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Internet Oracularities #141

Goto:
141, 141-01, 141-02, 141-03, 141-04, 141-05, 141-06, 141-07, 141-08, 141-09, 141-10


Usenet Oracularities #141    (16 votes, 3.4 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 90 21:46:27 -0500

To find out how to participate in the Usenet Oracle, send mail to:
   oracle@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu    or    {ames,rutgers}!iuvax!oracle
with the word "help" in the subject line.  To receive these postings via
mail, send mail to oracle-request on the same machine.  Back postings
are available via anonymous ftp on iuvax.cs.indiana.edu (129.79.254.192)
in the directory pub/oracle.  Let us know what you like!  Send your
ratings of these Oracularities on a scale of 1 = "not funny" to 5 =
"very funny" with the volume number to oracle-vote, eg:
   100
   2 1 3 4 3 5 3 3 4 1

141   16 votes 46411 06280 02617 03454 42262 42262 10447 01645 01177 14434
141   3.4 mean  2.3   3.1   3.8   3.6   3.0   3.0   4.0   3.8   4.2   3.3


141-01    (46411 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> Here's Cathy who's lived most everywhere,
> From Istanbul to Bel Air,
> And Patty's only seen the sights
> A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights,
> What a crazy pair!
> But they're cousins,
> Identical cousins and you'll find,
> They look alike, they walk alike,
> They sometimes even talk alike,
> You will lose your mind,
> When cousins are two of a kind!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Stop it!  Just *STOP* it!  Everyone makes fun of me, well you can just
} stop it!
}
} *SNIFF*
}
} Nobody understands.
}
} It's tough being an all mighty oracle.  Really it is.  I just couldn't
} take it.  They were young, we were foolish, who was to know?
}
} Besides, when was the last time you had twins?


141-02    (06280 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

>  What does the future of my BBS (bulletin board system) look like in
> the 1990's?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hang on a sec... I'll have a look. Meanwhile, here's some light music...
}
} dum dee dum dee ACK!
}
} Fuckin-a wow man dig it! Here we go:
}
} Dec 1990 : Gets two telebit 9600+ Modems for $1400.
} Feb 1991 : Gets a sun workstation and goes over to Unix. Total cost:
}            $46000
} Mar 1991 : Gets UUnet hook-up and starts carrying netnews.
} Mar 1991 : Gets a 600 Megabyte laser drive to accomodate NetNews.
} Apr 1991 : On the leading edge of technology, gets a 16 KByte modem
} Jan 1992 : Gets a couple of more Suns to network. Starts charging for
}            hookup.
} Apr 1992 : IRS Audit. Cancelled when IRS computer crashes "Mysteriously"
}            losing all records. America rejoices. You owe me for that
}            one, guy.
} Jan 1995 : Gets a Cray-On-A-Desk, 3 35 Kbyte Modems.
} Mar 1995 : Gets a 400 Gigabyte Hard disk.
} Apr 1995 : Gets a hook-up to Bitnet because people want to chat on
}            relay.
} Jan 1998 : Cray-On-A-Desk now obselete. Dumped for Super-Giga-Mega-
}            Japanese computer on a desk. 1024 Gigabytes Ram, 20000
}            Gigabyte Hard drive.
} Mar 1998 : All earlier modems dumped for 13 512 Megabyte Ram Transfer
}            modems from Telebit.
} Dec 1999 : Declares bankruptcy.
}
} You owe the Oracle $6251231321, which is what you will pay for all this
} hardware.


