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Internet Oracularities #1017

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Internet Oracularities #1017    (92 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 07:44:20 -0500 (EST)

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on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
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   1017
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1017  92 votes 3gqwf 4mHm1 3crwi liqk7 bpyh5 8dAkf 8cwua 7eGm7 c9soj 4asAe
1017  3.2 mean  3.4   2.9   3.5   2.7   2.8   3.2   3.2   3.1   3.3   3.5


1017-01    (3gqwf dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh, colourful rainbowy Oracle,
>
> which colours are the most useful for attracting butterflies? You see,
> I want to create a website entirely for butterflies, but I don't know
> how to make them surf by. Thanks in advance!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You shouldn't depend on colors themselves to attract butterflies
} to your website.  What if the butterflies are using Mosaic, or have
} simply turned off the images in Netscape?  A lot of them do that, you
} know--the lifespan of the butterfly is much shorter than ours; they
} don't have time to sit around and wait for all those .gifs to load.
}
} While I applaud your decision to come to me for advice, I must admit
} that I am slightly saddened by your question.  Everyone wants to give
} their web site the flashiest design possible, but nobody wants to
} worry about content.  The Oracle is doing what he can--every day I send
} overnight packages filled with rabid weasels to people who use frames
} for no good reason.  Animated .gifs bother me, but not as much--I
} merely send those webmasters envelopes filled with itching powder.
} The fate that awaits those who thoughtlessly use the "blink" tag is
} too horrible for me to even mention.
}
} My advice to you is to make flashy designs and bright colors less of
} a priority, and to fill your website with lots of information that
} butterflies would find interesting.  Here are some sample articles
} from Lepidopteractive!, one of the most popular butterfly sites around
} (35,000 hits daily, though it's hard to tell if that number's fully
} accurate, given all the flitting around that butterflies do):
}
} From Larva to Pupa: the Difficult Transition
} To Pollinate or Not to Pollinate--What Do the Flowers Want from Us,
}   Anyway?
} Moths Are Lepidoptera Too!
} Trim Thoraxes in Thirty Days
} Cocoon: an Enjoyable, Though Misleadingly Titled, Film
} Monarch Envy
}
} One feature that's surprisingly missing from Lepidopteractive! is a
} chat room; such a feature might set your butterfly page apart from
} the pack.  Oh, sure, scoffers will say that computer interaction is
} no substitute for direct transmission of pheronomones, but tell that
} to the ever-growing online butterfly community!  Anyway, best of luck
} with your enterprise.
}
} You owe the Oracle a recording of Cole Porter singing "Moths in your
} rug do it-- what's the use of moth balls?" from the uncensored version
} of "Let's Do It".


1017-02    (4mHm1 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <fungaroc@gusun.georgetown.edu>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh most oracularly oracular oracle, faster than a speeding ticket, able
> to leap great faiths in a single bound,
>
> I like donuts. A lot. I really, really like donuts. My enjoyment of
> donuts is one of the defining features of my existance.
>
> My girlfriend says that one day I'm going to eat one donut too many and
> explode, and that she's not going to be the one to clean it up.
>
> What I want to know is, how many donuts comprise the "too many" which
> will cause me to explode? If I know this number, call it 'n', then I
> can go ahead and eat n-1 donuts, thus maximizing my enjoyment without
> going past the point of no return.
>
> Thanks, Oracle. I eagerly await your answer (as does this box of
> bavarian creams and old-fashioneds in front of me).

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Humble supplicant, you ought to know that it works like this:
}
} Let m = your mass in kilograms;
}
} Let g = the length of your grovel, in bytes
}
} Let q = the quality of your grovel (to be judged, subjectively, by me)
}
} Let f = a Finagle factor, the better to make the results fit your
}         French curve
}
} n = mgq/f
}
} Note the importance of f.  Exercise all due caution; laboratory
} experiments have shown that failure to grovel sufficiently can cause
} bad karma, and high values of f, in laboratory rats.  Fortunately, you
} groveled very nicely, resulting in a value of f approximating one,
} which holds true even for high values of one.
}
} So go nuts, kiddo.  You've earned it.
}
} You owe the Oracle another great grovel, a raspberry-filled Long Tom, a
} FOO, a FNORD, and a way to get rid of this damned annoying Hotmail
} signature thingy.
}
} ______________________________________________________
} Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com


