But that's just New York City - see above for my summary of London's Taxi and Private Hire licencing scheme which is, I expect, pretty typical of most city's regulations. Red Squirrel, said that "Taxies are ridiculously regulated...", implying all of them.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #73 on: June 05, 2018, 09:51:40 pm »
The counter argument to that is a bit like the counter argument when people advocate for relaxing human rights laws because they have some consequences that aren't politically convenient. (For the avoidance of doubt, the parallel is only to the counter argument.) Vis, "Which regulations would you like to live without? Criminal background checks? Vehicle safety requirements? Universal service obligations?".

Really, which regulations are you referring to? In what way are those regulations antiquated/surplus to requirements/overly onerous?

I think the obvious one is the requirement of a medallion that costs as much as a nice house. You can't possibly be suggesting that a criminal background check, vehicle safety requirements and universal service obligations justify a cost of $700,000 per cab?!

The reason for the high cost of the medallion is to limit the number of cabs allowed to operate in the city. Again, read up on the history of the medallion system and why it was implemented. The medallions were a solution to the problems of oversupply, dangerous driving and the refusal of many drivers to take passengers to those "bad" parts of the city.

Again, again, most of the medallions sold in the last many years have not come from the NYC T&LC directly, but were sold at auction, and as such the profit from the sales does not go to the city but rather to the previous holders of the medallions. Nobody was putting guns to the heads of the medallion buyers, either.

 

Offline a59d1

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #74 on: June 05, 2018, 10:02:19 pm »
I mean holy cow, $700k! That's enough to pay for a full ride through a top notch university to earn a degree in anything imaginable, with enough left over to buy a modest house in some areas.

Yes, but the expectation was that the medallion could be re-sold. You can't exactly redeem your $250k literature degree from Harvard at auction.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #75 on: June 05, 2018, 10:12:19 pm »
I think the obvious one is the requirement of a medallion that costs as much as a nice house. You can't possibly be suggesting that a criminal background check, vehicle safety requirements and universal service obligations justify a cost of $700,000 per cab?!

It should be a license you renew each year for a few hundred bucks max, a written and road test and vehicle inspection, pretty simple really. And get with the times and provide a smartphone app for ride hailing because that's what an entire new generation is expecting.

That's the trick though, they can't just drop the $700k system, there are over 13,000 people "invested" in that system.
But it kinda reminds me of the time Altium "permanently" dropped their price by 75% overnight. Tough titties to those who just paid the previous price. There was some uproar, but it wasn't people's entire life savings on the line so they got away with it.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #76 on: June 05, 2018, 10:19:31 pm »
I guess it's similar to when you buy an expensive appliance at an appliance store (or any big purchase) and then they go on a huge blow out sale a week later.  Some stores do offer some kind of protection for that though. 

Another thing they should get rid of is the price fixing.  Taxis have to charge a set fee and arn't allowed to set their own prices to try to be competitive.   They can't charge higher, or lower.  For example a taxi service in my town wanted to offer rides anywhere for a fixed price on new years eve to encourage people not to drink and drive and they were not allowed. They MUST use the meter.   Similarly a random person posted on FB that they were offering rides for anyone and they were told they can't. Why not?  Anyone who has a driver's license should be allowed to give people rides.   Obviously as a user of that it's a risk you should be ready to take.  If the person turns out to be a rapist, well that's already illegal and deal with it if it happens. 
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #77 on: June 05, 2018, 11:20:42 pm »
That's the trick though, they can't just drop the $700k system, there are over 13,000 people "invested" in that system.
But it kinda reminds me of the time Altium "permanently" dropped their price by 75% overnight. Tough titties to those who just paid the previous price. There was some uproar, but it wasn't people's entire life savings on the line so they got away with it.

Sure they can, I mean it sucks but nothing lasts forever, and sooner or later change is coming. We will have a whole new generation of people to whom the existing taxi system is seen as an anachronism from a past era. Sometimes things that were once incredibly valuable become almost worthless overnight. It sucks for those who are invested in it, but investing so much in anything is a large risk.
 

Online VK5RC

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #78 on: June 06, 2018, 03:32:18 am »
Society has to have some protection built in for those who can't fight for themselves. Older people who cannot use a smart phone have to have some protection, the taxi system use to offer some protection. Uber side-stepped many of these and Uber drivers are probably getting screwed ' to some degree. The feedback system is good but other parts of Uber suck.
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline Towger

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #79 on: June 06, 2018, 04:30:53 am »


That's the trick though, they can't just drop the $700k system, there are over 13,000 people "invested" in that system.

You can. Happen here almost 20 years ago.  Taxi drivers woke up in the morning to find their 'Taxi Plate' they had paid hundreds of thousands for was only worth a thousand, and anyone could apply for one.  It was the result of a court case, so no warning in advance.  The downside was listening to them whinging about it for years.  The government eventually gave them a few thousand compo.

