Uber's "sharing economy" is really the "taking economy"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/09/weaponized-information-asymmet.html


Fiverr's new recruiting ad promises to literally work you to death
#2

Commercial firms have long used what they know about consumers to shape their behavior and maximize profits.

And yet it’s illegal for you to count cards.


#3

The House always wins.


#4

We have robot law now? Does it really need a scholar? I mean, it’s only got three lines!

It’s not illegal to count cards. Sure, you’ll get banned for it, but that’s only because it’s not fair to the casino for its customers to infringe on its profits.


#5

They’ve stopped using grayball. It’s been replaced by the new system - screwball.


#6

And yet it produced 38 short stories and 5 novels for its creator.


#7

Unless they’re operated by a certain tangerine libertine.


#8

I thought the system to trick users into anticipating services that never materialize was called blueball.


#9

Thou shalt not something something something (shades of Homer).


#10

Just like a piano: it has only 88 keys, but we never run out of music. Same with the robot laws, there are infinite combinations:

“What’d you do today?”
“Well, first I complied with rule 2, then 3 then 2 again, then 1, then 3, 1, 2, 3 in that order, then I had a late morning snack, then I complied with 1 several times. Then I felt naughty and almost didn’t comply with 3 (it was a gray area), but made up for it with a rousing round of compliance with 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, and I think there may have been a 4 in there.”


#11

It is illegal if you use a device to help gather and analyze your data.


#12

…Is that a reference to something?

It feels familiar, and vaguely Terry-Pratchettish.


#13

The “88 keys but infinite music” thing I recently heard quoted by prolific author Nora Roberts, when asked about whether she ever thought she’d written her last book about relationships.

The rest I made up on the spot. :slight_smile:


#14

When I hear, “Sharing economy” I think of Freecycle.

I forget people use the term to describe businesses that are actively trying to make things worse for everyone.


#15

1 + 3 = 4 of course!


#16

What if the device is Dustin Hoffman?


#17

Not a surprise. Lyft is only mildly less evil than Uber at this point.


#18

Scale that down and the principle still applies – a telegraph key plays one note, but we never run out of messages.


#19

What if the device is Dustin Hoffman?

Definitely watch Rain Main … yeah … always watch Rain Main


#20

Yes, there’s a big difference between a sharing economy and a selling economy, the latter being just regular old capitalism. There’s nothing “sharing” about Uber - it’s a case of company creating a marketplace for people to sell their services (and taking a cut), nothing more. At its heart, there was something sharing about the origins of the sharing economy; when those companies were really more of ridesharing systems (a driver is already headed that way, and hey why not take a passenger and reduce the number of cars on the road) instead of just trying to get people to become taxi drivers…

I have a whole thing about the sharing economy because, well, I actually have a platform of my own that’s more true to the spirit of sharing. Maybe some day I’ll share it with you guys :slight_smile: