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Internet Oracularities #1443

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Internet Oracularities #1443    (31 votes, 3.3 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 12:56:13 -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:
   1443
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1443  31 votes 219h2 24d66 2c872 2aa81 15ca3 238a8 047c8 03h56 1aa73 3b854
1443  3.3 mean  3.5   3.3   2.8   2.9   3.3   3.6   3.8   3.5   3.0   2.9


1443-01    (219h2 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "J. Avedon" <soteric2@msn.com>

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

> I'm joining the navy soon, and I'm pretty prepared, but I want to be
> sure I'm 100% ready.
>
> What would you suggest I do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
} Top Ten Things to Do Before Joining
} The Navy
} ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
}
} 10. Learn how to swim
}
} 09. Watch every single Popeye Cartoon
}
} 08. Get a tattoo of an anchor on your arm
}
} 07. Learn how to differentiate your aft from a poop deck
}
} 06. Be prepared to take The Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery
}     test. The Navy has exacting standards -- you have to get 31 out of
}     100 right to join [1]
}
} 05. Learn to hate Marines, they already hate you
}
} 04. Know how to wear a ridiculous hat at a jaunty angle
}
} 03. Practice sleeping on a iron shelf that's a foot wide and five
}     and a half feet long, and constantly moving
}
} 02. Don't even think of reading about the USS Indianapolis, or watching
}     the film "Dagon"
}
} 01. Stop carrying condoms around with you & start carrying a tin of
}     sardines, mermaids love them!
}
} You owe the Oracle a parrot and some doubloons.
}
} [1] This is not a joke, 31 out of 100!


1443-02    (24d66 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: "J. Avedon" <soteric2@msn.com>

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

> Oh magnificent Oracle, inflator of pneumatic tires, dignified, and
> evaluator of beta software - blessed be the wisdom which emanates
> from thine email address:
>
> I've read all the Heinlein and Gibson books I could find, I enjoyed
> A Canticle for Liebowitz and The Shockwave Rider.
> What sci-fi books should I be reading next?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} 'A Canticle for Liebowitz' rules, but avoid the second part "Saint
} Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman" like the plague, it is so awful
} your love of the first text will be tainted even though poor old dead
} Walter Miller isn't to blame...
}
} But now to answer your question. And so that others may benefit the
} Oracle now Presents:
}
} }+(o)+(o)+(o)+{
}
} )+( )+(
} | The Oracle's Which SciFi Book to Read Next |
} |       Totally Infallible Quiz Gizmo        |
} )+( )+(
}
} }+(o)+(o)+(o)+{
}
} (1) Did you already read both A Canticle for Liebowitz
}     and Shockwave Rider?
}
} a. Yes -- Then read Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar"
}    and "The Sheep Look Up".
}
} b. No --- Then read "A Canticle for Liebowitz" and "Stand on Zanzibar"
}    which is far better than "Shockwave Rider", "The Sheep Look Up" is
}    almost too topical with the way it reflects today's news so unless
}    you like being scared avoid it, too close to the bone it is...
}
} c. You know, I read them, but they didn't really work for me --
}    Go to step (2)
}
} }+(o)+(o)+(o)+{
}
} (2) How do your friends describe you behind your back?
}
} a. Paranoid, all those drugs -- Read all of Philip K.  Dick. If you're
}    in a hurry start with "Flow my Tears, the Policeman Said" and then
}    read "Radio Free Albemuth". If you've got more time still start with
}    "Tears", but save "Radio Free" for last as it sums everything up.
}
} b. A know it all -- Read Issac Asimov, alternating his non-fiction
}    with fiction. Such as "I, Robot" then his bible commentaries, then
}    "Caves of Steel, then "The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated
}    Thiotimoline" and so on for all 500 plus texts the mega-brain wrote.
}
} c. How in the world would I know what they say about me behind my back?
}    -- Go to step (3)
}
} }+(o)+(o)+(o)+{
}
} (3) Is technology our friend or is it trying to kill us?
}
} a. Our friend -- Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" then "Snow Crash",
}    or the other way around, it doesn't matter because by the time you're
}    done your computer will have captured your brain. Then we'll really
}    know who is who's friend.
}
} b. It's trying to kill us -- William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition"
}    then his "Spook Country".  You can read his "Neuromancer" any old
}    time, the other two in that order will help keep you alive by showing
}    you technology doesn't kill people, it's people with technology that
}    do that. Though those subliminal messages may have something to do
}    with it... hard to say.
}
} c. Wait, technology isn't 'trying' to do anything, it's not alive dude,
}    well, not yet at least -- Go to (4)
}
} }+(o)+(o)+(o)+{
}
} (4) Where are you right now?
}
} a. I...I'm not sure, now that you mention it -- read "Ghostwritten"
}    by David Mitchell
}
} b. Me? Is that who I am? -- Read "The Box Man" by Kobo Abe
}
} c. I'm more worried about why any of us are here, in the existence
}    sense of the word, but I suspect it really doesn't matter -- Read
}    "Rama" by Arthur Clarke
}
} d. Hey, why isn't everything all kind of purplish? And hey, where's
}    my hydrogen car?! And what? Nixon isn't president? Something's wrong
}    here -- "Watchmen" by Alan Moore, read it twice.
}
} e. I'm at work -- read "1984" by George Orwell double plus good,
}    keeping working citizen
}
} f. Duh, I'm sitting in front of my computer -- read "Dune" by Frank
}    Herbert, it's dreadfully boring too.
}
} }+(o)+(o)+(o)+{
}
} You owe the Oracle nothing supplicant, go on now, you got some reading
} to do. Enjoy.


