|Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English)||by Linux fortune|
|Dave Finton gazes into his crystal ball...|
July 2000: Government Issues Update on Y2K Crisis to American Public
In a statement to all U.S. citizens, the President assured that the
repairs to the nation's infrastructure, damaged severely when the Y2K
crisis hit on January 1, is proceeding on track with the Government's
guidelines. The message was mailed to every citizen by mail carriers via
horseback. The statement itself was written on parchment with hand-made
ink written from fountain pens.
"Our technological progress since the Y2K disaster has been staggering,"
said the statement. "We have been able to fix our non-Y2K compliant horse
carriages so that commerce can once again continue. We believe that we
will be able to reinvent steam-powered engines within the next decade.
Internal combustion engines should become operational once again sometime
before the dawn of the next century."
No one knows when the technological luxuries we once enjoyed as little as
6 months ago will return. Things such as e-mail, the Internet, and all
computers were lost when the crisis showed itself for what it really was:
a disaster waiting to happen. Scholars predict the mainframe computer will
be invented again during the 24th century...
|Microsoft Website Crashes, World Does Not Come To An End |
REDMOND, WA -- In a crushing blow to Bill Gates' ego, world civilization
did not collapse when the Microsoft website was offline for an extended
period last week.
During the anti-trust trial, Microsoft's lawyers repeatedly warned that if
the company was broken up or dealt any other penalty (no matter how
trivial), it would not only cost the tech industry billions of dollars,
but it could decimate the entire world economy and even bring about the
start of World War III. At the risk of sounding like a biased, slanted,
overzealous journalist, let me just say: Yeah, right!
The stunning realization that the world does not revolve around Redmond
(yet) has plunged many Microsoft executives into shock. "But microsoft.com
is the single most important website in the world! And Microsoft is the
single most important company in the Universe! This can't be happening!
Why isn't civilization teetering on the edge right now?" said one
depressed President Of Executive Vice.
|"Oops," Says MPAA President |
Recently, the United States filed a legal brief in support of the MPAA's
argument that linking to the DeCSS source code is not protected by the
At the time, the MPAA was ecstatic. But not any longer. The tables have
turned: the Federal government has filed a lawsuit against the movie
industry, arguing that many Hollywood-produced movies 'link' to illegal
content. The MPAA is now desperately wrapping itself up in the Bill of
"Murder is illegal. Showing a murder in a movie -- or, rather, 'linking'
to it -- is also illegal," explained a spokesperson for the Coalition Of
Angry Soccer Moms In Support Of Brow-Beating Movie Industry Executives, an
interest group that has backed the government's lawsuit.
|Humorix's Vast Spy Network(tm) has discovered that the White House website|
is only 124 clicks away from an illegal, pirated copy of the upcoming
movie, "Star Trek XXIII: The Search For Merchandising Opportunities".
Clearly, the President's webmaster is violating the DMCA, and we urge that
this injustice be dealt with, just as soon as we finish downloading a
|Mass Exodus From Hollywood |
During the past week, over 150 Hollywood actors, musicians, writers,
directors, and key grips have quit their day jobs and moved to the Midwest
to engage in quieter occupations such as gardening or accounting. All of
the these people cite piracy as the reason for giving up their careers.
"I simply can't sit by and let my hard work be stolen by some snot nosed
punk over the Internet," explained millionaire movie director Steve
Bergospiel. "There's absolutely no incentive to create movies if they're
going to be transmitted at the speed of light by thousands of infringers.
Such criminal acts personally cost me hundreds -- no, thousands -- of
dollars. I can't take that kind of fear and abuse anymore."