141-03    (02617 dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> Please explain the classification scheme for 1st cousin, 2nd cousin, 1st
> cousin once removed, etc.  My 1st cousin's daughter and I are
> considering marriage.  What is your advice on the subject?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} My advice to young people considering marriage: DON'T.
}
} The classification scheme is as follows:
}
}          God
}           |
}           |
}        The Oracle  <~~~~~ Bitnet Link ~~~~~>  Pablo Picasso (deceased)
}           |                                           |
}           |                                           |
}           |                          Kernighan ---------------- Ritchie
}           |              Holborn                                   |
}           |   Eve        Viaduct                                   |
}        -------*------------*------------*------------           William
}        |                   :          Earl's        |        Shakespeare
}        |                   :(disused) Court         |
}     ----------------      `A'                ------------------------
}     |              |                         |                      |
} Neanderthal      Tyrannosaurus          Napoleon             William the
} Man              Rex                    Bonaparte            Conqueror
}     |              |                                                |
}     |              |-------------------------------------------   Max
} Sylvester        Clare                |                       | Bygraves
} Stallone         Short                |                       |
}                              1st cousin once                2nd cousin
}                              removed (used to be at `A'
}                              but is now removed)


141-04    (03454 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> Oh great and wise all-seeing and all-knowing fount of wisdom and truth,
> known to some lesser sorts as the Oracle, simply because they would be
> unable to comprehend the true greatness that is your self, I ask of thee
> an answer to this most perplexing and troubling question.
>
> It seems that every time I submit a witty and potentially clever
> question to the oracle, some dweeb comes back with a plain and dull
> answer, and it never makes it into the Oracularities.  Likewise, when I
> receive a question which I must answer, it is inevitably a dull and
> uninteresting question with absolutely no potential for humor or wit.  I
> have not yet had either question nor answer published, and I am tired of
> my witty questions being ruined by amateurs, as am I tired of being
> subjected to worn out and fruitless questions which give me no
> opportunity to display my true capability as a hand of the Oracle.
>
> What can I do about this tragic situation?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh servant, whos ego is much too big for his miniscule talents, whos
} questions are really the ramblings of a deranged, but dull mind,
} I shall tell you the answer to your troubles, but first a word from
} our sponsor:
}
}       *************************************************
}       *                                               *
}       *      This oracle answer has been              *
}       *       brought to you by...                    *
}       *                                               *
}       *        CATHOLISOL CLENSER                     *
}       *        the miracle acne medicine              *
}       *                                               *
}       *    Manufactured by The Catholic Church Inc.   *
}       *        (The Papal Pimple People)              *
}       *                                               *
}       *************************************************
}
}       And NOW back too... (fanfare) THE ORACLE.
}
} OK David, there are four steps which you must take to ensure that
} you will get your answers posted.
}
}       First:  It is necessary that address the oracle in the
}       proper form, (as you have finally learned to do.)
}
}       Secondly: About those unpaid parking bills... The
}       oracle has a cooperative deal with the local police
}       departments, to ensure that in the future you will
}       recieve clever witty answers you must 0100100101101
}       0100010001110110100100100100100 clerc at least
}       a hundred dollars per ticket and 001011010010001010
}       0101101.  I'm sorry, my translating module seems to
}       be malfunctioning, I think some idiot bought the
}       cheap batteries on sale instead of Duracell.  Damn.
}       10001011011000010010 better fix that now, 010100011
}       C'est vrai, Quell domage, 1000100111110010 <Click>
}       <wirrrrr> <Click>
}       OK, that's better,  I think it was just a late April
}       fools joke. At any rate...
}
}       Thirdly: Send twenty dollars to P.O. Box 64 along
}       with some naked picture of your girlfriend and her
}       number.
}
}       And Forthly: Get a life, there's more to existance
}       than getting your questions printed, you should be
}       satisfied simply recieving my wonderful advice.
}
} You owe the oracle some more respect.


141-05    (42262 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> Gosh almighty, who's been taking the Lord's name in vain now?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} How the Oracle should We know?


141-06    (42262 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> What was\will be the most stupid thing done by Dan Quayle?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} When he invites George Bush around for dinner and serves broccoli
} soup followed by baked broccoli with a broccoli salad and finally
} sugared broccoli for desert. Mr Bush will choke on an after dinner
} mint and Dan will be the Prez!