1443-03    (2c872 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: "J. Avedon" <soteric2@msn.com>

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

> Negatory but reversolized Oracle, you do not look at all like my
> reflexion. Indeed, you are invisible to my naked eyes.
>
> Why does a mirror reverse left and right but not up and down?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} An amazingly astute question. In the early days of the Universe, he
} and I were sitting around discussing the silly creatures that lived
} on planets and how arrogant they were because they couldn't see they
} they didn't look any better than any of their kind. So we decided
} that we had to invent a way for them to see themselves. The Universe
} wanted to take the first crack at it, and invented reflections 1.0
} both left to right and up and down. Unfortunately the photons found
} that the double motion tended to make them dizzy and soon the light
} union called a strike, leaving the Universe in darkness. I spent
} weeks moderating negotiations, because the Universe really wanted
} reflections. Finally after giving light the honor of always being the
} fastest thing in the Universe, they agreed to do reflections if they
} only had to reflect one direction, left to right won the coin toss.
} The whole Universe rejoiced as the Suns began to shine again!
}
} The humility of seeing that oneself is as ugly as everyone else only
} lasted a few months after reflection 2.0 because it was now possible to
} comb your hair (It is very difficult to look in the mirror and adjust
} for both left to right and up to down!). Soon fashion was invented and
} the general population of the Universe have been impossible to work
} with ever since. However there are some who worship the Universe's
} might and grandeur, and out of difference to it don't follow fashion,
} they are called geeks.
}
} You owe the Oracle ten thousand combs.


1443-04    (2aa81 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Oh great Oracle, I have a question. Why is technical support boring?
> What can we do to alleviate this dreary life?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Reduce your expenses.  Cancel Netflix and cable.  Eat out less or not
} at all.  Don't buy junk from Amazon or in bookstores.  All this mone
} that you're not spending, SAVE.  In the time you no longer spend
} trolling for junk online, learn meditation and some yoga.  Begin to
} feel better.  Realize that you've been spending money in order to
} waste your life.
}
} Now quit your tech support job, and live on your savings.  Meditate,
} hike, and do yoga all the time until you find your path in life.
}
} You owe the Oracle the ability to follow his own advice.


1443-05    (15ca3 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> what is the answer to life?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes.
}
} Well, unless you're suicidal.
}
} Or in unending pain due to some awful circumstance,
} like cancer. Or you're being tortured. Or are at a
} Cher concert.
}
} Which might make you think that maybe "maybe" is a
} better answer, it's not.
}
} Go with 'yes', because then if later you *do* find
} yourself at a Cher concert you can then opt out,
} but if you go for 'no' first then, who knows maybe
} someone was about to knock on the door and offer
} you ice cream.
}
} You owe the Oracle some ice cream, vanilla is good.
} Or orange sherbet. In fact anything as long as it's
} not chocolate or butterscoth. They're awful. But a
} good orange sherbet is to die for. Erm, let me
} rephrase that. . .


