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Internet Oracularities #595

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595, 595-01, 595-02, 595-03, 595-04, 595-05, 595-06, 595-07, 595-08, 595-09, 595-10


Usenet Oracularities #595    (55 votes, 3.3 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1993 19:57:39 -0500

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Let us know what you like!  Send your ratings of these 10 Oracularities
on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
volume number to oracle-vote@cs.indiana.edu (probably just reply to this
message).  For example:
   595
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

595   55 votes 3bej8 3cki2 16lha abee6 2eo96 19og5 08vf1 0cckb 0ew81 13kid
595   3.3 mean  3.3   3.1   3.5   2.9   3.1   3.3   3.2   3.5   2.9   3.7


595-01    (3bej8 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> I have nothing to do tonight and I feel so alone.
> Can you help me, please?!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}        For this evening's text, the Oracle takes not some fragment of
}        scripture, but instead the question:
}
}        "I have nothing to do tonight, and feel so alone.
}        Can you help me please?!"
}
}        How can we avoid stepping down this path, and what help can we
}        offer the questioner?  The question speaks of "nothing", the
}        basic metaphysical emptiness, the gaping abyss in the heart of
}        being.  The questioner *has* "nothing", a remarkable
}        achievement, the possession of the abyss.  This confers great
}        power.  The phrase "to do tonight" reflects the essential
}        temporality that makes up humanity's essence, and the
}        questioner's ability to hold together these two great polar
}        opposites, human temporality and the abyss, suggests that the
}        questioner has deep reserves of power and understanding, and
}        that the world is no more a puzzle to him or her as a simple
}        lock and key is to the rest of us.
}
}        Yet the questioner also feels "so alone".  Can this surprise us
}        - does the Nietzschean Uebermensch feel part of the crowd?  No,
}        the questioner must live in the rarefied air and society of the
}        innate superiority in the Questioner's possesion, and leave
}        behind the petty wranglings and dealings of this all too human
}        earth.
}
}        "Can you help me please?!" is a riddle, a good-natured taunting
}        from the infinite good humor and good will of the questioner,
}        who delights in the pleasure and pain that this new maturity has
}        conferred - the mixed punctuation almost gives it away! How
}        could we help this superior being?  The Questioner's laughter
}        rings out over the mountains and valleys, and we can only hope
}        to aspire to the same condition.
}
}        Having said this, the Oracle wishes to acknowledge that the
}        phrase admits of another, less inspiring interpretation.  If
}        this weaker interpretation holds, the Oracle suggests that the
}        Questioner (or should we say "Complainer") had better take all
}        their money out of the bank and rush quick as a bunny to
}        wherever it is that one can purchase a life.  Stop whining to
}        the Oracle, we have our own problems getting dates.  Sheesh.


595-02    (3cki2 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: jrp@widcat.widener.edu

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

> I do not understand my lectures.  I do not understand the journal
> articles I read.  I attend academic parties where even the Brie does
> not make sense. Yesterday a philosopher propounded "Yes, it is just as
> Heidegger said: Language is the House of Being."
>
> O Most Munificent Oracle
> tell me -- if Language is the House of Being, who's the landlord?  And
> who's paying the rent?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Who is the landlord of the Queen's English? Why, the Queen, of
} course. Over the last several centuries of steady erosion of the
} powers of the English Monarch, the one political power which has
} remained is authority over the English language. The ability to
} delete words has deflected the course of history many times.
} Unfortunately, since you no longer have the necessary words, you
} can no longer understand the concepts  you have lost. The only place
} you can find an indication of the missing words is in song or rhyme,
} where nonsense syllables are sometimes inserted to preserve the
} rhythm. For instance:
}
}       Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
}       Fa la la la la, la la la la.
}
} Or:
}
}       Rub a dub dub,
}       Three men in a tub.
}
} Who in this day knows what fa la la and rub a dub actually mean? Why
} were their meanings removed? Are they politically dangerous ideas, or
} are they moral perversions? What were the three men in a tub doing?
} What does holly symbolize? (Well, I know, of course, but I can no
} longer explain it to you in English.)
}
} You owe the Oracle a rub a dub dub.


