Like many SoftBank-funded start-ups, Rappi not only depends on contractors to deliver its services but also offloads its fixed costs — and the risks of the work — onto them.

The company, established in 2016 by three Colombian entrepreneurs, harnesses bike and motorcycle riders to deliver everything from flowers to cash from the A.T.M. In Colombia alone, it has 20,000 couriers.

This year, SoftBank gave Rappi $1 billion — twice as much as what the company had gotten from all its previous investors combined. In announcing the funding, SoftBank declared that the start-up, which it valued at $2.5 billion, would be responsible for “improving the lives of millions in the region.”

SoftBank’s money has helped Rappi expand into nine South American countries. And the company initially offered drivers 3,500 pesos, or around $1, for every delivery — enough to earn more than Colombia’s minimum wage of around $8 a day.

In return, couriers provided their own cellphones, bikes and motorcycles. They had to buy a Rappi delivery bag, which costs around $25. And they have to shoulder most of the physical risks of delivery.

In August, a judge in Argentina ordered Rappi and two other delivery services there to shut down until they provided workers with insurance and safety equipment like helmets. The judge said 25 couriers had been treated in Buenos Aires public hospitals over the previous month.

Rappi said it would appeal the decision, which it said “puts at risk the continuity of thousands of people’s income.” It has continued sending riders out on the streets.

In September, a survey of 320 Rappi couriers in Colombia, conducted by the University of Rosario and several nonprofits, found that nearly two-thirds had been involved in an accident on the job. Almost none were covered by insurance.

If this view of our own world is overwhelming, alien, yet nauseating familiar, it has done its work. Here is an entire ontology which forces itself on us, envelops and penetrates us, and coerces us to accept it on its own terms. Within it, the persona is merely subject to the movement of markets. This too is a map of the self, a spectaclist topography by which we navigate personal and inter-personal space. But unlike modern astrology, this system takes itself totally seriously. Meditation, exercise, and an abundance of trendy “superfoods” are frequently offered as actual ways for individuals to adapt themselves in response to the challenges posed by neoliberal capitalism. Here we find that magical thinking has not been retired, but is in full force. The notion that purchasing items with surface-level signifiers like minimalism or “fair-trade” has some correlated virtuous effect in the self is as silly of a proposition as your call getting dropped because Mercury is in retrograde.

Can we say that this world is rational? That computational devices are free of ideology or that materialism is irreligious? By now it should be obvious that we cannot. The surface-level infallibility of these ideas may be comfortable but they are neither pure nor factual. They too are just systems of meaning—social productions whose acceptance as “objective” fact are culturally determined. Retreating to self-determination and scientism allows the twisted logic of the spectacle, no more sensical than that of the mystical, go unobserved and unchallenged. The ancients believed the universe operated according to mysterious divine principle. But neoliberalism is the ultimate cabalistic regime of power. From the trivial to the highest level of abstraction, from how we hold our pencils to how we define personhood, its designs are immaculate, unknowable, unaccountable.

Por vezes me julgo uma pessoa sensata — sentimento esse comum a todo ser humano pensante, imagino. Até que me vejo desmascarado, discutindo sem qualquer base e agressivamente o que caracteriza um tsunami com pessoas queridas, mas que também estão fora do tom e não têm a menor ideia do que estão falando. “São ondas gigantes”. “É a amplitude da onda”. Pega o celular, pesquisa. “Na verdade, é o comprimento da onda”. “É um terremoto no mar”.

Viver isolado dá a falsa sensação de se estar por cima, de conseguir ver problemas óbvios que só são óbvios porque os vejo de fora, tanto que quando adentro ao caos eles se tornam inescapáveis mesmo a mim, a pessoa supostamente sensata. Poderia ter me furtado de discutir a natureza dos tsunamis, ou discutido como se aquilo não parecesse uma questão de vida ou morte, mas não o fiz. Por quê? Não sei.

O próximo livro que quero ler é aquele “Comunicação não-violenta”. Espero descobrir nele a resposta, esperança esta também embasada fragilmente em comentários esparsos de gente aleatória que já leu o livro e deixou reviews positivos na Amazon e em uma vaga ideia de que a chave para solucionar esse problema específico (discussões desnecessárias e agressivas, não a definição de um tsunami) está na comunicação não-violenta, seja lá o que isso for. Convenhamos: é um título que promete muito, só de ler já bate uma paz, uma vontade de abraçar todo mundo e, sei lá, fazer um sarau.

Talvez a gente devesse discutir menos.