 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #80 on: June 06, 2018, 07:27:49 am »
The reason for the high cost of the medallion is to limit the number of cabs allowed to operate in the city.
Again, read up on the history of the medallion system and why it was implemented.
The medallions were a solution to the problems of oversupply, dangerous driving and the refusal of many drivers to take passengers to those "bad" parts of the city.
Again, again, most of the medallions sold in the last many years have not come from the NYC T&LC directly, but were sold at auction, and as such the profit from the sales does not go to the city but rather to the previous holders of the medallions. Nobody was putting guns to the heads of the medallion buyers, either.
So the real problem was not the medailion itself but the system around it. They should have leased the medailion per year to the driver.
Tickets, reprimants, complaints etc. could be taken into account if the next year the lease is continued or not. Fair lease price per year that pays for the needed bureaucracy. But being able to sell/auction it at open market is just achieving the opposite, criminal organisations with lots of cash can take a foothold in the system.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #81 on: June 06, 2018, 04:58:46 pm »
Society has to have some protection built in for those who can't fight for themselves. Older people who cannot use a smart phone have to have some protection, the taxi system use to offer some protection. Uber side-stepped many of these and Uber drivers are probably getting screwed ' to some degree. The feedback system is good but other parts of Uber suck.


My partner's 93 year old grandfather uses a smartphone, what precludes older people from being able to use one? For those with poor eyesight it would not be a large stretch to add the ability to hail a cab via a phone call or other method.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #82 on: June 06, 2018, 07:14:56 pm »
Another thing they should get rid of is the price fixing.  Taxis have to charge a set fee and arn't allowed to set their own prices to try to be competitive.   They can't charge higher, or lower.  For example a taxi service in my town wanted to offer rides anywhere for a fixed price on new years eve to encourage people not to drink and drive and they were not allowed. They MUST use the meter.

There are reasons for the price "fixing."

One is that customers want to know, before they get into the car, what the trip will cost. It prevents price gouging. What is a customer supposed to do if he arrives at the destination and the charge is significantly more than expected?

On the other side of that coin, minimum prices prevent the race to the bottom, where the driver who can afford to handle losses for the longest time wins as the others drop out.

As for the thing about your local taxi service offering fixed-price rides on New Years Eve, my city (Tucson) does that. Even better -- they offer a service where they'll take you to get your car the next morning. But the blame here is for your city not responding to a specific need. Maybe the taxi services can present the idea well in advance?
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #83 on: June 16, 2018, 05:18:56 am »
We all hear of "disruptive technology" but the darker side of a disruptive technology is can be rather sad.  RIP and condolences to the families.

Another Taxi Driver in Debt Takes His Life. That’s 5 in 5 Months.

New York Times, May 27, 2018; By Nikita Stewart and Luis Ferré-Sadurní
...
...

Well, hate to give such an update...  15 days after my initial post, another one.  That makes 6 in 6.5 months.  I really feel bad for those guys.  He was $300 short on being able to pay his half of the monthly weekly taxi+medallion lease according to his partner who has the other half of the lease.  59 years old, 36 years being a cabbie.

So, for those of us seeing how our own industry is being eaten away by changes, remember, it could be worst...  We just have to make the best of things.

Article: "Another cash-strapped NYC cabbie commits suicide;"  New York Post, June 15.
https://nypost.com/2018/06/15/another-cash-strapped-nyc-cabbie-commits-suicide/

EDITED:  It was weekly payment, not monthly as I initially posted.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 05:21:41 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #84 on: June 16, 2018, 12:42:13 pm »
I'm not sure why the cabbie industry does not stand up and revolt the government's inaction. This is an artificial situation and I know a SFCU is suing SF city for medallion value loss.

This is ripe for class action.  :-//

The distinction between the services is not clear to me, they seem the same, yet are bound quite differently.  :-//

« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 01:08:50 pm by metrologist »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #85 on: June 16, 2018, 04:36:57 pm »
The cabbie industry has been making a big stink about it in many cities, their attitude is a big part of the reason I resolved to never again take a traditional cab. I hope that industry dies so it can be reborn in a form that makes sense in this century, assuming it continues to resist adapting.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #86 on: June 16, 2018, 05:29:12 pm »
Some people dislike cabs and maybe they do have a bad attitude, but the fact remains that the playing field is not level. Uber and taxis basically provide the same service, yet Uber does not have to contend with any regulatory constraints.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #87 on: June 16, 2018, 05:35:35 pm »
The problem isn't the constraints, their live savings are wiped out regardless. NYC up till recently cooperated with AND profited from the existing monopoly they created, to now turn around and let Uber destroy their live savings is immoral. To do it based on the disingenuous argument that Uber is not a taxi company likewise.

An argument could be made that there should be a transition to a liberalized taxi market, but try to do it in a way which doesn't kill people.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 05:40:10 pm by Marco »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #88 on: June 16, 2018, 05:50:09 pm »
It has been said already, but change is coming. There will be those who try to fight it and lose, and those who adapt to keep up with the change and survive. Currently much of the taxi industry seems to be taking the historically losing route of fighting to resist the inevitable change. In the evolution of society there will be some who lose, that's inevitable. As Dave said earlier, you can't legislate that the gravy train goes on forever. People who put their life savings into a taxi medallion made what is IMHO a poor investment, it should be obvious that eventually things could change. Protected monopolies are a bad deal for the consumer.