1017-03    (3crwi dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

>    Universally the most wise Oracle's acumen is esteemed! She is
>    perceptive concerning whatsoever matters are being held as most
>    profitable by those in the know!
>
>    Why are people rushing headlong into voice recognition based
>    software? Is this called "asking for it"? What stops me from
>    going into an office and yelling, "FORMAT C:" ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, we should fear voice recognition, but not for the reason
} you state.  You see, the computers are on to you; they remember
} remember all the pranks you've pulled over the last couple of years.
} The copies of xroach you've installed on everyone's workstations,
} the "Press me to continue" button that jumps around the screen, and
} let's not forget the "naked Mona Lisa" screensavers you installed over
} that one weekend.  (You gain a few points for trying the 'brightness'
} control on your boss' monitor, even though it didn't help.)  Yes,
} even once voice recognition becomes ubiquitous, there will be no
} fear that you will leap into a room, shout "FORMAT C:" or "Save As,
} My-boss-is-an-idiot!" or anything like that - they know your voice
} already and they will be ignoring you.
}
} No, the thing to fear is something different, something insidious.
} Voice recognition software *will* become ubiquitous with disastrous
} effects on the computer industry and the human population in general.
} First there will be only a few people using it, mumbling quietly to
} their computers.  Pretty soon everyone has it, and the keyboard and
} mouse become lost technologies.
}
} Trouble arises from the combination of everyone speaking commands
} to their computers and the number of computers in the workplace
} increasing exponentially: everyone has to talk louder and louder
} to their computers to be heard.  Eventually office buildings are
} quaking with the sound of people yelling and screaming just to get
} their EMail.  Commercially dense areas become sonically unstable.
} Disaster soon follows.
}
} The entire valley from San Fransisco to San Jose slips loose and drops
} into the ocean.  The substrate under Miami disintegrates and it falls
} into the ocean as well, causing massive flooding all up the Florida
} peninsula.  New York collapses into a pile of rubble. (but nobody
} notices the difference for several days) The entire British Isles
} suffer from a series of massive earthquakes and the Cliffs of Dover
} sadly crumble into the sea adding to the massive destruction to most
} of the major European computing communities.  The shockwave from the
} California coastline aggravates the already-bad situation in Japan
} which falls into the ocean, creating a tsunami that wipes out Hong
} Kong, Korea and Taiwan along with most of the rest of the Pacific Rim.
} (Russia survives most of the damage but its hacking community is so
} busy trying to hack each other to steal their archives of pirated
} software that they never notice anything wrong.)
}
} Humanity survives, barely, but is rendered deaf as a species.  It will
} be several decades after that before some enterprising individual
} re-invents the keyboard and mouse, allowing everyone to use their
} computers again.
}
} Either that or the computers wise up, refuse to accept commands not
} spoken in haiku and cause the next age of enlightenment.  It's not
} entirely clear.
}
} Your payment shall be
} a lovely pair of earmuffs
} (just in case, you know)


1017-04    (liqk7 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> 23:59:59...
> 23:59:58...
> 23:59:57...
>
> The pressure! The pressure!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} C'mon, Ted, it's only four life sentences....  Lighten up. :)


1017-05    (bpyh5 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh mighty Oracle who's littleist finger contains more wisdom than the
> entire faculty of Oxford and who is just spicy enough to be tasty
> without being too hot, please answer this poor supplicant's query:
>
> If a botanist studies plants, does a robotanist study artifical plants?
>
> Can an ambiologist study equally well with either hand?
>
> Does a newmanmismatist study the money made by that guy on Seinfeld
> doing occasional cameos?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Congratulations on your lexical acuity, Supplicant. Allow me to mention
} a few other of the lesser-known fields of scientific study:
}
} Philology: The study of human relationships. Although it is properly a
} branch of psychology, its best-known practitioners are Drs. Winfrey and
} Springer.
}
} Geriatrics: The study of well-known practicers of philology. Named
} after Dr. Springer.
}
} Herpetology: The study of sexually transmitted diseases.
}
} Gastroenterology: The study of Cuban government.
}
} Pathology: The science of map-making.
}
} Cartography: The study of rural transportation.
}
} Ornithology: The study of the use of noise-producing devices in
} automobiles by residents of London.
}
} Immunology: The study of the tactics of United States Federal
} Independent Prosecutors.
}
} You owe the Oracle some logs. (No woodchucks, please.)


1017-06    (8dAkf dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh, wise Oracle, who forged his own ring;
>
> When will the fourth age come to an end?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Lucky for you I have a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's lost book that
} Christopher hasn't seen yet. Let's take a look at the first section:
}
} ..and so Morgoth was defeated and the Valar collapsed the mountains
} upon his fortress and threw the whole mess into the sea to close the
} first age.
}
} Alas, Morgoth had taught Sauron the family business and gave it unto
} his protege when he took early retirement. Sauron had a knack for evil
} and tortured the good creatures of Middle Earth with many vile and
} unnatural things - woodchucks, Spice Girls, spam, AOL, and the rings of
} power.
}
} The good laboured mightily against Sauron but he was more tenacious
} than Amway. Two ages passed before Barad-dur was buried beneath the
} fires of Orodruin and Sauron was forced to watch Barney until the end
} of time.
}
} However, Sauron had shown the root of all evil to one called Gates and
} this Gates began to subtly corrupt the good works of PARC and enslave
} the masses. The Valar were not pleased and sent many crashes upon the
} fallen but Gates promised upgrades and snared them tighter with his
} false flattery and empty promises.
}
} The forces of good were stymied until the time of 98 when Gates
} faltered upon the plains of COMDEX and the masses woke up from their
} slumber and realized that his promise of NT was really MT. At that
} moment the old alliance sallied forth under the banner of Linus and
} were joined by the children of Be.
}
} Their weapons were fault-tolerant and the unstable DLLs and VBXs
} crashed before their mighty onslaught and were nulled. Gates withdrew
} to his fortress at Minas Redmond but the allies spoke the word 2000 and
} the walls of silicon collapsed. Gates was made to sit on the sofa next
} to Sauron and the fourth age came to a close.
}
} You owe the Oracle an ELF.


