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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Linux World Domination: Not A Joke!

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Fattecat (R-WA) is pushing for a ban on
Finnish-produced software. His chief of staff, Ms. Dee Septive, has
published a 200-page report revealing "the Helsinkian Underground", a
Finnish world domination plot hatched in 1943.

The Fattecat expose describes Finland's recent scheme involving free
software. "Linux, originally called Freix (FREIX Retrieves Electronic
Intelligence X), is a scheme to infiltrate the Western world with a 'free'
operating system with nasty backdoors hidden within its obfuscated source
code. IRC (Intelligence Relaying Code) is another Finnish innovation
designed for spying purposes."

Linus Torvalds plays a prominent role in the conspiracy. "That old story
about Linus developing a Unix clone in his spare time while at University
is a lark," the report states. "Indeed, the name Linux ("Line X") was
coined because the kernel can extract any arbitrary line of intelligence
from any document it has access to."
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#3)

BRYANT DUMBELL: It's time for Round One: The Flying CompactDiscus.

JOHN SPLADDEN: That's right, Bryant. Each team member will hurl one CD-ROM
and receive points for both the distance thrown and whether the disc is
still readable afterwards.

DUMBELL: First up is Mad Hatter's Alan Cox. He struts, he winds up, and
there it goes! Look at the trajectory on that baby... Now it's time for
the Portalback's Anonymous Coward #521 to throw. This guy was voted as the
best CompactDiscus thrower in the league by popular vote on Slashdot.

SPLADDEN: Indeed, AnonCow has got some powerful muscles. No brain though.
Did you know that he dropped out of college to join the Andover.Net team?

DUMBELL: Yeah, what a tough decision to make. It's now becoming quite
common for nerd superstars to ditch college and move to Silicon Valley and
receive Big League stock options. Still, AnonCow was out for several games
this season due to a Carpal Tunnel flareup. I hope he isn't squandering
his millions... he might be forced to retire early.
Brief History Of Linux (#3)
Lawyers Unite

Humanity faced a tremendous setback ca. 1100 A.D., when the first law
school was established in Bologna. Ironically, the free exchange of ideas
at the law school spurred the law students to invent new ways (patents,
trademarks, copyrights) to stifle the free exchange of ideas in other

If, at some point in the future, you happen upon a time machine, we here
at Humorix (and, indeed, the whole world) implore you to travel back to
1100, track down a law teacher called Irnerius, and prevent him from
founding his school using whatever means necessary. Your contribution to
humanity will truly make the world (in an alternate timeline) a better
Brief History Of Linux (#9)
Edison's most important invention

One of Thomas Edison's most profound inventions was that of patent
litigation. Edison used his many patents on motion pictures to monopolize
the motion picture industry. One could argue that Edison was an early
pioneer for the business tactics employed by Microsoft and the MPAA.

Indeed, Edison's company, the Motion Picture Patent Company (MPPC), formed
in 1908, bears a striking resemblance to the modern-day Motion Picture
Association of America (MPAA). Similar initials, different people, same
evil. The MPCC, with the help of hired thugs, ensured that all motion
picture producers paid tribute to Edison and played by his rules. The
MPAA, with the help of hired lawyers, ensures that all motion picture
producers pay tribute and play by their rules.

Ironically, filmmakers that found themselves facing Edison patent
litigation (or worse) fled to Texas, California, and Mexico. Those same
filmmakers outlasted Edison's monopoly and eventually banded together to
form the MPAA! History has a tendency to repeat itself; so it seems likely
that today's DVD lawsuit victims may well come to power in the future --
and soon become the evil establishment, thus completing another cycle.
Brief History Of Linux (#22)

RMS had a horrible, terrible dream set in 2020 in which all of society was
held captive by copyright law. In particular, everyone's brain waves were
monitored by the US Dept. of Copyrights. If your thoughts referenced a
copyrighted idea, you had to pay a royalty. To make it worse, a handful of
corporations held fully 99.9% of all intellectual property rights.

Coincidentally, Bill Gates experienced a similar dream that same night. To
him, however, it was not a horrible, terrible nightmare, but a wonderful
utopian vision. The thought of lemmings... er, customers paying a royalty
everytime they hummed a copyrighted song in their head or remembered a
passage in a book was simply too marvelous for the budding monopolist.

