I'm Robert Marshall, director and principle consultant at SMSMarshall Ltd, who's specialism is in the Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager product and all of its dependent products, covering all aspects from Architecture, Implementation, Migration to Break-Fix.
I've been in front of computers for over 30 years now, with my roots in programming 8 bit computers, I've taken an often exciting journey which has led to becoming an expert in an enterprise product. I consider my career as starting 17 years ago, when I began my first serious role as a deployment engineer. I've seen 8 bit through to 64 bit, the rise and refinement of the interface we take for granted now, the rise of the Internet from land-line based modem access for the few, to the powerful broadband connections we have today for the masses, I saw mobile phones come into existence, and I've seen Microsoft evolve from more than a handful of employees to the company it is now, while pretty much tinkering with every OS they have released, as well as seeing an industry that has evolved around those humble beginnings to become what we have today. I'm a keen technical puzzle solver, I love to solve gnarly problems around my area of specialism. And, I love to share when I have time. I hope you enjoy the blog.
Here's an article with the catchy title: Alcohol our favourite drug
A quick sound bite from that site
"Alcohol is our favourite drug. Most of us use it for enjoyment, but for some of us, drinking can become a serious problem. In fact, alcohol causes much more harm than illegal drugs like heroin and cannabis. It is a tranquilliser, it is addictive, and is the cause of many hospital admissions for physical illnesses and accidents."
Notice that this came from ... The Royal College of Psychiatrists. I wouldn't discredit them by saying they are a bunch of wacky scientists who are out of touch with government policies or society (the real world). I'd be comfortable agreeing with them. Would you?
So is alcohol a drug? I always thought it was, like aspirin is a drug that helps alleviate headaches?
If I was to swallow 100 aspirins I’d either have a very bad belly-ache, or overdose and die. Either way I could end up at the hospital getting my stomach pumped. Not nice at all.
If I was to drink two large bottles of Scotch, again, I could end up in hospital, stomach pumped and drip inserted to dilute my blood. If I drank 90% proof alcohol I could go blind, and die on the spot!
I can easily lay my hands on millions of aspirin, or high alcohol content drinks, so should I be protected from myself in case I over do things? Of course not, no one is there to stop me, only pubs will stop serving you if you look too drunk, or police officers will arrest you for public disorder, but that doesn't stop me from hoarding dozens of bottles or pills and taking my drugs at home does it? Isn't that bad? Surely I should be protected from myself!!!
Could I kill myself? Isn't this dangerous? Shouldn't we stop people from taking alcohol or misusing the drug? Isn't it bad that people take it in the first place? Isn't drug use harmful and should drugs as dangerous as this be sold over the counter? Who knows. Hold on, Politicians seem to know, and they seem to know a heck of a lot more than the scientists do. They know enough for them to make statements about concerns for our health, and reclassify drugs irrespective to the decision arrived at in reports from the scientists they pay to do the reports, and delay legalising these other drugs so that they are not taxed, regulated and controlled like that evil drug alcohol which is taxed, regulated and controlled. Evil alcohol. Yes, I do think it's pretty evil, in moderation sure, but how many parties have you been too, bars, nightclubs, restaurants where someone can barely speak, making a real scene, or they get violent from one look and a fight breaks out? Is that normal?!?! Should we be paying for the health service to patch these drug users up? They are after all committed drug users. Shouldn't regular drinkers be put on a drug user list? Come on, if they do it Friday\Saturday night every week, get drunk, fight, smash things up, cause the police hassle, throw beer glasses back in to pubs only to kill people or injure then with glass wounds, attack their women because they think wife-beating is AOK after a few beers, shouldn't they be arrested and given a criminal record for drug misuse? Shouldn't the crime be clearly marked out as being caused by Drug abuse\misuse? Or should we say "He got drunk, beat on his wife, you know, happens all the time, move along nothing more to see" and tut then deal with the crime he committed and not the main reason for it happening?
Problem is, in the mind’s eye of society, alcohol is not a drug. It's a drink, we all drink now and then, where is the harm in that? It's socially acceptable to be seen holding a beer, smelling of alcohol (well to a degree!), it's AOK for us, we accept it, we've been drinking the stuff for thousands of years! That's why I underlined the words take and use as you don't hear people say "fancy using some alcohol with me" or "Ooo I feel like taking some alcohol". But you will think it's normal language to say "yes let's take some drugs" or "oh man I could really do with using some cannabis or ecstasy right now". Using and Taking just don't seem to fit with alcohol, after all we drink the stuff. It's interesting that the language used by our politicians switches when they refer to one group of drugs over another. Fascinating.
But hold on, Alcohol, one of the most accessible and destructive recreational drugs on this planet is not the same as those other evil drugs, such as Cocaine, Ecstasy or Cannabis to name but a few.
On the one hand we have governments telling us that all recreational drugs are harmful, and if you are caught in possession of them then you could get a warning, then a fine then a prison sentence\criminal record, and on the other hand they are busy taxing and allowing the sale of the most destructive drug known to man.
If you've already switched off from this, you'd of closed the browser by now. But if you are down here reading, then following this link to see the sheer lunacy of the government’s stance on drugs in the UK here. This is what spurned me on as the arguments going on over here are shear madness! These people run our country? Why?!
A scientist compares Ecstasy with horse riding in terms of the deaths caused by each, and funny enough more horse riders die per year than ecstasy users. Go figure. Now the home secretary is going to wreck this scientists career as what he said wasn't in-line with current government policy. So you as a scientist who are suppose to be unbiased have to swallow hard and turn out reports that the government wants to see, and not the truth.