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Internet Oracularities #1164

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Internet Oracularities #1164    (80 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 09:47:55 -0500 (EST)

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on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
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   1164
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1164  80 votes 6lmm9 7kuj4 16hDh 4boqf cbijk ivh95 6etjc 6fpnb cajep 2gAm4
1164  3.2 mean  3.1   2.9   3.8   3.5   3.3   2.4   3.2   3.2   3.4   3.1


1164-01    (6lmm9 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Oh Oracle most wise, who sleeps with the animals and flies with the
> wind, please tell this most humble Supplicant:
>
> Why are zebra striped black and white rather than green and yellow,
> which would be much more helpful as camouflage in the savannah?
>
> A. Supplicant.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Green and yellow do not give the proper reflectance from the barcode
} scanners.  You see, when the animals were created, there was a big
} discussion about how to track them, and barcodes won out.  Starting in
} reverse alphabetical order, zebras were the first test.  The gods who
} proposed barcodes quickly realized that this would be pretty silly
} across all animals, so other ways were developed.  However, it was too
} much work to redo the zebras, so they're stuck this way.


1164-02    (7kuj4 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh, Oracle most wise, who is a better explainer then Isaac Asimov and
> Cecil Adams combined.
>
> How does your Zot staff work?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oracular Annual Performance Review
} Subject:  Zot Staff
}
} Criteria one:  Quality of Work
}
} Number of Zot attempts this year:  57,374
} Number of Zot's fired:             57,374
} Number of Zot's striking target:   57,374
}
} Anaylsis: 100% success rate.
}
} Criteria two:  Getting along with co-workers
}
} Oracle:  A very valued member of the team.  Could not do without him.
} Lisa:  Could not get through those long nights alone without him.
} Zadoc:  Unavilable for comment while on medical leave
}
} Criteria three:  Customer service
}
} We have heard a single complaint.
}
} There you have it Supplicant.  The Zot staff works very well.
}
} You owe the Oracle a higher success rate.


1164-03    (16hDh dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Wise Oracle most picayunish and duplicitous,
>
> Are the laws of -really- physics constant through out the universe?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Certainly. Unfortunately, there are very few parts of the universe that
} acually use -really- physics. The predominant form, -sorta- physics
} (in which twins fly off in rocket ships and butterflies cause
} hurricanes), is far from constant. It varies as a direct relation with
} time -- but in -sorta- physics, time varies with velocity, which varies
} with force, which varies with mass, which varies with gravity, which
} varies over time.
}
} This is still preferable to -vaguely- physics (in which butterflies fly
} off in rocket ships and twins cause hurricanes). Its laws vary with the
} value of the dollar, which varies with the inverse cube of the mean
} amount of Brownian motion in each cup of tea being poured in
} Staffordshire-oEton, which in turn varies with itself.
}
} And we should all be glad that there are only three planets in the
} known universe which experience -notreallyphysicsatall- physics (in
} which hurricanes fly off in twins and butterflies cause rocket ships).
} The laws of -noreallyphysicsatall- remain constant at all times. The
} problem is that the definition of 'constant' varies with respect to the
} digits of pi.
}
} Now doesn't Einstein sound a lot more sane, all things considered?
}
} You owe the Oracle a complete textbook on each flavor of physics
} described herein, with proper annotations.


1164-04    (4boqf dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <dr.noe@home.com>

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

> Be favorable, O Wise Oracle, Inspirer of frenzied women! We
> supplicants sing of you as we begin and as we end a day of work,
> and none forgetting you may play 'Houses of the Holy' not mind.
>
> What should I look for in a good bird bath?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In a good bird bath? I'd expect to find birds. In a bad bird bath,
} tarantulas.