RMS, waking up from his nightmare, vowed to fight the oncoming Copyright
Nightmare. The GNU Project was born. His plan called for a kernel,
compiler, editor, and other tools. Unfortunately, RMS became bogged down
with Emacs that the kernel, HURD, was shoved on the back burner. Built
with LISP (Lots of Incomprehensible Statements with Parentheses), Emacs
became bloated in a way no non-Microsoft program ever has. Indeed, for a
short while RMS pretended that Emacs really was the GNU OS kernel.
Brief History Of Linux (#23)

Linus Torvalds certainly wasn't the only person to create their own
operating system from scratch. Other people working from their leaky
basements did create their own systems and now they are sick that they
didn't become an Alpha Geek like Torvalds or a Beta Geek like Alan Cox.

Linus had one advantage not many else did: Internet access. The world was
full of half-implemented-Unix-kernels at the time, but they were sitting
isolated on some hacker's hard drive, destined to be destroyed by a hard
drive crash. Thankfully that never happened to Linux, mostly because
everyone with Net access could download a copy instead of paying shipping
charges to receive the code on a huge stack of unreliable floppy disks.

Indeed, buried deep within a landfill in Lansing, Michigan sits a stack of
still-readable 5-1/4 floppies containing the only known copy of "Windows
Killer", a fully functional Unix kernel so elegant, so efficient, so
easy-to-use that Ken Thompson himself would be jealous of its design.
Unfortunately the author's mother threw out the stack of floppies in a
bout of spring cleaning. The 14 year old author's talents were lost
forever as his parents sent him to Law School.
Brief History Of Linux (#27)

Microsoft's position as the 5,000 pound gorilla of the computer industry
didn't change during the 1990's. Indeed, this gorilla got even more
bloated with every passing Windows release. Bill Gates' business strategy
was simple:

1. Pre-announce vaporous product.
2. Hire monkeys (low-paid temps) to cruft something together in VB
3. It it compiles, ship it.
4. Launch marketing campaign for new product showcasing MS "innovation".
5. Repeat (GOTO 1).

With such a plan Microsoft couldn't fail. That is, unless some external
force popped up and ruined everything. Such as Linux and the Internet
perhaps. Both of these developments were well-known to Bill Gates in the
early and mid 1990's (a company as large as Microsoft can afford a decent
spy network, after all). He just considered both to be mere fads that
would go away when Microsoft announced some new innovation, like PDAs --
Personal Desktop Agents (i.e. Bob and Clippit).
Brief History Of Linux (#29)

"The Cathedral and the Bazaar" is credited by many (especially ESR
himself) as the reason Netscape announced January 22, 1998 the release of
the Mozilla source code. In addition, Rob Malda of Slashdot has also
received praise because he had recently published an editorial ("Give us
the damn source code so we can fix Netscape's problems ourselves!")

Of course, historians now know the true reason behind the landmark
decision: Netscape engineers were scared to death that a large
multi-national corporation would acquire them and crush Mozilla. Which
indeed did happen much later, although everybody thought the conqueror
would be Microsoft, not AOL (America's Online Lusers).

The Netscape announcement prompted a strategy session among Linux bigwigs
on February 3rd. They decided a new term to replace 'free software' was
needed; some rejected suggestions included "Free Source", "Ajar Source",
"World Domination Source", "bong-ware" (Bong's Obviously Not GNU), and
"Nude Source". We can thank Chris Peterson for coining "Open Source",
which became the adopted term and later sparked the ugly "Free Software
vs. Open Source", "Raymond vs. Stallman" flame-a-thons.
Press Release -- For Immediate Release
Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA

...Virtually all version of Linux (and Unix) contain a security hole that
allows unauthorized users to gain complete control over the machine. By
simply typing "root" at the login prompt and supplying a password from a
limited number of possibilities, a malicious user can easily gain
administrator privileges. This hole can be breached in seconds with only a
dozen or so keystrokes...

We suspect this issue has been known to Red Hat and other Linux
distributors for years and they have refused to acknowlege its existence
or supply a patch preventing users from exploiting the "root" login

By ignoring the problem, the Linux community has proven that installing
Linux is a dangerous proposition that could get you fired. We would like
to point out that Windows XP does not suffer from this gaping hole...
Tests conducted by both Ziff-Davis and Mindcraft prove that Windows XP is
indeed the most secure operating system ever produced...
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all.
                -- Ogden Nash
Sing hey! for the bath at close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!

        O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain,
        and the brook that leaps from hill to plain;
        but better than rain or rippling streams
        is Water Hot that smokes and steams.

O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed;
but better is Beer, if drink we lack,
and Water Hot poured down the back.

