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Bill Maher on Airbnb: Who actually wants strangers in their house?

Technically Incorrect: The comedian takes to his HBO show to excoriate the sharing economy as nothing more than the desperate economy, where Americans are merely trying to adapt to increasing inequality.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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I have a feeling Maher isn't on Airbnb. Real Time With Bill Maher/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We're all in the sharing economy together.

We love each other so much that we find ways to make money out of each other in astonishingly fair ways.

But, wait. Why are we whining about income inequality then? Could it be that we all care equally, but don't share equally?

This was the theme adopted by Bill Maher on his HBO "Real Time" show on Friday night.

Maher believes that the sharing economy is nothing more than Americans being forced to adapt to reduced economic circumstances. He thinks it's the "desperate economy."

He offered this elegant and rhetorical question: "You really think anybody wants to have total strangers living in their apartment for a week?"

Perhaps some do. More, though, like the joy of additional income they might shield from authorities and spend on repairing the cigarette burns a stranger has made on their sofa.

"Oh, look," Maher said. "Someone else's pubes on my soap. I'm living the dream."

He warmed to his sermon by invoking the Red Menace. He said: "How did America spend 60 years fighting communism and end up in a barter economy on Craigslist?"

Maher puts it all down to greed.

He said: "We've all become so good at scheming, cheating, inventing, raiding, gouging and just plain f***ing each other that we woke up one day with this sharing economy, where the one thing we're not sharing are the profits."

And there I was thinking that was just capitalism.

The lovely thing about change is that we get so wrapped up in it -- or rather by it -- that we never really know if it's a good thing until it's done its best and worst.

We may come to embrace robots as an essential and beneficial part of our lives. Or they make come to embrace us as an especially, but charmingly, dimwitted part of theirs.

We'll all be in it together. It's just that, as in any loving relationship, one party will have a little more power than the other.