MPAA President Pei Pervue considers the exodus to be proof that Hollywood
is waking up to the fact that they are being "held hostage" by copyright
infringers. "Without copyright protection and government-backed monopolies
on intellectual property, these's absolutely no reason to engage in the
creative process. Now the Internet, with its click-and-pirate technology,
makes it easy for anybody to flout the law and become a copyright
terrorist. With the scales tipped so much in favor of criminals, it's no
wonder some of Hollywood's elite have thrown in the towel. What a shame."
| "It's a step forward although there was no progress."|
President Hosni Murbarak of Egypt attempting to put the best face
on a disappointing summit meeting between President Clinton and
the Syrian dictator Hafez Assad.
|We use Linux for all our mission-critical applications. Having the source code|
means that we are not held hostage by anyone's support department.
(Russell Nelson, President of Crynwr Software)
|We use Linux for all our mission-critical applications. Having the source code|
means that we are not held hostage by anyone's support department.
-- Russell Nelson, President of Crynwr Software
|There's a thrill in store for all for we're about to toast|
The corporation that we represent.
We're here to cheer each pioneer and also proudly boast,
Of that man of men our sterling president
The name of T.J. Watson means
A courage none can stem
And we feel honored to be here to toast the IBM.
-- Ever Onward, from the 1940 IBM Songbook
|Another day, another dollar.|
-- Vincent J. Fuller, defense lawyer for John Hinckley,
upon Hinckley's acquittal for shooting President Ronald
|"Hi, I'm Preston A. Mantis, president of Consumers Retail Law Outlet. As you|
can see by my suit and the fact that I have all these books of equal height
on the shelves behind me, I am a trained legal attorney. Do you have a car
or a job? Do you ever walk around? If so, you probably have the makings of
an excellent legal case. Although of course every case is different, I
would definitely say that based on my experience and training, there's no
reason why you shouldn't come out of this thing with at least a cabin
"Remember, at the Preston A. Mantis Consumers Retail Law Outlet, our motto
is: 'It is very difficult to disprove certain kinds of pain.'"
-- Dave Barry, "Pain and Suffering"
| In "King Henry VI, Part II," Shakespeare has Dick Butcher suggest to|
his fellow anti-establishment rabble-rousers, "The first thing we do, let's
kill all the lawyers." That action may be extreme but a similar sentiment
was expressed by Thomas K. Connellan, president of The Management Group, Inc.
Speaking to business executives in Chicago and quoted in Automotive News,
Connellan attributed a measure of America's falling productivity to an excess
of attorneys and accountants, and a dearth of production experts. Lawyers
and accountants "do not make the economic pie any bigger; they only figure
out how the pie gets divided. Neither profession provides any added value
According to Connellan, the highly productive Japanese society has
10 lawyers and 30 accountants per 100,000 population. The U.S. has 200
lawyers and 700 accountants. This suggests that "the U.S. proportion of
pie-bakers and pie-dividers is way out of whack." Could Dick Butcher have
been an efficiency expert?
-- Motor Trend, May 1983
| Old Barlow was a crossing-tender at a junction where an express train|
demolished an automobile and its occupants. Being the chief witness, his
testimony was vitally important. Barlow explained that the night was dark,
and he waved his lantern frantically, but the driver of the car paid
no attention to the signal.
The railroad company won the case, and the president of the company
complimented the old-timer for his story. "You did wonderfully," he said,
"I was afraid you would waver under testimony."
"No sir," exclaimed the senior, "but I sure was afraid that durned
lawyer was gonna ask me if my lantern was lit."
|<Kensey> RMS for President???|
<RelDrgn> ...or ESR, he wants a new job ;)
|A computer salesman visits a company president for the purpose of selling|
the president one of the latest talking computers.
Salesman: "This machine knows everything. I can ask it any question
and it'll give the correct answer. Computer, what is the
speed of light?"
Computer: 186,282 miles per second.
Salesman: "Who was the first president of the United States?"
Computer: George Washington.
President: "I'm still not convinced. Let me ask a question.
Where is my father?"
Computer: Your father is fishing in Georgia.
President: "Hah!! The computer is wrong. My father died over twenty
Computer: Your mother's husband died 22 years ago. Your father just
landed a twelve pound bass.
|COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from|
a corporation whose president codes in octal.
