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if you wanted the translation it says “first download the app, then pee!”

Since at least the late 1800s, people have been predicting what the “future” would look like. They meant us. They predicted flying machines and replicators and magical communication devices. Keynes predicted the inevitability of leisure, as he thought mechanization would shortly take over much of the work that humans had needed to put in to keep themselves alive. They dreamed of a modern world where humans would be able to lose the fetters of mere survival and truly indulge their higher planes of intellect.

We live in that amazing future. So far it seems to mostly be dick jokes and rich fucks gunning for that sweet sweet venture capital, so they can make some bullshit product nobody wants and walk away richer, to do it all over again. This is how we came up with Internet-connected salt shakers and toilets and also let’s not forget the time that hackers weaponized our refrigerators!

It’s a speaker! A light! A centerpiece! A salt shaker! A FUCKING SALT SHAKER!

Still, we give deference to the tech giants on the assumption that they know something we don’t about the nature of this brave new world. Jeff Bezos is allowed to buy apparently the whole world. Zuckerberg’s thinking of running for office.

Point is, for every Silicon solution that makes sense, there is an equal and opposite solution. To wit: Cabs suck and aren’t available in a lot of places, so someone designed a program that matched up available drivers with people wanting a ride. That was A Good Idea. But what happened to that good idea, you ask? Well, the company that started it became full-on evil, and other companies thought hey, we can do that too!

That is, I assume, how we got our affairs to the state that an Internet outlet can publish these two paragraphs: 

Note! We are avoiding public transportation here because it is TOO GROSS. This isn’t an uncommon feeling for Americans to have, because if we were not poor we would have cars, or at least be using Lyft, ergo the only people on the bus are poor. So the tech gods have brought us a solution to the quandary of not wanting to pay for a luxurious solo ride in the back seat of a midrange sedan or SUV, and also not wanting to share rides with strangers who might want to drive three blocks out of your way, but also not wanting to mix with the plebes who take the bus like some kinda fucking losers! Are you ready to hear it? WE KNOW YOU ARE!

At long last, we have reached the pinnacle of human excellence in problem-solving. Lyft, in its glorious wisdom, has invented…the bus. Just a more expensive one than the actual bus. It is a private bus, in which you can feel more comfortable around the strangers because at least you know they all have smartphones.

Congratulations, San Francisco. Never fucking change.

Also do us a favor and get on that whole cancer thing kthx.

[Lifehacker]

Keep your writers in bus fare and pay the lady:

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  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    At long last, we have reached the pinnacle of human excellence in problem-solving. Lyft, in its glorious wisdom, has invented…the bus.

    But it’s not a bus, KM. Because “bus” is not hip, or bleeding edge, or whatever buzzword is being used nowadays to describe stupid ideas (personally, I can’t wait until we start using “schway” like in Batman Beyond).

  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    Oh, and speaking of nitiwits and tech…
    https://twitter.com/CNN/status/876875019246292992

    • clubseal

      When I say that people never fail to lower my faith in humanity, it’s not a challenge, for Christ’s sake.

    • … She’s got a $700 phone and probably near $10K in cameras around her neck… She’s shooting with the phone.

    • Caustic Elvisfellow

      Considering that people take selfies at Auschwitz, this should surprise, well, surpriseable people.

  • BearGHAZI

    Stand aside, Old Man Wonkette, and let the young people be heralded into a glittering future by Lyft buses

  • Gregory Brown

    I saw the invention of the bus thing coming after the first paragraph, and just wanted to bang my head against my monitor. Fortunately I refrained, which is why I can see the words I am typing.

    • Three Finger Salute

      No wonder the Internet outlet that published that screed is full of douchiness. Lifehacker is one of the zombie Hydra heads of the Gawkerverse. Normally one of the less douchey ones, but still, it’s Gawker/Gizmodo. Tact and ambient awareness is not exactly their strong suit.

      • Gregory Brown

        Neither is journalism. You might say their hand is void of that suit.

  • Crystalclear12

    You know how the aliens always want blow up the planet or kill all the humans in the movies?

    I get it.

    • stankbait

      They also have traveled across galaxies looking to probe some Red State hayseed’s bunghole!

      • Indivisible Snark Tank

        “…and all we’ve learned is that 10% don’t seem to mind.”

        (Thank you, “Kids in the Hall”!)

  • Hiam J Beaudry

    Don’t blame us for this shit. I was here when the internet was just a baby. Lyft and Uber are both bastards that are not ours.

    • Three Finger Salute

      About the only thing that Trump ever said that I agree with is that we need to call Bill Gates to find the off switch for the cyber. Social media and IoT is crap.

  • Gayer Than Thou

    I do not have a flying car or a time travel machine. But I do have some boss shiny silver clothes. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3598cac07f132385f36863d2f7292cd4e2123ce66bb2e79569e5445bf0a8e70.jpg

    • Wild Cat

      Va-Va-Voom!

      • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

        In the future people say “Za Za Zoom”.

    • Persistent Demme

      I don’t even have shiny silver clothes, but I have some duct tape I can slap on things.
      Does that count?

      • Gayer Than Thou

        Don’t slap it on anything that has body hair. Learned that the hard way.

        • Villago Delenda Est

          As did Steve Carrel when filming the hair removal scene in
          The 40-Year-Old Virgin

          • Three Finger Salute

            OT. Fun story: I got my eyebrows done at a salon outing for my 25th birthday. It was my first time doing it. I knew what was coming, so when the tech (who I went to high school with) ripped the wax off, I shouted, “Aaaah! Adam Lambert!” Everyone in the place knew the movie scene (where he shouts “Kelly Clarkson” for no apparent reason) and cracked up.

            The movie was a few years old by then, but remained a hit in rentals and on cable. It was the year that Lambert (Elvis meets David Bowie, who is now the new Freddie Mercury) had lost to Kris Allen (clean-cut, good ol’ boy from not-so-gay-friendly Arkansas). A lot of people blamed the controversial outcome on homophobia and vote-rigging by Fox executives concerned about alienating “middle America,” when pics of Adam smooching another dude were leaked to the press just days before the winner was to be announced.

