Saturday, June 16, 2018

Stream? More like a trickle.

Sometimes people say to me, "Bob". "Bob", they say to me. "Bob, why do you get DVDs from Netflix instead of streaming movies?" The short and simple answer is that Netflix doesn't, by and large, stream the movies I want to see. My DVD queue tends to hover around the maximum number of 500, and rarely does it have more than a handful which are marked as being able to stream as well. In fact, at the moment, it has none. Zero of 492 movies available to stream. Hit the jump for the longer answer.

The longer answer is that I don't like, trust, or enjoy the internet that much. It's really contributed to this bizarre society in which we own nothing and lease everything. You pay some service to allow you access to what they own for a limited amount of time. And what you "own" may not even be what you own when it comes right down to it. Does anyone remember, in a moment of supreme irony, that during the early days of Kindle, Amazon went into everyone's Kindle who had purchased 1984 by George Orwell and took it away and gave them their money back because of a rights dispute? Yep, you owned that book right up until the giant corporation decided that you didn't. That's not ominous, no.

Moreover, when you stream, download, etc. you give that corporation a peek inside your life. They know what you watch, read, and listen to, for how long, how many times and even how loud for all I know. Buy that book, CD, DVD, or whatever and it's yours. No recall is going to come get it, no faceless corporation is going to understand whether it's yours or a gift you gave, and they'll never know how many times you actually watched Pride and Prejudice. (Hey now, Mr Bennett is the man.)

Am I perfectly consistent in this regard? No, how could I be? It's not strictly a moral question and compromises get made. I have Prime for the shipping benefits since I have a brood of kids and it's cost-effective. I get some free music and TV/movie streaming with it and I do enjoy watching the reboot of Top Gear that's on Amazon and listening to music I like, but not enough to buy a CD. I do dream of changing that when I get older and the kids move out though. We'll see; best laid plans, etc.