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"You know, of course, that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are

now extinct."

        -- M. Somerset Maugham


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

        -- Bert Lantz


"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a necessity."

        -- Oscar Wilde


"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."

        -- Voltaire


"IBM uses what I like to call the 'hole-in-the-ground technique'

to destroy the competition..... IBM digs a big HOLE in the

ground and covers it with leaves. It then puts a big POT

OF GOLD nearby. Then it gives the call, 'Hey, look at all

this gold, get over here fast.' As soon as the competitor

approaches the pot, he falls into the pit"

        -- John C. Dvorak


"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them"

        -- Heisenberg


"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted

to my kind of fooling"

        -- R. Frost


"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!"

        -- Ben Jonson


And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that

cometh out of man, in their sight...Then he [the Lord!] said unto me, Lo, I

have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread


[Ezek. 4:12-15 (KJV)]


I have stripped off my dress; must I put it on again?  I have washed my feet;

must I soil them again?

When my beloved slipped his hand through the latch-hole, my bowels stirred

within me [my bowels were moved for him (KJV)].

When I arose to open for my beloved, my hands dripped with myrrh; the liquid

myrrh from my fingers ran over the knobs of the bolt.  With my own hands I

opened to my love, but my love had turned away and gone by; my heart sank when

he turned his back.  I sought him but I did not find him, I called him but he

did not answer.

The watchmen, going the rounds of the city, met me; they struck me and

  wounded me; the watchmen on the walls took away my cloak.

[Song of Solomon 5:3-7 (NEB)]


How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy

thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.  Thy navel

is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor:  thy belly is like an heap

of wheat set about with lilies.

Thy two breasts are like two young roses that are twins.

[Song of Solomon 7:1-3 (KJV)]


How beautiful, how entrancing you are, my loved one, daughter of delights!

You are stately as a palm-tree, and your breasts are the clusters of dates.

I said, "I will climb up into the palm to grasp its fronds."  May I find your

breast like clusters of grapes on the vine, the scent of your breath like

apricots, and your whispers like spiced wine flowing smoothly to welcome my

caresses, gliding down through lips and teeth.

[Song of Solomon 7:6-9 (NEB)]


Wear me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong

as death, passion cruel as the grave; it blazes up like blazing fire, fiercer

than any flame.

[Song of Solomon 8:6 (NEB)]


But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to

thee, to speak these words?  Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the

wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

[2 Kings 18:27 (KJV)]


When Yahweh your gods has settled you in the land you're about to occupy, and

driven out many infidels before you...you're to cut them down and exterminate

them.  You're to make no compromise with them or show them any mercy.

[Deut. 7:1 (KJV)]


I just thought of something funny...your mother.

        -- Cheech Marin


In the beginning, I was made.  I didn't ask to be made.  No one consulted

with me or considered my feelings in this matter.  But if it brought some

passing fancy to some lowly humans as they haphazardly pranced their way

through life's mournful jungle, then so be it.

- Marvin the Paranoid Android, From Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the

Galaxy Radio Scripts


You will be successful in your work.


The life of a repo man is always intense.


If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.


That's the thing about people who think they hate computers.  What they

really hate is lousy programmers.

        -- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in "Oath of Fealty"


Wherever you go...There you are.

        -- Buckaroo Banzai


Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

        -- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan


Lack of skill dictates economy of style.

        -- Joey Ramone


No one is fit to be trusted with power. ... No one. ... Any man who has lived

at all knows the follies and wickedness he's capable of. ... And if he does

know it, he knows also that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to

decide a single human fate.

        -- C. P. Snow, The Light and the Dark


Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue.

        -- Seneca


When we jumped into Sicily, the units became separated, and I couldn't find

anyone.  Eventually I stumbled across two colonels, a major, three captains,

two lieutenants, and one rifleman, and we secured the bridge.  Never in the

history of war have so few been led by so many.

        -- General James Gavin


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

        -- Edmund Burke


You may call me by my name, Wirth, or by my value, Worth.

        -- Nicklaus Wirth


Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to fish, and he'll invite himself over for dinner.

        -- Calvin Keegan


Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future.

        -- Niels Bohr


The computer can't tell you the emotional story.  It can give you the exact

mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows.

        -- Frank Zappa


Things are not as simple as they seems at first.

        -- Edward Thorp


The main thing is the play itself.  I swear that greed for money has nothing

to do with it, although heaven knows I am sorely in need of money.

        -- Feodor Dostoyevsky


It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions.

        -- Robert Bly


Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.

        -- Alan Turing


Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation.

        -- Blaise Pascal


After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect.

        -- Freeman Dyson


There are two ways of constructing a software design.  One way is to make

it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other is to

make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.

        -- Charles Anthony Richard Hoare


Do not allow this language (Ada) in its present state to be used in

applications where reliability is critical, i.e., nuclear power stations,

cruise missiles, early warning systems, anti-ballistic missile defense

systems.  The next rocket to go astray as a result of a programming language

error may not be an exploratory space rocket on a harmless trip to Venus:

It may be a nuclear warhead exploding over one of our cities.  An unreliable

programming language generating unreliable programs constitutes a far

greater risk to our environment and to our society than unsafe cars, toxic

pesticides, or accidents at nuclear power stations.

        -- C. A. R. Hoare


Without coffee he could not work, or at least he could not have worked in the

way he did.  In addition to paper and pens, he took with him everywhere as an

indispensable article of equipment the coffee machine, which was no less

important to him than his table or his white robe.

        -- Stefan Zweigs, Biography of Balzac


"It was the Law of the Sea, they said.    Civilization ends at the waterline.

Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top."

        -- Hunter S. Thompson


In the pitiful, multipage, connection-boxed form to which the flowchart has

today been elaborated, it has proved to be useless as a design tool --

programmers draw flowcharts after, not before, writing the programs they


        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


The so-called "desktop metaphor" of today's workstations is instead an

"airplane-seat" metaphor.  Anyone who has shuffled a lap full of papers while

seated between two portly passengers will recognize the difference -- one can

see only a very few things at once.

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has

been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor.

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


A little retrospection shows that although many fine, useful software systems

have been designed by committees and built as part of multipart projects,

those software systems that have excited passionate fans are those that are

the products of one or a few designing minds, great designers.  Consider Unix,

APL, Pascal, Modula, the Smalltalk interface, even Fortran; and contrast them

with Cobol, PL/I, Algol, MVS/370, and MS-DOS.

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


...computer hardware progress is so fast.  No other technology since

civilization began has seen six orders of magnitude in performance-price

gain in 30 years.

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


Software entities are more complex for their size than perhaps any other human

construct because no two parts are alike.  If they are, we make the two

similar parts into a subroutine -- open or closed.  In this respect, software

systems differ profoundly from computers, buildings, or automobiles, where

repeated elements abound.

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


Digital computers are themselves more complex than most things people build:

They have very large numbers of states.  This makes conceiving, describing,

and testing them hard.  Software systems have orders-of-magnitude more states

than computers do.

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


The complexity of software is an essential property, not an accidental one.

Hence, descriptions of a software entity that abstract away its complexity

often abstract away its essence.

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because

God is not capricious or arbitrary.  No such faith comforts the software


        -- Fred Brooks, Jr.


Except for 75% of the women, everyone in the whole world wants to have sex.

        -- Ellyn Mustard


The connection between the language in which we think/program and the problems

and solutions we can imagine is very close.  For this reason restricting

language features with the intent of eliminating programmer errors is at best


        -- Bjarne Stroustrup in "The C++ Programming Language"


The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it.

        -- Brian Kernighan


Perfection is achieved only on the point of collapse.

        -- C. N. Parkinson


There you go man,

Keep as cool as you can.

It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.

Keep on being free!


Bingo, gas station, hamburger with a side order of airplane noise,

and you'll be Gary, Indiana. - Jessie in the movie "Greaser's Palace"


Hoping to goodness is not theologically sound. - Peanuts


Police up your spare rounds and frags.  Don't leave nothin' for the dinks.

        -- Willem Dafoe in "Platoon"


"All my life I wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific."

        -- Jane Wagner


"Any medium powerful enough to extend man's reach is powerful enough to topple

his world.  To get the medium's magic to work for one's aims rather than

against them is to attain literacy."

        -- Alan Kay, "Computer Software", Scientific American, September 1984


"Computer literacy is a contact with the activity of computing deep enough to

make the computational equivalent of reading and writing fluent and enjoyable.

As in all the arts, a romance with the material must be well under way.  If

we value the lifelong learning of arts and letters as a springboard for

personal and societal growth, should any less effort be spent to make computing

a part of our lives?"

        -- Alan Kay, "Computer Software", Scientific American, September 1984


"The greatest warriors are the ones who fight for peace."

        -- Holly Near


"No matter where you go, there you are..."

        -- Buckaroo Banzai


Trespassers will be shot.  Survivors will be prosecuted.


Trespassers will be shot.  Survivors will be SHOT AGAIN!


"I'm growing older, but not up."

        -- Jimmy Buffett


Scientists will study your brain to learn more about your distant cousin, Man.


"I hate the itching.  But I don't mind the swelling."

-- new buzz phrase, like "Where's the Beef?" that David Letterman's trying

   to get everyone to start saying


Your own mileage may vary.


"Oh dear, I think you'll find reality's on the blink again."

        -- Marvin The Paranoid Android


"Send lawyers, guns and money..."

        -- Lyrics from a Warren Zevon song


"I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs."

        -- H. L. Mencken


"Remember, Information is not knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom;

Wisdom is not truth; Truth is not beauty; Beauty is not love;

Love is not music; Music is the best." -- Frank Zappa


I can't drive 55.


"And they told us, what they wanted...

 Was a sound that could kill some-one, from a distance." -- Kate Bush


"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not

there if you want to keep writing good code."  -- Karl Lehenbauer


Badges?  We don't need no stinking badges.


I can't drive 55.

I'm looking forward to not being able to drive 65, either.


Thank God a million billion times you live in Texas.


"Can you program?"  "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"


No user-servicable parts inside.  Refer to qualified service personnel.


At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly

contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre

or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny

of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep

nonsense.  Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the

world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism:  The collective

enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the

field on track.

        -- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987


One of the saddest lessons of history is this:  If we've been bamboozled

long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.  We're no

longer interested in finding out the truth.  The bamboozle has captured

us.  it is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that

we've been so credulous.  (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the

new bamboozles rise.)

        -- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987


Regarding astral projection, Woody Allen once wrote, "This is not a bad way

to travel, although there is usually a half-hour wait for luggage."


The inability to benefit from feedback appears to be the primary cause of

pseudoscience.  Pseudoscientists retain their beliefs and ignore or distort

contradictory evidence rather than modify or reject a flawed theory.  Because

of their strong biases, they seem to lack the self-correcting mechanisms

scientists must employ in their work.

        -- Thomas L. Creed, "The Skeptical Inquirer," Summer 1987


Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and

bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage.  But if we

don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly

serious problems that face us -- and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up

for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.

        -- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987


Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.


Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.

Don't have aesthetic convulsions when using them, either.


As the system comes up, the component builders will from time to time appear,

bearing hot new versions of their pieces -- faster, smaller, more complete,

or putatively less buggy.  The replacement of a working component by a new

version requires the same systematic testing procedure that adding a new

component does, although it should require less time, for more complete and

efficient test cases will usually be available.

        -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"


Each team building another component has been using the most recent tested

version of the integrated system as a test bed for debugging its piece.  Their

work will be set back by having that test bed change under them.  Of course it

must.  But the changes need to be quantized.  Then each user has periods of

productive stability, interrupted by bursts of test-bed change.  This seems

to be much less disruptive than a constant rippling and trembling.

        -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"


Conceptual integrity in turn dictates that the design must proceed from one

mind, or from a very small number of agreeing resonant minds.

        -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"


It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but it

is also very memorable.  I vividly recall the night we decided how to organize

the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360.  The manager of

architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and I were

threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.

The architecture manager had 10 good men.  He asserted that they could write

the specifications and do it right.  It would take ten months, three more

than the schedule allowed.

The control program manager had 150 men.  He asserted that they could prepare

the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating; it would be

well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.  Furthermore, if

the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling their thumbs

for ten months.

To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control program

team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time, but would

also be three months late, and of much lower quality.  I did, and it was.  He

was right on both counts.  Moreover, the lack of conceptual integrity made

the system far more costly to build and change, and I would estimate that it

added a year to debugging time.

        -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"


The reason ESP, for example, is not considered a viable topic in contemporary

psychology is simply that its investigation has not proven fruitful...After

more than 70 years of study, there still does not exist one example of an ESP

phenomenon that is replicable under controlled conditions.  This simple but

basic scientific criterion has not been met despite dozens of studies conducted

over many decades...It is for this reason alone that the topic is now of little

interest to psychology...In short, there is no demonstrated phenomenon that

needs explanation.

        -- Keith E. Stanovich, "How to Think Straight About Psychology", pp. 160-161


The evolution of the human race will not be accomplished in the ten thousand

years of tame animals, but in the million years of wild animals, because man

is and will always be a wild animal.

        -- Charles Galton Darwin


Natural selection won't matter soon, not anywhere as much as conscious selection.

We will civilize and alter ourselves to suit our ideas of what we can be.

Within one more human lifespan, we will have changed ourselves unrecognizably.

        -- Greg Bear


"Jesus may love you, but I think you're garbage wrapped in skin."

        -- Michael O'Donohugh


...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from

beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"


"It's like deja vu all over again."   -- Yogi Berra


The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first.

        -- Blaise Pascal


"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked.  "Begin at the beginning,"

the King said, gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.

        -- Thomas Jefferson


To be awake is to be alive.  -- Henry David Thoreau, in "Walden"


A person with one watch knows what time it is; a person with two watches is

never sure.   Proverb


You see but you do not observe.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"


A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle

unless there be two.  -- Seneca


Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb

to you till your life has illustrated it.  -- John Keats


The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order

of space and time.  -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge


What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens.

        -- Bengamin Disraeli


Nothing in progression can rest on its original plan.  We may as well think of

rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant.  -- Edmund Burke


For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong.

        -- H. L. Mencken


Don't tell me how hard you work.  Tell me how much you get done.

        -- James J. Ling


One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible.

Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought,

a rivalry of aim.  -- Henry Brook Adams


Remember thee

Ay, thou poor ghost while memory holds a seat

In this distracted globe.  Remember thee!

Yea, from the table of my memory

I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,

All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,

That youth and observation copied there.

Hamlet, I : v : 95   William Shakespeare


Obviously, a man's judgement cannot be better than the information on which he

has based it.  Give him the truth and he may still go wrong when he has

the chance to be right, but give him no news or present him only with distorted

and incomplete data, with ignorant, sloppy or biased reporting, with propaganda

and deliberate falsehoods, and you destroy his whole reasoning processes, and

make him something less than a man.

        -- Arthur Hays Sulzberger


Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy

based on excellence of performance.  -- James Bryant Conant


You can observe a lot just by watching.  -- Yogi Berra


If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of a circuit, I

see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted instantaneously by

electricity.  -- Samuel F. B. Morse


"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you."   -- Alexander Graham Bell


It's currently a problem of access to gigabits through punybaud.

        -- J. C. R. Licklider


It is important to note that probably no large operating system using current

design technology can withstand a determined and well-coordinated attack,

and that most such documented penetrations have been remarkably easy.

-- B. Hebbard, "A Penetration Analysis of the Michigan Terminal System",

Operating Systems Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, June 1980, pp. 7-20


A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.

        -- Ramsey Clark


The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate

knowledge of its ugly side.  -- James Baldwin


Small is beautiful.


...the increased productivity fostered by a friendly environment and quality

tools is essential to meet ever increasing demands for software.

        -- M. D. McIlroy, E. N. Pinson and B. A. Tague


It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river.

        -- Abraham Lincoln


Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images.

        -- Jean Cocteau


Suppose for a moment that the automobile industry had developed at the same

rate as computers and over the same period:  how much cheaper and more efficient

would the current models be?  If you have not already heard the analogy, the

answer is shattering.  Today you would be able to buy a Rolls-Royce for $2.75,

it would do three million miles to the gallon, and it would deliver enough

power to drive the Queen Elizabeth II.  And if you were interested in

miniaturization, you could place half a dozen of them on a pinhead.

        -- Christopher Evans


In the future, you're going to get computers as prizes in breakfast cereals.

You'll throw them out because your house will be littered with them.

        -- Robert Lucky


Get hold of portable property.  -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"


Overall, the philosophy is to attack the availability problem from two

complementary directions:  to reduce the number of software errors through

rigorous testing of running systems, and to reduce the effect of the

remaining errors by providing for recovery from them.  An interesting footnote

to this design is that now a system failure can usually be considered to be

the result of two program errors:  the first, in the program that started the

problem; the second, in the recovery routine that could not protect the

system.  -- A. L. Scherr, "Functional Structure of IBM Virtual Storage Operating

Systems, Part II: OS/VS-2 Concepts and Philosophies," IBM Systems Journal,

Vol. 12, No. 4, 1973, pp. 382-400


I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these

Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal

advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages

for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and after

expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government of

England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only commenced,

I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even the offer

of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the reach of men

who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...

If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were a mere

triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the execution

of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some justification

might be found for the course which has been taken; but I venture to assert

that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will ever publicly express

an opinion that such a machine would be useless if made, and that no man

distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to declare the construction of

such machinery impracticable...

And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed by that

exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its advancement,

which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I think the

application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse

calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.

In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not

be economized by the aid of machinery.

        -- Charles Babbage, Passage from the Life of a Philosopher


How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb?

"Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."


"Don't try to outweird me, three-eyes.  I get stranger things than you free

with my breakfast cereal."

        -- Zaphod Beeblebrox in "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy"


Uncompensated overtime?  Just Say No.


Decaffeinated coffee?  Just Say No.


"Show business is just like high school, except you get paid."

        -- Martin Mull


"This isn't brain surgery; it's just television."

        -- David Letterman


"Morality is one thing.  Ratings are everything."

        -- A Network 23 executive on "Max Headroom"


Live free or die.


"...if the church put in half the time on covetousness that it does on lust,

 this would be a better world."  - Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it is too

dark to read.


"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system]

 made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977


"All these black people are screwing up my democracy." - Ian Smith


Use the Force, Luke.


I've got a bad feeling about this.


The power to destroy a planet is insignificant when compared to the power of

the Force.

        -- Darth Vader


When I left you, I was but the pupil.  Now, I am the master.

        -- Darth Vader


"Well, well, well!  Well if it isn't fat stinking billy goat Billy Boy in

poison!  How art thou, thou globby bottle of cheap stinking chip oil?  Come

and get one in the yarbles, if ya have any yarble, ya eunuch jelly thou!"

        -- Alex in "Clockwork Orange"


"There was nothing I hated more than to see a filthy old drunkie, a howling

away at the sons of his father and going blurp blurp in between as if it were

a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten guts.  I could never stand to

see anyone like that, especially when they were old like this one was."

        -- Alex in "Clockwork Orange"


186,000 Miles per Second.  It's not just a good idea.  IT'S THE LAW.


Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.


Gee, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.


Children begin by loving their parents.  After a time they judge them.  Rarely,

if ever, do they forgive them.

        -- Oscar Wilde


Single tasking: Just Say No.


"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world."

        -- The Beach Boys


"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them

seemed to come from Texas."

        -- Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"


"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my


        -- Johnny Legend


By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials

(out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence

to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve

but appeared "abruptly."

        -- Newsweek, June 29, 1987, pg. 23


Even if you can deceive people about a product through misleading statements,

sooner or later the product will speak for itself.

        -- Hajime Karatsu


In order to succeed in any enterprise, one must be persistent and patient.

Even if one has to run some risks, one must be brave and strong enough to

meet and overcome vexing challenges to maintain a successful business in

the long run.  I cannot help saying that Americans lack this necessary

challenging spirit today.

        -- Hajime Karatsu


Memories of you remind me of you.

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


Life.  Don't talk to me about life.

        -- Marvin the Paranoid Android


On a clear disk you can seek forever.


The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!


grep me no patterns and I'll tell you no lines.


It is your destiny.

        -- Darth Vader


Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at

your side.

        -- Han Solo


How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.


How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

"That's a known problem... don't worry about it."


To be is to program.


To program is to be.


I program, therefore I am.


People are very flexible and learn to adjust to strange

surroundings -- they can become accustomed to read Lisp and

Fortran programs, for example.

        -- Leon Sterling and Ehud Shapiro, Art of Prolog, MIT Press


"I am your density."

        -- George McFly in "Back to the Future"


"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here."

        -- Biff in "Back to the Future"


"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint."

        -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.


The existence of god implies a violation of causality.


"I may kid around about drugs, but really, I take them seriously."

        -- Doctor Graper


Operating-system software is the program that orchestrates all the basic

functions of a computer.

        -- The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, September 15, 1987, page 40


I pledge allegiance to the flag

of the United States of America

and to the republic for which it stands,

one nation,


with liberty

and justice for all.

        -- Francis Bellamy, 1892


People think my friend George is weird because he wears sideburns...behind his

ears.  I think he's weird because he wears false teeth...with braces on them.

        -- Steven Wright


My brother sent me a postcard the other day with this big satellite photo of

the entire earth on it. On the back it said: "Wish you were here".

        -- Steven Wright


You can't have everything... where would you put it?

        -- Steven Wright


I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and

4 people died.

        -- Steven Wright


You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip

over?  Well, that's how I feel all the time.

        -- Steven Wright


I came home the other night and tried to open the door with my car keys...and

the building started up.  So I took it out for a drive.  A cop pulled me over

for speeding.  He asked me where I live... "Right here".

        -- Steven Wright


"Live or die, I'll make a million."

        -- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater


The typical page layout program is nothing more than an electronic

light table for cutting and pasting documents.


There are bugs and then there are bugs.  And then there are bugs.

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


My computer can beat up your computer.

