Fri 15 Jan 2016 06:16:38 PM -02

  1. Entropia
  2. Temperatura do inferno
  3. Cavalos
  4. Frob
  5. Intuição
  6. Kermit
  8. Certo e errado
  9. Latido
  10. Frozen Star
  11. Life
  12. Man
  13. Murphy recursion
  14. Murphy as a proletarian
  15. Civilization
  16. Theories
  17. Ginsberg's Theorem
  18. Regression analysis
  19. Computer viruses
  20. Inventions
  21. Freud doesn't know
  22. Technology
  23. Experimentation
  24. Thermodynamics
  25. Bureaucracy
  26. Violence
  27. Freedom
  28. Savings
  29. Loop
  30. Good luck
  31. Occam
  32. Obvious
  33. Brooke's Law
  34. Illegal and unconstitutional
  35. Banks
  36. Lucky number
  37. Magic
  38. Western Civilization
  39. Candy
  40. Club
  41. Science
  42. Government
  43. Important things
  44. Silverman's Law
  45. Prophet Dirac
  46. Inimigos
  47. Computers
  48. Law
  49. Pragmatism
  50. University
  51. Software and hardware
  52. Clouds
  53. Magic II
  54. Universe
  55. Infernal Dynamics
  56. America
  57. Williams and Holland's Law:
  58. Main's Law:
  59. Grep
  60. Forgiveness
  61. America II
  62. True and false
  63. Promotions
  64. Fast world
  65. Poorman's Rule
  66. Worst month
  67. Predictions
  68. Jones' First Law:
  69. Tolkein Ring
  70. Small Evil Group
  71. Children
  72. Income Tax
  73. Failure and success
  74. Capitalism
  75. Probabilities
  76. Alliance
  77. Cohn's Law
  78. Science
  79. Sex after death
  80. Distance
  81. Our world
  82. Experience
  83. Youth
  84. Bible
  85. Governos
  86. Politicians
  87. Failure and success II
  88. Civilization II
  89. Programs
  90. Life II
  91. Life III
  92. Reichel's Law
  93. Drugs
  94. Bootstrap
  95. Technological progress
  96. Katz' Law
  97. Modern technology
  98. Gold of time
  99. Gospels and intelligence
  100. Plans
  101. Bureaucracy
  102. Weinberg's Second Law:
  103. Respect
  104. Fear
  105. Progress
  106. Hating tech
  107. Barach's Rule
  108. Heller's Law
  109. Marxists and the lightbulb
  110. Descartes' disappearance
  111. Love
  112. Unnamed Law
  113. Past and future
  114. Machine language
  115. Ignorance
  116. Larkinson's Law
  117. Volunteer Labor
  118. Psycho
  119. Surrealists and the lightbulb
  120. Death
  121. Programs II
  122. Laugh
  123. Police
  124. Err
  125. Dolphins
  126. Red tape
  127. Economic predictions
  128. Dragons
  129. Conservative
  130. Intellectual
  131. Patience
  132. Psychologist
  133. Finagle's Third Law
  134. Manly's Maxim
  135. Borrowing money
  136. Sleep
  137. Problem solving
  138. Facts
  139. Management
  140. Heller's Law
  141. Money
  142. Mozart
  143. Misfortune
  144. Thermodynamics II
  145. Laws
  146. Democracy
  147. Horngren's Observation
  148. Sources
  149. Latin
  150. Interpreter
  151. Collections
  152. Advertising
  153. Life IV
  154. Economics
  155. Flugg's Law
  156. Control
  157. Hardware
  158. Mathematician
  159. Life V
  160. God
  161. Last words
  162. Electrocution
  163. Vail's Second Axiom
  164. Odds
  165. Management II
  166. Art
  167. Sculpture
  168. People
  169. Friends
  170. Abstinence
  171. Management III
  172. Minute
  173. Divorce
  174. Low level
  175. Get things done
  176. Time
  177. Specs
  178. Purpose
  179. Life VI
  180. Life VII
  181. Law of Selective Gravity
  182. Life VIII
  183. Devil
  184. Knowledge
  185. Monsters
  186. Microsoft
  187. Laser
  188. Computers II
  189. Kafka's Law
  190. Hypocrites
  191. Review Questions
  192. Magic III
  193. The meaning
  194. Ultimate question
  195. Correspondence Corollary
  196. Electron
  197. Gods
  198. Mind
  199. Penguins
  200. Seconds
  201. Decisions
  202. Matter and space
  203. Executions
  204. Bar Troubleshooting
  205. Sex
  206. Theory
  207. Computers III
  208. Leaks
  209. Dopewars
  210. Cérebro
  211. Chocolate
  212. Randomly Generated Tagline
  213. Brasil
  214. Ovo e a galinha
  215. Crimes
  216. História
  217. Machines
  218. Provos
  219. Computer Science
  220. Caos
  221. Destruição
  222. Desespero
  223. Fracasso
  224. Meta
  225. Jogo da Forca
  226. Somos agentes duplos, títeres de qual jogo doentio?
  227. Liberdade
  228. Razão e progresso
    1. Desatualização
    2. Tautologia da técnica
    3. Confiança
    4. Poesia

A irreversibilidade da vida e outros fatos termodinâmicos: uma coleção de citações, trechos, versos, adágios, chistes, ironias e pessimismos. Muitas coletadas de anos usando fortune(6) ou encontradas ao acaso.