            The owner, a gay man from Vermont in his 50s, said with a laugh, “At least you cried out for Adam! If you’d said Kris Allen, I would have told her to give you a Whoopi.”

        • onedollarjuana

          But do slap in on warts! Over and over and over. Eventually your warts are gone.

      • It’s what keeps America together.

    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      Men of the future … this is the MRA nightmare/dream scenario.

    • Mavenmaven

      I used to wear clothes like that to Ambient Night at the Re-Bar in Seattle.

    • OneYieldRegular

      God I love Hollywood before it got ruined. I mean what art director nowadays would be so modest and witty as to hang a self-portrait of Van Gogh with his ear cut off in a science fiction film?

  • laughingnome

    How does one pronounce Lyft? Long i or short?

    • Persistent Demme

      short

      • Villago Delenda Est

        That’s how I’d do it if I were to utter it. I try to avoid that, and Uber in the finanical scam sense of uber, not in the German sense of “over”.

    • msanthropesmr

      Fucknut

    • Anna Elizabeth

      “fuh-king doooshbag ri-chh ass-whole”, according to my Klingon Dictionary

    • onedollarjuana

      Wait, what? There’s no “i” in Lyft.

  • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

    haven’t read the article yet, but couldn’t help noticing one of the things written on the urinal is “Make Peeing Great Again!”

    • Indivisible Snark Tank

      “[G]amify the toilette….[and] win prices” (sic).

      Yeah, no. Thanks, but no. I haven’t needed to “gamify the toilette” since mom used Cheerios to teach me to aim.

      • Meccalopolis

        Dad, cig butts

  • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

    Yeah, these are the people who glide about their posh retreats and smirkingly declare “Death is just a coding error. We can fix it.” I wouldn’t trust them to figure out how to carry an empty paper bag across the room, and in any case, I’m going to have to wait for them to invent empty paper bags first. And rooms.

    Big Oil billionaires are unhinged sons of bitches who have brought the world to the brink of mass misery and perhaps mass extinction for fun and profit, but for sheer gormless assholery they have nothing on the tech crowd.

    • TJ Barke

      Software engineers are just another sort of engineer. They all believe that they can solve all problems if they just can engineer it some more. The fact that the silicon valley types make so much money gives them a vastly inflated sense of their own power and importance.

      • pstockholm

        It’s going to be a laugh riot when AIs take over coding.

  • Persistent Demme

    Isn’t the point of Lyft go door to door, (over some ridiculously hilly streets in SF), and not have to deal with icky and inconvenient real money?
    Oh, SF!
    (You should have seen us DYING in the 85 degree heat yesterday!)

  • Jenny

    But this bus says you’re still better than the regular bus! I can’t wait for the enterprising hobo to hop into one on their obama phone. I’ll get out of your lyft for beer money. 👍

  • Three Finger Salute

    Lyft is positioning themselves to fill the void of union-busting automagic ride nonsharing apps now that Doucheland Uber Alles is likely to crash and burn like so much Caitlyn Jenner at the Indy 500. Oh, and if Bozos or Fuckerberg tries to nudge any further into the political realm than they already have (I hesitate to even bother with WaPo because the Scamazon prick owns it), the only inventors who’ll save us at that point are Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer. Well, and Jack Dorsey, because we’ll all have to get on Twitter and Rickroll Trump into pushing the other red Staples button, the one that doesn’t bring him a soda.

    Fuck Silicon Valley with a thousand write-in votes for Ted Kaczynski.

  • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

    Oh ffs Lyft, just drop the pretense and call it like it is: an avoiding homeless people and bus shouter surcharge.

    • Bobo the Dork Boy

      Just curious. Is there a set amount of time I should spend around people who reek of vomit and BO in order to please you?

      • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

        To invert the question, is there a set level of money you will spend to pretend like these people, and the problems that led them to reek of vomit and BO, do not exist?

        Because, stripped of its pretense, that is exactly what this bus is. A vehicle that insulates people from the consequences of deinstitutionalization: that the mentally ill were simply dumped on the street, to beg and starve and shiver and die.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    “Lyft Shuttle” sounds a lot like the bus to me.

    /headdesk

  • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

    btw, if IIRC from my cabbie days, you can totally refuse to get into a filthy cab and ask for another one. (Of course you can, I was really referring to like at the airport or something where they are lined up, I mostly did airport runs).

    Mine was a piece of shite and I didn’t take very good care of it, but the more professional drivers had really nice, clean rides.

  • jesterpunk
  • Oblios_Cap

    hackers weaponized our refrigerators!

    I thought they only weaponized the microwaves! Oh Dear.

  • (((fka_donnie_d)))

    How do you tell a prosicial IT guy from an antisocial it guy?

    The antisocial IT guy looks at his shoes when he talks to you, the prosocial IT guy looks at your shoes.

    Did you hear about the IT guy that was so antisocial the other IT guys noticed?

    • As an I.T. guy… Yeah, you’re not wrong…

      • (((fka_donnie_d)))

        I come from 2 generations of IT, my grandma worked on punchcards.

        • And yet, in my graduating class, there was exactly 1 girl. We’ve moved backwards in that regard.

          • (((fka_donnie_d)))

            I know all about Ada lovelace and Grace Hopper. Ignorant dudebros make me very, very angry. Not just because they are asshole dudebros, but because they are ignorant of the history of their profession.

    • Vecchioivan

      I thought that was the difference between an introverted actuary and an extroverted actuary.

    • Steve Cole

      The bride likes to tell this joke: “Know what engineers use for birth control?” “Personality” – still a thigh slapper after multiple decades. Not bad for someone who (a) married an engineer and (b) went to high skool w/Woz and Jobs.

      • (((fka_donnie_d)))

        The engineer, the lawyer, and the doctor are sentenced to die by guillotine.

        The doctor is strapped in, the blade whistles down, and stops a hairs breadth from his neck. The warden declares it an act of God and he is released.

