#40 in a Series Examining Every Item on the Beloit Mindset List

They never tasted the “texturally enhanced alternative beverage” known as Orbitz. (Class of 2018, #29)

They have probably never used Netscape as their web browser. (Class of 2018, #46)

Boeing has never had any American competition for commercial aircraft. (Class of 2018, #51)

The Class of 2018 Beloit Mindset List has only six “never” items, which may be the fewest ever. Although I don’t see how something a group of people has never experienced could be part of their “mindset,” there could be some value in learning about these non-experiences—if the things they didn’t experience had any significance for the people who did experience them.

Orbitz was a soft drink that was introduced in the 1997 and quickly discontinued because nobody wants to drink something with little balls floating in it. Consuming it was never an important part of anyone’s life.

When web browsers were a new technology, people imagined that there might be important differences between them. The government even filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft over how it bundled its browser with its operating system. Two decades later we know that web browsers are basically the same. It doesn’t matter that the Class of 2918 didn’t use Netscape Navigator because there wasn’t some “Netscape experience” that was much different from the experience of using any other browser.

In 1997, Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas to become the only U.S. manufacturer of commercial jet airliners. Would the lives of the Class of 2018 be much different if the two companies had remained competitors? Probably not.

I’ll look at the other three “never” items in another post to see if they are as trivial as these.