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Internet Oracularities #1089

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Internet Oracularities #1089    (69 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 08:07:26 -0500 (EST)

To find out all about the Internet Oracle (TM), including how to
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in the subject line.  ("Internet Oracle" is a trademark of Stephen
B Kinzler.)

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:
   1089
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1089  69 votes 6jva3 2blob 348rr 4qz40 5cze3 3gtf6 9hjj5 2ekje 1fth7 39pjd
1089  3.2 mean  2.8   3.4   4.0   2.6   3.0   3.1   2.9   3.4   3.2   3.4


1089-01    (6jva3 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: MCHEVALIER@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Ok, oh mighty Oracle, I think _this_ deserves some sort of explanation!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Certainly, it's a simple method of signifying emphasis in plain ASCII
} text, without resorting to HTML rendering, as is *that*.
}
} You owe the Oracle a synaesthetic response.


1089-02    (2blob dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <trans@lucent.com>

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

> Oracle most Wise, I would like to know ...
> Wich is the best place (or the best country) to live in?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That's exactly right, Supplicant.
}
} The Socialist Republic of Wich, or 'Wich' for short, is indeed the best
} country to live in -- at least, according to their own Ministry of
} Propaganda and Public Executions.
}
} Among the hundreds of benefits they hold forth to life in Wich, we see
} the following:
}
} CLEAN AIR
} ================
} As a side effect of storing millions of tons of atomic and chemical
} waste for a number of Western countries, we see an almost completely
} germ-free atmosphere. The last microbe apparently died ten years
} ago, with the last citizen born without some kind of genetic defect.
} The Ministry of Health and Public Flogging recommends, however, that
} you don't inhale the air outside without a gas mask. Clean though
} it is, it will not be actually breathable for some sixty-four years
} or so. Bottled oxygen can be found at discount rate in any Wichian
} department store.
}
} NO CRIME
} ================
} Abolishing all laws has proven beneficial on a number of levels.
} The crime rate went down to zero practically overnight, as there was no
} possible way of breaking a non-existant law. Other benefits include:
} cheaper drugs, cheaper ammo, cheaper food (if you take care to steal
} it instead of paying for it -- I mean, the'res no law against it or
} anything), and no Johnnie Cochran weasels getting rich on criminals.
} Those citizens who make it home alive at the end of the day (the
} barrage of gunfire in the street can be a trifle perilous) with
} their loot, loudly thank the wise and witty government for making
} everybody's life easier. OR ELSE!
}
} LOW TAXES
} ================
} The steady devaluation of their local currency, the Zgroty, has
} proven beneficial. The Zgroty hit the bottom mark of  $0.00 just
} last year, effectively becoming cheaper than dirt. However steep the
} government make the income taxes, nobody suffers. 90% of nothing is,
} well, nothing.
}
} CHEAP PRICES
} ================
} The revolutionary changes in the legal system and the effectively
} worthless Zgroty collaborate to make living in Wich very cheap.
} It doesn't matter if you pay 90 million Zgroty for a loaf of bread, or
} rob the local store out of it with your rifle or bludgeon. You will
} not be any poorer any which way you choose. It is at any rate a
} totally academic issue, since no Wichian stores have any products to
} sell anymore.
}
} HEALTH CARE
} ================
} The health care system of Wich is the best in the World, according to
} the Ministry of Health and Public Flogging. Nobody gets sick around
} there, as those who do are immediately put to death by government
} firing squads.  Nevertheless, the hospitals are fully equipped should
} any citizen happen to come down with the sniffles. Ammo is cheap,
} remember?
}
} CULTURE
} ================
} Wichian culture is rich with fascinating events and happenings.
} Among the thing you'll see are:
}  -- DUNG SCULPTURE, which is a local art form practised by the
} horses and donkeys of Wich. The Ministry of Art, Culture, and
} Intimidation claims that these natural artists invented the concept
} of 'non-figurative art'. The famous dung sculptures which can be seen
} to adorn any country roadside, admittedly have no discernable shape
} or form resembling anything man-made.
} -- PROFESSIONAL LOOTING is the national sport, and practised by
} millions of citizens. This is a very exciting spectator sport,
} especially if your home is suddenly chosen as a playground.
} Steel helmets and Kevlar vests are warmly recommended for tourists
} who wish to attend the festivities.
} -- BEGGING is another popular national pastime, and the friendly
} people of Wich are happy to perform this particular form of artistic
} expression for your personal benefit. Women and children will wail
} persuasively and incessantly until your generosity is sufficiently
} awakened -- and it will be, especially since the majority of them
} are also armed with Kalashnikovs.
}
} BEAUTIFUL SCENERY
} ================
} Wich has some of the most breath-takingly gorgeous vistas of the Earth,
} according to the Ministry Of Internal Affairs and Assassinations.
} The public television of Wich always broadcasts imagery of green
} pastures, snow-white mountains and lush, ripe forests. This imagery
} can be purchased in the form of postcards -- incidentally, the exact
} same postcards broadcast by the national television. The beautiful
} motives were shot in Switzerland. The citizens of Wich often dream
} of someday going there, and seeing for themselves how trees used to
} look like back home, before atomic pollution rendered 98 percent of
} the Wichian countryside barren.
}
} No citizen of Wich has yet actually left the country, however, since
} the borders are heavily protected by mine fields, high-voltage fences,
} and armed patrols. Says Enver Zhitodenkskij, Minister of Police and
} White Slavery, "It is important to guard the borders vigilantly.
} Otherwise our neighboring countries might be tempted to invade
} us and steal all our valuable atomic waste. Why would you want to
} leave anyway? May I see your papers? You look like a dissident."
}
} Well, Supplicant, there you have it. Welcome to Wich, the best country
} to live in. It's so fantastic, you'll never leave alive.
}
} You owe the Oracle a vacation to... somewhere else. Fresno sounds good.


