What if PO had bought it?

From previous item, Morse ran the first real commercial trial of his system for the Post Office, but they decided it wouldn’t be profitable enough for full implementation.

If the PO had bought Morse, many things would be different.

After our PO turned him down, Euro POs made better offers, and most of them quickly developed their own telegraph systems. The Euro style continued into radio and TV.

Post Offices apply the same basic rules to all technologies, old and new. The PO must carry all letters regardless of content. It can’t delay Repooflican junk mail and speed up Democrat junk mail. The PO must carry all parcels regardless of brand, with a more restrictive set of rules to avoid spoilage and leakage and overloading the trucks and mailmen. The PO can’t ship Penneys parcels faster than Sears parcels. The modern web emphatically distinguishes by politics and brand.

The reason for Morse’s refusal reminds me that our PO actually made a profit most of the time until Nixon “privatized” it, which is another name for destroying it.

Before Nixon started the “privatizing” trend, our other communication systems were quasi-governmental, with most of the same advantages and requirements as the PO itself, so the difference wasn’t large. Bell and Mackay and Western Union had to follow the same common carrier rules, and were rewarded with monopoly status and high rates.

Important difference: The current incarnation of the web was NOT started by the PO, and it was NOT started by ordinary commercial companies. It was started by the military and Deepstate working together. NSA wanted to listen to everyone, and the military wanted to control everything. The project began in 1966 and began functioning in 1971. Nixon again.

In other words, the HTTP web is a military base, not a “free and open platform”.  You wouldn’t expect freedom of speech and behavior in an Army barracks or a battleship, so you shouldn’t expect it in the web.

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