"Who among us hasn't dismembered someone with a bone saw?"

This monstrous piece of shit.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Saudi Arabia's assassination of Jamal Khashoggi:

I think that government said that they made a mistake. It's a serious mistake. We've made mistakes too, right, with self-driving ... So I think that people make mistakes. It doesn't mean that they can never be forgiven.

For those not keeping track:

  • The CIA concluded that Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the murder of Khashoggi. He was dismembered with a bone saw while still alive, beheaded, and had his fingers cut off within minutes of walking into a Saudi embassy.

  • The Saudi government owns more than 10% of Uber, at over $3.5 billion of investment.

  • Even after Prince Bonesaw personally ordered the murder of a journalist, Uber founder and billionaire sociopath Travis Kalanick (who still owns 8.5% of Uber, after being fired as CEO) took another $400 million from the Saudis for some other bullshit gig-economy con-job where now he's trying to dismember the restaurant industry and sell off the parts.

If you ever, ever give money to Uber -- what is wrong with you? What would it take?

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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56 Responses:

  1. James says:

    -Bumped someone while parking
    -Replied 'you too' after someone says happy birthday
    -Underpaid your income taxes by a dollar
    -Ordered a blue set of curtains instead of aquamarine
    -Got artichoke on the pizza, even though Dan hates it
    -Negligent homicide
    -Torture and murder
    -Systematic labor/antitrust/securities/etc law violations
    -Supporting religious fundamentalism
    -Financing all of the above by destroying the climate

  2. x0n says:

    Nice going Uber!!1 Is there a twitter lynchmob yet? Got my torch and pitchfork ready.

    Also, popcorn. OM NOM NOM!

  3. Chris says:

    I always said to myself "Lyft is just as bad" but I do doubt there are bonesaws in the Lyft closet.

    Thanks for the reminder, I'll stop using Uber. Seriously, thank you.

    • jwz says:

      The only reason Lyft isn't "as bad" is because they aren't yet as large. They have the same fundamentally immoral business model.

      Use a fucking taxi, like it was the 90s.

      (Here's where someone pops in to explain to me how that's just untenable for them. Please don't.)

      • tfb says:

        So what I don't understand is: why? I'll admit I'm old, but really, what is so hard about using a taxi (or, shockingly, a bus if you live somewhere that still has public transport)? I've lived in big cities without being a plutocrat aor anything like one (I have, frequently, walked miles because I could not justify / did not have the fare), and if I had to I used a taxi. And you don't have to be paying very much attention to realise that Uber are just horrible. So what is it that makes people think it's OK to just ignore all that? As far as I can see the answer is 'I just don't care'.

        • NT says:

          I know lots of women who will not take a chance on a random taxi in SF after having a bad experience. I still prefer to hail a taxi, but after a few of these conversations I decided that it was better not to judge people for using these things.

          • jwz says:

            If your friends think that taxi divers are less vetted and accountable than Uber and Lyft drivers... they are tragically and possibly fatally uninformed.

            • NT says:

              These are intelligent people telling me about events they have experienced. I have not had this problem but there is a very obvious reason why not. Whatever you know about the driver vetting process, it doesn't matter because the end result is that every woman I've talked to feels safer in a Lyft or Uber than in a cab, and these are people who have lived in SF for decades, not tourists.
              I admit I haven't had this conversation recently because once I stopped talking shit about the ride sharing services, fewer women felt the need to school me on it.

              • nooj says:

                I think a fundamental difference between taxis and rideshare is that rideshare has a system of public social ratings for drivers.

                A high social score is likely to give a woman a sense of security that she does not feel with a taxi driven by an "anonymous", "unscored" driver. The existing high social score, combined with her ability to publicly harm that score in a manner that will be taken seriously by others is extremely reassuring.

                • jwz says:

                  Reassuring, yes. Actually works as you wish that it did, no.

                  • ChoHag says:

                    > Reassuring, yes. Actually works as you wish that it did, no.

                    Or (all of bartender, hacker and sysadmin are 100% familiar with this, giving you personally an envious 300% or 1'000'000% depending on how you maths): have you met the public? And you want them choosing who drives you home drunk?

