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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...
The GPL Is Not Y2K-Compliant!

BOSTON, MA -- Panic ensued earlier today at GNU Project Headquarters when
it was discovered that the GNU General Public License is not ready for the
year 2000. Thankfully, the panic quickly subsided when RMS posted an
emergency diff file to Usenet that patches the GPL to eliminate the

The non-Y2K compliant material appears on lines 295 and 316 of version 2.0
of the GPL. Both lines contain the text, "Copyright (C) 19yy ", a classic
example of unpreparedness for the year 2000.

Microsoft was quick to respond to the news, saying in a rushed press
release, "At least our license agreements don't contain any Y2K issues."
The GNU Project immediately countered Microsoft's statement with a press
release that said simply, "Whatever".
Brief History Of Linux (#16)
Closed source, opened wallets

In 1976 Bill Gates wrote the famous letter to Altair hobbyists accusing
them of "stealing software" and "preventing good software from being
written". We must assume Bill's statement was true, because no good
software was being written at Micro-soft.

Bill Gates did not innovate the concept of charging megabucks for
software, but he was the first to make megabucks from peddling commercial
Anonymous Noncoward writes, "For my Economics 101 class, I have to pretend
to be Bill Gates and write an editorial defending Microsoft against
anti-trust charges, citing economic principles. To complete such an
assignment violates every moral fiber of my body. What should I do?"

The Oracle responds: Well, it seems that you have to make a decision among
two choices. You can blow off the assignment, thus forcing you to fail
EC101, lowering your GPA below the required minimum to keep your
scholarship, causing you to drop out of college and work at McDonalds all
your life. Or you can write a paper that's positive towards Microsoft and
make an 'A'. This seems like a no-brainer to me; I'd choose the first
option without hesitation -- a burger flipper has far more dignity and
self-respect than somebody who utters a positive statement about the Evil
quit   When the quit statement is read, the  bc  processor
       is  terminated, regardless of where the quit state-
       ment is found.  For example, "if  (0  ==  1)  quit"
       will cause bc to terminate.
(Seen in the manpage for "bc". Note the "if" statement's logic)
quit   When the quit statement is read, the  bc  processor
       is  terminated, regardless of where the quit state-
       ment is found.  For example, "if  (0  ==  1)  quit"
       will cause bc to terminate.
        -- seen in the manpage for "bc". Note the "if" statement's logic
The bank sent our statement this morning,
The red ink was a sight of great awe!
Their figures and mine might have balanced,
But my wife was too quick on the draw.
Well, my terminal's locked up, and I ain't got any Mail,
        And I can't recall the last time that my program didn't fail;
I've got stacks in my structs, I've got arrays in my queues,
        I've got the : Segmentation violation -- Core dumped blues.

If you think that it's nice that you get what you C,
        Then go : illogical statement with your whole family,
'Cause the Supreme Court ain't the only place with : Bus error views.
        I've got the : Segmentation violation -- Core dumped blues.

On a PDP-11, life should be a breeze,
        But with VAXen in the house even magnetic tapes would freeze.
Now you might think that unlike VAXen I'd know who I abuse,
        I've got the : Segmentation violation -- Core dumped blues.
                -- Core Dumped Blues
Let's say your wedding ring falls into your toaster, and when you stick
your hand in to retrieve it, you suffer Pain and Suffering as well as
Mental Anguish.  You would sue:

* The toaster manufacturer, for failure to include, in the instructions
  section that says you should never never never ever stick you hand
  into the toaster, the statement "Not even if your wedding ring falls
  in there".

* The store where you bought the toaster, for selling it to an obvious
  cretin like yourself.

* Union Carbide Corporation, which is not directly responsible in this
  case, but which is feeling so guilty that it would probably send you
  a large cash settlement anyway.
                -- Dave Barry
The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants;
instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the
variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead
of the longer form of the constant.  This also simplifies modifying the
program, should the value of pi change.
                -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers
The `loner' may be respected, but he is always resented by his colleagues,
for he seems to be passing a critical judgment on them, when he may be
simply making a limiting statement about himself.
                -- Sidney Harris
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?
Absurdity, n.:
        A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
aphorism, n.:
        A concise, clever statement.
afterism, n.:
        A concise, clever statement you don't think of until too late.
                -- James Alexander Thom
Command, n.:
        Statement presented by a human and accepted by a computer in
        such a manner as to make the human feel as if he is in control.
        A statement of the speed at which a computer system works.  Or
        rather, might work under certain circumstances.  Or was rumored
        to be working over in Jersey about a month ago.
        A statement of the importance of a user or a program.  Often
        expressed as a relative priority, indicating that the user doesn't
        care when the work is completed so long as he is treated less
        badly than someone else.
White's Statement:
        Don't lose heart!

