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Internet Oracularities #681

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681, 681-01, 681-02, 681-03, 681-04, 681-05, 681-06, 681-07, 681-08, 681-09, 681-10


Usenet Oracularities #681    (89 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 17:22:29 -0500

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on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
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   681
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

681   89 votes xikd5 dnyf4 dgrfi dgpih 3byub 5gvu7 4ivr9 9vzd1 conic 9fklo
681   3.0 mean  2.3   2.7   3.1   3.1   3.4   3.2   3.2   2.6   2.9   3.4


681-01    (xikd5 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> why oh ^&*)&*()&(*_@#
> ^&@#)@#_+!#$!!#*_(!$_^$#$)!&#!)#*_!# HJVJ )(#!&#^
> @^#@^A)!@#^@*(_@#^)Q@$_Q@#*$_Q@#+     #*@U
> @#*$&)QQ^@#%$Q@&*#Q(@$&*_Q@
>
> ^@#$*&Q@^Q @&^)@ *@&$)&@$!@_&

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} About a cord a day.


681-02    (dnyf4 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: buck@integ.micrognosis.com (Jesse Buckley)

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

> Oh Oracle most cool and froody, with eyes in the back of your head,
> tell me:
>
> What is the best way to cheat on the Turing test?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Supplicant,
}
} The Turing test was designed with an intelligent computer in mind. If a
} test person, sitting behind a terminal, has a discussion with either a
} machine or a human being, and cannot decide whether he is talking to
} one or the other, then -according to Turing- the computer can be
} considered intelligent.
} Since his idea was first introduced, millions of man hours have been
} put into making the computer more and more intelligent. We've seen
} Neural Nets, Fuzzy Logic, Expert Systems, and the Guess the Animal
} game, and nothing so far has succeeded in making a computer any more
} intelligent than your pet dog. What a waste of research, human [sic]
} intelligence and money! Fooling the test person is of course done, not
} by making the machine more intelligent, but by making the human being
} more stupid!
} So, in answer to your question: have all the human conversationists
} undergo a frontal lobotomy, give them a quart of Johnny Walker's, and
} put them behind that console! The chances of their being more coherent
} than any computer are zilch. Test persons will be utterly confused and
} will probably judge most computers as "most intelligent".
} It might, by the way, become clear to you by now why neurology and
} computer sciences have become so closely acquainted. Neural nets are
} just a cover-up for organized massive brain surgery, the only way to
} "raise" computers to the human intelligence level.
}
} You owe the Oracle a.. dada! goo!.. Oracle want rattle!


681-03    (dgrfi dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> Most sacred Oracle, I bow in your presence with the following ?:
>
> If urine is 'Number One' and feces is 'Number Two,' what
> is 'Number Three?'

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This question.


681-04    (dgpih dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Will computers ever "think"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   bad command or file name


681-05    (3byub dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat)

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

> Oh most wise oracle, whose wisdom is from beyond the stars, please tell
> me
>
> Why am I so tired?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Allow the Oracle to introduce you to something called sleep.  This
} wonderful technique mysteriously erases fatigue.  It's very simple:
}
}    1. Turn off the computer.  Contrary to popular belief, a computer
}       has no feelings and will not format your hard disk in a fit
}       of pique at being ignored.
}
}    2. Lie down on a horizontal surface.  The surface of choice is
}       a padded surface known as a bed.  Have someone point one out
}       to you.  If you cannot find a bed, you might try a sofa, a
}       park bench, or someone's front lawn.  If you are a college
}       student, you may be able to sleep while sitting in class.
}
}    3. Turn off the lights if possible.  There are some sleep experts
}       who claim that you should do this before #2, but if you are an
}       amateur, you run the risk of stubbing a toe on your way to your
}       horizontal surface of choice.  Please note the college students
}       are not allowed to turn the classroom lights off.  The teacher
}       will do it just before he starts showing slides.
}
}    4. Close your eyes.  Some people can sleep with their eyes open,
}       but as a beginner you should master the basics first.
}
}    5. Wake up.  This step is critically important as failure to do so
}       can result in the "Rip Van Winkle" effect or even death.  No one
}       said sleep was risk free.  You might want to have a friend sit in
}       in case something goes wrong.
}
} If the first four steps don't produce sleep, reread the Oracle's reply.
} That ought to put your lights out.
}
} You owe the Oracle a blankie and a nightlight to keep the monsters
} away.


681-06    (5gvu7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat)

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

> Oh allmighty allknowing allencompassing all... - well you get the
> picture - Oracle, please grant this humble supplicant a boon, and tell
> me the answer to this question:
>
> Why is it so dark in here, and where am I??

