Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.
narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 3972
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:13 am

I missed that other thread back then, however I didn't start thinking about it much until I read some of Jaron Lanier's stuff. Very interesting guy and makes a very sensible argument against the idea that all information should be free.

3D printers are another area that interests me but at the same time scares me a little because the whole premise pushed by many proponents is, if you need a part for something, you just make it.

But what about all the people who's livelihood depends on making, delivering, selling, and installing those parts?

Woofer
Forum Addict
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:33 am
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby Woofer » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:25 am

The original concept behind these sorts of crowdsourced services (like Lyft or Airbnb) was to take advantage of unused, idle capacity in the vehicles and homes of individuals. I thought we didn't like to see cars with just one person inside jamming up the roadways. I thought everyone was supposed to encourage ridesharing because it was the responsible, green thing to do. The way the Lyfts and Ubers are supposed to work is that if I'm a participating driver, and I happened to be driving from point A to point B, and the app tells me someone nearby was headed the same way, then I could swing by and pick them up. I thought of it as a more formalized manner of hitchhiking. Certainly, this new business model blurs the lines of the old, 20th century model. But this new approach is what will surely prevail.

I'm one of those people crowding the roadways driving alone, though, and the last time I thought about taking a cab to the airport, I did the math and figured out that it actually cost less to park my car at the airport for a week (in the cheap remote lot) than for the roundtrip taxi service from my house. I wonder how much Lyft would cost?

This is a fun article: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201403/uber-cab-confessions

snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 13528
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby snoqueen » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:32 am

The 3-D printer thing leaves a few big questions.

Anyone who's used one (that includes me) knows the material used to make the copy is not cheap and is not straightforward. If something has to be made of a particular alloy, for instance, making it out of some type of plastic won't necessarily work.

Somebody still has to manufacture and deliver the raw material to the owner of the 3-D printer, as well. I have no problem with us becoming more than ever a nation of tinkerers, but it doesn't mean commerce stops.

Example: quite a few hi-tech dentists have, right in their office, these 3-D imaging and printing devices for making a crown for a broken tooth. This hasn't removed the need for dentists.

Even if individuals could make a usable part for household use, they might not necessarily be able to install it or get it to work. What if you need to replace the circuitboard in your washing machine, or the main bearing? We'll still need service people, maybe more than ever.

I'm seeing this technology as just another choice, not a huge game-changer.

Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6073
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:46 am

snoqueen wrote:I'm seeing this technology as just another choice, not a huge game-changer.


I agree and the more complex technology get, the more difficult it is for the average homeowner to fix things. Cars are a good example. With all the computer technology inside, many armchair mechanics aren't able to fix things like they used to. On the flip side, a friend of mine has a coworker who is a computer engineer and he purchased equipment to diagnose and tune his new car; something that a lot of us would not be able to do.

Industries change and we need to find a way to adapt. I don't see Uber or Lyft putting cab companies out of business, but it will force those companies to change their business model. As was talked about earlier, Uber has an app that lets you keep your credit info on file(ya, ya security issues) and easily book your ride with an app. No Madison taxi company has this. Also, on busy nights and holidays like Halloween, it is virtually impossible to get a cab within an hour or two if it even comes. Add that to the fact Madison cabs are ridiculously expensive for a city our size when compared to the cost of a cab in Chicago or New York.

kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6095
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:00 am

Stebben84 wrote:Add that to the fact Madison cabs are ridiculously expensive for a city our size when compared to the cost of a cab in Chicago or New York.

After living in Madison so long, I keep being surprised how cheap a taxi is in NYC or Chicago.

FWIW, there's a comparison of rates here. Madison is 27th most expensive (of 201 cities). New York is 100 and Chicago is 115.

It probably makes more sense to compare Madison to other Midwest university towns with more similar conditions. So why is a taxi fare so cheap in Champaign-Urbana? (200 out of 201 cities!)

MarcoPolo
Senior Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:26 pm

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby MarcoPolo » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:57 am

Union Cab doesn't have an in house app, they are synced into Taxi Magic though, which does allow you to keep your card on file. It is useful if you travel to a lot of places but don't know the local cab company.

No one lives in Urbana that's why.

Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6073
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:09 am

MarcoPolo wrote:Union Cab doesn't have an in house app, they are synced into Taxi Magic though


No where on Union's site do they list this and Taxi Magic does not have Madison as a city they service.

https://www.ridecharge.com/en/partners/transportation

minicat
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 4538
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2002 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby minicat » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:24 pm

kurt_w wrote:
4. A few people own more and more of everything and the rest of you are left to starve.



AKA, Reaganomics ... technology is just speeding it up exponentially.

Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6073
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:38 pm

minicat wrote:technology is just speeding it up exponentially.


