Snail mail

I ordered a book online. It was dispatched from Dallas, TX, zip code 75199, on October 10th. It arrived a few minutes ago. According to Google Maps, it traveled approximately 225 miles. It took 20 days to do so. That means it moved at an average speed of just under 0.5 mph. A human can walk around 20 miles per day. So it would literally have been faster for me to walk to Dallas, buy the book, and walk back, resting in hotels along the way as necessary.

If the postal service owned e-mail (PRESTEL)

MIT Technology review has an interesting article on “How the Postman Almost Owned E-Mail“. I find it interesting—but not for the historical reasons. Rather, it illustrates the kind of delusional state people enter when they work too long in law or politics. The author of the piece seems to believe that if the US government had allowed the US Postal Service to operate an e-mail system, we’d all have ended up with USPS e-mail accounts.