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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding like ice about to melt.
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.

Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.
The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.

The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang.
They achieve harmony by combining these forces.

Men hate to be "orphaned," "widowed," or "worthless,"
But this is how kings and lords describe themselves.

For one gains by losing
And loses by gaining.

What others teach, I also teach; that is:
"A violent man will die a violent death!"
This will be the essence of my teaching.
                        It's grad exam time...
COMPUTER SCIENCE
        Inside your desk you'll find a listing of the DEC/VMS operating
system in IBM 1710 machine code. Show what changes are necessary to convert
this code into a UNIX Berkeley 7 operating system.  Prove that these fixes are
bug free and run correctly. You should gain at least 150% efficiency in the
new system.  (You should take no more than 10 minutes on this question.)

MATHEMATICS
        If X equals PI times R^2, construct a formula showing how long
it would take a fire ant to drill a hole through a dill pickle, if the
length-girth ratio of the ant to the pickle were 98.17:1.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
Describe the Universe.  Give three examples.
                        It's grad exam time...
MEDICINE
        You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a
bottle of Scotch.  Remove your appendix.  Do not suture until your work has
been inspected.  (You have 15 minutes.)

HISTORY
        Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present
day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political,
economic, religious and philisophical impact upon Europe, Asia, America, and
Africa.  Be brief, concise, and specific.

BIOLOGY
        Create life.  Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture
if this form of life had been created 500 million years ago or earlier, with
special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system.
        "We're running out of adjectives to describe our situation.  We
had crisis, then we went into chaos, and now what do we call this?" said
Nicaraguan economist Francisco Mayorga, who holds a doctorate from Yale.
                -- The Washington Post, February, 1988

The New Yorker's comment:
        At Harvard they'd call it a noun.
Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied: "You see, wire
telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.  You pull his tail in New
York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles.  Do you understand this?
And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they
receive them there.  The only difference is that there is no cat."
Chapter 2:  Newtonian Growth and Decay

        The growth-decay formulas were developed in the trivial fashion by
Isaac Newton's famous brother Phigg.  His idea was to provide an equation
that would describe a quantity that would dwindle and dwindle, but never
quite reach zero.  Historically, he was merely trying to work out his
mortgage.  Another versatile equation also emerged, one which would define
a function that would continue to grow, but never reach unity.  This equation
can be applied to charging capacitors, over-damped springs, and the human
race in general.
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
describe.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
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 infintesimal 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
        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 somthing.  Something less
restrictive in scope than alt.cyberpunk.
-- Jeff G. Bone
Re: Graphics:
        A picture is worth 10K words -- but only those to describe
        the picture.  Hardly any sets of 10K words can be adequately
        described with pictures.
TCP/IP Slang Glossary, #1:

Gong, n: Medieval term for privy, or what pased for them in that era.
Today used whimsically to describe the aftermath of a bogon attack. Think
of our community as the Galapagos of the English language.

"Vogons may read you bad poetry, but bogons make you study obsolete RFCs."
                -- Dave Mills
"I'm an idiot.. At least this one [bug] took about 5 minutes to find.."
(Linus Torvalds in response to a bug report.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Disquieting ...
(Gonzalo Tornaria in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
We need to find some new terms to describe the rest of us mere mortals
then.
(Craig Schlenter in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Surely, Linus is talking about the kind of idiocy that others aspire to :-).
(Bruce Perens in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)
> I'm an idiot..  At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
We need to find some new terms to describe the rest of us mere mortals
then.
        -- Craig Schlenter in response to Linus Torvalds's
***** Special AI Seminar (abstract)

It has been widely recognized that AI programs require expert knowledge
in order to perform well in complex domains.  But knowledge alone is not
sufficient for some applications; wisdom is needed as well.  Accordingly,
we have developed a new approach to artificial intelligence which we call
"wisdom engineering".  As a test of our ideas, we have written IMMANUEL, a
wisdom based system for the task domain of western philosophical thought.  
IMMANUEL was supplied initially with 200 wisdom units which contained wisdom
about such elementary concepts as mind, matter, being, nothingness, and so
forth.  IMMANUEL was then allowed to run freely, guided by the heuristic
rules contained in its heterarchically organized meta wisdom base.  IMMANUEL
succeeded in rediscovering most of the important philosophical ideas developed
in western culture over the course of the last 25 centuries, including those
underlying Plato's theory of government, Kant's metaphysics, Nietzsche's theory
of value, and Husserl's phenomenology.  In this seminar, we will describe
IMMANUEL's achievements and internal architecture.  We will also briefly
discuss our recent efforts to apply wisdom engineering to oil exploration.
        The programmers of old were mysterious and profound.  We cannot fathom
their thoughts, so all we do is describe their appearance.
        Aware, like a fox crossing the water.  Alert, like a general on the
battlefield.  Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests. Simple, like uncarved
blocks of wood.  Opaque, like black pools in darkened caves.
        Who can tell the secrets of their hearts and minds?
        The answer exists only in the Tao.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        There was once a programmer who worked upon microprocessors.  "Look at
how well off I am here," he said to a mainframe programmer who came to visit,
"I have my own operating system and file storage device.  I do not have to
share my resources with anyone.  The software is self-consistent and
easy-to-use.  Why do you not quit your present job and join me here?"
        The mainframe programmer then began to describe his system to his
friend, saying: "The mainframe sits like an ancient sage meditating in the
midst of the data center.  Its disk drives lie end-to-end like a great ocean
of machinery.  The software is a multi-faceted as a diamond and as convoluted
as a primeval jungle.  The programs, each unique, move through the system
like a swift-flowing river.  That is why I am happy where I am."
        The microcomputer programmer, upon hearing this, fell silent.  But the
two programmers remained friends until the end of their days.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Using words to describe magic is like using a screwdriver to cut roast beef.
                -- Tom Robbins
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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