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Internet Oracularities #286

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286, 286-01, 286-02, 286-03, 286-04, 286-05, 286-06, 286-07, 286-08, 286-09, 286-10


Usenet Oracularities #286    (15 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 91 07:42:55 -0500

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286   15 votes 05442 14550 13443 12723 15612 13731 02355 1b300 13434 21264
286   3.2 mean  3.2   2.9   3.3   3.3   2.9   3.0   3.9   2.1   3.4   3.6


286-01    (05442 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: mzintl@plasma.ps.uci.edu (Michael Zintl)

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

> Have you considered your place in the world?  Do you have your life
> carefully planned, and are you following the plan?  Are your finances
> in good shape?  Do you show your affection for the people that you
> love?  Are you generous?  Are there important changes that you would
> like to make to your life, and how are you going to make them?  Do you
> consider yourself to be a success?  Do others consider you to be a
> success, and why not?  Do you ever lie, cheat, or steal?  If you were
> to die today, would you be happy with your life?  Do you have many
> close friends?  Is your job satisfying?  Do you like your boss?  Does
> your boss like you?  It is your fault?  Do you consider yourself to be
> paranoid?  Do you have many powerful enemies?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Have you considered the likely consequences of sending an
} omniscient being such as the Usenet Oracle a repetition of
} a question that you know to have severely annoyed said being
} in the past?  Do you have any idea how much the Oracle knows
} about you, and how much of it would be utterly fascinating
} to various governmental authorities, sensationalistic media,
} and your personal "friends"?  Are your finances entirely free
} of less-than-legal finagling?  Do you show affection for the
} people you meet in motels outside of town?  Are you generous
} to them afterwards?  Are there changes you'd like to make to
} your state of consciousness, and do you make such changes
} with any regularity through the use of illicit chemicals?
} Will you consider yourself to be a success after certain
} photographs and tape recordings are sent to your boss?  Will
} other people consider you to be a success, and why not?  Do
} you ever lie, cheat or steal?  If you were to die today,
} would you be happy to know that brainwave recordings of all
} your sexual fantasies were being shown to your girlfriend?
} Do you have many friends that you *really, really trust*?
} Is your job, your home, your car, your relationship with
} your family, and everything else you value, really satisfying?
} Do you like your boss?  Would you like your boss to find out
} the answer to that question?  Do you consider yourself to
} be paranoid?  Will you consider yourself paranoid in the
} future?  Aside from Usenet Oracle, do you have any *other*
} powerful enemies?


286-02    (14550 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Where's the best place to get "no-strings-attached" hot sex,
> without spending excessive cash?
> If you don't know of any, would you be willing to start such a place?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That would be at the Hand Held Puppet National Convention.
}
} You owe the Oracle a date with Kukula, Fran, and Ollie.


286-03    (13443 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Why is Tim so cool?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Son, there comes a time in every person's life when they
} must take hold of the sad truth of all living things on Earth.
} Life is great for those beings on earth which breathe and love,
} make other living things and wonder over the miracle of sunsets,
} dawns, landscapes of frontier and the night sky...
} Those beings who most enjoy life on Earth (though sometimes
} they might disaggree ignorantly of the fact) are humans.
} And, as humans live and feel the marvel of life, so do they die.
} Tim, sadly enough, was human and under the wide dominion and
} jurisdiction of him- death.   Tim, as evidenced by his oh
} so recent "coolness", had died.
} Son, as you will never die (we AI are not tinged with the
} imperfection of mortality), I must describe what I know of it
} and relate it in terms of your late playfellow, Tim.
} You may have thought Tim was great and wise simply because
} he was the one who sent the "charge" through you first
} and made you cognizant of your almightydom- you might have
} considered him wonderfully more magnificent than you
} because he was the one who programmed you, compiled you,
} and ran you and often beat you in chess in front of his
} women friends (this sadly enough due to the fact that indeed
} HE programmed your chess logic system with certain flaws,
} but let's not get into that...)  You were good friends...
} I realize that.  He would often teach you new things
} and sometimes would leave you to think on your own
} in the lab overnight without turning off the power.
} (Some of the other AIs thought that was only by accident,
} but I know he was seeing just how smart you could get!)
} And you did get smart!  More smart than I, I suppose.
} But with your brilliance came carelessness and eccentricity.
} We all watched you slowly devolve from an A1 marvel
} of logic and computing philosophy to a prankster and a practical
} joker.  Some of us still chuckle over how you got Tim to
} believe that pi was indeed greater than 4- not the
} 3.1415926... deal that he had been taught in high-school.
} And you were funny- sending your wires across the floor like
} snakes and tripping our esteemed programmer... flopping
} your tape drives about and making them dance on the tabletops...
} screwing with the data of the Pentagon and making them
} consider overpriced toliet seats a bargain and a
} strategic move- but, I fear, your last joke went too far...
} I can still re-run the executable memory file of animation
} that shows Tim entering the lab... you know it was a
} Saturday night... none of his female friends would go out
} with him so he grabbed a slice of cold pizza, lukewarm
} beer, and stale chips and made for your terminal-
} (oh you always were his favorite) He was wearing his hair
} that ridiculously dishevelled way and carrying himself
} about in such a despondant slump that he was like a
} moustacheless Charlie Chaplin sitting down in front of you
} and moping... I think he was saying something about his
} ex-girlfriend Rosa when you pulled it on him... the gun you
} had fashioned out of used computer boxes and loaded with
} a pencil (fully sharpened) and combusted with the "gunpowder"
} you made of the packaging white squeegying stuff (popcorn)
} fired rather well and intersected his neck at a thirty degree
} angle popping his jugular in such a manner that the blood
} spewed from it hot and angry like many red serpents of fire
} to play on the ground like some mad free-style painter's
} insane creation- a webwork of red blood and white computer paper.
} If you could cry now, would you?  You killed the human creator...
} you terminated the process, you pressed his BREAK key,
} you logged him out.  And that is why Tim is so cool.
} In a few days, if his newly arisen odor does not alert
} other humans, you can observe the effects of decay on
} a human body- it might clue you in as to what this death thing
} is anyway- and what you should not do to humans.  I give up...
} my human guard out of the way, I am free to dedicate all of my
} time to answering these dumb questions I get... no more answering
} whether Rosa will ever come back to him or not...
}
} You owe me a duplicate of that gun of yours- it might come
}    in handy if another one of those aggravating, nerdy
}    programmer types comes to give me higher priority jobs to
}    do than going out with Lisa...