141-07    (10447 dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

>  All right, Oracle, tell me some good ways to mess up the phone company.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} mmmmmm.  Oh, yeah...that's it.  Yes right there.  Oh yes yes Yes YES
}
} What?  Where?  Oh, DAMN!  No, I have to take it now - it says so in my
} contract.  OK, just hold that position and I'll try to make this as
} quick as possible.
}
} ALL RIGHT, HOSEHEAD, so you want to mess with the phone company, eh?
} Did it occur to you that this message is probably being brought to you
} courtesy of the phone company?  That the bits which make up this here
} message were probably transmitted over phone-company leased data lines,
} through phone-company switching equipment?
}
} Message from kinzler@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu on console at 23:39 ...
} All right, oracle...just because this poor naive prankster happened to
} catch you at an inoportune moment with Lis....hey, what have we here?
} That's not Lisa!  Say, Oracle, who's your friend?  Aren't you going to
} introduce me?  Oh, by the way, does Lisa know about this?  Y'know, it's
} been a while since I talked to Lisa...I think I'll give her a call right
} now and see how things are going.
} -o
}
} <uh-oh>
} %write kinzler
} Uh, heh heh, just take it easy there, Steve...uh, I mean Mr. Kinzler,
} Sir.  No need to uh, disturb Lisa at this hour.  Besides, I was done
} with the harassment.  I *really* was going to answer the question right
} away!  OK?
} -o
} Well, since you put it that way, I suppose it is rather late, and Lisa
} is probably busy right now anyhow...I wouldn't want to disturb her in
} the middle of something - that's SOO annoying, you know?  All right
} then, go ahead.  But I'm getting tired of having to intervene like this;
} you'd better watch yourself.
} -oo
} ^D
}
} damn it, I hate it when he's smug.
}
} So, you want to mess up the phone company, eh?
}
} OK, one thing you might consider is sending them a dead gopher with your
} bill.  I hear Harlan Ellison once did tried something similar on an
} unresponsive publisher (something about the publisher putting cigarette
} ads in the middle of Ellison's book in violation of the contract, as I
} recall) and the results were most gratifying.  Send it fourth class, and
} make sure the box is *very* well sealed.
}
} Of course, this will only serve to "mess up" the billing department.  I
} sense you are looking for something on a more global scale.
}
} This one's guaranteed to be effective.  First, buy a radio station.  Get
} it way up in the ratings by playing all the great new music, but not too
} often.  The Oracle hates it when the radio stations play the same song
} over and over and over.  Then, announce a cash give-away - five hundred
} dollars to the 98th caller (or whatever your frequency is - if you're at
} 102.1, give away to the 102nd caller) Do this every day for a week.
} Pick a different time for each call, but MAKE SURE it's during business
} hours!
}
} The flood of incoming calls, at a sustained level will swamp the local
} phone switching office...if your station coverage is large enough and
} you are near a state border, you might even generate some inter-state
} traffic.  Tell the long-distance callers to call collect!  That'll max
} out the time spent on operator assistance.  Remember that for every call
} that actually makes it through, there will be dozens or even hundreds
} trying and getting a busy-signal.
}
} Every time you run one of these give-away's, you will bring the local
} switching office, as well as all the near-by offices, to their knees!
}
}
} However, the Oracle's all-time favorite blitz on the phone company has
} to be one back a few years ago when a Berkeley fellow was disconnected
} for not paying his bill...only, he had the cancelled check that showed
} he *had* paid his bill on time.  After being run around in circles by
} the local billing office, he was told "Certainly we will reconnect you.
} Please pay a reconnect charge of $43.91."
}
} Furious at his mistreatment, but in desperate need of a phone at the
} time, he paid the reconnect fee, then entered a suit against the phone
} company in small claims court for the cost of the reconnection.  The
} phone company lawyers didn't take it seriously, and no one showed up on
} behalf of the phone company, so a default judgement was entered in favor
} of the plaintiff, and the Pacific Bell was ordered to pay damages of
} $43.91.
}
} After trying repeatedly (but unsuccessfully) to collect, he posted a
} lien against the main Pacific Bell office building, said building to be
} sold at public auction, and the proceeds to go toward repayment of the
} debt.
}
} Apparently, the Pacific Bell folks thought this was all a gag, and they
} didn't do anything about the lien or the auction.  In fact, our hero was
} the only one present.  He bought the building for $43.91, which
} cancelled his debt and left him sole owner of the Pacific Bell office
} building.
}
} Suddenly, Pacific Bell was only too eager to respond to this guy's
} complaint.  Sad thing is, he let them off for only the cost of the
} original reconnect fee.
}
} ---
}
} You owe the Oracle a WATS line.  Now get lost, I have other things to
} do!