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}          It is *always* dark in there, as you have probably deduced for
}          yourself by now. This is because of the radiation seals and
}          rock casings, not to mention the 35,000,000 tons of
}          pre-stressed concrete which was used to ensure that the thirty
}          thousand years required for the radioactive waste to cool off
}          can pass without incident. How many times did Joe the foreman
}          tell you off about sleeping on the job? And did you listen?
}
}          But do not panic, help is here in the shape of your friend the
}          Usenet Oracle and Lassie the Wonderdog. Yes, things may seem
}          bleak but there's always hope.
}
}          Now then, Lassie has started barking and pawing the ground
}          eightfive feet above your head (this isn't going to help much,
}          since there is nobody else within a hundred miles of this
}          place except for a few military bods, who traditionally ignore
}          things like dogs pawing at the ground suggestively, cats
}          staring intently at a mysterious box under the table, or even
}          little Chirp the Wonderhamster who could suggestively spin his
}          little wheel, faster and faster until finally little Johnny
}          would realise why, dash off to the treehouse and save the
}          twins from a watery death, all thanks to Chirp.)
}
}          No, I don't think Lassie has really scoped the problem too
}          well so we'll carry on without canine assistance for now, eh?
}          Right then, how do we get you out of this geographical quarry,
}          sorry *quandry* which has, after all been constructed with a
}          definate and pretty serious attempt at staying intact for
}          thirty thousand years.
}
}          The solution is obvious, and staring us right in the face!
}
}          All you need to do is send a message to the Usenet Oracle,
}          along the lines of "grovel, grovel, and how do I get out of an
}          underground radiation disposal facility."
}
}          If you are in luck, the omniscient Oracle will tell you.
}          Chances are though, that the reply will be along the lines of
}          "wait 30 thousand years" unless you grovel properly.
}
}          You owe the Oracle a pyramid.


681-07    (4ivr9 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat)

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

> Oh great and wonderous Oracle.. I have a question for you.  I've been
> thinking about this long and hard, but I've been quite unable to come
> to a good conclusion.  You see, there's this spoon I've been wanting to
> take out to dinner, you know for a nice date or something, but I can't
> decide where to take her.  Some nice little soup and salad place, or a
> fine gourmet french restraunt, what?  Help, I really feel that I MUST
> impress this spoon if I'm to have a chance.   What would you suggest?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It depends on whether or not you're interested in more than just a
} quick fork.
}
} You owe the Oracle an archive of postings to alt.utensils.spork.


681-08    (9vzd1 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Oh wise and wonderful Oracle whose amazing brain can deduct anything,
> including the molecular composition of Spam(tm);
>
> Please tell me why I put up with this stupid job.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Because you've been programmed for it since birth.  As part of
} our vast consumerist society, you've been subconsciously
} instructed, all your life, that you must hold down a "respectable"
} job in order to be "productive".  It really makes you sound
} like you're supposed to be a machine, mindlessly going to
} work each day, so that you can "function" as a member of society
} and be as "productive" as possible.  If you find that your
} job numbs your mind, well, that's the way it was intended.
} If you've actually noticed this then there's still hope for
} you.  If you stay in such employment while realizing its
} negative mind-crushing effect on you, then you are an agent
} of your own destruction.  Get out, while you still can.
}
} BTW, how'd you know about my Spam deduction?  You're right,
} I put it down on my tax form as a medical expense.
}
} You owe the Oracle a signed video copy of "Brazil".


681-09    (conic dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> If everything is a piece of cake, where's my icing?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       In order to put your inquiry into proper perspective, considering
} the state of affairs of the world today, we must take into account the
} "cakeistensialist" theory of philosophy. The mediocre philosopher
} DesHorses, who, slightly before Descartes, proposed the famous theory
} that "I think, therefore the universe is a large pastry."
}       Later philosophers, such as Kantoo and Kannot, elaborated on this
} theory, noting that "while tarts are indeed yummy, life, as we know it,
} is a piece of cake."
}       Modern science has,surprisingly enough, proven useful in
} determining more about cakeistensialism. Famous physicist Pritchard
} Heyman theorized that while the underlying fabric of the cake is full
} of little holes, the stuff that keeps it all together is known as the
} "icing." Used to anchor those small packets of energy, or "candle,"
} icing is both tasty AND important to our very existence.
}       Often, however, the power inherent in the icing fades in areas,
} growing in others. The intensity of icing is referred to as its
} "thickness," and indeed, the "thicker" the "icing," the more noticeable
} it is. In those few areas where the icing has sunk almost below notice,
} we find gaps in the pattern of cosmic glue. Here, some immortal being
} has deemed it neccessary to place "Roses," or "letters," or
} occasionally even something that looks like "strings." Through some
} mysterious process, these Roses keep the cake together.
}       It has been determined by Indian mystics that each time we hope,
} or dream, or pout, or mourn, we scrape a little of the layer of icing
} away. Sooner or later, everyone runs out of icing, and its time for the
} placement of a new rose. During the brief time the rose is in place,
} the icing regenerates. While having more roses would certainly help,
} nobody truly gets more than one rose.
}
} So hey, if you're scraping on thin icing, nobody promised you a rose
} garden.
}
} You owe the oracle a big birthday cake.