1164-05    (cbijk dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> PHEBE: Good shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   Ahr well, m'dear, I says choose a good strong sheep. Lurvly
}   creatures, sheep be. You cahn't go far wrong with a good strong
}   sheep, I allus says.
}
} PHEBE: Nay, thou shouldst say: it is to be all made of sighs and tears.
}
}   Thaht's just it, y'see? Sheep be all made o' bleats an' wool. Never
}   no tears with sheep, nor no sighs. Straight as a die, sheep be. I
}   swears by 'em.
}
} PHEBE: Then shouldst thou say: it is to be all made of faith and
} service.
}
}   That be true enough. Sheep be faithful an' I service them reggler.
}   Har har har!
}
} PHEBE: Nay, nay, thrice nay, perverse shepherd!
}        Say'st thou rather: it is to be all made of fantasy;
}        All made of passion, and all made of wishes;
}        All adoration, duty, and observance;
}        All humbleness, all patience, and impatience;
}        All purity, all trial, all obeisance;
}        And so are you for Phebe.
}
}   There be no Phebe in my flock. You be thinkin' of Flossie, I'll
}   wager.
}
} PHEBE: Shepherd, thou pissest me off. I am out of here anon.
}
}   As ewe like it, m'darlin'. Get it? As EWE like it! Har har, that be a
}   good'un, that be.


1164-06    (ivh95 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: MVSOPEN@aol.com

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

> All knowing Oracle,
>
> Who will rule Earth -after- The New World Order?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Cody Gifford.
}
} Now do you agree that some questions are better left unasked?
}
} You owe the Oracle some eyedrops--this seeing into the future crap is
} rough on the Oracular eyeballs.


1164-07    (6etjc dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Listen to me, and listen carefully. I'm you, from two weeks in
> the future.  When I was you, and I received this Email, I tried to
> change the future, and terrible things happened. So make sure it
> doesn't turn out that way this time: don't try to change the future,
> or else it'll all happen again!
>
> You owe the Or-- er, sorry, force of habit.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let me see if I get this straight:
}
} You're me.
}
} You received this very e-mail.
}
} You attempted to change the future based on the limited amount of
} information provided in said e-mail.
}
} Terrible things happened (i.e.: destruction of the known Universe,
} annihilation of all life-forms, Dan Quayle as President).
}
} When you had recovered, two weeks later, you sent this e-mail warning
} me not to do what you, which is now me, had done, in order to avoid the
} future, which is precisely what you're telling me I can't do, seeing as
} how horrible things will happen if I attempt to avert what has already
} going to have been happened.
}
} Damn.
}
} The Universe is screwed.
}
} You owe the Oracle -- no, wait, never mind, I'm going to be busy for
} the next two weeks or so...


1164-08    (6fpnb dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce M. Wilson" <awilson@uplink.net>

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

> 11010001010010110100010010111010001010001010010111010000100010000111100
> 10100010100011110101110101000101011010101110101010001010111010001010001
> 01000101110101001001011101010

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Quite an overbyte you got there.


1164-09    (cajep dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Michael A. Atkinson" <chaos@suespammers.org>

