About Marc Hummel

Marc Hummel is a copywriter for a large company in West Chester you've always known about but haven't thought about in awhile. He holds a B.A. in English from Rutgers University and is pursuing a graduate degree in Communications and Business Strategy at Temple University. Marc lives in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, a city he has called home since 2006. He shares his apartment with his girlfriend, small dog, a good amount of handmade furniture and a lot of clothes. 

 Marc enjoys music, non-fiction books, Woody Allen, listening to NPR, trying new restaurants and drinking hoppy beers. Read press stories about Marc Hummel here. Marc's other hobbies include coffee snobbery and trying new recipes. His guilty pleasures include ice cream, spreadsheets and attending a lecture at the Free Library followed by a visit to T.G.I. Friday’s.

Friday Tab Dump: Jan. 19 2018

Friday tab dump

This story is so sad: A tech pioneer’s final, unexpected act {new yorker}

Cool feature in which All Songs Considered in DC call member stations around the country: Eight new artists to watch in 2018 {npr}

Improving ourselves to death {new yorker}

Ads don’t work that way {melting asphalt}

Desperately seeking cities {n+1)

It’s the (democracy-poisoning) golden age of free speech {wired}

 

The 72-hour bus ride for wannabe startup founders

StartupBus

I really enjoyed a recent 5-part series of Gimlet’s Startup podcast which covered StartupBus, a “hackathon on wheels, where a bunch of strangers come together to launch companies in one week, all while on a bus.”

They covered some cool projects (that are now real businesses), and you got to hear the teams debate the merits of their ideas in real-time.

Some of the businesses that launched on StartupBus:

  • Daisy, a digital service that helps you deal with funeral logistics.
  • Phishly, a service that helps businesses fight malicious email hacks.
  • DropIn Pedals, which makes an “adapter that transforms clipless pedals into flat pedals for easy use with casual shoes.” (Note: This company doesn’t have a web presence so who knows what’s going on with this project).

Listen to the series (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) then check out my list of my podcast recommendations.

Image courtesy Flickr/Julia Buchner. Used under Creative Commons.

Book Excerpts Taken from People on the Subway: Vol. 2

subway-excerpt

I take the L to work from Brooklyn to Manhattan every day. Unless it’s a holiday, I’m packed shoulder-to-shoulder, butt-to-butt, chest-to-chest with a ton of other people.

So what do I do? I look at what other people are looking at on their phones/Kindles. Sometimes I read along and type the words on their screen into my phone as fast as I can. Since people read faster than I can type with one hand, the transcripts are incomplete. I take those excerpts and remix them into a single narrative poem.

This is the second part of my series. The first part is here.

Member of the original foundation

This is really awkward, I began.
So far, he had not really thought about where he was.

Lettering on the airplane crates
That
Eddie recognized
Feeling strange on his lips

With respect to
Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo
Unfortunately, the snow became deeper and deeper, and Harry was just about to transform
What kind of animal would be of use?

You find wild boar
“I like to use that”

Theme song?

Avil Lavigne says,
Hardcover pages, the year
Painted dodgers
This is not your
Nephew, Robert Lavigne knew
Safety procedures being of third mates.

Image courtesy Flickr/David Nitzsche. Used under Creative Commons. 

3 reasons to ditch Uber (AND Lyft) and take a yellow cab instead

taxi

In 2017, progressive-minded people learned that if they wish to support transportation businesses that align with their values, they should hail a ride using Lyft instead of Uber.

Why? Well, there’s the gross stuffs, the privacy stuff, and the illegal stuffs.

Eek. Bad stuff.

But if a progressive were to choose a form of transportation that aligns with their values, they wouldn’t use Uber OR Lyft. They’d take a freaking yellow cab.

Here’s why:

1. Cost

Let’s start with the best one. If you fell in love with Uber’s low prices, I urge you to check your favorite Silicon Valley-backed ride-hailing app against the fare estimate in Curb, the app for yellow cabs in many cities. In my (admittedly limited) experience, the fares given in Curb are significantly lower than Uber/Lyft, especially when surge pricing is in effect.

2. Sustainability

When Uber/Lyft are cheaper, it’s because your ride is effectively being subsidized by venture-capital firms. Here’s an article about this {bloomberg} and some tweets:

3. Labor

If progressives truly support fair labor laws, unionization, and a living wage, they shouldn’t support Uber/Lyft, both of which are in the business of undermining those very laws and institutions.

Conclusion

I’m not saying everything is perfect about yellow cabs. There’s the medallion thing and the once-frequent refusal of many drivers to accept credit cards (which is now irrelevant thanks to Curb). But you’re kidding yourself if you think Uber/Lyft are making the world a better place or making the transportation market more efficient.

Image courtesy Flicker user Lensicle, but I added some black lines to it. Used under Creative Commons.