Now let's see what happens, are the taxi companies going to modernize to compete with services like Uber, or are they going to kick and scream and fight to maintain the status quo? If I were the gambling sort I'd bet on the latter, in which case it is inevitable that they will lose eventually. If they refuse to adapt, they will very quickly find they have become a quaint anachronism of a bygone era.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #89 on: June 16, 2018, 06:56:29 pm »
They are going to go bankrupt caught between regulations on one side and mountains of debt on the other. At a trickle pace, where no large investor can take over the post-bankrupt infrastructure wholesale and create a decent business from it even if the regulatory burden wasn't there.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #90 on: June 17, 2018, 08:15:27 am »
The above replies sound typical extreme republican american to me.
We don't care about someone elses situation as long as it does not affect us.

Now it is waiting for the next headlines, cabbies that are not taking their own lives but are starting to kill Uber drivers and passengers, with all the guns around and unfairness of the system you can already see that coming  :palm:
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #91 on: June 17, 2018, 10:28:50 am »
The above replies sound typical extreme republican american to me.
We don't care about someone elses situation as long as it does not affect us.

Now it is waiting for the next headlines, cabbies that are not taking their own lives but are starting to kill Uber drivers and passengers, with all the guns around and unfairness of the system you can already see that coming  :palm:

That is already occurring here in South Africa, where Uber has to compete with not only the meter taxis but with the minibus taxi industry, that is essentially the public transit network, as they far outnumber the buses and trains, and both groups dislike Uber for taking what they see as their money. Here though Uber is registered as a taxi company, and the drivers have to have both a PDP and a commercial insurance and 6 monthly roadworthyness test ( for what that is worth, with all the "cooldrink' at the testing stations) for the vehicles.

Pretty much a near standard Uber or other "rideshare" is based on either a Toyota Avanza 7 seater sedan, or a Toyota Etios, with the next being VW Polo. Pretty much 6 out of every 10 Avanza'a I see driving around can be identified as Uber, from the square logo inside the windscreen and the 2 registration disks above them. The other 4 are company staff vehicles or registered meter taxi as well. only thing is the Uber drivers tend to be a lot more careful drivers, the feedback from the passengers via the app really does make a difference, as they do not speed, do not drive through red lights and tend not to stop anywhere ( including on the fast lane of the freeway) to pick up or drop passengers.

But more expensive though, as $1 will get me into town, just walk out the door, put a finger in the air and wait under 2 minutes for the next minibus. Uber will be $10 for the same trip, but I will travel in style.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #92 on: June 17, 2018, 02:23:15 pm »
Now let's see what happens, are the taxi companies going to modernize to compete with services like Uber, or are they going to kick and scream and fight to maintain the status quo? If I were the gambling sort I'd bet on the latter, in which case it is inevitable that they will lose eventually. If they refuse to adapt, they will very quickly find they have become a quaint anachronism of a bygone era.

Exactly how do they "modernize" themselves out of such governmental corruptive debt and repression? They have the exact same tech and provide the exact same service.

I am sure you are invested in equally pervasive facets of corruption such as this. There are many industries that the government represses under similar rules, and that they can ignore overnight.

Try to look at this beyond the specific industry you hate, and apply the same procedure to one you love.

This situation has nothing to do with technology, it's purely political.
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #93 on: June 17, 2018, 04:57:02 pm »
Exactly how do they "modernize" themselves out of such governmental corruptive debt and repression? They have the exact same tech and provide the exact same service.
They indeed can not get rid of medallions and all that BS in the near term, but they can improve their service. Not individual taxi drivers, of course, but some sort of a union or association, whatever they have. Instead of collecting the money and spending them on "administrative" tasks, they can invest them in developing a service that lets me call a taxi anywhere in the country using the same app or phone number.

They can also have the same union lobby for getting rid of the medallions.

NRA somehow manages to do similar things. Now taxi drivers need an organization similar to NRA.
Alex
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #94 on: June 17, 2018, 05:13:47 pm »
I'm not republican, nor is it a matter of me not caring, but the current system is broken and corrupt, change is coming, change is inevitable. Some here are proposing we prop up the existing corruption and prolong the pain by keeping the existing protected monopoly, something that in the US at least is illegal, except when it's not, often because of mafia owned politicians. This is a matter of either rip the bandaid off quickly, or continue to slowly tug at it from different directions and suffer. How should they modernize? Develop an app that can be used for hailing a cab, make it work as seamlessly as Uber, because there is a whole generation of people coming that expects it to work like this. There are people of adult age today who have never existed in a world without internet and mobile phones. Get rid of the extortion pricing on certain routes like trips to and from airports. Keep the cars, clean, have the ability to rate the drivers, this is the sort of thing a little competition is good for.

It's very similar to the music situation, digital downloads were coming whether the industry liked it or not. Very quickly people started to expect to be able to download their music instantly and play it on any number of different devices. The industry could have easily seen this coming, modernized and embraced it, and made a killing selling digital downloads (as Apple eventually proved) but instead they kicked and screamed and fought and resisted the change, trying to force maintaining the status quo through various legislation and legal battles to stamp out the digital revolution and look at what happened, they lost. People who had for years been forced to bend over and take it suddenly had an alternative and they took it. Fighting this sort of paradigm shift is futile.