Entropia: amnésia termodinâmica.

Temperatura do inferno

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed from available
data.  Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon
shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be
sevenfold, as the light of seven days."  Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much
radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition seven times seven (49)
times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or fifty times in all.  The light
we receive from the Moon is one ten-thousandth of the light we receive from
the Sun, so we can ignore that.  With these data we can compute the
temperature of Heaven.  The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point
where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by
radiation, i.e., Heaven loses fifty times as much heat as the Earth by radiation.
Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the
absolute temperature of the earth (-300K), gives H as 798K (525C).  The exact
temperature of Hell cannot be computed, but it must be less than 444.6C,
the temperature at which brimstone or sulphur changes from a liquid to a gas.
Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have
their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."  A lake of molten
brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling
point, or 444.6C  (Above this point it would be a vapor, not a lake.)  We have,
then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.
                -- "Applied Optics", vol. 11, A14, 1972


Lemma:  All horses are the same color.
Proof (by induction):
        Case n = 1: In a set with only one horse, it is obvious that all
        horses in that set are the same color.
        Case n = k: Suppose you have a set of k+1 horses.  Pull one of these
        horses out of the set, so that you have k horses.  Suppose that all
        of these horses are the same color.  Now put back the horse that you
        took out, and pull out a different one.  Suppose that all of the k
        horses now in the set are the same color.  Then the set of k+1 horses
        are all the same color.  We have k true => k+1 true; therefore all
        horses are the same color.

Theorem: All horses have an infinite number of legs.
Proof (by intimidation):
        Everyone would agree that all horses have an even number of legs.
        It is also well-known that horses have forelegs in front and two legs
        in back.  4 + 2 = 6 legs, which is certainly an odd number of legs
        for a horse to have!  Now the only number that is both even and odd is
        infinity; therefore all horses have an infinite number of legs.
        However, suppose that there is a horse somewhere that does not
        have an infinite number of legs.  Well, that would be a horse of a
        different color; and by the Lemma, it doesn't exist.


                 ___          ______
                /__/\     ___/_____/\          FrobTech, Inc.
                \  \ \   /         /\\
                 \  \ \_/__       /  \         "If you've got the job,
                 _\  \ \  /\_____/___ \         we've got the frob."
                // \__\/ /  \       /\ \
        _______//_______/    \     / _\/______
       /      / \       \    /    / /        /\
    __/      /   \       \  /    / /        / _\__
   / /      /     \_______\/    / /        / /   /\
  /_/______/___________________/ /________/ /___/  \
  \ \      \    ___________    \ \        \ \   \  /
   \_\      \  /          /\    \ \        \ \___\/
      \      \/          /  \    \ \        \  /
       \_____/          /    \    \ \________\/
            /__________/      \    \  /
            \   _____  \      /_____\/
             \ /    /\  \    / \  \ \
              /____/  \  \  /   \  \ \
              \    \  /___\/     \  \ \
               \____\/            \__\/


The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple.  After that, it's all
        -- Bruce Ediger,, on X interfaces


"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"


        After sifting through the overwritten remaining blocks of Luke's home
directory, Luke and PDP-1 sped away from /u/lars, across the surface of the
Winchester riding Luke's flying read/write head.  PDP-1 had Luke stop at the
edge of the cylinder overlooking /usr/spool/uucp.
        "Unix-to-Unix Copy Program;" said PDP-1.  "You will never find a more
wretched hive of bugs and flamers.  We must be cautious."
                -- DECWARS

Certo e errado

Só que o erro maior é justamente ficar procurando os erros...
Ou, citando Casa das Máquinas:
"Certo sim, seu errado, certo sim, seu errado...."


A mother mouse was taking her large brood for a stroll across the kitchen
floor one day when the local cat, by a feat of stealth unusual even for
its species, managed to trap them in a corner.  The children cowered,
terrified by this fearsome beast, plaintively crying, "Help, Mother!
Save us!  Save us!  We're scared, Mother!"
        Mother Mouse, with the hopeless valor of a parent protecting its
children, turned with her teeth bared to the cat, towering huge above them,
and suddenly began to bark in a fashion that would have done any Doberman
proud.  The startled cat fled in fear for its life.
        As her grateful offspring flocked around her shouting "Oh, Mother,
you saved us!" and "Yay!  You scared the cat away!" she turned to them
purposefully and declared, "You see how useful it is to know a second

Frozen Star

I went on to test the program in every way I could devise.  I strained it to
expose its weaknesses.  I ran it for high-mass stars and low-mass stars, for
stars born exceedingly hot and those born relatively cold.  I ran it assuming
the superfluid currents beneath the crust to be absent -- not because I wanted
to know the answer, but because I had developed an intuitive feel for the
answer in this particular case.  Finally I got a run in which the computer
showed the pulsar's temperature to be less than absolute zero.  I had found
an error.  I chased down the error and fixed it.  Now I had improved the
program to the point where it would not run at all.
                -- George Greenstein, "Frozen Star:
                Of Pulsars, Black Holes and the Fate of Stars"


All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities.
                -- Dawkins


        An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he
        is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.  His chief
        occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species,
        which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest
        the whole habitable earth and Canada.
                -- A. Bierce

Murphy recursion

Murphy's Law is recursive.  Washing your car to make it rain doesn't work.

