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Internet Oracularities #1246

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Internet Oracularities #1246    (57 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2002 10:18:16 -0500 (EST)

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Let us know what you like!  Send your ratings of these 10 Oracularities
on an integer scale of 1 ("very bad") to 5 ("very good") with the
volume number to oracle-vote@cs.indiana.edu (probably just reply to
this message).  For example:
   1246
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1246  57 votes 6alg4 9kh83 27jja 76ckc 4cjf7 6gm85 8jj92 dbl93 38hib 9fm83
1246  3.0 mean  3.0   2.6   3.5   3.4   3.2   2.8   2.6   2.6   3.5   2.7


1246-01    (6alg4 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Oh wise and wonderful Oracle; giver of information and humor; punisher
> of the selfish and proud.
>
> Why do humans' altruistic impulses increase proportional to the
> possibility of retribution?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Now let's think about this.  Altruism is defined as: unselfish regard
} for or devotion to the welfare of others.  If this were the case, the
} possibility of retribution [the dispensing or receiving punishment,
} especially in the hereafter] would have no gating effect on altruistic
} impulses, urges, acts or anything else, lest they not be considered
} 'altruistic'.
}
} On the other hand, the possibility of remuneration [to pay an
} equivalent to for a service, loss, or expense], or more directly
} 'getting some', is probably a better driver of pseudo-altruistic
} intent.
}
} Point of Debate: If we take our significant other out for a nice dinner
} and a movie, are we driven to do this because: a) They will make our
} life hell if we don't (long term consequences) - or - b) It directly
} increases our chance of 'getting some' (short term consequences)
}
} Opinion: Neither choice is driven by altruistic intent.  It doesn't
} matter whether we acted to 'get some' or 'avoid getting it'; we acted
} for our own personal benefit (kinetic or potential).  Truly altruistic
} acts are few and far between.
}
} The Oracle, however, is a shining example of purest altruism.
} I answer these questions without regard for remuneration nor fear
} of retribution.
}
} You owe the Oracle dinner and a movie.


1246-02    (9kh83 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> The sands of time trickle through the hourglass of time and only the
> Oracle knows exactly how many grains there are, and how much each of
> them weigh and their exact size and shape and flavor. . .
>
> Why do they dress prisoners up to look like carrots?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} They tried beetroots, but the uniforms turned out to be so bulky they
} wouldn't fit in the prisoner's dock in the courtroom.
}
} You owe the Oracle a photo of Mr. Potato Head in jail.


1246-03    (27jja dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <shantipoet@teenagewildlife.com>

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

> Hey Orrie!  Watch me pull a question out of my ass!
>
> Why don't young people play shuffleboard?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That question really should end with the word "yet," because, from the
} creative geniuses who brought you EXTREME BOWLING and THAT VIDEO GAME
} WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSEDLY DANCING BUT ARE REALLY JUST PAYING $1.50 TO
} JUMP ON THE FLOOR FOR THREE MINUTES, it's...
}
} EXTREME SHUFFLEBOARD, to be introduced to today's discriminating 12-24
} TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC in a new half-hour series premiering in April on MTV
} and brought to you by MOUNTAIN DEW CODE RED, STRIDEX MEDICATED PADS,
} and NEW GERITOL TEEN PLUS ("It's never too early to get to know
} Geritol")!
}
} Featuring the following EXTREME elements:
}
} * All players must have at least four piercings, and ears don't count!
}
} * Players must be atop wheels, whether skateboard, Rollerblades, or
} motorbike, while pushing the discs with their TITANIUM STICKS!
}
} * Some of the discs will be lit on fire!  And the rest will be in neon
} colors!
}
} * Hydraulic lifts under the court will raise one side or the other at
} random intervals!
}
} * Scores have been multiplied by TEN!
}
} * Heavy metal music will be playing THE ENTIRE TIME!  There will also
} be a fog machine, or perhaps TWO!
}
} * The Backstreet Boys' original keyboard player is already penciled in
} to appear as the SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE in the debut episode!
}
} Orders for EXTREME SHUFFLEBOARD equipment are already being taken!
} Contact your local Shuff-L-Sport representative to fully equip YOUR
} shuffleboard court, arena, or rink today, BEFORE the young people
} descend upon you...
}
} St. Petersburg area:  Horace Q. Montmorency
} Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach:  Albert Squelter Sr.
} Phoenix, other Arizona cities:  Monroe K. Warlington
}
} (Note:  E-mail contact and Web ordering are unavailable until
} Shuff-L-Sport personnel feel fully comfortable with this newfangled
} Internet contraption.)
}
} And don't feel left out, Canada:  CURLING MAXX is on its way!


1246-04    (76ckc dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Paul Kelly <zymurge@mindspring.com>

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

> Most felecitous greetings, my fine and clever friend. Or as we say down
> in here in Somerset: "Ello my luvvur!".
>
> So anyway, the Oracle's sitting in this empty bar. Just you on your
> stool, nursing a glass of rough looking bourbon, and the barman,
> silently polishing glasses with a bar towel and keeping one eye on the
> exit with the studied nonchalance of a man who can smell trouble and
> has survived a thousand bar fights. Suddenly, with a gust of wind and a
> bang, the door flies open! As your eyes adjust to the change in light,
> you realise that finally your nemesis has found you. It will end right
> here, right now - for one of you at least. "So, Mr Google!" you say
> with mock humour, "We meet again!". The Google steadies his stance, and
> flicks his cloak back behind his shoulders. With a low grunt, he
> replies. "Yes Oracle. And tell me. Do you feel lucky?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "We both know luck has nothing to do with this, Google", I barked back,
} cleaning up the last few drops of bourbon with an air of nonchalance
} and touch of i-couldn't-really-give-a-toss-ed-ness.
}
}       Mr Google, had been the bane of my existence for many a moon
} now, and I knew, that his words of closure rang with an essence of
} truth. This would end here, now and more than likely in tears or at the
} least in a immature tizzy fit.
}
}       More machine than man now, twisted and evil the Google gurgled
} each breath in anticipation. Our last battle left the upper east side
} in rubble. It had taken the humans years to rebuild the city, and
} hadn't done wonders for either of our reputations. We had produced a
} trail of disaster in our wake unseen even in the most ultra-violent
} anime fight scenes, leaving the inhabitants in a never ending pool of
} misery and despair. Cowering in fear all along, hoping that the next
} power packed blow from one of use would spare their lives and the lives
} of those they had grown to love unconditionally.
}
}       Fate was such as asshole.
}
}       I knew it was a fairly even match, but I wasn't going to let on.
} Google had better fire power now, a huge arsenal of tools, and a
} dealing method like no other search engine. But I had an untold ace or
} two up my sleave. I knew this day would come sooner or later, I was
} ready this time.
}
}       "You remember your promise don't you?", he uttered.
}       "Naturally...", I replied, reaching into my jacket pocket for my
} Pokemon cards.
}
}       "Pinkys for your Peagamon, if you loose"
}       "...and your Deluxe Pichachoo if _you_ loose", I reminded him.
}
}       At that point, Google slid slowly toward the nearest table.
} Upturning a beer mat, and dividing it into to columns using his 5
} colour Bic biro. I joined him at the table, thumbing through my
} Powermon deck all the while.
}
}       "Barkeep!", I yelled, "Two of your finest 7-ups... and spare us
} the ice".
}
}       But no response was returned by the barman, I looked behind me,
} only to find the tell tale signs of abandonment, the barman shaped hole
} in the wall, the lonely tumbleweed wheeling past on the street outside,
} the distant cries of a hungry vulture swimming in the sky above.
}
}       The Google, with all his might, ordered the first cut and did so
} with skill I hadn't seen in a Pokemon master before. This was going to
} the battle to end all battles, after this, owning his Deluxe Pichachoo
} would probably be meaningless outside of our rivalry. But with the
} first cut came the first sortie from Google.
}
}       ....we played for hours, but with each hand came yet another
} draw. Each tiebreaker sudden death shoot out ended in equality. Soon
} the morning rolled round, but still we were even.
}
}       "So that's one million seven hundred and sixty five thousand
} two hundred and nine for me....." I announced, playing my trademark,
} Iceamon, Pogoamon combination.
}       "aah yes, your Pogoamon style is strong, but my Cowamon style
} will prevail", the Google gurgled with extreme predacious. He played
} his last card, the dreaded Cowamon from the even more dreaded
} Hefferamon deck. This was is it, this play really raised the stakes, I
} knew I was in trouble.
}
}       Wiping the sweat from my brow, I slowly inspected my last card.
} Turning it up carefully so as not to let the Google know of our fate.
} But this card was special, one of kind. This one plastic pressed laser
} holygramed piece of cardboard was strong enough to bring the strongest
} of Pokewarriors to their knees. And as I played it the four walls of
} the universe the shuddered in fear, the very fabric of space and time
} stretched and rippled with it's weight.
}
}       "Noooooo!" screamed the Google in defeat, "it can't be!"
}
}       "yes, yes it is."
}
}       "But that card was lost by the great ones when the Pokemon
} license was bought off Nintendo."
}
}       "It was never lost your fool, but entrusted with me !!" (it's an
} oracular perk)
} And with that the Google began to melt, shrinking into a tiny puff of
} dust and cliche'd 'ting' sound as he finally dissolved into
} nothingness leaving this physical plane for good.
}
} ....There is no Pokemon card that can defeat the maligned
} Woodchuckamon.


1246-05    (4cjf7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Paul Kelly <zymurge@mindspring.com>

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

> Wise Oracle,
>
> Who is most afraid of themselves?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Those who cannot get pronouns to agree with antecedants.


