Monday, October 1, 2018

Twitter, Taxis, and Uber

After using Twitter for about three years now, I have mixed feelings about the platform. I don't like the way they flex their economic muscles to interfere with the flow of information and opinion through shadow banning, the dishonest "mute" feature, and outright banning of certain, mostly conservative and libertarian, points of view.

But I still use it.

First of all, they can go ahead and censor all of the people I like. That won't stop me from finding out what I want to know. They can ban Alex Jones, but so far, I can still visit his website or his BitChute channel.

So, no matter how intellectually insulting it may be to me that the Twitter gods have to taken it upon themselves to decide for me the type of information and opinion I shall be permitted to consume, it has had zero impact. Zero.

But even worse, from my point of view, would be if they banned the people I have nothing but contempt for. That would be those on the left, like the communists and those who hate the entire Western model of civilization. (Freedom, equal rights, property rights, the presumption of innocence, freedom of speech.) In other words, just about everyone in the mainstream media, politics, and academia.

If the Twitter gods decided to cut me off from seeing what they are saying, it would be a greater insult than the banning of Alex Jones. Mathew Green, John Tory, Desmond Cole, Andray Domise, Chris Schaeffer (Uber,) Uber and a few others already understand this. They have already gone ahead and blocked me from seeing their stuff, obviously because they don't want anyone else to see my replies. It gives new meaning to the term, "self-censorship."

But I am distracting myself.

What I wanted to talk about is my newly found use for Twitter.

As you may know, Twitter only gives you 280 characters with which to express yourself. I am almost never able to express myself under that limit. One thing it has motivated me to do is to re-read and edit my Tweets, with the aim of distilling my main point. So I scan for unnecessary phrases, replace words like "and" with "&" and so on.

Hence my newly hatched theory that, for me at least, Twitter can be seen as a valuable writing aid. My desire is to deliver my message in as short and concise a manner possible, and I know some people are laughing at this, but I don't believe in wasting time or resources under any circumstances.

So, this morning I came across a Tweet that was blaming the tragic death of an Uber passenger on the lack of taxi driver training.

The Tweeter, and the author of the Globe and Mail article have it totally wrong.

Predicting outcomes is easier than math if you know where to look. I warned people about this ten years ago. This had nothing to do with some bogus "taxi driver training program."

From the report,

"After a few minutes, the driver’s phone fell off his dashboard. He was using the phone’s GPS to navigate, so he pulled over."

Enough said.

This tweet was from Julia.

"So important to know what you are getting yourself into with #Uber. Toronto raised my friend. Then it failed him /via @globeandmail"

Toronto raised my friend. Then it failed him


These were my 280 character replies.

New conversation


23m23 minutes ago
Replying to @julia29taylor @OttawaTaxiFleet @globeandmail

Let's identify the real problem. The use of MDT's (Mobile Data Terminals) and other distractive technologies caused this tragedy. I predicted it ten years ago. - Compounded by myopic supply management policies leading to seriously reduced incomes, therefore high driver turnover.

Compounded further by an increasingly schlerotic labour market caused by increasingly intrusive govt. intrusions, including mandatory min. wages (cab drivers, Uber and non-exempt, are not covered,) as well as federal importation of an endless supply of new, inexperienced cabbies.

My final comment, reduced to less than 280 characters,

Almost no one who feels competent to comment on the issue of safety in taxi cabs has a clue about the real contributory factors.

By the way, as a last thought. The Twitterverse is tailor-made for the left. It rarely takes more than 280 characters to dispose of your opponent by calling them a "racist," or a "Nazi," or a "white supremacist."

Just sayin'

"Many of the dissenters were women who couldn't be intimidated by the threat of military service."

I love history for the little buggets of information it provides. It broadens your perspective.

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