        The lawyer is strapped in, the blade whistles down, and stops a hairs breadth from his neck. The warden declares it an act of God and he is released.

        The engineer is strapped in, the blade whistles down, and stops a hairs breadth from his neck. The warden opens his mouth to declare it an act of god when the engineer cries out,

        “I see the problem! The rope is getting caught in the fourth pulley!”

    • Gigglesnort

      > Did you hear about the IT guy that was so antisocial the other IT guys noticed?

      Worked with that dude, yeah.

  • So, Lyft ShortBus then?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Logical.

    • Anna Rompage

      Lyft short bus for the fabulously well to do…

      In fact, it’s kind of like a frat boy party bus, without the strippers or alcohol, unless you bring your own

      • Three Finger Salute

        So basically, a Motley Crue bus circa 1987. I guess Trump did take us back to the Reagan era after all.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        there’s an app for that

  • theCryptofishist
  • msanthropesmr

    Let’s not forget Airbnb! Raising rents and bothering your neighbors

  • Anna Rompage

    They call it ride sharing, which to me sounds more like car pooling, and not a fleet of private drivers, scouting thier iPhones in effort to get a paying fair from here to there, driving all over god’s green earth, so that they can make an average wage of $10/hr

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      an average wage of $10/hr

      and that’s before they factor in insurance, maintenance and depreciation on their personal vehicle- what a sucker gig…

  • peteywheats

    In Austin, the public bus system is a homeless shelter on wheels. One price to ride the air conditioned bus all day long. Don’t act like it’s not a gross, loud, creepy, stinky thing to ride a public bus. I still ride it sometimes, but it’s not pleasant.

    • KillerMartinis

      That must be so difficult for you to have to be near.

    • h4rr4r

      Sounds like they need to fix this. Simply solution, declare an end of the bus route. Make everyone get off at the furthest out stop. Don’t have the same bus start its next route there.

  • Bill D. Burger
  • TJ Barke

    There’s nothing that Silicon Valley in conjunction with capitalism cannot ruin.

  • Kiri the Unicorn
    • TJ Barke

      That man’s dedicated to his craft.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      “He who tires of Weird Al has tired of life.” -H. Simpson

  • h4rr4r

    Or you know they fund the buses in USA the way they are in europe so they don’t suck so bad.

    • laughingnome

      Commie!

  • Gigglesnort

    Some horribly high percentage of high-tech startups are designed to solve problems that their founders and their friends have. And since said people are mostly addicted to work to the extent that they can’t spare time for any other task, and have large quantities of disposable income (although they want more), they invent quick but not-cheap ways to meet basic needs.

    • Jennifer R

      It’s the same problem with an economy in an MMO really. You can see that once you get a certain amount of money in the game, then it doesn’t matter what cool stuff there is, the only things that matter is what gets you more gold, so you can dump THAT back in the market and get even MORE MONEY.

      • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

        I’m currently having that problem in a couple games – I keep getting more and more of the in-game currency, which is worthless for the things I really need since that can only be purchased with actual cash.

        • Jennifer R

          Talking games that don’t have buying stuff with real money. At least not pay to win items. Unless I guess you REALLY HAVE to have Good King Moogle Mog the XII’s Theme running while you fly around then you do.have to pay cash.

          • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

            Hmm, fair point to you there dear.

          • Jennifer R

            I mean it’s a REALLY GOOD song (as is most all of the FFXIV sound track) but I have youtube.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        You can only have so many magic swords.
        — Arthur, King of the Britons.

        • Jennifer R

          If FFXIV let me take mini pets into dungeons, I would def use one of the hunting hawks I was flipping.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Give me a ride, bring me food, bring me liquor, bring me a baggie of weed, walk my dog, get me photos of all my kid’s events that I’m missing, find me a date, clean my house, share my memories from back when I still had a life before abandoning it to worship the pursuit of the money I now need to pay for all the things I used to do myself for free…

      • Gigglesnort

        The really awful thing, of course, is that most of them wind up eventually turning off the lights, selling off the furniture, and shutting down the website. So they worked practically 24/7 and got zip. If they were lucky they did it mostly with other people’s money. Otherwise they are screwed and in debt. It is a sucker game but there is no end of suckers, because they are all going to be the next Zuckerberg. (Also: if your aspirational figure is a giant asshole, that says something).

      • Gayer Than Thou

        Which app are you describing? Asking for a friend…

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          they have an app to find that app…

    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      solve problems that their founders and their friends have.

      That certainly explains Tinder.

    • Martini Ambassador 🍸

      It was a while ago, and now I’m annoyed I can’t remember the author, but some tech writer theorized that a good chunk of startup tech ideas were basically mommy services, created by emotionally-stunted dudes who never learned real self-sufficiency.

    • Courser_Resistance

      Latest example. UberEATs will deliver McDonald’s from the store 1/2 a block away. Okay, so I at LEAST get in my own damn car (well, truck, but quibble) and drive over when I’m too lazy or it’s too hot to walk my ass over there. But UberEATS? Really? If I’m going to pay that much for food, it’ll have to be better than McD’s.

  • OneYieldRegular

    I rather miss the New York subway of the 1980’s, when you could have the experience of riding inside graffiti , a view of the scattering rats if you rode up in front, and got to have real street theatre right in your own subway car. I once saw a terrific production of the knife fight scene between Tybalt and Mercutio. The blood everywhere made for an incredibly realistic touch. You don’t get that in a f*cking Lyft.

    • SadDemInTex

      Don’t forget the people shitting in the open and in the cars.

  • Bill D. Burger
    • Mavenmaven

      Yes, but it only comes at the end of a lot of heartbreak. How does get one get back to work in the morning?

    • Indivisible Snark Tank

      Mine would only make stops at the kitty bed, the litter box, and the food bowl.

      • WotsAllThisThen

        Just aim a laser pointer at your destination and get there in record time.

        • Indivisible Snark Tank

          Nope, I’ve got the only cat in existence who isn’t interested in laser pointers. Or little mousies. Or knocking shit off tables (although for that I’m thankful). Sleep, eat, poop, that’s her life.

