On a happier note

Having commuted over it more times than I care to admit, I often thought of those who took the plunge.

https://davecline.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/past-the-gate/

 


Uber replaced with blockchain

[This was a naive post. What I envisioned was a location based “payment for service” concept like TaskRabbit but fully genericized. Rather like an all in one Paypal/Venmo + Uber/Lyft + Taskrabbit/Fivvr + Angieslist/Craigslist. An any-location “I need this — will pay $X for it” service that provides the means to connect providers with consumers. • I need a ride to… • I need a dog walker… • I need to move a piano… • I need someone to fix my sink… • I need a cord of firewood delivered. • I need *something* at my location who can help me? Why all these independent silo-services need to exist when a single all-in-one service would do — baffles me.]

Could Uber be replaced with blockchain?

It seems that the only purpose of corporate Uber is to provide global management of Uber drivers and rides, create the server infrastructure to host the data and payment mechanism, and take half to two-thirds of a driver’s earnings.

I wonder if such a service couldn’t be total democratized through blockchain technology?

“BlockRide” would:

  • Be hosted on a gateway only cloud system that provided communication between BlockRide app instances.
  • Be a standalone application which provided both driver and rider connectivity through the cloud gateway. The mobile app would be leased by both drivers and riders at some rate that would go to support the cloud infrastructure. The app would provide peer-to-peer communication for transaction finalization.
  • Be regionally distributed – blockchain databases would be divided by region based on GPS.

Ride requests would be posted into the cloud, for a region, and drivers would bid to win riders. The transaction would be posted-pending at the time of the win and sealed as a blockchain transaction at the time of rider seating. Various payment methods would be built into the app to facilitate funds transfer. Bitcoin is an obvious addition to this process.

Driver reputation and liability would be managed by the drivers themselves. Other services would probably spring up to create “driver guilds” and Yelp style recommendation platforms. BlockRide could facilitate some of this reputation management, rather like Youtube channel likes/dislikes. (Rider reputation could managed too.)

The regional blockchain databases would store the transaction records for an entire region, city or county. Anyone with a registered instance of the application could review transactions for the region in which they are currently operating.

Drivers and riders would communicate their peer-to-peer transaction with at least N other nodes participating in the loop.

I’m not well versed in blockchain technology which means I’m probably making incorrect assumptions about the way such a service would work. Other’s knowledgeable about the concept could correct me.

Ride sharing seems like an appropriate blockchain supported service. Uber may have started out as a egalitarian, distributed system, but it certainly hasn’t stayed that way. Perhaps it’s time for the real Uber to stand up and put the power back into people’s hands.

~~~

Thinking about this, I wonder if TaskRabbit or Fivvr already do this? If not, perhaps this model could be applied to any location based “service for hire.”

 


Writer’s Log: 2014 Criticism

Take this you worm!

Your writing lacks… Everything. You use too many adverbs. You use handicapped dialog tags. You coat your characters with pointless attributes. You head-hop. You write in passive mode. You inject author-speak. You divert the action with inane description. Jeezus-bloody-christ, but you wear me OUT with your failure to focus on your own gottdamned story.

Truer words were nev… I hear it everyday. Or rather, I used to. You see, I had crippling criticism dog me after I wrote my first novel. And so far, it’s made all the difference.

Sure, we all like a dollop of praise now and then. But since when did att-a-boys ever teach you a damn thing? Learn from your mistakes? How about get brain-branded by your catastrophes… Fuckin-A, I’ll never do that again.

The problem is — well, there are two problems. 1) Getting quality criticism; and 2) Taking said criticism as constructive attenuation of behavior rather than as debilitating castigation. (I think my gonads just shrunk to the size of hazelnuts. Nutella anyone?)

It’s the second that is all down to you. Don your shark-skin suit and deal.

It’s the first that is the reason for this post.

Finding someone who is willing to provide poignant advice yet cut you to the bone, muzzle thrown to the curb, teeth bared and menacing — is a rarity. If you’re lucky, you may happen across one or two in your writer’s lifetime. Once located they are agony and ecstasy entwined. Do you shoot them in the face with a sawed-off or buy ’em a bottle of Glenfiddich? Both perhaps.

The point is, I’ve had a few acerbic son’s-o-bitches who’ve bothered to do me the honor of their opinion — one a very polite woman from Utah whose comments bitch slapped me until I vowed off of the passive voice forever. There was Duncan from Bend and now Phil from the burning fires of Hades itself.

Learning to write — it hurts so good.

Without them my 2014 hours spent thus far would have been, on the whole, wasted.


Writer’s Log: 2013 Edge

You, the writer, are a razor slicing down through words to the tender page, leaving a gaping wound that is your story.

Your blade can be dull and the cut you produce nothing but a bruise: bloated writing, wandering plot, pointless details, backstory, telling.

Or your blade can be keen yielding a deep slice exposing muscle and bone: a gasp of breath from your readers eager to turn the page, endure the scars.

To get from blunt to sharp takes years. Eventually, one’s mind molds anew. Altered neural pathways of writer’s thought form and one’s blade begins to shine. Upon these mental trails there grows the ability to write purified story — the raw essence of what must be said to covey the theme of a tale. Scales of rust flake away leaving only what must be written, not what can be.

This is the challenge. Whet your stone and stroke your skills. If persistent any writer’s blade can be honed.

