Roundup: Uber isn't dead yet

Read to the end for a volley against "smart" tech

Roundup: Uber isn't dead yet

I hope you liked the piece I wrote on Sam Bankman-Fried and his Nauruan fantasy earlier this week! To be honest, I’d already been hoping to write something about deep-sea mining and Nauru’s history, but when I saw the Bankman-Fried story I knew I had to do it. I just think Nauru’s one of those countries that’s been so taken advantage of by more powerful entities, and I couldn’t help but see yet another continuation of that today draped in greenwashing and tech saviorism.

I was also on The Majority Report on Thursday to chat with Emma Vigeland about the state of the tech industry and its rightward shift (starts ~40:55). On Tech Won’t Save Us, I spoke to journalist about right-wing video platform Rumble and how the tech right is funding it to influence political discourse. Jacob’s an expert on this stuff, and it’s always great to chat with him.

‎Tech Won’t Save Us: The Right is Building Its Own Platforms w/ Jacob Silverman on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Tech Won’t Save Us, Ep The Right is Building Its Own Platforms w/ Jacob Silverman - Aug 3, 2023

I have a great roundup this week with some thoughts on Uber’s small operating profit and the state of that company. Plus, a bunch of great recommended reads (the one on the China-US chip war is fascinating), labor updates, and other stories you might have missed. To get the full roundup, make sure to become a paid supporter. That also supports all the work I put into Disconnect!

Thanks, and have a great week!


Uber’s war on workers continues

San Francisco Uber protest in 2019. Source: Twitter/@ceodonovan

Earlier this week, Uber reported a GAAP profit for the first time in its 14-year history. Since 2014 alone, the company has lost $31.5 billion in its ongoing quest to erode the rights of workers and place itself at the center of ride-hailing and food delivery.

On one hand, it’s an indication of how much things have shifted in the economy since the days of near-zero interest rates when investors were fine with ongoing losses to the present where companies are expected to start showing they can actually turn a profit. But on the other, it shows how successful Uber has been at hiking its prices while suppressing the pay of its drivers.