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Internet Oracularities #531

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Usenet Oracularities #531    (42 votes, 2.9 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1993 19:07:17 -0500

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531   42 votes 06eg6 2ie71 8ea73 88e75 15if3 38db7 3bm42 cc972 1aja2 4cj70
531   2.9 mean  3.5   2.7   2.6   2.8   3.3   3.3   2.8   2.4   3.0   2.7


531-01    (06eg6 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

>  Why is the sky blue and the grass green, oh great one?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The first animals had tiny brains which could not hold very much of
} an operating system, so everything was color-coded for their benefit.
} Modern animals have evolved much larger brains which can handle many
} more functions, but all are still fundamentally controlled by their
} original operating system. For instance, here are the basic operating
} systems of several common modern animals:
}
}       Cow:  eat the green, ignore the blue.
}
}       Predator:  eat the brown, ignore the green, ignore the blue.
}
}       Insect:  eat the red, eat the yellow, sting the brown, ignore
}                the green, ignore the blue.
}
}       Human:  oh, look at the pretty blue!
}
} From this it is easy to see why humans are so poor at ecology.


531-02    (2ie71 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: mzintl@Plasma.ps.uci.edu

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

> Dear Oracle,
> How far from you, in Indiana, is the Dan Quayle homestead?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmm... that's a tough one.  do you mean in a philosophical or physical
} sense?
}
} To get to Dan Quayle's house from the Oracle's mansion, go down
} to the end of the driveway, take a left.  Make a right at Suzannes
} Sexxx Shoppe and Grill.  Get on the freeway going east.  Get off at
} exit 12.  Follow the signs for the "Indiana State Mental Health
} Institute."  Go to the front desk, ask for the Vice-Presidential suite.
}
} To get to Dan Quayle's philosophical home from the Oracle's
} mansion, go to the end of the driveway, take a right.  [The Oracle
} is strictly, middle-of-the-road.  It's part of being Eternal.]
} Go down 12 miles and turn into the driveway marked
} "Confused Conservatives, Inc.."  Go into the building, up three
} flights of stairs.  Find the "Contradictions" department.  It's next to
} the National Guard recruitment office.  Ask for Danforth.
}
} You owe the Oracle a grovel and a AAA Philosophical Roadmap
} and Tourist Guide.


531-03    (8ea73 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@hew.mincom.oz.au>

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

> Oh tell me all knowing Oracle, why do I have such big feet?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} There are, of course, in any question, three modes of a Question's
} Being which come into play, each of which must be discussed in its
} turn to uncover the Being-ness of the Question's Being, which will
} allow for the question to be answered at all.  (You will, to be sure,
} remember that Beingness -- Seinheit, in the German -- is that which
} allows for the that-ness, the what-ness; the as-ness, and the for-ness
} of entities.  Aristotle calls it simply: ousia.)
}
} Firstly...
} Das Gefragtes: what is asked.
} "why do I have such big feet?"
}
} Secondly...
} Das Befragtes: who is being questioned?
} In this second mode, there are, obviously, two manners of das
} Befragtessein.  The first, and most conspicuous, is: me.
} The second, and more difficult manner of the mode of the Seinheit
} of the question's seinendes Being (to ti to on):  here: the necessary
} conditions for the Dasein of your unusually gargantuan feet.
}
} Thirdly...
} Das Erfragtes:  to what end is the question being asked?
} Here, traditional epistemology breaks down with regard to your
} question.  Again, we resort to Aristotle and find in Book Omega,
} of _Analytica Posteriora_ where the Philosopher discusses the nature
} of large appendages that he writes:
} Since definition is said to be the statement of a thing's nature,
} obviously one kind of definition will be a satement of the meaning
} of the name, or of an equivilant nominal formula. (Formula is used
} here to translate logos.)
}
} Thus, we see that das Gefragtes (why do I have such big feet?),
} interpreted in the light (pardon the pun -- I crack myself up
} sometimes) of the Befragtes (the omnipotent -*ME*-, your nauseating
} feet withering in comparison to the ontic priority of my Dasein, are
} merely removed from consideration), and the thought-reality dialectic
} encompassed in the Erfragtes, can be simply answered with only a
} slight adjustment to Descartes' _cogito_:
}
} Your feet are so large, that they might produce noxious gases,
} these gases, offending nearby cognizant entities (Aristotle's rational
} animals -- although I believe the `rational' was meant only as a
} compliment which wasn't necessarily true.  Like when you tell your
} mother the meat loaf was good, and promptly go out for McDonalds),
} which in turn validate your Seinheit through Dasein (usually by
} promply beating you).
}
} or, (if you would indulge my use of the first person as poetic
} licence),
}
} I stink, therefore I am.
}
} You Owe the Oracle a Hegelian dialectic.