Now as for industries I love, these paradigm shifts happen in all industries, software is one that I'm involved in which has changed tremendously over the years. Perhaps the fact that "adapt or die" has always been an integral part of my career path causes me to have less sympathy for those who refuse to adapt and try to fight the change instead because it's so obvious to me that is a losing battle. I don't think anyone was passing laws to ban transistors or ICs in order to protect all the people who had their livelihoods tied up in vacuum tube manufacturing and servicing of tube equipment. We didn't ban C++ to protect all the COBOL and Fortran developers. Things change, they always have changed, they always will change.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #95 on: June 18, 2018, 03:12:27 am »
Change is real, change is inevitable.  But it is better when there is some control over how change happens.  COBOL and FORTRAN have largely been pushed aside.  I can't really speak for COBOL but FORTRAN is still better in many ways for scientific programming than any of its successors because it has an intrinsic complex data type.  Yeah, C++ allows definition of data types and operator overloading so that this can be simulated, but it isn't standardized.

Other changes have happened that weren't improvements.  The mandated replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFL or others for example.  While the LED bulbs are now indeed an improvement the whole CFL thing was a mini-disaster.

You can call thinking through and planning change picking at a bandage that should be ripped off instead, but in reality that bandage ripping should be the result of thought and planning, and is not always the best approach.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #96 on: June 18, 2018, 04:33:29 am »
I'm not republican, nor is it a matter of me not caring, but the current system is broken and corrupt, change is coming, change is inevitable. Some here are proposing we prop up the existing corruption and prolong the pain by keeping the existing protected monopoly, something that in the US at least is illegal, except when it's not, often because of mafia owned politicians. This is a matter of either rip the bandaid off quickly, or continue to slowly tug at it from different directions and suffer. How should they modernize? Develop an app that can be used for hailing a cab, make it work as seamlessly as Uber, because there is a whole generation of people coming that expects it to work like this.
Swan Taxis in Perth, Western Australia already have such an app, as well as tracking, etc, in addition to standard methods of calling a cab.
Quote

There are people of adult age today who have never existed in a world without internet and mobile phones. Get rid of the extortion pricing on certain routes like trips to and from airports. Keep the cars, clean, have the ability to rate the drivers, this is the sort of thing a little competition is good for.

It's very similar to the music situation, digital downloads were coming whether the industry liked it or not. Very quickly people started to expect to be able to download their music instantly and play it on any number of different devices. The industry could have easily seen this coming, modernized and embraced it, and made a killing selling digital downloads (as Apple eventually proved) but instead they kicked and screamed and fought and resisted the change, trying to force maintaining the status quo through various legislation and legal battles to stamp out the digital revolution and look at what happened, they lost. People who had for years been forced to bend over and take it suddenly had an alternative and they took it. Fighting this sort of paradigm shift is futile.

Now as for industries I love, these paradigm shifts happen in all industries, software is one that I'm involved in which has changed tremendously over the years. Perhaps the fact that "adapt or die" has always been an integral part of my career path causes me to have less sympathy for those who refuse to adapt and try to fight the change instead because it's so obvious to me that is a losing battle. I don't think anyone was passing laws to ban transistors or ICs in order to protect all the people who had their livelihoods tied up in vacuum tube manufacturing and servicing of tube equipment.
This analogy fails, as the same people making tubes were, by & large, the same ones making semiconductors.

The same applies to those servicing tube equipment.
Yes, some people left the industry because they "didn't like the new stuff", but they were comparatively, few.
In both cases, the change was quite slow, allowing plenty of time to adapt.

In neither case, did one company unilaterally decide to ignore the established rules & "do their own thing".
(Well , actually, a few did, but in Oz speak, "went down the gurgler" as a result.)

Most of the radical changes in how we work have been due to management's perception of technological change, rather than that change itself.
The result was that staff were often left trying to meet unrealistic  expectations of what was possible with current technology.
Quote

We didn't ban C++ to protect all the COBOL and Fortran developers. Things change, they always have changed, they always will change.


 Again, this was a slow, progressive change.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 10:35:37 am by vk6zgo »
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #97 on: June 18, 2018, 06:44:21 am »
And do not forget the impact of the change. In this case lifesavings are destroyed, this really impacts lifes esp. when the people are nearing retirement and see that vanish into thin air.
If you own a house and paid mortgage your entire life to pay it off and then tomorrow the government is making a law that takes possesion of that house.
See how you feel and act. Or your pensionfunds zerod because some law change.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #98 on: June 18, 2018, 10:16:52 pm »
But the change is happening, period, it cannot be stopped, so either try to adapt and compete, or try to fight it and lose, those are the two choices. Something terrible could happen to the market tomorrow and my house could become completely worthless, that's not a pleasant situation but it could happen. I do not rely on an artificially protected monopoly to maintain the value of my house. The government is not going to just take the medallions, simply they will not be worth anywhere near what they once were, that sucks but that's life, they should never have been worth so much to start with.

Ride sharing services are flourishing because they offer a tremendously greater appeal to the customer just like digital music downloads flourished because they offer a tremendously greater appeal, and more recently streaming video services are hugely popular because traditional cable and satellite services have like the taxi services, long relied on being a monopoly or duopoly and now alternatives have appeared, offering in many ways a much better experience to the customer. The smarter cable companies have been finding ways to cash in on this shift, while others have tried to fight it and surprise surprise, they're losing. The customer is king, if you rest on your laurels for too long and rely on having the ability to tell the customer your way or the highway, sooner or later an alternative will come along and they will take it.