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

> Is this the way the digests end
> Not with a ZOT, but with a woodchuck?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}     There was a time when seeing this question would have given
} Incarnation-2331 a buzz of excitement, but that was long ago. She had
} watched too many Search and Destroy missions come back empty-handed,
} the Wilsonite supplicant having made good his escape long before the
} SANDmen arrived. That is, if the whole thing wasn't an ambush to begin
} with...
}
}     Still, she went through the motions. Activating a tracerbot, she
} opened a comlink to SAND Control and read the details off her monitor,
} whilst the bot painfully picked its way through the tattered remnants
} of the Internet to locate the heretic. "I-2331 reports double Level 1
} Injoke assault: ZOT and woodchucks. Time is oh-eight-five-three,
} question code hash-capqueue-smallyou..." she completed the
} identification. "Tracerbot results coming in now... Assault initiated
} from South Africa, Cape Town. GPS co-ordinates--"
}
}     "Thank you, I-2331. Your call is being put through to Science.
} Please hold."
}
}     I-2331 was flabbergasted. A human operator interrupting her in mid-
} report! And routing her to Science, no less! Why involve Science in a
} bog-standard injoke erasure?
}
}     Another voice came on the line. "Hello. I-2331, is it? You reported
} a double Level 1 just now? And in a foreign country? Excellent,
} excellent! Less chance of upsetting the neighbors. Come up to Number 2
} Lab, will you? And bring those co-ordinates with you."
}
}     Bemused, I-2331 downloaded the details into her palmtop and left
} her cubicle. Clearly, Science had come up with something new in the
} fight against heresy. And I-2331 knew it was sorely needed. Although
} the armies of the true Oracular faith had, to all intents and purposes,
} won the Great Holy War two years ago, the Wilsonites refused to give
} up, and lately they had been gaining ground.
}
}     As an Oracular incarnation, I-2331 was one of the few entrusted
} with full knowledge of the secret history of the Great Holy War. She
} had learnt how the Oracular faith had been beset almost from its very
} beginning by injokes such as Lisa (subsequently identified with the
} Whore of Babylon). But these aberrations had been kept under control
} until the arrival of the unspeakable Brit Wilson and his False Prophet,
} Zadoc. These two opened the floodgates, and before long the Oracle
} himself was all but swamped by a deluge of Ogs, Thags, Kendais, bright
} red Siamese fighting fish, oregano, catchphrases and RHODities too
} numerous to mention.
}
}     Even the priesthood was divided, with many choosing the path of
} heresy and insisting on selecting injokes for the digests. At first
} these had the upper hand, as the true believers were further split into
} numerous factions such as the Oneliners, who believed long answers were
} an abomination in the sight of the Oracle. The darkest hour for the
} true faith came with the massacre of the loyal priests during what
} became known as the Night of the Spiky Clubs. The survivors retreated
} to a bunker beneath the Black Hills of Dakota, which -- greatly
} expanded -- still serves as headquarters of the true religion today.
}
}     During their exile, the true believers (called "Furrs" by their
} enemies, for their superior understanding of what is and is not funny)
} purified themselves by purging their belief system of anything remotely
} resembling an injoke. Even referring to the heretics as "Rethulus"
} (meaning those who mindlessly repeat other people's punchlines) was
} prohibited; "Wilsonites" was chosen as a less potentially heterodox
} label. Sadly, the founding fathers, survivors of the massacre, also had
} to be martyred when a bull from the Council of Doctrine proclaimed that
} the priests themselves constituted an injoke. Thus morally cleansed,
} the true believers started to fight back.
}
}     The Great Holy War that ensued was long and bitter. Most of the Net
} was laid waste by the "Kid from Toronto" virus, whilst cancelbots
} gradually gave way to SAND squads which eliminated blasphemous
} communications by the simple expedient of eliminating the wetware that
} posted them. The firebombing of the University of Indiana (home of the
} Injoke Oracle, reviled be his name) during the 14th annual RHOD
} convention was the turning point. The only thing that survived the
} carnage was a Prince Albert, and its purpose was soon forgotten.
}
}     The resounding victory of the true faith should have heralded a
} golden age. Instead, with the world economy in disarray and famine,
} epidemics and civil unrest rampant in almost every country around the
} globe, many sought to blame the Oracle and his servants for their woes.
} The Wilsonites resurged under these conditions. The true believers
} started suffering serious setbacks. And casualties...