141-08    (01645 dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> Why was iuvax down for so long?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It's kind of a long story.  First, you see, there was Genghis Khan and
} the Mongol horde.  You may recall from Medieval History that they
} trashed a substantial part of the world.  They were trashing Europe, but
} Genghis died and so the hordes had to go back to a _kurultai_, a
} gathering of all the Mongols, so that they could decide on his successor
} (Ogodai won).  You didn't want to miss the _kurultai_, if you were a
} Mongol, because it made a big difference if you got to be the ruler of
} all Mongols, and by extension of the whole earth -- and if you weren't
} there, the other Mongols would probably decide that you weren't loyal,
} and include you in the general trashment.
}
} Well, a small band under the command of Omaigodai Khan (Ogodai Khan's
} nephew-in-training) set off for the New World.  They weren't too worried
} about the fact that the New World hadn't been discovered yet; they knew
} how slow Omaigodai Khan was.  As expected, they managed to trash Europe
} in a straight line about ten yards wide from Anatolia to the Straits of
} Gibraltar.  (They were opposed largely by well-trained and merciless
} schools of fish, as their route lay mostly under the Mediterranian.)
}
} So, eventually (Jan.  7, 1871) they got to the Atlantic Ocean.  They
} sacked and burned their way up the seacoast, trying to get passage to
} the New World.  After several unsuccessful attempts to sail across the
} Atlantic in a sacked and burned boat, they changed their tactics.  They
} commandeered the _Mary, Queen of Spots_ for their passage.  They
} repeatedly encountered adverse weather conditions, mutinies, pirates,
} poor navigation, and the coastline of Japan, and so their passage took
} longer than the few weeks common at that time.
}
} On Dec.  2, 1989, the _Mary, Queen of Spots_ dropped anchor in San
} Fransisco Bay.  Omaigodai's horde chartered a bus to drive them to the
} Midwest.  They encountered a variety of problems, such as flat tires,
} motorcycle gangs, running out of gas, inability to load _yurts_
} (Mongol-style felt huts) into the cargo bay, contaminated yogurt, the
} sizzling sex shops of Kansas City, and so forth.
}
} Well, they overcame all these obstacles with usual Mongol determination
} (which is impressive) and tactics (which are destructive), and they
} arrived in IU last Monday, at approximately six a.m.  By noontime they
} had looted a substantial fraction of the pigs in the Ag school, and
} liberated a map.  From this map, they discerned the location of the
} greatest treasure at IU, which is of course the computer center, three
} blocks from the Ag school.  By five p.m., they had arrived here.  They
} cut the power lines, rendering me unconscious.  Our brave technical
} support staff (especially Elizabeth, who is a real fiend with a sabre)
} held them off for most of a day.
}
} Finally, the situation was desparate.  Elizabeth had been cornered by
} fourteen of the Mongols, and was barely alive.  They had robbed a campus
} cop, and gotten keys for all the doors in the building.  Bob and Elaine
} found a tin of sardines and a long rope, and they rigged up a
} cat-catcher.  Michelle had an amber rod, and they quickly threw put
} together a scheme whereby they would rub the rod on the cats, thereby
} generating enough electricity to start me up for a few seconds.
}
} So I told them about the _kurultai_, and they immediately turned around
} and set off for home.
}
} There's going to be a real surprise in Mongolia in about eight hundred
} years.  You owe the Oracle videotapes.