I actually think technology is getting in the way. Think about websites like Kickstarter. Most of the people who get money on there would never be able to launch their ideas off the ground without it. We complain about the disappearance of mom and pop shops, but there are a shit ton of people on the interwebs who make a living as just that. It's not brick and mortar and they don't often employ many people, but the money is shifting. It's not to say big companies like Amazon aren't swallowing up other companies, but a lot of them actually sell through Amazon. I also think about Etsy and Pinterest where folks are able to sell their craft goods without having to travel the art fair circuit like some sort of Gypsies.

We so often hear about companies like Whatsapp who make million and billions of dollars. There are a so many more just making a modest living selling their good through the intertubes.

narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 3972
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:33 pm

snoqueen wrote:Somebody still has to manufacture and deliver the raw material to the owner of the 3-D printer, as well. I have no problem with us becoming more than ever a nation of tinkerers, but it doesn't mean commerce stops.......I'm seeing this technology as just another choice, not a huge game-changer.


Oh, I realize this. I'm more concerned with the mindsets that all information should be free and that anything that makes my life easier is automatically a good thing for everyone.

So many things that add convenience to our lives seem to correlate with whole job categories shrinking or disappearing.

Online banking
online travel booking
Self check-out
Online shopping is never going to employ as many people as bricks and mortar stores.
The dentist will still have a job but what about the people who made the crowns before?

Stebben84 wrote:I also think about Etsy and Pinterest where folks are able to sell their craft goods without having to travel the art fair circuit like some sort of Gypsies.


While I'm sure some people have success on these sites, I'd like to know what competing against millions of other artists and craft people has meant as far as prices and overall sales go for people who used to get by on the gypsy circuit. I do woodworking and have sold some stuff in the past locally. I look at prices on Etsy and there's no way I could make a living competing in that market.

I stopped being as anti-technology as I was awhile ago. I have no desire to be left behind and end up like a lot of my older relatives, just sitting around shaking their heads, not knowing how anything works anymore. I just want to know where all these people are going to work.... and actually make a living.

jackisonian
Forum Addict
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby jackisonian » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:18 pm

My theory on this is in Madison we have not one but two big lakes and one small one and the arboretum in the city to drive around.
How many big lakes in downtown Urbana?

"After living in Madison so long, I keep being surprised how cheap a taxi is in NYC or Chicago.

FWIW, there's a comparison of rates here. Madison is 27th most expensive (of 201 cities). New York is 100 and Chicago is 115.

It probably makes more sense to compare Madison to other Midwest university towns with more similar conditions. So why is a taxi fare so cheap in Champaign-Urbana? (200 out of 201 cities!)

Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6073
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:35 pm

jackisonian wrote:My theory on this is in Madison we have not one but two big lakes and one small one and the arboretum in the city to drive around.
How many big lakes in downtown Urbana?


You lost me there. What do lakes have to do with anything? I've taken a cab out to my sister's house and it's flipping expensive and we don't go past any lakes. Mileage is mileage. My house is less than 3 miles from the airport and it costs about $20 to get there. Last I checked, I don't pass any lakes. That price is absurd.

jeffw
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:51 pm

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby jeffw » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:56 pm

You do realize there are different cab companies in Madison, right? For Green Cab, $20 would get you from somewhere around West Towne to the Airport. Around downtown to the Airport is less than $10. Mileage doesn't set the price though, it is according to a zoning map set up by city engineers. (If, on the other hand, you are north or east of the airport, you are outside the zone system where population is sparse and a cab will have to take an extra trip just to reach you, so you pay extra for the service. Don't expect Uber to even glance in your direction out there.)

Uber may be the hot 'mavrick' hero in some big, crappy coastal cities, but Madison is already ahead of the curve for adopting new tech, even without pretentious entrepreneurs placing themselves above the law.

timby
Senior Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Eastmorland

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby timby » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:44 am

I haven't had a need to use Uber yet here in Madison, but it was a Godsend when I lived in Baltimore and I rely on it heavily when I travel to our Atlanta office. That being said, the next time I need a ride somewhere that isn't easily accessible by Metro, I'll probably give Uber or Lyft a shot -- the last few times I've called Green Cab for a ride, it's taken north of an hour for a cab to arrive, which just feels ridiculous at 10 a.m. on a Friday morning.

narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 3972
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Forward momentum, you slackers & hippies!

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:47 am

In my 2 experiences with Green Cab I thought the fare was cheap. I took a cab from the Atwood area to the Union on Langdon, shared ride but nobody shared, and I think it was 6 bucks.

That was the time I paid. The second time was similar to timby. I called for a cab at 6:30 on a Tuesday night, waited 35 minutes and cancelled it. If it's going to be that long they should tell you when you call.


Return to “Local Politics & Government”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests