Internet Commerce is making us Dumber!

June 11, 2009

So… there’s this site, called bookswim.com, where you can ‘rent’ books just like you can rent movies using NetFlix… 

Now, of course there’s an obvious flaw or hole or “DUH” to this business model, but they claim that they offer ‘textbooks’, and remove areas of the country.  So, my idea was that maybe they have a good graphic novel section, and it would be worth the subscription.

So, they do indeed have a graphic novel section.  It’s good… not WOW… but solid…  Better than my county library catalogue, but not as good as other catalogues I’ve seen.  So, seems worth it to me to apply and get my comic fix that way…

I go to the ordering page, and for the most basic plan (1-3 books at a time), the fee is $9.95 for the first month (the price I expected to pay) and $19.99 for each month after that.

WTF!

This is so dumb, I don’t even know where to begin.

First off…  Libraries!!!!  Most places have them.  Fine, some might suck…  Sure…  Most of them want you to read more…  And are somewhat willing to get you stuff.

Secondly… Unless you want stuff that was just released in hardback (and costing $30.00), and want it immediately…. (and I didn’t even see that much ‘new new’ releases on the page, it was mostly hawking ‘Twilight’), paperbacks are like $8.00 and there are used book stores, and previously mentioned libraries, who constantly get the latest hot titles in books.

And finally there’s ebay and other book trading sites.  I mean wouldn’t that make more sense?

Grrrrrrrr


The Way Things Have Always Been Done

June 3, 2009

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same response — all of the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Keep this up for several days.

Turn off the cold water. If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.

Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.

Why not?

“Because that’s the way it’s always been done around here.”