-- J.N. Gray
|`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order|
by staff writers
The SAG is one of the major products developed via the Information
Superhighway, the brain child of Al Gore, US Vice President. The ISHW
is being developed with massive govenment funding, since studies show
that it already has more than four hundred users, three years before
the first prototypes are ready. Asked whether he was worried about the
foreign influence in an expensive American Dream, the vice president
said, ``Finland? Oh, we've already bought them, but we haven't told
anyone yet. They're great at building model airplanes as well. And _I
can spell potato.'' House representatives are not mollified, however,
wanting to see the terms of the deal first, fearing another Alaska.
Rumors about the SAG release have imbalanced the American stock
market for weeks. Several major publishing houses reached an all time
low in the New York Stock Exchange, while publicly competing for the
publishing agreement with Mr. Wirzenius. The negotiations did not work
out, tough. ``Not enough dough,'' says the author, although spokesmen
at both Prentice-Hall and Playboy, Inc., claim the author was incapable
of expressing his wishes in a coherent form during face to face talks,
preferring to communicate via e-mail. ``He kept muttering something
about jiffies and pegs,'' they say.
-- Lars Wirzenius <email@example.com>
|No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is|
just a mediocre brain, something like the president of American Telephone
and Telegraph Company.
-- Alan Turing on the possibilities of a thinking
| One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How enthusiastic|
is our support for UNIX?
Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many years ago.
Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines. Ten percent of our
VAXs are going for UNIX use. UNIX is a simple language, easy to understand,
easy to get started with. It's great for students, great for somewhat casual
users, and it's great for interchanging programs between different machines.
And so, because of its popularity in these markets, we support it. We have
good UNIX on VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s.
It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run
out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and will end
up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.
With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and quickly
check that small manual and find out that it's not there. With VMS, no matter
what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of documentation -- if
you look long enough it's there. That's the difference -- the beauty of UNIX
is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS is that it's all there.
-- Ken Olsen, president of DEC, DECWORLD Vol. 8 No. 5, 1984
[It's been argued that the beauty of UNIX is the same as the beauty of Ken
Olsen's brain. Ed.]
|Our informal mission is to improve the love life of operators worldwide.|
-- Peter Behrendt, president of Exabyte
|Rattling around the back of my head is a disturbing image of something I|
saw at the airport ... Now I'm remembering, those giant piles of computer
magazines right next to "People" and "Time" in the airport store. Does
it bother anyone else that half the world is being told all of our hard-won
secrets of computer technology? Remember how all the lawyers cried foul
when "How to Avoid Probate" was published? Are they taking no-fault
insurance lying down? No way! But at the current rate it won't be long
before there are stacks of the "Transactions on Information Theory" at the
A&P checkout counters. Who's going to be impressed with us electrical
engineers then? Are we, as the saying goes, giving away the store?
-- Robert W. Lucky, IEEE President
|There is is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.|
-- Ken Olsen (President of Digital Equipment Corporation),
Convention of the World Future Society, in Boston, 1977
|As President I have to go vacuum my coin collection!|
|Yow! Are you the self-frying president?|
|All this big deal about white collar crime -- what's WRONG with white collar|
crime? Who enjoys his job today? You? Me? Anybody? The only satisfying
part of any job is coffee break, lunch hour and quitting time. Years ago
there was at least the hope of improvement -- eventual promotion -- more
important jobs to come. Once you can be sold the myth that you may make
president of the company you'll hardly ever steal stamps. But nobody
believes he's going to be president anymore. The more people change jobs
the more they realize that there is a direct connection between working for
a living and total stupefying boredom. So why NOT take revenge? You're not
going to find ME knocking a guy because he pads an expense account and his
home stationery carries the company emblem. Take away crime from the white
collar worker and you will rob him of his last vestige of job interest.