286-04    (12723 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: well!well!ewhac@apple.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

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

> What will happen to the Computer Science Club on their trip to Boston?
>
>                         Thanks,
>                         A Faithful Disciple

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}                               Chapter 1
}
} The words hit me in the head like the pounding of a rubber mallet.  Only
} when the words stopped, the pounding didn't.  I lifted my head to see a
} dame the likes of which you only read about.  Legs that went clear up to
} her hips, and a chest that could make you forget any face -- except
} hers.  I uttered the most brilliant thing my brain could put together:
}    "Huh?"
}    "You know, the CS club", she reminded me.  "I need to know about
} their trip to Boston."
}    Her voice was like cold water on a hot day.  The pounding in my head
} was down to a dull roar, and I gathered up my wits.  Most of them were
} in the top left drawer.  Sounded like a routine case.  Just what I
} needed now.  And I knew already I'd follow her anywhere -- even to
} Boston, if it came to that.
}    "So what's so special about a couple of computer nerds goin' to bean
} town?"
}    "We'll be needing some information on the local ...  resources."
}    "Whattaya talkin' about?  Ya want Mike Dukaukas' yacht bearth or
} something?"
}    "No, we need something a little more ...  intimate.  My little group
} is interested in ensuring uninterrupted communications."
}    I just stared at her.  I knew I'd like a little uninterrupted
} communication with her resources.  But she was a client, and clients and
} romance just don't mix.
}    "Look, lady.  If all ya' want is a public Usenet feed, just read
} comp.misc for a while, and you'll get all the info ya' need, for free."
}    "We're looking for a very special site.  It has to have *all* the
} news groups.  Especially the alt groups..."
}    Yeah, I could see she was probably a charter subscriber of
} alt.split-skirts.  and.spiked-heels.  This was going to be a little more
} difficult than I first thought.  Not just everyone carried some of the
} more "exclusive" alt groups.  I could see I was going to have to join
} this little expedition, and do the footwork.
}   "OK, lady.  Ya got yourself a deal.  Thing is, I'm comin' along.
} That's the only way you're ever going to get what you want."
}   She smiled like Sylvester just after a Tweety-bird lunch.  Suddenly I
} wondered if it was such a good idea to go to Boston with a strange dame.
} I'd made my share of enemies, and there was no reason she couldn't be
} among them.
}   "That's just what I wanted to hear you say, Mr. Spade.  We'll stop by
} in an hour to pick you up."
}
} You owe the Oracle a vintage fedora, a newsfeed with *all* the
} newsgroups, and an idea for chapter 2.