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


Kill Ugly Processor Architectures

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


Kill Ugly Radio

        -- Frank Zappa


"Just Say No."   - Nancy Reagan

"No."            - Ronald Reagan


I believe that part of what propels science is the thirst for wonder.  It's a

very powerful emotion.  All children feel it.  In a first grade classroom

everybody feels it; in a twelfth grade classroom almost nobody feels it, or

at least acknowledges it.  Something happens between first and twelfth grade,

and it's not just puberty.  Not only do the schools and the media not teach

much skepticism, there is also little encouragement of this stirring sense

of wonder.  Science and pseudoscience both arouse that feeling.  Poor

popularizations of science establish an ecological niche for pseudoscience.

        -- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87


If science were explained to the average person in a way that is accessible

and exciting, there would be no room for pseudoscience.  But there is a kind

of Gresham's Law by which in popular culture the bad science drives out the

good.  And for this I think we have to blame, first, the scientific community

ourselves for not doing a better job of popularizing science, and second, the

media, which are in this respect almost uniformly dreadful.  Every newspaper

in America has a daily astrology column.  How many have even a weekly

astronomy column?  And I believe it is also the fault of the educational

system.  We do not teach how to think.  This is a very serious failure that

may even, in a world rigged with 60,000 nuclear weapons, compromise the human


        -- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87


"I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience.  And

in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the

additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.

        -- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87


I'm often asked the question, "Do you think there is extraterrestrial intelli-

gence?"  I give the standard arguments -- there are a lot of places out there,

and use the word *billions*, and so on.  And then I say it would be astonishing

to me if there weren't extraterrestrial intelligence, but of course there is as

yet no compelling evidence for it.  And then I'm asked, "Yeah, but what do you

really think?"  I say, "I just told you what I really think."  "Yeah, but

what's your gut feeling?"  But I try not to think with my gut.  Really, it's

okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in.

        -- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87


Repel them.  Repel them.  Induce them to relinquish the spheroid.

        -- Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team


If it's working, the diagnostics say it's fine.

If it's not working, the diagnostics say it's fine.

        -- A proposed addition to rules for realtime programming


   It is either through the influence of narcotic potions, of which all

primitive peoples and races speak in hymns, or through the powerful approach

of spring, penetrating with joy all of nature, that those Dionysian stirrings

arise, which in their intensification lead the individual to forget himself

completely. . . .Not only does the bond between man and man come to be forged

once again by the magic of the Dionysian rite, but alienated, hostile, or

subjugated nature again celebrates her reconciliation with her prodigal son,


        -- Fred Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy


The characteristic property of hallucinogens, to suspend the boundaries between

the experiencing self and the outer world in an ecstatic, emotional experience,

makes it possible with their help, and after suitable internal and external

preparation...to evoke a mystical experience according to plan, so to speak...

I see the true importance of LSD in the possibility of providing material aid

to meditation aimed at the mystical experience of a deeper, comprehensive

reality.  Such a use accords entirely with the essence and working character

of LSD as a sacred drug.

        -- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD


I share the belief of many of my contemporaries that the spiritual crisis

pervading all spheres of Western industrial society can be remedied only

by a change in our world view.  We shall have to shift from the materialistic,

dualistic belief that people and their environment are separate, toward a

new consciousness of an all-encompassing reality, which embraces the

experiencing ego, a reality in which people feel their oneness with animate

nature and all of creation.

        -- Dr. Albert Hoffman


Deliberate provocation of mystical experience, particularly by LSD and related

hallucinogens, in contrast to spontaneous visionary experiences, entails

dangers that must not be underestimated.  Practitioners must take into

account the peculiar effects of these substances, namely their ability to

influence our consciousness, the innermost essence of our being.  The history

of LSD to date amply demonstrates the catastrophic consequences that can

ensue when its profound effect is misjudged and the substance is mistaken

for a pleasure drug.  Special internal and external advance preparations

are required; with them, an LSD experiment can become a meaningful


        -- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD


I believe that if people would learn to use LSD's vision-inducing capability

more wisely, under suitable conditions, in medical practice and in conjunction

with meditation, then in the future this problem child could become a wonder


        -- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD


In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are


        -- Louis Pasteur


core error - bus dumped


If imprinted foil seal under cap is broken or missing when purchased, do not



"Come on over here, baby, I want to do a thing with you."

        -- A Cop, arresting a non-groovy person after the revolution, Firesign Theater


"Ahead warp factor 1"

        -- Captain Kirk


   Fiery energy lanced out, but the beams struck an intangible wall between

the Gubru and the rapidly turning Earth ship.

   "Water!" it shrieked as it read the spectral report.  "A barrier of water

vapor!  A civilized race could not have found such a trick in the Library!

A civilized race could not have stooped so low!  A civilized race would not


   It screamed as the Gubru ship hit a cloud of drifting snowflakes.

        -- Startide Rising, by David Brin


Harrison's Postulate:

    For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.


Mr. Cole's Axiom:

    The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant;

    the population is growing.


Felson's Law:

    To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from

    many is research.


...Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an

inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have

ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I

haven't ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected it.

There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between

prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have

looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice

is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious

mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can't be perfect of course; you

may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you

have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.

        -- Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. 12, pg. 46


If a person (a) is poorly, (b) receives treatment intended to make him better,

and (c) gets better, then no power of reasoning known to medical science can

convince him that it may not have been the treatment that restored his health.

        -- Sir Peter Medawar, The Art of the Soluble


America has been discovered before, but it has always been hushed up.

        -- Oscar Wilde


Unix:  Some say the learning curve is steep, but you only have to climb it once.

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


Sometimes, too long is too long.

        -- Joe Crowe


When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one,

an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

        -- Edmund Burke


Behind all the political rhetoric being hurled at us from abroad, we are

bringing home one unassailable fact -- [terrorism is] a crime by any civilized

standard, committed against innocent people, away from the scene of political

conflict, and must be dealt with as a crime. . . .

   [I]n our recognition of the nature of terrorism as a crime lies our best hope

of dealing with it. . . .

   [L]et us use the tools that we have.  Let us invoke the cooperation we have

the right to expect around the world, and with that cooperation let us shrink

the dark and dank areas of sanctuary until these cowardly marauders are held

to answer as criminals in an open and public trial for the crimes they have

committed, and receive the punishment they so richly deserve.

        -- William H. Webster, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 15 Oct 1985


"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."

        -- Thomas Paine


"I say we take off; nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure."

        -- Corporal Hicks, in "Aliens"


"There is nothing so deadly as not to hold up to people the opportunity to

do great and wonderful things, if we wish to stimulate them in an active way."

        -- Dr. Harold Urey, Nobel Laureate in chemistry


"...proper attention to Earthly needs of the poor, the depressed and the

downtrodden, would naturally evolve from dynamic, articulate, spirited

awareness of the great goals for Man and the society he conspired to erect."

        -- David Baker, paraphrasing Harold Urey, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"


"Athens built the Acropolis.  Corinth was a commercial city, interested in

purely materialistic things.  Today we admire Athens, visit it, preserve the

old temples, yet we hardly ever set foot in Corinth."

        -- Dr. Harold Urey, Nobel Laureate in chemistry


"Largely because it is so tangible and exciting a program and as such will

serve to keep alive the interest and enthusiasm of the whole spectrum of

society...It is justified because...the program can give a sense of shared

adventure and achievement to the society at large."

        -- Dr. Colin S. Pittendrigh, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"


The challenge of space exploration and particularly of landing men on the moon

represents the greatest challenge which has ever faced the human race.  Even

if there were no clear scientific or other arguments for proceeding with this

task, the whole history of our civilization would still impel men toward the

goal.  In fact, the assembly of the scientific and military with these human

arguments creates such an overwhelming case that in can be ignored only by

those who are blind to the teachings of history, or who wish to suspend the

development of civilization at its moment of greatest opportunity and drama.

        -- Sir Bernard Lovell, 1962, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"


The idea of man leaving this earth and flying to another celestial body and

landing there and stepping out and walking over that body has a fascination

and a driving force that can get the country to a level of energy, ambition,

and will that I do not see in any other undertaking.  I think if we are

honest with ourselves, we must admit that we needed that impetus extremely

strongly.  I sincerely believe that the space program, with its manned

landing on the moon, if wisely executed, will become the spearhead for a

broad front of courageous and energetic activities in all the fields of

endeavour of the human mind - activities which could not be carried out

except in a mental climate of ambition and confidence which such a spearhead

can give.

        -- Dr. Martin Schwarzschild, 1962, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"


Human society - man in a group - rises out of its lethargy to new levels of

productivity only under the stimulus of deeply inspiring and commonly

appreciated goals.  A lethargic world serves no cause well; a spirited world

working diligently toward earnestly desired goals provides the means and

the strength toward which many ends can be satisfied...to unparalleled

social accomplishment.

        -- Dr. Lloyd V. Berkner, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"


The vigor of civilized societies is preserved by the widespread sense that high

aims are worth-while.  Vigorous societies harbor a certain extravagance of

objectives, so that men wander beyond the safe provision of personal

gratifications.  All strong interests easily become impersonal, the love of

a good job well done.  There is a sense of harmony about such an accomplishment,

the Peace brought by something worth-while.

        -- Alfred North Whitehead, 1963, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"


I do not believe that this generation of Americans is willing to resign itself

to going to bed each night by the light of a Communist moon...

        -- Lyndon B. Johnson


Life's the same, except for the shoes.

        -- The Cars


Purple hum

Assorted cars

Laser lights, you bring

All to prove

You're on the move

and vanishing

        -- The Cars


Could be you're crossing the fine line

A silly driver kind of...off the wall

You keep it cool when it's t-t-tight

...eyes wide open when you start to fall.

        -- The Cars


Adapt.  Enjoy.  Survive.


Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve.

        -- Anonymous


Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be

lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.

        -- Isaac Asimov


And the crowd was stilled.  One elderly man, wondering at the sudden silence,

turned to the Child and asked him to repeat what he had said.  Wide-eyed,

the Child raised his voice and said once again, "Why, the Emperor has no

clothes!  He is naked!"

        -- "The Emperor's New Clothes"


"Those who believe in astrology are living in houses with foundations of

Silly Putty."

        -- Dennis Rawlins, astronomer


To date, the firm conclusions of Project Blue Book are:

   1. no unidentified flying object reported, investigated and evaluated

      by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our

      national security;

   2. there has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air

      Force that sightings categorized as UNIDENTIFIED represent

      technological developments or principles beyond the range of

      present-day scientific knowledge; and

   3. there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized

      as UNIDENTIFIED are extraterrestrial vehicles.

- the summary of Project Blue Book, an Air Force study of UFOs from 1950

  to 1965, as quoted by James Randi in Flim-Flam!


Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their

hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt,

without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only

in the God idea, not God Himself.

        -- Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish philosopher and writer


Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.

        -- Kahlil Gibran


Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.

        -- Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian


Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

        -- Voltaire


If only God would give me some clear sign!  Like making a large deposit

in my name at a Swiss Bank.

        -- Woody Allen


I cannot affirm God if I fail to affirm man.  Therefore, I affirm both.

Without a belief in human unity I am hungry and incomplete.  Human unity

is the fulfillment of diversity.  It is the harmony of opposites.  It is

a many-stranded texture, with color and depth.

        -- Norman Cousins


To downgrade the human mind is bad theology.

        -- C. K. Chesterton


...difference of opinion is advantageious in religion.  The several sects

perform the office of a common censor morum over each other.  Is uniformity

attainable?  Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the

introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned;

yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

        -- Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on Virginia"


Life is a process, not a principle, a mystery to be lived, not a problem to

be solved.

        -- Gerard Straub, television producer and author (stolen from Frank Herbert??)


So we follow our wandering paths, and the very darkness acts as our guide and

our doubts serve to reassure us.

        -- Jean-Pierre de Caussade, eighteenth-century Jesuit priest


Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the


        -- H. L. Mencken


And do you not think that each of you women is an Eve?  The judgement of God

upon your sex endures today; and with it invariably endures your position of

criminal at the bar of justice.

        -- Tertullian, second-century Christian writer, misogynist


I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents

become better people as a result of practicing it.

        -- Joe Mullally, computer salesman


Imitation is the sincerest form of plagiarism.


"Unibus timeout fatal trap program lost sorry"

        -- An error message printed by DEC's RSTS operating system for the PDP-11


How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored

power tools.


How many Bavarian Illuminati does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Three: one to screw it in, and one to confuse the issue.


How long does it take a DEC field service engineer to change a lightbulb?

It depends on how many bad ones he brought with him.


It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

        -- Thomas Jefferson


I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman

Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church,

nor by any Church that I know of.  My own mind is my own Church.

        -- Thomas Paine


God requireth not a uniformity of religion.

        -- Roger Williams


The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being

as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of

the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.  But we may hope that the

dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with

this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine

doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.

        -- Thomas Jefferson


Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind.  Let us

restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which

liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.  And let us reflect

that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which

mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we counternance a

political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and

bloody persecutions.

        -- Thomas Jefferson


I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.

        -- Thomas Jefferson


The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.  Nowhere

in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths,

Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in


        -- John Adams


The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion.  I could

never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma.

        -- Abraham Lincoln


As to Jesus of Nazareth...I think the system of Morals and his Religion,

as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see;

but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have,

with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his


        -- Benjamin Franklin


I would have promised those terrorists a trip to Disneyland if it would have

gotten the hostages released.  I thank God they were satisfied with the

missiles and we didn't have to go to that extreme.

        -- Oliver North


I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute --

where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic)

how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom

to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or

political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely

because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the

people who might elect him.

- from John F. Kennedy's address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association

  September 12, 1960.


The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only

opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts

at rational thinking.  Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of

knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable.  Since the earliest

days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every

effort to liberate the body and mind of man.  It has been, at all times and

everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad

laws, bad social theories, bad institutions.  It was, for centuries, an

apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.

        -- H. L. Mencken


The notion that science does not concern itself with first causes -- that it

leaves the field to theology or metaphysics, and confines itself to mere

effects -- this notion has no support in the plain facts.  If it could,

science would explain the origin of life on earth at once--and there is

every reason to believe that it will do so on some not too remote tomorrow.

To argue that gaps in knowledge which will confront the seeker must be filled,

not by patient inquiry, but by intuition or revelation, is simply to give

ignorance a gratuitous and preposterous dignity....

        -- H. L. Mencken, 1930


The evidence of the emotions, save in cases where it has strong objective

support, is really no evidence at all, for every recognizable emotion has

its opposite, and if one points one way then another points the other way.

Thus the familiar argument that there is an instinctive desire for immortality,

and that this desire proves it to be a fact, becomes puerile when it is

recalled that there is also a powerful and widespread fear of annihilation,

and that this fear, on the same principle proves that there is nothing

beyond the grave.  Such childish "proofs" are typically theological, and

they remain theological even when they are adduced by men who like to

flatter themselves by believing that they are scientific gents....

        -- H. L. Mencken


There is, in fact, no reason to believe that any given natural phenomenon,

however marvelous it may seem today, will remain forever inexplicable.

Soon or late the laws governing the production of life itself will be

discovered in the laboratory, and man may set up business as a creator

on his own account.  The thing, indeed, is not only conceivable; it is

even highly probable.

        -- H. L. Mencken, 1930


The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and

fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are

drifting side by side to our common doom.

        -- Clarence Darrow


We're here to give you a computer, not a religion.

        -- attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga


...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is

the practice of truth.

        -- George Jacob Holyoake


"If you'll excuse me a minute, I'm going to have a cup of coffee."

- broadcast from Apollo 11's LEM, "Eagle", to Johnson Space Center, Houston

  July 20, 1969, 7:27 P.M.


The meek are contesting the will.


I'm sick of being trodden on!  The Elder Gods say they can make me a man!

All it costs is my soul!  I'll do it, cuz NOW I'M MAD!!!

        -- Necronomicomics #1, Jack Herman & Jeff Dee


   On Krat's main screen appeared the holo image of a man, and several dolphins.

From the man's shape, Krat could tell it was a female, probably their leader.

   "...stupid creatures unworthy of the name `sophonts.'  Foolish, pre-sentient

upspring of errant masters.  We slip away from all your armed might, laughing

at your clumsiness!  We slip away as we always will, you pathetic creatures.

And now that we have a real head start, you'll never catch us!  What better

proof that the Progenitors favor not you, but us!  What better proof..."

   The taunt went on.  Krat listened, enraged, yet at the same time savoring

the artistry of it.  These men are better than I'd thought.  Their insults

are wordy and overblown, but they have talent.  They deserve honorable, slow


        -- David Brin, Startide Rising


"I'm a mean green mother from outer space"

        -- Audrey II, The Little Shop of Horrors


Like my parents, I have never been a regular church member or churchgoer.

It doesn't seem plausible to me that there is the kind of God who

watches over human affairs, listens to prayers, and tries to guide

people to follow His precepts -- there is just too much misery and

cruelty for that.  On the other hand, I respect and envy the people

who get inspiration from their religions.

        -- Benjamin Spock


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

        -- Andy Finkel, computer guy


Being schizophrenic is better than living alone.


NOWPRINT. NOWPRINT. Clemclone, back to the shadows again.

        -- The Firesign Theater


Yes, many primitive people still believe this myth...But in today's technical

vastness of the future, we can guess that surely things were much different.

        -- The Firesign Theater


...this is an awesome sight.  The entire rebel resistance buried under six

million hardbound copies of "The Naked Lunch."

        -- The Firesign Theater


We want to create puppets that pull their own strings.

        -- Ann Marion


I know engineers.  They love to change things.

        -- Dr. McCoy


On our campus the UNIX system has proved to be not only an effective software

tool, but an agent of technical and social change within the University.

        -- John Lions (University of New South Wales)


Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

        -- Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack


"You know why there are so few sophisticated computer terrorists in the United

States?  Because your hackers have so much mobility into the establishment.

Here, there is no such mobility.  If you have the slightest bit of intellectual

integrity you cannot support the government.... That's why the best computer

minds belong to the opposition."

        -- an anonymous member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity


"Every Solidarity center had piles and piles of paper .... everyone was

eating paper and a policeman was at the door.  Now all you have to do is

bend a disk."

- an anonymous member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity,

  commenting on the benefits of using computers in support of their movement


Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.

        -- Mark Twain


The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money.

        -- Ed Bluestone


He's dead, Jim.


New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you.

        -- David Letterman


You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word.

        -- Al Capone


The fountain code has been tightened slightly so you can no longer dip objects

into a fountain or drink from one while you are floating in mid-air due to


Teleporting to hell via a teleportation trap will no longer occur if the

character does not have fire resistance.

        -- README file from the NetHack game


Remember, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.

        -- Frank Zappa


I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and

tired of being told that ordinary decent people are fed up in this

country with being sick and tired.  I'm certainly not.  But I'm

sick and tired of being told that I am.

        -- Monty Python


"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity."

        -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.


There is a time in the tides of men,

Which, taken at its flood, leads on to success.

On the other hand, don't count on it.

        -- T. K. Lawson


To follow foolish precedents, and wink

With both our eyes, is easier than to think.

        -- William Cowper


It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters.

        -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)


One may be able to quibble about the quality of a single experiment, or

about the veracity of a given experimenter, but, taking all the supportive

experiments together, the weight of evidence is so strong as readily to

merit a wise man's reflection.

- Professor William Tiller, parapsychologist, Standford University,

  commenting on psi research


Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.

        -- John Keats


Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.


"Our journey toward the stars has progressed swiftly.

In 1926 Robert H. Goddard launched the first liquid-propelled rocket,

achieving an altitude of 41 feet.  In 1962 John Glenn orbited the earth.

In 1969, only 66 years after Orville Wright flew two feet off the ground

for 12 seconds, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and I rocketed to the moon

in Apollo 11."

-- Michael Collins

   Former astronaut and past Director of the National Air and Space Museum


Most people exhibit what political scientists call "the conservatism of the

peasantry."  Don't lose what you've got.  Don't change.  Don't take a chance,

because you might end up starving to death.  Play it safe.  Buy just as much

as you need.  Don't waste time.

When  we think about risk, human beings and corporations realize in their

heads that risks are necessary to grow, to survive.  But when it comes down

to keeping good people when the crunch comes, or investing money in

something untried, only the brave reach deep into their pockets and play

the game as it must be played.

        -- David Lammers, "Yakitori", Electronic Engineering Times, January 18, 1988


"We can't schedule an orgy, it might be construed as fighting"

        -- Stanley Sutton


Weekends were made for programming.

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


"Once he had one leg in the White House and the nation trembled under his

roars.  Now he is a tinpot pope in the Coca-Cola belt and a brother to the

forlorn pastors who belabor halfwits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind

the railroad yards."

- H. L. Mencken, writing of William Jennings Bryan, counsel for the supporters

  of Tennessee's anti-evolution law at the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in 1925.


...we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent

observations and inferences by the thousands.  The earth is billions of

years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary

descent.  Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but

do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither

flat nor at the center of the universe?  Science *has* taught us some

things with confidence!  Evolution on an ancient earth is as well

established as our planet's shape and position.  Our continuing struggle

to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not

cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --

into doubt.

- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism", The Skeptical Inquirer,

  Vol XII No. 2


This was the ultimate form of ostentation among technology freaks -- to have

a system so complete and sophisticated that nothing showed; no machines,

no wires, no controls.

        -- Michael Swanwick, "Vacuum Flowers"


Men ought to know that from the brain and from the brain only arise our

pleasures, joys, laughter, and jests as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs

and tears.  ... It is the same thing which makes us mad or delirious, inspires

us with dread and fear, whether by night or by day, brings us sleeplessness,

inopportune mistakes, aimless anxieties, absent-mindedness and acts that are

contrary to habit...