1089-03    (348rr dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> Heya, omniscient-type dude.
>
> I've chatting with your various incarnations, and yeah -- it's fun. But
> sometimes... man, you get some idiots in there! How can I make sure the
> person who gets my mail doesn't give me a serious answer? Oh, and it'd
> be nice if they didn't quote back my question when they replied...
>
> So is there a secret code I can put in the Subject: line or something,
> to make sure my question only gets to people who are at least
> semi-clueful? Thanks, Orrie -- I knew I could count on you!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What's this? You want a serious answer to your question "How can I make
} sure I don't get a serious answer"? Are you trying to trap the Oracle,
} you creepy little supplicant person you? Well, I'll fix your little red
} wagon.
}
} ALARM! ALARM! Calling the Paradox Police!
}
} <stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp STOMP STOMP
} STOMP> PARADOX POLICE REPORTING, SAH!
}
} Oracle: Thank you for coming so promptly. Now ...
}
} Kurt:   Actually, we're not the Paradox Police and we're not reporting.
}
} Wolfie: But please bear in mind that my partner lies all the time.
}
} Kurt:   I do not!
}
} Wolfie: Whereas I lie exactly 50% of the time. We are the Paradox
}         Police, but we're not reporting.
}
} Kurt:   Ah, but hang on, you just made three statements. If you lie
}         exactly 50% of the time, one must be a half-truth.
}
} Wolfie: I did not make three statements.
}
} Kurt:   Did too!
}
} Wolfie: Did not! You said I did, so I can't have done.
}
} Kurt:   Bummer! Caught out again.
}
} Oracle: If I might interrupt this fascinating discourse ...
}
} Kurt:   Wait, I've got it. You did say we weren't the Paradox Police,
}         didn't you?
}
} Wolfie: Correct - I said we were.
}
} Kurt:   And that we definitely were reporting.
}
} Wolfie: No, I said we were, but I'm lying now.
}
} Kurt:   Therefore, logically, your statement about lying exactly 50%
}         of the time ...
}
} Wolfie: ... Could have been a lie.
}
} Kurt:   Damn!
}
} Oracle: Gentlemen ...
}
} Kurt:   Okay, this one's really going to work. You definitely lie
}         sometimes.
}
} Wolfie: I am obliged to tell the truth for an undisclosed part of the
}         time, I'll grant you that.
}
} Kurt:   So if I were to ask you if we're the Paradox Police, and then I
}         repeat your answer verbatim ...
}
} Wolfie: Ah, I can see where this is heading ...
}
} Kurt:   ... Then I can force you into being a full-time liar, like I am
}         not! Ahah! Gotcha, ya little squirt!
}
} Wolfie: Not necessarily ...
}
} Kurt:   Have too! Have too! Admit it!
}
} Wolfie: ... Since this scenario would require you to be telling the
}         truth when you say you're going to repeat everything I say.
}
} Kurt:   Damn! Blast! I hate you!
}
} Wolfie: He loves me really.
}
} Oracle: Yes thank you, gentlemen, I am truly enjoying your double act
}         and at least one of these statements is false. Now, could you
}         turn your attention to this email from a supplicant?
}
} Wolfie: Certainly! Could you repeat it for us?
}
} Oracle: That's a very tempting suggestion, but just read it for now.
}
} Kurt:   Sure thing! There's nothing I like better than reading
}         paradoxical email messages ...
}
} Wolfie: ... Unless it be a ham sandwich ...
}
} Kurt:   ... Because, obviously, a ham sandwich is better than nothing.
}         Hmm, this is a nasty one ...
}
} Wolfie: Is there such a secret code, by the way?
}
} Oracle: Yes, but I can't tell it to you, otherwise it wouldn't be
}         secret.
}
} Wolfie: There are no flies on you.
}
} Kurt:   Nobody's smarter than the Oracle.
}
} Wolfie: Good point! Well, Sir, there's your solution.
}
} Oracle: What?
}
} Wolfie: The supplicant shouldn't be asking you, he should ask nobody,
}         since nobody is a higher authority than yourself.
}
} Oracle: You mean, like, he should ask his question in an empty room?
}
} Kurt:   Exactly. Or he could ask Al Gore, who's a nobody in my book.
}
} Oracle: Sounds good to me. But isn't some kind of punishment in order?
}         He did try to trap me, after all.
}
} Kurt:   Absolutely not!
}
} Wolfie: As my partner says, absolutely!
}
} Oracle: How about if I ZOT him on some day between today and Saturday
}         next, but don't tell him which day so it'll come as a surprise?
}
} Kurt:   Ah no, that won't work.
}
} Oracle: It won't?
}
} Kurt:   No. Everybody thinks there's no paradox there, but in fact
}         there is.
}
} Wolfie: Hang on, if everybody thinks there's no paradox, then you do
}         too.
}
} Kurt:   Good point. Okay, everybody thinks there's no paradox there,
}         but Al Gore knows there is. Because, as Al Gore will tell you,
}         if Saturday arrives and the supplicant still hasn't been
}         ZOTted, he'll be expecting it then and it won't be a surprise.
}
} Wolfie: Therefore he knows you won't ZOT him Saturday, so Friday is the
}         last day you can ZOT him and surprise him.
}
} Kurt:   But when Friday arrives and he still hasn't been ZOTted ...
}
} Wolfie: You can see the problem, can't you? There's no way you can ZOT
}         him at any time and surprise him.
}
} Kurt:   So he's perfectly safe.
}
}                         <<<<<<<< ZOT! >>>>>>>>
}
} Oracle: What do you think? Was he surprised?
}
} Wolfie: Absolutely.
}
} Kurt:   Not in the least.
}
} Wolfie: Oh, shut up.
}
} Kurt:   Ham sandwich, anyone?


