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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...
Brief History Of Linux (#28)
Free, Open, Libre, Whatever Software

Eric S. Raymond's now famous paper, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", set
the stage for the lucrative business of giving software away. In CatB, ESR
likened the software industry to an anarchistic bazaar, with each vendor
looking out for himself, trying to hoodwink customers and fellow vendors.
The produce vendor (i.e. Apple), for instance, felt no need to cooperate
with the crystal-ball seller (Oracle) or the con artist hocking miracle
drugs (Microsoft). Each kept their property and trade secrets to
themselves, hoping to gain an edge and make money fast. "With enough
eyeballs, all bug-ridden software programs are marketable," ESR observed.

ESR contrasted the "caveat emptor" Bazaar to an idealistic Cathedral model
used by free software developers. European cathedrals of medieval days
were built block-by-block with extensive volunteer manpower from the
surrounding community. Such projects were "open" in the sense that
everybody could see their progress, and interested people could wander
inside and offer comments or praise about construction methods. "Those
medieval cathedrals are still standing," ESR mused. "But bazaars built in
the 14th Century are long gone, a victim of their inferior nature."
  "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.
        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
liquid.
        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.
* joeyh takes advantage of netscape's marvelous ability to crash to close
        10 windows with a single keypress
<joeyh> now that's progress!
<Knghtbrd> Bus error  =>
Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to
measure progress.  Some cathedrals took a century to complete.  Can you
imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?
                -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982
... 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
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, "The Life of a Philosopher"
In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on
... the overriding problem of war and peace.
                -- James Slagle
Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress.
                -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #2: RENE

Named after the famous French philosopher and mathematician Rene DesCartes,
RENE is a language used for artificial intelligence.  The language is being
developed at the Chicago Center of Machine Politics and Programming under a
grant from the Jane Byrne Victory Fund.  A spokesman described the language
as "Just as great as dis [sic] city of ours."

The center is very pleased with progress to date.  They say they have almost
succeeded in getting a VAX to think. However, sources inside the
organization say that each time the machine fails to think it ceases to exist.
        There once was a master programmer who wrote unstructured programs.
A novice programmer, seeking to imitate him, also began to write unstructured
programs.  When the novice asked the master to evaluate his progress, the
master criticized him for writing unstructured programs, saying: "What is
appropriate for the master is not appropriate for the novice.  You must
understand the Tao before transcending structure."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
X windows:
        The ultimate bottleneck.
        Flawed beyond belief.
        The only thing you have to fear.
        Somewhere between chaos and insanity.
        On autopilot to oblivion.
        The joke that kills.
        A disgrace you can be proud of.
        A mistake carried out to perfection.
        Belongs more to the problem set than the solution set.
        To err is X windows.
        Ignorance is our most important resource.
        Complex nonsolutions to simple nonproblems.
        Built to fall apart.
        Nullifying centuries of progress.
        Falling to new depths of inefficiency.
        The last thing you need.
        The defacto substandard.

Elevating brain damage to an art form.
        X windows.
Life gets boring, someone invents another necessity, and once again we
turn the crank on the screwjack of progress hoping that nobody gets
screwed.
             -- Larry Wall in <199705101952.MAA00756@wall.org>
Progress might have been all right once, but it's gone on too long.
                -- Ogden Nash
Progress was all right.  Only it went on too long.
                -- James Thurber
Bolub's Fourth Law of Computerdom:
        Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so
        vividly manifests their lack of progress.
Godwin's Law (prov.  [Usenet]):
        As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a
        comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a
        tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is
        over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost
        whatever argument was in progress.  Godwin's Law thus guarantees
        the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.
Issawi's Laws of Progress:
        The Course of Progress:
                Most things get steadily worse.
        The Path of Progress:
                A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.
Jones' First Law:
        Anyone who makes a significant contribution to any field of
        endeavor, and stays in that field long enough, becomes an
        obstruction to its progress -- in direct proportion to the
        importance of their original contribution.
progress, n.:
        Medieval man thought disease was caused by invisible demons
        invading the body and taking possession of it.

        Modern man knows disease is caused by microscopic bacteria
        and viruses invading the body and causing it to malfunction.
Weinberg's First Law:
        Progress is only made on alternate Fridays.
If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of progress?
Unquestionably, there is progress.  The average American now pays out
twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
                -- H. L. Mencken
And the French medical anatomist Etienne Serres really did argue that
black males are primitive because the distance between their navel and
penis remains small (relative to body height) throughout life, while
white children begin with a small separation but increase it during
growth -- the rising belly button as a mark of progress.
                -- S.J. Gould, "Racism and Recapitulation"
Progress means replacing a theory that is wrong with one more subtly wrong.
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means
for going backwards.
                -- Aldous Huxley
With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand
miles closer to globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules, and
still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no
such thing as progress.
                -- Ransom K. Ferm
Symptom:                Floor swaying.
Fault:                        Excessive air turbulence, perhaps due to air-hockey
                        game in progress.
Action Required:        Insert broom handle down back of jacket.

Symptom:                Everything has gone dim, strange taste of peanuts
                        and pretzels or cigarette butts in mouth.
Fault:                        You have fallen forward.
Action Required:        See above.

Symptom:                Opposite wall covered with acoustic tile and several
                        flourescent light strips.
Fault:                        You have fallen over backward.
Action Required:        If your glass is full and no one is standing on your
                        drinking arm, stay put.  If not, get someone to help
                        you get up, lash yourself to bar.
                -- Bar Troubleshooting
...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.
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
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
--
-- 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
"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
All progress is based upon a universal innate desire of every organism
to live beyond its income.
                -- Samuel Butler, "Notebooks"
Coming together is a beginning;
        keeping together is progress;
                working together is success.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their
minds cannot change anything.
                -- G.B. Shaw
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
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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