Garbage in = Garbage out

This realization hit me hard this morning as I read again the conclusions reached by some well-educated, well-meaning people. The truism, about garbage in – garbage out, applies not only to digital computers, but to the finest computer of all, the human mind. Our decisions are only as good as the data we base them on.

If we get bad data from people we trust, we are set up for failure. No matter how sincere we are and how hard we work, our efforts are being booby-trapped by the falsehoods we unknowingly use and propagate to others.

If we get our information from the press, or TV, we are already sliding down the slippery slope of biased reporting, and we have little idea of what is happening to us because there is no channel that reveals its bias. It is hard enough to identify the real source of the information they purport to pass on.

When we read a weblog, we can generally get an idea of the author’s bias, but we still need to see links to the original source documents. Blogs that link to other blogs are only useful if they lead to source documents. Voting records for candidates can be found on US government sites which list the records for all Senators and Congressmen. Quoting a candidate is only believable if a link to the original, unedited transcript is shown.

Even the best educated, and most humane person can come up with totally unreal solutions to the problems facing our nation if they do not have, or choose not to have access to source data. Listening to “experts” is relying on secondhand or thirdhand data.

It doesn’t matter which candidate you voted for or who you believe is right. If you do not look for yourself, you are operating on somebody else’s data.

There are those who totally deny that the Holocaust ever happened. There are also those who feel that the US had no right to interfere in the domestic affairs of Iraq. If you have the stomach for sixty pages of mass graves with miles of body bags, broken skeletons, and grieving parents, take a look the victims of Saddam’s regime.

This is what was happening in Iraq, before we intruded on the “peaceful” activities in this kingdom of horrors. This site has been getting a lot of hits lately. It may be slow to download. The photos may explain why so many Iraqis are willing to accept help from the US and put their lives on the line to rebuild Iraq, in spite of terrorist threats.

I do not care to suggest what conclusions you should draw from your observations of life, but I am going to suggest that anyone who wishes to help the United States to remain free should take the time to find out what the actual facts are before slandering those who are working hard to make sure that we never have to endure scenes like this in our country.

As a final note, there are others who now say we should listen to Osama Bin Laden’s advice. I suggest they read the transcripts of all of the messages he has sent us, and judge whether they are ready to accept the infidel’s fate that he plans for us.

I think that most sane people can make correct decisions if they have access to the actual facts. If someone has access to the truth and still connot see right from evil, then the problem is not with the data, it lies within the computer person’s mind.

The best solution going forward is not to attack people of good will who have different opinions, but to dig deep and see what information they are basing their decision on. Compare it with your own after giving your own data the same test. The results may surprise you. It may even lead to a rational discussion.

Good luck.

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