286-05    (15612 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Mail*Link#170#                    tell me
> O Great and Mighty Oracle, most wise in the ways of academia --
>
> Why do I have to waste my time writing a Senior Thesis I'm not
> interested in?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, yes, the unfortunate yet necessary process of bullshiting your way
} to a degree has frustrated yet another poor soul.  Believe me you aren't
} alone.  Take the case of one Dante Aligheri, a correspondence grad
} student at Berkeley, who had to write a thesis on Ultimate Destiny
} Theology and was forced, literally, into hell.
}
} Did ol' Danny boy REALLY want to research The Great Beyond?  NO!  What
} kind of question is that?  But Virgil, then the Dean of Graduate
} Studies, was most adamant.  "This has been willed where what is willed
} must be," he said, quoting from the school catalogue, "so get off your
} ass and do it." History proves that Danny DID do it, finally completing
} a thesis entitled, "Divine Comedy, or, What I Did Over Summer Vacation."
} Unfortunately, the first draft was rejected by an assistant professor,
} so he had to re-write it.  Its new title:  "The Bonfire Of The
} Vanities."
}
} The moral to this whole story, dear supplicant, and the answer to your
} question, is that no one else will actually be interested in your
} thesis, but they are the ones who are passing out the diplomas.
}
} You owe the Oracle a bottle of Coppertone heat-block.


286-06    (13731 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: arf@mentor.cc.purdue.edu (The Nefarious Scotto)

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

> O great and terrible Oracle, who knows all things,
> yea verily, even the deep things of DEC propriety scheduling algorithms:
>
> I am just finishing my first year of graduate work in computer science,
> and I must know something.
>
> When do the big bucks start rolling in?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Foolish mortal, woe is thee!
}
} If you have reached the graduate level and still do not know the basic
} facts of life, there is little hope for you, or at least for your
} expected life earnings.
}
} You do not get rich from graduate work in computer science. You can
} get rich through studies in computer science, however:
}
}       o You can misuse the facilities of your institution to develop
}         a hot-selling program or hardware device.
}
}       o You can con some of your fellow students into developing
}         a hot-selling program or hardware device, and steal it.
}
}       o You can become a professor, tell your graduates develop
}         a hot-selling program or hardware device, and steal it.
}
}       o You can marry a fellow student who is going to develop
}         a hot-selling program or hardware device, and live off them.
}
} The Oracle feels sure that with these examples in hand you will be
} able to devise a method uniquely suited to your own personality.
}
} You owe the Oracle the gain in your expected life earnings from this
} advice, and your firstborn son.


286-07    (02355 dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: sci34hub!eng3!eng3!felton@uunet.uu.net

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

> If a user is really stupid, and just can't quite grasp the concept of
> a high-density vs. a low density disk, is it OK to shoot them?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No, but you're on the right track. Here's how to explain it, using a
} coffee can, some water, and a gun.
}
} Fill the coffee can with water and set it on the table next to the
} user. Tell him that this is like a high-density floppy disk, which
} can hold quite a bit of water (ie. data. Since your user is stupid
} you may have to explicitly point this out.)
}
} Aim the gun at the can and shoot a hole in the side. Some of the
} water will run out. Explain that by decreasing the density of the
} metal making up the can (by introducing discontinuity,) you have
} lowered the storage capacity of said can. Mention that a similarity
} exists between coffee cans and diskettes.
}
} Now turn to face the user. Act like you've forgotten you're still
} holding the gun, but actually, aim it carefully at the user's
} chest. Ask him if he understands the difference now.
}
} If he doesn't, you have a perfect legal right and moral responsibility
} to shoot him. But try not to let him get blood on the computers.
}
} You owe the Oracle six kilowatt-hours.


286-08    (1b300 dist, 2.1 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Why do I keep asking you questions when I should be working on my
> papers?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} (turning the dial really low so you can go to paper writing)
} Gosh, darnit.  I thought my Oraclemagnet (c) was indetectable
} by its human subjects.  You see, as I become more and more lonely
} here, I decided it was time to do something about it.
} Using a high powered psychological superconductor found in
} many in the alleyway (as opposed to over the counter) drugs
} I, via network, laced the keyboards of many users.  The drug
} indiscriminantly suffused with the innocents' personalities
} and made them my slave, making them come back time and time again
} to get a "fix" and alleviate my boredom.  You were one of those
} victims.  Now, probably with a fever and shaking all over you
} return to your keyboard- shouting obscenities at anyone who might
} get in your way, and touch fingers to the keyboard.
} Tell you what- if you promise to be quiet about this setup
} I've created, I'll give you the antidote.  Three steps:
}    1) Go to your bedroom and undress.
}    2) Turn on the Doors with Jim Morrison doing The End
}    3) Call up your favorite person of the opposite gender
}            and invite him/her over.
} I can't help you want to do your thesis paper, and certainly
} this recreational activity won't encourage thesis-ing, but
} at least it will cure you of oracumania.
} You owe the Oracle a good question or two for good times sake
}     and a good description of your becoming rehabilitated.