  • Suttree

    I live in New Jersey and I take the bus all of the time. I take it to the PATH train and then at the WTC I hop on the R. After that I make food and get laid. I am lucky that I live here. #1 in the nation!

    btw: I just misspelled all as aal and spellcheck came up as anal

    • Villago Delenda Est

      The spellcheck obviously was coded by some idiot WoW player.

    • Jennifer R

      Mmm anal.

      • Suttree

        I was ruined as a perversion when I was 18. My girlfriend loved anal and 20 years later I still have my freak on.

        • Jennifer R

          I can tell you blood sucks as a sexual lubricant and I learned that when I was like 13. (not in a creepy way)

    • SadDemInTex

      Glad to see you!

  • Jennifer R

    Should I just like, start putting out bullshit kickstarters and fish for VC for something? Cause I am getting the distinct feeling that one doesn’t have to actually have a good idea.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      Hey, just put your ethics in a box and you’ll be all set.

    • KillerMartinis

      I know a VC that got hit up for an app that you would use to track and rate your sexual encounters. So, short answer: yes.

    • TJ Barke

      Appeal to nostalgia and you’ll really be rolling in it.

  • WotsAllThisThen

    Now if the city bus had bottles of sparkling water on the back of each seat, then maybe we’d get somewhere.

    • Yellerduck

      I sat in a bus seat that was wet one time. Does that count? I doubt it was sparkling water. Probably lightly used beer.

  • John Iwaniszek

    Jamaica has route taxis. They rock.

  • laughingnome

    I’m seeking venture funding for my startup. It’s called Ekwus. . It’s very green since no fossil fuels are used and the vehicles recycle their fuel into biodegradable matter that can be used to replenish soil for growing crops. Basically it’s horses

    • Jennifer R

      But with an app and QR codes.

      • laughingnome

        No, apples.

        • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

          ICWYDT

    • Villago Delenda Est

      No one remembers the horse shit problem NYC used to have around the turn of the 19th century.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        still do in DC…

      • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

        John McCain remembers it well.

      • Caustic Elvisfellow

        These are libertarian horses. They don’t shit.

        • TJ Barke

          They just assume there’s a huge market for horseshit. And they’re right. The Trumptards love horseshit.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          which is why all libertarians are full of it…

    • TJ Barke

      My startup is called Byc, and it’s also pretty green, powered by the operator, with no emissions beyond its manufacturing.

  • Mavenmaven

    What society really needs is a vehicle which you can drive from your home to work, park at work, and then drive it home again at the end of the day. Probably should also have a music system and air conditioning. Just an idea.

  • There’s a reason why CES is held in the land of Magical Thinking of People Bad at Maths.
    https://media4.giphy.com/media/s3Ap94lXAuOt2/giphy.gif

    • laughingnome

      Yeah the same week as the Adult Industry Convention.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        One has hard working people who create a product people want, and the other has a lot of companies that don’t even try to hide their assholes.

      • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

        It was always a hoot to see the overlap in attendance.

      • COINCIDENCE

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Remember when Bill Gates, among others, was telling us that the Segway was going to revolutionize transportation?

      Good times!

      • Paperless Tiger

        A two-wheeled face planter, brilliant!

      • I think he meant it would be a fun way of killing yourself. 😁

  • Latverian Diplomat

    And now, for those with high blood pressure…Internet Connected Salt Shaker Without the Salt.

  • calliecallie

    This reminds me that I forgot to tape Silicon Valley last night.

  • Bill D. Burger

    London west end Black Cab….or GTFO
    The older issues, not the new ones. If you can find one the ride is glorious.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a15c4a4a6f3f6bf1a097fd1d4dbe0932f62c99d0a9c7d4d4378541e25af757e8.jpg

    • Villago Delenda Est

      This one is depicted in the SERIOUSLY West End of Sydney.

      • Bill D. Burger

        Yup! lmao ___ first image I found. Still the real deal and I said ‘on vacation’ not while only in London. And, you can hardly get em in London any longer without reserving one through Red Balloon.

        (And I’ll take one around Sydney any fucking time. That city is awesome!)

    • KillerMartinis

      OK but the ENTIRE IDEA of something called “the knowledge” is still one of the greatest things ever. I just imagine every cabbie on an indiana-jones style quest on their little mopeds

      • Bill D. Burger

        “The Knowledge” test is often called an implant of an atlas of London in your brain. Those drivers know their business.

    • hendenburg2

      Yeah, but if BBC shows aired on PBS have taught me anything, I’m one London cab ride away from having to engage in a life-or-death duel of whits with a terminally ill driver

  • laughingnome

    How about rickshaws?

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Self-driving rickshaws and you got a deal!
      — Apple, Google, Uber, etc. etc.

      • laughingnome

        And the company founder is a guy named Rick Shaw.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    The bus came by and I got on
    That’s when it all began
    There was cowboy Neal
    At the wheel
    Of a bus to never-ever land…

    • Old town Urbandale

      Comin’, comin’, comin’ around…

  • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

    Technology, of the recording kind, has been banned in WH press briefings now. Fucking unbelievable. Apparently, reporters can still use rocks and cave walls or maybe deer blood on parchment, but NO ELECTRONICS.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/cnn-jim-acosta-white-house-briefings

    • Latverian Diplomat

      People keep quoting us accurately!
      — The Trump Administration

    • TJ Barke

      This way there’s no proof that we said what we said beyond what the lying press says, thus the real story is whatever we say it is!

    • Yellerduck

      Wait. They’ll ban notepads and pens next, and require the use of earplugs.

    • pstockholm

      And the media is still going to these things? They should be boycotting.

  • SadDemInTex

    *head**desk**head**desk*

  • georgiaburning

    San Francisco? Yes I am an oldz, but WTF is so bad about a MUNI bus? They run pretty regular except on New Years

    • TJ Barke

      Filthy peasants, obviously.

    • KillerMartinis

      plebe

    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      When the family visited we only used public transportation. It was fine. And better than sitting in traffic in a rental car.

