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> for all the innovation a free market touts, all I remember are the cool/amazing/interesting things they took from us by stifling real innovation.

What? The market brought you the personal computer revolution, the mobile phone revolution, the internet revolution, your Xbox, etc and “all you remember” is shared movie viewing?

Wasn't the internet a product of the US government?

No. At least not the one that has useful stuff on it. Companies selling it to consumers and consumers/businesses putting stuff on it is what made it such a resounding success.

The internet created by the government was just a network connecting research labs together.

depends on whether you think creating a small research network is a bigger contribution than the billions spent by the private sector to build it into what it is today.

having an idea or even a reasonable prototype is often not the hardest part of building something useful.

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