A guiding principle for information systems professionals.

If the material (e.g. data or methodology) that you are working with is worthless, then the end result will also be worthless.

Words to live by.

"That's garbage!  Do you know how bad that is for your health?"

Did you ever notice how folks who're obsessed with healthy stuff are sometimes not so healthy after all?

Take consumers of vitamins.  They go on and on about how one must take every nutritional supplement under the sun in order to counteract the effects of all of the poisons we're exposed to on a daily basis. Parallel to their support for nutritional supplements is a genuine hatred for manufacturers of food.

"You can never trust a big corporation to be forthright on their ingredient labels."

"They're putting harmful things in our food and paying the Government not to tell you about it."

"They're poisoning us."

Yet these same vitamin consumers trust that, let's say, a bottle of "Natural Vitamin C from Rose-Hips" is indeed that.  The vitamins are manufactured by a corporation, too! Do they trust the vitamin companies because "anyone who makes vitamins must be good people?"

Who, I ask, determines whether or not the vitamin C in question actually comes from real Rose-Hips? Who checks to see that the contents of each tablet aren't just food-grade ascorbic acid, perhaps garnered from a by-product of processing oranges?

While pouring a pink packet of powder into my coffee the other day, one of the folks I was dining with told me I was poisoning myself. This fellow is one of the food police.

When we ordered, he opted for the baked fish ("no butter on it, please") with a green salad, dressed with lemon juice. His eyes glazed over with dismay as I ordered a medium-rare steak, french fries, and a side of creamed spinach.

"Don't you know french fries contain trans-fats?!"

"What're 'trans-fats'?"

"They're huge fat molecules that'll give you strokes and a heart attack."

I decided at that moment to do away with the poisoned coffee and ordered a dry Tanqueray martini 'up,' with olives.

My dining companion realized that his intelligence on trans-fats was falling on deaf ears.  I underscored that fact by walking outside to have a cigarette after I'd finished my martini...

You see, I'm a Dinosaur.  I don't adapt well to things that are progressive nor politically correct.

The food police tell us that our wells and reservoirs are poisoned by mercury, lead, pcbs and other toxins.  So they tell us to buy bottled water.  Again, why is it that the same person who is suspicious of the "big corporations that are poisoning everything we consume" goes ahead and trusts that the bottled water they're buying actually comes from a pristine, undisturbed spring somewhere deep in the woods.  And bottled water costs money.  A lot of money, if you ask me.  So I choose to take my water from the tap (or from the handy dispenser on the side of my refrigerator).  A glass of tap-water costs something like a hundredth of a penny.  That leaves me with more money to spend on Tanqueray, steak and french fries.

There are those who don't even trust "conventional medicine."  One of my customers is like this.  He and his wife go to a holistic healer, who dispenses to them myriad tiny little pills intended to cure all that ails them.  However, his wife suffers migraines to this day, and he still suffers from back pain which extends into one of his legs, and causes him to be uncomfortable when he sits.  He must stand or lie down to avoid pain. (If a doctor treated me for years and I saw little or no results, I'd find a different doctor!)  I told him of my experience with back and muscle pain and asked if he'd ever had a doctor prescribe a pain-killer. Of course, the answer was "no, we don't believe in conventional medicine, and we don't trust the drug companies." Pity him, I thought, because he's never enjoyed the sublime relief that a good, old-fashioned Percoset delivers.

Yep, I'm a Dinosaur.  I have scads of carcinogens coursing through my bloodstream, careening around with those trans-fat molecules and the gin.  But for all that, I gotta tell you I feel pretty good, indeed.

Someone's bound, however, to read this rant and cry, "Rubbish! How can this guy possibly feel good? This guy's killing himself and someone ought to save him!" You see; "Rubbish."  Garbage in, garbage out, I guess.

Thanks to water for spelling help with migraine and holistic!

Thanks to DejaMorgana for a C and for "But dude, you know the water comes from an untainted, natural spring up in the mountains! There is a picture of the spring on the bottle, dammit!"

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