Internet Cafes demonstrate a cultural problem very clearly, if one can pick up the threads.
For, when they were thought of, few coffee-shops were around; a few tea-gardens; but they were going extinct.
People had lost interest in going to a place for a coffee and a chat with a stranger, or with the regulars.
Thus the Internet Cafe, while being a jolly good idea, was a disconnected one. It would not mix its blood-line with the ancient coffee shops of London, for instance.
They presented in one respect the perfect problem which the solution of the thin-client had been made for; another use for thin-clients is points-of-sales terminals.
A thin-client is interesting to the person that owns the fat, and the person he employs to manage all of them.
Having made mention of English Pubs and Coffee Houses, it is important to point out that an English Pub is not a facade; not all of them, anyway.
But we really aught to stop talking about a good pub in South Africa, as an English pub.
The thing about pubs is that there are good pubs, better-than-good pubs, and internet cafes, where were one to ask for a little drop of something extra in one's coffee, all the horrors of Rome would rise up before one's eyes.
Btw, and I hope the digression is not mistaken for a side track, the word daemon is pronounced, demon. With new things, one has to come up with new names; and a sense of mirth is unavoidable: it is very important that the mirth cannot be directed at anyone.
Returning to the main line via a side-track, if one wants to understand what one is looking at, one needs to contemplate the internet before the web. Email, for instance, was working its way up the corporate ladder before the web had reached puberty. But the web was a gui app; a thin-client gui app. The people joining the internet now, expected everything to be one.
The email programmes that had been lovingly constructed for computers which had a matrix character display, were too difficult to use.
"Why didn't they think of us?"
They did, but they saw point-and-click interfaces as ... . No, I've said that too many times already. Here's your gui email app.
"But I can't make things bold! And then what about pictures?"
The IETF then diligently created a standard and removed the more difficult facts of computers, such as Base85; but the standard was developed in a vacuum: it was developed without the thought of algorithms. Only a very very big software company would be up to the task of making an email programme conformant with this standard.
And email became reliant on HTML; a standard not really a standard, so much as something which grows faster than light.
Some developers really did not see the writing on the wall, and soldiered on with the free email app they had invested all their free time, creating.
Until, sadly, we all had to ask, "what is going on with the quality?"
One programmer might be worth a hundred in a team; but programming can be mental torture. It can make one drink heavily.
Our English history is a history of struggling between two extremes: that of never knowing what a hang-over is, and that of never managing to wake up without one.
So that while we aught not defer to England on the construction of a pub, we might well have lessons to learn from her about the spirits thereof.
But this is about coffee, and a friend of mine this morning referred to us coffee-squirrels.
I'll tell you how it works with us. We see the word coffee and go and get some. And then we have to find things to pour our extra energy into. We know of others who regulate their caffeine-beverage consumption; we respect them; but with all due respect, why?
There was an artist who spent his whole life drawing pictures about a man, his two pets, and coffee.
The simple life, with coffee.
The simple life, with tea, is largely a thing of the past.
Not to say that we don't drink tea; but we try to regulate that by only drinking it at tea time.
And there's just enough time to finish another cup of coffee before then.