Driver: Where are you going?
Me: Riviera, unfortunately.
Driver: Yeah, that place is shit.
Me: Yeah I booked my hotel too late and all the prices went up.
Driver: So Mr. CES man, what’s the best thing you saw?
Driver: And no, don’t tell me wearables, or TVs, or some shit like that. What’s the best thing that will actually matter next year?
Me: The best thing? I dunno. It’s a lot like last year … 4k TVs, wearables.
Driver: Why is it that these people here are trying to sell you the same crap every year? Why can’t we have something like — take the era of the 1940’s, for example. When they built cars, they built them to last. There’s a living testament: Go to Cuba. You know what I mean? Why is it that we can’t do it now? You know what I mean?
Me: I’m coming out of there, and I counted how many wearables there are. I counted 56. And that was in one building.
[turn signal sound]
Driver: We’re not made in a factory. We have souls. Where is that technology that can help us?
[turn signal sound]
Because everything that we have is making us dumber, and dumber, and dumber. The same technology can make people smart.
I have people — well-educated people — get in this simple cab, and cannot subtract $8 outta $20 and they have to use their iPhone. That breaks my heart.
Why is that? And I, I mess with them. I say: “yeah, this much,” and they actually give me the money. And I say “come on dude, this is primary shit.” It kinda bothers me because in this space that we’re in right now, I see and meet so many kinds of people and so many walks of life, and I learn from them.
I see — [turn signal sound] — 99 percent of the time, people are on their phone. I understand, some people are doing emails and stuff like that. But more than half of that is doing bullshit, you know? There’s so much we can use this technology for on a positive note but we do not. We take it for granted. What’s the difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S? You know what I mean? But people religiously wait to buy them.
I’m not against Apple — it’s actually a very brilliant device, but is it being used for the right purpose? Resources are very limited. What we are doing right now — we are killing ourselves slowly. Why can’t the people with the minds actually focus on … eradicating cancer?
Me: You know, tiny iterations can be good. Maybe it helps a family wash the dishes easier. Maybe that’s great.
But, it’s kind of shitty though. I want to write about this, but there’s just nothing to take away. When I got in the cab you asked me “what is the thing, that one thing, that matters?”
And It’s like, I don’t know.
Driver: It’s like: You have a cow, and you want to milk it multiple times a day.
I’ve had all the Apple tablets — to the newest one!
Me: Oh really?
Driver: Why did I do it?
Me: I want to ask you one more question, what do you think about CES and its impact on Vegas?
Driver: Las Vegas was a party town, but now it’s a convention city, and conventions are what keeps the city afloat.
Driver: Just two weeks ago, it was dead. Then 160,000 people come here — that keeps the city going. I know it’s all about money, and the boss who wants to make the same product five or six times.
Me: Another cab driver told me, “You know I don’t like CES anymore.”
Driver: He’s in the wrong career. I’m not going to be driving a cab for 20 years, but this guy, clearly, he’s lazy. If we don’t have these kinds of conventions, Vegas will die.
Me: You think it will die?
Driver: Yeah, because back in the day, I drove a limo. But now, people don’t have like they used to, so they don’t spend like the used to.
160,000 at CES this year, right? This is the convention city. So I’m really glad CES is here. I wish they had it ten times a year — since they’re making those products so fast [laughs], have it every six months! Man, let’s do it.
Me: Oh, I don’t know. I’m exhausted.
Driver: I’m just saying, from my end. That’s just the way things are.
The doorman’s been flashing me for like 5 to 10 minutes. But it was really nice talking to you.