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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

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
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.
Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And plunged it deep into the VAX;
Don't you envy people who
Do all the things ___YOU want to do?
Every man who has reached even his intellectual teens begins to suspect
that life is no farce; that it is not genteel comedy even; that it flowers
and fructifies on the contrary out of the profoundest tragic depths of the
essential death in which its subject's roots are plunged.  The natural
inheritance of everyone who is capable of spiritual life is an unsubdued
forest where the wolf howls and the obscene bird of night chatters.
                -- Henry James Sr., writing to his sons Henry and William
The Greatest Mathematical Error
        The Mariner I space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on 28
July 1962 towards Venus.  After 13 minutes' flight a booster engine would
give acceleration up to 25,820 mph; after 44 minutes 9,800 solar cells
would unfold; after 80 days a computer would calculate the final course
corrections and after 100 days the craft would cirlce the unknown planet,
scanning the mysterious cloud in which it is bathed.  
        However, with an efficiency that is truly heartening, Mariner I
plunged into the Atlantic Ocean only four minutes after takeoff.
        Inquiries later revealed that a minus sign had been omitted from
the instructions fed into the computer.  "It was human error", a launch
spokesman said.
        This minus sign cost L4,280,000.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
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
centures as reelentlessly 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
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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