Sunday, September 18, 2011

Subtraction Is Not A Plus

Omission is not the mother of invention.

Okay, I concede Diet Coke is a winner. It is a drink that removed an essential ingredient (taste) and was able to sustain a paying audience. Luckily for Diet Coke it still contains caffeine an addictive drug that is able to overcome its poor taste and create drug dependency. On the downside it has various chemicals that have been known to cause cancer and other terminal diseases. While it may contribute to kidney failure at least it won't give you diabetes.

I'm not certain exactly when it started or who started it but there has been a growing trend among the North American people of elimination/subtraction. Back in the old days when people used to sell stuff they had a limited set of variables. They could change the packaging, the color of the product or add vanilla/cherry. Once they pushed their product through it's natural evolution it would flow out to the deep sea of consumerism and be embraced as a part of popular culture or drown a horrible, horrible death. But, the money people wanted more money so they sent their sciency people back to their sciency places and instructed them to come up with another permutation of their product so that they could sell more units.

 After many, many years of research and development the sciency people came to the conclusion that it is cheaper to not add ingredients or to remove ingredients completely and to sell the "new and removed" product as an enhanced version.

 Do you remember the Atkins burger? it had meat, lettuce, tomato and no bun. The price was the exact same, they just provided you with the service or removing the bun. The same goes for every "vegetarian" dish in every Mexican restaurant I've been into. A chicken burrito has beans, rice, chicken, salsa, cheese, hot sauce. A vegetarian burrito has beans, rice, salsa, cheese (unless they are vegan) hot sauce. How about that no sugar added ice cream? it tastes just like real ice cream but without the appropriate amount of sugar. Finally, what about low fat muffins and cookies I remember when we just called those "bread".

I would be fine if the stupidity ended there. I'm used to big business duping the little people into buying their product by whatever means necessary. Sadly though the trend has spread to society and infected various aspects of our lives. Do you want to know how to save gas? Drive less or get a car with a smaller displacement engine and less horsepower. Want to know how to stop all the pollution from plastic water bottles? Drink tap water!  Here's a few more gems, turn off the lights, use public transportation and if it's yellow let it mellow. 

These are not solutions they are merely common sense answers to reducing waste. My ideals are more liberal leaning but I draw the line at taking the bus or riding a bike. Call me close minded but the only grown men I know that ride their bike to work are guys who have had their drivers licenses taken away for too many DWI's. Cars are like bikes except a combustion engine does all the work for me. Whenever you come up with the complete solution I will purchase and implement it into my life. Until then please spare me the half solution fake outs. Okay, I admit it, I kinda like that fake butter spread too.


  1. I remember when they added small bits of broken glass to baby food.... it didnt sell well at all! marketing teams and local nutters do not mix well at think tank meetings.

  2. nothing says synthetic, oil-based butter like FABIO!

  3. Addition through subtraction, is the new (fuzzy) math. And I agree, biking to work doesn't work for me. But then again, I'm a plumber and need tools.

  4. That's why I stopped Driving With Idiots! I wanna KEEP my license!

  5. I have just read a few of your posts and they are funny ....for an American! Keep up the good work kid !

  6. Oooooh. He called you American...Good post, too!

  7. Drone is an American Kid?^^

    Well I'll be.

    I happen to like Fabio. Just sayin'.

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  9. "If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down." I remember that. Good post! :)