595-03    (16lha dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Roger Noe <noe@sal.cs.uiuc.edu>

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

> What...is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   African or....
}
}   No no no... that would be far too easy... and, although you're
} clearly the type of person who would address someone as mighty as the
} Usenet Oracle without even a decent grovel I shall answer not the
} question you asked (as I sense you already know the answer) but the
} questions you meant to ask but sublimated because you were too afraid
} and/or repressed.
}
}   Ready?  Here goes...
}
}   1) I'm afraid not... she associates you too strongly with greasy
} hair and dandruff-flecked glasses.  As they say in the shampoo
} adverts `First impressions last'.  Forget her.
}
}   2) It's a perfectly normal boil caused by poor hygene and should
} subside within the week if you don't squeeze it.
}
}   3) Aged 25 - it will be a great disappointment to both you and your
} partner.  She will later sober up and regret it.
}
}   4) About average really - a little on the small side but it's never
} going to be too much of a problem.
}
}   5) No chance of a revival - he will remain famous for writing
} `American Pie' but that's it.  Your taste in music will never be shared
} by the masses.
}
}   6) Not spectacularly but comfortably well off through your steady job
} in Cost Accountancy (sorry).
}
}   7) Not really but you will be interviewed as part of a televised
} investigation into mal-practice by orthodontists.  You will actually be
} shown for approximately five seconds (but will have been heavily
} air-brushed and be shown in soft-focus).  Your mom will video it.  This
} is the height of your fame.
}
}   8) They will never reform for another series, the death of Mr.
} Chapman and the desire not to become stuck in a rut will prevent this.
} Also they are slightly embarrassed by the semi-religious recital of
} their material by devoted fans and more embarrassed by the general
} bespectacled and bedandruffed nature of these cultists.
}
}   I hope this experience has enriched your life.  Next time, don't feel
} embarrassed to ask the oracle about what's really on your mind.  And
} don't forget the grovel, bozo.


595-04    (abee6 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

> The Usenet Oracle has no questions to ask.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Usenet Oracle requires an question to this answer!


595-05    (2eo96 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan G. Monsarrat)

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

> Oh great and oscillating Oracle, whose nose-hairs could circle Jupiter
> twice and still have enough length left over to rappel off of a largish
> cliff, please answer this question for your humble supplicant:
>
> As a Southern Conservative from Alabama who supports the NRA, Rush
> Limbaugh, and all other conservative causes such as the expedient
> impeachment of Hillary ... uh, I mean Bill, should I run for the
> Presidency in 1996?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Very nicely grovelled.  You will obviously go far in politics.  Now
} please, dust off your knees and stand.  Also, you can improve your
} grovel by changing "largish cliff" to "Rush Limbaugh."
}
} The answer to your question is:  No.  You should walk.  It's much
} more dignified, and with people like Rush touting themselves as the
} bastion of conservatism, you'll need all the dignity you can get.
} And forget about impeaching Billary...you can only impeach a
} President for criminal activities, and there is no law against
} ineptitude or stupidity.
}
} Having said that, allow me to make the following recommendations for
} appointed posts (should you win.  I'm not telling until you ask me):
}
} Veteran's Admistration        Jane Fonda
} Drug Czar                     Marion Barry
} Housing & Urban Development   Leona Helmsley
} Transportation                Ted Kennedy
} Education                     Dan Quayle
} Health                        Dr. Kevorkian & Magic Johnson
} CIA                           H. Ross Perot
} NASA                          Jerry Brown
} Family Values                 Woody Allen
} Speaker of the House          Adm. Stockdale
} Chiefs of Protocol            Roseanne Barr & Rush Limbaugh (they
}                               might be the same person)
} FBI                           John Gotti
} Labor                         Murphy Brown
} White House Staff             Gennifer Flowers
}
} You can't go wrong with a lineup like that.
}
} You owe the Oracle.  Don't forget it.