  • calliecallie

    The most horrifying meeting I have been in recently involved a discussion of the potential of “smart” technology. If anyone else besides me was thinking about all the jobs this will eliminate, no one was saying it out loud. Meter readers, truck drivers…I’m sure there are many more but it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around all the potential jobs that can be eliminated by smart technology and connected vehicles.
    What will all those people do to earn food to put on their families? Is anyone thinking about that?

    • jesterpunk

      Bootstraps?

    • laughingnome

      Watson is thinking about it

    • (((fka_donnie_d)))

      yea, sorry, but…. that’s why we have community colleges, and should make them free, for everybody, forever. Donnie got elected largely because he told coal miners they could keep digging magical infinite coal mines.

      • (((fka_donnie_d)))

        Wow. OP upvoted my disagreement. I am blessed by the debate gods.

    • laughingnome

      We all get shares of ownership of the machines that eliminate jobs. The shares pay dividends to the holders. The more jobs are eliminated the more dividends.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        If only that were the plan. The actual plan is to concentrate more and more wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people where it just sits there, collecting dust, while the owners revel in the misery of the 99.99%.

        • laughingnome

          Well who is gonna buy the crap robots make?

          • Villago Delenda Est

            They have no answer for that even now.

            Which is why they fail.

          • VirginiaLady

            It could be like farm subsidies where they are paid by the government not to produce/grow crops.

        • pstockholm

          Don’t worry, a nice little world war will churn that wealth distribution. It’s been known to work before.

      • Predisenting Ron

        Alfred Bester’s story Fondly Fahrenheit. What happens when the machine that makes you your income goes insane?

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      To be honest, I doubt that “smart” driving will ever fully replace people driving.

      Imagine all the cars on the road, at this very moment. Imagine that they’re all on smart driving software. And then imagine that a hacker managed to hack 5% them, with a simple command: turn right.

      • (((fka_donnie_d)))

        Yea car hacking has been demonstrated to be so depressingly easy that I really wonder how the industry has been allowed to get as far as it has. Even assuming they stop connecting bt/wifi to any vital system functions, sooner or later they will find a way to spoof the camera. My strong suspicion is that the only reason google is still doing this is their lawyers told them they will never be legally responsible for any tampering.

        • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

          Then they’re bad lawyers; if your product makes a mound of corpses (when it’s not specifically supposed to, thanks NRA), then someone is going to make you pay, somehow.

          • (((fka_donnie_d)))

            *shrug* Unfortunately going to take a few cases (of dead/injured people) to figure it out.

    • whitroth

      Yup. When computerization and automation were taking assembly-line jobs in the late seventies and early eighties, they talked about how there’d be better and better paying jobs in the “information economy” to replace them.

      So, how’s that working out for y’all?

      And now, they just assert there’ll be jobs, but don’t have any clue. It’s like Krugman is saying in his current blog in the NYT (no paywall on that, btw), https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ about how the GOP isn’t even giving handwaving as to how their bill will be so much better….

    • Paul

      “Let them make buggy whips.”

      -Marie Antoinette’s heir

  • Résistance Land Shark Ω
  • Gee, Your Hair Smells Horrific

    Last weekend I asked my 8-year-old son if he had ever seen the Jetsons and he said no, so I found a random episode online and we saw the 1960s version of the future: George, an uptight white guy, goes to work while Jane, his wife, takes all his money and goes shopping.
    I forgot how edgy it was!

    • Latverian Diplomat

      And the son is a boy genius while the daughter just wants to hang out with her friends and go to concerts and dances.

      • Tokays_don’t_blink

        That’s the part that really ground my gears.

    • therblig
    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      Don’t forget that despite all the “time-saving” devices for cooking and cleaning, there were still jokes about Jane being a lousy cook and housekeeper.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        ’cause women are lousy coders, obvs.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Not to mention Mr. Spacely forcing George to push buttons over a hot console all day.

        • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

          I still liked the episode where they joined the “Space National Guard” or whatever, and George got stuck on KP. He complained it was so hard to do the two seconds of work to push the buttons to peel and mash a sack of potatoes.

          • Villago Delenda Est

            I remember that one, with “Sergeant Uniblab.” What a slave driver!

    • Les Appentis De la résistance

      I thought Jane was doing the robot while George was slaving away at the sprocket place.

      • Gee, Your Hair Smells Horrific

        I believe you mean “Cogswell Cogs.”

  • Latverian Diplomat

    One thing about public transportation…it can really burst the bubble of people who think America looks just like them…and only them.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Hence why so many go to such extremes to avoid it

      • Villago Delenda Est

        DING DING DING DING DING

    • Swampgas_Man

      So does a quick trip to Wal-Mart.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        or a quick walk around the edges of downtown

  • therblig
    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      My favorite band.

  • UnsaltedSinner

    Imagine if they could make one that ran on rails and was driven by electricity!

    • Imagine if we still lived in a country that could be bothered to invest in infrastructure for something like that.

    • Red Bird Ω

      You would still have to find a way to segregate people into social classes to make it acceptable to those with influence. ;)

  • Jennifer R

    As a reward for finishing turning a page of layout into 8 ingame locations I shall now have watermelon that some friends bought the other day.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Those cryptocurrencies have gotten weird.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      Mmm, watermelon sounds good.

  • Martini Ambassador 🍸

    When I lived in Boston, I used to take the subway daily. With auto traffic that bad, going underground is the best way to get around. And really, it wasn’t bad. Of course, nobody these days wants to pay to keep the T running, much less modernize things, so it’s getting worse.

  • HazooToo

    Putting money into improving the existing taxi and public buses and trains would be crazy though, right?

    • chortlingdingo

      That’s no way to make a profit.

  • Les Appentis De la résistance

    I hope they patented that ride sharing on a predesignated route idea.

    • Red Bird Ω

      Knowing them they probably did and will shortly be suing your local bus company.

  • whitroth

    Yeah, what it really means is that, if you take Lyft or Uber, you get to exploit someone, and you don’t have to deal with OTHER PEOPLE, some of whom DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU [SCARY music, probably a theramin).

