Over a year ago I sat down with an old friend at Ching Ching Cha Teahouse in Georgetown. This teahouse was recommended by someone who told me I had to try their artisan tea which blooms like a flower inside your cup. My flower was bright pink in color. It reminded me of those novelty pills that expand to form dinosaur shaped sponges when you drop them in water.
Our table did not have sugar so I asked the waitress if she can bring some. She said, “The owner thinks the teas taste best without sugar, so we do not have any.” Oh really?
Many of you are reading this through my RSS feed. It puts out full text of my posts so you can read at sites like Bloglines and Google Reader, or in an aggregator blog that mashes my feed with a bunch of others. If I operated this site like I did the owners of the teahouse, I would not serve an RSS feed—I would force you to come here and read my writing on my own terms.
This is like how, until recently, the music companies only wanted you to listen to music through shiny plastic discs. Their sales numbers show that control doesn’t work. Treating people like children and limiting their options without good reason doesn’t work. People want to choose how ideas or services are delivered to them, or they will vote with their legs and go elsewhere. Not only have I never been back to that teahouse, I have not recommended it to anyone.