Cybersyn Capitalism

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Evgeny Morozov:

"Uber says that it can monitor its supply-and-demand curves in real time. Instead of sticking to fixed rates for car rides, it can charge a floating rate depending on market conditions when an order is placed. As Uber’s C.E.O. told Wired last December, “We are not setting the price. The market is setting the price. We have algorithms to determine what that market is.” It’s a marvellous case study in Cybersyn capitalism. And it explains why Uber’s prices tend to skyrocket in inclement weather. (The company recently agreed to cap these hikes in American cities during emergencies.) Uber maintains that surge pricing allows it to get more drivers onto the road in dismal weather conditions. This claim would be stronger if there were a way to confirm its truth by reviewing the data. But at Uber, as at so many tech companies, what happens in the op room stays in the op room." (