About 1900 the British Admiralty refused to develop submarines with an ironic comment:

"The British Navy is not in the business of developing ships that sink."



France got smashed by Germany in 1870, 1914 and 1940, each time in the exact same way. Today it is hard to believe how dumb the French were in each case. In each case the Germans invented a new way to move so fast they reached Paris before the French Army could.

In each case France was fighting the last war.

One of history's cruelest jokes was what happened when the French built the Ultimate, Updated World War One Trench and called it the Maginot Line.

Dave explains the new technology of the fight brought on by the Internet. Tim sums it up brilliantly: "BUGS has no currency in the past."

For decades I worked with the old idea chain. I could trace the Latest Thing from New England campuses to the Boston Globe to the New York Times to the Atlanta Journal. Then Europeans would pick up the Latest Thing and then the colonies, the English language press in Australia and South Africa, would pick it up.

It ran like a Mussolini train schedule, perfectly predictable and right on time. This was useful to me, because I knew what "new" ideas people would come up with out where I was ahead of time. But I did not realize until now how exactly like a train it was. It depended on enormous initial investment in an established track made up of iron rails.

As Dave points out, the old idea train was the ONLY means of transporting ideas. If you had told people in 1908 that autos and trucks and suchlike playthings would reduce the importance of railroads, you would be laughed at.

But at NBC and CBS they are not laughing.

We can worry about their Maginot Line or we can concentrate on developing our Blitzkrieg.