Category Archives: Media Intervention

The App Is Watching You

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Wheels in the Head: Ridesharing as Monitored Performance

Ridesharing services offer on-demand rides much like taxicabs, but distinguish themselves from cabs by emphasizing the friendly, social aspect of the in-car interaction. Crucial to the ability of these companies to distinguish themselves from cabs has been the insertion of smartphones as “social interfaces” between drivers and passengers, restructuring social interaction through an allegorithm the productive co-deployment of a socially relevant allegorical script and a software-mediated algorithm). Much of the affective labor of ridesharing drivers consists in maintaining this affective framing and internalizing the logic by which their performances are monitored. In this article the writings of three ridesharing drivers will be drawn on to illustrate the ways drivers develop and evaluate their own performances as ridesharing drivers.

This scholarly article in Surveillance and Society (available as a free PDF) by Donald Nathan Anderson explores the “social interface” as part of driving for Uber and Lyft, and how the companies utilize algorithms to remotely monitor – and ultimately control – the behaviors of drivers and passengers.

The author references the first two issues of Behind the Wheel, as well as early I Drive SF blog posts, to elucidate the Uber/Lyft experience from a driver’s perspective.

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Listen: Crashing the Tech Industry on the Two Paychecks Podcast

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A few months ago I was a guest on the Two Paychecks Podcast, an anarchist podcast out of the Pacific Northwest.

We talk about my gonzo adventures documenting the Uber/Lyft experience before going pro as a bonafide taxi driver. From recording the vapid attitudes of the new urbanites to going full-on Jerry Springer on a panel at a tech conference, this rambling exchange covers a lot of ground.

Check it out on SoundCloud or listen below:

The Two Paychecks Podcast is also available on iTunes.


 

Uber/Lyft Drivers Are Committing Insurance Fraud

VIDEO: Short clip from an interview with Kelly Dessaint, filmed by John Han, about the insurance question when driving for Uber and Lyft.

An outtake from Han’s full-length Uber/Lyft/Taxi documentary “Driving for Hire.”

Watch the entire interview here.


 

The Only Way to Make Money Driving for Uber and Lyft

VIDEO: Short clip from an interview with Kelly Dessaint, filmed by John Han, about how drivers make money driving for Uber and Lyft.

An outtake from Han’s full-length Uber/Lyft/Taxi documentary “Driving for Hire.”

Watch the entire interview here.


Disrupt the Disruptors! – The Third Carriage Age Interview

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Don Anderson, who runs The Third Carriage Age taxi blog, recently interviewed me about making zines, the Behind the Wheel series in particular, my Uber/Lyft experiences and driving a taxi in San Francisco.

Read the article/interview here.


 

Talking Taxi and Getting Higher – A Radio Interview

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AUDIO: On Dec. 1, 2016, I was a guest on the Getting Higher Radio podcast, hosted by AJ Cook and Jon Foreman. We had a rowdy conversation about taxis, drugs, politics and life in San Francisco.


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From Uber and Lyft to Taxi: A Video Interview

VIDEO: After John Han gets the the camera situated for this interview with me behind the wheel of a cab, a man hails us for a ride. John keeps the camera rolling as I drive the passenger to the Civic Center BART. Turns out, the guy is an insurance broker and offers some insight into the “insurance question” that continues to plague Uber and Lyft drivers.

From there, the interview covers my transition from Uber/Lyft driver to taxi driver.

This interview is an outtake from John Han’s documentary “Driving for Hire,” which can be found here.