        -- Hippocrates (c. 460-c. 377 B.C.), The Sacred Disease


Modern psychology takes completely for granted that behavior and neural function

are perfectly correlated, that one is completely caused by the other.  There is

no separate soul or lifeforce to stick a finger into the brain now and then and

make neural cells do what they would not otherwise.  Actually, of course, this

is a working assumption only....It is quite conceivable that someday the

assumption will have to be rejected.  But it is important also to see that we

have not reached that day yet: the working assumption is a necessary one and

there is no real evidence opposed to it.  Our failure to solve a problem so

far does not make it insoluble.  One cannot logically be a determinist in

physics and biology, and a mystic in psychology.

        -- D. O. Hebb, Organization of Behavior:  A Neuropsychological Theory, 1949


Prevalent beliefs that knowledge can be tapped from previous incarnations or

from a "universal mind" (the repository of all past wisdom and creativity)

not only are implausible but also unfairly demean the stunning achievements

of individual human brains.

- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness: Implications for Psi

  Phenomena", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 163-171


... Fortunately, the responsibility for providing evidence is on the part of

the person making the claim, not the critic.  It is not the responsibility

of UFO skeptics to prove that a UFO has never existed, nor is it the

responsibility of paranormal-health-claims skeptics to prove that crystals

or colored lights never healed anyone.  The skeptic's role is to point out

claims that are not adequately supported by acceptable evidence and to

provide plausible alternative explanations that are more in keeping with

the accepted body of scientific evidence. ...

        -- Thomas L. Creed, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, pg. 215


"Ada is the work of an architect, not a computer scientist."

        -- Jean Icbiah, inventor of Ada, weenie


Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.  There are many examples of

outsiders who eventually overthrew entrenched scientific orthodoxies, but

they prevailed with irrefutable data.  More often, egregious findings that

contradict well-established research turn out to be artifacts.  I have

argued that accepting psychic powers, reincarnation, "cosmic consciousness,"

and the like, would entail fundamental revisions of the foundations of

neuroscience.  Before abandoning materialist theories of mind that have paid

handsome dividends, we should insist on better evidence for psi phenomena

than presently exists, especially when neurology and psychology themselves

offer more plausible alternatives.

- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness: Implications for Psi

   Phenomena", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 163-171


Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact.

Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it. ... Only

atheists could accept this Satanic theory.

        -- Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, "The Pre-Adamic Creation and Evolution"


Evolution is as much a fact as the earth turning on its axis and going around

the sun.  At one time this was called the Copernican theory; but, when

evidence for a theory becomes so overwhelming that no informed person

can doubt it, it is customary for scientists to call it a fact.  That all

present life descended from earlier forms, over vast stretches of geologic

time, is as firmly established as Copernican cosmology.  Biologists differ

only with respect to theories about how the process operates.

- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life",

   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131


...It is sad to find him belaboring the science community for its united

opposition to ignorant creationists who want teachers and textbooks to

give equal time to crank arguments that have advanced not a step beyond

the flyblown rhetoric of Bishop Wilberforce and William Jennings Bryan.

- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life",

   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131


... The book is worth attention for only two reasons:  (1) it attacks

attempts to expose sham paranormal studies; and (2) it is very well and

plausibly written and so rather harder to dismiss or refute by simple


- Harry Eagar, reviewing "Beyond the Quantum" by Michael Talbot,

   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 200-201


Now I lay me down to sleep

I hear the sirens in the street

All my dreams are made of chrome

I have no way to get back home

        -- Tom Waits


I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat


        -- a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"


How many nuclear engineers does it take to change a light bulb ?

Seven:  One to install the new bulb, and six to determine what to do

        with the old one for the next 10,000 years.


Mike's Law:

For a lumber company employing two men and a cut-off saw, the

marginal product of labor for any number of additional workers

equals zero until the acquisition of another cut-off saw.

Let's not even consider a chainsaw.

- Mike Dennison

[You could always schedule the saw, though - ed.]


As long as we're going to reinvent the wheel again, we might as well try making

it round this time.

        -- Mike Dennison


This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms

industry is now in the American experience... We must not fail to

comprehend its grave implications... We must guard against the

acquisition of unwarranted influence...by the military-industrial

complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power

exists and will persist.

        -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, from his farewell address in 1961


This restaurant was advertising breakfast any time. So I ordered

french toast in the renaissance.

        -- Steven Wright, comedian


Everyone has a purpose in life.  Perhaps yours is watching television.

        -- David Letterman


A lot of the stuff I do is so minimal, and it's designed to be minimal.

The smallness of it is what's attractive.  It's weird, 'cause it's so

intellectually lame.  It's hard to see me doing that for the rest of

my life.  But at the same time, it's what I do best.

        -- Chris Elliot, writer and performer on "Late Night with David Letterman"


e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data

you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap.

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong.

        -- Oscar Wilde


My mother is a fish.

        -- William Faulkner


The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it

seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the

fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving

after rational knowledge.

        -- Albert Einstein


The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events, the firmer

becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered

regularity for causes of a different nature.  For him neither the rule of

human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural

events.  To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural

events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this

doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge

has not yet been able to set foot.

But I am persuaded that such behavior on the part of the representatives

of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal.  For a doctrine which

is able to maintain itself not in clear light, but only in the dark, will

of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human

progress.  In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion

must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is,

give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast

powers in the hands of priests.  In their labors they will have to avail

themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the

True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself.  This is, to be sure, a more

difficult but an incomparably more worthy task.

        -- Albert Einstein


Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think,

recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one

particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.

        -- Eleanor Roosevelt


Most non-Catholics know that the Catholic schools are rendering a greater

service to our nation than the public schools in which subversive textbooks

have been used, in which Communist-minded teachers have taught, and from

whose classrooms Christ and even God Himself are barred.

        -- from "Our Sunday Visitor", an American-Catholic newspaper, 1949


Those of us who believe in the right of any human being to belong to whatever

church he sees fit, and to worship God in his own way, cannot be accused

of prejudice when we do not want to see public education connected with

religious control of the schools, which are paid for by taxpayers' money.

        -- Eleanor Roosevelt


Spiritual leadership should remain spiritual leadership and the temporal

power should not become too important in any church.

        -- Eleanor Roosevelt


Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind...

        -- Percy Bysshe Shelley


If atheism is to be used to express the state of mind in which God is

identified with the unknowable, and theology is pronounced to be a

collection of meaningless words about unintelligible chimeras, then

I have no doubt, and I think few people doubt, that atheists are as

plentiful as blackberries...

        -- Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), literary essayist, author


It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon

insufficient evidence.

        -- W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876


Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is

wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits

that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant?

Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh?  We are a company of

ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only

be incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by

falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for

our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe

the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures

to declare that we don't know the map of the universe as well as the map

of our infinitesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that

he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness...

        -- Leslie Stephen, "An agnostic's Apology", Fortnightly Review, 1876


Till then we shall be content to admit openly, what you (religionists)

whisper under your breath or hide in technical jargon, that the ancient

secret is a secret still; that man knows nothing of the Infinite and

Absolute; and that, knowing nothing, he had better not be dogmatic about

his ignorance.  And, meanwhile, we will endeavour to be as charitable as

possible, and whilst you trumpet forth officially your contempt for our

skepticism, we will at least try to believe that you are imposed upon

by your own bluster.

        -- Leslie Stephen, "An agnostic's Apology", Fortnightly Review, 1876


Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.

        -- Voltaire


What is tolerance? -- it is the consequence of humanity.  We are all formed

of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly --

that is the first law of nature.

        -- Voltaire


It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because

he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.

        -- Voltaire


I simply try to aid in letting the light of historical truth into that

decaying mass of outworn thought which attaches the modern world to

medieval conceptions of Christianity, and which still lingers among us --

a most serious barrier to religion and morals, and a menace to the whole

normal evolution of society.

        -- Andrew D. White, author, first president of Cornell University, 1896


The man scarce lives who is not more credulous than he ought to be.... The

natural disposition is always to believe.  It is acquired wisdom and experience

only that teach incredulity, and they very seldom teach it enough.

        -- Adam Smith


I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis

socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for:  If they think

you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude.  I'm a

very technical boy.  So I decided to get as crude as possible.  These days,

though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to


        -- Johnny Mnemonic, by William Gibson


However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise.

There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious

beliefs.  There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than

Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being.

But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf

should be used sparingly.  The religious factions that are growing

throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.

They are trying to force government leaders into following their position

100 percent.  If you disagree with these religious groups on a

particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of

money or votes or both.  I'm frankly sick and tired of the political

preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be

a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C," and "D."  Just who do

they think they are?  And from where do they presume to claim the

right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?  And I am even more angry as

a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who

thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll

call in the Senate.  I am warning them today:  I will fight them every

step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all

Americans in the name of "conservatism."

        -- Senator Barry Goldwater, from the Congressional Record, September 16, 1981


"I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell's ass."

- Senator Barry Goldwater, when asked what he thought of Jerry Falwell's

suggestion that all good Christians should be against Sandra Day O'Connor's

nomination to the Supreme Court


...And no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers.  No matter how assured

we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful

inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions.  This is true in religion as

it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the naive.

As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be

advised to leave them to heaven.  They will not, unfortunately, do us the

same courtesy.  They attack us and each other, and whatever their

protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear

that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword.  My own belief in

God, then, is just that -- a matter of belief, not knowledge.  My respect

for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the

most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth.  But even well-educated Christians

are frustrated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure

of Jesus because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record.

Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every

recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it.  Some Christians, alas,

resort to formal lying to obscure such reality.

- Steve Allen, comedian, from an essay in the book "The Courage of

  Conviction", edited by Philip Berman


...it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the

existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great

systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative

hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.

        -- Sidney Hook


A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

        -- Winston Churchill


We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism...

we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying

our nation today...our battle is with Satan himself.

        -- Jerry Falwell


They [preachers] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach

of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions

of the duperies on which they live.

        -- Thomas Jefferson


Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proven innocent.

        -- George Orwell


As I argued in "Beloved Son", a book about my son Brian and the subject

of religious communes and cults, one result of proper early instruction

in the methods of rational thought will be to make sudden mindless

conversions -- to anything -- less likely.  Brian now realizes this and

has, after eleven years, left the sect he was associated with.  The

problem is that once the untrained mind has made a formal commitment to

a religious philosophy -- and it does not matter whether that philosophy

is generally reasonable and high-minded or utterly bizarre and

irrational -- the powers of reason are surprisingly ineffective in

changing the believer's mind.

- Steve Allen, comedian, from an essay in the book "The Courage of

  Conviction", edited by Philip Berman


Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult

than to understand him.

        -- Fyodor Dostoevski


We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should

govern their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the

center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major

prophet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual

concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get

Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God.

But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual

resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further

proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology,

the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and

they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and

think; if this further proposition can be accepted, then we come that

much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.

        -- Norman Cousins, from his book "Human Options"


The Messiah will come.  There will be a resurrection of the dead -- all

the things that Jews believed in before they got so damn sophisticated.

        -- Rabbi Meir Kahane


The world is no nursery.

        -- Sigmund Freud


If one inquires why the American tradition is so strong against any

connection of State and Church, why it dreads even the rudiments of

religious teaching in state-maintained schools, the immediate and

superficial answer is not far to seek....

The cause lay largely in the diversity and vitality of the various

denominations, each fairly sure that, with a fair field and no favor,

it could make its own way; and each animated by a jealous fear that,

if any connection of State and Church were permitted, some rival

denomination would get an unfair advantage.

- John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher,

  from "Democracy in the Schools", 1908


Already the spirit of our schooling is permeated with the feeling that

every subject, every topic, every fact, every professed truth must be

submitted to a certain publicity and impartiality.  All proffered

samples of learning must go to the same assay-room and be subjected to

common tests.  It is the essence of all dogmatic faiths to hold that

any such "show-down" is sacrilegious and perverse.  The characteristic

of religion, from their point of view, is that it is intellectually

secret, not public; peculiarly revealed, not generally known;

authoritatively declared, not communicated and tested in ordinary

ways...It is pertinent to point out that, as long as religion is

conceived as it is now by the great majority of professed religionists,

there is something self-contradictory in speaking of education in

religion in the same sense in which we speak of education in topics

where the method of free inquiry has made its way.  The "religious"

would be the last to be willing that either the history of the

content of religion should be taught in this spirit; while those

to whom the scientific standpoint is not merely a technical device,

but is the embodiment of the integrity of mind, must protest against

its being taught in any other spirit.

- John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher,

  from "Democracy in the Schools", 1908


In the broad and final sense all institutions are educational in the

sense that they operate to form the attitudes, dispositions, abilities

and disabilities that constitute a concrete personality...Whether this

educative process is carried on in a predominantly democratic or non-

democratic way becomes, therefore, a question of transcendent importance

not only for education itself but for its final effect upon all the

interests and activities of a society that is committed to the democratic

way of life.

        -- John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher


History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge,

periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts

them asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing

grub, at intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another...

Truly the imago state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every

moult is a step gained.

        -- Charles Darwin, from "Origin of the Species"


...I would go so far as to suggest that, were it not for our ego and

concern to be different, the African apes would be included in our

family, the Hominidae.

        -- Richard Leakey


It is inconceivable that a judicious observer from another solar system

would see in our species -- which has tended to be cruel, destructive,

wasteful, and irrational -- the crown and apex of cosmic evolution.

Viewing us as the culmination of *anything* is grotesque; viewing us

as a transitional species makes more sense -- and gives us more hope.

- Betty McCollister, "Our Transitional Species",

  Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 1


"Well, you see, it's such a transitional creature.  It's a piss-poor

reptile and not very much of a bird."

- Melvin Konner, from "The Tangled Wing", quoting a zoologist who has

studied the archaeopteryx and found it "very much like people"


"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape."

        -- Ellyn Mustard


"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to

 create him."

        -- Arthur C. Clarke


"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?"

        -- Ronald Reagan


"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things

 we don't know yet."

        -- Ambrose Bierce


"Plan to throw one away.  You will anyway."

        -- Fred Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"


You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape.

        -- Ellyn Mustard


"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to

 create him."

        -- Arthur C. Clarke


"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?"

        -- Ronald Reagan


"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things

 we don't know yet."

        -- Ambrose Bierce


The Middle East is certainly the nexus of turmoil for a long time to come --

with shifting players, but the same game: upheaval.  I think we will be

confronting militant Islam -- particularly fallout from the Iranian

revolution -- and religion will once more, as it has in our own more

distant past -- play a role at least as standard-bearer in death and mayhem.

- Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, USN, Retired, former director of Naval Intelligence,

  vice director of the DIA, former director of the NSA, deputy director of

  Central Intelligence, former chairman and CEO of MCC.


...One thing is that, unlike any other Western democracy that I know of,

this country has operated since its beginnings with a basic distrust of

government.  We are constituted not for efficient operation of government,

but for minimizing the possibility of abuse of power.  It took the events

of the Roosevelt era -- a catastrophic economic collapse and a world war --

to introduce the strong central government that we now know.  But in most

parts of the country today, the reluctance to have government is still

strong.  I think, barring a series of catastrophic events, that we can

look to at least another decade during which many of the big problems

around this country will have to be addressed by institutions other than

federal government.

- Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, USN, Retired, former director of Naval Intelligence,

  vice director of the DIA, former director of the NSA, deputy directory of

  Central Intelligence, former chairman and CEO of MCC.

[the statist opinions expressed herein are not those of the cookie editor -ed.]


"I have just one word for you, my boy...plastics."

        -- from "The Graduate"


"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity."

        -- David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"


"If Diet Coke did not exist it would have been necessary to invent it."

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and by men who

are equally certain that they represent the divine will.  I am sure that

either the one or the other is mistaken in the belief, and perhaps in some

respects, both.

I hope it will not be irreverent of me to say that if it is probable that

God would reveal his will to others on a point so connected with my duty,

it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me.

        -- Abraham Lincoln


In space, no one can hear you fart.


Brain damage is all in your head.

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


Wish and hope succeed in discerning signs of paranormality where reason and

careful scientific procedure fail.

        -- James E. Alcock, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12


"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but

the result's the same."

        -- Mike Dennison


"Creation science" has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple

and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and

because good teachers understand exactly why it is false.  What could be

more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our

entire intellectual heritage -- good teaching -- than a bill forcing

honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment

to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any

general understanding of science as an enterprise?

        -- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Skeptical Inquirer", Vol. 12, page 186


It is not well to be thought of as one who meekly submits to insolence and



"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at

speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)."

        -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.


"Your attitude determines your attitude."

        -- Zig Ziglar, self-improvement doofus


In arguing that current theories of brain function cast suspicion on ESP,

psychokinesis, reincarnation, and so on, I am frequently challenged with

the most popular of all neuro-mythologies -- the notion that we ordinarily

use only 10 percent of our brains...

This "cerebral spare tire" concept continues to nourish the clientele of

"pop psychologists" and their many recycling self-improvement schemes.  As

a metaphor for the fact that few of us fully exploit our talents, who could

deny it?  As a refuge for occultists seeking a neural basis of the miraculous,

it leaves much to be desired.

-- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness:  Implications for

   Psi Phenomena", The Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. XII, No. 2, pg. 171


Thufir's a Harkonnen now.


"By long-standing tradition, I take this opportunity to savage other

designers in the thin disguise of good, clean fun."

        -- P. J. Plauger, from his April Fool's column in April 88's "Computer Language"


"If you want to eat hippopotamus, you've got to pay the freight."

        -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory


Parkinson's Law:  Work expands to fill the time alloted it.


Karl's version of Parkinson's Law:  Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.


It is better to never have tried anything than to have tried something and


        -- motto of jerks, weenies and losers everywhere


"Our journeys to the stars will be made on spaceships created by determined,

hardworking scientists and engineers applying the principles of science, not

aboard flying saucers piloted by little gray aliens from some other dimension."

-- Robert A. Baker, "The Aliens Among Us:  Hypnotic Regression Revisited",

   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 2


"...all the good computer designs are bootlegged; the formally planned products,

if they are built at all, are dogs!"

        -- David E. Lundstrom, "A Few Good Men From Univac", MIT Press, 1987


"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite


        -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors


"We will bury you."

        -- Nikita Kruschev


"Now here's something you're really going to like!"

        -- Rocket J. Squirrel


"How to make a million dollars:  First, get a million dollars."

        -- Steve Martin


"Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about."

        -- B. L. Whorf


The language provides a programmer with a set of conceptual tools; if these are

inadequate for the task, they will simply be ignored.  For example, seriously

restricting the concept of a pointer simply forces the programmer to use a

vector plus integer arithmetic to implement structures, pointer, etc.  Good

design and the absence of errors cannot be guaranteed by mere language


        -- Bjarne Stroustrup, "The C++ Programming Language"


"For the love of phlegm...a stupid wall of death rays.  How tacky can ya get?"

        -- Post Brothers comics


"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation."

        -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments


"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth."

        -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments


"I've seen it.  It's rubbish."

        -- Marvin the Paranoid Android


Our business is run on trust.  We trust you will pay in advance.


"Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times

been the fearless advocates of liberty and justice."

        -- Robert Green Ingersoll


The history of the rise of Christianity has everything to do with politics,

culture, and human frailties and nothing to do with supernatural manipulation

of events.  Had divine intervention been the guiding force, surely two

millennia after the birth of Jesus he would not have a world where there

are more Muslims than Catholics, more Hindus than Protestants, and more

nontheists than Catholics and Protestants combined.

        -- John K. Naland, "The First Easter", Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 2


I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing.

        -- Darse ("Darth") Vader


"All Bibles are man-made."

        -- Thomas Edison


"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?"

"Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."


"The triumph of libertarian anarchy is nearly (in historical terms) at

hand... *if* we can keep the Left from selling us into slavery and the

Right from blowing us up for, say, the next twenty years."

        -- Eric Rayman, usenet guy, about nanotechnology


"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love."

        -- Albert Einstein


"I think Michael is like litmus paper - he's always trying to learn."

        -- Elizabeth Taylor, absurd non-sequitir about Michael Jackson


While it cannot be proved retrospectively that any experience of possession,

conversion, revelation, or divine ecstasy was merely an epileptic discharge,

we must ask how one differentiates "real transcendence" from neuropathies

that produce the same extreme realness, profundity, ineffability, and sense

of cosmic unity.  When accounts of sudden religious conversions in TLEs

[temporal-lobe epileptics] are laid alongside the epiphanous revelations of

the religious tradition, the parallels are striking.  The same is true of the

recent spate of alleged UFO abductees.  Parsimony alone argues against invoking

spirits, demons, or extraterrestrials when natural causes will suffice.

-- Barry L. Beyerstein, "Neuropathology and the Legacy of Spiritual

   Possession", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 3, pg. 255


"A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on."

        -- Samuel Goldwyn


"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement."

        -- Richard J. Daley


"With molasses you catch flies, with vinegar you catch nobody."

        -- Baltimore City Councilman Dominic DiPietro


"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer."

        -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach


"I couldn't remember things until I took that Sam Carnegie course."

        -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach


"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head

is concerned."

        -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky


"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental."

        -- Yogi Berra


Two things are certain about science.  It does not stand still for long,

and it is never boring.  Oh, among some poor souls, including even

intellectuals in fields of high scholarship, science is frequently

misperceived.  Many see it as only a body of facts, promulgated from

on high in must, unintelligible textbooks, a collection of unchanging

precepts defended with authoritarian vigor.  Others view it as nothing

but a cold, dry narrow, plodding, rule-bound process -- the scientific

method: hidebound, linear, and left brained.

These people are the victims of their own stereotypes.  They are

destined to view the world of science with a set of blinders.  They

know nothing of the tumult, cacophony, rambunctiousness, and

tendentiousness of the actual scientific process, let alone the

creativity, passion, and joy of discovery.  And they are likely to

know little of the continual procession of new insights and discoveries

that every day, in some way, change our view (if not theirs) of the

natural world.

-- Kendrick Frazier, "The Year in Science: An Overview," in

   1988 Yearbook of Science and the Future, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.


"jackpot:  you may have an unnecessary change record"

        -- message from "diff"


"One lawyer can steal more than a hundred men with guns."