595-06    (19og5 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} All is dark and silent at Oracle Headquarters. The Oracle
} Himself has gone home for the evening, the Priests have been
} locked in their cages, and the doors locked, the windows
} shuttered, the lights extinguished.
}
} All is dark, that is, except in one hallway, where a person
} clad in shapeless overalls mops the floor, whistling tunelessly,
} staring vacantly.
}
} All else is silent, until a terminal in a Priestly cubicle
} begins to beep. The Priest *should* have logged off and
} powered down, but you know how Priests are...
}
} Kinzler hears the beeping, and shambles towards its source.
} He's been told, time and time again, not to answer these
} calls, but you know how Sysadmins are...
}
} The keyrings affixed to his belt give off a fiendish clanking
} noise as he wends his weary way towards the terminal. The
} clanking of the keys, the tuneless whistling, and the
} beeping, are the music of this night.
}
} He arrives at the terminal, and reads:
}
} > ?
}
} "Golly!", he soliloquizes, "the Question ain't a-printin out!
} I'd best be fixin this here terminal afore the boys comes in
} fer the mornin shift!"
}
} He grabs a screwdriver from the back pocket of his overalls
} and reaches for the rear of the terminal. Moments later,
} there is a cacophany of coruscading sparks, and a charred
} figure falls inert to the floor.
}
} The tragedy is discovered the next morning, and all Oracular
} operations are suspended for a week.
}
} Millions of supplicants, deprived of their customary witty
} answers, despondently throw themselves beneath the wheels of
} speeding prams.
}
} Streetcleaners, disgusted at the mess, go on strike. All
} metropolitan streets become impassable, workers cannot
} commute to their jobs, and the wheels of industry grind to a
} halt. The Market crashes, brokers from their windows fall,
} and civilization comes to an end.
}
} No, supplicant, this hasn't happened, for now at least it's
} just a parable, a story that warns of what *could* happen if
} you're not more careful with your Questions.
}
} You owe the Oracle a thousand-line Question, written in
} heroic couplets, with no misspellings, but with at least
} three puns in every line.


595-07    (08vf1 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Oracle whose wit, nostalgia raises to even higher levels than that
> apparent today.
>
> Please tell me:
>
> Why do office supplies come in waves?
> What I mean is, last month I had no biros on my desk. Today, at the
> last count I had nine. And I can't remember getting any from the
> stationary cupboard. A similar thing, but negative has happened with
> erasers, scissors have remained steady, but no sightings of staplers
> have been made for some months.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       Office supply companies long ago found that unless they did
} something about the natural breeding rate of common office supplies,
} that like the wire coat hanger manufacturers of old, they would soon
} be unneeded. Offices could just put a few pens into a quiet drawer,
} come back in a few months, and have enough to cover needs for another
} few months.
}       Modern Science was called in and soon found the answer. The
} genetic code in most supplies could be tampered with, causing hormonal
} imbalance and missed breeding periods. Those supplies that could
} not be manipulated were replaced with other items which had shorter
} lifetimes or breeding defects or some other method of reducing what
} they called 'in the field reproduction'
}
} TO use some of your examples: Biros replace the old fountain pens,
} since it's common knowledge that like burros, biros are mostly sterile.
} Scissors usually have been rendered infertile via vasectomy (two quick
} snips and it's all over) Staplers are a problem, since they are
} normally very hungry and even resort to cannibalism if they do not get
} enough metal in their diet. The Oracle suggests a few extra staples
} (just basic staples) a day and your staplers won't be forced to eat
} each other.
}
} You owe the Oracle a breeding pair of paper clips and a herd of Post-it
} notes.


