01 November 2013

Equipment or Intelligence

A cowboy named Billy was overseeing his herd in a pasture in remote countryside one day, when suddenly a brand-new BMW drove towards him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out of the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”

Billy looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”

The yuppie switches his car off, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® phone, calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location, surfs to a NASA web page, where he feeds the location to another satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany … within seconds, he received an email on his Palm Pilot® announcing that the image has been processed and the data stored.

He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC-connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-colour, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturised hp LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”

“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Billy.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Billy says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The young man thinks about it for a second then says, “Okay, why not?”

"You’re a Federal politician," says Billy.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing’s required.” answered the cowboy, “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter.”

“This is a herd of sheep.”

“Now give me back my dog.”

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