        -- The Godfather


What's the difference between a computer salesman and a used car salesman?

A used car salesman knows when he's lying.


"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the


        -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.


"There are some good people in it, but the orchestra as a whole is equivalent

to a gang bent on destruction."

        -- John Cage, composer


"I believe the use of noise to make music will increase until we reach a

music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make

available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard."

        -- composer John Cage, 1937


I did cancel one performance in Holland where they thought my music was so easy

that they didn't rehearse at all.  And so the first time when I found that out,

I rehearsed the orchestra myself in front of the audience of 3,000 people and

the next day I rehearsed through the second movement -- this was the piece

_Cheap Imitation_ -- and they then were ashamed.  The Dutch people were ashamed

and they invited me to come to the Holland festival and they promised to

rehearse.  And when I got to Amsterdam they had changed the orchestra, and

again, they hadn't rehearsed.  So they were no more prepared the second time

than they had been the first.  I gave them a lecture and told them to cancel

the performance; they then said over the radio that i had insisted on their

cancelling the performance because they were "insufficiently Zen."

Can you believe it?

        -- composer John Cage, "Electronic Musician" magazine, March 88, pg. 89


"One day I woke up and discovered that I was in love with tripe."

        -- Tom Anderson


"Most people would like to be delivered from

 temptation but would like it to keep in touch."

        -- Robert Orben


The rule on staying alive as a program manager is to give 'em a number or

give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.


An optimist believes we live in the best world possible;

a pessimist fears this is true.


"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his

feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football."

        -- Chuck Newcombe


Dead?    No excuse for laying off work.


Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.


"When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic."

        -- John Kenneth Galbraith


"Nature is very un-American.  Nature never hurries."

        -- William George Jordan


"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."

        -- George Bernard Shaw


"Flattery is all right -- if you don't inhale."

        -- Adlai Stevenson


"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."

        -- Bernard Berenson


"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings.     The expectations are always

high, and the results usually disappointing."

        -- Robert Orben


"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging

their prejudices."

        -- William James


"Tell the truth and run."

        -- Yugoslav proverb


"The best index to a person's character is a) how he treats people who can't

do him any good and b) how he treats people who can't fight back."

        -- Abigail Van Buren


"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning."

        -- Marlo Thomas


"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit."

        -- David McCord


"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children

produce adults."

        -- Peter De Vries


"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them."

        -- Alfred Adler


"Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature... Life is

either a daring adventure or nothing."

        -- Helen Keller


"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is

shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

        -- Albert Einstein


"Success covers a multitude of blunders."

        -- George Bernard Shaw


"The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while

the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."

        -- William Stekel


"Yes, and I feel bad about rendering their useless carci into dogfood..."

        -- Badger comics


"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?"

        -- Sonic Disruptors comics


"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons

for it afterwards."

        -- Soren F. Petersen


"You're a creature of the night, Michael.  Wait'll Mom hears about this."

        -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"


"Plastic gun.  Ingenious.  More coffee, please."

        -- The Phantom comics


The game of life is a game of boomerangs.  Our thoughts, deeds and words

return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.


If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.


"A child is a person who can't understand why someone would give away a

perfectly good kitten."

        -- Doug Larson


"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody

appreciates how difficult it was."

        -- Walt West


"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone."

        -- G. B. Stearn


"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with

the current."

        -- Thomas Jefferson


The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to

the left.


"But this one goes to eleven."

        -- Nigel Tufnel


"Been through Hell?  Whaddya bring back for me?"

        -- A. Brilliant


"I don't know what their

 gripe is.  A critic is

 simply someone paid to

 render opinions glibly."

                 "Critics are grinks and


        -- Baron and Badger, from Badger comics


"I've got some amyls.  We could either party later or, like, start his heart."

        -- "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie"


"Israel today announced that it is giving up.  The Zionist state will dissolve

in two weeks time, and its citizens will disperse to various resort communities

around the world.  Said Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, 'Who needs the


        -- Dennis Miller, "Saturday Night Live" News


"And, of course, you have the commercials where savvy businesspeople Get Ahead

by using their MacIntosh computers to create the ultimate American business

product: a really sharp-looking report."

        -- Dave Barry


SHOP OR DIE, people of Earth!

[offer void where prohibited]

        -- Capitalists from outer space, from Justice League Int'l comics


"Roman Polanski makes his own blood.  He's smart -- that's why his movies work."

        -- A brilliant director at "Frank's Place"


"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists."

        -- Dave Barry


"I take Him shopping with me. I say, 'OK, Jesus, help me find a bargain'"

        -- Tammy Faye Bakker


Gary Hart:  living proof that you *can* screw your brains out.


Blessed be those who initiate lively discussions with the hopelessly mute,

for they shall be know as Dentists.


"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person,

unless he has an atomic weapon."

        -- Howard Chaykin


"Ever free-climbed a thousand foot vertical cliff with 60 pounds of gear

strapped to your butt?"


"'Course you haven't, you fruit-loop little geek."

-- The Mountain Man, one of Dana Carvey's SNL characters



"I mean, like, I just read your article in the Yale law recipe, on search and

seizure.  Man, that was really Out There."

   "I was so WRECKED when I wrote that..."

        -- John Lovitz, as ex-Supreme Court nominee Alan Ginsburg, on SNL


"Hi, I'm Professor Alan Ginsburg... But you can call me... Captain Toke."

        -- John Lovitz, as ex-Supreme Court nominee Alan Ginsburg, on SNL


It's great to be smart 'cause then you know stuff.


"Time is money and money can't buy you love and I love your outfit"

        -- T.H.U.N.D.E.R. #1


"Can't you just gesture hypnotically and make him disappear?"

    "It does not work that way.  RUN!"

        -- Hadji on metaphyics and Mandrake in "Johnny Quest"


"You shouldn't make my toaster angry."

        -- Household security explained in "Johnny Quest"


 "Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully."

        -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse


"And kids... learn something from Susie and Eddie.

 If you think there's a maniacal psycho-geek in the


    1)    Don't give him a chance to hit you on the

    head with an axe!

    2)    Flee the premises... even if you're in your


    3)    Warn the neighbors and call the police.

 But whatever else you do... DON'T GO DOWN IN THE DAMN BASEMENT!"

        -- Saturday Night Live meets Friday the 13th


Victory or defeat!


"Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion."

        -- Harlan Ellison


"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse!  This gun is so futuristic that even

*I* don't know how it works!"

        -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse


"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."

        -- George Carlin


A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.


   "Daddy, Daddy, make

    Santa Claus go away!"

               "I can't, son;

            he's grown too


                     "HO HO HO!"

        -- Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre


"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!"

        -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"


"Remember kids, if there's a loaded gun in the room, be sure that you're the

one holding it"

        -- Captain Combat


Delta: We never make the same mistake three times.   -- David Letterman


Delta: A real man lands where he wants to.   -- David Letterman


Delta: The kids will love our inflatable slides.    -- David Letterman


Delta: We're Amtrak with wings.    -- David Letterman


"Where humor is concerned there are no standards -- no one can say what is

good or bad, although you can be sure that everyone will.

        -- John Kenneth Galbraith


"Hello again, Peabody here..."

        -- Mister Peabody


"It's the best thing since professional golfers on 'ludes."

        -- Rick Obidiah


"To your left is the marina where several senior cabinet officials keep luxury

yachts for weekend cruises on the Potomac.  Some of these ships are up to 100

feet in length; the Presidential yacht is over 200 feet in length, and can

remain submerged for up to 3 weeks."

        -- Garrison Keillor


"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance,

science fiction..."

        -- Art Spiegelman


"One of the problems I've always had with propaganda pamphlets is that they're

real boring to look at.  They're just badly designed.  People from the left

often are very well-intended, but they never had time to take basic design

classes, you know?"

        -- Art Spiegelman


"If you took everyone who's ever been to a Dead

 show, and lined them up, they'd stretch halfway to

 the moon and back... and none of them would be


        -- a local Deadhead in the Seattle Times


"And remember: Evil will always prevail, because Good is dumb."

        -- Spaceballs


Why are many scientists using lawyers for medical

experiments instead of rats?

    a)  There are more lawyers than rats.

    b)  The scientist's don't become as

         emotionally attached to them.

    c)  There are some things that even rats

        won't do for money.


    "During the race

     We may eat your dust,

     But when you graduate,

     You'll work for us."

        -- Reed College cheer


Pohl's law:

     Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.


Pig: An animal (Porcus omnivorous) closely allied to the human race by the

splendor and vivacity of its appetite, which, however, is inferior in scope,

for it balks at pig.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


"We don't have to protect the environment -- the Second Coming is at hand."

        -- James Watt


"I believe that Ronald Reagan will someday make this

 country what it once was... an arctic wilderness."

        -- Steve Martin


"To YOU I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition."

        -- Woody Allen


Noncombatant:  A dead Quaker.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


"There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it

is I'll get married again."

        -- Clint Eastwood


A lot of people I know believe in positive thinking, and so do I.

I believe everything positively stinks.

        -- Lew Col


Q:  How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job?

A:  Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.


Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.


Harrisberger's Fourth Law of the Lab:

    Experience is directly proportional to the

    amount of equipment ruined.


Captain Penny's Law:

    You can fool all of the people some of the

    time, and some of the people all of the

    time, but you can't fool mom.


"Because he's a character who's looking for his own identity, [He-Man is]

an interesting role for an actor."

        -- Dolph Lundgren, "actor"


"If Jesus came back today, and saw what was going on in his name, he'd never

stop throwing up."

        -- Max Von Sydow's character in "Hannah and Her Sisters"


"Nietzsche says that we will live the same life, over and over again.

God -- I'll have to sit through the Ice Capades again."

        -- Woody Allen's character in "Hannah and Her Sisters"


"In regards to Oral Roberts' claim that God told him that he would die unless he

 received $20 million by March, God's lawyers have stated that their client has

 not spoken with Roberts for several years.  Off the record, God has stated that

 "If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago."

        -- Dennis Miller, SNL News


"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core."

        -- Hannah Arendt.


Quod licet Iovi non licet bovi.

(What Jove may do, is not permitted to a cow.)


"I distrust a man who says 'when.'  If he's got to be careful not to drink too

much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does."

        -- Sidney Greenstreet, _The Maltese Falcon_


"I distrust a close-mouthed man.  He generally picks the wrong time to talk

and says the wrong things.  Talking's something you can't do judiciously,

unless you keep in practice.  Now, sir, we'll talk if you like.    I'll tell

you right out, I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

        -- Sidney Greenstreet, _The Maltese Falcon_


All extremists should be taken out and shot.


"The sixties were good to you, weren't they?"

        -- George Carlin


"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!"

        -- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_


From Sharp minds come... pointed heads.

        -- Bryan Sparrowhawk


There are two kinds of egotists: 1) Those who admit it  2) The rest of us


"The picture's pretty bleak, gentlemen...  The world's climates are changing,

the mammals are taking over, and we all have a brain about the size of a


        -- some dinosaurs from The Far Side, by Gary Larson


"We Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll bomb

your cities."

        -- Robin Williams, _Good Morning Vietnam_


Why won't sharks eat lawyers?   Professional courtesy.


"You know, we've won awards for this crap."

        -- David Letterman


It was pity stayed his hand.

"Pity I don't have any more bullets," thought Frito.

        -- _Bored_of_the_Rings_, a Harvard Lampoon parody of Tolkein


A good USENET motto would be:

 a. "Together, a strong community."

 b. "Computers R Us."

 c. "I'm sick of programming, I think I'll just screw around for a while on

     company time."

        -- A Sane Man


"He didn't run for reelection.    `Politics brings you into contact with all the

people you'd give anything to avoid,' he said. `I'm staying home.'"

        -- Garrison Keillor, _Lake_Wobegone_Days_


"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and

fire them all off, wouldn't you?"

        -- Garrison Keillor


"Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk."

        -- TV Guide, describing the Star Trek episode _Amok_Time_


"Poor man... he was like an employee to me."

        -- The police commissioner on "Sledge Hammer" laments the death of his bodyguard


"Trust me.  I know what I'm doing."

        -- Sledge Hammer


"Hi.  This is Dan Cassidy's answering machine.  Please leave your name and

number... and after I've doctored the tape, your message will implicate you

 in a federal crime and be brought to the attention of the F.B.I... BEEEP"

        -- Blue Devil comics


"All God's children are not beautiful.    Most of God's children are, in fact,

barely presentable."

        -- Fran Lebowitz


"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?"

        -- Lily Tomlin


Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.


"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!"

        -- Buckaroo Banzai


"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid"

        -- the artificial person, from _Aliens_


"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with a dead

girl or a live boy."

        -- Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards


David Letterman's "Things we can be proud of as Americans":

    * Greatest number of citizens who have actually boarded a UFO

    * Many newspapers feature "JUMBLE"

    * Hourly motel rates

    * Vast majority of Elvis movies made here

    * Didn't just give up right away during World War II like some

        countries we could mention

    * Goatees & Van Dykes thought to be worn only by weenies

    * Our well-behaved golf professionals

    * Fabulous babes coast to coast


"Danger, you haven't seen the last of me!"

   "No, but the first of you turns my stomach!"

        -- The Firesign Theatre's Nick Danger


Pray to God, but keep rowing to shore.

        -- Russian Proverb


"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas.     If your ideas are any good,

you'll have to ram them down people's throats."

        -- Howard Aiken


"When anyone says `theoretically,' they really mean `not really.'"

        -- David Parnas


"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it."

        -- C. Schulz


"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make

empty prophecies.  The danger already exists that mathematicians have made

a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the

bonds of Hell."

        -- Saint Augustine


"For the man who has everything... Penicillin."

        -- F. Borquin


 "I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means.    It means we

  get to keep all our old mistakes."

        -- Dennie van Tassel


"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones."

        -- Nathaniel Howe


"It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milkbone underware."

        -- Norm, from _Cheers_


Once at a social gathering, Gladstone said to Disraeli, "I predict, Sir, that

you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease".  Disraeli replied,

"That all depends, Sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your



"He don't know me vewy well, DO he?"   -- Bugs Bunny


"I'll rob that rich person and give it to some poor deserving slob.

 That will *prove* I'm Robin Hood."

        -- Daffy Duck, Looney Tunes, _Robin Hood Daffy_


"Would I turn on the gas if my pal Mugsy were in there?"

   "You might, rabbit, you might!"

        -- Looney Tunes, Bugs and Thugs (1954, Friz Freleng)


"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich."

        -- Looney Tunes, Ali Baba Bunny (1957, Chuck Jones)


"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?"

        -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)


"Now I've got the bead on you with MY disintegrating gun.  And when it

disintegrates, it disintegrates.  (pulls trigger)  Well, what you do know,

it disintegrated."

        -- Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a half century


"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!"

        -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)


"I DO want your money, because god wants your money!"

        -- The Reverend Jimmy, from _Repo_Man_


"The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The

terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency."

        -- Albert Einstein


"You show me an American who can keep his mouth shut and I'll eat him."

        -- Newspaperman from Frank Capra's _Meet_John_Doe_


    "And we heard him exclaim

     As he started to roam:

     `I'm a hologram, kids,

      please don't try this at home!'"

    -- Bob Violence

        -- Howie Chaykin's little animated 3-dimensional darling, Bob Violence


"The Soviet Union, which has complained recently about alleged anti-Soviet

themes in American advertising, lodged an official protest this week against

the Ford Motor Company's new campaign: `Hey you stinking fat Russian, get

 off my Ford Escort.'"

        -- Dennis Miller, Saturday Night Live


"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum."

        -- Arthur C. Clarke


"They ought to make butt-flavored cat food."   --Gallagher


"Not only is God dead, but just try to find a plumber on weekends."

        -- Woody Allen


"It's ten o'clock... Do you know where your AI programs are?"  -- Peter Oakley


"Ah, you know the type.     They like to blame it all on the Jews or the Blacks,

'cause if they couldn't, they'd have to wake up to the fact that life's one big,

scary, glorious, complex and ultimately unfathomable crapshoot -- and the only

reason THEY can't seem to keep up is they're a bunch of misfits and losers."

        -- an analysis of neo-Nazis and such, Badger comics


"Interesting survey in the current Journal of Abnormal Psychology: New York

City has a higher percentage of people you shouldn't make any sudden moves

around than any other city in the world."

        -- David Letterman


"Tourists -- have some fun with New York's hard-boiled cabbies.  When you get

to your destination, say to your driver, "Pay?    I was hitchhiking."

        -- David Letterman


"An anthropologist at Tulane has just come back from a field trip to New

Guinea with reports of a tribe so primitive that they have Tide but not

new Tide with lemon-fresh Borax."

        -- David Letterman


"Based on what you know about him in history books, what do you think Abraham

Lincoln would be doing if he were alive today?

    1) Writing his memoirs of the Civil War.

    2) Advising the President.

    3) Desperately clawing at the inside of his


        -- David Letterman


"If Ricky Schroder and Gary Coleman had a fight on

 television with pool cues, who would win?

    1) Ricky Schroder

    2) Gary Coleman

    3) The television viewing public"

        -- David Letterman


"If you are beginning to doubt what I am saying, you are

 probably hallucinating."

        -- The Firesign Theatre, _Everything you know is Wrong_


What to do in case of an alien attack:

    1)   Hide beneath the seat of your plane and look away.

    2)   Avoid eye contact.

    3) If there are no eyes, avoid all contact.

        -- The Firesign Theatre, _Everything you know is Wrong_


"Nuclear war would really set back cable."

        -- Ted Turner


"You tweachewous miscweant!"

        -- Elmer Fudd


"I saw _Lassie_. It took me four shows to figure out why the hairy kid never

spoke. I mean, he could roll over and all that, but did that deserve a series?"

        -- the alien guy, in _Explorers_


"Open Channel D..."

        -- Napoleon Solo, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


Save the whales.  Collect the whole set.


Support Mental Health.  Or I'll kill you.


"The pyramid is opening!"

   "Which one?"

"The one with the ever-widening hole in it!"

        -- The Firesign Theatre


"Calling J-Man Kink.  Calling J-Man Kink.  Hash missile sighted, target

Los Angeles.  Disregard personal feelings about city and intercept."

        -- The Firesign Theatre movie, _J-Men Forever_


"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!"

    "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!"

        -- Doonesbury


"You are WRONG, you ol' brass-breasted fascist poop!"

        -- Bloom County


"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!"

        -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail


"The voters have spoken, the bastards..."

        -- unknown


"I prefer to think that God is not dead, just drunk"

        -- John Huston


"Be there.  Aloha."

        -- Steve McGarret, _Hawaii Five-Oh_


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..."

        -- Hunter S. Thompson


"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!"

        -- Yosemite Sam


"There... I've run rings 'round you logically"

        -- Monty Python's Flying Circus


...Veloz is indistinguishable from hundreds of other electronics businesses

in the Valley, run by eager young engineers poring over memory dumps late

into the night.  The difference is that a bunch of self-confessed "car nuts"

are making money doing what they love: writing code and driving fast.

        -- "Electronics puts its foot on the gas", IEEE Spectrum, May 88


"Just the facts, Ma'am"

        -- Joe Friday


"I have five dollars for each of you."

        -- Bernhard Goetz


Mausoleum:  The final and funniest folly of the rich.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Riches:  A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I

am well pleased."

        -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)


All things are either sacred or profane.

The former to ecclesiasts bring gain;

The latter to the devil appertain.

        -- Dumbo Omohundro


Saint:  A dead sinner revised and edited.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Forty two.


Meekness:  Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Absolute:  Independent, irresponsible.  An absolute monarchy is one in which

the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins.  Not

many absolute monarchies are left, most of them having been replaced by

limited monarchies, where the sovereign's power for evil (and for good) is

greatly curtailed, and by republics, which are governed by chance.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Abstainer:  A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a

pleasure.  A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but

abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Alliance:  In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their

hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot separately

plunder a third.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Disobedience:  The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Egotist:  A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Administration:  An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive

the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


A penny saved is a penny to squander.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Ocean:  A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man --

who has no gills.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Physician:  One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Philosophy:  A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Politics:  A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.

The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Politician:  An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of

organized society is reared.  When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of

his tail for the trembling of the edifice.  As compared with the statesman,

he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Pray:  To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single

petitioner confessedly unworthy.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Presidency:  The greased pig in the field game of American politics.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Proboscis:  The rudimentary organ of an elephant which serves him in place

of the knife-and-fork that Evolution has as yet denied him.  For purposes

of humor it is popularly called a trunk.

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Inadmissible:  Not competent to be considered.  Said of certain kinds of

testimony which juries are supposed to be unfit to be entrusted with,

and which judges, therefore, rule out, even of proceedings before themselves

alone.  Hearsay evidence is inadmissible because the person quoted was

unsworn and is not before the court for examination; yet most momentous

actions, military, political, commercial and of every other kind, are

daily undertaken on hearsay evidence.  There is no religion in the world

that has any other basis than hearsay evidence.  Revelation is hearsay

evidence; that the Scriptures are the word of God we have only the

testimony of men long dead whose identity is not clearly established and

who are not known to have been sworn in any sense.  Under the rules of

evidence as they now exist in this country, no single assertion in the

Bible has in its support any evidence admissible in a court of law...

But as records of courts of justice are admissible, it can easily be proved

that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to

mankind.  The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women

were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still

unimpeachable.  The judges' decisions based on it were sound in logic and

in law.  Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than

the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death.

If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike

destitute of value.  --Ambrose Bierce


"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few

 simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'."

        -- John Sladek


"In the fight between you and the world, back the world."

        -- Frank Zappa


Here is an Appalachian version of management's answer to those who are

concerned with the fate of the project:

"Don't worry about the mule.  Just load the wagon."

        -- Mike Dennison's hillbilly uncle


Ill-chosen abstraction is particularly evident in the design of the ADA

runtime system. The interface to the ADA runtime system is so opaque that

it is impossible to model or predict its performance, making it effectively

useless for real-time systems. -- Marc D. Donner and David H. Jameson.