531-04    (88e75 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU

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

> There once was an Oracular >ZOT<
> That turned me into an inkspot.
> With a reaction so heinous
> From one who's scoped Venus,
> Should you view a Rorschach inkblot?
>
> I truly meant not to offend,
> and your reaction went off the deep end!
> So I ask, not too timid,
> a question.  But you're livid!
> Please do not >ZOT< me again!
>
> They want to outlaw bestiality here in Utah.  How is that going
> to affect you?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In Utah, the beasts, birds, and fishes
} Are sex toys, despite their own wishes.
} Your women refuse you,
} (No sane ones would choose you)
} 'Cause your twisted, malodrous, and vicious.
}
} You once spent some time as an inkspot,
} Despite that, you seem to have forgot
} That you're nothing to me!
} Since you won't let me be,
} I will gleefully give you the big
}
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}    #     #      #     #    #      ###      #
}     #   ####### #######    #      ###     #


531-05    (15if3 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:

> Dear Oracle, who knows more about computers than he probably should,
> but is a good guy regardless:
>
> Should my spouse's company stick with the botched-up and antique
> version of SCO-Unix on a single 386 (and "save money") or should they
> toss all that out on its ear and get a bunch of PCs running MS-DOS and
> WINDOWS, hitched together with Novell, and maybe save time and sanity?
>
> Or use dynamite?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} >> Dear Oracle, who knows more about computers than he probably should,
} >> but is a good guy regardless:
}
} You should know better than to ask the Oracle's wisdom in the field
} in which you have just insulted him; bad form, old chap............
}
} Nonetheless, on to the task at hand, eh?
}
} >> Should my spouse's company stick with the botched-up and antique
} >> version of SCO-Unix on a single 386 (and "save money") or should
} >> they toss all that out on its ear and get a bunch of PCs running
} >> MS-DOS and WINDOWS, hitched together with Novell, and maybe save
} >> time and sanity?
}
} I've actually conducted a few experiments in this area, using American
} university students and faculty as both test and control groups.  The
} bureaucrats involved only *thought* they had original ideas; it's great
} to whisper things in their ear, just like when I whispered "Quayle"
} into George's......oops, never mind.
}
} I made some universities Unix-only, others used Novellized PCs, some
} were VMS-centric, and a very few were "Big Blued".  After one year of
} controlled exposure, I joined the groups under the guise of a "User's
} Conference".  It was rather interesting........
}
} The Unix-centered folks were walking around, dropping shell scripts
} right and left and mumbling strange incantations like "foo-bang-bar-
} percent-bazz-at-uunet", which made them the Witch Doctors In Residence.
} The VMS users insisted on shouting as loudly as possible and placing
} slashes after everything; attempts to SPAWN/NOLOG/NOWAIT were common,
} especially in the hospitality suites.  In an interesting twist, those
} in the thrall of IBM also spoke in slashes and capitals, but theirs
} were *prepended* to their words, as in "//GO.SYSIN DD DINNER?" and
} "//* YOU'RE CUTE!".  From a linguistic viewpoint, it was fascinating.
} The IBMers kept talking about PUNCHing files, which (of course) offen-
} ded the Unix folks (since *everything* in Unix is a file), and the
} VMS folks kept trying to append slashes and periods to everyone else's
} comments.  Of course, they brought their pets; Rexx bit Bash, and
} LOGIN.COMs were licking their lexicals in front of everyone.  A good
} time was had by all........
}
} Except for the Novell/Windows folks.  It took me some time to locate
} them; they had segregated (cloistered?) themselves in a few rooms off
} to the side.  All that could be heard was quiet cutting and pasting;
} conversation was limited to "which button closes the window?" and "boy,
} it sounds like they're having a good time in there; is there more
} coffee?" Windows were opened and closed, but every mind was vacant.  It
} was scary; the only signs of excess were the occasional game of Tetris
} or Minesweeper and the exchange of easter eggs hidden in the various
} mouse-driven programs. There was a tombstone hanging over them (by a
} thread) reading
}
}                        "DOS: RIP <any day now>"
}
} They toiled listlessly in its shadow.
}
} In conclusion, you have two choices:
}
}       If you want anaesthetized workers, silently drudging their
}       work to the printers without a shred of originality, then
}       Novell/Windows/DOS is your obvious choice.  If you want
}       the chance to make all these decisions again within just
}       a few years, go look for the Big Red Box.
}
}       If, on the other hand, you want vibrant, excited workers
}       who aren't leery of entering the chaotic fray that is
}       modern computing, pick one of the others.  Which one?
}       The Oracle doesn't *do* product endorsements.
}
} >> Or use dynamite?
}
} Well, a fresh start is often the best thing.  If you want job security,
} wipe out everything they have and introduce products with which only
} your spouse (or you, if you're looking for work) are familiar.  This is
} the oldest job-security trick in the information systems world; it
} explains most of the seemingly-mindless decisions made in Corporate
} America.
}
} You owe the Oracle a way to close this User Conference without
} bloodshed; oh my gosh, they're talking about editors
} now..........ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH!


