Owen drew this after reading about “input” and output” in one of his Robot books: “input… a signal or information that is put into a machine or electrical system… output… the movement or response of a robot to the input it receives from its sensors.”
When I was growing up, my mom said, over and over, “Garbage in and garbage out.” She was talking, mostly, about television, but I wonder if she knew its usage in computer science? (“In computer science, garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is where flawed, or nonsense input data produces nonsense output or ‘garbage’.”)
I wrote about it in Steal Like An Artist:
Lately, however, I’ve been re-thinking the phrase. Sure, it’s important to surround ourselves with the best influences, but it’s a mistake to think that we can’t be positively influenced by “garbage.” Artists are not machines, or robots. We’re human beings, and we can take “garbage,” or what’s considered “low,” and we can recycle and re-use it, turn it into something new, or something even better.
Personally, I feel that our country is just going to get worse and worse aesthetically, so one survival mechanism is to either become a beauty detectorist, find gold buried in the dirt, or turn yourself into some kind of sewage treatment plant or trash refinery. (As Jesus said, in Matthew 15:11, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”) In addition to saving and celebrating the best our culture has to offer, we might also have to turn our minds into the equivalent Doc Brown’s Mr. Fusion device:
Related reading: Problems of output are problems of input