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Internet Oracularities #633

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633, 633-01, 633-02, 633-03, 633-04, 633-05, 633-06, 633-07, 633-08, 633-09, 633-10


Usenet Oracularities #633    (63 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 1994 09:05:16 -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:
   633
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

633   63 votes 29hle oic63 4cncc 39jjd 4emda 1dmed 6goe3 5drf3 5ckce cgo74
633   3.1 mean  3.6   2.1   3.3   3.5   3.2   3.4   2.9   3.0   3.3   2.6


633-01    (29hle dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> O Magnificent Oracle, whose knowledge is truly all-encompassing, who
> never needs a spell-checker to write even the word "inestimable" with
> confidence, and who could spend an hour on the stairmaster without
> breaking a sweat (if he wasn't so perfectly in shape that Ah-nold
> gnashes his teeth at the very thought of that physique), please help
> your humblest of supplicants out with the following Really Nasty
> Problem:
>
> Today, I received my World History final.  Everything was going fine
> until I reached a problem that my limited little brain simply could not
> answer.  So I left a full-size wax dummy of myself in my chair and
> rushed off to ask you to help me out.  Please answer the question for
> me, and quickly, since I'm not sure how long Professor Spluttenfern
> will be fooled by my simulacrum.  Here's the question:
>
> "Please recount the entire history of the world in a rhymed verse of 86
> words or less."
>
> Help me, Usenet Oracle, you're my only hope.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Here's half your answer.  You'll have to write the other 43 words
} yourself.  If you're lucky, Spluttenfern won't notice that my part
} wasn't written by a member of homo sapiens.
}
}  Indus Valley, Land of Sumer,
}  Egypt, China, Greece and Rome.
}  Thought and intrigue, plot and rumor,
}  Sailors straying far from home,
}
}  Ages dark and ages light,
}  Vandals, Vikings burn and rape.
}  Follies, forces, foes to fight,
}  Lo! The works of Man, Great Ape.
}
} You owe the Oracle your technique for figuring out in advance that
} you're going to need wax dummies for your exams even when you think
} they are going to go well.  Also your recipe for making them.  And, oh
} yes, you owe Prof. Spluttenfern the secret formula for getting that
} horrid wax off his fingers.  He thinks he killed you when he tried to
} wake you up, and he sent the dummy to the infirmary.  I'm patching
} things up best I can.  You really owe me a lot for this one.


633-02    (oic63 dist, 2.1 mean)
Selected-By: bremner@muff.cs.mcgill.ca (David BREMNER)

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

> How do I deal with a selfish woman?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Just ignore her and she'll go away.


633-03    (4cncc dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> If all the world is in fact a stage, what can we do if we really screw
> up our lines?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let's use this supplicant's life as an example:
} [The Director aka God has summoned the chief writer aka the USENET
} [ Oracle to a review meeting.]
}
} G: We got a guy here who keeps blowing his lines. I want you to take a
}    look at this. [shouts off stage: okay replay today]
}
}         [Scene one, this morning]
}         Cute Cheerleader: Hi, could you help me a second?
}         Supplicant: Sorry, I got a class right now.
}
} O: Damn, he blew that. Well I guess I can scrap that hot sex scene I've
}    been working on all afternoon.
} G: Thats not all, keep watching.
}
}         [Scene two, lunch time]
}         Supplicant:[busting up in line at the local deli] Excuse me
}                     mister, I'm kinda in a hurry here.
}         Businessman1: Isn't that Joe's kid?
}         Businessman2: Yeah, looks like the photo he sent when asked me
}                       to give him a job.
}         Businessman1: You gonna do it?
}         Businessman2: No way, I got enough rude kids working for me
}                       already.
}
} O: Well, I can scratch writing the car buying scene for this clown,
}    too.
} G: One more.
}
}         [Scene three, evening. An A and R man for a major record label
}          knocks on the supplicants door]
}         Record Exec: Son, I heard you playing your guitar all the way
}                      down in the lobby when I came in and I...
}         Supplicant: I'LL PLAY HOWEVER FRICKEN LOUD I WANT. IT AIN'T
}                     QUIET HOURS YET JUST GET OUT OF MY DAMN FACE.
}         [slams door]
}
} O: Oh no, now I have to rescript this guy's whole life. This was the
}    start of the big rock star thing we were planning for months.
} G: Well write him something simple. Make him a janitor or something.
} O: The hell with that. I'm going to write him out.
}         [Lightning crackles in the distance. A major storm is brewing]
}
} You owe the Oracle a last request.    (Watch him blow this line too)


633-04    (39jjd dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: bc70007@bingsuns.cc.binghamton.edu (Otis Viles)

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

> All wise, all knowing Oracle, why do drive-up ATM machines have
> Braille codes on the keys?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} For the blind, silly.  The seeing-eye dog can't be expected to drive
} AND use the machine.