As for CFLs, I don't understand what was a disaster about them. Sure some of them were garbage and didn't last, others were pretty good. LED is vastly superior but I have not used an incandescent bulb for general illumination in nearly 20 years. I was actually surprised to find that people were hoarding them as they were being phased out around 10 years ago, I wasn't even entirely conscious of the fact that people still used them and couldn't imagine wanting to. Despite their disadvantages, the drastically reduced energy consumption made CFLs and later LEDs a no-brainer. It's not like the savings were trivial, it was like a 5x reduction and I never again had to walk into a dark room and have a bulb fail with a nerve wracking flash and pop when I flipped the switch.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #99 on: June 19, 2018, 01:30:54 am »
My experience with CFLs differed greatly.  While they did use less energy, much more than half of those I bought lasted less than the several hundred hours of incandescents.  I do have survivors that are nearly three decades old  now, but they are the exceptions.   Add little foibles like slow turn on, changing brightness over warmup, inability to dim and required disposal as hazardous waste and it sounds like a disaster to me.  Without that side trip we might have arrived at LEDs a few years earlier.

Perhaps this difference in experience is a good explanation, or part of one, for why adaptation to change is often harder than you would predict.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #100 on: June 19, 2018, 05:30:11 am »
But the change is happening, period, it cannot be stopped, so either try to adapt and compete, or try to fight it and lose, those are the two choices.

There will be class action and they will be paid. That is the change you will ultimately see, as usual... In the mean time, you know...
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #101 on: June 19, 2018, 06:36:16 am »
My experience with CFLs differed greatly.  While they did use less energy, much more than half of those I bought lasted less than the several hundred hours of incandescents.  I do have survivors that are nearly three decades old  now, but they are the exceptions.   Add little foibles like slow turn on, changing brightness over warmup, inability to dim and required disposal as hazardous waste and it sounds like a disaster to me.  Without that side trip we might have arrived at LEDs a few years earlier.
It all depends on the driver. Standard TL8 and now the TL5 can last 20000 hours with a decent driver and no extreme dimming.
They can be dimmed with electronic drivers but below 10% this affects lifetime since the filaments have to be heated to compensate for the less energy. The filaments will become the bottleneck of lifetime when dimming.
The old TL8's were bought by my parents in the entire garage and parts of the house in 1973 and when they died in 2000 they still worked, never were replaced.
Good old tech.
Now with CFL bulbs that is a different story, they actually folded the tube concept and made it work but it was never meant to work like that ofcourse. Folding things and forcing the plasma to take corners is not optimal hence some folding designs with thinner tubes and lots of bends are just crap.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 06:40:22 am by Kjelt »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #102 on: June 19, 2018, 10:48:18 pm »
My experience with CFLs differed greatly.  While they did use less energy, much more than half of those I bought lasted less than the several hundred hours of incandescents.  I do have survivors that are nearly three decades old  now, but they are the exceptions.   Add little foibles like slow turn on, changing brightness over warmup, inability to dim and required disposal as hazardous waste and it sounds like a disaster to me.  Without that side trip we might have arrived at LEDs a few years earlier.

Perhaps this difference in experience is a good explanation, or part of one, for why adaptation to change is often harder than you would predict.

It's possible that they were more trouble in places with more frequent lightning storms, dirtier power, or houses without air conditioning. The slow warmup of the amalgam type CFLs was problematic in bathrooms where they would typically reach full brightness just about the time I was washing my hands and turning them off. The faster starting types also suffered more seriously reduced lifespan from frequent starting but the better ones that would preheat the cathodes seemed to hold up well. Overall I think I experienced perhaps a 15% early mortality rate, a bit higher than that with the cheap ones and lower with the good stuff like Philips. In applications with infrequent starting like my outdoor lighting that comes on once each evening on a timer or photocell I almost always got better than rated lifespan, 8,000 hours or more out of a CFL, I rarely had one of those not last well over a year of ~12 hours a day.

Disposal wasn't really an issue, in small numbers it's not really a problem to just throw them in the trash, but I usually kept a box around for the dead ones and took them to the recycle box at Home Depot when I happened to be going there.

Anyway they were far from perfect, but also IMHO far from "disaster" too. I personally found them to work acceptably well and they were more convenient in most applications than the linear and circular fluorescent lamps I was using previously.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #103 on: June 20, 2018, 02:30:05 am »
But the change is happening, period, it cannot be stopped, so either try to adapt and compete, or try to fight it and lose, those are the two choices.
...
...

Change is always happening, but I think when it is not properly managed, the backlash may impede or stamp out the progress altogether.

A local city can pass an ordinance making Uber like service pay a 500% tax, and payback (of estimated tax avoided) plus $5000 penalty if caught avoiding the tax.  Such tax may not be smart but it is certainly within the power some cities to do it.  You may argue there is no way that can enforce it.  But don't under estimate the power of government in collecting money.  They certainly will find a way to catch a few - perhaps as few as 2% of the infractions. (I picked 2% out of the air - a low number just for illustration)  Even at 2% "get caught" rate, that ($5000 at 2 out of 100) translates to $100 extra per ride when averaged out and passed along to the rider.  That extra cost likely would kill the whole thing.  So something (Uber like service) that may be good would be gone. 

When change is causing massive disruption and enough people are merely left to fend for themselves, it is an invitation to draconian over-reaction.  Government rarely loose.  So, the lost will be the technology.

In the case of taxi-medallion, it is something caused by government.  The government has some responsibility to fix it or at least mitigate the damage.