595-08    (0cckb dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

> O Oracle, wisest of all the Masters,
> who has lived in the Eternal Now
> for more years than there are hands clapping,
>
> There's a lot of spiritual malaise going around these days;
> how can I have safe satori?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   Hmm... neat grovel - no chance of sneaking out of answering this
} one... so here's the relevant leaflet.
}
}   International Bank of Bhudda
}
}   Searching for satori... then look no further.
}
}     "A monk aproached Joshu and asked `Master, in these uncertain
}       times, how may I save satori'.  Joshu replied `Have you finished
}       your rice porridge.'  The monk responded that he had and Joshu
}       then said `Well, just nip down to the village with this cash-card
}       and get me $10 - I bank with IBB' "  - Zen koan (circa 1993)
}
}   IBB, serving your banking and spiritual needs throughout the cycles
} of birth and rebirth.  Just look at all the features...
}
}   . Thanks to our non-cartesian banking you can spend your money and
} save it simultaneously
}
}   . Instant printouts of both cash and karmic balance
}
}   . The only bank that will pass your account details on to your next
} reincarnation
}
}   . Worried about tearing open that delicate third eye - our insurance
} policy with both cover and not cover it for you
}
}   . Forever losing that hard-won satori - it'll be fine in our
} spiritual strong-boxes.
}
}   . Plan that path to enlightenment with our spiritual financier.
}
}   . Mu
}
}   Other leaflets available in our "Religion and commerce for proffit
} and prophet" series
}
}    Moonie-matic laundry services - washes your clothes as thoroughly as
}                                       your mind.
}
}    Voodoo cult life insurance - you only live twice.
}
}    Jehovah's attourneys - no longer content to merely witness.
}
}    VMS and the Catholic Church - why wait 'till hell to suffer.


595-09    (0ew81 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Sid Dabster

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

> Oh oracle most wise, I found this story in an old book, but the last
> page was missing. Can you in your infinite wisdom tell me how the
> story ends?
>
> Once upon a time, there lived in the forests of Lemmingland a tribe of
> fierce warriors. They were called the violems, for they were utterly
> violent.
>                 [here there were a drawing of one lem
>                  frying another with a flamethrower]
>
> After centuries of beating, shooting, chopping, torturing,
> slaughtering, frying, eating, boiling, burying, drowning, crushing and
> just plain killing eachother, there were but 35 left of them, so they
> decided to stop fighting eachother and find someone else to kill
> instead. Thus, the Lemmings went to war.
>
> Oh oracle, what happens then?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} They traveled and traveled, climbing mountains, fording streams, trying
} to find dreams.  Eventually, they found themselves on some very high
} cliffs overlooking the water.  Perceiving it as a possible enemy
} (violems were not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier), the leaders
} yelled, "Charge!!"
}
} A tide of lems (well, thirty-five seems like a tide when they're all
} running at you squeaking at the top of their lungs) zipped up the hill
} and plunged off the edge of the cliffs.  To their dismay, the water's
} only means of defense was to come at them with increible speed and get
} very cold.
}
} Lems, besides being a little thick, sink like stones in armor.  Two of
} them were knocked clean out of their armor by the force of the
} collision, and swam frantically away from the cliffs.  After a day or
} two they reached the land on the other side and promptly swore off
} battle for good.
}
} They founded a little town, which they called Lemminster (of course,
} the people who moved there later changed the spelling so it looked
} completely different; who wants to admit they're living in a town
} founded by Lems?).
}
} You owe the Oracle some Lem stew.  With onions.


595-10    (13kid dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.CS.UNLV.EDU>

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

> Stupid Oracle, never smart like he's s'posed to be, always copying
> someone else's ideas, what can I do about my tendency to make people
> hate me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Good boys and girls say "please" and "thank you," and refrain from
} using words like "stupid" and "hate."  Your problem is not one of
} borderline personality disorder, or body odor, but rather one of
} semantics. The Oracle will resolve your question by restating it.
}
} For example, don't think of the Oracle as "stupid," but as "diverse."
} "Never smart" becomes "occasionally blonde," "copying someone else's
} ideas" becomes "deriving insight from the contributions of others."
} Don't think in terms of people hating you, but rather of "cultural
} insensitivity" on their part.
}
} The Oracle will now restate your question in the proper context:
}
} > O Golden Haired One, whose insight springs from the masses, how
} > can I deal effectively with the cultural insensitivity of others'?
}
} The Oracle will not deprive you the intellectual stimulus of answering
} your own question, now that it has been stated in the proper context.


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