Another tip of the cap is due, for impressively convoluted, even Nixonian language. When there's no money in it for them, Uber claims it has no stake in what transpires in Uber-equipped vehicles. And, even if it did, a motorist at the wheel of such a vehicle may or may not be an Uber driver; he or she apparently transmutes into and out of various states of being, minute to minute.

Quite the revelation.


So, until End Times ­— or an equivalent court ruling ­— don't expect surge pricing to end.

For San Franciscans, surge pricing represents yet more slings and arrows of outrageously priced fortune. We're already living in Surge City, paying surge pricing 24/7. We pay extra for the privilege of living here just as Uber passengers disgorge more for the privilege of landing a ride during New Year's Day, DisruptSF, or ­— this is not a joke ­— rainy weather.

To any San Franciscan, Kalanick's justification for profiteering is wearily familiar. By charging an arm and a leg, he ensures optimal service for those able to pay an arm and a leg: "There's a harsh reality to situations where demand outstrips supply," he tells Wired.

You don't say. That's life here writ large.

In this city, there will always be someone willing to pay more. And, when you leave, rest assured, there will be three people to take your place. And pay more. So we work. All of us. Even the flush techies punching laptops within corporate shuttles or basking in the glow of an omnipresent smartphone in the back of an Uber are pulling Wagnerian shifts. The line between working to live in this city and living to work in this city has been obliterated.

San Franciscans seem to be endlessly struggling to climb that hill, unable to ever take the moment to glance back and appreciate the view. You could catch a ride to the top. But it'll cost you.

Especially if it's raining.

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9 comments
Federale
Federale topcommenter

Ok, is this writer going to give up his iPhone.  I think not.  Leftists are such hypocrites.

aliasetc
aliasetc topcommenter

Time for a General Strike and shut the city down!

laughtiger
laughtiger

Uber is the stupidest and least sustainable business model ever.

mlion
mlion

I had to create an account just to comment on this article.  This is some of the worst writing I have ever seen.  Horrible punctuation, grammar, syntax, and prose.  I don't even know what your article was trying to accomplish.  Was this about San Francisco, tech as a culture, Uber as a company, or the consumer and the new paradigm.  There is little reporting value, and almost no narrative here.  It's like you wrote to write, talked to talk. You didn't say ANYTHING.  Just awful writing.

stephen.gatto66
stephen.gatto66

It's just a matter of time before more traffic accidents start happening with drivers for these various companies are actually considered "on the clock" It's also a matter of time before the gates open and the flood of litigation begins.


It should be an interesting show.

Federale
Federale topcommenter

@laughtiger And your point is?  If it is unsustainable they will go out of business.  End of story.

Federale
Federale topcommenter

@mlion Awful people, awful writing, awful politics.

sweet_t_of_oakland
sweet_t_of_oakland

@mlion  You are completely out of your mind. Maybe you cut your literary teeth on Gawker or USA Today, or maybe you're just too stuck in your own little myopic bubble to understand the context, but this is a brilliant piece. In fact, I'm going to to try to read everything from Joe Eskenazi from here on.

 
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