"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing."

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


"Here comes Mr. Bill's dog."

        -- Narrator, Saturday Night Live


Sex is like air.  It's only a big deal if you can't get any.


"Maintain an awareness for contribution -- to your schedule, your project,

our company."

        -- A Group of Employees


"Ask not what A Group of Employees can do for you.  But ask what can

All Employees do for A Group of Employees."

        -- Mike Dennison


One evening Mr. Rudolph Block, of New York, found himself seated at dinner

alongside Mr. Percival Pollard, the distinguished critic.

   "Mr. Pollard," said he, "my book, _The Biography of a Dead Cow_, is

 published anonymously, but you can hardly be ignorant of its authorship.

 Yet in reviewing it you speak of it as the work of the Idiot of the Century.

 Do you think that fair criticism?"

   "I am very sorry, sir," replied the critic, amiably, "but it did not

occur to me that you really might not wish the public to know who wrote it."

        -- Ambrose Bierce


Many alligators will be slain,

but the swamp will remain.


What the gods would destroy they first submit to an IEEE standards committee.


This is now.  Later is later.


"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware."

        -- Peter da Silva


"If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go

to hell."

        -- Jimmy Swaggart, 5/20/88


"Dump the condiments.  If we are to be eaten, we don't need to taste good."

        -- "Visionaries" cartoon


"Aww, if you make me cry anymore, you'll fog up my helmet."

        -- "Visionaries" cartoon


I don't want to be young again, I just don't want to get any older.


Marriage Ceremony:  An incredible metaphysical sham of watching God and the

law being dragged into the affairs of your family.

        -- O. C. Ogilvie


  "Emergency!"  Sgiggs screamed, ejecting himself from the tub like it was

a burning car.  "Dial 'one'!  Get room service!  Code red!"  Stiggs was on

the phone immediately, ordering more rose blossoms, because, according to

him, the ones floating in the tub had suddenly lost their smell.  "I demand

smell," he shrilled.  "I expecting total uninterrupted smell from these

f*cking roses."

  Unfortunately, the service captain didn't realize that the Stiggs situation

involved fifty roses.  "What am I going to do with this?" Stiggs sneered at

the weaseling hotel goon when he appeared at our door holding a single flower

floating in a brandy glass.  Stiggs's tirade was great.  "Do you see this

bathtub?  Do you notice any difference between the size of the tub and the

size of that spindly wad of petals in your hand?  I need total bath coverage.

I need a completely solid layer of roses all around me like puffing factories

of smell, attacking me with their smell and power-ramming big stinking

concentrations of rose odor up my nostrils until I'm wasted with pleasure."

It wasn't long before we got so dissatisfied with this incompetence that we


-- The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs,

   National Lampoon, October 1982


When it is incorrect, it is, at least *authoritatively* incorrect.

        -- Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy


We decided it was night again, so we camped for twenty minutes and drank

another six beers at a Young Life campsite.  O.C. got into the supervisory

adult's sleeping bag and ran around in it.  "This is the judgment day and I'm

a terrifying apparition," he screamed.  Then the heat made O.C. ralph in the


-- The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs,

   National Lampoon, October 1982


Voodoo Programming:  Things programmers do that they know shouldn't work but

they try anyway, and which sometimes actually work, such as recompiling


        -- Karl Lehenbauer


This is, of course, totally uninformed speculation that I engage in to help

support my bias against such meddling... but there you have it.

-- Peter da Silva, speculating about why a computer program that had been

changed to do something he didn't approve of, didn't work


"This knowledge I pursue is the finest pleasure I have ever known.  I could

no sooner give it up that I could the very air that I breath."

        -- Paolo Uccello, Renaissance artist, discoverer of the laws of perspective


"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet."

  "Now why didn't I think of that?"

        -- Post Bros. Comics


"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed."

        -- Robin, The Boy Wonder


The F-15 Eagle:

    If it's up, we'll shoot it down.  If it's down, we'll blow it up.

        -- A McDonnell-Douglas ad from a few years ago


"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking

operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box."

        -- Peter da Silva


"It's my cookie file and if I come up with something that's lame and I like it,

it goes in."

        -- karl (Karl Lehenbauer)


In recognizing AT&T Bell Laboratories for corporate innovation, for its

invention of cellular mobile communications, IEEE President Russell C. Drew

referred to the cellular telephone as a "basic necessity."  How times have

changed, one observer remarked: many in the room recalled the advent of

direct dialing.

        -- The Institute, July 1988, pg. 11


...the Soviets have the capability to try big projects.  If there is a goal,

such as when Gorbachev states that they are going to have nuclear-powered

aircraft carriers, the case is closed -- that is it.  They will concentrate

on the problem, do a bad job, and later pay the price.  They really don't

care what the price is.

-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976

   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100


There is something you must understand about the Soviet system.  They have the

ability to concentrate all their efforts on a given design, and develop all

components simultaneously, but sometimes without proper testing.  Then they end

up with a technological disaster like the Tu-144.  In a technology race at

the time, that aircraft was two months ahead of the Concorde.  Four Tu-144s

were built; two have crashed, and two are in museums.  The Concorde has been

flying safely for over 10 years.

-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976

   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100


DE:  The Soviets seem to have difficulty implementing modern technology.

     Would you comment on that?

Belenko:  Well, let's talk about aircraft engine lifetime.  When I flew the

      MiG-25, its engines had a total lifetime of 250 hours.

DE:  Is that mean-time-between-failure?

Belenko:  No, the engine is finished; it is scrapped.

DE:  You mean they pull it out and throw it away, not even overhauling it?

Belenko:  That is correct.  Overhaul is too expensive.

DE:  That is absurdly low by free world standards.

Belenko:  I know.

-- an interview with Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976

   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 102


"I have a friend who just got back from the Soviet Union, and told me the people

there are hungry for information about the West.  He was asked about many

things, but I will give you two examples that are very revealing about life in

the Soviet Union.  The first question he was asked was if we had exploding

television sets.  You see, they have a problem with the picture tubes on color

television sets, and many are exploding.  They assumed we must be having

problems with them too.  The other question he was asked often was why the

CIA had killed Samantha Smith, the little girl who visited the Soviet Union a

few years ago; their propaganda is very effective.

-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976

   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100


"...I could accept this openness, glasnost, perestroika, or whatever you want

to call it if they did these things: abolish the one party system; open the

Soviet frontier and allow Soviet people to travel freely; allow the Soviet

people to have real free enterprise; allow Western businessmen to do business

there, and permit freedom of speech and of the press.  But so far, the whole

country is like a concentration camp.  The barbed wire on the fence around

the Soviet Union is to keep people inside, in the dark.  This openness that

you are seeing, all these changes, are cosmetic and they have been designed

to impress shortsighted, naive, sometimes stupid Western leaders.  These

leaders gush over Gorbachev, hoping to do business with the Soviet Union or

appease it.  He will say: "Yes, we can do business!"  This while his

military machine in Afghanistan has killed over a million people out of a

population of 17 million.  Can you imagine that?

-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976

   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 110


"Remember Kruschev:  he tried to do too many things too fast, and he was

removed in disgrace.  If Gorbachev tries to destroy the system or make too

many fundamental changes to it, I believe the system will get rid of him.

I am not a political scientist, but I understand the system very well.

I believe he will have a "heart attack" or retire or be removed.  He is

up against a brick wall.  If you think they will change everything and

become a free, open society, forget it!"

-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976

   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 110


FORTRAN?  The syntactically incorrect statement "DO 10 I = 1.10" will parse and

generate code creating a variable, DO10I, as follows: "DO10I = 1.10"  If that

doesn't terrify you, it should.


"I knew then (in 1970) that a 4-kbyte minicomputer would cost as much as

a house.  So I reasoned that after college, I'd have to live cheaply in

an apartment and put all my money into owning a computer."

        -- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, EE Times, June 6, 1988, pg 45


HP had a unique policy of allowing its engineers to take parts from stock as

long as they built something.  "They figured that with every design, they were

getting a better engineer.  It's a policy I urge all companies to adopt."

-- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, "Will Wozniak's class give Apple to teacher?"

   EE Times, June 6, 1988, pg 45


"I just want to be a good engineer."

-- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, concluding his keynote speech

   at the 1988 AppleFest


"There's always been Tower of Babel sort of bickering inside Unix, but this

is the most extreme form ever.  This means at least several years of confusion."

-- Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft,

   about the Open Systems Foundation


"When in doubt, print 'em out."

        -- Karl's Programming Proverb 0x7


"If you want the best things to happen in corporate life you have to find ways

to be hospitable to the unusual person.  You don't get innovation as a

democratic process.  You almost get it as an anti-democratic process.

Certainly you get it as an anthitetical process, so you have to have an

environment where the body of people are really amenable to change and can

deal with the conflicts that arise out of change an innovation."

-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc.,

   "Herman Miller's Secrets of Corporate Creativity",

   The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988


"In corporate life, I think there are three important areas which contracts

can't deal with, the area of conflict, the area of change and area of reaching

potential.  To me a covenant is a relationship that is based on such things

as shared ideals and shared value systems and shared ideas and shared

agreement as to the processes we are going to use for working together.  In

many cases they develop into real love relationships."

-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's

   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988


Another goal is to establish a relationship "in which it is OK for everybody

to do their best.  There are an awful lot of people in management who really

don't want subordinates to do their best, because it gets to be very

threatening.  But we have found that both internally and with outside

designers if we are willing to have this kind of relationship and if we're

willing to be vulnerable to what will come out of it, we get really good


-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's

   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988


In his book, Mr. DePree tells the story of how designer George Nelson urged

that the company also take on Charles Eames in the late 1940s.  Max's father,

J. DePree, co-founder of the company with Herman Miller in 1923, asked Mr.

Nelson if he really wanted to share the limited opportunities of a then-small

company with another designer.  "George's response was something like this:

'Charles Eames is an unusual talent.  He is very different from me.  The

company needs us both.  I want very much to have Charles Eames share in

whatever potential there is.'"

-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's

   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988


Mr. DePree believes participative capitalism is the wave of the future.  The

U.S. work force, he believes, "more and more demands to be included in the

capitalist system and if we don't find ways to get the capitalist system

to be an inclusive system rather than the exclusive system it has been, we're

all in deep trouble.  If we don't find ways to begin to understand that

capitalism's highest potential lies in the common good, not in the individual

good, then we're risking the system itself."

-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's

   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988


Mr. DePree also expects a "tremendous social change" in all workplaces.  "When

I first started working 40 years ago, a factory supervisor was focused on the

product.  Today it is drastically different, because of the social milieu.

It isn't unusual for a worker to arrive on his shift and have some family

problem that he doesn't know how to resolve.  The example I like to use is a

guy who comes in and says 'this isn't going to be a good day for me, my son

is in jail on a drunk-driving charge and I don't know how to raise bail.'

What that means is that if the supervisor wants productivity, he has to know

how to raise bail."

-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's

   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988


Fools ignore complexity.  Pragmatists suffer it.

Some can avoid it.  Geniuses remove it.

        -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept.  1982


"What if" is a trademark of Hewlett Packard, so stop using it in your

sentences without permission, or risk being sued.


Now, if the leaders of the world -- people who are leaders by virtue of

political, military or financial power, and not necessarily wisdom or

consideration for mankind -- if these leaders manage not to pull us

over the brink into planetary suicide, despite their occasional pompous

suggestions that they may feel obliged to do so, we may survive beyond


        -- George Rostky, EE Times, June 20, 1988 p. 45


The essential ideas of Algol 68 were that the whole language should be

precisely defined and that all the pieces should fit together smoothly.

The basic idea behind Pascal was that it didn't matter how vague the

language specification was (it took *years* to clarify) or how many rough

edges there were, as long as the CDC Pascal compiler was fast.

        -- Richard A. O'Keefe


"We came.  We saw.  We kicked its ass."

        -- Bill Murray, _Ghostbusters_


"The stars are made of the same atoms as the earth."  I usually pick one small

topic like this to give a lecture on.  Poets say science takes away from the

beauty of the stars -- mere gobs of gas atoms.  Nothing is "mere."  I too can

see the stars on a desert night, and feel them.  But do I see less or more?

The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination -- stuck on this carousel

my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light.  A vast pattern -- of which

I am a part -- perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one

is belching there.  Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all

apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together.

What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the *why?*  It does not do harm to the

mystery to know a little about it.  For far more marvelous is the truth than

any artists of the past imagined!  Why do the poets of the present not speak

of it?  What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but

if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?

        -- Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988)


If you permit yourself to read meanings into (rather than drawing meanings out

of) the evidence, you can draw any conclusion you like.

        -- Michael Keith, "The Bar-Code Beast", The Skeptical Enquirer Vol 12 No 4 p 416


"Pseudocode can be used to some extent to aid the maintenance

process.  However, pseudocode that is highly detailed -

approaching the level of detail of the code itself - is not of

much use as maintenance documentation.  Such detailed

documentation has to be maintained almost as much as the code,

thus doubling the maintenance burden.  Furthermore, since such

voluminous pseudocode is too distracting to be kept in the

listing itself, it must be kept in a separate folder.  The

result: Since pseudocode - unlike real code - doesn't have to be

maintained, no one will maintain it.  It will soon become out of

date and everyone will ignore it.  (Once, I did an informal

survey of 42 shops that used pseudocode.  Of those 42, 0 [zero!],

found that it had any value as maintenance documentation."

         --Meilir Page-Jones, "The Practical Guide to Structured

           Design", Yourdon Press (c) 1988


"Only a brain-damaged operating system would support task switching and not

make the simple next step of supporting multitasking."

        -- George McFry


Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field

of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.


The magician is seated in his high chair and looks upon the world with favor.

He is at the height of his powers.  If he closes his eyes, he causes the world

to disappear.  If he opens his eyes, he causes the world to come back.  If

there is harmony within him, the world is harmonious.  If rage shatters his

inner harmony, the unity of the world is shattered.  If desire arises within

him, he utters the magic syllables that causes the desired object to appear.

His wishes, his thoughts, his gestures, his noises command the universe.

        -- Selma Fraiberg, _The Magic Years_, pg. 107


An Animal that knows who it is, one that has a sense of his own identity, is

a discontented creature, doomed to create new problems for himself for the

duration of his stay on this planet.  Since neither the mouse nor the chimp

knows what is, he is spared all the vexing problems that follow this

discovery.  But as soon as the human animal who asked himself this question

emerged, he plunged himself and his descendants into an eternity of doubt

and brooding, speculation and truth-seeking that has goaded him through the

centuries as relentlessly as hunger or sexual longing.  The chimp that does

not know that he exists is not driven to discover his origins and is spared

the tragic necessity of contemplating his own end.  And even if the animal

experimenters succeed in teaching a chimp to count one hundred bananas or

to play chess, the chimp will develop no science and he will exhibit no

appreciation of beauty, for the greatest part of man's wisdom may be traced

back to the eternal questions of beginnings and endings, the quest to give

meaning to his existence, to life itself.

        -- Selma Fraiberg, _The Magic Years_, pg. 193


A comment on schedules:

 Ok, how long will it take?

   For each manager involved in initial meetings add one month.

   For each manager who says "data flow analysis" add another month.

   For each unique end-user type add one month.

   For each unknown software package to be employed add two months.

   For each unknown hardware device add two months.

   For each 100 miles between developer and installation add one month.

   For each type of communication channel add one month.

   If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on a non-IBM

      system add 6 months.

   If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on an IBM

      system add 9 months.

Round up to the nearest half-year.

--Brad Sherman

By the way, ALL software projects are done by iterative prototyping.

Some companies call their prototypes "releases", that's all.


    UNIX Shell is the Best Fourth Generation Programming Language

    It is the UNIX shell that makes it possible to do applications in a small

    fraction of the code and time it takes in third generation languages.  In

    the shell you process whole files at a time, instead of only a line at a

    time.  And, a line of code in the UNIX shell is one or more programs,

    which do more than pages of instructions in a 3GL.  Applications can be

    developed in hours and days, rather than months and years with traditional

    systems.  Most of the other 4GLs available today look more like COBOL or

    RPG, the most tedious of the third generation languages.

"UNIX Relational Database Management:  Application Development in the UNIX

 Environment" by Rod Manis, Evan Schaffer, and Robert Jorgensen.  Prentice

 Hall Software Series.  Brian Kerrighan, Advisor.  1988.


"Laugh while you can, monkey-boy."

        -- Dr. Emilio Lizardo


"Floggings will continue until morale improves."

        -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA


"Hey Ivan, check your six."

-- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail

 of a Russian Su-27


"Free markets select for winning solutions."

        -- Eric S. Raymond


"I dislike companies that have a we-are-the-high-priests-of-hardware-so-you'll-

like-what-we-give-you attitude.  I like commodity markets in which iron-and-

silicon hawkers know that they exist to provide fast toys for software types

like me to play with..."

        -- Eric S. Raymond


"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."

-- Bakunin

[ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]


"A commercial, and in some respects a social, doubt has been started within the

 last year or two, whether or not it is right to discuss so openly the security

 or insecurity of locks.  Many well-meaning persons suppose that the discus-

 sion respecting the means for baffling the supposed safety of locks offers a

 premium for dishonesty, by showing others how to be dishonest.  This is a fal-

 lacy.  Rogues are very keen in their profession, and already know much more

 than we can teach them respecting their several kinds of roguery.  Rogues knew

 a good deal about lockpicking long before locksmiths discussed it among them-

 selves, as they have lately done.  If a lock -- let it have been made in what-

 ever country, or by whatever maker -- is not so inviolable as it has hitherto

 been deemed to be, surely it is in the interest of *honest* persons to know

 this fact, because the *dishonest* are tolerably certain to be the first to

 apply the knowledge practically; and the spread of knowledge is necessary to

 give fair play to those who might suffer by ignorance.  It cannot be too ear-

 nestly urged, that an acquaintance with real facts will, in the end, be better

 for all parties."

-- Charles Tomlinson's Rudimentary Treatise on the Construction of Locks,

   published around 1850


 In respect to lock-making, there can scarcely be such a thing as dishonesty

 of intention: the inventor produces a lock which he honestly thinks will

 possess such and such qualities; and he declares his belief to the world.

 If others differ from him in opinion concerning those qualities, it is open

 to them to say so; and the discussion, truthfully conducted, must lead to

 public advantage: the discussion stimulates curiosity, and curiosity stimu-

 lates invention.  Nothing but a partial and limited view of the question

 could lead to the opinion that harm can result: if there be harm, it will be

 much more than counterbalanced by good."

-- Charles Tomlinson's Rudimentary Treatise on the Construction of Locks,

   published around 1850.


"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best."

        -- Aeschylus


"Survey says..."

        -- Richard Dawson, weenie, on "Family Feud"


"Paul Lynde to block..."

        -- a contestant on "Hollywood Squares"


"Little else matters than to write good code."

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight.

        -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire


"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward"

        -- William E. Davidsen


"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy."

        -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir


"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became

a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb. "You aren't nearly

through this adventure yet," he added, and that was pretty true as well.

        -- Bilbo Baggins, "The Hobbit" by J. R. R. Tolkien, Chapter XII


"A dirty mind is a joy forever."

        -- Randy Kunkee


"You can't teach seven foot."

-- Frank Layton, Utah Jazz basketball coach, when asked why he had recruited

   a seven-foot tall auto mechanic


"A car is just a big purse on wheels."

        -- Johanna Reynolds


"History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions."

        -- Ted Koppel


"Gozer the Gozerian:  As the duly appointed representative of the city,

county and state of New York, I hereby order you to cease all supernatural

activities at once and proceed immediately to your place of origin or

the nearest parallel dimension, whichever is nearest."

        -- Ray (Dan Akyroyd, _Ghostbusters_


It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more

doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a

new system.  For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by

the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in

those who would gain by the new ones.

        -- Machiavelli


God grant me the senility to accept the things I cannot change,

The frustration to try to change things I cannot affect,

and the wisdom to tell the difference.


First as to speech.  That privilege rests upon the premise that

there is no proposition so uniformly acknowledged that it may not be

lawfully challenged, questioned, and debated.  It need not rest upon

the further premise that there are no propositions that are not

open to doubt; it is enough, even if there are, that in the end it is

worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy.  Hence it

has been again and again unconditionally proclaimed that there are

no limits to the privilege so far as words seek to affect only the hearers'

beliefs and not their conduct.  The trouble is that conduct is almost

always based upon some belief, and that to change the hearer's belief

will generally to some extent change his conduct, and may even evoke

conduct that the law forbids.

[cf. Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty, University of Chicago Press, 1952;

The Art and Craft of Judging: The Decisions of Judge Learned Hand,

edited and annotated by Hershel Shanks, The MacMillian Company, 1968.]


The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it

should have done.  Calculate that one rebellion in 13 states in the course

of 11 years, is but one for each state in a century and a half.  No country

should be so long without one.

        -- Thomas Jefferson in letter to James Madison, 20 December 1787


"Nine years of ballet, asshole."

-- Shelly Long, to the bad guy after making a jump over a gorge that he

   couldn't quite, in "Outrageous Fortune"


You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.


"If that man in the PTL is such a healer, why can't he make his wife's

 hairdo go down?"

        -- Robin Williams


8)   Use common sense in routing cable.  Avoid wrapping coax around sources of

     strong electric or magnetic fields.  Do not wrap the cable around

     flourescent light ballasts or cyclotrons, for example.

-- Ethernet Headstart Product, Information and Installation Guide,

   Bell Technologies, pg. 11


"What a wonder is USENET; such wholesale production of conjecture from

such a trifling investment in fact."

        -- Carl S. Gutekunst


VMS must die!


MS-DOS must die!


OS/2 must die!


Pournelle must die!


Garbage In, Gospel Out


"Being against torture ought to be sort of a multipartisan thing."

        -- Karl Lehenbauer, as amended by Jeff Daiell, a Libertarian


"Facts are stupid things."