Murphy as a proletarian

"Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem ..."
                -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"


It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be
coming up it.
                -- Henry Allen


We are all agreed that your theory is crazy.  The question which
divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being
correct.  My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.
                -- Niels Bohr

Ginsberg's Theorem

Ginsberg's Theorem:
        1. You can't win.
        2. You can't break even.
        3. You can't even quit the game.

Freeman's Commentary on Ginsberg's theorem:

        Every major philosophy that attempts to make life seem
        meaningful is based on the negation of one part of Ginsberg's
        Theorem.  To wit:

        1. Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win.
        2. Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even.
        3. Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game.

Regression analysis

Regression analysis:
        Mathematical techniques for trying to understand why things are
        getting worse

Computer viruses

I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of
life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image. Stephen Hawking


To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
                -- Thomas Edison

Freud doesn't know

The great question that has never been answered and which I have not
yet been able to answer despite my thirty years of research into the
feminine soul is: WHAT DOES A WOMAN WANT?
                -- Sigmund Freud


Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong
reasons. -- R. Buckminster Fuller


Velilind's Laws of Experimentation:
        1. If reproducibility may be a problem, conduct the test only once.
        2. If a straight line fit is required, obtain only two data points.


The three laws of thermodynamics:
        (1) You can't get anything without working for it.
        (2) The most you can accomplish by working is to break even.
        (3) You can only break even at absolute zero.


The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding


"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." -- Asimov, Foundation


If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom;
and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it
will lose that, too.
                -- W. Somerset Maugham


Our congratulations go to a Burlington Vermont civilian employee of the
local Army National Guard base.  He recently received a substational cash
award from our government for inventing a device for optical scanning.
His device reportedly will save the government more than $6 million a year
by replacing a more expensive helicopter maintenance tool with his own,
home-made, hand-held model.

Not suprisingly, we also have a couple of money-saving ideas that we submit
to the Pentagon free of charge:

        a. Don't kill anybody.
        b. Don't build things that do.
        c. And don't pay other people to kill anybody.

We expect annual savings to be in the billions.
                -- Sojourners


Endless Loop: n., see Loop, Endless.
Loop, Endless: n., see Endless Loop.
                -- Random Shack Data Processing Dictionary

Good luck

An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel prize
winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen.  He was amazed to find that
over Bohr's desk was a horseshoe, securely nailed to the wall, with the
open end up in the approved manner (so it would catch the good luck and not
let it spill out).  The American said with a nervous laugh,
        "Surely you don't believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck,
do you, Professor Bohr?  After all, as a scientist --"
Bohr chuckled.
        "I believe no such thing, my good friend.  Not at all.  I am
scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense.  However, I am told
that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not."


        The philosophical principle that even the simplest
        solution is bound to have something wrong with it.


Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less
obvious as you begin to study the universe.  For example, there are no
solids in the universe.  There's not even a suggestion of a solid.
There are no absolute continuums.  There are no surfaces.  There are no
straight lines.
                -- R. Buckminster Fuller

Brooke's Law

Brooke's Law:
        Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool
        discovers something which either abolishes the system or
        expands it beyond recognition.

Illegal and unconstitutional

"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a bit
                -- Henry Kissinger


What is robbing a bank compared with founding a bank?
                -- Bertolt Brecht, "The Threepenny Opera"

Lucky number

Your lucky number is 3552664958674928.  Watch for it everywhere.


Using words to describe magic is like using a screwdriver to cut roast beef.
                -- Tom Robbins

Western Civilization

Reporter (to Mahatma Gandhi):
                Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western Civilization?
Gandhi:         I think it would be a good idea.


Anyone who uses the phrase "easy as taking candy from a baby" has never
tried taking candy from a baby.
                -- Robin Hood


I'd never join any club that would have the likes of me as a member.
                -- Groucho Marx


All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
                -- Ernest Rutherford


If you took all of the grains of sand in the world, and lined
them up end to end in a row, you'd be working for the government!
                -- Mr. Interesting

Important things

The most important things, each person must do for himself.

Silverman's Law

Silverman's Law:
        If Murphy's Law can go wrong, it will.

Prophet Dirac

Dirac was a committed  (Someone who denies the existence of god) atheist.
After being asked about his thoughts on Dirac's views,  (United States
physicist (born in Austria) who proposed the exclusion principle (thus
providing a theoretical basis for the periodic table) (1900-1958)) Pauli
remarked "If I understand Dirac correctly, his meaning is this: there is no
God, and Dirac is his Prophet".


De um carro estacionado na Santa Efigenia: "Amigos vem e vão; inimigos se acumulam."


Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers.
                -- Pablo Picasso


After 35 years, I have finished a comprehensive study of European
comparative law.  In Germany, under the law, everything is prohibited,
except that which is permitted.  In France, under the law, everything
is permitted, except that which is prohibited.  In the Soviet Union,
under the law, everything is prohibited, including that which is
permitted.  And in Italy, under the law, everything is permitted,
especially that which is prohibited.
                -- Newton Minow,
                Speech to the Association of American Law Schools, 1985


Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little
more time for dreaming.
                -- J. P. McEvoy


        "A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem."

Software and hardware

Thus spake the master programmer:
        "Without the wind, the grass does not move.  Without software,
        hardware is useless."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"


A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such
a speed, if feels an impulsion... this is the place to go now.  But the
sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will
know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.
                -- Messiah's Handbook : Reminders for the Advanced Soul

Magic II

There are three schools of magic.  One:  State a tautology, then ring
the changes on its corollaries; that's philosophy.  Two:  Record many
facts.  Try to find a pattern.  Then make a wrong guess at the next
fact; that's science.  Three:  Be aware that you live in a malevolent
Universe controlled by Murphy's Law, sometimes offset by Brewster's
Factor; that's engineering.


"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the
                -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Infernal Dynamics

Gerrold's Laws of Infernal Dynamics:
        1) An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction.
        2) An object at rest will always be in the wrong place.
        3) The energy required to change either one of these states
           will always be more than you wish to expend, but never so
           much as to make the task totally impossible.


America may be unique in being a country which has leapt from barbarism
to decadence without touching civilization.
                -- John O'Hara

Williams and Holland's Law:

Williams and Holland's Law:
        If enough data is collected,
        anything may be proven by statistical methods.

Main's Law:

Main's Law:
        For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.


grep me no patterns and I'll tell you no lines.


It's easier to get forgiveness for being wrong than forgiveness for
being right.

America II

It was wonderful to find America, but it
would have been more wonderful to miss it.
                -- Mark Twain

True and false

If the meanings of "true" and "false" were switched,
then this sentence would not be false.


Don't be irreplaceable.  If you can't
be replaced, you cannot be promoted.

Fast world

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says
it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.
                -- E. Hubbard

Poorman's Rule

Poorman's Rule:
        When you pull a plastic garbage bag from its handy dispenser
        package, you always get hold of the closed end and try to
        pull it open.

Worst month

Worst Month of the Year:
        February.  February has only 28 days in it, which means that if
        you rent an apartment, you are paying for three full days you
        don't get.  Try to avoid Februarys whenever possible.
                -- Steve Rubenstein


Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future.
                -- Niels Bohr

Jones' First Law:

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.

Tolkein Ring

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very
sophisticated computer network!  It was a Tolkein Ring...

Small Evil Group

Everything is controlled by a small evil group
to which, unfortunately, no one we know belongs.


Children are natural mimics who act like their parents
despite every effort to teach them good manners.

Income Tax

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
                -- Albert Einstein

Failure and success

Dealing with failure is easy: work hard to improve.  Success is also
easy to handle: you've solved the wrong problem.  Work hard to


Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for
the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all.
                -- John Maynard Keynes


Colvard's Logical Premises:
        All probabilities are 50%.  Either a thing will happen or it

Colvard's Unconscionable Commentary:
        This is especially true when dealing with someone you're
        attracted to.

Grelb's Commentary
        Likelihoods, however, are 90% against you.


Alliance, n:
        In international politics, the union of two thieves who
        have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket
        that they cannot safely plunder a third.
                -- Ambrose Bierce

Cohn's Law

Cohn's Law:
        The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less
        time you have to do anything.  Stability is achieved when you spend
        all your time reporting on the nothing you are doing.


You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than
about 10^12 to 1.
                -- Ernest Rutherford

Sex after death

There will be sex after death, we just won't be able to feel it.
                -- Lily Tomlin


The shortest distance between two points is under construction.
                -- Noelie Altito

Our world

Ours is a world where people don't know what they
want and are willing to go through hell to get it.


Experience is what you get when you were expecting something else.


Youth is such a wonderful thing.  What a crime to waste it on children.
                -- George Bernard Shaw


The most serious doubt that has been thrown on the authenticity of the
biblical miracles is the fact that most of the witnesses in regard to
them were fishermen.
                -- Arthur Binstead


Quando ocorrem variações no câmbio, queda nas bolsas de valores, variações
nas taxas de juros ou pequenos distúrbios na economia, rapidamente os governos
atua e tomam providências urgentes lançando as mais variadas medidas para
"colocar as coisas no rumo certo". Mas quando ocorrem mortes de jovens, pobres,
moradores da periferia, sendo eles agentes do Estado ou simples civis, isso não
acontece. Apesar disso, não desistiremos de clamar por justiça!
                -- Ariel de Castro Alves, em Crimes de Maio, pag. 116.


Politicians are the same everywhere.  They promise
to build a bridge even where there is no river.
                -- Nikita Khrushchev

Failure and success II

Every successful person has had failures
but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

Civilization II

It's so stupid of modern civilization to have given up believing in the
Devil when he is the only explanation of it.