1443-06    (238a8 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

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

> Dear Sirracle,
>
> what is the most desirable outcome for a social engagement?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The most desirable outcome for any engagement includes the following:
}
} * Enemies neutralized
} * Casualties minimized
} * Territories occupied
}
} Take this and apply it to a social setting:
}
} - All other competitors/suitors/etc out of the picture?
} - Pants zipped up?
} - Your place or mine?
}
} I always say, any social engagement that you can walk away from is a
} good one.


1443-07    (047c8 dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

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

> If wood glue is actually stronger than wood then why can't they just
> make stuff out of glue?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} O visionless minion,
}
} Your question has a measure of superficial merit.  Why settle for wood
} when we can have wood glue?  In the same vein, men have asked, why
} settle for tap water when we can have multi-vitamin hyper-oxygenated
} nutrient water?  Why settle for Cameron Diaz when we can have Cate
} Blanchett?  Why, we have asked, take second best?
}
} And the benefits are clear.  Think of how differently the tale of the
} Three Little Piggies would have turned out if the second pig had built
} his house out of wood glue instead of sticks.  The story would never
} have progressed to the tragic genocide of 2/3 of hyper-intelligent
} super-porcines.  Instead the second pig would have woken up one sunny
} day and discovered an emaciated wolf fused to his front steps, trapped
} in a grisly prison of wood glue and smart-assery.
}
} (The tale of the Three Little Pigs is not mythological; it happened in
} Bavaria in 1312 AD. Not a lot of bacon was consumed that year.)
}
} But looking deeper, there is a basic problem with your suggestion:
} it's just not cost effective.  Trees grow themselves basically for
} nothing, basically anywhere they like, and all you need is an
} anti-environmentalist with a hard hat to chop them down.  Wood glue
} costs $12.99 / 200mL at the Oracle's local hobby store.  You may as
} well build things out of crushed Faberge eggs and bald eagle heads.
}
} Sure, the prohibitive cost of mass-manufactured wood glue houses means
} that a few Little Piggies will die.  But you have to break a few pigs
} to make a ham omelette.
}
} You owe the Oracle a ham sandwich with seeded mustard and irony.


1443-08    (03h56 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> What is the cure for epiphany?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} TV. It'll drive any intuitive realizations you've ever had
} out of your head in minutes.
}
} You owe the Oracle an autographed copy of "Blood Meridian".


1443-09    (1aa73 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:

> Wisest Oracle possessor of more raw brain wattage than the NSA,
> the CIA, the Del Taco on 14th St., the Kremlin and Silicon Valley
> combined, please answer my question;
>
> What can I as an average citizen do to preserve for all time the
> noble mosquito swarms that roam free and majestically over the
> great frozen taigas of northern Canada and every damned square
> inch of Alaska?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, Supplicant, this is the fundamental question of your generation:
} who are you for - the Alaskan Mosquito or the Polar Bear?  Since you
} are pro-mosquito, you've got two options:
}
} 1) You can hunt down every last one of those furry, white,
} global-warming poster-children so you can put that issue behind you
} and get back on the freeway
}
} or
}
} 2) Knit teeny-tiny pullovers for our winged brothers, so they can
} survive the winters side-by-side with the bears while you are
} bike-commuting.
}
} You owe the Oracle a decent third option.


1443-10    (3b854 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> I asked you a question and you told me to use Google. Well if that was
> the kind of answer I wanted, I would have used Google. But I wanted
> YOUR answer!
>
> So sometimes your answers disappoint me (like telling me use Google
> instead) but I still think you're great.
>
> Now on to the next question...
>
> Why, in the face of obvious poor ability, do American students think
> they are the best in the world in mathematics?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh yes. American students are 24/7 bragging about
} their math skills. In fact that's all they do.
} Colleges across that land have tried to interest
} the students in beer or drugs or sex orgies, but
} the students will have none of it. All they want
} to do is think they're really, really good at math.
}
} "USA! MATH ALL DAY! USA! MATH ALL DAY!" Sadly many
} an attempted football game has been destroyed by
} that chant as millions of bragging American students
} drown out all other sounds in arenas far and wide.
}
} Why do they do this? You and all of the rest of the
} world ask, constantly, and twice on Sundays. Well,
} the Oracle will tell you why. It's because of Google,
} you can look it up there too and see for yourself,
} weird ain't it?
}
} You owe the Oracle a TV channel that hasn't been
} hacked into by those non-stop bragging Americans
} so that it has a crawling message across the bottom
} saying, "We are WAY better at Math than anyone --
} The Students of America", it just gets old seeing
} that all the gosh-darn time.


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