Tao Te Chip ~ humor


One of Many
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Seattle, WA

The tao that can be tar(1)ed
is not the entire Tao.
The path that can be specified
is not the Full Path.
We declare the names
of all variables and functions.
Yet the Tao has no type specifier.
Dynamically binding, you realize the magic.
Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.
Yet magic and hierarchy
arise from the same source,
and this source has a null pointer.
Reference the NULL within NULL,
it is the gateway to all wizardry.


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


When you overesteem great hackers,
more users become cretins.
When you develop encryption,
more users become crackers.
The Guru leads
by emptying user's minds
and increasing their quotas,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
When users lack knowledge and desire,
management will not try to interfere.
Practice not-looping,
and everything will fall into place.


The Tao is like a glob pattern:
used but never used up.
It is like the extern void:
filled with infinite possibilities.
It is masked but always present.
I don't know who built to it.
It came before the first kernel.


The Tao doesn't take sides;
it gives birth to both wins and losses.
The Guru doesn't take sides;
she welcomes both hackers and lusers.
The Tao is like a stack:
the data changes but not the structure.
the more you use it, the deeper it becomes;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the root.


Graphics blind the eyes.
Audio files deafen the ear.
Mouse clicks numb the fingers.
Heuristics weaken the mind.
Options wither the heart.
The Guru observes the net
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
His heart is as open as the ether.


When the Guru administers, the users
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a sysop who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
And worst, one who is despised.
If you don't trust the users,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Guru doesn't talk, he hacks.
When his work is done,
the users say, "Amazing:
we implemented it, all by ourselves!"


Throw away documentation and manuals,
and users will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away privileges and quotas,
and users will do the Right Thing.
Throw away proprietary and site licenses,
and there won't be any pirating.
If these three aren't enough,
just stay at your home directory
and let all processes take their course.


When license fees are too high,
users do things by hand.
When the management is too intrusive,
users lose their spirit.
Hack for the user's benefit.
Trust them; leave them alone.


If a system is administered wisely,
its users will be content.
They enjoy hacking their code
and don't waste time implementing
labor-saving shell scripts.
Since they dearly love their accounts,
they aren't interested in other machines.
There may be telnet, rlogin, and ftp,
but these don't access any hosts.
There may be an arsenal of cracks and malware,
but nobody ever uses them.
People enjoy reading their mail,
take pleasure in being with their newsgroups,
spend weekends working at their terminals,
delight in the doings at the site.
And even though the next system is so close
that users can hear its key clicks and biff beeps,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.
Hehehe, hacker humour!

The great sages of history descended from heaven to search for a worthy successor. They immediately fell to arguing about the kind of man they should seek. Buddha, sitting cross legged beneath a tree, said: "Of a certainty, we must look for a monk. Only a monk can understand the transitory nature of the universe."
Confucius stroked his thin beard. "Monks are concerned only with their own advancement. We should seek a politician, who can make laws that will bring order to society."
Moses crossed his arms over his burly chest. "Politicians are ruled by the love of power. Better that we seek a lawyer, who can interpret the law."
Jesus gave a deep sigh. "Lawyers are often merciless. We should find some great preacher who can educate the masses."
Mohammed's eyes flashed fire. "Talk! Always talk! We need a warrior who will force holiness on mankind."
Lao Tse was standing to one side, taking no part in the argument. The other sages appealed to him for a judgement. "What manner of man should we seek?" they asked.
Lao Tse said nothing, but led them along a winding path.
The path became a road and the road became a highway. They approached a city. Glaring lights and garish signs hid the horizon. Wires crossed overhead like black webs. Automobiles sped past like insane metal insects. The sages held their hands over their ears as the harpy screams of jets broke through the brown and poisonous clouds.
At last they came to a building. Within the building they saw a man sitting before a computer screen.
The sages looked at Lao Tse in disbelief. "A programmer? Have you gone mad?" they asked.
Lao Tse smiled. "Please look more closely. This man sees nothing but the screen in front of him. Surrounded by his computers, he knows only the reality that he has created and yet realizes that it is only illusion. He has gone beyond technology; he has transcended the machine."