                • tfb says:

                  Yes, and the fact that the scoring system is run by people who think killing someone by cutting them up with a saw is a, you know, mistake which perhaps can be forgiven should give you really enormous confidence in how reliable that system is.

              • ChoHag says:

                If only people weren't so inherently horrifically bad at judging their own biases...

                • NT says:

                  People are actually pretty good at judging danger from others in person, as you would expect from a social species. I think the standard book for potential victims is "The Gift of Fear".
                  Of course, people making judgements over the internet have no instinctual cues to rely on so their biases can run amok.

                  • ChoHag says:

                    Most people are under the impression that they're good at avoiding danger because most of the other people and situations they interact with aren't dangerous. When faced with a nutter running at them with a knife, the vast majority of people would die. Nutters running at people with knives exist, however rare. That one does not generally die from one's complete lack of encounter with them does not imply that one's ability to protect against them is assured.

                    Most uber drives are safe because although humans suck in oh so many ways, in the main most people are not actually outright cunts. Most taxi rides are safe because of that _plus_ the cost of vetting _plus_ the - laughable though it may be - investigation prior to receiving one's licence _plus_ the fact that an awful lot of government-controlled (read: police-accessible) databases know WHO YOU ARE and WHERE YOU LIVE.

          • tfb says:

            The solution to that is to make sure that taxi drivers are both vetted and that the rules / laws are enforced, not to give up and use Uber.

            That's obviously hard if you're living somewhere where the government & legal system doesn't really care, which is probably the case.

            • k3ninho says:

              ...and listen to victims when they tell you that they were abused
              ...and investigate, deter, rehabilitate and restore the criminals who did the abuse
              ...and set up society so there's a safety net for the weak, the poor and the less-powerful

              Possibly too much for a first step -- let's follow Jamie and stop giving money to Uber.


        • ChoHag says:

          > (or, shockingly, a bus if you live somewhere that still has public transport)?

          In London, which traditionally has had reasonably good public transport, I can no longer pay cash to catch a bus (strictly speaking this isn't true but this isn't the place to explain the nuanced differences between a travelcard and an oyster tracker - I can't get on a bus with only cash and use that to travel).

          I drive or catch a taxi. Uber aren't the only people murdering public transport although they are "admirably" brazen about it.

          • tfb says:

            I think the questions as to whether oyster (or whatever they want you to use now: I still use oyster) lets you be tracked (which, obviously, it does) and whether there is a viable alternative to Uber &co are distinct. In London there is a viable alternative to Uber.

            • ChoHag says:

              I wan't trying to suggest otherwise. London still has options. I was responsing that, specifically in reply to whatever comment that was, its bus network is no longer as simple as "just catch one of those ubiquitous buses" (unless I happen to have already bought a travelcard elsewise, as alluded to). It's never just. Even public transport isn't as simple as those two words might imply.

              I also have feet and the tube and taxis are still too reliant on that tourist dollar to sell out to the banks wholesale yet.

              • ChoHag says:

                FWIW London also has trams who's financing is somewhat related to the buses. I don't use them (unless in posession of the affor-mentioned travelcard; shit used to not entirely suck and they haven't quite managed to kill off the old system yet; I'll stick to pieces of paper thanks) because I'm afraid to find out which rule I'm breaking lest I get slapped with an extortionate fine when that's far more likely than figuring out their arcane pricing algorithm (or i can apply their "trust us" function - no). That's the state of pubic transport in a city somewhat famous for not being entirely shit with it.

                Uber are unmitigated cunts but they're not solving problems that don't exist and they won't go away by pretending things are fine.

      • jwz says:

        You just fucking did the thing I said not to do.

      • Chris says:

        Are there any taxi apps that actually work in the bay area?

        • jwz says:

          STOP. NO. JUST STOP.

          "Well see? I have some excuse about why no app meets my guidelines, so I have no choice but to do business with murderous sociopaths. Nothing I can do, sorry!"

          JUST FUCKING STOP. Pour yourself a piping hot cup of ethics instead.

          • Gabriel says:

            I'm only microdosing ethics right now, so it doesn't affect my performance.

        • Captain Obvious says:

          Pro tip: if you take the damn phone out of your hand, you can actually flag down a taxi.