In other cases such as BitCoin (and similar), they are but one regulation away from extinction at least within a particular country.  So, it would be also smart for technology companies to be cognizant of the impact to society and work ahead to make sure to mitigate any negative impact where reasonable.  BitCoin is not "a company" so it is hard to say how and who would do the mitigation.  So, it is not that I have solution but rather I am pointing out perhaps some way of mitigation is beneficial to all.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 02:34:10 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #104 on: June 20, 2018, 08:28:29 pm »
I think the way to fix it is to phase out the medallion system and implement proper and reasonable  licensing, like as is with most other industries. Uber, the rest of the taxi industry, et al would pay the same licensing. The cities that collected the huge dollar sums for those medallions would need to pay that back to the debtors and creditors for the losses - and that would be paid out of the licensing fees during the phase out.

That's my wild idea...
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #105 on: June 20, 2018, 08:41:16 pm »
I think the way to fix it is to phase out the medallion system and implement proper and reasonable  licensing, like as is with most other industries. Uber, the rest of the taxi industry, et al would pay the same licensing. The cities that collected the huge dollar sums for those medallions would need to pay that back to the debtors and creditors for the losses - and that would be paid out of the licensing fees during the phase out.

That's my wild idea...

I think your proposal would work.  The issue is beyond just taxi.

Disruptive technology by definition disrupts.  If the pain is severe such as this case, it would be wise for technology company to look ahead and/or work with others to see how the pain can be mitigated.  Otherwise, we are looking at pain/cost beyond the benefit the new tech could bring, or possibly draconian regulation that could kill the new tech right off.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #106 on: June 21, 2018, 12:30:29 am »
Well, MS is developing a system that will eliminate the need for cashiers. That would have a large impact on the employment rate, if it does create demand for a different skillset and job market - same with the imminent driver-less trucking industry. I kind of like the idea of being able to run into a supermarket full tilt, grab whatever I want, and just leave unimpeded by some kind of payment process. I really despise waiting in lines. Perhaps the catalyst that is driving that are political decisions, such as raising minimum wage making the fixed costs too high. SF wants to impose a 'robot' tax to help mitigate this kind of change, but then Cupertino wants to impose a $1500 per head tax on large companies such as Apple.

I don't think anyone would argue that change should not or will not come, but these kinds of wild politics have wild consequences. We'll see where the trade rift and potential boycotts end up.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #107 on: June 21, 2018, 07:32:09 am »
For every low wage, low skill job where a human is replaced by a technology solution, that is one less person available as a customer.  I guess places like Walmart will still get by, while having few customers for their cheaply made crap, because of the fact that they have almost no employee overhead cost to cover.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #108 on: June 21, 2018, 11:06:56 am »
For every low wage, low skill job where a human is replaced by a technology solution, that is one less person available as a customer.  I guess places like Walmart will still get by, while having few customers for their cheaply made crap, because of the fact that they have almost no employee overhead cost to cover.
Low skill jobs yes but it does generate high skill jobs.
Some economists predict the end of the employer-employee system.
Most theories are based on a base salary for everyone.
In theory you don't have to work anymore and can do something you like and are good at hopefully benefitting society in general. How that exactly has to function is a puzzle to me, the worst and dirtiest jobs will probably get paid the most, as it should be IMO.
 

Online GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #109 on: June 21, 2018, 11:37:25 am »
Most theories are based on a base salary for everyone.

That experiment's been done already and doesn't work at all.
Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #110 on: June 21, 2018, 11:54:07 am »
It would be like Star Trek.

Quote from: Captain Jean-Luc Picard
The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #111 on: June 21, 2018, 02:42:57 pm »
Most theories are based on a base salary for everyone.

That experiment's been done already and doesn't work at all.
No it has not on a grand scale. Few experiments with a couple of hundred persons....
Switzerland was the furtest AFAIK but thy voted against it so it never happened.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #112 on: June 21, 2018, 04:13:42 pm »
Most theories are based on a base salary for everyone.
I fear for society if this happens. Work ethic is in my opinion one of the strongest socialization forces there is.

We might be able to find an alternative if we consciously try, but we don't really do large scale social engineering (except pushing social justice, but that doesn't seem to stabilize society much). We just let the chips fall where they may and they may fall very poorly indeed.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #113 on: June 21, 2018, 04:27:46 pm »
I am less negative, work can give much more satisfaction IMO if it is voluntary.
Look at the million volunteers in our country.
The fact is that there are less paid jobs in the future while the population increases.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #114 on: June 21, 2018, 05:34:57 pm »
Volunteer work is much less assimilative than paid jobs though.

With both internalized nationalism and full employment disappearing you also get a really weird moral framework with regards to the third world. With full employment you can argue "we have enough jobs for our current population at our current minimum wage, but we can't accept all comers and maintain that, so maintain the borders". With nationalism maintaining borders is obviously easily argued for.

Without nationalism and with UBI there's just "we got ours, fuck off".
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #115 on: June 21, 2018, 06:08:51 pm »
It would be like Star Trek.

Quote from: Captain Jean-Luc Picard
The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.


Even in Star Trek, "base salary" for all doesn't work so well either.  We need our job to reaffirm to ourselves our own self-worth.  We all have our ego that when our ego is crushed, so are our ability to exist.

