Random Quotes

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers...choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stuffing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?
- John Hodge (screenplay), Trainspotting (the movie), 1996
Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people whae's behaviour is outside its mainstream. Suppose that ah ken aw the pros and cons, know that ah'm gaunnae huv a short life, am ay sound mind etcetera, etcetera, but still want tae use smack? They won't let ye dae it. They won't let ye dae it, because it's seen as a sign ay thir ain failure. The fact that ye jist simply choose tae reject whit they huv tae offer. Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've produced. Choose life.

Well, ah choose no tae choose life. If the cunts cannae handle that, it's thair fuckin problem. As Harry Lauder sais, ah jist intend tae keep right on to the end of the road . . .
- Irvine Welch, Trainspotting, 1993

Princeton is a wonderful little spot, a quaint and ceremonious village of puny demigods on stilts... Here the people who compose what is called ``society'' enjoy even less freedom than their counterparts in Europe. Yet they seem unaware of this restriction, since their way of life tends to inhibit personality development from childhood.
- Albert Einstein in a letter to Queen Elizabeth of Belgium
``I quite agree with you,'' said the Duchess; ``and the moral of that is - `Be what you would seem to be' - or, if you'd like it put more simply - `Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.' ''
- Lewis Carroll, ``Alice's Adventures in Wonderland''
[Literary-minded] men choose Hamlet because every man sees himself as a disinherited monarch. Women choose Alice [in Wonderland] because every woman sees herself as the only reasonable creature among crazy people who think they are disinherited monarchs.
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
In order to request a change to the forms management form change form, submit a forms change request form or the forms management form change form to the forms management supervisor. Do not use the request for forms change form, or the forms management form change form itself, as these will be forwarded to the forms management supervisor through the forms management form alteration process, resulting in additional paperwork.
- Virginia Form DMHMR 562-11A-38revA
Physical and logical deletion of a logical child segment in unidirectional and physically paired bidirectional logical relationships occurs when a delete call is issued to delete an occurrence of the logical child segment type, or a segment that is a parent of the logical child in the logical child's physical data base. In addition for a physically paired logical relationship, when a logical child segment is physically and logically deleted by issuing a call to delete the logical child segment or a segment that is a parent of the logical child in the same physical data base, the paired logical child segment is logically deleted. The paired logical child is both physically and logically deleted when the rule specified for the paired logical child is virtual. For virtually paired logical relationships, logical deletion of a logical child segment occurs when the delete rule of logical or virtual is specified for the logical parent, and a delete call is issued to delete an occurrence of the logical parent segment type or a parent of the logical parent in the logical parents physical data base. Physical deletion of a real logical child segment occurs when a call is issued to delete an occurrence of the real logical child or a segment that is a parent of the real logical child segment in the same physical data base.
- Data Logic education manual, 17 June 1986
No proper program contains an indication which as an operator-applied occurrence identifies an operator-defining occurrence which as an indication- applied occurrence identifies an indication-defining occurrence different from the one identified by the given indication as an indication-applied occurrence.
- ALGOL 68 Report
Given a decade any fool could design a real nifty role-playing game. Game design professionals are fools who think they can design one in much less time.
- Gred Gorden
Don't try this at home. We're idiots.
- Steve Jackson, publisher of a number of role-playing games.
Like, I despise the eggheads who advocate totally functional programming with no side effects. Mostly because I don't entirely understand it.
- Root Boy Jim <rbj@uunet.uu.net> in comp.lang.perl
Larry Wall should be shot. Along with Bill Joy and Eric Allman.
- Daniel Finster, comp.lang.lisp
Why, just because you guys frittered away a 20-year headstart?
- Larry Wall, comp.lang.perl
I've noticed lately that the paranoid fear of computers becoming intelligent and taking over the world has almost entirely disappeared from the common culture. Near as I can tell, this coincides with the release of MS-DOS.
- Larry DeLuca <henrik@scws10.harvard.edu>, 3/95.
Use the word ``cybernetics,'' Norbert, because nobody knows what it means. This will always put you at an advantage in arguments.
- Claude Shannon (the father of Information Theory) in a letter to Norbert Weiner of M.I.T., in the 1940's
Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.
- Andrew Lias's .signature <andrew.lias@lamrc.com>
Beneath every great virtual reality experiment is a fat man in dreadlocks lying in a swivel chair with his hand sticking up into the air.
- Nate ``OhioGrad'' Loofbourrow
We couldn't really write songs about cars and girls because we had no girlfriends and no cars.
- Musician Johnny Ramone, of punk band The Ramones
It is possible that no one thought of them, but most ``new'' programming constructs have been around for years. In fact, I think philosophers in Ancient Greece used to sit around the campfire thinking up programming constructs, and then saying, ``Damn, if only we had some computers.''
- Chris Torek
A one-question geek test. If you get the joke, you're a geek:
Seen on a California license plate on a VW Beetle: ``FEATURE''
- author unknown
If I said anything which implies that I think that we didn't do what we should have done given the choices we faced at the time, I shouldn't have said that.
- President Bill Clinton, 23 October 1995
The fact of the matter is, we scientists are simply not all that interesting. If I may generalize wildly, we are usually dull people with interesting ideas - as distinguished from artists (interesting people with dull ideas) and dancers and athletes (dull people with dull ideas and magnificent physical skills).
- ``Science Faction,'' by James S. Trefil, Scientific American, November 1995.
It has been suggested by a network goon that we add some spice to the Simpsons family by adding another character. I'm resisting this with all my might. However, if a genie or little friendly alien comes to live with the Simpsons sometime soon, you'll know I failed.
- Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons
It seems to us that we are getting perilously near the ideal of the modern Utopian when life is to consist of sitting in armchairs and pressing a button. It is not a desirable prospect; we shall have no wants, no money, no ambition, no youth, no desires, no individuality, no names and nothing wise about us.
- The Electrician, 1891 (yes, 1891)
The instructions ANL, ORL, XRL perform the logical functions AND, OR, and/or Exclusive-OR on the two byte variables indicated, leaving the results in the first. No flags are affected. (A word to the wise - do not vocalize the first two mnemonics in mixed company.)
- MCS-51 User's Manual (Intel 8051), July 1981.
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. ... Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
- President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 (letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
note: this quote was apparently fabricated in the 1880's!
The history of the Universe has been summed up thusly: ``Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas, which, given enough time, turns into people.''
John P. Wiley Jr., quoting Edward R. Harrison (a cosmologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) Smithsonian Magazine, December, 1995.
Looking for near-life experience/ Millie's blue plate special, porkchops and applesauce $5.95/ Raging, just raging/ Where's my Thumblina/ Is the ship half floating or half sinking/ The horrors of halitosis/ Dats desssspicable/ Red rover red rover let lucy come over/ Play it hard/ Shred it, scrape it, toast it, bite it/ I'll take the box, bob/ PS-X Programmer/ Mickie you make me lose my mind/ Don't delay, call now/ Carrot jello mold
- Job advertisement from Lucasarts, 4 April 1996
Someone dies. Someone nearly dies. Someone is reborn. Someone takes a fall. Lots of things blow up. Something really big blows up. Hearts are broken. Love is found, possibly too late. And there are equal measures of hope and great despair.
- J. Michael Straczynski, producer / writer of Babylon 5, describing the end of season 3, 9 July 1996
When I watch TV and see those poor, starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean, I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.
- fabricated quote, originally attributed to Mariah Carey
It's so complicated, it can't crash.
- Rudro Samanta, describing his latest program, 18 September 1996
There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.
- C.A.R. Hoare
OK, enough is enough. I can see that I'm not going to be able to fool you guys. I confess everything. You're right. It all *was* an evil conspiracy. There really isn't a shred of merit in Tcl, or C++, or Perl, or C; there is not a single reason on earth why anyone should use any of these languages for any programming task. Scheme truly is the perfect language that solves every problem and combines the virtues of every other language. For years we've been plotting to trick programmers into using bad languages. Yes, I mean "we". Many many people have participated in this sinister plot, including Larry Wall, Dennis Ritchie, Bill Gates, the Bureau of ATF, most of the LAPD, and Mark Fuhrman (sorry you guys, but the truth has overwhelmed me so I've been forced to expose you). I feel just terrible at how I have set the programming world back, and I promise to be a good boy from now on.
- John Ousterhout <ouster@tcl.eng.sun.com>, 11 April 1997, comp.lang.tcl
[Asked if he'll leak his vote for the Hugo nominations, jms responds...]
Well, if there *were* anything to say, it would be with the understanding that the Hugo people want to make the announcements on nominations, so anything I have to say wouldn't actually exist until after then, so what I might have to say now doesn't exist, and what I may say in future can't be said, so theoretically what exists, doesn't, for the immediate future.
- J. Michael Straczynski, 18 April 1997
Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets and then teams up with three complete stangers to kill again.
- TV listing for the movie, The Wizard of Oz, in the Marin Independent Journal.
I'm sorry but Madonna has nothing on me as a rebel. Madonna in a thong, me in a thong - which one is more challenging to the status quo?
- Marilyn Wann, a proud 270 pounds, author of FAT!SO?
Kathy Owl, a registered nurse who is training for the Chicago marathon in the fall, stopped running after a mile and a half.

