Uber, plagued by internal meltdowns in management and human resources, has pressures from without as well.
Lyft uses an app to pick up riders and provides competition, as does Via which offers a rideshare twist and a cheap fare.
Uber’s problems may have started, however, with the archival grandiosity of their corporate name. Branding yourself with a somewhat tainted word that conjures some not happy WWII images of dominance, or would-be dominance, may have been its first misstep.
At the very least it suggests an arrogance of vision. Wouldn’t you rather get a lift from Lyft? It appears that the arrogance is systemic it seems from what one reads about Travis Kalanick’s company.
Who’s driving this…?
Is everyone completely comfortable with driverless cars?
Is this concept– from 1950s cartoons, it seems to me– well thought out?
Is it possible the machine is smarter than the human? Will it make better decisions in critical moments in traffic?
Granted, it’s not always clear how well a driver handles him/herself in crises on the road. There are plenty of accident statistics to refute the idea that men and women should control the steering wheel.
Nonetheless, the image of a car turning with no one in the driver’s seat gives me pause.
Hi, my name is Hal
Will we all be consumers with none of us being providers? Will work be something only androids and robots do?
It seems simple (or simplistic) to assume that mimicking another’s easily recognizable quirks is of course a mockery. It is likely, or at least possible, that the parody is a tribute.
High Anxiety, homage or spoof? The send-ups of Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo, are all over the top, of course. Mel Brooks is clearly piling on the Alfred Hitchcock tropes and making fun of them, but so lovingly that it could easily be read as an ironic tribute.
I said Camus, but perhaps Woody Allen was aiming for Hitchcock, too. His Irrational Manis among the best of his recent works; it’s dark and introspective. Infidelity, mortality, uncertainty in relationships, is usual fare for Allen it is always intensely personal. Here, as in Manhattan Murder Mystery he looks at characters who commit murder with indifference.
Hitchcock always served murder with a slice of irony. Nonchalance was the modus operandi of his villainous heroes.
The Ladykillers, famously with Sir Alec Guinness and directed in 1955 by Alexander Mackendrick, finds new life with a hilariously bumbling Tom Hanks under the direction of Coen Brothers. Like the Hitchcock homages mentioned, this film is completely sui generis. It’s originality is fueled by outstanding performances by Irma P. Hall, Hanks, and an ensemble of fools bent on a sketchy get-rich scheme.
Some six months ago, I shut down one of my many blogs, Observations: Lest I Forgetand transferred much of its content to this one. I fully intended to put new content here and leave the …Lest I Forgetsite to history.
Truth is, I have a lot about which I wish to opine, and enjoy doing so in different fora and diverse platforms. So Observations: Lest I Forgetis being revived today, with fresh content all its own.
We are a nation in crisis, scratch that– crises, yet we choose to look inward and at local issues. The trains don’t run on time and we are vexed. This is not minor but a problem many years in the making– infrastructure neglected, and the subway system allowed to become a sweltering and sometimes frightening mess. It’s natural to want to lead our lives and not worry about the big picture. We do need to see that by ignoring the big stuff we let everything go out of control.
The big picture is trouble brewing. It will and does affect us all.
So the heat breaks, even briefly, and you are relieved. It may be temporary, but you feel it as if it were a reprieve from troubled times.
The truth is like the old saw about the dog’s tail– if you step on it and then get off, the dog is so delighted, he’ll even wag his tail for his tormenter.
We suffer, and the slightest amnesty feels life-changing. We are similarly relieved when our government sounds normal for even a moment in time, but that is grist for another riff. I have to admit I am relieved that I don’t have to expand on it.
Many of us are, or are descendents of those who have come from far away to be in America. The place we were born and the one in which we landed conspire to make our identity. We say we are Italian-Americans, or Americans of German ancestry. Some brought the homeland with them, for instance, naming a place in Maine after Denmark and another after Poland. Those of us lucky enough to be from my city mostly just say we’re New Yorkers.
As citizens of the United States, however, we are always recognized by our distinctive Americanness. Who are you? I am an American.
What does that mean? I am an American. It means I honor the hard-won rights, liberties, and responsibilities of all those singular and distinguished Americans who forged this “more perfect union.” Some of us continue to struggle to keep the ideals of our Constitution (and its amendments) intact. We are united in the laws of our land. We are one under a flag that represents American values. Nothing should divide us, although many things do.
Sometimes it’s our background, or place of origin that keeps us from acknowledging that we are all one people. Sometimes, it’s our ethnic heritage or religious beliefs that we hold above being an American. Sometimes it’s the ethnicity (or choice of worship) of our fellow Americans that we disparage, showing disrespect not only to our compatriots but also to our way of life. We allow differences in political orientation to distract us from who we truly are. We are not Republicans or Democrats. As denizens of a democratic republic, we are in truth both. We need to celebrate and esteem our “nation, indivisible” and recognize the unity that is these UNITED STATES of America.