~~~

I sense a recent change in my understanding of how to write well. I’m embolden to strike out clever words and turns of phrase, details that I found entertaining when written but realized added nothing. Trust the reader to tease the story from fewer select words. A novel is tens of thousands strung together, unburden readers by giving them only what’s necessary.


Sex.Food.Rush.Chill

Sex.Food.Rush.Chill.

What else is there? Really?

Epicurus — that devil-dog from 300BCE — would have stepped back from such a statement. He would have shaken his head like a dog, olive oil and bits of sardine flying, his wang hanging out of his toga and said with authority — let’s party!

Sex: If you’re not driven by your hormones to procreate — then why are you even here? (Even it no progeny could ever come of your libidinous acts.)

Food: There are so many flavors, textures, and culinary sensations that obesity should be a badge of honor, not a shroud of shame. Oh, and Al-Ko-Hall – straight up!

Rush: The need for speed, death defying feats, an adrenaline high and risk — it’s all about the risk baby.

Chill: You need time, we all need time to pontificate. Sit back, puff a doobie, gaze at the sunset, the stars, or each other and just contemplate all of it — or none of it.

Sex.Food.Rush.Chill

 

 


Silver Gypsy Maiden

The cafeteria hushed as Jacob strolled through the double doors. He glared at the cheer-table occupants, rolled his tongue across his teeth and made for the corner of the room. His back smoldered from stares of contempt. With a tilted chin he let his backpack fall and hit the table, trays rattled.

Bethany cursed, “Watch it. You ruin my clothes again and I’ll text the whole school about what you really did last night.”

Jacob ignored her and pulled a black case from his pack, laid it on the table and flipped the clasp. From within he lifted a silver figurine. It clicked as he set it down. “What I really did? And how would you know?” The senior boy spun the statuette with a flip of his fingers. As it twirled the glare from the overhead lights reflected like glitter off the polished surface. It wobbled and stopped. The slender hand of a shimmering gypsy maiden pointed at Bethany. Jacob stowed the figurine and said, “Looks like you’re next.”

Bethany leveled a look. “Ha. Instead of playing with toys maybe you should figure out what to tell her.” She lifted a painted nail toward the doors.

Principal Dewar, twill-skirted, bobbed, dark hair, clip-walked up to Jacob, murmurs from the pubescent jury followed as a wave. “Bring your sack,” she said. “You’ll need it to empty your locker.”

Resolute, the boy trailed the woman. He couldn’t help but watch her ass jiggle beneath the Ma’cion couture. That night visions of the principal’s sharp cheekbones and penetrating eyes had him wondering if the woman’s thighs rubbed together as she walked.

 


The Day the Earth Died

I don’t often share such articles, but this one sticks out as critically important. It regards the KT moment, the end-of-days for Dino the Dinosaur. And what you’ll find is that it appears that a paleontologist has found evidence of the exact moment of the Chicxulub asteroid impact.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/08/the-day-the-dinosaurs-died

— The KT event continues to attract the interest of scientists in no small part because the ashen print it left on the planet is an existential reminder. “We wouldn’t be here talking on the phone if that meteorite hadn’t fallen,”

— The Tanis site, in short, did not span the first day of the impact: it probably recorded the first hour or so.