633-05    (4emda dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> O wisest Oracle,
> Whom we trust the best in,
> How would _you_ answer a rhetorical question?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Why do you ask?


633-06    (1dmed dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@cobra.aml.arizona.edu>

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

> Oh great oracle, one whose flatulence smells of roses and elderberries,
> whose visage is glowing and perky, and who plays a mean game of
> cribbage, I, your unworthy supplicant, lower than the lowest undergrad,
> and tiddler of winks, I prostrate myself at thy feet, kiss thy hairy
> toes and ask you this question.....
>
> Is sex better than Ben & Jerry's ice cream?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Actually, sex is better _with_ Ben & Jerry's ice cream.


633-07    (6goe3 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@cobra.aml.arizona.edu>

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

> Almighty Oracle, who understands all the puzzles of humankind, along
> with all those of goatkind. And dogkind too. Also fishkind, lemurkind,
> wombatkind - yea, verily, even moosekind, albatrosskind, lemmingk...
>
> Ahem. Sorry.
>
> My question is this:
>
> There are two forms of logic. One for when you are in a state of
> sobriety, and one for when you are not. Can you explain this second
> form of logic to me? The sort of logic that makes it seem completely
> logical to remove a bollard from in front of the police station and
> carry it home. The sort of logic that means that the only thing you can
> possibly do next is run through the high street singing 'American Pie'
> wearing only a traffic cone.
>
> How does that logic work?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hi-ho nervous supplicant, Kermit the Oracle here with another muppet
} news flash:
}
} Your question has been deliberated with great solemnity (or at least
} as much solemnity as you can cram in amongst a lunch of tuna salad
} and smores) and the following answers have been found, one along
} classic Western thought, and one among the great works of the
} Vietnamese Zen Masters:
}
} A) Basic Aristotelian syllogisms run if A = B, and B = C, then A = C.
} Alcoholic syllogisms run if A = B and a half, and Barney + Xuxa =
} Clarabell, then the woman on the far end of the bar really wants to
} have your children, where children = the number of darts that actually
} managed to hit the target without poking somebody in the eye + the last
} place you remember seeing your wallet.
}
} B) Slap! You should eat ape dung for asking explanations! The sound of
} one hoof tapping; a mailman at my door.
}
} You owe the Oracle a Slippery Nipple for using the word "bollard" in
} public.


633-08    (5drf3 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu

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

> what meal could I cook today?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmmm.  Let me check out your kitchen.  You have:
}
}       6 frozen mini-pizzas
}       1 half-full can of spaghetti sauce
}       A whole heap of noodles
}       5 three-month-old eggs
}         table syrup
}
} Now, I'll run the ingredients through my Oracle recipe database
} to get all possible meals that can be made from these ingredients
} (filtering out anything inedible by humans or that tastes like
} it should be.)
}
} Hmmm.  A nice small number.  Of course, you want to know which
} one of these to cook, so I'll just list the consequences of
} each choice:
}
}       Meal:  mini-pizzas
}
}       Consequence:  Unknown to you, the power has been spotty at your
}               place for the last month.  As a result, everything
}               in your freezer is somewhat past due.  Thus, if you eat
}               these, you will die, slowly and painfully, of
}               food-poisoning.
}
}       Meal:  Spaghetti
}
}       Consequence:  A pretty good meal, but one that'll give you
}               gas.  This is especially bad considering the roving
}               camera crew that will appear at your door.  The
}               force-ten pants-buster you'll let go just as Regis
}               asks your opinion on Middle-East peace talks will,
}               because of a bug in the satellite uplink software,
}               be seen world-wide.  Propagandists will seize
}               on the footage as the American opinion of their
}               plight.  Terrorism will follow and the whole thing
}               will escalate into world-wide nuclear war within
}               ten months.
}
}       Meal:  Mystery Omelette
}
}       Consequence:  A freak quantum event will occur while you
}               are nuking the spaghetti sauce, noodles and
}               table syrup, causing your meal to collapse into
}               a very dense, extremely massive black hole.
}               It will only takes another fifteen minutes for
}               the Earth and everything on it to get sucked in
}               too.
}
} So, if I were you, I'd go to McDonald's again.
}
} You owe the Oracle a six-pack of Chicken McNuggets, and don't
} forget the barbecue sauce.