531-06    (38db7 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU

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

> Pssst.  Hey, incarnation #213, it's me, supplicant #842.  Long time
> no hear.  Just thought I'd take this opportunity to have a go at
> Priest #12 who's gonna read our oracularity.  YO, PRIEST #12, ARE YOU
> NUTS ?  YOU'RE the one who keeps rejecting my side-splitting questions
> aren't you?!  Don't give me any more of that "cliched and boring"
> rhetoric, you're just jealous because you know you're not in my humour
> league.  So stop taking your "only ever got one published" complex out
> on me!  What's more, incarnation #213 has got something to say on the
> subject too.
>      Supplicant #842.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Undercover Agent #108 smiles as he reads the message. "We've got
} him, at last!" he says to no one in particular, "This is the last
} time he uses the Oracle for personal messages!" Typing a short
} reply, he reaches for the <ZOT!> key.
}
} "Mmmph!" says a rope-encased figure tied to a chair against the
} wall. The agent turns around angrily.
}
} "What is it *this* time, #213," he replies impatiently.
}
} "Mmmph!" says #213 once more.
}
} "Ok, Ok." #108 stomps across the room and roughly pulls the gag
} down off #213's mouth.
}
} "You can
} ^^^^^^^^ he he he...
}
} "You can't do this!" screams the struggling incarnation, "There's
} nothing in the FAQ or help file about oracle sting operations!"
}
} "My God, you're right," says #108, a look of surprise crossing
} his face, "NOT!" He smacks #213 a few times for good measure,
} and replaces the gag. "If we were in the FAQ, we'd hardly be
} undercover, now would we? Beside, who says I work for Orrie? Now,
} #842, you've got a date with -- " <ZOT!>
}
} All is silent as a few puffs of smoke drift towards the ceiling,
} the smell of burnt agent filling the air. A man in a dark overcoat
} steps into the room, <ZOT!> gun held ready. After making sure that
} no other agents are near, he unties #213 and removes the gag and
} blindfold.
}
} "#562!" #213 exclaims, "How did you know to come?"
}
} "There's no time to explain. They're on to us now. Our only hope
} is to get #842 and hide out for a while."
}
} "Where can we go?"
}
} "Priest #12 said he'd help us hide in the temple if anything like
} this ever happened. I just hope #842 hasn't sent any other messages
} like that other one..." he glances at the screen. "Damn. Well,
} we've got at least 24 hours before someone gets this message and
} answers it, so we hide out in the temple overnight, at least."
}
} "What is this all about? I though we were just --"
}
} "There's no time to explain. We've got to go. I'll brief you on the
} way." The two of them hurry out the door, #213 stopping to unplug
} his <ZOT!> gun from his computer. "I'll need this..."
}
} Several minutes later, I step out from behind the curtains and up
} to the computer. Reading the message, I have a *VERY* bad feeling
} about the future...
}
} You owe the Oracle the identity of incarnation #562 and of the
} person who distributed the plans for my <ZOT!> gun...


