Americans think 100 years is a long time.
The English think 100 miles is a long ways away.
An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard and a German are all standing watching a street performer do some excellent juggling. The juggler notices that the four gentleman have a very poor view, so he stands up on a large wooden box and calls out, “Can you all see me now?”
101 Great Quotes on Computers
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."
"Computers are like bikinis. They save people a lot of guesswork."
"They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction."
"That's what's cool about working with computers. They don't argue, they remember everything, and they don't drink all your beer."
"If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside."
(Robert X. Cringely)
"Computers are getting smarter all the time. Scientists tell us that soon they will be able to talk to us. (And by 'they', I mean 'computers'. I doubt scientists will ever be able to talk to us.)"
"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."
"The question of whether computers can think is like the question of whether submarines can swim."
(Edsger W. Dijkstra)
"It's ridiculous to live 100 years and only be able to remember 30 million bytes. You know, less than a compact disc. The human condition is really becoming more obsolete every minute."
"The city's central computer told you? R2D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer!"
"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."
"Hardware: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked."
"Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves."
"I've finally learned what 'upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes."
(Dennie van Tassel)
"There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
(Jeremy S. Anderson)
"19 Jan 2038 at 3:14:07 AM"
(End of the word according to Unix-2^32 seconds after January 1, 1970)
"Every operating system out there is about equal. We all suck."
(Microsoft senior vice president Brian Valentine describing the state of the art in OS security, 2003)
"Microsoft has a new version out, Windows XP, which according to everybody is the 'most reliable Windows ever.' To me, this is like saying that asparagus is 'the most articulate vegetable ever.' "
"The Internet? Is that thing still around?"
"The Web is like a dominatrix. Everywhere I turn, I see little buttons ordering me to Submit."
"Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and Usenet is nothing like Shakespeare."
"The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry."
"True innovation often comes from the small startup who is lean enough to launch a market but lacks the heft to own it."
"It has been said that the great scientific disciplines are examples of giants standing on the shoulders of other giants. It has also been said that the software industry is an example of midgets standing on the toes of other midgets."
"It is not about bits, bytes and protocols, but profits, losses and margins."
"We are Microsoft. Resistance Is Futile. You Will Be Assimilated."
"No matter how slick the demo is in rehearsal, when you do it in front of a live audience, the probability of a flawless presentation is inversely proportional to the number of people watching, raised to the power of the amount of money involved."
"The bulk of all patents are crap. Spending time reading them is stupid.
It's up to the patent owner to do so, and to enforce them."
"Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming."
"Complexity kills. It sucks the life out of developers, it makes products difficult to plan, build and test, it introduces security challenges, and it causes end-user and administrator frustration."
"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 function of good software is to make the complex appear to be simple."
Ease of Use
"Just remember: you're not a 'dummy,' no matter what those computer books claim. The real dummies are the people who-though technically expert-couldn 't design hardware and software that's usable by normal consumers if their lives depended upon it."
"Software suppliers are trying to make their software packages more 'user-friendly'. Their best approach so far has been to take all the old brochures and stamp the words 'user-friendly' on the cover."
"There's an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone."
"Any fool can use a computer. Many do."
"There are only two industries that refer to their customers as 'users'."
"Programmers are in a race with the Universe to create bigger and better idiot-proof programs, while the Universe is trying to create bigger and better idiots. So far the Universe is winning."
"Most of you are familiar with the virtues of a programmer. There are three, of course: laziness, impatience, and hubris."
"The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it's too late."
"That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers."
"For a long time it puzzled me how something so expensive, so leading edge, could be so useless. And then it occurred to me that a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match."
"Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter."
"A programmer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis of being able to turn out, after innumerable punching, an infinite series of incomprehensive answers calculated with micrometric precisions from vague assumptions based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive documents and carried out on instruments of problematical accuracy by persons of dubious reliability and questionable mentality for the avowed purpose of annoying and confounding a hopelessly defenseless department that was unfortunate enough to ask for the information in the first place."
(IEEE Grid newsmagazine)
"A hacker on a roll may be able to produce-in a period of a few months-something that a small development group (say, 7-8 people) would have a hard time getting together over a year. IBM used to report that certain programmers might be as much as 100 times as productive as other workers, or more."