-- President Ronald Reagan

   (a blooper from his speech at the '88 GOP convention)


"The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science

collapses on three major grounds: the creationists' need to invoke

miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's history into

the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to

abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all

fossils are products of Noah's flood; and their reliance upon distortion,

misquote, half-quote, and citation out of context to characterize the

ideas of their opponents."

-- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism",

   The Skeptical Inquirer, Winter 87/88, pg. 186


"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code."

        -- an anonymous programmer


"To IBM, 'open' means there is a modicum of interoperability among some of their


        -- Harv Masterson


"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program."

        -- Nigel de la Tierre


"If you own a machine, you are in turn owned by it, and spend your time

 serving it..."

        -- Marion Zimmer Bradley, _The Forbidden Tower_


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

        -- Albert Einstein


"Card readers?  We don't need no stinking card readers."

-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciences, 1965, in a

   particularly vivid fantasy)


Your good nature will bring unbounded happiness.


Semper Fi, dude.


Excitement and danger await your induction to tracer duty!  As a tracer,

you must rid the computer networks of slimy, criminal data thieves.

They are tricky and the action gets tough, so watch out!  Utilizing all

your skills, you'll either get your man or you'll get burned!

        -- advertising for the computer game "Tracers"


"An entire fraternity of strapping Wall-Street-bound youth.  Hell - this

is going to be a blood bath!"

        -- Post Bros. Comics


"Neighbors!!  We got neighbors!  We ain't supposed to have any neighbors, and

I just had to shoot one."

        -- Post Bros. Comics


"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!"

        -- Post Bros. Comics


interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify

        -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language


"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it."

        -- Mark Twain


"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?"



"If you weren't my teacher, I'd think you just deleted all my files."

-- an anonymous UCB CS student, to an instructor who had typed "rm -i *" to

   get rid of a file named "-f" on a Unix system.


"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral

crisis, preserved their neutrality."

        -- Dante


"The medium is the message."

        -- Marshall McLuhan


"The medium is the massage."

        -- Crazy Nigel


"Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

        -- Vince Lombardi, football coach


"It might help if we ran the MBA's out of Washington."

        -- Admiral Grace Hopper


Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door.

        -- Martin Amis, _Money_


The sprung doors parted and I staggered out into the lobby's teak and flicker.

Uniformed men stood by impassively like sentries in their trench.  I slapped

my key on the desk and nodded gravely.  I was loaded enough to be unable to

tell whether they could tell I was loaded.  Would they mind?  I was certainly

too loaded to care.  I moved to the door with boxy, schlep-shouldered strides.

        -- Martin Amis, _Money_


I ask only one thing.  I'm understanding.  I'm mature.  And it isn't much to

ask.  I want to get back to London, and track her down, and be alone with my

Selina -- or not even alone, damn it, merely close to her, close enough to

smell her skin, to see the flecked webbing of her lemony eyes, the moulding

of her artful lips.  Just for a few precious seconds.  Just long enough to

put in one good, clean punch.  That's all I ask.

        -- Martin Amis, _Money_


"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal."

        -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan


New York is a jungle, they tell you.  You could go further, and say that

New York is a jungle.  New York *is a jungle.*  Beneath the columns of

the old rain forest, made of melting macadam, the mean Limpopo of swamped

Ninth Avenue bears an angry argosy of crocs and dragons, tiger fish, noise

machines, sweating rainmakers.  On the corners stand witchdoctors and

headhunters, babbling voodoo-men -- the natives, the jungle-smart natives.

And at night, under the equatorial overgrowth and heat-holding cloud

cover, you hear the ragged parrot-hoot and monkeysqueak of the sirens,

and then fires flower to ward off monsters.  Careful: the streets are

sprung with pits and nets and traps.  Hire a guide.  Pack your snakebite

gook and your blowdart serum.  Take it seriously.  You have to get a

bit jungle-wise.

        -- Martin Amis, _Money_


Now I was heading, in my hot cage, down towards meat-market country on the

tip of the West Village.  Here the redbrick warehouses double as carcass

galleries and rat hives, the Manhattan fauna seeking its necessary

level, living or dead.  Here too you find the heavy faggot hangouts,

The Spike, the Water Closet, the Mother Load.  Nobody knows what goes on

in these places.  Only the heavy faggots know.  Even Fielding seems somewhat

vague on the question.  You get zapped and flogged and dumped on -- by

almost anybody's standards, you have a really terrible time.  The average

patron arrives at the Spike in one taxi but needs to go back to his sock

in two.  And then the next night he shows up for more.  They shackle

themselves to racks, they bask in urinals.  Their folks have a lot of

explaining to do, if you want my opinion, particularly the mums.  Sorry

to single you ladies out like this but the story must start somewhere.

A craving for hourly murder -- it can't be willed.  In the meantime,

Fielding tells me, Mother Nature looks on and taps her foot and clicks

her tongue.  Always a champion of monogamy, she is cooking up some fancy

new diseases.  She just isn't going to stand for it.

        -- Martin Amis, _Money_


"You tried it just for once, found it alright for kicks,

 but now you find out you have a habit that sticks,

 you're an orgasm addict,

 you're always at it,

 and you're an orgasm addict."

        -- The Buzzcocks


"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress."

        -- Mark Twain


"You'll pay to know what you really think."

        -- J. R. "Bob" Dobbs


"We live, in a very kooky time."

        -- Herb Blashtfalt


"Pull the wool over your own eyes!"

        -- J. R. "Bob" Dobbs


"Okay," Bobby said, getting the hang of it, "then what's the matrix?  If

she's a deck, and Danbala's a program, what's cyberspace?"

  "The world," Lucas said.

        -- William Gibson, _Count Zero_


"Our reruns are better than theirs."

        -- Nick at Nite


Life is a game.  Money is how we keep score.

        -- Ted Turner


"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

        -- The Wizard Of Oz


"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

        -- Karl, as he stepped behind the computer to reboot it, during a FAT


"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble.  It's the

things we know that ain't so."

        -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown


"Don't discount flying pigs before you have good air defense."

        -- jvh@clinet.FI


"In the long run, every program becomes rococo, and then rubble."

        -- Alan Perlis


"Pok pok pok, P'kok!"

        -- Superchicken


Live Free or Live in Massachusetts.


"You can't get very far in this world without your dossier being there first."

        -- Arthur Miller


"Flight Reservation systems decide whether or not you exist. If your information

isn't in their database, then you simply don't get to go anywhere."

        -- Arthur Miller


"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own


        -- Arthur Miller


"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the

pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay."

        -- Arthur Miller


"They know your name, address, telephone number, credit card numbers, who ELSE

is driving the car "for insurance", ...  your driver's license number. In the

state of Massachusetts, this is the same number as that used for Social

Security, unless you object to such use. In THAT case, you are ASSIGNED a

number and you reside forever more on the list of "weird people who don't give

out their Social Security Number in Massachusetts."

        -- Arthur Miller


"Data is a lot like humans:  It is born.  Matures.  Gets married to other data,

divorced. Gets old.  One thing that it doesn't do is die.  It has to be killed."

        -- Arthur Miller


"People should have access to the data which you have about them.  There should

 be a process for them to challenge any inaccuracies."

        -- Arthur Miller


"Although Poles suffer official censorship, a pervasive secret

police and laws similar to those in the USSR, there are

thousands of underground publications, a legal independent

Church, private agriculture, and the East bloc's first and only

independent trade union federation, NSZZ Solidarnosc, which is

an affiliate of both the International Confederation of Free

Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labor.  There is

literally a world of difference between Poland - even in its

present state of collapse - and Soviet society at the peak of

its "glasnost."  This difference has been maintained at great

cost by the Poles since 1944.

-- David Phillips, SUNY at Buffalo, about establishing a

   gateway from EARN (Eurpoean Academic Research Network)

   to Poland


"There is also a thriving independent student movement in

Poland, and thus there is a strong possibility (though no

guarantee) of making an EARN-Poland link, should it ever come

about, a genuine link - not a vacuum cleaner attachment for a

Bloc information gathering apparatus rationed to trusted


-- David Phillips, SUNY at Buffalo, about establishing a

   gateway from EARN (Eurpoean Academic Research Network)

   to Poland


"Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture,

an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads."

        -- John Galt, in Ayn Rand's _Atlas Shrugged_


Don't panic.


The bug stops here.


The bug starts here.


"Why waste negative entropy on comments, when you could use the same

entropy to create bugs instead?"

        -- Steve Elias


"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of

course you never do."

        -- Gregory Bateson


"Your butt is mine."

        -- Michael Jackson, Bad


Ship it.


"Once they go up, who cares where they come down?  That's not my department."

        -- Werner von Braun


"When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if

it were a nail."

        -- Abraham Maslow


"Imitation is the sincerest form of television."

        -- The New Mighty Mouse


"The lesser of two evils -- is evil."

        -- Seymour (Sy) Leon


"It's no sweat, Henry.  Russ made it back to Bugtown before he died.  So he'll

regenerate in a couple of days.  It's just awful sloppy of him to get killed in

the first place.  Humph!"

        -- Ron Post, Post Brothers Comics


"An honest god is the noblest work of man.  ... God has always resembled his

creators.  He hated and loved what they hated and loved and he was invariably

found on the side of those in power. ... Most of the gods were pleased with

sacrifice, and the smell of innocent blood has ever been considered a divine


        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"We are not endeavoring to chain the future but to free the present. ... We are

the advocates of inquiry, investigation, and thought. ... It is grander to think

and investigate for yourself than to repeat a creed. ... I look for the day

when *reason*, throned upon the world's brains, shall be the King of Kings and

the God of Gods.

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes

of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey.  I believe

it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts...

I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it."

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"Is this foreplay?"

   "No, this is Nuke Strike.  Foreplay has lousy graphics.  Beat me again."

        -- Duckert, in "Bad Rubber," Albedo #0 (comics)


egrep patterns are full regular expressions; it uses a fast deterministic

algorithm that sometimes needs exponential space.

        -- unix manuals


"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears."

        -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths


"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative."

        -- Peter da Silva


If this is a service economy, why is the service so bad?


"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow,

or I'll have your guts for spaghetti."

        -- a comic panel by Cotham


"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

        -- Will Rogers


"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt."

        -- a saying at RPI


"The geeks shall inherit the earth."

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


"Beware of programmers carrying screwdrivers."

        -- Chip Salzenberg


"Elvis is my copilot."

        -- Cal Keegan


"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the

sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment."

        -- Richard P. Feynman


How many Unix hacks does it take to change a light bulb?

   Let's see, can you use a shell script for that or does it need a C program?


"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.  Hate me because I'm beautiful, smart

and rich."

        -- Calvin Keegan


"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so

certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

        -- Bertrand Russell


Always look over your shoulder because everyone is watching and plotting

against you.


"Let us condemn to hellfire all those who disagree with us."

        -- militant religionists everywhere


Baby On Board.


"The net result is a system that is not only binary compatible with 4.3 BSD,

but is even bug for bug compatible in almost all features."

-- Avadit Tevanian, Jr., "Architecture-Independent Virtual Memory Management

   for Parallel and Distributed Environments:  The Mach Approach"


"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected."

        -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972


"Engineering without management is art."

        -- Jeff Johnson


"I'm not a god, I was misquoted."

        -- Lister, Red Dwarf


Brain off-line, please wait.



-- uunet!sugar!karl  | "We've been following your progress with considerable

-- karl@sugar.uu.net |  interest, not to say contempt."  -- Zaphod Beeblebrox IV

-- Usenet BBS (713) 438-5018

th-th-th-th-That's all, folks!

----------- cut here, don't forget to strip junk at the end, too -------------

"Psychoanalysis??  I thought this was a nude rap session!!!"

        -- Zippy


Are you having fun yet?


"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are

perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust."

        -- Lawrence Dalzell


"Perhaps I am flogging a straw herring in mid-stream, but in the light of

what is known about the ubiquity of security vulnerabilities, it seems vastly

too dangerous for university folks to run with their heads in the sand."

        -- Peter G. Neumann, RISKS moderator, about the Internet virus


"Seed me, Seymour"

        -- a random number generator meets the big green mother from outer space


"Buy land.  They've stopped making it."

        -- Mark Twain


"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."

        -- Dave Bowman, 2001


"There was no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of

pure chance..."

        -- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_


...Saure really turns out to be an adept at the difficult art of papryomancy,

the ability to prophesy through contemplating the way people roll reefers -

the shape, the licking pattern, the wrinkles and folds or absence thereof

in the paper.  "You will soon be in love," sez Saure, "see, this line here."

"It's long, isn't it?  Does that mean --" "Length is usually intensity.

Not time."

        -- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_


Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it will make you feel

less responsible -- but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with

the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless

hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they

are --"

        -- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_


...the prevailing Catholic odor - incense, wax, centuries of mild bleating

from the lips of the flock.

        -- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_


...At that time [the 1960s], Bell Laboratories scientists projected that

computer speeds as high as 30 million floating-point calculations per

second (megaflops) would be needed for the Army's ballistic missile

defense system.  Many computer experts -- including a National Academy

of Sciences panel -- said achieving such speeds, even using multiple

processors, was impossible.  Today, new generation supercomputers operate

at billions of operations per second (gigaflops).

        -- Aviation Week & Space Technology, May 9, 1988, "Washington Roundup", pg 13


backups: always in season, never out of style.


"There was a vague, unpleasant manginess about his appearence; he somehow

seemed dirty, though a close glance showed him as carefully shaven as an

actor, and clad in immaculate linen."

        -- H. L. Mencken, on the death of William Jennings Bryan


Work was impossible.  The geeks had broken my spirit.  They had done too

many things wrong.  It was never like this for Mencken.  He lived like

a Prussian gambler -- sweating worse than Bryan on some nights and drunker

than Judas on others.  It was all a dehumanized nightmare...and these

raddled cretins have the gall to complain about my deadlines.

        -- Hunter Thompson, "Bad Nerves in Fat City", _Generation of Swine_


"This generation may be the one that will face Armageddon."

        -- Ronald Reagan, "People" magazine, December 26, 1985


... The cable had passed us by; the dish was the only hope, and eventually

we were all forced to turn to it.  By the summer of '85, the valley had more

satellite dishes per capita than an Eskimo village on the north slope of


Mine was one of the last to go in.  I had been nervous from the start about

the hazards of too much input, which is a very real problem with these

things.  Watching TV becomes a full-time job when you can scan 200 channels

all day and all night and still have the option of punching Night Dreams

into the video machine, if the rest of the world seems dull.

        -- Hunter Thompson, "Full-time scrambling", _Generation of Swine_


"Call immediately.  Time is running out.  We both need to do something

monstrous before we die."

        -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson


"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down."

        -- H. L. Mencken


"You don't go out and kick a mad dog.  If you have a mad dog with rabies, you

take a gun and shoot him."

        -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy


David Brinkley: The daily astrological charts are precisely where, in my

  judgment, they belong, and that is on the comic page.

George Will:  I don't think astrology belongs even on the comic pages.

  The comics are making no truth claim.

Brinkley:  Where would you put it?

Will:  I wouldn't put it in the newspaper.  I think it's transparent rubbish.

  It's a reflection of an idea that we expelled from Western thought in the

  sixteenth century, that we are in the center of a caring universe.  We are

  not the center of the universe, and it doesn't care.  The star's alignment

  at the time of our birth -- that is absolute rubbish.  It is not funny to

  have it intruded among people who have nuclear weapons.

Sam Donaldson:  This isn't something new.  Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn

  in just after midnight in his first term in Sacramento because the stars

  said it was a propitious time.

Will:  They [horoscopes] are utter crashing banalities.  They could apply to

  anyone and anything.

Brinkley:  When is the exact moment [of birth]?  I don't think the nurse is

  standing there with a stopwatch and a notepad.

Donaldson:  If we're making decisions based on the stars -- that's a cockamamie

  thing.  People want to know.

-- "This Week" with David Brinkley, ABC Television, Sunday, May 8, 1988,

   excerpts from a discussion on Astrology and Reagan


The reported resort to astrology in the White House has occasioned much

merriment.  It is not funny.  Astrological gibberish, which means astrology

generally, has no place in a newspaper, let alone government.  Unlike comics,

which are part of a newspaper's harmless pleasure and make no truth claims,

astrology is a fraud.  The idea that it gets a hearing in government is


        -- George Will, Washing Post Writers Group


Astrology is the sheerest hokum.  This pseudoscience has been around since

the day of the Chaldeans and Babylonians.  It is as phony as numerology,

phrenology, palmistry, alchemy, the reading of tea leaves, and the practice

of divination by the entrails of a goat.  No serious person will buy the

notion that our lives are influenced individually by the movement of

distant planets.  This is the sawdust blarney of the carnival midway.

        -- James J. Kilpatrick, Universal Press Syndicate


A serious public debate about the validity of astrology?  A serious believer

in the White House?  Two of them?  Give me a break.  What stifled my laughter

is that the image fits.  Reagan has always exhibited a fey indifference toward

science.  Facts, like numbers, roll off his back.  And we've all come to

accept it.  This time it was stargazing that became a serious issue....Not

that long ago, it was Reagan's support of Creationism....Creationists actually

got equal time with evolutionists.  The public was supposed to be open-minded

to the claims of paleontologists and fundamentalists, as if the two were

scientific colleagues....It has been clear for a long time that the president

is averse to science...In general, these attitudes fall onto friendly American

turf....But at the outer edges, this skepticism about science easily turns

into a kind of naive acceptance of nonscience, or even nonsense.  The same

people who doubt experts can also believe any quackery, from the benefits of

laetrile to eye of newt to the movement of planets.  We lose the capacity to

make rational -- scientific -- judgments.  It's all the same.

-- Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe Newspaper Company-Washington Post Writers



The spectacle of astrology in the White House -- the governing center of

the world's greatest scientific and military power -- is so appalling that

it defies understanding and provides grounds for great fright.  The easiest

response is to laugh it off, and to indulge in wisecracks about Civil

Service ratings for horoscope makers and palm readers and whether Reagan

asked Mikhail Gorbachev for his sign.  A contagious good cheer is the

hallmark of this presidency, even when the most dismal matters are concerned.

But this time, it isn't funny.  It's plain scary.

-- Daniel S. Greenberg, Editor, _Science and Government Report_, writing in

   "Newsday", May 5, 1988


[Astrology is] 100 percent hokum, Ted.  As a matter of fact, the first edition

of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, written in 1771 -- 1771! -- said that this

belief system is a subject long ago ridiculed and reviled.  We're dealing with

beliefs that go back to the ancient Babylonians.  There's nothing there....

It sounds a lot like science, it sounds like astronomy.  It's got technical

terms.  It's got jargon.  It confuses the public....The astrologer is quite

glib, confuses the public, uses terms which come from science, come from

metaphysics, come from a host of fields, but they really mean nothing.  The

fact is that astrological beliefs go back at least 2,500 years.  Now that

should be a sufficiently long time for astrologers to prove their case.  They

have not proved their case....It's just simply gibberish.  The fact is, there's

no theory for it, there are no observational data for it.  It's been tested

and tested over the centuries.  Nobody's ever found any validity to it at

all.  It is not even close to a science.  A science has to be repeatable, it

has to have a logical foundation, and it has to be potentially vulnerable --

you test it.  And in that astrology is really quite something else.

-- Astronomer Richard Berendzen, President, American University, on ABC

    News "Nightline," May 3, 1988


Even if we put all these nagging thoughts [four embarrassing questions about

astrology] aside for a moment, one overriding question remains to be asked.

Why would the positions of celestial objects at the moment of birth have an

effect on our characters, lives, or destinies?  What force or influence,

what sort of energy would travel from the planets and stars to all human

beings and affect our development or fate?  No amount of scientific-sounding

jargon or computerized calculations by astrologers can disguise this central

problem with astrology -- we can find no evidence of a mechanism by which

celestial objects can influence us in so specific and personal a way. . . .

Some astrologers argue that there may be a still unknown force that represents

the astrological influence. . . .If so, astrological predictions -- like those

of any scientific field -- should be easily tested. . . . Astrologers always

claim to be just a little too busy to carry out such careful tests of their

efficacy, so in the last two decades scientists and statisticians have

generously done such testing for them.  There have been dozens of well-designed

tests all around the world, and astrology has failed every one of them. . . .

I propose that we let those beckoning lights in the sky awaken our interest

in the real (and fascinating) universe beyond our planet, and not let them

keep us tied to an ancient fantasy left over from a time when we huddled by

the firelight, afraid of the night.

-- Andrew Fraknoi, Executive Officer, Astronomical Society of the Pacific,

    "Why Astrology Believers Should Feel Embarrassed," San Jose Mercury

    News, May 8, 1988


With the news that Nancy Reagan has referred to an astrologer when planning

her husband's schedule, and reports of Californians evacuating Los Angeles

on the strength of a prediction from a sixteenth-century physician and

astrologer Michel de Notredame, the image of the U.S. as a scientific and

technological nation has taking a bit of a battering lately.  Sadly, such

happenings cannot be dismissed as passing fancies.  They are manifestations

of a well-established "anti-science" tendency in the U.S. which, ultimately,

could threaten the country's position as a technological power. . . .  The

manifest widespread desire to reject rationality and substitute a series

of quasirandom beliefs in order to understand the universe does not augur

well for a nation deeply concerned about its ability to compete with its

industrial equals.  To the degree that it reflects the thinking of a

significant section of the public, this point of view encourages ignorance

of and, indeed, contempt for science and for rational methods of approaching

truth. . . . It is becoming clear that if the U.S. does not pick itself up

soon and devote some effort to educating the young effectively, its hope of

maintaining a semblance of leadership in the world may rest, paradoxically,

with a new wave of technically interested and trained immigrants who do not

suffer from the anti-science disease rampant in an apparently decaying society.

        -- Physicist Tony Feinberg, in "New Scientist," May 19, 1988


miracle:  an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.

        -- Webster's Dictionary


"The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone

 is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be

 created in the form of computer programs."