-- J. Feiffer
|Everybody but Sam had signed up for a new company pension plan that|
called for a small employee contribution. The company was paying all
the rest. Unfortunately, 100% employee participation was needed;
otherwise the plan was off. Sam's boss and his fellow workers pleaded
and cajoled, but to no avail. Sam said the plan would never pay off.
Finally the company president called Sam into his office.
"Sam," he said, "here's a copy of the new pension plan and here's
a pen. I want you to sign the papers. I'm sorry, but if you don't sign,
you're fired. As of right now."
Sam signed the papers immediately.
"Now," said the president, "would you mind telling me why you
couldn't have signed earlier?"
"Well, sir," replied Sam, "nobody explained it to me quite so
|Our policy is, when in doubt, do the right thing.|
-- Roy L. Ash, ex-president, Litton Industries
|The annual meeting of the "You Have To Listen To Experience" Club is now in|
session. Our Achievement Awards this year are in the fields of publishing,
advertising and industry. For best consistent contribution in the field of
publishing our award goes to editor, R.L.K., [...] for his unrivalled alle-
giance without variation to the statement: "Personally I'd love to do it,
we'd ALL love to do it. But we're not going to do it. It's not the kind of
book our house knows how to handle." Our superior performance award in the
field of advertising goes to media executive, E.L.M., [...] for the continu-
ally creative use of the old favorite: "I think what you've got here could be
very exciting. Why not give it one more try based on the approach I've out-
lined and see if you can come up with something fresh." Our final award for
courageous holding action in the field of industry goes to supervisor, R.S.,
[...] for her unyielding grip on "I don't care if they fire me, I've been
arguing for a new approach for YEARS but are we SURE that this is the right
time--" I would like to conclude this meeting with a verse written specially
for our prospectus by our founding president fifty years ago -- and now, as
then, fully expressive of the emotion most close to all our hearts --
Treat freshness as a youthful quirk,
And dare not stray to ideas new,
For if t'were tried they might e'en work
And for a living what woulds't we do?
|The individual choice of garnishment of a burger can be an important|
point to the consumer in this day when individualism is an increasingly
important thing to people.
-- Donald N. Smith, president of Burger King
|2180, U.S. History question:|
What 20th Century U.S. President was almost impeached and what
office did he later hold?
A person in T-shirt and sandals who took an elevator ride with
a senior vice-president and is ultimately responsible for the
phone call you are about to receive from your boss.
|[From an announcement of a congress of the International Ontopsychology|
Association, in Rome]:
The Ontopsychological school, availing itself of new research criteria and
of a new telematic epistemology, maintains that social modes do not spring
from dialectics of territory or of class, or of consumer goods, or of means
of power, but rather from dynamic latencies capillarized in millions of
individuals in system functions which, once they have reached the event
maturation, burst forth in catastrophic phenomenology engaging a suitable
stereotype protagonist or duty marionette (general, president, political
party, etc.) to consummate the act of social schizophrenia in mass genocide.
|A billion seconds ago Harry Truman was president.|
A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ.
A billion hours ago man had not yet walked on earth.
A billion dollars ago was late yesterday afternoon at the U.S. Treasury.
|A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals|
are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for
not going to church on Sunday.
-- Russell Baker
|All other things being equal, a bald man cannot be elected President of|
the United States.
-- Vic Gold
|An American's a person who isn't afraid to criticize the president but is|
always polite to traffic cops.
| "Any news from the President on a successor?" he asked hopefully.|
"None," Anita replied. "She's having great difficulty finding someone
qualified who is willing to accept the post."
"Then I stay," said Dr. Fresh. "I'm not good for much, but I
can at least make a decision."
"Somewhere," he grumphed, "there must be a naive, opportunistic
young welp with a masochistic streak who would like to run the most
up-and-down bureaucracy in the history of mankind."
-- R.L. Forward, "Flight of the Dragonfly"
|Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no|
account be allowed to do the job.
-- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
|Corruption is not the #1 priority of the Police Commissioner. His job|
is to enforce the law and fight crime.