When users see one GUI as beautiful,
other user interfaces become ugly.
When users see some programs as winners,
other programs become lossage.

Pointers and NULLs reference each other.
High level and assembler depend on each other.
Double and float cast to each other.
High-endian and low-endian define each other.
While and until follow each other.

Therefore the Guru
programs without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Warnings arise and he lets them come;
processes are swapped and he lets them go.
He has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When his work is done, he deletes it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Life II

Life is too short to be taken seriously.
                -- O. Wilde

Life III

Life begins at the centerfold and expands outward.
                -- Miss November, 1966

Reichel's Law

Reichel's Law:
        A body on vacation tends to remain on vacation unless acted upon by
        an outside force.


I do not take drugs -- I am drugs.
                -- Salvador Dali


An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.

Technological progress

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means
for going backwards.
                -- Aldous Huxley

Katz' Law

Katz' Law:
        Men and nations will act rationally when
        all other possibilities have been exhausted.

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have
exhausted all other alternatives.
                -- Abba Eban

Modern technology

The marvels of today's modern technology include the development of a
soda can, which, when discarded will last forever -- and a $7,000 car
which, when properly cared for, will rust out in two or three years.

Gold of time

A lost ounce of gold may be found, a lost moment of time never.

Gospels and intelligence

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in
praise of intelligence.
                -- Bertrand Russell


If you fail to plan, plan to fail.


Join in the new game that's sweeping the country.  It's called
"Bureaucracy".  Everybody stands in a circle.  The first person to do
anything loses.

Weinberg's Second Law:

Weinberg's Second Law:
        If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,
        then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.


Show respect for age.  Drink good Scotch for a change.


Fear is the greatest salesman.
                -- Robert Klein


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

Hating tech

I use technology in order to hate it more properly.
                -- Nam June Paik

Barach's Rule

Barach's Rule:
        An alcoholic is a person who drinks more than his own physician.

Heller's Law

Heller's Law:
        The first myth of management is that it exists.

Johnson's Corollary:
        Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within the organization.

Marxists and the lightbulb

Q:      How many Marxists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A:      None:  The lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

Descartes' disappearance

"I don't think so," said Rene Descartes.  Just then, he vanished


Who does not love wine, women, and song,
Remains a fool his whole life long.
                -- Johann Heinrich Voss

Unnamed Law

Unnamed Law:
        If it happens, it must be possible

Past and future

People often find it easier to be a result of the past than a cause of
the future.

Machine language

A person who is more than casually interested in computers should be well
schooled in machine language, since it is a fundamental part of a computer.
                -- Donald Knuth


My father, a good man, told me, "Never lose
your ignorance; you cannot replace it."
                -- Erich Maria Remarque

Larkinson's Law

Larkinson's Law:
        All laws are basically false.

Volunteer Labor

Zymurgy's Law of Volunteer Labor:
        People are always available for work in the past tense.


Be a better psychiatrist and the world will beat a psychopath to your

Surrealists and the lightbulb

Q:  How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Two.  One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub
    with brightly colored machine tools.


When you die, you lose a very important part of your life.
                -- Brooke Shields

Programs II

Every program has (at least) two purposes:
        the one for which it was written and another for which it wasn't.


Laugh at your problems:  everybody else does.


Support your local police force -- steal!!


"To err is human, to forgive, beyond the scope of the Operating System"


If dolphins are so smart, why did Flipper work for television?

Red tape

If we can ever make red tape nutritional, we can feed the world.
                -- R. Schaeberle, "Management Accounting"

Economic predictions

Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you
lose your job.  These economic downturns are very difficult to predict,
but sophisticated econometric modeling houses like Data Resources and
Chase Econometrics have successfully predicted 14 of the last 3 recessions.


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...


Conservative, n:
        A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished
        from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
                -- Ambrose Bierce


An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
                -- Albert Camus


A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own
weight in other people's patience.
                -- John Updike


psychologist, n:
        Someone who watches everyone else when an attractive woman walks
        into a room.

Finagle's Third Law

Finagle's Third Law:
        In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct,
        beyond all need of checking, is the mistake.

        1. Nobody whom you ask for help will see it.
        2. The first person who stops by, whose advice you really
           don't want to hear, will see it immediately.

Manly's Maxim

Manly's Maxim:
        Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion
        with confidence.

Borrowing money

Always borrow money from a pessimist; he doesn't expect to be paid


Sleep -- the most beautiful experience in life -- except drink.
                -- W.C. Fields

Problem solving

There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a
suitable application of high explosives.


Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
                -- Aldous Huxley


  The art of getting other people to do all the work.

Heller's Law

Heller's Law:
        The first myth of management is that it exists.


While money can't buy happiness, it certainly
lets you choose your own form of misery.


It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was
my age, he had been dead for 2 years.
                -- Tom Lehrer


        The kind of fortune that never misses.

Thermodynamics II

        Ludwig Boltzmann, who spend much of his life studying statistical
        mechanics died in 1906 by his own hand.  Paul Ehrenfest, carrying
        on the work, died similarly in 1933.  Now it is our turn.
                -- Goodstein, States of Matter


All laws are simulations of reality.
                -- John C. Lilly


Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half
of the people are right more than half of the time.
                -- E.B. White

Horngren's Observation

Horngren's Observation:
        Among economists, the real world is often a special case.


Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for. ;-)
        -- Unknown source


Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)


        One who enables two persons of different languages to understand
        each other by repeating to each what it would have been to the
        interpreter's advantage for the other to have said.


"I have the world's largest collection of seashells.  I keep it
scattered around the beaches of the world ... Perhaps you've seen it.
                -- Steven Wright


Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest
way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
                -- Sinclair Lewis

Life IV

        Learning about people the hard way -- by being one.


Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
                -- John Kenneth Galbraith

Flugg's Law

Flugg's Law:
        When you need to knock on wood is when you realize that the
world is composed of vinyl, naugahyde and aluminum.


The more control, the more that requires control.


hardware, n:
        The parts of a computer system that can be kicked.


A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.
                -- P. Erdos

Life V

If life is merely a joke, the question
still remains: for whose amusement?


God is a polytheist.

Last words

Famous last words:


Electrocution, n.:
  Burning at the stake with all the modern improvements.

Vail's Second Axiom

Vail's Second Axiom:
        The amount of work to be done increases in proportion to the
amount of work already completed.


The odds are a million to one against your being one in a million.

Management II


  If the Earth could be made to rotate twice as fast, managers would
  get twice as much done.  If the Earth could be made to rotate twenty
  times as fast, everyone else would get twice as much done since all
  the managers would fly off.


  It costs a lot to build bad products.


  There are many highly successful businesses in the United States.
  There are also many highly paid executives.  The policy is not to
  intermingle the two.


  After the year 2015, there will be no airplane crashes.  There will
  be no takeoffs either, because electronics will occupy 100 percent
  of every airplane's weight.


  The last 10 percent of performance generates one-third of the cost
  and two-thirds of the problems.
    -- Norman Augustine


Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
    -- Paul Gauguin


A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant: first, get a huge block
of marble; then you chip away everything that doesn't look like an


I drink to make other people interesting.
    -- George Jean Nathan


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it's too
dark to read.
    -- Groucho Marx


There is nothing wrong with abstinence, in moderation.

Management III

  If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on each
  other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance.
  Rank does not intimidate hardware.  Neither does the lack of rank.
  It is better to be the reorganizer than the reorganizee.
  Executives who do not produce successful results hold on to their
  jobs only about five years.  Those who produce effective results
  hang on about half a decade.
  By the time the people asking the questions are ready for the answers,
  the people doing the work have lost track of the questions.
    -- Norman Augustine


How long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.


Divorce is a game played by lawyers.
                -- Cary Grant

Low level

A programming language is low level
when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.

Get things done

There are three ways to get something done:

  1: Do it yourself.
  2: Hire someone to do it for you.
  3: Forbid your kids to do it.


Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.


It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice


  In the begining, God created the Earth and he said, "Let there be
  And there was mud.
  And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud
can see what we have done."
  And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was
man.  Mud-as-man alone could speak.
  "What is the purpose of all this?" man asked politely.
  "Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.
  "Certainly," said man.
  "Then I leave it to you to think of one for all of this," said God.
  And He went away.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut, Between Time and Timbuktu"

Life VI

        A whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.

Life VII

"I'm prepared for all emergencies but totally unprepared for everyday

Law of Selective Gravity

Law of Selective Gravity:
  An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

Jenning's Corollary:
  The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side
  down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

Law of the Perversity of Nature:
  You cannot determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.


Do not try to solve all life's problems at once -- learn to dread each
day as it comes.
    -- Donald Kaul


The devil finds work for idle circuits to do.


Is knowledge knowable?  If not, how do we know that?


Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not
become a monster.  And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks
into you.
                -- Friedrich Nietzsche


Nicholas Petreley's First Law of Computer Trade Journalism:
"No technology exists until Microsoft invents it.


Please do not look directly into laser with remaining eye.

Computers II

I do not fear computers.  I fear the lack of them.
                -- Isaac Asimov

Kafka's Law

Kafka's Law:
        In the fight between you and the world, back the world.
                -- Franz Kafka, "RS's 1974 Expectation of Days"


Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
                -- Hannah Arendt

Review Questions

Review Questions

1:      If Nerd on the planet Nutley starts out in his spaceship at 20 KPH,
        and his speed doubles every 3.2 seconds, how long will it be before
        he exceeds the speed of light?  How long will it be before the
        Galactic Patrol picks up the pieces of his spaceship?

2:      If Roger Rowdy wrecks his car every week, and each week he breaks
        twice as many bones as before, how long will it be before he breaks
        every bone in his body?  How long will it be before they cut off
        his insurance?  Where does he get a new car every week?

3:      If Johnson drinks one beer the first hour (slow start), four beers
        the next hour, nine beers the next, etc., and stacks the cans in
        a pyramid, how soon will Johnson's pyramid be larger than King
        Tut's?  When will it fall on him?  Will he notice?