Remember one Star Trek episode called Tapestry (season 6 e16) when Picard had his artificial heart blow up, and Q help Picard changed his pass and avoided the fight.   Poor Picard was not very happy working as a junior officer - he rather die than continue on. 
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #116 on: June 21, 2018, 09:02:12 pm »
Volunteer work is much less assimilative than paid jobs though. ""........
I don't get your point, no matter what viewpoint you take you will always get  "us" and "them". In a company viewpoint that is the same, us western company against foreign company and viceversa. On a country viewpoint exactly the same , even continents with tradewars US vs China vs EU.

It has IMO nothing to do with changing the economic system. Capitalism is exploding and will disappear since the majority of people that are screwed over by the system will not accept/tolerate it anymore.
I myself am doing fine in the current system have a good job, house etc. and hope not to live and see that day, but it will come.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #117 on: June 21, 2018, 09:10:04 pm »
Even in Star Trek, "base salary" for all doesn't work so well either.  We need our job to reaffirm to ourselves our own self-worth.  We all have our ego that when our ego is crushed, so are our ability to exist.
AFAIK In StarTrek there is no money or monetary system. Which is great since everything is contributed to the goal which is set. I am not a historian and perhaps my next sentence is not true, but if a Farao in ancient Egypt had to pay for their piramids there would not have been one in the world. What I am trying to say is that if humans unite and combine their skills and efforts to achieve something, amazing things can be accomplished which should not be hindered by some abstract thing as money which is virtual anyway.

Ego is something humans are better off without. The best people in this world IMO have no or a tiny ego, they don't need to be in the news or famous nor ruch. Still some do become famous against their wishes for the things they accomplish and the other people they influence.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #118 on: June 21, 2018, 09:18:22 pm »
You always have "us" and "them", but for employment beggars can't be choosers. When it hits you in the pocketbook you will more readily abandon segregating principles. Volunteer organizations have far more opportunity to self segregate than large employers too, at least as far as religion and language is concerned.

Us Dutch vs foreign China is far less of a problem than national parallel societies. With Chinese we don't compete for space, we don't compete for government influence. Us Dutch vs. them Dutch/Turks will become a bigger divide if we stop working together. It's bad enough as is, Erdogan is already turning many of them and us in seeing them as an invading army.

As for economics, as long as the third world has an exploding population I don't see any way to fix it for the majority worldwide any time soon without making the whole world third world. Fixing it for the majority in first world nations with UBI while maintaining our borders with the third world and without a nationalist ethic leads to a really fucked up moral framework.

How do you square the circle? We can pray for singularity I guess so we can just give everyone first world consumption levels and healthcare, but without it we're kind of stuck with the first/third world divide. Just slowly increasing automation will not get us there, we need full blown human+ level AI.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 09:38:32 pm by Marco »
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #119 on: June 21, 2018, 09:45:19 pm »
Have you been in the timeperiod that men in Holland had to serve the armed forces for 14 to 18 months for almost zero pay?
I was put in an armoured infantry division and it consisted of people from all nationalities and all layers of society, from farmers to welders to financial specialists to EEs. The first months we were "drilled" by three sergeants that were the devils themselves, I will spare you the details but they were mean and cruel all to get the teams to join and become one. After that period the sergeants were removed from the division and replaced by others. We acted as one team, if we got a job we did it, and pay was not an issue, it was teamspirit and teampride to get things done, the individuals ego was replaced by a group mission. Now it was not allways that great we also had our struggles ofcourse but this is what I think is important, if a group of people act and feel as a group and give them a task they can achieve way more than he sum of individuals. And the latter is what a lot of money centered capitalistic companies get, they give a manager a bonus to cut expenses and so he cuts expenses although it severely undermines another piece of the company. I have seen this many times and can give you nu erous examples.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #120 on: June 21, 2018, 10:04:08 pm »
I just don't have faith in society automatically grouping themselves up in diverse groups to achieve goals. National service and jobs force us together, otherwise we would quickly self segregate ... and in our current society we would self segregate into dangerously incompatible cultures.

I believe civilization is fragile and entirely accidental, progress not being assured.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #121 on: June 22, 2018, 12:13:30 am »
Even in Star Trek, "base salary" for all doesn't work so well either.  We need our job to reaffirm to ourselves our own self-worth.  We all have our ego that when our ego is crushed, so are our ability to exist.
AFAIK In StarTrek there is no money or monetary system. Which is great since everything is contributed to the goal which is set. I am not a historian and perhaps my next sentence is not true, but if a Farao in ancient Egypt had to pay for their piramids there would not have been one in the world. What I am trying to say is that if humans unite and combine their skills and efforts to achieve something, amazing things can be accomplished which should not be hindered by some abstract thing as money which is virtual anyway.

Ego is something humans are better off without. The best people in this world IMO have no or a tiny ego, they don't need to be in the news or famous nor ruch. Still some do become famous against their wishes for the things they accomplish and the other people they influence.

Yeah, I stand corrected.  I know in Star Trek they doesn't use money when I wrote that.  I was using it as as a short-cut to express value derived/allotted per status of job.  Value such as living quarters, work space (captain's ready room), so forth.  It is not a good way of expressing it - too easy to lead to confusion.