Owen's Commentary on White's Statement:
        ...they might want to cut it out...

Byrd's Addition to Owen's Commentary:
        ...and they want to avoid a lengthy search.
A woman physician has made the statement that smoking is neither
physically defective nor morally degrading, and that nicotine, even
when indulged to in excess, is less harmful than excessive petting."
                -- Purdue Exponent, Jan 16, 1925
"It could be that Walter's horse has wings" does not imply that there is
any such animal as Walter's horse, only that there could be; but "Walter's
horse is a thing which could have wings" does imply Walter's horse's
existence.  But the conjunction "Walter's horse exists, and it could be
that Walter's horse has wings" still does not imply "Walter's horse is a
thing that could have wings", for perhaps it can only be that Walter's
horse has wings by Walter having a different horse.  Nor does "Walter's
horse is a thing which could have wings" conversely imply "It could be that
Walter's horse has wings"; for it might be that Walter's horse could only
have wings by not being Walter's horse.

I would deny, though, that the formula [Necessarily if some x has property P
then some x has property P] expresses a logical law, since P(x) could stand
for, let us say "x is a better logician than I am", and the statement "It is
necessary that if someone is a better logician than I am then someone is a
better logician than I am" is false because there need not have been any me.
                -- A.N. Prior, "Time and Modality"
The following statement is not true.  The previous statement is true.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite
of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
                -- Niels Bohr
The startling truth finally became apparent, and it was this: Numbers
written on restaurant checks within the confines of restaurants do not
follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces
of paper in any other parts of the Universe.  This single statement took
the scientific world by storm.  So many mathematical conferences got held
in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation
died of obesity and heart failure, and the science of mathematics was put
back by years.
                -- Douglas Adams
        Anyone wishing to smoke, however, must file, in triplicate, the
        U.S. government Environmental Impact Narrative Statement (EINS),
        describing in detail the type of combustion proposed, impact on
        the environment, and anticipated opposition.  Statements must be
        filed 30 days in advance.
"I understand this is your first dead client," Sabian was saying.  The
absurdity of the statement made me want to laugh but they don't call me
Deadpan Allie and lie.
                -- Pat Cadigan, "Mindplayers"
                What I Did During My Fall Semester
On the first day of my fall semester, I got up.
Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
Then I hung out in front of the Dover.

On the second day of my fall semester, I got up.
Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
Then I hung out in front of the Dover.

On the third day of my fall semester, I got up.
Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
I found a thesis topic:
        How to keep people from hanging out in front of the Dover.
                -- Sister Mary Elephant, "Student Statement for Black Friday"
FORTRAN?  The syntactically incorrect statement "DO 10 I = 1.10" will parse and
generate code creating a variable, DO10I, as follows: "DO10I = 1.10"  If that
doesn't terrify you, it should.
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 7
proof by forward reference:
        Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author,
        which is often not as forthcoming as at first.

proof by semantic shift:
        Some of the standard but inconvenient definitions are changed
        for the statement of the result.

proof by appeal to intuition:
        Cloud-shaped drawings frequently help here.
An excellence-oriented '80s male does not wear a regular watch.  He wears
a Rolex watch, because it weighs nearly six pounds and is advertised
only in excellence-oriented publications such as Fortune and Rich
Protestant Golfer Magazine.  The advertisements are written in
incomplete sentences, which is how advertising copywriters denote excellence:

"The Rolex Hyperion.  An elegant new standard in quality excellence and
discriminating handcraftsmanship.  For the individual who is truly able
to discriminate with regard to excellent quality standards of crafting
things by hand.  Fabricated of 100 percent 24-karat gold.  No watch parts
or anything.  Just a great big chunk on your wrist.  Truly a timeless
statement.  For the individual who is very secure.  Who doesn't need to
be reminded all the time that he is very successful. Much more successful
than the people who laughed at him in high school.  Because of his acne.
People who are probably nowhere near as successful as he is now.  Maybe
he'll go to his 20th reunion, and they'll see his Rolex Hyperion.
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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