Magic III

There are three schools of magic.  One:  State a tautology, then ring the
changes on its corollaries; that's philosophy.  Two:  Record many facts.
Try to find a pattern.  Then make a wrong guess at the next fact; that's
science.  Three:  Be aware that you live in a malevolent Universe controlled
by Murphy's Law, sometimes offset by Brewster's Factor; that's engineering.

The meaning

+#if defined(__alpha__) && defined(CONFIG_PCI)
+       /*
+        * The meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Plus
+        * this makes the year come out right.
+        */
+       year -= 42;
        -- From the patch for 1.3.2: (kernel/time.c), submitted by Marcus Meissner

Ultimate question

Scientists were preparing an experiment to ask the ultimate question.
They had worked for months gathering one each of every computer that
was built. Finally the big day was at hand.  All the computers were
linked together.  They asked the question, "Is there a God?".  Lights
started blinking, flashing and blinking some more.  Suddenly, there
was a loud crash, and a bolt of lightning came down from the sky,
struck the computers, and welded all the connections permanently
together.  "There is now", came the reply.

Correspondence Corollary

Correspondence Corollary:
        An experiment may be considered a success if no more than half
        your data must be discarded to obtain correspondence with your theory.


After this was written there appeared a remarkable posthumous memoir that
throws some doubt on Millikan's leading role in these experiments.  Harvey
Fletcher (1884-1981), who was a graduate student at the University of Chicago,
at Millikan's suggestion worked on the measurement of electronic charge for
his doctoral thesis, and co-authored some of the early papers on this subject
with Millikan.  Fletcher left a manuscript with a friend with instructions
that it be published after his death; the manuscript was published in
Physics Today, June 1982, page 43.  In it, Fletcher claims that he was the
first to do the experiment with oil drops, was the first to measure charges on
single droplets, and may have been the first to suggest the use of oil.
According to Fletcher, he had expected to be co-authored with Millikan on
the crucial first article announcing the measurement of the electronic
charge, but was talked out of this by Millikan.
                -- Steven Weinberg, "The Discovery of Subatomic Particles"

Robert Millikan is generally credited with making the first really
precise measurement of the charge on an electron and was awarded the
Nobel Prize in 1923.


Psychologists think they're experimental psychologists.
Experimental psychologists think they're biologists.
Biologists think they're biochemists.
Biochemists think they're chemists.
Chemists think they're physical chemists.
Physical chemists think they're physicists.
Physicists think they're theoretical physicists.
Theoretical physicists think they're mathematicians.
Mathematicians think they're metamathematicians.
Metamathematicians think they're philosophers.
Philosophers think they're gods.


My God, I'm depressed!  Here I am, a computer with a mind a thousand times
as powerful as yours, doing nothing but cranking out fortunes and sending
mail about softball games.  And I've got this pain right through my ALU.
I've asked for it to be replaced, but nobody ever listens.  I think it
would be better for us both if you were to just log out again.


A Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed
on the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvelous new
game.  Noting that the local penguins are fascinated by airplanes, the
pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly
along it at the water's edge.  Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their
heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn
around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite
direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match.  Then, the
paper reports, "The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin
colony and overfly it.  Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins
fall over gently onto their backs.
                -- Audobon Society Magazine


        How many seconds are there in a year?  If I tell you there  are
3.155  x  10^7, you won't even try to remember it.  On the other hand, who
could forget that, to within half a percent, pi seconds is a nanocentury.
                -- Tom Duff, Bell Labs


Decisions of the judges will be final unless shouted down by a really
overwhelming majority of the crowd present.  Abusive and obscene
language may not be used by contestants when addressing members of the
judging panel, or, conversely, by members of the judging panel when
addressing contestants (unless struck by a boomerang).
                -- Mudgeeraba Creek Emu-Riding and Boomerang-Throwing

Matter and space

Space tells matter how to move and matter tells space how to curve.
                -- Wheeler


Take your dying with some seriousness, however.  Laughing on the way to
your execution is not generally understood by less advanced life forms,
and they'll call you crazy.
                -- "Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul"

Bar Troubleshooting

Symptom:                Drinking fails to give taste and satisfaction, beer is
                        unusually pale and clear.
Problem:                Glass empty.
Action Required:        Find someone who will buy you another beer.

Symptom:                Drinking fails to give taste and satisfaction,
                        and the front of your shirt is wet.
Fault:                  Mouth not open when drinking or glass applied to
                        wrong part of face.
Action Required:        Buy another beer and practice in front of mirror.
                        Drink as many as needed to perfect drinking technique.

                -- Bar Troubleshooting

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


Sex without class consciousness cannot give satisfaction, even if it is
repeated until infinity.
                -- Aldo Brandirali (Secretary of the Italian Marxist-Leninist
                   Party), in a manual of the party's official sex guidelines,


        System of ideas meant to explain something, chosen with a view to
        originality, controversialism, incomprehensibility, and how good
        it will look in print.

