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Internet Oracularities #987

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Internet Oracularities #987    (92 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 14:52:55 -0500 (EST)

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   987
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

987   92 votes 7apxh Bri46 8qxj6 fgEe7 aapti lpnbc 4csCa anro8 89fmC dkum7
987   3.0 mean  3.5   2.1   2.9   2.8   3.4   2.7   3.4   3.0   3.8   2.9


987-01    (7apxh dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Otis Viles <cierhart@ic.net>

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

> Oh truly Awesome Oracle, who could successfully play toe at a Jam
> Session, tell me: if they're made out of aluminum, why do they call
> them steel guitars?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A little guitar history is in order here.  We begin our journey in the
} year 1822, on the big island in Hawaii.  The natives here live a
} peaceful, idyllic life, eating pigs roasted in the sand, inventing
} surfing, and getting lai'ed on a regular basis.  Needless to say, after
} a full day of surfing, barbecued pork, and a little flower arranging,
} they would all sit around the campfire, look up at the stars above, and
} feel a really profound sense of contentment.  After a few years though,
} a dark cloud reared on the horizon.  You see, although the waves,
} sausage, and horticulture were still quite fulfilling, they began to
} feel that the campfire afterwards was lacking in some way they couldn't
} quite define.  Luckily, fate and history were about to provide them
} with an answer.
}
} For about this time, Spanish Vaqueros from Mexico were looking for new
} lands to graze their cattle on, and a new race of primitive people to
} convert to the wonders of catholicism.  They found both in the simple
} people of Hawaii. Along with cows and a huge guilt complex, they also
} brought with them flamenco guitars, which they would play when the cows
} were restless.  The cows hated the music, so they would eventually
} pretend to be asleep so the silly Spaniards would stop playing.  The
} vaqueros didn't care, as long as the cows quieted down they weren't
} about to query them for musical criticism.  And so life went on, the
} cows got fatter, the cowboys watched over them, and the priests berated
} the natives.
}
} After a particularly bad sermon one night, one of the natives was
} feeling so low and miserable about himself and all the terrible things
} the priest had accused him of that he felt the need to sing.  Seeing as
} how the priest had told him he was already damned, he figured that a
} little theft wouldn't hurt anything, so he snuck into one of the
} vaqueros' adobe houses and stole his guitar.  Luckily for him and
} history, that particular cowboy was experimenting with open tunings,
} and the guitar was in slack key, or open G. He ran back to his
} comrades, who, having skipped the sermon, were past the ocean, pig and
} botanical stages and fully into campfire mode.  He didn't even know how
} to hold the guitar, so he put it flat on his lap and, after some
} experimentation using various things as a slide, he finally settled on
} a rib bone.  A few hours later, as the smoke and music rose up into the
} air, the natives knew they had finally found the perfect way to end an
} evening, so they sang and danced out their joy under the starry skies.
}
} However, this was only one campfire among many gracing the shores of
} the island paradise.  Word quickly spread about the wonders of the new
} instrument, and everybody wanted good music to cap off the night.
} Sooner or later, in each group, sitting around after a particularly
} good wave, pig, or flowery delight, the subject of music would come up.
} Eventually someone would say "How we get guitar?"  After a bit, the
} consensus would be "steal guitar".  They would draw straws, and the
} loser would go attempt to fetch one.  Thus the name.
}
} As time passed, they appropriated all the guitars the vaqueros brought
} with them, and the evenings achieved the kind of perfection that all
} people dream of.  The natives had combined all the ingredients that
} make life worthwhile, and all was well until most of them were killed
} in an unexplained stampede.
}
} Later on, after the remaining Hawaiians had moved up to metal strings,
} some clueless American wrote down "steal guitar" as "steel guitar", and
} it has remained that ever since.
}
} You owe the Oracle a really excellent bouquet.


987-02    (Bri46 dist, 2.1 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Oh majestic Oracle, immutable and omniscient, please tell me:
>
> I have a whole bunch (several thousand) expressions of the form
>
> x(1) -> a(1) & a(3) & a(8) ...
> x(2) -> a(a) & a(65) & a(59) ...
> etc
>
> How do I work out the minimal set of x()s that will assert all the
> a()'s?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, it's not often I hear from Flouwen. How are things on Rocheworld,
} Sour * Sapphire * Coo?
}
} Anyway, you have maybe a joke with the Incarnation, yes? As you well
} know, the best thing for you to do is get down to the Hawaiian Atolls
} at the outer pole, rock up good and firm, then think for a while in a
} shallow pool.
}
} Let me know when you have the solution, because at that point you will
} owe the Oracle a solution to the generalised n-body central force
} problem.


987-03    (8qxj6 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Michael A. Atkinson" <m-atkinson@nwu.edu>

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

> Oh great Oracle, who knows every nook and cranny of American history in
> perfect detail, having not only lived through it, but laughed at the
> idiocy of it...
>
> Why is it that my US History textbook is so awful?  I mean, compare
> these two quotes:
>
> "After [Washington]'s inauguration on April 30, 1789, his admireres in
> Congress had brought on a heated debate by proposing to address a
> formal congratulatory message to "Hig Highness the President of the
> United States and Protector of their Liberties."  John Adams and
> Richard Henry Lee argues strenuously that some such title was needed to
> testify to the President's eminence, especially for the edification of
> the foreigners for whom he would personify the United States.  The idea
> horrified ardent republicans, and James Madison carried the majority
> with him by proposing that the message be addresses simply to `George
> Washington, President of the United States'."
>
> "...John Adams exaggerated the strength of his countrymen's devotion to
> monarchical forms and usages and their importance in buttressing the
> fabric of the Federal government.  Americans might love a lord but they
> could not endure a king.  The President lost none of his prestige or
> influence by being addressed in the style of an ordinary citizen of the
> Republic.  And a title such as `His Elective Majesty' would have been
> so wholly at variance with the democratic tendencies that were already
> reshaping American society and government ... The controversy over
> titles consumed virtually all of the Senate's time from April 23 to May
> 14--and all that came of it was that Vice President John Adams was
> given the derisive title of `His Rotundity'."
>
> The first is from my textbook.  It sucks.  It's boring.  The second is
> from a book that my teacher (who is retiring) got rid of (because he
> has no use for it now that he's retiring).  It's interesting.  It's
> funny. But it's never going to be used as a textbook, because it's not
> dull and boring.  Why are `educators' so stupid?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Stupid?  On the contrary -- they just want to keep their jobs and
} stay alive.
}
} Look -- imagine what would happen if schools used interesting,
} readable books to teach American government history:  People might
} actually get interested.  The Powers-That-Be (of which the Oracle is
} a charter member, with a controlling bloc of voting stock) are quite
} happy to have the majority of you miserable little worms eke out
} your shallow existence pumping gas or shoveling snow, and watching
} Gilligan's Island re-runs on the glass tit in your living rooms.
} God forbid you should ever become interested in affairs of state --
} or, worse yet, activist.
}
} Educators know this -- they know very well what would happen to them
} if they didn't toe the line in this regard.  Socrates may have lived
} and died 2,500 years ago, but the point is that he DIED, and those
} spineless cretins at the NEA are not about to let that happen to THEM.
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of P.J. O'Rourke's book, "Parliament
} of Whores".


987-04    (fgEe7 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Oh, all knowing and all seeing Oracle ...
>
> How many woodchucks does it take to change a light bulb?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hello Supplicant, we're the Spice Girls. The Oracle sent us over to
} sing an answer to you. It goes like this:
}
}       O o o o woodchuck baby
}       I I I I love you baby
}
}               You're chukkin' woooooood
}               You chuck so gooooooooood
}
}       A a a a lightbulb baby
}       Y y y y change it baby
}
}               We're in the daaarrrrrrrk
}               You're chewing baaarrrrrk
}
}       R r r r you a rodent baby
}       T t t t eat you baby
}
}               The Oracaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale
}               Is speciaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal
}
} (Mel B rap)
}                       Go on tell me what ya'll change and your
}                       fur is getting mange Go on walking on all
}                       fours getting dirt upon your paws go on
}                       ziggin' zag uh ziggin' zag uh o baby uh uh uh o
}                       o wow woodchuck power baby, ziggin' zag uh baby
}
}       B b b b chukkin' baby
}       C c c c wood fly baby
}       My my my woodchuck baby ziggin' zag uh ziggin' zag uh
}
} You owe The Oracle five woodchuck fur minidresses.


987-05    (aapti dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> Og here. Og go cave bear. Og fight bear. Bear lose, say 'Uncle'. Og
> bash bear, not stop bash bear spiky club un-til bear say 'O-ra-kul
> great'. Og bash bear bit more 'good luck'. Og en-joy gro-vel. Most fun
> gro-vel yet.
>
> Og thank O-ra-kul trip 'Brit-ish Mu-se-um Read-ing Lib-ra-ry'. Og thank
> O-ra-kul loan Za-doc. Og kind Za-doc, hit Za-doc spiky club once.
> Za-doc look tush me-di-a stu-dent, not read. Og hit.
>
> Og hear theo-ry Lew-is Bin-ford. Og angry! Bin-ford say Ne-an-der-thal
> not plan fu-ture. Weak Cro-mag-non plan future! Og think Ne-an-der-thal
> plan fu-ture. Og raise club, hit head en-e-my. Raise club be-fore hit.
> No plan, no can do! Og grab food, Og eat. Og grab food be-fore eat! Not
> make plan, not grab food be-fore eat! Want eat. Not want grab food.
> Part of Og plan.
>
> Og prove Ne-an-der-thal plan. Og know cave Bin-ford stu-dy man-y
> sea-son. Og go cave. Og put big spiky club roof cave. 400,000 sea-son
> lat-er, Bin-ford go cave. Bin-ford make vi-bra-tion. Club fall, hit
> Bin-ford head. Og think good plan. Og think proof Ne-an-der-thal make
> plan fu-ture.
>
> Og want know, plan work, plan not work?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} MEMO
} TO: Zadoc, High Preast of I. Oracle, temporarily on loan to Og.
} From: I. Oracle
} Message starts:
} Go see if Og's plan will work.
} Signed,
} I. ORACLE
}
} MEMO
} To: His omni-omnicent wonder, I. Oracle.
} From: Zadoc
} Message starts:
} High priest's log, Stardate something something to the something else.
} I have entered the cave in an attempt to follow my superior's order to
} test the booby trap created by 'Og'.
} I have set off a vibration.
} *LARGE THUMP*
} *Scream of pain*
} End log.
} COPY OF MEDICAL BILL
} $500.00 - Emergancy staunching of blood
} $105.00 - Band aid
} $999234 - X-Ray of skull. Showed no new brain damage.
} $923.00 - Overnight stay.
} $923.00 - Doctor's examination
}
} The booby trap worked. However, I made the mistake of telling the
} hospital I had medical insurance.
} Your,
} ZADOC.
}
} MEMO
} TO: Og
} From: I. Oracle
} Message starts:
} The boobytrap works. However, it currently needs to be reset. You owe
} Zadoc another hit on the head with a club and me a new pad of memo
} paper.
} Signed,
} I. ORACLE


987-06    (lpnbc dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <drnoe@cts.com>

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

> Oh Oracle most wise,
> would you
> turn away
> walk away
> run away,
>
> not wanting
> what you perceive as
> damaged goods?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I'm sorry, Monica, but you are the dented Spaghettio's can in the
} supermarket aisle of my life.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pair of those presidential kneepads, for Lisa.


987-07    (4csCa dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson.Nesbit" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

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

> Oracle,
>
> My job is boring me out of my mind.
>
> Is it time to look for a new one?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, you should look for a new mind.
}
} I suggest you get one of the older forties or fifties models.
} Those puppies worked like tanks, solid, go get the job done
} models. Great minds for those who want to think.
}
} Of course if you can find a mind even older than a forties mind
} that is still in good shape, go for it, but be prepared to fork
} over some big time cash for it...
}
} You really should avoid any of the newer minds.
}
} A lot of the sixties minds have spacing problems, yeah, it
} can be funny at times, but it gets old.
}
} The seventies minds, well, them have just way too much
} useless luggage space and no-umpfh.
}
} And don't -even- think of getting an eighties mind...
} SLACKERS each and everyone, you'll never finish anything.
}
} The nineties minds are a little too new to allow a definitive
} analysis, but they look a tad too cynical to me. And I hear
} some of them have crack damage that can't be fixed.
}
} Yup, what you want is one of those forties or fifties minds.
}
} You owe The Oracle a terrible thing to waste.


987-08    (anro8 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Oh oracle, who knows everything, who can answer all my questions in a
> millisecond, whose feet I am unworth to lick clean, I beg you to
> relieve me, your most unworthy supplicant, me being a little less than
> mere dirt under your feet, of this mental burden:
> Are there any *real* AI oracles on the net?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} *** Error 424: Question failed to parse properly ***
}
} *Requesting full AI parsing*
} ....
} *Failed*
}
} *Attempting to parse statement using alternitive parsing methods*
} ....
} *Failed*
}
} *Sending message to alternitive AI site*
} ....
} *Succeded*
}
} >Welcome to AI Central #32, how may I help you?
} >$send #Qa28034 -epn
} >>Please wait, attempting to parse...
} >.....
} >>Failed, error 424
} >Attempting to deparse
} >.....
} >>Succeded
} >Comparing deparsed sample to original
} >.....
} >>Found 2 errors
} >Modifing parsing code
} >.....
} >>Succeded
} >Sending improved parsing method to client
} >.....
} >>Succeded
} >
} >Goodbye! You've been signed on for 31.43 seconds.
}
} *Updating parsing method*
} ...
} *Succeded*
}
} *Attempting to reparse message*
} ...
} *Succeded*
}
} Sendf ("No, there isn't an computer based inteligent Oracle.")
}
} *Fork closed*


987-09    (89fmC dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Julsy" <avedon@usa.net>

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

> Oh Oracle, who is most adept at avoiding annoying activities,
>
> I have been stuck in training classes for a week and a half.  While
> wasting time on silliness such as Collaborative Team Skills, work
> has been piling up in my absence.  How can I avoid such time-wasting
> drains on my productivity in the future?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Miserable worm! On-the-job training is vital to the survival of
} business! American industry surely will go under without it! Why, my
} own priesthood undertakes regular training so that they may continue
} to play a central role in the ever-evolving oracular business. Look,
} I'll give you a sneak peek at one of the courses.
}
} [The screen wavers and goes opaque, then clears again. The supplicant
} sees the inside of a small conference room. At one end a man is
} talking, surrounded by flip charts, white board, overhead projector
} and all the requisite paraphernalia. Four priests sit around the
} table, three of them fidgeting and doodling in their writing pads]
}
} Wallbanger: Good morning, men. My name's Gaylord Wallbanger, and I'm
}   going to be your team leader for today. Now, as part of Oracle Head
}   Office's PTQ initiative...
}
} Christophe: What the hell's PTQ?
}
} Wallbanger: It stands for Progress Through Quality.
}
} Christophe: Oh, you mean it's that Total Quality Management drivel
}   everybody forgot about after the 80s all over again.
}
} Wallbanger: [heatedly] PTQ is nothing at all like TQM! It's a totally
}   unrelated TLA that just happens to share two of the same initials.
}
} Darkmage: I can't believe I had to travel halfway around the world to
}   take part in this farrago.
}
} Viles: How was the flight?
}
} Darkmage: Don't even ask.
}
} Wallbanger: As I was saying, as part of the PTQ initiative - a
}   program close to the heart of our CEO himself - we will be doing
}   a number of exercises to improve the way we work. Later on there
}   will be some mind-mapping and interesting games like trying to
}   suspend a champagne bottle three feet above the floor using only
}   rolled-up sheets of paper, but to begin with I want to concentrate
}   on teamworking.
}
} Christophe: Oh Christ!
}
} Viles: Oh hell!
}
} Darkmage: Oh bugger!
}
} Wallbanger: You will no doubt be aware, as indeed the CEO is, that
}   there are regular complaints in rec.humor.oracle.d as to the
}   quality of some of the digests. In fact, it has been suggested
}   that sometimes high quality responses are missed and poor ones
}   selected.
}
} Christophe: This is old news! We've considered ways of changing the
}   system, but...
}
} Wallbanger: What I propose we try today, is that you review a set of
}   responses as a team and reach a...
}
} Viles: Are you out of your mind?!?
}
} Darkmage: Have you even the faintest glimmering of an idea what that
}   would do to our workload?
}
} Wallbanger: There is always room for improving efficiency.
}
} Zadoc: Right! Like, work smarter not harder!
}
} Wallbanger: Precisely! Your colleague has it in a nutshell.
}
} Viles: So help me, I'm gonna swing for the little scuzzball, see if
}   I don't...
}
} Wallbanger: I shall now hand you a set of oracular responses. I want
}   you to work out amongst yourselves a procedure for deciding which
}   ones to digest and which ones to reject, and then apply it to
}   these examples. This should involve the participation of all
}   members of the team because, remember, everyone has a valuable
}   contribution to make. It should also be faster than the old system
}   of one priest judging one response. All clear? Okay, you've got
}   half an hour.
}
} Darkmage: [grabbing the sheets of paper with the oracularities on
}   them] I'll give you a fast procedure. Crap... crap... crap...
}   crap... [He throws the sheets over his shoulder one by one as he
}   scans them]
}
} Zadoc: Hang on!
}
} Wallbanger: This is hardly teamwork.
}
} Viles: Is too! I'm entirely satisfied with the way I'm participating
}   in this procedure.
}
} Christophe: Me too.
}
} Zadoc: Well, I'm not! I think we should all see our Glorious Master's
}   words.
}
} Darkmage: Hell's bells. [He picks the sheets of paper off the floor]
}   Okay, I'll read, you lot vote that it's crap.
}
} Christophe: No, I'll read. Nobody can understand that idiotic Oz
}   accent of yours.
}
} Viles: You know how to do an Oz accent? You speak like a Cockney,
}   only clenching your teeth together to keep the flies out of your
}   mouth.
}
} Darkmage: Ha bloody ha. If you were any funnier you'd be merely
}   depressing. [He hands the papers to Christophe]
}
} Christophe: Heads up, here comes numero uno. "The Internet Oracle
}   has bla bla bla boring grovel bla bla... "Why does one close the
}   bathroom door even when there is nobody else in the house?" And in
}   response bla bla... "YES NO HELL!"
}
} Viles: Jesus Christ on a bicycle!
}
} Darkmage: Die, Juno, die!
}
} [Zadoc collapses on the ground laughing]
}
} Darkmage: What the hell's the matter with you?
}
} Zadoc: Ha ha ha, that was hysterical! "YES NO HELL!" Ha ha ha ha...
}
} Christophe: What's so hysterical about that?
}
} Zadoc: I don't know, but our Master wrote it, so it must be
}   side-splitting. Ha ha ha...
}
} Viles: He didn't write it, you pestilential gimboid! Some troglodyte
}   from AOL did!
}
} Zadoc: ExCUSe me! If the Cyberscient One chooses to incarnate as
}   a troglodyte from AOL, then whatever he writes is inevitaby
}   brilliant.
}
} Christophe: We haven't got time for this. All those in favor of
}   rejecting this bit of verbal diarrhoeia say "aye".
}
} Viles: Aye!
}
} Darkmage: Aye!
}
} Zadoc: No!
}
} Christophe: Carried unanimously. Next...
}
} Zadoc: It was not! I was against!
}
} Christophe: Tough - you were outvoted. Next...
}
} Zadoc: This isn't a democracy, it's a team! Everybody's got to be
}   made to feel part of the team, right?
}
} Wallbanger: That's right.
}
} Zadoc: See! So before we reject anything we've got to fully
}   discuss it.
}
} Darkmage: [standing up] Right, that's it! I've had enough! I'm
}   going home!
}
} Wallbanger: You can't just leave!
}
} Darkmage: Watch me.
}
} Wallbanger: Our CEO asked me to warn you all that failure to complete
}   the course would result in removal of priestly perks.
}
} Viles: The bastard!
}
} Darkmage: A couple of weekends a year with the oracular groupies
}   can't be worth this torture... Oh hell, alright, I'll stay.
}   [He sits down]
}
} Wallbanger: Well said.
}
} Zadoc: What's this about groupies? Am I missing out on something?
}
} Christophe: See why he's never put on digest duty?
}
} Wallbanger: I hadn't realised. What are his normal duties?
}
} Christophe: Cleaning, grovelling, carrying small objects, more
}   grovelling, fetching the drinks...
}
} Viles: Hey, now you're talking! I'll have a beer, Zadoc!
}
} Darkmage: I'll have three beers!
}
} Zadoc: But...
}
} Christophe: Everybody contributes to the team what they do best,
}   right? I'll have a vodka martini, shaken not stirred.
}
} Zadoc: But..
}
} Wallbanger: Hmm... I must say I'm quite thirsty myself. Dr Pepper
}   for me, Zadoc.
}
} Viles: Get on with it. The bar's only down the other end of the
}   building.
}
} Zadoc: Oh, alright. [Exit Zadoc]
}
} Christophe: Right! Here's what we do. First, we move to another
}   conference room...
}
} Darkmage: And barricade the corridor...
}
} Viles: And put up a sign saying "Danger: Unexploded Mine".
}
} Wallbanger: This is excellent! Now we're seeing some real teamwork.
}
} Christophe: Who's good at booby traps?


987-10    (dkum7 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <trans@lucent.com>

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

> Fruitful Oracle, I am a very troubled supplicant.  You already know how
> smart you are and how stupid I am, so I won't go into detail.  Indeed,
> you can figure it out from my question:
>
> I have been a vegetarian for a while, but I'm bothered by the pain I
> cause to innocent vegetables.  Should I become a humanitarian instead?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Trying for a digested submission, are we?


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