    One reason we’re so polarized, this propaganda against public transportation.

    Oh, and btw, I see venture capitalists are pouring money into AI startups. Warning, Wonketteers, warn your friends: coming soon (in the next year or two), the AI bubble goes crash. It sounds *so* much like the tech/Internet bubble of 2000/2001.

    Meanwhile, when someone says Internet of Things (IoT), or wants to sell you a Web-enabled thermostat, or camera, RUN LIKE HELL THE OTHER WAY. “Oh, I need a web-enabled refrigerator, so it tells me what I don’t have (as opposed to just looking in the fridge when you get your lunch & breakfast ready)”, or a web-anabled thermostat (so some stupid 16 yr old down the block can hack it, and turn your electric bill up to max), or web-enabled cameras (video going to companies in S.Korea & China, as well as the same 16 yr old down the block, or maybe someone in Eastern Europe who’s getting ready to blackmail you).

    No, you DON’T NEED THAT CRAP… and I say this as a computer professional, and you can look up the web-enabled camera stuff going through Asia right now….

    • laughingnome

      So instead of some kid calling me and asking me if my refrigerator is running, he’ll just hack it?

      • Yellerduck

        Or he can use your web-enabled camera to track it then charge you to tell you where it’s hiding.

    • Steve Cole

      I think there are many “computer professionals” lurking about Wonkette, and I will take the alternative viewpoint (if you not mind). IoT is more than residential applications and not such a new concept. SNMP is old enough to buy alchohol and is all about device monitoring/control, just like IoT. As for the AI crash, that happened in the early 90’s. The world did not end, and somehow I think trouble w/a thermostat not such a challenge for the free world either.

    • Zippy W Pinhead
      • Steve Cole

        Yikes! The end of the 32 bit epoch!

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          it’ll make Y2K look like we’re partying like it’s 1999

          • CatDog

            In a Mayan sort of way … (btw, Zippy is the best and every time I see your icon-thingy I start having fun).

      • Tokays_don’t_blink

        Is this a joke I’m not getting, or does this mean computers will think it’s 1901 after Jan 1 2038?

        • Steve Cole

          It’s a UNIX thing. Our epoch started w/zero seconds in 1970. Counter is in seconds, and in 2038 that counter will (may) wrap around. Depending upon the implementation, vendor, etc. I doubt this will be as exciting as Y2K, but it is a real thing.

          • Tokays_don’t_blink

            Thanks! I checked out the link Zippy posted and had a good snerk at Paul Ryan’s profoundly stupid statement about the CBO being unable to make projections past 2037.

        • Zippy W Pinhead
          • Tokays_don’t_blink

            Thanks for the linky! I learn something new every time I Wonk.

      • Paul Dietzel

        By 2038 I will ( or rather, would be ) 92 y.o. and I know that ain’t gonna happen, so since I have no progeny it’s somehow comforting that none of this stuff is going to have any effect on me or mine.

    • mfp

      uber and lyft…the walmart and amazon of transportation

    • Incoming Ham

      More than “other people” it’s “poor people.” Outside of major metropolitan areas and college towns there seems to be an attitude that only poor people take public transport.

      It’s less so in cities, but it’s there as well.

  • Les Appentis De la résistance

    How many years did it take to perfect the tube less toilet paper roll?

  • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you….the van pool!

    • laughingnome

      How about the Van Johnson? It’s a giant penis on wheels.

  • Red Bird Ω

    KM. This story made my day. Now I need to figure out how to convince the METRO to create its own ride sharing app that will put everyone back in their place.

    • Jennifer R

      Sacramento is rolling out letting you pay with a phone app.

      • Red Bird Ω

        Good start. I know of others that will let you call a ride on the METRO vans that will pick you up at your house. I honestly think the image of public transportation has been messed up so much in this country that even with a bunch of improvements, people will still associate the bus with poverty. And sadly I also think that this trend happened right around the same time a certain group of Americans gained the right to ride wherever they wanted.

  • geoffalnutt

    The Kremlin will now have access to every computer in the land. It will help keep track of dissidents. Can’t be too careful.

  • sadboy

    This reminds of the articles that came out some years back hailing a company that would help transoceanic cargo ships tap into the boundless supply of renewable energy through a new technology they had just developed – sails.

  • To paraphrase Ken Kesey:

    Life is much more full when you’re on the bus.

    • Paul

      Shiny black FBI shoes

  • Rick Hill

    I just have to wonder just how long one of those suv’s or whatever are going to stay clean with constant daily traffic. Even clean people leave a mess and wear out regular upholstery. I’d imagine they’ll get around this by having their drivers provide their own vehicles and let them go when they reach a standard that’s below their requirements. Not only that, but if they’re actually buses then don’t they need different licenses?

  • CatDog

    “L’enfer est les autres dans l’autobus” J. P. Sartre, bus conductor.

  • Yellerduck

    I’ve an idea that will make someone a million bucks; a phone you can’t lose! It would be tethered to the wall by some device such as a cord that would simultaneously provide power AND signal. It would have an integrated handset, tethered to the device itself that would allow the user to meander about in an approximate 6′ circle from the device (longer tethers available for teenagers and philanderers upon request), but the user would have to return the handset TO THE DEVICE in order to end the call! Want to get rich?

    Ask me about the “Built in Remote” TV set!

    • JustDon’tSayCovfefe

      Pressing buttons makes my fingers hurt. Can your newfangled thing change how we input the phone number? Maybe some sort of dial?

      • Yellerduck

        Brilliant!

      • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

        Also, i hate having to keep buying new devices. Could we arrange a service where the company owns the device, it lasts for years, and they take care of upkeep?

      • Predisenting Ron

        Even a dial sounds inconvenient. What about signalling someone in some sort of central location who can ‘operate’ the machinery and make the connection for you? You wouldn’t even need to know their number!

        • JustDon’tSayCovfefe

          That’s pure genius!

        • Lefty Wright

          And maybe have that device attached to the wall with a cord or something so it doesn’t get lost.

    • mailman27

      I assume you have a newsletter?