531-07    (3bm42 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oracle, shmoracle.  I don't believe in this whole Oracle business
> anyway. How do I know you're not really just some nerdy guy sitting
> behind a terminal in Indiana, laughing at the big joke you're pulling
> on humanity? All this omniscience stuff seems a bit fishy to me.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Scene: A large Room in the palace of the Oracle. In walks a large cat,
} a metal man, a straw man, and a meek supplicant. As they enter, a dias
} in front of them explodes in a wash of green smoke, and a spectral face
} appears in its place when it clears.
}
} Face: *booming* I am Oracle, the great and Terible! Speak now your
} request!
}
} Supplicant : I am but a lowly supplicant, and I....
}
} Face: SILENCE!! I know why you are here.
}
} At this time a small canine pulls at a previously unseen curtain,
} revealing a small man typing furiously at a keyboard. He glances up,
} and his glasses fall to the tip of his nose. "Golly..."  Hes says and
} pushes his glasses back. He then types furiously at his keyboard.
}
} Face: Ignore that man.
}
} Supplicant: I KNEW it. you're just a humbug!
}
} Face : Why do you say that?
}
} Supplicant (now addressing the curtain man): You hide behind this
}    curtain. You're just a nerdy guy behind a desk, making fun of
}    humanity....
}
} Man: Not SO! I am an nerdy ORACLE hiding behind a terminal, but now one
} else will ever know!
}
} Supplicant: Of course the will, I'm going to tell.... oh no, not THAT!!
}
} Man: Yep <<ZOT!>>
}
} You owe the oracle a way to get Zotted Supplicant out of his velvet
} covered office walls...


531-08    (cc972 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Yo oracle dude! Wha's the best rap reco'd eve' reco'ded.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The very limited duet EP, availible only in Japan (they love this
} kind of stuff over there), with Sinead O'Connor and Sir-Mix-A-Lot:
}
} _Nothin' Compares 2 U'r Butt_
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of _The Bubblegum Crisis_ on Digital Audio
} Tape.


531-09    (1aja2 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

> Oh great oracle whose knowledge of politics is immense:
>
> Will Canada be part of the United States of America in 25 years?
>
> Will Quebec be part of Canada, part of the U.S.A, or on its own in 25
> years?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I'm glad you asked.  Few people realise how delicate these
} international situations can be, and how surprising the outcomes.  Who
} would have believed, for instance, in 1980, that the mighty Soviet
} Union would vanish in a dozen years?
}
} So here's the situation.  Quebec will indeed secede from Canada, and,
} (naturally) unable to get along on its own, will be quickly absorbed
} by France.  The new Departement will be called "St. Pierre, Miquelon
} et Quebec."  The Quebecois will be highly resentful when linguists
} from Paris arrive to present them with a new dictionary specifying
} proper Canadian French, but they'll manage to put up with the
} situation.
}
} Western Canada, including the Yukon and the Northwest Territories,
} will go on for quite a while, but will be unable to retain Eastern
} Canada.  The border skirmishes, in 2009, between the RCMP and the
} Idaho National Guard, will result in the sudden annexation of all of
} Western Canada by Idaho, which will instantly become the largest of the
} United States.
}
} Meanwhile, on the East Coast, Newfoundland will slowly exert a
} unifying influence over most of the Maritime Provinces.  The Republic
} of Greater Newfoundland will be founded unofficially in 2006, but will
} not be properly established until 2016, when people suddenly realise
} it's not just another Newfie joke.
}
} In the US, the secession of the states of Florida, Cuba and Puerto
} Rico will cause unrest, and Maine will petition to join Newfoundland
} in 2017.  "As Maine goes, so goes the Nation," so in 2018, just 25
} years from now, most of the former United States will become the
} dominant portion of the RGN, reuniting Western and Eastern Canada
} (except Quebec) under one government.
}
} The Crystal Ball is becoming hazy, and the details of the French and
} Newfie Wars are hard to discern.  You will be drafted.
}
} You owe the Oracle a can of Crystal Polish for his balls.


531-10    (4cj70 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> My question is:
>
> Why Bud Dry?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Usenet Oracle feels compelled to point out that you have forgotten
} to grovel.  However, I will take pity on you, because:
}
} You are obviously the parent of an 18-year-old child.  And he is
} obviously a college freshman.
}
} Having gone for 18 years with no satisfactory answer to the question
} "Why?" he has decided to break the problem down into simpler questions,
} like, "Why did I fail my calculus exam?" "Why won't that redhead down
} the hall sleep with me?" and "Why Bud Dry?  Why not Miller?"
}
} This, too, is a normal stage in development.  If you are wise, you will
} fall back on the answer you ultimately gave to all such questions.
} "Because."  Or, in extreme cases, "Because I'm the Mother/Father,
} that's why."
}
} Like all of your child's other stages, it will pass.  After a brief
} flirtation with Sartre (during which he will take to wearing black and
} declare, loudly and repeatedly, that all questions are worthless), he
} will finally move on to "When."  As in "When is the next mortgage
} payment due?" "When will the car be paid off?" "When will I find a job
} worthy of my talents?" "When did that redhead start sleeping with my
} best friend?" and "When will my child stop asking 'why?'"
}
} You owe the Oracle a True/False question.


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