Friday, October 16, 2015

The New York Tech Take Sean Day.

The supposition that apps need to capture the intense ordnance market of major cities does satiate the fascist tech utopian argument that street hailing and ehailing cannot exist harmoniously. The solution- ban street hailing altogether! Yep! It isn't a misprint. If you read USA based tech magazines, you would be forgiven for thinking that hailing a taxi the traditional way, is all but dead and buried. 

Silicon Valley’s equivalent over Old St way is roughly five years behind New York as far as the technological descent goes, but we procrastinate at our peril. London will be an experiential playground once the Shoreditch set have matured.

Even as we arm ourselves, they are assuming- prematurely at least- that everyone owns a smartphone and has credit. Even as a basic prerequisite, the onus levied on us to be indelibly linked to a product and its omnipresent service provider subordinates our entire existence to something that is extrinsic. Tech articles frequently need reminding that a smartphone is not yet a chip in ones brain.

Dare I take the somewhat unfashionable stance that even discussing making ‘street hailing’ illegal as though it were inescapable, should be worrisome. Understandably, IT & Tech Business publications aren't the platforms to jolt its readership back to an unimaginable time when there was actually a choice (an argument that is perpetually smacked between taxi drivers eyes by gizmo adherents), nevertheless, we can't remove the human out of the equation completely, can we? No! won't let it!

It confounds me that any consideration to the mere inference of a social concept has already been annihilated in favour of getting rid of street hailing as the only possible solution. 

Viral use of phenomenal technology is already monopolised and embedded data stating unequivocally, ‘EVOLVE OR DIE’ can be found under FAQ. 

An alternative version can be found on YouTube titled, ‘F*** off and die.’ All of which is nothing more than inverted 'protectionism' (another term overly used to target taxi drivers and those pesky luddite regulations that bang on about something called 'safety'. Tech no more weens out unsavories any more than democracies do, safeguards actually have to be formatted. Whatever, the word safety is so 2010. The more tech savvy term is ‘collateral damage’.

 Have you ever forgotten your smartphone at home? Has the subsequent anxiety compelled you to turn back to reunite yourself with it? 

Did you justify doing so under the umbrella of ‘in case of an emergency’?Yes? 

Then you'll surrender to the fact there are legitimate safety concerns? You can't always have your virtual cake and eat it!

Before I forget entirely, somewhere amongst the malware, forced to share stuff that's trickling down from above, is the commodity, the lowly driver (me), who’s fate is relentlessly subjected to the sociopathic whims of life long bachelor geeks and their interminably tiresome wannabes, the basement bloggers. The utter irrelevance of the service provider (an app’s primary consumer btw) is on a par with the magnitudinal disregard for liberty. Deduced to being the mere byproduct of software, the service provider is expected to pay a premium for the work that was his to begin with. Not dissimilar to the Government using our money to bail out the Banking industry from their deregulated mess, only to to sell them back to us.

Did I mention liberty? Lady Liberty, the statue was France's ideological gift to America for embracing the principles of democracy. Those values are superseded by the rapid emergence of technological wizardry. Silicon- valley doesn't account for that one remaining person who, through no fault of her own, has fallen off the zooming platform into the libertarian abyss.

To ensure a fair playing field for a desperately seeking alternative to the ubiquitously trending of Uber EVERYWHERE, those interfering regulators will be lobbied to make street hailing ILLEGAL. Cash and envelopes are still very much alive. There you go! The future is now! If you can't HACK it, you know what to do? 

We have only just entered the synthetic world of Corporate Communism! Ugh!!! One consolation is, if we did lose the job we love (for the record, this stubborn old mule ain't planning on going anywhere), at least we will still have feelings about it, and that's a good thing. 

And you never know, by then there might be such a thing as virtual euthanasia. Death without the commitment. 

See you out there on the mean streets, doing what we do best! Need I say more? 


Alex W said...

Sean I agree with what your saying, whilst I don't like Boris and all he stands for he does say some things that are correct, the consumer will eventually decide what becomes the norm not us, this has happened many times over history, Betamax and VHS is a great one, the better product did not win, the product with the broader appeal did. The travelling public have moved on, whilst street hailing still exists, it will become less and less of what people want to do, this does not mean they don't want to travel in the back of black cabs, this just means they don't want to wait at the side of a road for the possibility of a taxi driving past, they want to know exactly when their taxi is arriving.

Take the London underground, years ago it was completely hit and miss when a tube train would arrive, today the messages boards on the platform tell you exactly what is going on, people want this, it is no different to getting a taxi, apps are the way forward, this complements our service, it takes nothing away from it, taking credit cards is another example, people have moved on, what is important in the credit card debate is not "oh I only did one card job yesterday, so it's not that important" it is that the public stop the "I won't bother with black taxis, because I get so many knocking me back with cash only signs".