    • What about one them where, instead of paying all those big monthly service fees and roaming charges, you could make a call any wherever you need to by simply dropping in some coins? Maybe you could even put them in some sort of special booth!

      • Yellerduck

        Where would you put them? Out on the street? Don’t be absurd.

        • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

          I suppose instead of having to ask for people’s numbers by one by one, there could be an easy-to-access sort of “book” with everyone’s addresses and phone numbers? Which there could even be a copy of sort of attached to these “Coin Phone”?

    • CatDog

      Too much footprint. My killer app will empower endusers by allowing them to use the seamlessly integrated interface of their own pieholes.

    • timpundit

      I don’t know about you but I am tired of paying high monthly costs for a service I don’t always use. Perhaps there is some way to share my line when it”s not being used with another person or party thereby cutting the monthly bills in half with some other party. Sure we can’t use the phone while the other party is using it but still, it’s cheaper. Wonder what we can call such a package tho?

      • javadavis

        Wow! All the neighbors getting together on the same phone tree? Can you hear the other people’s conversations? Sounds like a party to me!

    • John Thorstensen

      I’ve invented a device that will provide crisp, clear originals of text in real time! You just push a key, and the letter you want appears — not on some screen, but on actual paper!

      • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

        Could you make it so it doesn’t have to plug in? So you could use it even when there’s no power source? What if you need a copy–could there be some sort of thin paper coated with a pigmented substance, that you insert between two regular pieces of paper, so when you type on this “typing writer,” you could actually make your own copy?

    • Doug Langley
    • Incoming Ham

      I’m patenting a device you wear on your wrist or on a chain, but instead of allowing you to text, mess with your phone, and waste a battery, it tells you the time and you have to wind it to keep it going.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Also do us a favor and get on that whole cancer thing kthx.

    I might have omitted the “on.”

  • CatDog

    I need a gated bus to take me from my gated community to my gated office where I can swipe profiles on a gated dating site with my gated smart phone. Because …. ewwwww …. proles!

  • CATMAN

    I have wondered how you get in your house if your phone battery runs out of juice when you have one of those door locks operated from your phone

    • alpacapunchbowl

      Right? Just how good have phone batteries gotten? I have a very old samsung, and I can forget about getting through an evening out just texting, maybe taking a few photos, even if I’ve had the thing plugged in all day. It was even worse when I had an iPhone years ago- I could never have location services on or my battery would drain in an hour.
      Running around texting, instagramming, paying for shit through your phone so you don’t have to deal with the abject horror of taking your debit card with you, ordering ubers, etc etc. How does that not kill the average battery within a matter of hours?

  • HorseChestnut

    Keynes predicted the inevitability of leisure, as he thought mechanization would shortly take over much of the work that humans had needed to put in to keep themselves alive.

    It did. Now we work to keep the economy alive.

    • Predisenting Ron

      And all those hunter-gatherers who only work 10-15 hours a week are smiling and saying, ‘Who’s civilised NOW, assholes?’

  • Coldfish

    I actually use the busses here all the time. Sometimes they’re packed and occasionally some nasty stinky people ride with you, but it’s generally on time, cheap and easy. And…my kids ride free with their school passes. However, if I want to get to a job and I want to go door to door, lift or this bus thing works too.

    Just because you invent a new process doesn’t mean you need to ditch the old ones. I’ve actually got a hard-line in my house with a phone mounted on the wall attached by a long ass cord….AND I have a cell phone too!

    I’ve got a motorcycle, but sometimes I take a Lyft if don’t feel like getting suited up. I’ve got a laptop, a tablet and a desktop! Eeek

  • Well,this is just going to resonate so well with me, isn’t it? I deal with both the “Eeeew, bus people are gross!” people all the time. I also really with the people who are bus people and rely on it to get around. For the most part, the latter are far more pleasant.

  • Predisenting Ron

    Somewhere in Toon Hell, Judge Doom is looking up at us and cackling madly in that high, squeaky voice.

  • TundraGrifter

    Diseases of the poor remain without a cure because there’s little or no profit in them – but drugs to regrow hair are endlessly researched. And the world will beat a path to your door if you develop the next ap to order a burger from your car.

  • Angela Ruzzo

    When I lived in Barcelona I took the bus and subway every day, several times a day. Ditto for when I lived in Chicago. I do not remember it as being gross, it was just shared transportation. And cheap. And it took you everywhere. And they ran every 5 to 10 minutes. The only problem was rush hour in Barcelona, when Spanish men took advantage of the crush to grope young women without their consent, so I soon learned to carry a sharp ball-point pen in my pocket, and I learned to aim it, too. And then there was that time I lost a contact lens during rush hour on a Chicago bus. I had to kiss that lens goodbye.

    And now I live 2 blocks from a city bus stop, but the guy who lives 3 houses from me, and who lost his driver’s license 20 years ago, still drives his truck every day instead of walking 1 block and taking the bus. The bus will take him right to the place he works in 10 minutes, but he would rather drive without a license. Because America.

    • Incoming Ham

      I wish we had an L, Tube, Subway, etc. I loved not having a car.

      • Angela Ruzzo

        Me too. I didn’t get my first car until I was 22. I rode a bicycle EVERYWHERE in all weathers, including minus 20 degrees in Des Moines with 4 feet of snow piled up on the sides of the streets. You have to be young to do that, and it certainly kept me healthy. But when I got my first car (1974 second-hand Gremlin) my father said “This is the start of unending expenses for you” and damn, if he wasn’t right. I hated it when that happened. Just like Mark Twain said: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

        Here in the US I will drive the 3 blocks to the supermarket without thinking twice. But whenever I go to Europe I walk miles every day without thinking twice. I can’t figure out why that is. Is there something in the water here?

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      I lived in China, where public transportation was cheap and plentiful and maybe occasionally gross because people spit on the floor.

      Minorly gross transportation isn’t my problem. My problem is paying $4.50 to have a homeless guy who is literally covered in feces try to rub his exposed genitals against me, and having exactly zero recourse because in Seattle, you are supposed to pretend like nothing bad is happening.