"The best programmers are not marginally better than merely good ones. They are an order-of-magnitude better, measured by whatever standard: conceptual creativity, speed, ingenuity of design, or problem-solving ability."
(Randall E. Stross)
"A great lathe operator commands several times the wage of an average lathe operator, but a great writer of software code is worth 10,000 times the price of an average software writer."
"Don't worry if it doesn't work right. If everything did, you'd be out of a job."
(Mosher's Law of Software Engineering)
"Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight."
"Writing code has a place in the human hierarchy worth somewhere above grave robbing and beneath managing."
"First learn computer science and all the theory. Next develop a programming style. Then forget all that and just hack."
"First, solve the problem. Then, write the code."
"Optimism is an occupational hazard of programming; feedback is the treatment."
"To iterate is human, to recurse divine."
(L. Peter Deutsch)
"The best thing about a boolean is even if you are wrong, you are only off by a bit."
"Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration."
"There are only two kinds of programming languages: those people always bitch about and those nobody uses."
"PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals."
"The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should therefore be regarded as a criminal offense."
"It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC. As potential programmers, they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."
(E. W. Dijkstra)
"I think Microsoft named .Net so it wouldn't show up in a Unix directory listing."
"There is no programming language-no matter how structured-that will prevent programmers from making bad programs."
"Computer language design is just like a stroll in the park. Jurassic Park, that is."
"Fifty years of programming language research, and we end up with C++?"
(Richard A. O'Keefe)
"Writing in C or C++ is like running a chain saw with all the safety guards removed."
"In C++ it's harder to shoot yourself in the foot, but when you do, you blow off your whole leg."
"C++ : Where friends have access to your private members."
(Gavin Russell Baker)
"One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that-lacking zero-they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs."
"Java is, in many ways, C++-."
"Saying that Java is nice because it works on all OSes is like saying that anal sex is nice because it works on all genders."
"Fine, Java MIGHT be a good example of what a programming language should be like. But Java applications are good examples of what applications SHOULDN'
T be like."
"If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution."
"Software is like sex: It's better when it's free."
"The only people who have anything to fear from free software are those whose products are worth even less."
"Good code is its own best documentation."
"Any code of your own that you haven't looked at for six or more months might as well have been written by someone else."
"The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time."
"Good programmers use their brains, but good guidelines save us having to think out every case."
"In software, we rarely have meaningful requirements. Even if we do, the only measure of success that matters is whether our solution solves the customer's shifting idea of what their problem is."
"Considering the current sad state of our computer programs, software development is clearly still a black art, and cannot yet be called an engineering discipline."
"You can't have great software without a great team, and most software teams behave like dysfunctional families."
"As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs."
(Maurice Wilkes discovers debugging, 1949)
"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are-by definition-not smart enough to debug it."
"If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in."
(Edsger W. Dijkstra)
"I don't care if it works on your machine! We are not shipping your machine!"
"Programming is like sex: one mistake and you're providing support for a lifetime."
"There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works."
(Alan J. Perlis)
"You can either have software quality or you can have pointer arithmetic, but you cannot have both at the same time."
"If McDonalds were run like a software company, one out of every hundred Big Macs would give you food poisoning, and the response would be, 'We're sorry, here's a coupon for two more.' "
"Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live."
"To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer."
"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history-with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila."
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
(Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899)
"I think there's a world market for about 5 computers."
(Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of the Board, IBM, circa 1948)
"It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years."
(John Von Neumann, circa 1949)
"But what is it good for?"
(Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip, 1968)
"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."
(Ken Olson, President, Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977)
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
(Bill Gates, 1981)
"Windows NT addresses 2 Gigabytes of RAM, which is more than any application will ever need."
(Microsoft, on the development of Windows NT, 1992)
"We will never become a truly paper-less society until the Palm Pilot folks come out with WipeMe 1.0."