``I live in Houston,'' said Ms. Owl, who is visiting a friend for the weekend, as she left Central Park about 9 a.m. in a tank top soaked with sweat. ``So this is about the same.''

But Houston is built for this. People in Houston go from air-conditioned homes to air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned offices. They have underground, air-conditioned tunnels connecting them to malls and food courts. They wear stockings in the summer.

New York is the land of sidewalk sightseeing, and these days, everybody is crowding the shady side.

- New York Times, 31 July 1999, ``Residents Sweat Out City's Hottest July,'' by Jodi Wilgoren
Ever Onward! Ever Onward!
That's the sprit that has brought us fame.
We're big but bigger we will be,
We can't fail for all can see, that to serve humanity
Has been our aim.
Our products now are known in every zone.
Our reputation sparkles like a gem.
We've fought our way thru
And new fields we're sure to conquer, too
For the Ever Onward IBM!

Ever Onward! Ever Onward!
We're bound for the top to never fall,
Right here and now we thankfully
Pledge sincerest loyalty
To the corporation that's the best of all
Our leaders we revere and while we're here,
Let's show the world just what we think of them!
So let us sing men -- Sing men
Once or twice, then sing again
For the Ever Onward IBM!

There's a thrill in store for all for we're about to toast
The corporation that we represent.
We're here to cheer each pioneer and also proudly boast,
Of that man of men our sterling president
The name of T.J. Watson means
A courage none can stem
And we feel honored to be here to toast the IBM.

- Ever Onward, from the 1940 IBM Songbook

Dan Wallach, CS Department, Rice University
Last modified: Mon Aug 2 15:21:33 CDT 1999