-- P.B.A. President E. J. Kiernan
| Grover Cleveland, though constantly at loggerheads with the|
Senate, got on better with the House of Representatives. A popular
story circulating during his presidency concerned the night he was
roused by his wife crying, "Wake up! I think there are burglars in the
"No, no, my dear," said the president sleepily, "in the Senate maybe,
but not in the House."
|I wish a robot would get elected president. That way, when he came to town,|
we could all take a shot at him and not feel too bad.
-- Jack Handley
|I'm going to Vietnam at the request of the White House. President Johnson|
says a war isn't really a war without my jokes.
-- Bob Hope
|If God wanted us to have a President, He would have sent us a candidate.|
-- Jerry Dreshfield
|If you wants to get elected president, you'se got to think up some|
memoraboble homily so's school kids can be pestered into memorizin'
it, even if they don't know what it means.
-- Walt Kelly, "The Pogo Party"
|In America, any boy may become president and I suppose that's just one|
of the risks he takes.
-- Adlai Stevenson
|Listen, there is no courage or any extra courage that I know of to find out|
the right thing to do. Now, it is not only necessary to do the right thing,
but to do it in the right way and the only problem you have is what is the
right thing to do and what is the right way to do it. That is the problem.
But this economy of ours is not so simple that it obeys to the opinion of
bias or the pronouncements of any particular individual, even to the President.
This is an economy that is made up of 173 million people, and it reflects
their desires, they're ready to buy, they're ready to spend, it is a thing
that is too complex and too big to be affected adversely or advantageously
just by a few words or any particular -- say, a little this and that, or even
a panacea so alleged.
-- D.D. Eisenhower, in response to: "Has the government
been lacking in courage and boldness in facing up to
|President Reagan has noted that there are too many economic pundits and|
forecasters and has decided on an excess prophets tax.
|The man with the best job in the country is the Vice President. All he has|
to do is get up every morning and say, "How's the President?"
-- Will Rogers
The vice-presidency ain't worth a pitcher of warm spit.
-- Vice President John Nance Garner
| The Minnesota Board of Education voted to consider requiring all|
students to do some "volunteer work" as a prerequisite to high school
Senator Orrin Hatch said that "capital punishment is our society's
recognition of the sanctity of human life."
According to the tax bill signed by President Reagan on December 22,
1987, Don Tyson and his sister-in-law Barbara run a "family farm." Their
"farm" has 25,000 employees and grosses $1.7 billion a year. But as a "family
farm" they get tax breaks that save them $135 million a year.
Scott L. Pickard, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of
Public Works, calls them "ground-mounted confirmatory route markers." You
probably call them road signs, but then you don't work in a government agency.
It's not "elderly" or "senior citizens" anymore. Now it's "chrono-
logically experienced citizens."
According to the FAA, the propeller blade didn't break off, it was
just a case of "uncontained blade liberation."
-- Quarterly Review of Doublespeak (NCTE)
|The question is, why are politicians so eager to be president? What is it|
about the job that makes it worth revealing, on national television, that
you have the ethical standards of a slime-coated piece of industrial waste?
-- Dave Barry, "On Presidential Politics"
|They use different words for things in America.|
For instance they say elevator and we say lift.
They say drapes and we say curtains.
They say president and we say brain damaged git.
-- Alexie Sayle
|What is status?|
Status is when the President calls you for your opinion.
Status is when the President calls you in to discuss a
problem with him.
Uh, that still ain't right...
STATUS is when you're in the Oval Office talking to the President,
and the phone rings. The President picks it up, listens for a
minute, and hands it to you, saying, "It's for you."
|When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now|
I'm beginning to believe it.
-- Clarence Darrow
|When in doubt, do what the President does -- guess.|
|Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.|
-- Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, c. 1895
|Nuclear powered vacuuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.|
-- Alex Lewyt (President of the Lewyt Corporation,
manufacturers of vacuum cleaners), quoted in The New York
Times, June 10, 1955.
|The executive, Irving Wladawsky- Berger, an I.B.M. vice president, said,|
"If we thought this was a trap, we wouldn't be doing it, and as you
know, we have a lot of lawyers."