141-09    (01177 dist, 4.2 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> O Wonderful Wise Worthy Wizard of Wit and Worldliness Sir Oracle....I
> heard a nasty, nasty, nasty rumour the other day.  There's this person
> here and she says that she is the "Supreme Commmander of Vax Forces" and
> that you, yes, you the one and only Oracle and my favourite hero (except
> for Bugs Bunny) is her......MUMMY.
>
> Is this true?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Congratulations!  I, the awesome Oracle, have been writing an AI program
} designed to parse, translate, and answer all questions sent to me so I
} can have more time with Lisa.  (Hey, theoretically, such a program will
} be impossible for another 150 years, but Lisa's worth the hassle!) I've
} tried it on a few other questions and have discovered bugs, but now I am
} fairly confident it will work.  So here we go.
}
} !answer -debug question
} 6th level alliteration detected
} 3rd level praise detected
} Supreme Commander of Vax Forces: Researching... not found.
} Interpolation: Supreme Commander of Vax Forces invented.
} Favourite: British spelling
} Bugs Bunny: Researching... found.
} Mummy: Researching... found.
} Question: Is this true?
}
} Error: Oracle is not a mummy
} Phonetic twist: mummy -> money
} Error: Oracle is not money
} Phonetic twist: mummy -> mommy
} Error: Oracle is not a mommy
} Synonym: mommy -> creator
} Parsed question: Did Oracle create Supreme Commander of Vax Forces?
}
} TEXT OF ANSWER:
} 'Ello, squire!  Haven't seen you for a bit... right, well the Oracle
} DID create the Supreme Commander of Vax Forces, I invented the
} concept a few seconds ago, in fact.  Righty-right.
}
} You owe the Oracle a symbolic debugger.
} END OF ANSWER
}
} ...Hmmm, not too bad for a test run.  It got a bit confused when it
} had to invent the concept of Supreme Commander, and then
} subsequently asked whether or not the Oracle had created it.  But it
} got the payment line right.  And the British spelling was a bit
} overdone, but can't hurt, right?
}
} Since you so patiently helped me debug my Auto-Oracle, I'll give you
} a bonus: the answer to someone else's question!
}
} The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
} Your question was:
}
} > Do women really care about a man's length?
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} } Only if you care about their depth.
} }
} } You owe the Oracle a sonar-generating condom.
}
} Thanks for helping me out, and expect more answers from the new,
} almost working Auto-Oracle!


141-10    (14434 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>

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

> Oracle, the depths of whose recursion stack is unfathomable to mere
> mortals,
>
> In the Usenet Oracularities #140, you write:
>
> > The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
> > Your question was:
> >
> > > Why does everybody love the `vi' editor? To me, it seems usable only
> > > for advanced masochists.
> >
> > And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
> >
> > } Use of the vi editor is one of those things that separates the
> > } levels of users.  A lower-level user will make a comment such as the
> > } one that you made.  Adepts, Wizards, Gurus and Gods will all laugh
> > } at such a comment.
>
> I am a Unix Guru: I debug programs from octal dumps.
> I eat VMS hackers for lunch.
> I know the entire Ada manual by rote, never use Ada anyway since I write
> all my programs in machine language and never use assemblers since I
> type in the binaries directly using cat.
> I can make a PC/XT under Xenix outperform a VAX 11/780 under VMS.
> I spend all my waking and sleeping hours in front of a terminal.
> I write device drivers in my sleep.
> The DEC salespeople worship me as a minor deity and sacrifice young,
> buxom secretaries to me at full moon.
>
> I know every conceivable aspect, feature, unfeature and misfeature of
> vi.  I can use it, abuse it and misuse it every conceivable and
> inconcievable way.
>
> Yet, I still hate its guts, and consider it usable only for advanced
> masochists.
>
> Why?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The guru that claims to be a guru is not a true guru.
} A true guru is beyond opinions.
} The nature of all things are hers.


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