633-09    (5ckce dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Orrie,
>
> I came across a question in an ethics in computing mailing list I
> subscribe to and decided that since you know EVERYTHING (being
> omniscient and all) I should check with you to learn what the
> correct answer is before responding.  I've paraphrased the
> question below.
>
> "In a case of human death because an expert system was misused
> in a hospital who should be held liable?  Is it the user of the
> expert system (In this case the doctor), the programmer, the
> experts from whom the knowledge was gained (other doctors) or the
> service provider?"
>
> Thanks for your help!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The trouble with law cases like these is that there are no precedents.
} Fortunately since I am ominipotent, I can give you a consequent.
}
} >Scene: The Old Bailey, London, June 1998.
} >
} >Judge: Will the counsel for the prosecution call the first witness.
} >
} >Counsel for the Prosecution (CP): I call upon Dr Evan Braithwaite.
} >
} >(pause while witness takes the stand)
} >
} >CP: Dr Braithwaite. Were you using the Expert System, supplied by
} >InterFact LTD at the time the patient died?
} >
} >DB: Yes.
} >
} >CP: And, do you feel that the Expert System was in any way responsible
} >for the death of the patient?
} >
} >DB: I have no doubt of that.
} >
} >CP: And, would you say, that had the Expert System not been installed,
} >that the patient would still be alive today?
} >
} >DB: Yes, the patient would be alive today.
} >
} >CP: Thank you Dr Braithwaite. That is all.
} >
} >Judge: The counsel for the defense will now call their first witness.
} >
} >Counsel for the defense: The defense also wishes to call Dr
} >Braithwaite.
} >
} >CP: OBJECTION your honour. The defense is calling a witness who has
} >nothing to do with their case.
} >
} >Judge: Objection overruled. Dr Braithwaite will now take the stand.
} >
} >CP: OBJECTION YOUR HONOUR. For the defense to call Dr Braithwaite to
} >the stand is unnacceptable for a man of Dr Braithwaite's professional
} >standing.
} >
} >Judge: Overruled. Dr Braithwaite will now take the stand and the
} >Counsel for the Prosecution will cease and desist from these
} >objections.
} >
} >CP: OBJECTION YOUR HONOUR. Dr Braithwaite is of a delicate
} >constitution and should not take the stand under any circumstances
} >where he might be aggressively questioned.
} >
} >Judge: OVERRULED COUNSEL.
} >
} >CP: OBJECTION YOUR HONOUR.
} >
} >Judge: The counsel for the prosecution is now in contempt of court and
} >will..
} >
} >CP: OBJECTION YOUR ....
} >
} >Judge: The counsel for the prosecution is in contempt of court.
} >Baliffs! Remove the counsel for the prosecution from the court.
} >
} >(two burly baliffs drag the counsel for the prosecution from the
} >court)
} >
} >Judge: Dr Braithwaite will now take the stand.
} >
} >Counsel for the defense: Dr Braithwaite. Were you present at the time
} >the patient died?
} >
} >DB: Yes.
} >
} >CD: What specific injuries were the cause of death?
} >
} >DB: Fracture of the skull and intrusion into the cerebral region.
} >
} >CD: And, the Expert System was the cause of death?
} >
} >DB: Yes.
} >
} >CD: (sighs) Dr Braithwaite, were you using the Expert System at the
} >time the patient sustained these injuries?
} >
} >DB: Yes.
} >
} >CD: And how were you using the computer at that time?
} >
} >DB: Well, I had my hands on it....
} >
} >CD: And?
} >
} >DB: ... and I was, well, using the computer.
} >
} >CD: Dr Braithwaite. Had you or had you not raised the computer above
} >your head?
} >
} >DB: Erm, yes, but ....
} >
} >CD: And, Dr Braithwaite, did you or did you not then bring the
} >computer down on the patient's head with considerable force?
} >
} >DB: Well, I might have done.
} >
} >CD: Dr Braithwaite?
} >
} >DB: Well, ok then, yes I did.
} >
} >CD: No more questions, your honour.
}
} You owe the Oracle a fix for the "smash the computer into the patient's
} head" bug.


633-10    (cgo74 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

> Great and wonderful Oracle,
>   wiser than mortal man,
> Answer me this simple question
>   as I'm sure you can.
>
> A symptom of cultural decay,
>   our lifestyle is in danger:
> Tell me what's the great appeal to those
>   "MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS"?!!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Why, certainly dear supplicant,
}   the answer's clear to me.
} And since you were so eloquent,
}   I will reply for free...
}
} In our society today
}   dullness and life are one:
} And so we need to find some way
}   to give ourselves some fun.
}
} Now since ourselves we don't possess
}   a safe way to get thrills,
} We'll have to go for second best:
}   which at least won't get us killed.
}
} The mighty power rangers are
}   (and this to me is clear)
} The method that is best by far
}   to experience without fear.
}
} For their adventures bold and wild
}   (strange as it may seem)
} Are the fond desire of every child
}   and every adult's dream.


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