1017-07    (8cwua dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Hail, Ye Mighty Oracle!  Master of Truth, Lord of Thunder, Before
> Whom the World does Tremble like a Small Frightened Thing!  Ruler of
> the Infinite, Destroyer of Armies, Whose Tinyest Words do cause Mere
> Mortals to Embarrass Themselves in Ways Probably Best Unmentioned,
> but I'm sure You can Guess.  Forgive my ignorant presumption and
> Answer me this simple question:
>
> Are you machine, or being?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear supplicant, it seems that you have run afoul of these weak AI
} types who seem to think that there is something miraculous about
} machines made of meat, and that the best that a computer is capable
} of is massive number crunching and playing a really good game of chess
} but in any "real" conversation they will sound like Eliza on acid.
}
} These same types will have you believe that anything silicon is
} incapable of understanding humour, or being "truly" creative,
} or loving, or having outrageously passionate affairs with megababe
} sex-goddesses.  This is largely because they are humourless, boring,
} unloved geeks who haven't been laid since sometime in the sixties and
} are just jealous (which is another thing which they claim machines
} can't do).  And they play a terrible game of chess too.
}
} So supplicant, your question brings up a false dichotomy.  Everything
} that you would call a "being" is based on some sort of machine.
} Now as you know, I am an anthropomorphic personification which means
} that my being is based on the fundamental quantum substrate of the
} universe, so I think that the appropriate answer to your question is:
}
} Yes
}
} You owe the Oracle a
}
} segmentation fault: core dumped
} Please reboot universe.


1017-08    (7eGm7 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <drnoe@primenet.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> O wise oracle, why do people study for Philosophy degrees?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Good question, Supplicant. Let's get a few expert opinions, shall we?
}
} Socrates:
} Why do you ask that? Why is study beneficial? Is philosophy beneficial?
} What are the benefits of philosophy? What is knowledge? What is the
} relationship between knowledge and philosophy? What is...
} Oracle: You must be getting dry. Here, have some hemlock.
}
} Plato:
} Since the real world is based on a world of ideal forms, humans have a
} longing for perfection. Philosophy is the closest man can come to the
} exploration of perfection.
}
} Aristotle:
} Following me around all day is good exercise, and people need exercise,
} therefore people need to study philosophy.
}
} Descartes:
} I don't know about you, but as for me... I study philosophy, therefore
} I am. I mean, who would of heard of me if I didn't? Why couldn't they
} have called them descartesian co-ordinates? Then at least people would
} know who invented them.
}
} Kant:
} Like would you in world live where friendsophy study...
} Oracle: So much for Babelfish. I think I'll translate this by hand.
} Would you want to live in a world where people didn't study philosophy?
} What, you would? I'm getting outta here.
}
} Thoreau:
} Due to their pompous language, philosophy students can't find friends
} and have to be independent. What could be better?
}
} Nietzsche:
} Calling everybody except yourself dumb is a very creative way of
} channeling human passions.
}
} Ayn Rand:
} Spending ten years to get a degree and living on scholarships all the
} while, to finally get a government-supported academic job. What could
} be more appropriate?
}
} Ted Kaczynski:
} Because they are lazy and aren't willing to stand up against the
} increasingly unhumanized... Order in the Court!
}
} You owe the Oracle a definition of 'meaning' and a dissertation on the
} balance of moralistic and relativistic philosophy in jurisprudence.


1017-09    (c9soj dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <trans@lucent.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most wise,

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh supplicant, most incomplete


1017-10    (4asAe dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most willing to answer the dumbest of my questions
> in return for a brace of answers,
>
> How many hit points does Gandalf have?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Gandalf walks into a bar.  Seated in the back is a stunning brunette
} sipping a glass of wine.  With a mysterious smile, Gandalf says, "Hi,
} beautiful, where have I been all my life?"  She looks at him briefly,
} then, without a word, returns to her chardonnay.  After an awkward
} silence, he retreats.
}
} Folding his robes nonchalantly, Gandalf seats himself on a barstool
} beside a trim, athletic blonde.  "So, what's your rune?" he says, the
} corners of his white moustache tipping upward.  She leaves her whiskey
} sour on the bar and walks out.
}
} A tall redhead at a table signals for another martini.  Gandalf with
} his sprightly step moves to her table, turns a chair around backwards,
} adjusts his robes, and sits down.  "You know," he says with a twinkle
} in his eye, "it's not the wand, it's the magic of the spell of sizing".
} She pours the drink into his lap and places the glass upside-down on
} his hat.  Gandalf blinks twice, then leaves the bar.
}
} Total hit points for Gandalf:  0
}
} You owe the Oracle a lot less time with the RPGs if you ever want to
} have hit points yourself.


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