        -- Joseph Weizenbaum, _Computer Power and Human Reason_


"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong."

        -- Norm Schryer


"May your future be limited only by your dreams."

        -- Christa McAuliffe


"It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be

coming up it."

        -- Henry Allen


"Life begins when you can spend your spare time programming instead of

watching television."

        -- Cal Keegan


"We never make assertions, Miss Taggart," said Hugh Akston.  "That is

the moral crime peculiar to our enemies.  We do not tell -- we *show*.

We do not claim -- we *prove*."

        -- Ayn Rand, _Atlas Shrugged_


"I remember when I was a kid I used to come home from Sunday School and

 my mother would get drunk and try to make pancakes."

        -- George Carlin


"My father?  My father left when I was quite young.  Well actually, he

 was asked to leave.  He had trouble metabolizing alcohol."

        -- George Carlin


"I turn on my television set.  I see a young lady who goes under the guise

of being a Christian, known all over the nation, dressed in skin-tight

leather pants, shaking and wiggling her hips to the beat and rhythm of the

music as the strobe lights beat their patterns across the stage and the

band plays the contemporary rock sound which cannot be differentiated from

songs by the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, or anyone else.  And you may try

to tell me this is of God and that it is leading people to Christ, but I

know better.

-- Jimmy Swaggart, hypocritical sexual pervert and TV preacher, self-described

 pornography addict, "Two points of view: 'Christian' rock and roll.",

 The Evangelist, 17(8): 49-50.


"So-called Christian rock. . . . is a diabolical force undermining Christianity

 from within."

-- Jimmy Swaggart, hypocrite and TV preacher, self-described pornography addict,

 "Two points of view: 'Christian' rock and roll.", The Evangelist, 17(8): 49-50.


"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of

course, living in a state of sin."

        -- John Von Neumann


"You must have an IQ of at least half a million."  -- Popeye


"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all."

        -- Nathaniel Branden


Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?


"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education."

        -- Mark Twain


These screamingly hilarious gogs ensure owners of     X Ray Gogs to be the life

of any party.

        -- X-Ray Gogs Instructions


A student asked the master for help... does this program run from the

Workbench? The master grabbed the mouse and pointed to an icon. "What is

this?" he asked. The student replied "That's the mouse". The master pressed

control-Amiga-Amiga and hit the student on the head with the Amiga ROM Kernel


        -- Amiga Zen Master Peter da Silva


"Thank heaven for startups; without them we'd never have any advances."

        -- Seymour Cray


"Out of register space (ugh)"

        -- vi


"Its failings notwithstanding, there is much to be said in favor

of journalism in that by giving us the opinion of the uneducated,

it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community."

        -- Oscar Wilde


"Ada is PL/I trying to be Smalltalk.

        -- Codoso diBlini


"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by mean of zeal,

well-meaning but without understanding."

        -- Justice Louis O. Brandeis (Olmstead vs. United States)


"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true."

-- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_


"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in.  I'm glad they

are a snowman with protective rubber skin"

        -- They Might Be Giants


"Indecision is the basis of flexibility"

        -- button at a Science Fiction convention.


"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative"

        -- button at a Science Fiction convention.


"Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time."

        -- a coffee cup


"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is."

        -- Narciso Yepes


"All we are given is possibilities -- to make ourselves one thing or another."

        -- Ortega y Gasset


"We will be better and braver if we engage and inquire than if we indulge in

the idle fancy that we already know -- or that it is of no use seeking to

know what we do not know."

        -- Plato


"To undertake a project, as the word's derivation indicates, means to cast an

idea out ahead of oneself so that it gains autonomy and is fulfilled not only

by the efforts of its originator but, indeed, independently of him as well.

        -- Czeslaw Milosz


"We cannot put off living until we are ready.  The most salient characteristic

of life is its coerciveness; it is always urgent, "here and now," without any

possible postponement.  Life is fired at us point blank."

        -- Ortega y Gasset


"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere."

        -- Dr. Seuss


"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest."

-- Bullwinkle Moose


Remember, an int is not always 16 bits.  I'm not sure, but if the 80386 is one

step closer to Intel's slugfest with the CPU curve that is asymptotically

approaching a real machine, perhaps an int has been implemented as 32 bits by

some Unix vendors...?

        -- Derek Terveer


"Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care

what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything

you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness.

Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to

insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the

destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be,

be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to

insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as

your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be

yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your

receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this

thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen."

Madrak, in _Creatures of Light and Darkness_, by Roger Zelazny


"An Academic speculated whether a bather is beautiful

if there is none in the forest to admire her. He hid

in the bushes to find out, which vitiated his premise

but made him happy.

Moral: Empiricism is more fun than speculation."

        -- Sam Weber


1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.


"I figured there was this holocaust, right, and the only ones left alive were

 Donna Reed, Ozzie and Harriet, and the Cleavers."

-- Wil Wheaton explains why everyone in "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

    is so nice


"Engineering meets art in the parking lot and things explode."

        -- Garry Peterson, about Survival Research Labs


"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having

a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc


      ...and before I knew what I was doing, I had kicked the

      typewriter and threw it around the room and made it beg for

      mercy.  At this point the typewriter pleaded for me to dress

      him in feminine attire but instead I pressed his margin release

      over and over again until the typewriter lost consciousness.

      Presently, I regained consciousness and realized with shame what

      I had done.  My shame is gone and now I am looking for a

      submissive typewriter, any color, or model.  No electric

      typewriters please!

        -- Rick Kleiner


Professional wrestling:  ballet for the common man.


"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a

cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H. L. Mencken


   "Are those cocktail-waitress fingernail marks?"  I asked Colletti as he

showed us these scratches on his chest.  "No, those are on my back," Colletti

answered.  "This is where a case of cocktail shrimp fell on me.  I told her

to slow down a little, but you know cocktail waitresses, they seem to have

a mind of their own."

-- The Incredibly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs

   National Lampoon, October 1982


"Never give in.  Never give in.  Never. Never. Never."

        -- Winston Churchill


"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance."

        -- Cal Keegan


"Despite its suffix, skepticism is not an "ism" in the sense of a belief

or dogma.  It is simply an approach to the problem of telling what is

counterfeit and what is genuine.  And a recognition of how costly it may

be to fail to do so.  To be a skeptic is to cultivate "street smarts" in

the battle for control of one's own mind, one's own money, one's own

allegiances.  To be a skeptic, in short, is to refuse to be a victim.

-- Robert S. DeBear, "An Agenda for Reason, Realism, and Responsibility,"

 New York Skeptic (newsletter of the New York Area Skeptics, Inc.), Spring 1988


"If you want to know what happens to you when you die, go look at some dead


        -- Dave Enyeart


"After one week [visiting Austria] I couldn't wait to go back to the United

States.  Everything was much more pleasant in the United States, because of

the mentality of being open-minded, always positive.  Everything you want to

do in Europe is just, 'No way.  No one has ever done it.'  They haven't any

more the desire to go out to conquer and achieve -- I realized that I had much

more the American spirit."

        -- Arnold Schwarzenegger


"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest."

        -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)


    I think for the most part that the readership here uses the c-word in

a similar fashion.  I don't think anybody really believes in a new, revolution-

ary literature --- I think they use `cyberpunk' as a term of convenience to

discuss the common stylistic elements in a small subset of recent sf books.

        -- Jeff G. Bone


    So we get to my point.  Surely people around here read things that

aren't on the *Officially Sanctioned Cyberpunk Reading List*.  Surely we

don't (any of us) really believe that there is some big, deep political and

philosophical message in all this, do we?  So if this `cyberpunk' thing is

just a term of convenience, how can somebody sell out?  If cyberpunk is just a

word we use to describe a particular style and imagery in sf, how can it be

dead?  Where are the profound statements that the `Movement' is or was trying

to make?

    I think most of us are interested in examining and discussing literary

(and musical) works that possess a certain stylistic excellence and perhaps a

rather extreme perspective; this is what CP is all about, no?  Maybe there

should be a newsgroup like, say, alt.postmodern or something.  Something less

restrictive in scope than alt.cyberpunk.

        -- Jeff G. Bone


"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show."

        -- Jeff G. Bone


Life is full of concepts that are poorly defined.  In fact, there are very few

concepts that aren't.  It's hard to think of any in non-technical fields.

        -- Daniel Kimberg


...cyberpunk wants to see the mind as mechanistic & duplicable,

challenging basic assumptions about the nature of individuality & self.

That seems all the better reason to assume that cyberpunk art & music is

essentially mindless garbagio. Willy certainly addressed this idea in

"Count Zero," with Katatonenkunst, the automatic box-maker and the girl's

observation that the real art was the building of the machine itself,

rather than its output.

        -- Eliot Handelman


It might be worth reflecting that this group was originally created

back in September of 1987 and has exchanged over 1200 messages.  The

original announcement for the group called for an all inclusive

discussion ranging from the writings of Gibson and Vinge and movies

like Bladerunner to real world things like Brands' description of the

work being done at the MIT Media Lab.  It was meant as a haven for

people with vision of this scope.  If you want to create a haven for

people with narrower visions, feel free.  But I feel sad for anyone

who thinks that alt.cyberpunk is such a monstrous group that it is in

dire need of being subdivided.  Heaven help them if they ever start

reading comp.arch or rec.arts.sf-lovers.

        -- Bob Webber


...I don't care for the term 'mechanistic'. The word 'cybernetic' is a lot

more apropos. The mechanistic world-view is falling further and further behind

the real world where even simple systems can produce the most marvelous


        -- Peter da Silva


As for the basic assumptions about individuality and self, this is the core

of what I like about cyberpunk. And it's the core of what I like about certain

pre-gibson neophile techie SF writers that certain folks here like to put

down. Not everyone makes the same assumptions. I haven't lost my mind... it's

backed up on tape.

        -- Peter da Silva


Who are the artists in the Computer Graphics Show?  Wavefront's latest box, or

the people who programmed it?  Should Mandelbrot get all the credit for the

output of programs like MandelVroom?

        -- Peter da Silva


Trailing Edge Technologies is pleased to announce the following

TETflame programme:

1) For a negotiated price (no quatloos accepted) one of our flaming

   representatives will flame the living shit out of the poster of

   your choice. The price is inversly proportional to how much of

   an asshole the target it. We cannot be convinced to flame Dennis

   Ritchie. Matt Crawford flames are free.

2) For a negotiated price (same arrangement) the TETflame programme

   is offering ``flame insurence''. Under this arrangement, if

   one of our policy holders is flamed, we will cancel the offending

   article and flame the flamer, to a crisp.

3) The TETflame flaming representatives include: Richard Sexton, Oleg

   Kisalev, Diane Holt, Trish O'Tauma, Dave Hill, Greg Nowak and our most

   recent acquisition, Keith Doyle. But all he will do is put you in his

   kill file. Weemba by special arrangement.

        -- Richard Sexton


"As I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of

 Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity.  I collected some of

 their Proverbs..." - Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"


            HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 1

proof by example:

    The author gives only the case n = 2 and suggests that it

    contains most of the ideas of the general proof.

proof by intimidation:


proof by vigorous handwaving:

    Works well in a classroom or seminar setting.


            HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 2

proof by cumbersome notation:

    Best done with access to at least four alphabets and special


proof by exhaustion:

    An issue or two of a journal devoted to your proof is useful.

proof by omission:

    'The reader may easily supply the details'

    'The other 253 cases are analogous'



            HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 3

proof by obfuscation:

    A long plotless sequence of true and/or meaningless

    syntactically related statements.

proof by wishful citation:

    The author cites the negation, converse, or generalization of

    a theorem from the literature to support his claims.

proof by funding:

    How could three different government agencies be wrong?

proof by eminent authority:

    'I saw Karp in the elevator and he said it was probably NP-



            HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 4

proof by personal communication:

    'Eight-dimensional colored cycle stripping is NP-complete

    [Karp, personal communication].'

proof by reduction to the wrong problem:

    'To see that infinite-dimensional colored cycle stripping is

    decidable, we reduce it to the halting problem.'

proof by reference to inaccessible literature:

    The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found

    in a privately circulated memoir of the Slovenian

    Philological Society, 1883.

proof by importance:

    A large body of useful consequences all follow from the

    proposition in question.


            HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 5

proof by accumulated evidence:

    Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample.

proof by cosmology:

    The negation of the proposition is unimaginable or

    meaningless. Popular for proofs of the existence of God.

proof by mutual reference:

    In reference A, Theorem 5 is said to follow from Theorem 3 in

    reference B, which is shown to follow from Corollary 6.2 in

    reference C, which is an easy consequence of Theorem 5 in

    reference A.

proof by metaproof:

    A method is given to construct the desired proof. The

    correctness of the method is proved by any of these



            HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 6

proof by picture:

    A more convincing form of proof by example. Combines well

    with proof by omission.

proof by vehement assertion:

    It is useful to have some kind of authority relation to the


proof by ghost reference:

    Nothing even remotely resembling the cited theorem appears in

    the reference given.


            HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 7

proof by forward reference:

    Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author,

    which is often not as forthcoming as at first.

proof by semantic shift:

    Some of the standard but inconvenient definitions are changed

    for the statement of the result.

proof by appeal to intuition:

    Cloud-shaped drawings frequently help here.


        [May one] doubt whether, in cheese and timber, worms are generated,

        or, if beetles and wasps, in cow-dung, or if butterflies, locusts,

        shellfish, snails, eels, and such life be procreated of putrefied

        matter, which is to receive the form of that creature to which it

        is by formative power disposed[?]  To question this is to question

        reason, sense, and experience.  If he doubts this, let him go to

        Egypt, and there he will find the fields swarming with mice begot

        of the mud of the Nylus, to the great calamity of the inhabitants.

                A seventeenth century opinion quoted by L. L. Woodruff,

                in *The Evolution of Earth and Man*, 1929


Seen on a button at an SF Convention:

Veteran of the Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force.  1990-1951.


"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward,

then we are a sorry lot indeed."

        -- Albert Einstein


"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is

the exact opposite."

        -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928


"Were there no women, men might live like gods."

        -- Thomas Dekker


"Intelligence without character is a dangerous thing."

        -- G. Steinem


"It says he made us all to be just like him.  So if we're dumb, then god is

dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side."

        -- Frank Zappa


"It's not just a computer -- it's your ass."

        -- Cal Keegan


"Let me guess, Ed.  Pentescostal, right?"

-- Starcap'n Ra, ra@asuvax.asu.edu

"Nope.  Charismatic (I think - I've given up on what all those pesky labels


-- Ed Carp, erc@unisec.usi.com

"Same difference - all zeal and feel, averaging less than one working brain

cell per congregation. Starcap'n Ra, you pegged him.  Good work!"

        -- Kenn Barry, barry@eos.UUCP


"BTW, does Jesus know you flame?"

        -- Diane Holt, dianeh@binky.UUCP, to Ed Carp


"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out."

        -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles


"Just out of curiosity does this actually mean something or have some

 of the few remaining bits of your brain just evaporated?"

        -- Patricia O Tuama, rissa@killer.DALLAS.TX.US


"Bite off, dirtball."

Richard Sexton, richard@gryphon.COM


"Oh my!  An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame?  Never heard of such

a thing..."

        -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM


(null cookie; hope that's ok)


"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality

at any point."

        -- Friedrich Nietzsche


"Who alone has reason to *lie himself out* of actuality?  He who *suffers*

 from it."

        -- Friedrich Nietzsche


"You who hate the Jews so, why did you adopt their religion?"

        -- Friedrich Nietzsche, addressing anti-semitic Christians


"Little prigs and three-quarter madmen may have the conceit that the laws of

nature are constantly broken for their sakes."

        -- Friedrich Nietzsche


"Science makes godlike -- it is all over with priests and gods when man becomes

 scientific.  Moral:  science is the forbidden as such -- it alone is

 forbidden.  Science is the *first* sin, the *original* sin.  *This alone is

 morality.* ``Thou shalt not know'' -- the rest follows."

        -- Friedrich Nietzsche


"Faith:  not *wanting* to know what is true."

        -- Friedrich Nietzsche


>One basic notion underlying Usenet is that it is a cooperative.

Having been on USENET for going on ten years, I disagree with this.

The basic notion underlying USENET is the flame.

        -- Chuq Von Rospach, chuq@Apple.COM


"Every group has a couple of experts.  And every group has at least one idiot.

 Thus are balance and harmony (and discord) maintained.  It's sometimes hard

 to remember this in the bulk of the flamewars that all of the hassle and

 pain is generally caused by one or two highly-motivated, caustic twits."

        -- Chuq Von Rospach, chuq@apple.com, about Usenet


Backed up the system lately?


"It doesn't much signify whom one marries for one is sure to find out next

morning it was someone else."

        -- Rogers


"If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry."

        -- Chekhov


"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with

the ideal never goes unpunished."

        -- Goethe


"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved."

        -- Butler


"The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, `What does

woman want?'"

        -- Sigmund Freud


"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world,

 and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming

 feature.  They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."

        -- Thomas Jefferson


Remember:  Silly is a state of Mind, Stupid is a way of Life.

        -- Dave Butler


"The preeminence of a learned man over a worshiper is equal to the preeminence

of the moon, at the night of the full moon, over all the stars.  Verily, the

learned men are the heirs of the Prophets."

        -- A tradition attributed to Muhammad


"The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity;

the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of a

military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and

private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion;

and the soldiers' pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes

who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity."

        -- Edward Gibbons, _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_


"The question is rather: if we ever succeed in making a mind 'of nuts and

bolts', how will we know we have succeeded?

-- Fergal Toomey

"It will tell us."

        -- Barry Kort


"Inquiry is fatal to certainty."

        -- Will Durant


"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight,

 The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine,

 But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy."

        -- Ernie Banks


"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!], 'Pray, Mr.

Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers

come out?'  I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas

that could provoke such a question."

        -- Charles Babbage


"I call Christianity the *one* great curse, the *one* great intrinsic

depravity, the *one* great instinct for revenge for which no expedient

is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, *petty* -- I call it

the *one* mortal blemish of mankind."

        -- Friedrich Nietzsche


"The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to

safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster

the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source

of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity."

"Religion is verily the chief instrument for the establishment of order in the

 world and of tranquillity amongst it's peoples...The greater the decline of

 religion, the more grievous the waywardness of the ungodly. This cannot but

 lead in the end to chaos and confusion."

        -- Baha'u'llah, a selection from the Baha'i scripture


"Cogito ergo I'm right and you're wrong."

        -- Blair Houghton


"...one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that,

lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of

their C programs."

        -- Robert Firth


Q: Somebody just posted that Roman Polanski directed Star Wars.  What

should I do?

A: Post the correct answer at once!  We can't have people go on believing

that!  Very good of you to spot this.  You'll probably be the only one to

make the correction, so post as soon as you can.  No time to lose, so

certainly don't wait a day, or check to see if somebody else has made the


And it's not good enough to send the message by mail.  Since you're the

only one who really knows that it was Francis Coppola, you have to inform

the whole net right away!

        -- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_


Q: How can I choose what groups to post in?  ...

Q: How about an example?

A: Ok.  Let's say you want to report that Gretzky has been traded from the

Oilers to the Kings.  Now right away you might think rec.sport.hockey

would be enough.  WRONG.  Many more people might be interested.  This is a

big trade!  Since it's a NEWS article, it belongs in the news.* hierarchy

as well.  If you are a news admin, or there is one on your machine, try

news.admin.  If not, use news.misc.

The Oilers are probably interested in geology, so try sci.physics.  He is

a big star, so post to sci.astro, and sci.space because they are also

interested in stars.  Next, his name is Polish sounding.  So post to

soc.culture.polish.  But that group doesn't exist, so cross-post to

news.groups suggesting it should be created.  With this many groups of

interest, your article will be quite bizarre, so post to talk.bizarre as

well.  (And post to comp.std.mumps, since they hardly get any articles

there, and a "comp" group will propagate your article further.)

You may also find it is more fun to post the article once in each group.

If you list all the newsgroups in the same article, some newsreaders will

only show the the article to the reader once!  Don't tolerate this.

        -- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_


Q: I cant spell worth a dam.  I hope your going too tell me what to do?

A: Don't worry about how your articles look.  Remember it's the message

that counts, not the way it's presented.  Ignore the fact that sloppy

spelling in a purely written forum sends out the same silent messages that

soiled clothing would when addressing an audience.

        -- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_


Q: They just announced on the radio that Dan Quayle was picked as the

Republican V.P. candidate.  Should I post?

A: Of course.  The net can reach people in as few as 3 to 5 days.  It's

the perfect way to inform people about such news events long after the

broadcast networks have covered them.  As you are probably the only person

to have heard the news on the radio, be sure to post as soon as you can.

        -- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_


What did Mickey Mouse get for Christmas?

A Dan Quayle watch.

        -- heard from a Mike Dukakis field worker


Q:  What's the difference between a car salesman and a computer


A:  The car salesman can probably drive!

        -- Joan McGalliard (jem@latcs1.oz.au)


"Your stupidity, Allen, is simply not up to par."

-- Dave Mack (mack@inco.UUCP)

"Yours is."

        -- Allen Gwinn (allen@sulaco.sigma.com), in alt.flame


A selection from the Taoist Writings:

"Lao-Tan asked Confucius: `What do you mean by benevolence and righteousness?'

 Confucius said:  `To be in one's inmost heart in kindly sympathy with all

 things; to love all men and allow no selfish thoughts: this is the nature

 of benevolence and righteousness.'"

        -- Kwang-tzu


"Jesus saves...but Gretzky gets the rebound!"

        -- Daniel Hinojosa (hinojosa@hp-sdd)


"Anything created must necessarily be inferior to the essence of the creator."

-- Claude Shouse (shouse@macomw.ARPA)

"Einstein's mother must have been one heck of a physicist."

        -- Joseph C. Wang (joe@athena.mit.edu)


"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will

fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines."