      • Angela Ruzzo

        Well that’s pretty gross. What would happen if you bucked the Seattle expectations and did not pretend nothing bad was happening? I’m just curious, because I could not live up to Seattle expectations, so I need to know in case I ever visit there.

        The worst experience I had was while taking a long-distance bus (think Greyhound) from Córdoba to Sevilla. Two men in their 40’s sat about 4 rows in front of me and my sister, on the other side of the aisle, and spent the ENTIRE TRIP of several hours turned around in their seats and staring at us, while murmuring things we were glad we couldn’t hear. We complained to the bus driver. He refused to do anything. It is surprisingly uncomfortable to be stared at non-stop for 2 hours.

        Oh yeah, I forgot about the 30 guys standing around in the Sevilla bus station at 7 am, where I was waiting for a bus to go to Málaga. They lined up against the opposite wall and they all stared at me while fondling their hard-ons through their pants for about an hour. It was unnerving. But it didn’t kill me.

        • AnnieGetYerFun

          Honestly, the one time I tried to defend myself, I was screamed at by someone who appeared normalish.

          But I am probably not made of stuff as strong as you. Because a line of Spanish erections would send me out of the country, stat.

          • Angela Ruzzo

            Jeeze, what a pain. I would have screamed right back.

            Living in Spain for a year in 1975-76 would make anyone strong. You had to learn to cope with the verbal harassment, because it was everywhere, all the time, non-stop. You learned to completely ignore it. It took me about 2 months to master that, although I admit the 30 guys in the bus station were a bit much. But by the time that experience rolled around, I was an expert at the game. But I will never go alone to Sevilla during Holy Week, ever again. You can push your luck only so far. And don’t ask me about the nice, middle-aged, married lawyer in Burgos who offered me a ride to Valladolid in his BMW. He was disappointed. I should be dead in a ditch, but I’m not. That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.

  • Ducksworthy

    Cab drivers are almost a big a threat to America as teachers. Robuts!

  • Doug Langley

    A future of leisure time? HAH!! They completely overlooked one thing, not technology but human nature. The boss/owner/lord/whatever wants two things: as much labor as possible and to pay as little as possible. They will do everything in their power to drive workers into slave labor. Whether Southern plantations or robber barons or today’s nightmare of contracts/no benefits/outsourcing/you name it, the drive is always to force employees to work endlessly for as little as they can possibly get away with.

    There was some European who said “Americans work like dogs and get nothing for it”. And I’m living proof of that.

    • mfp

      all of this^^, now, then, and FOREVER…

  • Alexander Stallwitz

    “We solved all our problems with bigger problems” O.K Go

  • Nick.Trite

    It all depends on execution, if they come more frequently and have better routes, then I’d probably pony up. True the actually sustainable solution would be to invest more in public transit, but once you’re out in the suburbs like me, there’s no interest in that. I’m just tired of spending 90 minutes on the bus to go a distance that would take me 20 minutes if I drove myself.

  • pixeloid

    “We are avoiding public transportation here because it is TOO GROSS.”

    Why is public transit in the US so gross? Do people not clean it, or are the riders just slobs? Transportation is clean, safe, and in perfect repair here in Japan. I know Japan is a bit exceptional, but still… When we went to Europe the trains and busses were gross by Japanese standards, but still MUCH cleaner than in the US. Also, the US prices tended to be HIGHER than Japan, at least in the NY/NJ area.

    • phoenix00

      Public transpo in Japan is HUGELY exceptional.

      • pixeloid

        Yeah, it is pretty sweet. Got to ride one of the newest model shinkansen last weekend. SO nice. Beats the hell out of Amtrak.

        • phoenix00

          Definitely on my to-do list for when I make my way over there….

        • ahughes798

          I know Amtrack is slow and late. Their problem is that if you’re using it outside the NE corridor, they share the same train tracks with Burlington Northern Freight, and freight takes precedence. So when a freight is coming, Amtrak has to go to the nearest siding and wait. I’ve taken Amtrak out to CA several times, and you are guaranteed to be 7-8 hours late. Their employees are, to a one, pleasant and helpful. Maybe if our gov’t. put some more funding into Amtrak outside the NE corridor, it would be much, much better and faster. I highly prefer to travel by train. I’d rather take 56 hours to get to CA than live through another airplane ride through a squall line whilst trying to land.

          • pixeloid

            I used to live in NJ, so often used NJ and NY transit. Pretty good system, but a few trains and busses were nasty. I almost always used public transportation when I went to NYC because driving and parking just wasn’t worth the expense and hassle, even without traffic jams.

    • Lily412

      I think Japan does public transportation so well because their cultural mindset is very different than ours. We stress individualism much more, and the Japanese have a more communal mentality. You work hard and be respectful not necessarily because it will benefit yourself, but because you are just part of something larger that you want to contribute to, whether that’s being a good citizen or being a loyal company employee. I can imagine that’s why they take better care of their public transportation.
      (But you probably know all this, considering that you live there.)

      • pixeloid

        I’m sure that’s part of it. Another part might simply be how widely it’s used. EVERYONE uses it, from minimum wager part-timers up to CEOs. In most of the US people use cars for everything so it’s only the poorest people that use public transportation. A lot of them are pretty tired, miserable and angry (usually with good reason) so aren’t going to be particularly polite or clean up after themselves.

  • phoenix00

    Partly O/T: this is an eerily (and hilariously) accurate depiction of Translink, the public transit provider here in Vancouver:

    http://thedailywtf.com/articles/take-the-bus

  • Kurt Weil

    *sips juicero* Interesting.

  • Alexander Stallwitz

    I once read an interview with Mike Judge (creator of King of the Hill and Beavis and Butthead) that the hardest part of writing Silicon Valley (his current show) is that what actually happens there is funnier and stranger then anything he and the writers could come up with. He told a story that he was researching a convention scene and had a photo for reference. One of the producers come up and asked if they needed to add more women and or miniorties in. Judge had to explain it was a actual photo to the producers . Her reaction was shock and amusement.

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