- from a New York Times article about Microsoft vs GPL licensing
|"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President |
should on no account be allowed to do the job."
- Some wisdom from The Book.
|"Now the Lord God planted a garden East of Whittier in a place called|
Yorba Linda, and out of the ground he made to grow orange trees that
were good for food and the fruits thereof he labeled SUNKIST ..."
-- "The Begatting of a President"
You don't know who I am and frankly shouldn't care, but
unknown to you we have something in common. We are both rather
prone to mistakes. I was elected Student Government President by
mistake, and you came to school here by mistake.
|Fortune's Guide to Freshman Notetaking:|
WHEN THE PROFESSOR SAYS: YOU WRITE:
Probably the greatest quality of the poetry John Milton -- born 1608
of John Milton, who was born in 1608, is the
combination of beauty and power. Few have
excelled him in the use of the English language,
or for that matter, in lucidity of verse form,
'Paradise Lost' being said to be the greatest
single poem ever written."
Current historians have come to Most of the problems that now
doubt the complete advantageousness face the United States are
of some of Roosevelt's policies... directly traceable to the
bungling and greed of President
... it is possible that we simply do Professor Mitchell is a
not understand the Russian viewpoint... communist.
|If any man wishes to be humbled and mortified, let him become president|
-- Edward Holyoke
|If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.|
-- Derek Bok, president of Harvard
|FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #14|
The Baby Ruth candy bar was not named after George Herman "The Babe"
Ruth, but after the oldest daughter of President Grover Cleveland.
|I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do will encounter|
quick retribution. All will be suspended, and I don't care if it wrecks
the National League for five years. This is the United States of America
and one citizen has as much right to play as another.
-- Ford Frick, National League President, reacting to a
threatened strike by some Cardinal players in 1947 if
Jackie Robinson took the field against St. Louis. The
Cardinals backed down and played.
|I remember once being on a station platform in Cleveland at four in the|
morning. A black porter was carrying my bags, and as we were waiting for
the train to come in, he said to me: "Excuse me, Mr. Cooke, I don't want to
invade your privacy, but I have a bet with a friend of mine. Who composed
the opening theme music of 'Omnibus'? My friend said Virgil Thomson." I
asked him, "What do you say?" He replied, "I say Aaron Copeland." I said,
"You're right." The porter said, "I knew Thomson doesn't write counterpoint
that way." I told that to a network president, and he was deeply unimpressed.
-- Alistair Cooke
| Leslie West heads for the sticks, to Providence, Rhode Island and|
tries to hide behind a beard. No good. There are still too many people
and too many stares, always taunting, always smirking. He moves to the
outskirts of town. He finds a place to live -- huge mansion, dirt cheap,
caretaker included. He plugs in his guitar and plays as loud as he wants,
day and night, and there's no one to laugh or boo or even look bored.
Nobody's cut the grass in months. What's happened to that caretaker?
What neighborhood people there are start to talk, and what kids there are
start to get curious. A 13 year-old blond with an angelic face misses supper.
Before the summer's end, four more teenagers have disappeared. The senior
class president, Barnard-bound come autumn, tells Mom she's going out to a
movie one night and stays out. The town's up in arms, but just before the
police take action, the kids turn up. They've found a purpose. They go
home for their stuff and tell the folks not to worry but they'll be going
now. They're in a band.
-- Ira Kaplan
|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 parishoners 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.
|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
|"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
|"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the|
-- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.
|"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
|Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive|
the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president.
-- Ambrose Bierce
|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
-- The Institute, July 1988, pg. 11
|"Facts are stupid things."|
-- President Ronald Reagan
(a blooper from his speeach at the '88 GOP convention)
|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 movment 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
|[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 reqlly quite something else.
-- Astronomer Richard Berendzen, President, American University, on ABC
News "Nightline," May 3, 1988
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