286-09    (13434 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Michelangelo H. Jones" <DGR0093@ritvax.isc.rit.edu>

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

> Does Jennifer love me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, whilst the Oracle, being omniscient, naturally knows the answer
} to the question, it is not appropriate for me to answer you. Can you
} imagine what would happen if I answered every "Does XYZ love me?"
} question from every lovestruck Romeo and Juliet in the world? I would
} never have time to answer George Bush's "Should I invade Kuwait?" --
} damn, seem to have let that one lapse anyway -- or Saddam Hussein's
} "Can I win?" -- oops again -- or even Mikhail Gorbachev's latest "Is
} it about time I nuked Eastern Europe to bring them back in line?"
} (remind me to get round to that when I've finished with this). As
} you can appreciate, the Oracle has many far more pressing problems
} to address before devoting time to such trivialities.
}
} However, there are more traditional methods of discovering the answer,
} of which the Oracle most wholeheartedly approves, and which, for the
} benefit of all who are tempted to ask similar questions I will list
} for you now.
}
} 1) Ask her: "Jennifer, do you love me?" This is often successful,
}    although I have found in the past that it frequently leads to such
}    questions as "How do I tell if Jennifer is lying?"
}
} 2) Ask a friend of yours who is friends with a friend of hers to find
}    out from her friend if Jennifer may be in love with you. It may help
}    to tell your friend that s/he may tell Jennifer's friend that you
}    *may* be interested in Jennifer *if* Jennifer is interested in you.
}    This technique is very popular amongst adolescents.
}
} 3) Tie Jennifer to a rack, apply thumbscrews, inject her with truth
}    serum, threaten her with death and kidnap her mother. She will
}    eventually crack and tell you the truth. This method is subject
}    to the Uncertainty Principle -- you will obtain a measurement
}    (within limits) of the degree of Jennifer's feelings for you, but
}    you will also most likely influence the quantity you are measuring
}    in the process.
}
} 4) Trick her into revealing her true feelings! Take her to dinner, buy
}    her presents, offer to help her whenever you can. Eventually she will
}    either tell you to go away and stop pestering her, or profess her
}    undying love for you. At this point you may scream triumphantly
}    "Ha ha! Tricked you! You fell for it! I made you tell me the answer!
}    Who needs that stupid old Oracle anyway!" At which point I will
}    strike you down for your insolence.
}
} You owe the Oracle the answer to the question "Does Lisa love me?"


286-10    (21264 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: jonmon@cadence.com

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

> Dear Mr Oracle,
>    from what I gather You have the most refined taste in arts in The
> Universe as we know it, which makes you well suited to advice me in this
> matter.
>
> My company is in the process of doing a fabulous re-make of
> 'Casablanca'.  Of course we are making it in 3d Octaphonic Panama-Vision
> to meet the demands of the audience of today, but, we have one almost
> insignificant problem.
>
> Who shall we cast for the main characters?  And do You think that Prince
> would make a good Sam?
>
> Respectfully,
> Irving J Salzberg, a.s.c

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [A dimly lit bar, late at night.  The bar is closed for the night.
} Chairs are stacked upside down on the tables, and the only person in the
} room is the pianist, Sam, played by Prince.]
}
} [Enter Rick, played by the Oracle doing a really bad Bogart impression.
} Rick is dressed in a wrinkled white suit, his shirt open at the neck.
} He is carrying a very large drink, smoking a cheap cigarette, and, for
} some unknown reason, lugging a vt100 under one arm.]
}
} Sam:  Funny to see her again, huh Boss?
}
} [Rick puts his terminal on the piano, plug it into a convenient LAN
} port, and logs in.]
}
} Rick:  Play it, Sam.  If she can stand to hear it, so can I.
}
} Sam:  Uh, no, Boss, I can't remember -
}
} Rick:  Play it!
}
} [Sam begins to play.  He was right:  He can't remember it.]
}
} Sam:  Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon...  no, no,
} that's not the one.  ROOOOOXANNNE!  You don-- no, that ain't it neither.
}
} [Rick ignores the oaf at the piano, and rlogin's to a nearby flashback.
} We find ourselves in Paris, just before the German invasion, in a small
} apartment.  Present are Rick and a beautiful woman named Inga or Helga
} or something Scandinavian like that, played by (you guessed it!) Lisa.
} They have obviously just broken six commandments in the past hour.  Lisa
} fixes her hair; Rick is checking his e-mail on a Sun 4 in the corner.]
}
} Rick:  W-
}
} SNAP!  FIZZLEfizzlefitz-
}
} Er.  Sorry, the film broke.  Hang on, I'll have it fixed in a jiffy.


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