681-10    (9fklo dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Wise one, who washes his laundry in my drinking water,
>
> To what degree was Wal-mart responsible for Cleopatra's overtaking
> of the Tibetan margarine industry prior to the Seven Years War, and
> how did this affect canary breeding habits on the Galapagos Islands?
> Please make reference to the stain of raspberry pie on Napoleon's
> tunic during the battle of Waterloo.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} O Oracle bold and beautiful,
}         here is my humble account of the events which occurred in my
} search for the answer of the question you asked me. Your question was :
} "To what degree was Wal-mart responsible for Cleopatra's overtaking
} of the Tibetan margarine industry prior to the Seven Years War, and
} how did this affect canary breeding habits on the Galapagos Islands?
} Please make reference to the stain of raspberry pie on Napoleon's
} tunic during the battle of Waterloo."
}
}         Well, this being a factual question, instead of one requiring
} abstract thought, my first response was none at all, there could be no
} possible way that Wal-Mart had a part to play in Cleopatra's
} non-existent takeover of the Tibetan margarine industry, and therefore
} had no effect on Galapagos canaries, so which raspberry on Napoleon's
} tunic was a mere circumstance. But, being the inquisitive soul I am, I
} decided to travel back in time to ask Cleopatra whether she had been
} involved in margarine at all in her life. Luckily, a physics lecturer
} at my university, Doctor Doom, had just constructed a time machine, and
} he needed someone to test it for him. I was only too willing to oblige,
} thinking that if I were to perish in the course of the experiment, or
} be turned into a gibbering idiot, it would all be in the name of
} science, which was a consoling thought. After checking my life
} insurance to ensure that it included disappearance due to time travel
} in its coverage, I toyed with myself of making myself the beneficiary,
} disappearing and returning some fifty years in the future to claim my
} life insurance plus interest. But servants of the Oracle must not be
} swayed by petty financial gain. Besides, I could get last week's
} lottery numbers...
}         Arriving in Ancient Egypt, my relatively strange appearance and
} general foreign-ness meant that I was given an audience with Queen
} Cleopatra, particularly when I said that I was an emissary for King
} Boff of the far-off land of Yertleburbia, and I had many precious gifts
} for her. Of course, the fact that I materialised in the throne room,
} before the High Priests could stop me, was another factor to be taken
} into account. Nevertheless, the Queen was intrigued by my question.
}         'What is margarine? I have never heard of such a beast.'
}         'No, your Majesty. Margarine is not a wild animal to be tamed.
} Rather it is something that you spread on bread to make it taste less
} like bread.' I said, taking a tub of margarine I had bought from the
} nearest Wal-Mart (12,000 miles away from where I live) from my pocket
} and proferring it to her.
}         'Oh!' said the Queen, dipping her finger in the tub. 'It is
} some kind of ointment! It will keep my skin clear and young.'
}         'No, no, your Majesty,' I patronised. 'it is merely a butter
} substitute, but since you have not heard of it before...' The Queen
} licked her finger and mmmmed in surprise.
}         'This...this is much better than butter. It's so much easier to
} spread as well. I must have some...an inexhaustible supply. At once!'
}         'Well...' I said. The High Priests, who seemed to have been
} chosen for their broadness of shoulders, rather than for any
} characteristics of devoutness, circled me with curved knives.
}         'Oh...oh dear...from what little I know, the only margarine in
} the world today is in the far-off land of Tibet. They have no butter
} there, for the only creature hardy enough to live in the mountain nation
} is the yak, and as the milk of the yak is pink, not one Tibetan has been
} brave enough to taste its butter. Even only the strongest stomached of
} kings have been able to drink down a full pint of yak's milk, it is how
} they show qualities of leadership.'
}         'Well, you must go to this land of Tibet, with ten thousand
} soldiers, and my best generals, and you must bring the secret of
} margarine back with you!' declared Cleopatra.
}         'Oh...' was all I could manage to say.
}
}         Unable to escape my captors, I discovered to my dismay that the
} time machine took several weeks to recharge itself from the sun's rays,
} even in as hot a place as Egypt, and by the time several weeks were up,
} I was bound hand and foot and gagged and leading an army towards Tibet,
} with the device confiscated. After many months, we arrived at out
} destination, and the Egyptian soldiers began to lay waste to the
} peaceful monasteries and set villages afire in their endless quest for
} the secret of margarine. Eventually I hatched a cunning plan to escape
} my captors, but that involved reaching my time machine, strapped to the
} belt of General George, the commander of the Egyptian forces. Luckily,
} while travelling through some perilous mountain pass, I heard a great
} roaring sound, and General George's horse fled in panic. Unfortunately,
} I was tied to it at the time, but the swift trip downhill meant that I
} was soon free of my bonds, most of my skin and my consciousness. Even
} worse than that, when I awoke, there was snoring across from me was a
} great white shaggy beast, a full ten feet tall and shoulders which
} would have needed ironing boards to make them look any bigger. Could
} this be the legendary Abominable Snowman of Tibet? He couldn't be very
} hungry, not after eating General George, whose cuirass lay snapped. But
} still, I was stranded here in the Himalayan mountains, and could either
} choose to be devoured by this beast, or to rejoin my captors. But ahead
} lay a third alternative - I could be crushed into the ground the the
} approching rumbling of yak-mounted Tibetan Auxiliary Corps, yelling
} great war whoops and shaking pointy sticks at the hapless Egyptians. I
} looked around for a fourth, more pleasing alternative. The time
} machine. It lay, slightly broken, in the paws of the Abominable
} Snowman. If I could just reach it, I could...damn...
}
}         'Hhhrruuugh?' said the Abominable Snowman, waking from his
} slumber. Sun and sea and sand were all new to it, I could tell. So were
} canaries, they twittered around him apprehensively. Perhaps he would
} eat me to take his mind off things. Unless it's a she..., then she
} would eat me...oh dear. From the dials on the time machine, it appeared
} that the Abominable Snowman and I had landed about three million years
} in the past, on what would become the Galapagos islands. I tries to
} look as menacing as I could, holding the time machine and threatening
} the Abominable Snowman with it's use again. The Abominable Snowman
} looked puzzled, more canaries flocked overhead, circling it. Then one
} landed. And another. And another, until the Abominable Snowman had
} become a canary coated piece of fur. It looked very puzzled indeed, but
} it didn't seem to mind too much. I couldn't see what attracted the
} canaries to the Snowman, but it couldn't have been the pungent aroma it
} was giving off. Unless birds liked that sort of thing...oh well...it
} seemed to be helping with their mating rituals, that was for certain.
} Having satisfied the second of my tasks, I set about trying to find a
} way of making passing reference to Napoleon and a certain raspbery-pie
} stained tunic. Awarding myself extra chocolate rations to aid my
} constructive thought capabilities, I decided to return to 1994 to get
} some.
}
}         Whoops. Evidently the time machine wasn't functioning correctly
} yet. I decided to fix it with some gum later, and looked at my
} surroundings. I seemed to be in a battle or sorts. I strode over to a
} man in a strange hat so he could tell me more. It wasn't really cold,
} but he kept his hand well inside his coat for some reason. His other
} hand was busy feeding raspberry pie to his face. Then it struck me, the
} man over there was in fact Napoleon! It also looked like his side were
} winning - this was impossible, the French couldn't win the Battle of
} Waterloo, it didn't happen!
}         'Hey!' I cried. 'Napoleon! Just what do you think you're doing?
} You're supposed to lose this battle and get captured by the English!'
}         Napoleon was completely taken aback by this outburst, so
} surprised in fact that he dropped his piece of raspberry pie, which
} smeared his tunic. Looking down, he realised that he had damaged his
} lucky tunic, the one he always wore into battle, and promptly fainted.
} The English, seeing Napoleon fall down, with a red patch on his tunic,
} took heart that the Frenchman was dead, and decided to kill a few more.
} In the panic, I managed to fix the time machine and return to the
} present.
}         So, that is how Wal-Mart helped Cleopatra take over the Tibetan
} margarine industry, which in turn allowed a mobile canary singles bar
} in the Galapagos island, and how those circumstances led to Napoleon
} smearing raspberry pie down his tunic and losing Waterloo, and how I
} lived happily ever after.
}
}         Yours anonymously,


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