Thursday, July 4, 2013

Dora, Monopolies, and the Civil War


The South lost the Civil War.  They lost it pretty badly.  As Shelby Foote said: I think that the North fought that war with one hand behind its back... I don't think the South ever had a chance to win that War.

They didn’t lose because they were poorly trained or had bad officers (remember, they had a ton of West Point grads).  They didn’t lose because they had inferior weapons.  They didn’t lose because their stance on slavery was abhorrent.

They lost because they didn’t have monopolies.

Consider this: the North and South both had trains.  They used these trains to ship men and equipment from battlefield to battlefield.  However, the soldiers fighting for the North got there quicker than their opponents: a huge advantage.

Why?

The railroads in the South were built by several different companies, so the rails were all different (width, thickness, distance apart, etc.).  Troops would travel part way on one train, get out, and move to another train on a different kind of track, and so on.  Northeners just got on one train and got out when they reached their destination.

Monopolies helped win the Civil war.  This brings us to Dora the Explorer.

I was an early adopter of Netflix.  Today, my queue is 450 movies long (and I doubt I’ll ever get it down to a reasonable size).  When Netflix added streaming, I immediately bought the service even though the available films were terrible.

Years passed and we found Netflix’s streaming great for the kids.  They had Dora the Explorer, Caillou, Kipper, and so on.  There wasn’t much for adults, and there was no sense to what movies were available:  All the Star Trek films, except 4.  Iron Man 2, but not 1.

Movie studios became afraid of Netflix becoming a monopoly.  Instead of letting all the streaming services have all the movies, giving everyone a greater service, the studios decided to be total fucking dicks.

Recently, Netflix lost all the Nickelodeon shows.  We have to wait for disks to see anything my kids want to watch, or we have to go to Hulu or Amazon and pay more.

Fuck the free market.  I want everything available from one place.  I want a monopoly.

And even Dora knows the Civil War was fought over slavery.

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