In my old industry there was several elements to my business that did not make money, other directors would complain that it did not make money and so was not worth doing, my argument back to them was "It make not make is money but it means we don't lose money from a loss of other business", this statement was very true, one of the things we offered was DNS changes (this is when a company wants to re-route say their website or email to somewhere else), the key thing was it saved us a fortune if we used a third party rather than do it in house, we risked so much engineering downtime waiting on someone else to do something that one failed job per year (and there was plenty per year when we used third parties) paid for the whole administration of the system for a year. Credit cards are the same it is not about what you make it is about what your not losing by taking them, customers expect people to take cards these days.

Whilst I am an IT bod, I am taken aback at the pace of change in the world today, people have embraced technology at such a rapid rate, take the knowledge, when I started it there was no real tools on computers, ok there was products from Wizann that allowed you to call runs, revise points on a PC whilst this is welcomed, the change over to mobile computing has been massive, my expectation is that within a few years paper will be almost phased out of the knowledge world.

The taxi trade has a great product but it must evolve into a truly modern product that fits the needs of the consumer, we have USP's in our businesses that are very hard to beat but we cannot hope that the fact we have the knowledge is going to be our saviour in the future, it will be a key differentiator between us and the satnav guys, but we need to offer all the convenience and flexibility of our competitors as well.

The trade has a great future if it adapts and embraces what the customers want and the technology to provide that.

Anonymous said...

Here here , what a great and to the bone peace.
This is exactly what is happening.
We have the conservative cartel run by David Cameron,osborne,that twat boris and the new tory pratt in town javid and their all to complicit pawns,the TFL brotherhood.
The other cartel being Kalenik and his silicon valley knob heads friends.
These people want to take over the world and are as corrupt as the other joke organization EUAFA.
If they are determined to ruin our once great transport city and send us to the gutter then we must fight them in the very streets they aim to take.
Onwards and upwards commrades,they dont like it up em.

Sean Day said...

Alex I am with you too, especially on the Betamax front. The Mayor is dangerously spearheading today's supercharged globalised economy which is rapidly eroding the power from people in democracies around the world. Whereas some resistance has been shown by governments in Europe, no such resistance has been implemented by Mayor Johnson.

Off-Shore Corporations and the government are bounced along by runaway economic success that an enveloping sense of inertia is causing them to be oblivious to localised concerns. Of course, democracy is a system for accomplishing what can only be achieved by citizens joining together to further the common good. Although free markets have brought unprecedented prosperity to many, it has dismissed social responsibility causing a sudden leap in massive inequalities of income, heightened job insecurity, environmental hazards and the erosion of individual liberty. A sense of political powerlessness is on the rise among citizens and no democratic nation is effectively coping with capitalism’s negative side effects, none more so than London itself.

Capitalism’s role is to increase the economic pie, nothing more. And while capitalism has become remarkably responsive to what people want as individual consumers, democracy is becoming unable to undertake its own basic functions: to articulate and act upon the common good, and to help societies achieve social stability. We are all consumers, but we are not only consumers, consumers are also workers, with partners and children. Dismissing the relational aspect of life, until the chip in our brain homogenises us all, things could get very ugly indeed

It was only natural but the taxi trade to rely upon the regulator to have their best interest at heart. This had to be the case as the trade is made up of 24,000 individual businesses who are not afforded the luxury of a marketing platform. Unequivocally, TfL should not have allowed what is, in effect, a rogue industry to infiltrate the licensed trade. In fact, they facilitated and continue to pave the way for the infiltration of an unaccountable, unregulated conglomerate. The fact that Boris has disregarded all responsibility in favour of the corporations themselves and their financial lobbyists and public-relations experts makes him a very dangerous man in deed.

I am in agreement with you also, that history has shown investors win. But we are living in more enlightened times. I for one no nothing about IT, but I do know that really we do not have choices, even though it seems we are surrounded by vast arrays of it. Like I said, Uber's primary consumer is the driver, he is not afforded the choice. Yes he could take another job, or retrain, but not if he's unable to see or afford solutions. The choices belongs to those monopolising phenomenal technology, leaving us with, as you said, whichever is better presented and sold to us as choice and empowerment. The shared economy is a euphemism for income not meeting the exponential costs of living. If the purpose of Boris and the government is to allow corporations to play the market as aggressively as possible, the challenge for taxi drivers (as they are the only ones at this moment that overtly feel infracted up on) is to stop these economic entities from being the authors of the rules by which we live. One thing is for sure, God won't save us, neither will the Orgs, we need to save ourselves