        -- Bertrand Russell


"Lying lips are abomination to the Lord; but they that deal truly are his


 A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.

 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto


 Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause; and deceive not with

 thy lips.

 Death and life are in the power of the tongue."

        -- Proverbs, some selections from the Jewish Scripture


"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and

I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life -- so I became a scientist.

This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."

        -- Matt Cartmill


Heisenberg might have been here.


"Any excuse will serve a tyrant."

        -- Aesop


"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything."

        -- Russell Baker


How many Zen Buddhist does it take to change a light bulb?

Two.  One to change it and one not to change it.


"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God."

        -- Sean Doran the Younger


"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak."

        -- Phil Wayne


"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon."

        -- Patricia O Tuama


"I am ... a woman ... and ... technically a parasitic uterine growth"

        -- Sean Doran the Younger [allegedly]


"Is it just me, or does anyone else read `bible humpers' every time

someone writes `bible thumpers?'

        -- Joel M. Snyder, jms@mis.arizona.edu


"Money is the root of all money."

        -- the moving finger


"...Greg Nowak:  `Another flame from greg' - need I say more?"

-- Jonathan D. Trudel, trudel@caip.rutgers.edu

"No.  You need to say less."

        -- Richard Sexton, richard@gryphon.COM


"And it's my opinion, and that's only my opinion, you are a lunatic.  Just

because there are a few hunderd other people sharing your lunacy with you

does not make you any saner.  Doomed, eh?"

        -- Oleg Kiselev,oleg@CS.UCLA.EDU


"Obedience.  A religion of slaves.  A religion of intellectual death.  I like

it.  Don't ask questions, don't think, obey the Word of the Lord -- as it

has been conveniently brought to you by a man in a Rolls with a heavy Rolex

on his wrist.  I like that job!  Where can I sign up?"

        -- Oleg Kiselev,oleg@CS.UCLA.EDU


"Home life as we understand it is no more natural to us than a cage is to a


        -- George Bernard Shaw


"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and

those inside desperate to get out."

        -- Montaigne


"For a male and female to live continuously together is...  biologically

speaking, an extremely unnatural condition."

        -- Robert Briffault


"Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it."

        -- Baskins


A man is not complete until he is married -- then he is finished.


Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.  Second marriage is

the triumph of hope over experience.


"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain."

        -- G. Fitch


"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."

        -- Mark Twain


"I am convinced that the manufacturers of carpet odor removing powder have

 included encapsulated time released cat urine in their products.  This

 technology must be what prevented its distribution during my mom's reign.  My

 carpet smells like piss, and I don't have a cat.  Better go by some more."

        -- timw@zeb.USWest.COM, in alt.conspiracy


"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in

the cigarettes?"

        -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970


"If you don't want your dog to have bad breath, do what I do:  Pour a little

 Lavoris in the toilet."

        -- Comedian Jay Leno


"Here's something to think about:  How come you never see a headline like

 `Psychic Wins Lottery.'"

        -- Comedian Jay Leno


"Well hello there Charlie Brown, you blockhead."

        -- Lucy Van Pelt


"Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so."

        -- Ford Prefect, _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_


"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows."

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable."

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'"

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"It is hard to overstate the debt that we owe to men and women of genius."

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"Joy is wealth and love is the legal tender of the soul."

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray."

        -- Robert G. Ingersoll


"It is the creationists who blasphemously are claiming that God is cheating

 us in a stupid way."

        -- J. W. Nienhuys


"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world.  I just wish

 it wasn't this one."

        -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN


"Be *excellent* to each other."

        -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure


The Seventh Edition licensing procedures are, I suppose, still in effect,

though I doubt that tapes are available from AT&T.  At any rate, whatever

restrictions the license imposes still exist.  These restrictions were and

are reasonable for places that just want to run the system, but don't allow

many of the things that Minix was written for, like study of the source in

classes, or by individuals not in a university or company.

I've always thought that Minix was a fine idea, and competently done.

As for the size of v7, wc -l /usr/sys/*/*.[chs] is 19271.

        -- Dennis Ritchie, 1989


"Our vision is to speed up time, eventually eliminating it." -- Alex Schure


"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips

 over, pinning you underneath.  At night, the ice weasels come."

        -- Matt Groening


"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

        -- Woody Allen


"The Street finds its own uses for technology."

        -- William Gibson


"I see little divinity about them or you.  You talk to me of Christianity

when you are in the act of hanging your enemies.  Was there ever such

blasphemous nonsense!"

        -- Shaw, "The Devil's Disciple"


"You and I as individuals can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but

only for a limited period of time.  Why should we think that collectively,

as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?"

        -- Ronald Reagan


"He did decide, though, that with more time and a great deal of mental effort,

he could probably turn the activity into an acceptable perversion."

        -- Mick Farren, _When Gravity Fails_


"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts

most subtly on the human will."

        -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"


It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?


"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying."

        -- Nikita Khrushchev


"...a most excellent barbarian ... Genghis Kahn!"

        -- _Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure_


"Pull the trigger and you're garbage."

        -- Lady Blue


"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..."

        -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"


"Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy

of him that brought her birth."

        -- Milton


"If you can't debate me, then there is no way in hell you'll out-insult me."

-- Scott Legrand (Scott.Legrand@hogbbs.Fidonet.Org)

"You may be wrong here, little one."

        -- R. W. F. Clark (RWC102@PSUVM)


    "Yes, I am a real piece of work.  One thing we learn at ULowell is

 how to flame useless hacking non-EE's like you.  I am superior to you in

 every way by training and expertise in the technical field.  Anyone can learn

 how to hack, but Engineering doesn't come nearly as easily.  Actually, I'm

 not trying to offend all you CS majors out there, but I think EE is one of the

 hardest majors/grad majors to pass.  Fortunately, I am making it."

-- "Warrior Diagnostics" (wardiag@sky.COM)

"Being both an EE and an asshole at the same time must be a terrible burden

 for you.  This isn't really a flame, just a casual observation.  Makes me

 glad I was a CS major, life is really pleasant for me.  Have fun with your

 chosen mode of existence!"

        -- Jim Morrison (morrisj@mist.cs.orst.edu)


"BYTE editors are men who separate the wheat from the chaff, and then

 print the chaff."

        -- Lionel Hummel (uiucdcs!hummel), derived from a quote by Adlai Stevenson, Sr.



Very little happens on Usenet without some sort of response from some other

reader.  Fun With Usenet postings are no exception.  Since there are some who

might question the rationale of some of the excerpts included therein, I have

written up a list of guidelines that sum up the philosophy behind these


    One.  I never cut out words in the middle of a quote without a VERY

good reason, and I never cut them out without including ellipses.  For

instance, "I am not a goob" might become "I am ... a goob", but that's too

mundane to bother with.  "I'm flame proof" might (and has) become

"I'm ...a... p...oof" but that's REALLY stretching it.

    Two.  If I cut words off the beginning or end of a quote, I don't

put ellipses, but neither do I capitalize something that wasn't capitalized

before the cut. "I don't think that the Church of Ubizmo is a wonderful

place" would turn into "the Church of Ubizmo is a wonderful place".  Imagine

the posting as a tape-recording of the poster's thoughts.  If I can set

up the quote via fast-forwarding and stopping the tape, and without splicing,

I don't put ellipses in.  And by the way, I love using this mechanism for

turning things around.  If you think something stinks, say so - don't say you

don't think it's wonderful.   ...

        -- D. J. McCarthy (dmccart@cadape.UUCP)


"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary

safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

        -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759


"I am, therefore I am."

        -- Akira


"Stan and I thought that this experiment was so stupid, we decided to finance

 it ourselves."

        -- Martin Fleischmann, co-discoverer of room-temperature fusion (?)


"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world."

        -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS


"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

        -- John Wooden


#define BITCOUNT(x)    (((BX_(x)+(BX_(x)>>4)) & 0x0F0F0F0F) % 255)

#define  BX_(x)        ((x) - (((x)>>1)&0x77777777)            \

                 - (((x)>>2)&0x33333333)            \

                 - (((x)>>3)&0x11111111))

        -- really weird C code to count the number of bits in a word


"If you can write a nation's stories, you needn't worry about who makes its

 laws.  Today, television tells most of the stories to most of the people

 most of the time."

        -- George Gerbner


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists

 in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on

 the unreasonable man."

        -- George Bernard Shaw


"We want to create puppets that pull their own strings."

-- Ann Marion

"Would this make them Marionettes?"

        -- Jeff Daiell


On the subject of C program indentation:

"In My Egotistical Opinion, most people's C programs should be indented

 six feet downward and covered with dirt."

        -- Blair P. Houghton


There was, it appeared, a mysterious rite of initiation through which, in

one way or another, almost every member of the team passed.  The term that

the old hands used for this rite -- West invented the term, not the practice --

was `signing up.'  By signing up for the project you agreed to do whatever

was necessary for success.  You agreed to forsake, if necessary, family,

hobbies, and friends -- if you had any of these left (and you might not, if

you had signed up too many times before).

        -- Tracy Kidder, _The Soul of a New Machine_


"By the time they had diminished from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began

to suspect "Hungry."

        -- a Larson cartoon


"But don't you see, the color of wine in a crystal glass can be spiritual.

 The look in a face, the music of a violin.  A Paris theater can be infused

 with the spiritual for all its solidity."

        -- Lestat, _The Vampire Lestat_, Anne Rice


"Love your country but never trust its government."

        -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania


      I bought the latest computer;

      it came fully loaded.

      It was guaranteed for 90 days,

      but in 30 was outmoded!

        -- The Wall Street Journal passed along by Big Red Computer's SCARLETT


To update Voltaire, "I may kill all msgs from you, but I'll fight for

your right to post it, and I'll let it reside on my disks".

        -- Doug Thompson (doug@isishq.FIDONET.ORG)


"Though a program be but three lines long,

someday it will have to be maintained."

        -- The Tao of Programming


"Turn on, tune up, rock out."

        -- Billy Gibbons



     smog  |   bricks

 AIR  --  mud  --  FIRE

soda water |   tequila



"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix.  Everyone knows power tools aren't

soluble in alcohol..."

        -- Crazy Nigel


"Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all...."

        -- Thomas J. Kopp


   n = ((n >>  1) & 0x55555555) | ((n <<  1) & 0xaaaaaaaa);

   n = ((n >>  2) & 0x33333333) | ((n <<  2) & 0xcccccccc);

   n = ((n >>  4) & 0x0f0f0f0f) | ((n <<  4) & 0xf0f0f0f0);

   n = ((n >>  8) & 0x00ff00ff) | ((n <<  8) & 0xff00ff00);

   n = ((n >> 16) & 0x0000ffff) | ((n << 16) & 0xffff0000);

        -- Yet another mystical 'C' gem. This one reverses the bits in a word.


"All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is

constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role

they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume."

        -- Noam Chomsky


"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple

system that worked."

        -- John Gall, _Systemantics_


"In my opinion, Richard Stallman wouldn't recognize terrorism if it

came up and bit him on his Internet."

        -- Ross M. Greenberg


I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments of

others, and all positive assertion of my own.  I even forbade myself the use

of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion,

such as "certainly", "undoubtedly", etc.   I adopted instead of them "I

conceive", "I apprehend", or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "so it

appears to me at present".

When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the

pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him immediately some

absurdity in his proposition.  In answering I began by observing that in

certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present

case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc.

I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I

engaged in went on more pleasantly.  The modest way in which I proposed my

opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction.  I had

less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily

prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I

happened to be in the right.

        -- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin


"If I ever get around to writing that language depompisifier, it will change

almost all occurrences of the word "paradigm" into "example" or "model."

        -- Herbie Blashtfalt


"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."

        -- Marvin the paranoid android


Contemptuous lights flashed across the computer's console.

        -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


"There must be some mistake," he said, "are you not a greater computer than

the Milliard Gargantubrain which can count all the atoms in a star in a


"The Milliard Gargantubrain?" said Deep Thought with unconcealed contempt.

"A mere abacus.  Mention it not."

        -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


"But are you not," he said, "a more fiendish disputant than the Great Hyperlobic

Omni-Cognate Neutron Wrangler of Ciceronicus Twelve, the Magic and


"The Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Neutron Wrangler," said Deep Thought,

thoroughly rolling the r's, "could talk all four legs off an Arcturan

Mega-Donkey -- but only I could persuade it to go for a walk afterward."

        -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, Jolt Cola

would be a Fortune-500 company.

If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, you'd be

able to buy a nice little colonial split-level at Babbages for $34.95.

If programmers wrote programs the way builders build buildings, we'd still

be using autocoder and running compile decks.

        -- Peter da Silva and Karl Lehenbauer, a different perspective


To err is human, to moo bovine.


"America is a stronger nation for the ACLU's uncompromising effort."

        -- President John F. Kennedy


"The simple rights, the civil liberties from generations of struggle must not

be just fine words for patriotic holidays, words we subvert on weekdays, but

living, honored rules of conduct amongst us...I'm glad the American Civil

Liberties Union gets indignant, and I hope this will always be so."

        -- Senator Adlai E. Stevenson


"The ACLU has stood foursquare against the recurring tides of hysteria that

>from time to time threaten freedoms everywhere... Indeed, it is difficult

to appreciate how far our freedoms might have eroded had it not been for the

Union's valiant representation in the courts of the constitutional rights

of people of all persuasions, no matter how unpopular or even despised

by the majority they were at the time."

        -- former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren


"The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each

citizen to defend it.  Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do

his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure."

        -- Albert Einstein


"Well I don't see why I have to make one man miserable when I can make so many

men happy."

        -- Ellyn Mustard, about marriage


"And it should be the law: If you use the word `paradigm' without knowing what

the dictionary says it means, you go to jail. No exceptions."

        -- David Jones @ Megatest Corporation


"Luke, I'm yer father, eh.  Come over to the dark side, you hoser."

        -- Dave Thomas, "Strange Brew"


"Let's not be too tough on our own ignorance.  It's the thing that makes

 America great.  If America weren't incomparably ignorant, how could we

 have tolerated the last eight years?"

        -- Frank Zappa, Feb 1, 1989


"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through

three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and

Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases.

"For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question 'How can

we eat?' the second by the question 'Why do we eat?' and the third by

the question 'Where shall we have lunch?'"

        -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


"Don't think; let the machine do it for you!"

        -- E. C. Berkeley


"It follows that any commander in chief who undertakes to carry out a plan

 which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forth his reasons,

 insist of the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather

than be the instrument of his army's downfall."

        -- Napoleon, "Military Maxims and Thought"


"(The Chief Programmer) personally defines the functional and performance

 specifications, designs the program, codes it, tests it, and writes its

 documentation... He needs great talent, ten years experience and

 considerable systems and applications knowledge, whether in applied

 mathematics, business data handling, or whatever."

        -- Fred P. Brooks, _The Mythical Man Month_


"It ain't over until it's over."

        -- Casey Stengel


"If anything can go wrong, it will."

        -- Edsel Murphy


"Yo baby yo baby yo."

        -- Eddie Murphy


"You must learn to run your kayak by a sort of ju-jitsu.  You must learn to

 tell what the river will do to you, and given those parameters see how you

 can live with it.  You must absorb its force and convert it to your users

 as best you can.  Even with the quickness and agility of a kayak, you are

 not faster than the river, nor stronger, and you can beat it only by

 understanding it."

        -- Strung, Curtis and Perry, _Whitewater_


Everyone who comes in here wants three things:

    1. They want it quick.

    2. They want it good.

    3. They want it cheap.

I tell 'em to pick two and call me back.

        -- sign on the back wall of a small printing company in Delaware


"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all

 other causes combined."

        -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_


panic: kernel trap (ignored)


"Nuclear war can ruin your whole compile."

        -- Karl Lehenbauer


"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue."

        -- Peter Neumann, about usenet


"We dedicated ourselves to a powerful idea -- organic law rather than naked

 power.  There seems to be universal acceptance of that idea in the nation."

        -- Supreme Court Justice Potter Steart


"What man has done, man can aspire to do."

        -- Jerry Pournelle, about space flight


"If you can, help others.  If you can't, at least don't hurt others."

        -- the Dalai Lama


To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a

test load.


"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!"

        -- Alan Perlis


"...Local prohibitions cannot block advances in military and commercial

 technology... Democratic movements for local restraint can only restrain

 the world's democracies, not the world as a whole."

        -- K. Eric Drexler


"The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between a five-dollar bill

and a whip deserves to learn the difference on his own back -- as, I think, he


        -- Francisco d'Anconia, in Ayn Rand's _Atlas Shrugged_


"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and

 the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will

 lose that, too."

        -- W. Somerset Maugham


"Pardon me for breathing, which I never do anyway so I don't know why I bother

 to say it, oh God, I'm so depressed.  Here's another of those self-satisfied

 doors.  Life!  Don't talk to me about life."

        -- Marvin the Paranoid Android


One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with

Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just

to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't

be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending

to be so outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand

hat was going on, and really being genuinely stupid.  He was reknowned for

being quite clever and quite clearly was so -- but not all the time, which

obviously worried him, hence the act.  He preferred people to be puzzled

rather than contemptuous.  This above all appeared to Trillian to be

genuinely stupid, but she could no longer be bothered to argue about.

        -- Douglas Adams, _The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_


Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the

former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and largely tax free.

Mighty starships plied their way between exotic suns, seeking adventure and

reward among the furthest reaches of Galactic space.  In those days, spirits

were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women

and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures

from Alpha Centauri.  And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty

deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before -- and thus

was the Empire forged.

        -- Douglas Adams, _The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_


"Gort, klaatu nikto barada."

        -- The Day the Earth Stood Still


> From MAILER-DAEMON@Think.COM Thu Mar  2 13:59:11 1989

> Subject: Returned mail: unknown mailer error 255

"Dale, your address no longer functions.  Can you fix it at your end?"

-- Bill Wolfe (wtwolfe@hubcap.clemson.edu)

"Bill, Your brain no longer functions.  Can you fix it at your end?"

        -- Karl A. Nyberg (nyberg@ajpo.sei.cmu.edu)


"Don't drop acid, take it pass-fail!"

        -- Bryan Michael Wendt


"I got a question for ya.  Ya got a minute?"

        -- two programmers passing in the hall


I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay.

        -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.


What hath Bob wrought?


"I don't know where we come from,

 Don't know where we're going to,

 And if all this should have a reason,

 We would be the last to know.

 So let's just hope there is a promised land,

 And until then,

 ...as best as you can."

        -- Steppenwolf, "Rock Me Baby"


"Help Mr. Wizard!"

        -- Tennessee Tuxedo


"The lawgiver, of all beings, most owes the law allegiance.

 He of all men should behave as though the law compelled him.

 But it is the universal weakness of mankind that what we are

 given to administer we presently imagine we own."

        -- H. G. Wells


"Unlike most net.puritans, however, I feel that what OTHER consenting computers

 do in the privacy of their own phone connections is their own business."

        -- John Woods, jfw@eddie.mit.edu


"Don't talk to me about disclaimers!  I invented disclaimers!"

        -- The Censored Hacker


'On this point we want to be perfectly clear: socialism has nothing to do

with equalizing.  Socialism cannot ensure conditions of life and

consumption in accordance with the principle "From each according to his

ability, to each according to his needs."  This will be under communism.

Socialism has a different criterion for distributing social benefits:

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his work."'

        -- Mikhail Gorbachev, _Perestroika_


"Cable is not a luxury, since many areas have poor TV reception."

-- The mayor of Tucson, Arizona, 1989

[apparently, good TV reception is a basic necessity -- at least in Tucson  -kl]


"All the system's paths must be topologically and circularly interrelated for

 conceptually definitive, locally transformable, polyhedronal understanding to

 be attained in our spontaneous -- ergo, most economical -- geodesiccally

 structured thoughts."

        -- R. Buckminster Fuller [...and a total nonsequitur as far as I can tell.  -kl]


"One thing they don't tell you about doing experimental physics is that

 sometimes you must work under adverse conditions... like a state of sheer


        -- W. K. Hartmann


"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue."

        -- Eric Pepke


Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a

pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule."

        -- David Guaspari


"None of our men are "experts."  We have most unfortunately found it necessary

to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert -- because no one

ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job.  A man who knows a

job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing

forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient

he is.  Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a

state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the

"expert" state of mind a great number of things become impossible."

        -- From Henry Ford Sr., "My Life and Work," p. 86 (1922):


"The NY Times is read by the people who run the country.  The Washington Post

is read by the people who think they run the country.   The National Enquirer

is read by the people who think Elvis is alive and running the country..."

        -- Robert J Woodhead (trebor@biar.UUCP)


        "...'fire' does not matter, 'earth' and 'air' and 'water' do not

matter.  'I' do not matter.  No word matters.  But man forgets reality

and remembers words.  The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his

fellows esteem him.  He looks upon the great transformations of the

world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon

reality for the first time.  Their names come to his lips and he smiles

as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming."

        -- Siddartha, _Lord_of_Light_ by Roger Zelazny


"Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient.

It's called 'rain'."

        -- Michael McClary, in alt.fusion


"The bad reputation UNIX has gotten is totally undeserved, laid on by people

 who don't understand, who have not gotten in there and tried anything."

        -- Jim Joyce, former computer science lecturer at the University of California


"We scientists, whose tragic destiny it has been to make the methods of

annihilation ever more gruesome and more effective, must consider it our solemn

and transcendent duty to do all in our power in preventing these weapons from

being used for the brutal purpose for which they were invented."

        -- Albert Einstein, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, September 1948


"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers."

        -- Cal Keegan


We'll be more than happy to do so once Jim shows the slightest sign

of interest in fixing his proposal to deal with the technical

arguments that have *already* been made.  Most engineers have

learned there is little to be gained in fine-tuning the valve timing

on a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine when the pistons

and crankshaft are missing...

        -- Valdis.Kletnieks@vt.edu on NANOG


It's always sad when the fleas leave, because that means your dog is dead.

        -- Wesley T. Williams



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