Thursday, February 11, 2016

Suber Grapes

I love Uber, but not the service itself, I more love the pack of sharks which has circled it since its inception. People yammer on about it like they're allergic to good ideas and it just makes this guy right here chuckle, because I know that everybody thinks they're saying different things to eachother, but they're really not. No matter if the discussion takes place in a regulation, safety or economic discourse, all I hear is I'm old and I don't like change, no matter how much sense it makes. In my opinion, it's all that's been said so far and I'm bored. There are two things here.

like the bookz

The Taxi Drivers
Fuck these guys! If it were up to them we'd be living in some weird utopia where you can't own a car or legs. I would take literally any complaint of theirs with a grain of salt. They're really the only reason we keep having this discussion and they're the reason that what is being said is the same shit every time, because there is so much sour grapes here that Uber in the media has become a fucking abandoned vineyard. Cabbies are just all super worried about losing their jobs, it's that simple, which is fair enough, I empathise, I really do. How are you going to feed your kids or cheat on your wife if there is some 19 year old out there doing what you're doing an easier way and for less money. But they need to accept that when you continue to work in an industry which planted its feet decades ago and continued to use a 1930s model in the thick of a digital age, you're going to get fucked. This was bound to happen; I would've bet a testicle on it! And don't tell me that they didn't have time! There are probably a million cab drivers sitting at taxi ranks around the world as you read this playing with their dicks, and none of them could've spent a minute in the eight years since the first iPhone was released rethinking the laborious task of waiting and paying for a licensed-cab? Please.

But why does it matter that they're whinging, Ryan? Let 'em, right? Wrong, because they drive these discussions about regulations and virtual-abolition of Uber. Not just that, but they have strength in numbers and regulatory bodies to back them. Uber has nothing but money, a bunch of people with driver's licenses and a CEO the media treats like a crook. Cabbies have the potential to send this thing into irrelevance, meaning they are not only choosing to hold onto archaic-methods, but they are now making conscious efforts to annihilate new ones, making sure we remain in the quasi-50s. I mean, God forbid they take this as a cue to reinvent the industry. Na! Na! Let's pour those efforts into destroying something good instead. And why? All because they were too brain-dead to come up with it on their own.

But there's an alternate argument that often fuels the fire a little.


The Idiot Uber Customers
My parents used to tell me that if I talk to strangers or get into a car with a stranger, I'm an idiot. Well, I've embellished a lot there; they just told me not to do it. Sound advice I think, a little confusing though if the dude with the cleaver is on the outside of the car, but I digress. So by the same token, I think that anybody who's ever gotten into an Uber is an idiot, because both an Uber and a stranger's car are one and the same. A kid from my school got into a car and went missing when I was about seven. It was a rookie-move, but if that had been today and we put an iPhone in his hand and the creep had Uber installed on their phone, it would've made total sense. Ah, but luckily, now we have someone other than the victim to blame: Uber!

In November 2014, it was tumultuous times for Uber for a number of reasons. Governments around the globe, both local and larger, were discussing regulating it as they always are, in a weird twist one of the Uber executives threatened a smear-campaign against nay-saying journalists and most importantly a lot of people were coming out with sexual assault stories relating to Uber drivers, triggering countless articles from several publications amalgamating every "Uber horror story" into a nice little package to scare the living shit out of you. It was dumb times for the humans, because you know, you just know that if you wiped the fog from your glasses, you would see the nay-saying for what it really was; the skeptical-journalists looking for a story; the politicians looking to regain control; the taxi drivers looking to keep their jobs; the victims with nobody to blame but themselves. It's all just nonsense surrounding the same shit we've always done. We've always paid for rides with friends or hitchhiked, but now there's an app and thus a target behind it who isn't me. Rape and Uber aren't synonyms, I'm sorry.

To bring it back around, the London taxis went on strike today calling for proper taxation of Uber in the UK, which is fair enough, I suppose. Why shouldn't they be properly taxed in the countries they operate? And I understand the importance of government regulation, I do, I'm not paying for a communications degree for nothing. So, I suppose they're right. Maybe The Guardian's opinion piece is also right, maybe this makes Uber "unfair competition" and that Uber lacks "respect" for the Brits. Or...maybe, it's a fucking app! And maybe we should stop thinking about it as anything more, because does anybody understand that the moment Uber is taxed accordingly, it ceases to be just an app, it ceases to be Uber and becomes more like a taxi company, and will therefore have to charge like a taxi company in order to keep the fucking lights on! One of the very things setting it apart. Then by this time next year, nobody will care about it, we'll uninstall it and we'll all just go back to waiting on the side of the street like knobs, unsure of anything. Either that or we'll just Airbnb a room in lieu of heading home; that is of course until Hilton or whatever ruin that operation as well.


You know what, I hope taxi drivers kids starve. Yeah, I said! Because this is a nice little lesson in the predicament ignorant people often find themselves in. You can plant your feet and say that you won't change, which is your prerogative, but stubbornness has a cost and you should be prepared to pay it in fucking silence. I'm stubborn too, I know. I want to send mail without the NSA reading it, but I don't like regular mail; have you ever seen a blog on here bitching about Gmail? Uber is an app, and getting into a stranger's car, or it being an improvement on archaic business models, or it dodging taxes, or its CEO being misogynistic are all separate issues entirely and should be treated as such. So please, please don't ruin it for the rest of us just because the taxi companies did nothing to prevent the inevitable; that's just not cool.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sydney Can’t Do Temperature Well

I'm in my second week of living in a country vastly different to my home in Sydney. It's Denmark and it's colder than a snowman's nutsack here. My number one fear in the lead up to the move was the indoor heating. You see, the natural cold I can handle, but not the artificial heating, and it was because Sydney are shit at doing temperature. What?

Sydney, and I guess Australia, are spoiled by the sultry-climate, which means that whenever it dips below 20 degrees Celsius, we run the heaters like there are fucking camels on the bus! Not just there, but trains, buildings, cafes, outdoor dining. We treat cold like it's noxious gas. Which means a good looking fella wearing three layers, a scarf and gloves with a 15 degree chill on his cheeks comes down with a fever the moment he walks inside a place. He then has to shed layers like a snake and haul his clothes around like an awkward piece of luggage. I'm not claustrophobic, but twice I've had an anxiety attack on a peak hour Sydney train brimming with hot flesh because the drivers don't know how to account for the volume of people.

Conversely, in the summer, which Sydney has a surplus, everybody holds a competition to make it snow inside. They say it happened once in the 60s, but I think it might be bullshit. There's nothing quite like wearing next to nothing, being drenched in sweat and then having to walk through an 18 degree chill coming from the south-west of the supermarket you're in.

So when the prospect of moving to a cold climate came about, I was concerned. I thought it would be like this around the world! I didn't want any more anxiety attacks, or sweaty armpits in the freezing cold, or cheeks I can't bring back down to room temperature. Since arriving however I realised that it's just that Sydney is just full of morons! They just don't know how to do temperature well. Oh, they can turn a train carriage into a sauna and my underwear into the adjoining pool, making it a full hotel package! They can fight one horrible temperature with an equally horrible one, but they have no clue how to make people comfortable. This country does. The Brits know how to as well. There's comfort inside and snow on the window and I have no complaints.

It's all about the tools though. Australians use harsh heaters; these cold countries use subtle radiators. They emit heat, don't pump it. That's all Aussies know how to do, pump heat out of our air conditioning units, or turn the chillers off in a concrete building and let the residual heat do it's job.

Anyway, Sydney just can't do temperature well.