}
}     These thoughts passed through I-2331's mind as she made her way to
} Number 2 Lab. Could Science really have come up with a solution? A
} final solution? She scarcely dared to hope.
}
}     A lanky, middle-aged man in a Principal Tech uniform adorned with
} the label T-646 met her at the laboratory door. His manner was
} enthusiastic, as it had been on the comlink.
}
}     "You're here. Excellent!" he exclaimed. "Come along, come along.
} You must see this. We've selected your boy for the first field test."
}
}     He hurried her along past countless workbenches where industrious
} techs worked at computers or less readily identifiable electronic
} equipment.
}
}     "You know what's wrong with the SAND approach, of course," he
} babbled. "Too inefficient. Slow response time. Limited strike
} footprint. Personpower-intensive and very, very vulnerable to
} counterattack in the field. Do you know how many warm body units SAND
} Control has lost in the last 3 months? Never mind, that's classified.
} But it makes disturbing reading, I can tell you."
}
}     They entered an area of the lab shielded from the rest by glass
} partitions. Half a dozen senior-looking techs worked here, operating
} control panels. A bank of monitors filled the far wall. They showed a
} composite image -- a Mercator projection of the world, overlaid by a
} grid pattern.
}
}     "Got the co-ordinates?" asked T-646. "Excellent, excellent." He
} took her palmtop and passed it to one of his subordinates. "We'll have
} a fix on your little friend in a moment. Boy, is he going to have a
} sore Umberto!"
}
}     I-2331 flinched on hearing the proscribed phrase -- Science were
} notoriously lax in their observance of permissible language. She tried
} to shrug it off and asked, "What is all this? What's going to happen?"
}
}     "We've gained control over Centaur," said T-646. "It's a satellite-
} based particle beam weapon. The only one the erstwhile US government
} managed to put into space under the ill-fated Son of Star Wars project.
} And it's fully operational." He was almost giggling with excitement and
} pride. "Strike footprint of one and a half square miles! Let's see this
} Captain Hook of yours evade that!"
}
}     Something was happening on the bank of monitors. A pair of bright
} red crosshairs had appeared and, as I-2331 watched, they zeroed in on
} the southern tip of the African continent.
}
}     "Target locked in," said one of the techs.
}
}     "Let him have it," said T-646.
}
}     The tech depressed a level. A circle of white light appeared on one
} of the monitors, momentarily obliterating most of South Africa. Then,
} over the hum of the equipment, I-2331 heard another sound. A clear,
} unmistakable, horrifying sound. Her mouth fell open as realization
} dawned on her, but she found herself unable to express her feelings of
} outrage and revulsion.
}
}     T-646 smiled happily. "Well, we proved the little sucker wrong,
} anyway. For him, the digests ended not with a woodchuck, but with a
} ZOT."
}
}     I-2331 recovered her powers of speech with difficulty. "And... and
} if it had taken a, a woodchuck to do it, would you have done that too?"
}
}     The Principal Tech frowned at her. "I would have done whatever it
} takes, my dear. We are not simply fighting for our lives here, you
} know. We are fighting for Good against Evil. For Light against
} Darkness. For Truth, Justice and the Oracular Way. We must not fail. We
} dare not fail. And now, we have the weapon to ensure that we shall not
} fail."
}
}     "Even at the cost of our doctrinal integrity?" asked I-2331. "Even
} if it means becoming the very thing we're fighting?"
}
}     "Come, come, young lady! It surely won't come to that. Cheer up!
} Here, let me introduce you to the team -- I call them my ZOT staff. Ha
} ha ha..."


1164-10    (2gAm4 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> O Great and Y2K Compliant Oracle,
>
> Um, would you like to buy about 500 cans of navy beans, a diesel
> generator, 700 gallons of bottled water, a dozen barrels of fuel and an
> assortment of small arms?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} When the tribute is a role in "Aspenwod and Old Lace II", they give
} me nothing.
}
} When the tribute is a date with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, they give
} me nothing.
}
} Even when I mellow out, lessen my demands, only ask for a recipe for
} tomato soup with noodles, I *still* get nothing!
}
} But when the supplicants have some useless trash that they want to
} get rid of, all of a sudden they think of me.
}
} Well, let me tell you something. *I* *knew* there wouldn't be a Y2K
} problem necessitating your buying all that trash. And if you wanted
} to know, you should have asked. So don't come running to me after
} the fact, asking me to buy the stuff off you.
}
} You owe the Oracle nothing. I mean, why bother asking?


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