Computers III

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


        A sheet of paper crossed my desk the other day and as I read it,
realization of a basic truth came over me.  So simple!  So obvious we couldn't
see it.  John Knivlen, Chairman of Polamar Repeater Club, an amateur radio
group, had discovered how IC circuits work.  He says that smoke is the thing
that makes ICs work because every time you let the smoke out of an IC circuit,
it stops working.  He claims to have verified this with thorough testing.
        I was flabbergasted!  Of course!  Smoke makes all things electrical
work.  Remember the last time smoke escaped from your Lucas voltage regulator
Didn't it quit working?  I sat and smiled like an idiot as more of the truth
dawned.  It's the wiring harness that carries the smoke from one device to
another in your Mini, MG or Jag.  And when the harness springs a leak, it lets
the smoke out of everything at once, and then nothing works.  The starter motor
requires large quantities of smoke to operate properly, and that's why the wire
going to it is so large.
        Feeling very smug, I continued to expand my hypothesis.  Why are Lucas
electronics more likely to leak than say Bosch?  Hmmm...  Aha!!!  Lucas is
British, and all things British leak!  British convertible tops leak water,
British engines leak oil, British displacer units leak hydrostatic fluid, and
I might add Brititsh tires leak air, and the British defense unit leaks
secrets... so naturally British electronics leak smoke.
                -- Jack Banton, PCC Automotive Electrical School


Indo para Brooklyn
A moça próxima a você no metrô lhe diz,
 "Drogas podem ser suas amigas!"
Indo para Bronx
Você escuta alguém tocando `Legalize Já` por Planet Hemp
Viciados estão comprando Ópio a preços ridículos!

-- Dopewars


Um médico britânico diz:

"A medicina, em meu país, está tão avançada que nós podemos retirar o cérebro de um homem,
 colocá-lo em outro homem, e fazer com que, em seis semanas, ele já esteja procurando

Um médico alemão diz:

"Isto não é nada. Nós podemos retirar o cérebro de uma pessoa, colocá-lo em outra, e fazer com
 que, em quatro semanas, ela esteja se preparando para a guerra."

O médico americano, para não ser superado, diz:

"Vocês, meus caros, estão muito atrás. Nós, recentemente, retiramos um homem sem cérebro, do
 Texas, conseguimos colocá-lo na Casa Branca, e, agora, temos a metade do país procurando
 emprego e a outra metade se preparando para a guerra."


Chocolate de menta: escove os dentes e em seguida mastigue uma barra
daquelas que são vendidas no trem.

Randomly Generated Tagline

Randomly Generated Tagline:
"Any sufficiently perverted technology is indistinguishable from Perl."
                      - Unknown


O Brasil é sério, mas é surrealista

-- Jorge Amado

Ovo e a galinha

A galinha e apenas o meio que o ovo encontrou para produzir outro ovo.
  -- Samuel Butler


A sociedade prepara os crimes e os indivíduos se limitam a executá-los.

-- Queteler apud Bakunin, A Instrução Integral, p. 86.


"Às vezes você está vivendo um momento que entra para a história, mas está do lado errado."
 -- Mario "Macora" Castillo


Human beings can't keep track of the world any more, we have to leave it up to the machines.

-- The Shockware Rider


a verdade é que os piores inimigos desta época são:
os sujeitos que usam imagens programadas para chupar nossos
olhos como se fossem ovos

-- Lucebert, em Provos, da Coleção Bardena pág. 132

Computer Science

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things.

-- Phil Karlton


Existe um grande caos abaixo do céu - a situação é excelente.

--- Mao Tsé-Tung:


O operário fez tudo, e o operário pode destruir tudo, porque pode fazer tudo de novo.

-- Marx


A situação desesperada da época em que vivo me enche de esperança.

-- Marx em carta a Ruge


Fracassei em tudo o que tentei na vida.
Tentei alfabetizar as crianças brasileiras, não consegui.
Tente salvar os índios, não consegui.
Tentei fazer uma universidade séria e fracassei.
Tentei fazer o Brasil desenvolver-se autonomamente e fracassei.
Mas os fracassos são minhas vitórias.
Eu detestaria estar no lugar de quem me venceu.

-- Darcy Ribeiro


Sempre permaneça no metanível. Sempre há um metanível acima do qual você se
encontra. Nunca se coloque numa situação na qual você não possa se suicidar.
Ande sempre com sua pílula de cicuta.

--- logoutman

Jogo da Forca

Give me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough in them to hang him.


Corolário do Araponga:

Talvez menos linhas sejam necessárias para condenar alguém. Talvez apenas com a
citação acima já seria possível condenar o pobre Cardeal Richelieu.

O acúmulo de dados pela vigilância de massa compromete qualquer pessoa em
crimes previstos num entulho jurídico acumulado ao longo de centenas de anos.

Somos agentes duplos, títeres de qual jogo doentio?

It's the oldest question of all, George. Who can spy on the spies?

-- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy


"My Brain is the key that sets me free."

-- Houdini

Razão e progresso

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


Tudo se desatualiza à velocidade da luz. Inclusive a luz.

Tautologia da técnica

Toda a tecnologia deve ser substituível por materiais disponíveis no presídio
(fazemos o que podemos com o que temos).


Um computador confiável é uma região do espaço-tempo à qual foi atribuído
um voto de confiança.


O que é bom para o lixo é bom para a poesia

-- Manoel de Barros, Matéria de Poesia, in Poesias Completas, pág. 137