Friday, April 27, 2007

The Fat Man, The Doctor, The Diet and Intensity Targets

Whooee! I was just over to Eric's Gettin' it Right boog where he's tryin' to explain intensity targets by usin' an analogy of a Toyota vs. a gas guzzlin' Chev. The analogy's okay but I been tryin' to come up with a better one - one that's easier to understand. I think I got one that ain't too bad. It ain't politically correct, I reckon, an' some body-mass challenged victim of McCulture will probbly gimme shit but, here goes --

The Fat Man, The Doctor, The Diet and Intensity Targets

Once upon a time, there was a fat man. His name wasn't Steve. He was gettin' fatter an' fatter an' he was gainin' about a pound a week. That's about a half kilogram, fer you younger folks.

The fat guy goes to his doctor an' the doc sez, "Fatboy, yer killin' yer stoopidass self. You gotta lose weight an' fast or else yer headed fer a nasty life an' an early death." He tells the fat man he's gotta go on a diet, start exercisin' an' get thinner. Or else.

So, the fat feller starts walkin' down to the corner store instead drivin' the chugmobile. When he's there, he buys the small bag o' chips an' only half as many chocolate bars as before he got the death sentence from the sawbones. With his efforts at exercise an' dietin', the fat feller cuts down the rate at which he's gainin' weight.

He cuts it down to a pound a month from a pound a week. He's reduced the intensity of his weight gain by 75%. Sounds good. A 75% reduction must be good.

But.. but... but... the doctor told him he was gonna die if he didn't lose weight. Cuttin' down the rate at which he's gainin' weight ain't losin' weight. He's still gainin' an' he's still puttin' his stoopidass self into a early grave.

I reckon the fat boy (whose name ain't Steve) was only foolin' hisself. The epitaph on his gravestone can read -- "He reduced intensity by 75%. R.I.P."



Anonymous said...

Think you hit the proverbial nail square on with the proverbial hammer JimBobby.

And thanks to Eric over there at Getting It Right for reminding me of that old drinking joke.

son of gaia said...

Your analogy is a good one.

And I agree with your underlying point, if I've discerned it correctly - that pretending "low-intensity" increases are acceptable substitutes for reductions is lying to yourself.

This is also true of most "green" products. If the problem lies in a culture of consumption, consuming more products that are slightly less damaging to the environment is lying to yourself.

But my favorite of these is when people tell me that they work in the Voluntary Sector. If you are being paid for doing work, that's not volunteering. To avoid lying to themselves, they should be calling their "non-profits" a "nothing left after we pay ourselves and our friends (with your tax dollars or donations) a salary made possible by the unpaid stooge labor of our volunteers" corporation.

Please do more postings about the intrusive hootenanny state.