        O! Water is fair that leaps on high
        in a fountain white beneath the sky;
        but never did fountain sound so sweet
        as splashing Hot Water with my feet!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
        The Lord and I are in a sheep-shepherd relationship, and I am in
a position of negative need.
        He prostrates me in a green-belt grazing area.
        He conducts me directionally parallel to non-torrential aqueous
        He returns to original satisfaction levels my psychological makeup.
        He switches me on to a positive behavioral format for maximal
prestige of His identity.
        It should indeed be said that notwithstanding the fact that I make
ambulatory progress through the umbragious inter-hill mortality slot, terror
sensations will no be initiated in me, due to para-etical phenomena.
        Your pastoral walking aid and quadrupic pickup unit introduce me
into a pleasurific mood state.
        You design and produce a nutriment-bearing furniture-type structure
in the context of non-cooperative elements.
        You act out a head-related folk ritual employing vegetable extract.
        My beverage utensil experiences a volume crisis.
        It is an ongoing deductible fact that your inter-relational
empathetical and non-ventious capabilities will retain me as their
target-focus for the duration of my non-death period, and I will possess
tenant rights in the housing unit of the Lord on a permanent, open-ended
time basis.
The Poet Whose Badness Saved His Life
        The most important poet in the seventeenth century was George
Wither.  Alexander Pope called him "wretched Wither" and Dryden said of his
verse that "if they rhymed and rattled all was well".
        In our own time, "The Dictionary of National Biography" notes that his
work "is mainly remarkable for its mass, fluidity and flatness.  It usually
lacks any genuine literary quality and often sinks into imbecile doggerel".
        High praise, indeed, and it may tempt you to savour a typically
rewarding stanza: It is taken from "I loved a lass" and is concerned with
the higher emotions.
                She would me "Honey" call,
                She'd -- O she'd kiss me too.
                But now alas!  She's left me
                Falero, lero, loo.
        Among other details of his mistress which he chose to immortalize
was her prudent choice of footwear.
                The fives did fit her shoe.
        In 1639 the great poet's life was endangered after his capture by
the Royalists during the English Civil War.  When Sir John Denham, the
Royalist poet, heard of Wither's imminent execution, he went to the King and
begged that his life be spared.  When asked his reason, Sir John replied,
"Because that so long as Wither lived, Denham would not be accounted the
worst poet in England."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The Preacher, the Politician, the Teacher,
        Were each of them once a kiddie.
A child, indeed, is a wonderful creature.
        Do I want one?  God Forbiddie!
                -- Ogden Nash
Who to himself is law no law doth need,
offends no law, and is a king indeed.
                -- George Chapman
        "I assure you the thought never even crossed my mind, lord."
        "Indeed?  Then if I were you I'd sue my face for slander."
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"
A friend in need is a pest indeed.
        The Magician of the Ivory Tower brought his latest invention for the
master programmer to examine.  The magician wheeled a large black box into the
master's office while the master waited in silence.
        "This is an integrated, distributed, general-purpose workstation,"
began the magician, "ergonomically designed with a proprietary operating
system, sixth generation languages, and multiple state of the art user
interfaces.  It took my assistants several hundred man years to construct.
Is it not amazing?"
        The master raised his eyebrows slightly. "It is indeed amazing," he
        "Corporate Headquarters has commanded," continued the magician, "that
everyone use this workstation as a platform for new programs.  Do you agree
to this?"
        "Certainly," replied the master, "I will have it transported to the
data center immediately!"  And the magician returned to his tower, well
        Several days later, a novice wandered into the office of the master
programmer and said, "I cannot find the listing for my new program.  Do
you know where it might be?"
        "Yes," replied the master, "the listings are stacked on the platform
in the data center."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
"We invented a new protocol and called it Kermit, after Kermit the Frog,
star of "The Muppet Show." [3]

