Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sand Tiger Sharks And Uber---Embryonic Siblings

On the Seattle Times' Saturday May 28th's front page was Evan Bush's featured article about Uber drivers working Sea-Tac International airport and its personal consequences.  From his various interviews, it appears all is not well, Uber drivers expressing dissatisfaction with 1 1/2 hour waits and fares to downtown averaging between $25-30.00 before gasoline and Uber's 20 percent cost, translating, if you count driving time, into about a $10.00 per hour profit (my estimation).  Making it worse for them were many "holding area" flat tires caused by numerous nails somehow mysteriously scattered in and around the parking lot. Suspects, including taxi drivers and nearby careless construction workers, were mentioned but no one truly knows the source and cause.

Given all these drawbacks, the biggest issue might be Uber itself and its internal competition, UberPool, with the drivers forced to transport passengers for as little as one dollar, meaning less than half of local  Metro bus fare.  But why would Uber care when they just received 3.5 billion in investment dollars from Saudi Arabia, further bolstering their $62.5 billion evaluation?

What Uber drivers have failed to understand is that Uber business practices emulate that feared and mighty sea-going predator, the Sand Tiger Shark (carcharias taurus) and its singular reproduction system.  You don't want to be reincarnated as a Sand Tiger shark because very likely you won't even make it out of your mother shark's womb.  Not a good way to get started because your end is already foreseen.

What it is called is intrauterine cannibalism or embryophagy, where one baby sand shark consumes its siblings while still in an internal state.  Pretty amazing, I would say, something also referred to as adelphophagy, literally meaning the eating of your own brother.  It is interesting that modern corporate capitalism mimics the ancient shark but capitalism has always been closely connected to our species more primitive instincts, from the caveman clubbing a rival to early industial England employing hungry youths in dank factories 16 hours a day.

So is there anything new to being eaten alive?  It appears not but I sure the hungry baby shark makes a swift meal while Uber slowly consumes its drivers bite by bite, first a hand, then a forearm until nothing is left but a brief newspaper mention stating that once again an Uber driver has utterly disappeared, nothing remaining but an unoccupied car at the side of road.  There is not even an official obituary, only another unsolved mystery, the Sand Tiger Shark swimming swiftly and rapidly away, having left Austin, Texas, to newer feeding grounds. Burp! 

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