1246-06    (6gm85 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <shantipoet@teenagewildlife.com>

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

> Like a second cup of coffee the Oracle turns the murky haze of the
> world into a more coherent and meaningful mass of stimuli,
>
> As man leaves earth for the stars he'll need a renewable food
> source. Something easy to raise, something robust, something
> nutritious Why not insects? One could raise cockroaches on
> human waste and then irradiate them and eat them. What do you
> think?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Supplicant,
}
} This would be a fine idea, for cockroaches are delicious and taste like
} honey roasted peanuts.  However, cockroaches do not do well in outer
} space. In a weightless environment, the poor creatures have a tendency
} to suffer from distress, nausea, and rabid cannibalism, and if there is
} anything worse than having to pick your food off of your own dung, it
} is having to clean up little pre-digested pieces of your own dung and
} other cockroaches.  One might rather suggest having a supply of those
} little marshmallow peanuts. After these are gone, anyone would be happy
} to eat their own dung, just to get rid of the taste of those nasty
} peanut things.


1246-07    (8jj92 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Awesome and spectuncular Oracule, I bow down on bended
> kneee to grovule in your face.  As you can tell, I am
> very good at this grovuling stuff but not much else.
>
> Please give me the course on self imporvment.
>
> Ingore any of my speling rooris, I thinmkkkk my fimngers
> just got too faat.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Twelve Steps to Self Improvement
} 1.  Deny that you have any problem.  If confronted, get angry.
} 2.  Brag to people about your iron will.  Any bad habits you have, you
}       do them "because you feel like it".  You could stop any time.
} 3.  Rely completely on yourself.
} 4.  Make a searching and fearless inventory of your co-workers' desk
}       drawers.  What you find is yours.
} 5.  Admit your problems to no-one.  You'll fix them and then won't have
}       to tell anyone!
} 6.  Prepare to have your plastic surgeon remove all defects of face and
}       form.
} 7.  Humbly ask your mail administrator to remove your name from email
}       lists.
} 8.  Make a list of all the people you've harmed.  Work on expanding it.
} 9.  Go to each person on your list, hat in hand, and tell him that you
}       acknowledge having harmed him.  Then say "And there's plenny more
}       where that came from, buck-o!"  Laugh and run away.
} 10. Take inventory of people around you.  When they are the slightest
}       bit wrong about anything, trumpet it.
} 11. Hit confessional weekly to purge sins.  Try not to die on a
}       Saturday.
} 12. Spread rumors about who is (and who should be) in 12-step programs.


1246-08    (dbl93 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: MVSOPEN@aol.com

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

> Wise Oracle,
>
> How many shares of Global Crossing did you own?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Every one you have, to start with.  Good thing I got out in '98.  And
} it's not insider trading if you're an outsider who just knows
} everything.
}
} You owe Oracle... we'll let you off this time.


1246-09    (38hib dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <shantipoet@teenagewildlife.com>

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

> I received e-mail from someone pretending to be me.
> How can I reply to him without getting confused?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What in the world was I thinking when I mailed this to me?
} I should've asked the Internet Oracle instead.


1246-10    (9fm83 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <shantipoet@teenagewildlife.com>

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

> Every day I send you dozens of straight-line supplications.  From
> time to time you use them well, but often you waste them with
> answers that range from the literal to the boring.  You, O Omniscient
> One, have even told me you DIDN'T KNOW something!  (It was another
> of my silly straight lines and you handed the reply for typing to an
> incarnation who didn't know from evaporated milk.)
>
> Should I try sending you totally stupid and inane questions instead,
> in hopes that it might tickle some incarnation's funny bone, if indeed
> any of them have one?  Like, "Duhhhhh?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Okay, fine, fine, everyone's a critic (Excpet Pauline Kael, she's an
} ex-critic).  Let's review the archives shall we?
}
} |OracleSQL> SELECT Question FROM Supplication WHERE
} |SupplicantID=15354129 ORDER BY Date DESC
}
} |QUESTION
} |========
} |Where are my pants?
} |
} |Hey buhhhhhhhdy, it's the weaz, gettin it in with the Oracle-man,
} |buhhhhhhhdy!
} |
} |Is it legal to assault Beatniks on the grounds that they were asking
} |for it?
} |
} |Which is worse: Michael Jackson's "look" or Henry Kissinger's "Feel"?
}
} Okay, now, please forgive me that I answered the first question
} literally, I mean, I thought you were in genuine need of help (or you
} were Japanese Pop Star).
}
} As for the second, you know that Paulie Shore questions are borderline
} ZOTs... Anyways, it's "buhhhdee"  -- two e's, three h's for proper form
} according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
}
} The third supplication was interesting, and I hoped you looked up the
} multiple legal angles (including J. Kerouac, D. DiPalma, N. Cassidy et
} al vs. State of Arizona) and I thought I did pretty well showing the
} Nash Equilibrium of a game where one assults (Agressive) or does not
} assault (Nice) a beat writer.
}
} And as for the fourth, Of course I don't know... really, they're pretty
} much equally horrible: Any attempt to find which was more horrible
} would force me to examine it at a subatomic level with readings of both
} position and velocity, and if I did that it would violate the
} Uncertainty Principle, leading to the cessation of
} time/causality/thermodynamics as we know it, so while I could get you
} the answer, you would have a tough time reading it with your atoms
} spread out through Galaxy M-80.
}
} So, in short, I think I'm doing okay.  You owe me more one liners.


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