[3]  Why?  Mostly because there was a Muppets calendar on the wall when we
were trying to think of a name, and Kermit is a pleasant, unassuming sort of
character.  But since we weren't sure whether it was OK to name our protocol
after this popular television and movie star, we pretended that KERMIT was an
acronym; unfortunately, we could never find a good set of words to go with the
letters, as readers of some of our early source code can attest.  Later, while
looking through a name book for his forthcoming baby, Bill Catchings noticed
that "Kermit" was a Celtic word for "free", which is what all Kermit programs
should be, and words to this effect replaced the strained acronyms in our
source code (Bill's baby turned out to be a girl, so he had to name her Becky
instead).  When BYTE Magazine was preparing our 1984 Kermit article for
publication, they suggested we contact Henson Associates Inc. for permission
to say that we did indeed name the protocol after Kermit the Frog.  Permission
was kindly granted, and now the real story can be told.  I resisted the
temptation, however, to call the present work "Kermit the Book."
                -- Frank da Cruz, "Kermit - A File Transfer Protocol"
... before I could come to any conclusion it occurred to me that my speech
or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility.  What
did it matter what anyone knew or ignored?  What did it matter who was
manager?  One gets sometimes such a flash of insight. The essentials of
this affair lay deep under the surface, beyond my reach, and beyond my
power of meddling.
                -- Joseph Conrad
The problem that we thought was a problem was, indeed, a problem, but
not the problem we thought was the problem.
                -- Mike Smith
Indeed, the first noble truth of Buddhism, usually translated as
`all life is suffering,' is more accurately rendered `life is filled
with a sense of pervasive unsatisfactoriness.'
                -- M.D. Epstein
I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote
peace than our governments.  Indeed, I think that people want peace so much
that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them
have it.
                -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not
utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind,
a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.
                -- Bertrand Russell, in "Marriage and Morals", 1929
After years of research, scientists recently reported that there is,
indeed, arroz in Spanish Harlem.
An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in an
anecdote, indeed an anecdote quite similar to many that you have no doubt
already heard.  After some observations and rough calculations the
engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing.  A few minutes later
the physicist understands too and chuckles to himself happily as he now
has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper.  This leaves the
mathematician somewhat perplexed, as he had observed right away that he
was the subject of an anecdote, and deduced quite rapidly the presence of
humour from similar anecdotes, but considers this anecdote to be too
trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny.
Everyone knows that dragons don't exist.  But while this simplistic
formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific
mind.  The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned
with what ____does exist.  Indeed, the banality of existence has been
so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further
here.  The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically,
discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical,
and the purely hypothetical.  They were all, one might say, nonexistent,
but each nonexisted in an entirely different way ...
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they
are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is generally
understood.  Indeed, the world is ruled by little else.
                -- John Maynard Keyes
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
"90% of everything is crap", Its called Sturgeon's law 8)                    
One of the problems is indeed finding the good bits

        - Alan Cox
You see, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty
attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.  A fool
takes in all the lumber of every sort he comes across, so that the knowledge
which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with
a lot of other things, so that he has difficulty in laying his hands upon it.
Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his
brain-attic.  He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing
his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect
order.  It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and
can distend to any extent.  Depend upon it there comes a time when for every
addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before.  It is of
the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out
the useful ones.
                -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Study in Scarlet"
        Some 1500 miles west of the Big Apple we find the Minneapple, a
haven of tranquility in troubled times.  It's a good town, a civilized town.
A town where they still know how to get your shirts back by Thursday.  Let
the Big Apple have the feats of "Broadway Joe" Namath.  We have known the
stolid but steady Killebrew.  Listening to Cole Porter over a dry martini
may well suit those unlucky enough never to have heard the Whoopee John Polka
Band and never to have shared a pitcher of 3.2 Grain Belt Beer.  The loss is
theirs.  And the Big Apple has yet to bake the bagel that can match peanut
butter on lefse.  Here is a town where the major urban problem is dutch elm
disease and the number one crime is overtime parking.  We boast more theater
per capita than the Big Apple.  We go to see, not to be seen.  We go even
when we must shovel ten inches of snow from the driveway to get there.  Indeed
the winters are fierce.  But then comes the marvel of the Minneapple summer.
People flock to the city's lakes to frolic and rejoice at the sight of so
much happy humanity free from the bonds of the traditional down-filled parka.
Here's to the Minneapple.  And to its people.  Our flair for style is balanced
by a healthy respect for wind chill factors.
        And we always, always eat our vegetables.
        This is the Minneapple.
The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order
of space and time.  -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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
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
"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
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward,
then we are a sorry lot indeed."
-- Albert Einstein
"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything."
-- Russell Baker
"The ACLU has stood foursquare against the recurring tides of hysteria that
>from time to time threaten freedoms everyhere... 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
Brisk talkers are usually slow thinkers.  There is, indeed, no wild beast
more to be dreaded than a communicative man having nothing to communicate.
If you are civil to the voluble, they will abuse your patience; if
brusque, your character.
                -- Jonathan Swift
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward,
then we are a sorry lot indeed.
                -- Albert Einstein
It is indeed desirable to be well descended, but the glory belongs to
our ancestors.
                -- Plutarch
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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