That said, re:"Ego is something humans are better off without."
So much of human emotions are thought of as getting in the way of a better world - but I doubt we are still human if we get rid of all that.  We may still look human, but we are not human when we lack human qualities.  "Invasion of Body Snatchers" depicted such a world - a world of human looking creatures, but acting like ants inside an ant-hill.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #122 on: June 22, 2018, 06:04:45 am »
Still ants have been around since the dinosaurs, I am not sure if the era of humans will last that long  ;)
But seriously setting ego aside does not mean we become plants, we all are still unique and have certain gifts we could use to achieve greater goals than individuals could achieve. Companies are an example that could still last without the monetary foundations, people would join the organisation that suits them the best.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #123 on: June 25, 2018, 07:16:40 pm »
Still ants have been around since the dinosaurs, I am not sure if the era of humans will last that long  ;)
But seriously setting ego aside does not mean we become plants, we all are still unique and have certain gifts we could use to achieve greater goals than individuals could achieve. Companies are an example that could still last without the monetary foundations, people would join the organisation that suits them the best.
I too wonder if we can last as long as ants or even lasts as long as dinosaurs.  At best, we are merely hundreds thousands of years as modern human.  100 million years plus for dinosaurs looks like eternity comparing to 100k years.  As we speak, we are looking down paths in our civilizations some with clashes that likely end with dead-ends.

Not to be argumentative, back to ego for a moment before going back to disruption - ego is part of emotion.  Some emotion get in the way of inter-human cooperation.  Ego is an emotion that can be both positive and negative.  Ego helps an individual reach higher goals.

Ants too can cooperate - much more so than human forming companies/corporations.  Army Ants for example are organized, size in the millions, and each group with their own designated function.  Ants are not known to have emotion.  We don't know of ants fighting another ant because it is jealous of another ant having a bigger share of food.  We do know of one group (colony) of ants attacking another so as to rob them of their belongings, enslave their conquered.  All these bad things could happen without ego.  So, I cannot even say that a "pot people" society (as in Invasion of Body Snatchers and not as in pot-smokers) would even be a peaceful society.  But within the society, they would be more like within an Ant Colony.

Civility in our society is what stops us from acting on our emotions unchecked.  Culture in our society is what sets the standard of what we consider reasonable - including ego driven actions.  Our culture has at times seen suicide as a way of dealing with financial problems, so taxi-driver taking the final-exit is not so outrageous - less outrageous than sad.

Disruptive technology is growing at a much faster pace (that is my supposition/gut-feel, I've no actual data to support that).  There were times when I was on the receiving ends of the benefit.  I was also young and was very insensitive to those at the short end.  Then came the moment(s) when I was at the laid-off end of the new tech.  I was not in a situation where I have family to feed at those "short end" times, but I recall the stress and pressure.  So, I sympathize with those impacted - a lot.
 

Offline Seph.b

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #124 on: June 25, 2018, 08:09:37 pm »
I would just like to point out one thing.

If there were actual social safety nets that prevented anyone from falling into abject poverty from a poor life choice or from their industry being disrupted none of this would be a problem. People commuting suicide for such reasons is a huge loss to society as a whole.

I don't know what that social safety net looks like, but with more and more industries on the verge of disruption we should probably start trying to figure it out.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #125 on: June 25, 2018, 10:15:58 pm »
Funny thing about safety nets.  Just like minimum wages they continually have to improve.  Way back at the start of the twentieth century a good safety net meant people could eat (and maybe sleep out of the weather).  By the end of the twentieth century a good safety net meant personal housing, food, clothing, and medical care and was starting to include things like phone service, entertainment (for mental health) and so on.

It is kind of like alimony in US divorce law.  The ability to maintain the lifestyle one is accustomed to.
 

Offline Seph.b

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #126 on: June 25, 2018, 10:32:06 pm »
Funny thing about safety nets.  Just like minimum wages they continually have to improve.  Way back at the start of the twentieth century a good safety net meant people could eat (and maybe sleep out of the weather).  By the end of the twentieth century a good safety net meant personal housing, food, clothing, and medical care and was starting to include things like phone service, entertainment (for mental health) and so on.

It is kind of like alimony in US divorce law.  The ability to maintain the lifestyle one is accustomed to.

Those are the some of the reasons I said I don't know what it looked like.

With every disruption and advancement in automation less people are required to do all of the jobs required by a functioning society. Of course new job and industries are created, but the pace is/will not keep up. Those new jobs are also not always very evenly distributed. Eventually we are asking for civil unrest as more and more people fall through the cracks.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #127 on: June 26, 2018, 02:58:02 am »
 The thing is, once you put Uber's more adventurous ideas like autonomous cars & "air cars" to one side,
the only technological change involved in their existing "pretend taxi" service is an "App".
Hell, High School kids write Apps!
It's not even unique, conventional taxi services can, & do, use a similar booking method.

The main thrust of their concept is to ignore the existing regulated environment. & just go with an unregulated service.
This is just an extreme extension of the ideology which has been the "received wisdom" for the last 30 years.

 Back in the 1960s, there was a lot of commotion in the UK about the advent of "Minicabs", which operated on a similar business model.
Obviously no App, but everything else was eerily similar.

They were still around in 1971 when I was there, but the conventional taxis were still doing well.
I don't know how, but eventually they became part of the " establishment", along with all the other transport services.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/classiccars/8369024/50-years-of-minicabs.html
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 03:18:46 am by vk6zgo »
 


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