1089-04    (4qz40 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oh Great and always-on-topic Oracle, how can we get people on email
> mailing lists to stop posting off-topic?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I saw a movie the other day called "Enter the Dragon." It starred Bruce
} Lee, who was doing some serious kung fu. I counted at least four groin
} injuries. A classic, definitely one to see.
}
} Well, so much for being on topic. Getting back to your question, I can
} see six possible solutions:
} 1. Kill them.
} 2. Nuke them.
} 3. Kindly discourage them, or ask them nicely to please stop.
} 4. Ask the list administrator to be harsher with off-topic posters.
} 5. Just igmore them; maybe they'll go away.
} 6. Live with it.
}
} All of these solutions, however, present problems:
} 1. This is illegal.
} 2. Not only is this illegal, but it kills innocent bystanders in
}    addition to the off-topic posters.
} 3. This will probably only make them post more.
} 4. If the problem persists, chances are, the list has no administrator,
}    or at least not one who gives a darn.
} 5. They will probably not go away, especially if they are trolls.
} 6. You seem unable to live with it, which is the reason you are seeking
}    my infinite wisdom.
}
} So, unfortunately, loyal supplicant, for lack of better words, you're
} screwed. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
}
} You owe the Oracle a 16mm print of "Enter the Dragon" and a projector
} which shall be used to view the film.


1089-05    (5cze3 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <trans@lucent.com>

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

> Oracle most defect-free, do you offer an extended warranty?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Why certainly! There seems to be a little reluctance to take it up,
} but I can assure you it's worth your while.
}
} Of course your basic warranty covers you for your answer being
} hysterically funny for a standard period - which usually runs out
} just before the priest sees it. Isn't that always the way?
}
} With the _Silver_ Extended Warranty, it's funny even after the Priest
} has read it, reread it, filed it, taken it back out, read it some
} more, ummed and ahhed and finally decided to digest it. A good choice
} for those seeking advancements in a statistical way, I'm sure you
} agree.
}
} With the _Gold_ Extended Warranty, it's funny even after the digest
} has been sent out. I think you can see how this might improve your
} chances of getting good votes.
}
} With the _Platinum_ Extended Warranty, we _guarantee_ that your answer
} will be funny until the end of time, or until an unrecoverable crash
} of the Oracular Archives, whichever comes first. It will make a
} modified appearance in a talkshow host's monologue. It will be used as
} an example of modern comedy in at least 4 college classes. It will
} start a thread on rec.humor.oracle.d that will continue for at least
} three months in some form or another (not much of an achievement, I
} admit, but it's all part of the package).
}
} What's that? You'll take the Silver? An excellent choice for the cost-
} conscious consumer. I'm sure you'll appreciate the feeling of security
} this will bring.
}
} You owe the Oracle $799.95 payable in 4 easy weekly installments of
} $201.07.


1089-06    (3gtf6 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oracle wiser than the shiniest new wise person in the show room.
> Please tell me
>
> If I hum a happy tune will it keep the dreadful monster that follows
> me as I walk home each night from eating me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It depends on what kind of happy tune it is.  I recommend something
} like this:
}
} O, I am so glad
} Because I taste so bad,
} And if you try to scarf me,
} I know that soon you'll barf me,
} And that will make you very very sad.
}
} It isn't just a question
} Of a little indigestion.
} You won't be merely feeling slighly queer.
} There'll be no panacea
} To cure your diarrhea.
} You'll be incapacitated for a year.
}
} You owe the Oracle music composed for these lyrics.
}
} *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
}   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
} This is my sig.  It doesn't tell you my name or anything
} else about me, but it is distinctive enough that you can
} recognize it if you have seen it before, allowing you to
} make reference to any questions and answers you have
} previously exchanged with me.


1089-07    (9hjj5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> What price glory?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Burpee Seed Catalog
}
} Morning Glory - blue. Areas 2,3 & 4. ................ $ .49/packet.
}
} You owe the Oracle a shrubbery.


1089-08    (2ekje dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: MCHEVALIER@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Suction.
>
> Scalpel.
>
> Clamp.
>
> Tweezers.
>
> Axe.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} All right, Dr. Kevoakian, you've played Tree Surgeon of Death long
} enough. We tried to get yew to turn over a new leaf, but now you've
} lost your poplar support and really made an ash of yourself.  We're
} going to take you down to cedar warden and let hemlock you up fir good.
} Go ahead, pine away, you sap-sucking son of a birch.
}
} You owe the Oracle root privileges.


