From a pretty much run of the mill missive about Microsoft’s behaviour, with a second-hand story at the end.

That we can all get things so wrong was brought to mind for me recently when a friend sent me story about his experience in the original energy crisis of the 1970s. Read it and think how easy it can be, sometimes, to hide that elephant in a room.

“During the summer of 1973 I worked on a tow boat on the Mississippi River. Every 10 to 14 days, we’d load our barges on the Gulf Coast and deliver petroleum products to some place in the Midwest. That was the summer of the big gasoline shortages. As we would travel up and down the Mississippi, we’d pass an Exxon tow. It would have eight barges (a double unit) fully loaded, or about 10 million gallons of gasoline. The tow wouldn’t be moving, it would be tied up in a quiet spot on the river. Each trip we find more tows tied up. Shell, Texaco, Exxon, Amoco were all doing it. One day they announced in the news how much gasoline would be used in the USA in a single day. I made some quick calculations and realized we had passed a month’s supply on our last trip.”

Things are hardly ever as they seem.