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
(Frank Lloyd Wright)
My uncle represented this guy getting a divorce from his wife of 15 years. Super toxic breakup and they split everything 50/50, even the land that the house they lived in sat upon. Well she decides to build a house right behind the other house, mind you this was a lot of land probably 200 yards separating both home sites, so that the back of the houses faced each other. The house gets built and my uncle gets a call from his client asking about the legality of a situation he had gotten himself into. Apparently his ex wife would spend a lot of time in her backyard, so he saw her all the time. What he did was buy a female dog and name it the same name as his ex-wife. Anytime he would let his dog back in from letting her out he would yell “Susan you bitch! Get in here!” He would also yell if she was peeing on the flowers,”Susan you bitch! Quit pissing on the flowers!” or “Susan you bitch! Quit digging in the dirt!” The ex-wife called the cops on him a couple of times, but there was nothing they could do because the dog was registered under the name of Susan, and it was in fact a bitch so there you go.
As I slipped my finger slowly inside her hole, I could immediately feel it getting wetter and wetter.
I took my finger back out and within seconds she was going down on me.
I thought to myself; "I really need a new fucking boat."
Issue of the Times;
Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Coming into Focus by Conrad Black
Gradually, almost imperceptibly, the outline of a coherent Trump foreign policy is emerging and succeeding. The elements were to withdraw from the role as the default war-maker in the Middle East without creating a vacuum, render Russia less adversarial without facing it down into the arms of the Chinese, and revitalize the Western Alliance to a plausible notion of multilateral contributions and not just an American military guarantee for everyone, ex gratia and pro bono.
At the same time, there would be unrestricted war on terrorist organizations, a revival of nuclear non-proliferation by direct and overbearing threats to North Korea and Iran, and the reconstruction of America’s status as the world’s preeminent economy by tax reductions, deregulation, renegotiation of trade treaties, and encouragement of energy self-sufficiency.
There have been some unfortunate moments from a presentational standpoint, but it is a good plan and it is working.
Changing the Game in the Mideast
Turkey had attempted to masquerade as the patron of the Arabs and was sent packing in remembrance of the Arabs’ 500 years of involuntary enjoyment of Turkish occupation, and after a regional musical chairs game with ancient rivals Iran and Russia, all pretending a common cause in Syria. Turkey was left standing when the music stopped and largely has reconciled with the United States. The two countries will operate joint patrols to keep the Kurds from aggravating Kurdish discontent within Anatolia (Turkish Asia Minor).
Turkish President Erdogan is a distasteful and inconstant ally, but more manageable than the Russian leader Putin, and a Lincolnian statesman compared to the Iranian ayatollahs. The Trump Administration is not prepared to accept permanent involvement of U.S. ground forces in the Middle East. But neither will it accept the creation of vacuums there which foment terrorism, as after Obama’s petulant and abrupt departure from Iraq. This led to the swift rise of ISIS, the disintegration of Shiite Iraq, and thrust 60 percent of the country’s population into dependency on Iran. The entire American effort there: two invasions under the Bushes and Obama’s wind-down, handed Iran the greatest accretion of its influence since the height of the Parthian Empire nearly 2,000 years ago.
Now, making a partial virtue of the failings of the previous two administrations, the crumbling of Iraq and Syria, formerly two of Israel’s most fanatical enemies, strengthens Israeli security, and the encroachments of the Arabs’ ancient enemies and oppressors, the Turks and Iranians, bring Egypt and Saudi Arabia into quasi-alliance with Israel. ISIS and al-Qaeda effectively have been smashed, the United States doesn’t care if Russia has a naval base on the Mediterranean (since Russia could not challenge the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean without bankrupting itself). The Russians protect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Alawite faction, and the Turks and Americans protect the secular adversaries of Assad and keep the Kurds out of Turkey, protecting Kurdistan from the Turks.
Obviously, the war in Yemen has to end without an Iranian victory and the pressure on Iran must be maintained until this dismal theocracy in Teheran either repents of its ambition for an arc of influence, or collapses from internal anger at its comprehensive corruption and failure.
The Arab powers have greater concerns than continuing to try to distract the Arab masses from the misgovernment inflicted on them with the red herring of Israel, and no one cares a jot about the Palestinians, as the inexcusably delayed movement of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem demonstrated. The bedraggled and discredited PLO leader, Mahmoud Abbas, should soon make a deal which implicitly includes the Egyptians uprooting Hamas in Gaza with America’s and the world’s blessing. Palestine will have to accept a narrower West Bank and a deeper Gaza strip in compensation, with a secure road between them. It will settle down as another dusty, but industrious little country, and the last piece of the puzzle will be Hezbollah—one peep from it and all the neighboring forces will be pleased to dispatch it.