        • Derpatron9000 says:

          I'm sure your smartphone has an app that allows you to dial phone numbers. Failing that there's an old secret signal involving holding your arm up that real taxi drivers understand.

        • andrew elmore says:

          Use the Flywheel app. It works great in San Francisco.

        • tfb says:

          This is why we're all fucked, isn't it? All you care about is what is minutely more convenient for you at any given instant: if that involves supporting someone who think that sawing people up while they are alive is OK then, well, that's fine. Fuck anyone else, fuck your own future, all that matters is you, here and now.

          Except you're not even getting that right: you've got yourself trapped in some idiot world where you have to use an app to do something which there are easier ways to do. Not only do you not give a fuck about anyone but yourself, not even your your own future, you're making the wrong decision for your own immediate present. This is really impressive.

          There's just no hope.

          • Derpatron9000 says:

            There's just no hope.

            Not quite, but we're close... stock up on alcohol

        • Alex says:

          Now that you mention it, yes. Flywheel, Yellow Cab, just to take the first two off the search results. It turns out there are lots of taxi companies who figured out that an app helps get customers.

          Unfortunately, cab companies seem to be fiercely independent. So, sadly, though unsurprisingly, no cab app has been able to convince all the many city cab companies to join in.

          The only advantage of the Uber/Lyft apps is that they're national (international?).

          Well, that, and the fact that fares are still lower because they don't follow any of the regulations associated with licensed cabs, and are willing to lose billions in the hopes of killing off competitors (Previously).

          Just don't assume that Uber or Lyft can stick around too much longer, now that they can't dip into the sweet VC money pot. Not that staying private necessarily helps.

  4. David K. says:

    "Let him hasn't banged a porn star, and had his lawyer pay her to keep quiet about it, while your 3rd wife is pregnant with your 5th kid, cast the first stone."

  5. Also keep in mind that Softbank's has ties to Saudi Arabia, which include Uber, Meetup, WeWork, Sprint, and a whole slew of other companies. Working to get off of Meetup as quickly as we can over here.

  6. Steve Smith says:

    Obviously the Enhanced Interrogation techniques went a bit too far this time.

    • Nick Lamb says:

      For a country like Saudi Arabia it's clearer because they specifically have state-sanctioned torture as part of a legalised scheme of vengeance - so for them there's no need to introduce the confusing idea of "interrogation" or muddle yourself up with goals that torture can't achieve. The goal of inflicting unbearable torment on a person isn't to get them to tell you something they're holding back - it's just that it's fun to cause pain and you want them to suffer.

      If you come into this pretending to believe it's wrong to just torture and kill people for fun and need to reason your way to actually doing it anyway (as American authorities have over and over) then you have all these obstacles, the Saudis don't trip over that because for them it's right to do these things in the first place.

  7. thx1138 says:

    The walkback cognitive dissonance:

    "I said something in the moment I don't believe. Our investors have long known my views here & I'm sorry I wasn’t as clear on Axios"

  8. "It's our principles that matter; our inspiring, abstract notions. Just because taking money from a bone-saw murderer is something we did, doesn't mean it's something we would do."

  9. mike says:

    To be "fair" to Khosrowshahi, Uber's "mistakes with self-driving" also result in innocent people getting killed because they "forgot" to program their cars not to kill pedestrians unless the pedestrians are in crosswalks. So, the standard for "mistake" here seems to be rather unlike the usual standard…

  10. thielges says:

    “Mistakes”. Hmmmph. I’ll bet they use the term “accident” when one of their aggro cellphone distracted drivers collides with someone else.

  11. tygertgr says:

    The more you use Uber and Lyft the more you are sticking it to the man. These are absolutely insane business models that won't exist in a few years. Billionares and sovereign wealth funds are effectively paying you to get where you going. If you hate Uber, use it as much as possible. Accelerate their losses.

    • LightDot says:

      No, actually, the more you're using Uber and Lyft, the more you're sticking it to yourself and the rest of us.

      Their backers have more than enough money printed and otherwise accumulated to pull off the price dumping and the work force enslavement plans that they've put in motion, losses alone won't stop them.

