Roundup: Open season on robotaxis

Read to the end to laugh at how far crypto has fallen

Roundup: Open season on robotaxis

I’m trying something a little different this week. There were enough updates on topics I’ve covered in previous roundups and issues of Disconnect that it seemed like a good time to provide you more insight into how they’ve developed. Specifically, I wanted to comment on the recent decision on robotaxis in San Francisco, more evidence that the Worldcoin rollout is exploiting people in the Global South, and what we should really make of Uber’s reported operating profit. I hope you like it!

Over on Tech Won’t Save Us, I had a chat with Edward Ongweso Jr. about venture capital and the deep divide between their self-conception and the reality of their impact on the world. Instead of brilliant risk takers, they’re incredibly short-term thinkers who force technology of surveillance and social control on all of us so they can make a profit. They need to be challenged.

‎Tech Won’t Save Us: Abolish Venture Capital w/ Edward Ongweso Jr. on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Tech Won’t Save Us, Ep Abolish Venture Capital w/ Edward Ongweso Jr. - Aug 10, 2023

I was also chatting with Emma Vigeland on the Majority Report (starts 40:45) about some of the problems with the tech industry and its open embrace of the extreme right, and Kelly Hayes on TruthOut’s Movement Mementos about the misleading narratives of the AI hype cycle.

As always, if you want to get the full roundup with my commentary, along with a bunch of recommended reads, labor updates, and other stories you might have missed, all you have to do is become a paid subscriber and support the work that goes into putting Disconnect together each and every week!

Thanks, and have a great week!


Open season on robotaxis

Stopping robotaxis with traffic cones
An interview with Safe Street Rebel about halting the expansion of Waymo and Cruise in San Francisco

You might remember last month I spoke to an activist behind the campaign to put traffic cones on self-driving cars in San Francisco to draw attention to the fact that the California Public Utilities Commission was preparing to allow Waymo and Cruise to massively expand the scope of their robotaxi services despite local opposition, including from first responders, activists, and city lawmakers.