Given the importance of the factors in play, the Trump Administration cannot allow the fracas over purported “journalist” Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, to derail progress in the Middle East. His murder is one of the stupidest and most barbarous acts in the unenlightened history of the House of Saud, and has been hyped to the rafters by the Democrats and their media ciphers, but will be talked out effectively by Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo. It was a disgusting crime, but these are frequent in the Middle East and no significant part of the world’s future can be mortgaged to the victim.
Khashoggi was no great friend of America, despite the mournful caterwauling of the increasingly desperate Democrats, and some well-meaning Republican dupes (like Senator Lindsey Graham, who padded around the Middle East 15 years ago with John McCain demanding fair treatment of the Muslim Brotherhood).
Upending Popular Wisdom on Russia and China
The fixation of the Democrats, and of some gullible Republicans such as Marco Rubio, on the Russians, and the unutterable but now scarcely audible nonsense about collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign in 2016, has caused many Americans to forget the strategic correlation of forces in the world. But the president and his close advisors have realized that Russia could only be dangerous if it were so coldly rebuffed before the whole world that it were driven into the arms of China.
Despite the passing hubbub about his comments in Helsinki (which essentially meant that Trump had more confidence in the assertions of Russian intelligence than in the partisan fabrications of former U.S. intelligence chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper, with some reason), the president has succeeded in shifting America’s attention to the fact that China is its only rival for strategic preeminence in the world.
Trump has struck up and retained a cordial personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but has steadily moved to break down China’s trade surplus with the United States, encouraged China’s neighbors to join hands in resisting Chinese hegemony in the Far East, and used the preeminence of the United States Navy to assure that the Chinese effort to convert the South China Sea into Chinese territorial waters does not succeed.
The fretful assertions that China would surpass the United States as a power, economically and otherwise, in the next 20 years, have died away, as did the claims that Japan would surpass America as an economic power and the USSR as a military power. Now, it is even acknowledged by popular wisdom, Trump-haters, and the somewhat broader and more international category of anti-Americans, (though many of them are Americans), that prejudging the outcome of that contest is unwise.
As he opened relations with China and triangulated the super power rivalry with the Soviet Union in 1972, Richard Nixon said that the world’s five great centers of strategic strength (in terms of population, industry and technology) were the United States, USSR, Western Europe, Japan, and China. Now the Russians are itinerant international troublemakers, inelegantly and inconsistently trying to replicate the feat of Charles de Gaulle in reminding the world of the importance of France, but they are a crumbling custodian of vast geopolitical possibilities, awaiting the development of mature and efficient political institutions. Europe is a cocoon for the containment of Germany, paying Danegeld, for notorious historical reasons, to the working and agrarian classes, but only the British and French retain the remotest concept of how Great Powers conduct themselves. Japan is almost as reticent, but stirred to greater activity than the Europeans by their proximity to China.
Trump and Xi understand that they are the rivals, and there is no real military issue; it is economic predominance and the prestige of the nations. The Americans retain the advantage-the world’s greatest democracy and promoter of democracy. China has no institutions of any public trust except, up to a point, the armed forces. The United States, as in the times of James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, is unchallenged in its hemisphere. Western Europe is slumbering quiescently and is, to an adequate extent, an American ally, and palsied Russia is waiting to begin the primordial task of trying to devise political institutions that will serve its legitimate aspirations. Japan seeks American assistance as a bulwark against resurgent China. This is a constellation that President Trump is steadily strengthening, and it is one that, with continued management, cannot fail to win, and will not try to bar China from being the first of the world’s great nations to regenerate itself. In this process, though not in some of its more jingoistic manifestations, China should not be discouraged.
No one would call Donald Trump a sophisticated geopolitician, (including Donald Trump). But in practice, he is. He is not a historian, but he is a realistic analyst of the present and is building a fine future for his country. Americans sense this, and will respond to it.
Quote of the Times;
“Only a few prefer liberty; the majority seek nothing more than fair masters." – Sallust
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