      Monopolies of any kind, established ones or ones in the making, are not to be promoted, ever. It's a fucking trap.

    • tfb says:

      I bet people said exactly that about Google in 1999: 'look, they're providing search for free, what could go wrong?'

      • Aidan Gauland says:

        I don't know about 1999, but in the mid-to-late 2000s, I encountered so many people fawning over Google because they were just so cool. Trying to impart caution or scepticism on people who were in love with Google was fruitless, because Google was just so chill, man, so it'd be cool if they ran the world, cuz they're just that awesome a company. (I am only paraphrasing slightly.)

    • mhoye says:

      Uber isn't really a company in any meaningful sense. It's an economic tool that's being used to run a dumping attack on a services economy, so that its investors can subsidize the destruction of whatever service sector Uber decides to be involved in this month before buying that sector in its entirety on the cheap afterwards. The service you perform for Uber, by using their service, is undermining any other competing business in the region that goes out of business because they can't afford to lose a billion dollars every quarter.

      Uber isn't cheaper; you just don't realize that you're working for them, doing socially destructive, morally reprehensible labor for free.

  12. multi_io says:

    Mohammed bonesaw Salman (MBS)

    • tygertgr says:

      It's interesting to me that people know about it and freak out. It's because he was a CIA agent. Same as the recent "the kurds" and "the yazidis" freakouts. Apparently you only matter if you work for the CIA.

      Nevermind the million or so Yemenis who've been starved to death or blown up recently. Let's talk about some boring rich prick with criminal agendas getting popped. The horror.

      • jwz says:

        If you have a point here I have no idea what it is.

        • NT says:

          I think he's pointing out that the Saudis have been doing this shit since before you were born, and that the amount of attention given to this one guy is a little odd considering the number of honest-to-god civilians nearby that have been killed or betrayed without being political operatives.
          I don't know anything about the CIA link that tygertgr alleges, but I will say that Erdogan has played the whole thing extremely well. They arranged for Khashoggi's killing to be recorded and did a masterful slow leak of grisly details that lasted many news cycles. You guys really like talking about bonesaws. What Turkey has done here is not quite as masterful as Iran swatting Iraq by calling in the US, but the Turks have done a great job of recruiting the American media against the Sauds.
          Without claiming to know what's going on, I can tell you that it's bigger and more complicated than your feud with Uber.

          • jwz says:

            This all sounds a lot like: Sure, muderers did some murder, but maybe the guy they dismembered while he was still alive wasn't a great guy amirite? Also what about all these other murderers, huh, what about them? Why didn't you mention them? This kind of whataboutism is really only deployed to defend villains.

            If you can't take a stand that says that chopping people up is bad, and taking money from people who defend that is bad, what the fuck is wrong inside your skull?

            • NT says:

              No, I'm not making any general hyperbolic strawman statements. I'm saying that by focusing on this very particular case, what you are doing in practice is working for Erdogan.
              More generally I do think your fascination with the physical process of butchering a human is pretty fucked up. How much Videodrome Signal are you exposing yourself to these days, anyway?

              • jwz says:

                Entirely too much.

              • Derpatron9000 says:

                More generally I do think your fascination with the physical process of butchering a human is pretty fucked up.

                You're absolutely right, I mean why even detail the fucking horrific things these scumbags do? It's almost as though your argument is that nobody should mention what they laterally did. Just tell me where they're holding you, I'll to send help

                • tygertgr says:

                  > detail the horrific things these scumbags do

                  Nobody with any mass audience is detailing the hundreds of thousands of emaciated Yemeni toddlers produced by the war run by Saudi princes and operated American contractors. Instead, over and over I hear about this WaPo spook getting sliced up, about which I couldn't care less.

                  If that's whataboutism then I'm a whataboutist.

          • multi_io says:

            I'm pretty sure Saudi crown princes haven't been butchering Saudi-American journalists since before I was born. In fact it's safe to assume that after Mohammed bonesaw Salman's March 2017 schmoozing with Trump, in which Trump probably told him that they were now best friends and would make some great deals together, bonesaw Salman was confident that he would -- finally -- get away with the butchering. Which turned to be a correct assessment.

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