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"To us, what's most important is the data, so everything else must serve that end"

This is ideological, right? What's most important is the business. Anyone that starts from the assumption that everything, EVERYTHING, must serve the end of the data, is wrong. Right?

We can make up interesting dilemas all day. How about this one. There is an optimization that facebook can make which is shown to increase monetization by 10%, but it creates soem risk of data corruption. Engineers estimate that it will corrupt 0.01% of facebook posts. Do you choose a 10% increase in monetization, or does everything have to serve the end of data integrity?

Yes, it is ideological. But you're right, at the end of the day, it's the business that matters. Developers are going to have guiding principles and it's not a bad idea to evaluate them every now and then; I hope my hypothetical at least illustrates why the alternative opinion exists. I quite like your hypothetical situation, it's the best retort, and offers a great motivating example for the rise of NoSQL, where ACID compliance simply doesn't make as much business sense as scalability with less validity.

"I don't believe in hypothetical situations" -- Kenneth the Page, 30 Rock.

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