1089-09    (1fth7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> o great seer of all knowledge,
>
> what happens if you stand on your head to long?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, that depends on what it is you long for...
}
} If you're longing for a head rush followed by some dizziness,
} then standing on your head is a great way to start.
}
} If you're longing for that pretty girl in accounting to notice
} you, standing on your head in the hallway by her cubicle will
} probably do the trick.  Standing on your head to long for her
} to go out with you, however, will probably be met with failure.
}
} Standing on your head to long for a big lottery winning is,
} again, counter-productive.  It's quite a trick to get to the
} store and buy a ticket whilst standing on one's head.
}
} If you're longing for anything Australian, then by all means
} stand on your head to long.  It'll put you more "in tune" with
} everything Oz, and you'll have the added advantage of not
} having to worry about falling off the planet.  Unless, of
} course, you're already Australian (or Kiwi, or Fijian, etc.),
} in which case you're already "standing on your head", unless
} you're actually standing on your head, in which case you're
} right-side-up and this discussion is irrelevant.  Which,
} really, it is anyway.
}
} Standing on your head to long for fame and fortune is a bit
} of a longshot, I'm afraid.  You might get some local
} notoriety, and perhaps a spot on "The Late Show with David
} Letterman" if you can stand on your head long enough, but
} your fame will be minor and fleeting at best, and there will
} be no fortune.  In fact, Letterman might even make you pay
} your own way to New York, the cheap bastard.
}
} I guess we can conclude from this discussion that nothing
} really worth longing for will probably happen if you stand on
} your head to long.  Well, except that dizziness thing... wheeee!
}
} You owe the cheeky Oracle a smack in the head with a to by for.


1089-10    (39pjd dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> ohhhhh oracle.... amazing one:
>
> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.......

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Continuing numerical sequences such as the one defined can often be
} difficult, but the analysis can be greatly simplified by the use of
} the well-known Gesamt-Stierdung Theorem [GST98].  Here, let me
} demonstrate:
}
} First, we convert each integer to trinary notation, as follows:
}
} 1 -> 1
} 2 -> 2
} 3 -> 10
} 4 -> 11
} 5 -> 12
} 6 -> 20
} 7 -> 21
} 8 -> 22
}
} Now, we sum the, er, tits, of each integer, and convert back to
} decimal, giving:
}
} 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 4 . . .
}
} We then apply Clobberschmidt's Congruence, namely:
}
} 1 = 2 (For certain values of 2)
}
} Giving:
}
} 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 4 . . .
}
} It is now trivial to prove that the following formula will give us the
} correct result:
}
}      n
}     ----       W
}     \       S_i  + D
}      >     ----------- * F   (mod P)
}     /        (i+4)!
}     ----
}     i=1
}
} Where:
}  S is the sequence defined above,
}  n is the number of items in the sequence,
}  W is the Marmotal Dislocation Constant, defined in [ORA04], and
}  P, F, and D are defined elsewhere.
}
} So, as you [GUM90] can clearly see, the next item in the defined
} sequence should be ... five.  No, three.  Easy, isn't it?
}
} References: [GST98] Gesamt, D., and Stierdung, A.
}                     "Nichtvorhandenereferenz", Berlin Journal of
}                     Mathematics, Vol 4, No 5. (1698), pp. 4-8.
}             [ORA04] Oracle, T. U. "Improved M. Monax and H. Sapien
}                     Carbonization Techniques", Eden Journal of Applied
}                     Omniscience, Vol 1., No 1. (4004 BC), pp. 104-120.
}             [GUM90] Gump, F. "On the Recursive Applicability of
}                     Traditional Cognitive Terminology," Alabama
}                     Journal of Neurology, Vol. 90, No. 1, (1990) p. 4.
}
} You owe the Oracle a promise to keep _Social Text_ from getting a copy
} of this.


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