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Senseless Waste of Bandwidth

by Grant R. Griffin


I followed the recent thread “Turn OFF the HTML BS please” with interest though I never participated in it because I don’t want to encourage people to curse on Usenet because let’s face it we’re all adults here and there really isn’t any need to curse because heck there are just much better friggin ways for us to express ourselves here in a public venue which is read worldwide by people of All Nations and All Cultures however that’s not to say that I want to limit your freedom of expression because let’s face it nobody died and put me in charge of Usenet so it really isn’t my place to set any rules like for example if I wanted people to turn off the HTML I guess I could express that sentiment in some mature sort of way to try to build a concensus but I still would have to respect the freedom Usenet offers us to post literally anything we want because let’s face it who can stop us but that being said the thing I really tuned in on was this whole “waste of bandwith” thing which pops up on Usenet from time-to-time and one can’t help but notice that each time this topic gets discussed it seems to be a waste of bandwidth so I’m not here to discuss bandwidth so much as waste and to tell you about some of my experiences in that vein like the time I went on a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream plant in Vermont and the gal there that gave the tour said something that made a lot of sense to me so I’d like to share it with you here namely that we should all “reduce, reuse, and recycle” which one can hardly disagree with take reducing for example, which of us can’t get along with a little less and of course there’s reusing which seems like a sensible thing to do like for example why do we always throw out our VCR the first time it breaks why can’t we get it fixed because it costs more to fix it than to buy a new one OK so that was a bad example and then there’s recycling which I think everybody can agree is a good thing like for example when I walk down the hall at work carrying a big box of empty pop cans to the recycle bin I get a good feeling not only because I’m saving the environment and stuff like that but also because I’m wasting my employer’s time which is far more important which really brings me to my next point which is that America used to the the Land of Waste and that was What Made America Great and we all had big scary cars which had lots of steel and chrome and even tail fins but then the OPEC decided that they could make more money by not selling us as much oil as they used to which seems to defy common sense but it just goes to show how smart those OPEC guys are because it really worked so all of a sudden Americans were willing to give up steel and chrome and tailfins for little economy cars that didn’t take a whole lot of gas so you didn’t have to stand in a long line at the gas station but you still had to stand in line at the Toyota dealer so it makes you wonder how much time those guys really saved but in any event the Japanese began to eat the lunch of the American car manufacturers because they were still pumping out big wasteful steel-and-chrome monstrocities though they had given up on tailfins a long time ago and then there was the whole quality issue but to make a long story short Detroit eventually figured out over a long period of time how to make relatively high-quality, fuel-efficient cars that people liked almost as well as Toyotas which seem to have something of a fanatical following if I may editorialize just a bit and I don’t know if the Toyota fans know that they now make Toyota’s in America which just goes to show that you can take the Toyota out of Japan but you can’t take Japan out of Asia but now that people have gotten used to Toyotas or at least are driving American cars which get good gas milage Americans over a period of years have caught on to the fact that it is Good not to be wasteful though people few articulate this as well as Ben and Jerry inasmuch as they encouraged us to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” for example they told us that if they ever end up with any excess ice cream or they have a batch that doesn’t turn out just right they sell it to the local hog farmers who feed it to the hogs and the hogs just love it but then again what else did you expect the hog to do but speaking of waste I must say that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is a tremendous waste of money inasmuch as it costs so darn much but if the hogs don’t have to pay as much as we do I can see why they like it so even though I complain about Ben and Jerry’s itself I still like the concept of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and I have tried to apply this in my own life starting with reducing the amount of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream I eat but a lot of other Americans have begun to reduce waste which was once a lifestyle for us and was once something that made us Proud to Be Americans like for example we now recycle pop cans and newspapers and even plastic milk cartons which they’ve probably been doing in Europe for years but it is a big step forward for us Americans though much as I agree with the concept of reducing waste I think the true reason we Americans are doing it is a little strange if you’ll paron me saying so that reason being that now that we have cheap oil again our Nation’s Most Precious Resource has become The Landfill yes you heard me right The Landfill now who would ever think that Landfill’s would ever become our Nation’s Most Precious National Resource because admittedly there is only a certain amout of oil in the ground there seems to be no limit to the number of Landfills we could dig up because let’s face it a Landfill is nothing more than a hole and if there’s one thing you can dig up anywhere you plant your shovel it’s a hole but of course it’s not really that simple because of the fact that nobody wants to live near a landfill because they smell bad like the hogs that eat Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and they pollute the ground water like the hogs that eat Ben and Jerry’s ice cream so in that context maybe Landfill’s really are Our Nation’s Most Precious National Resource so that just puts us back to the idea that we should “reduce, reuse, and recycle” because if we don’t throw so much stuff away we can conserve Our Nation’s Most Precious National Resource although I gotta tell you that if landfills had only the stuff in them that we recycle like newspapers, pop cans, and plastic milk bottles nobody would really mind living next to one because those things don’t smell nearly as bad as Ben and Jerry’s hogs and let’s face it pop cans don’t pollute ground water but this just brings me to the main point of all this which is that since we can no longer waste anything of any kind given that the Landfill is Our Nation’s Most Precious National Resource then I think we at least ought to be able to waste bandwidth because you don’t even have to bury that after you’re done with it though to be fair there are probably lots of fiber optic cables with lots of bandwidth which are buried that archeologists a thousand years from now will dig up and ask themselves, “what did these people have to talk about that was so important” and they’ll scratch their heads and keep on digging but for the time being I think we Americans should get back to our Heritage of Waste and never loose sight of What Made This Country Great which let’s be honest about it involved a great talent for waste which again brings me back to the main point which is that in these latter days of cheap computing and instant telelcommunications the least we can do is to treat ourselves to a little waste in terms of bandwidth which when you get right down to it really doesn’t hurt anybody and even for those of you who aren’t Americans and who don’t come from a culture and a heritage of Waste I invite you to join me in this Noble American Pursuit because much as John F. Kennedy went to Berlin and declared “Ich bin ein Berliner” I invite you to declare “Ich bin ein American” and to senselessly waste bandwidth wherever you find it.

See the original thread on for an explantion
of what John F. Kennedy really said in Berlin!