There once was a king who ruled his country long, wisely, and well. The king had a son whom he hoped would someday rule the land. He also wished in his heart that the son would be wise and compassionate. One day he said to the prince: "If you promised that you would give a certain woman anything, even half of your kingdom, and then she demanded the life of your best friend, what would your decision be, my son?" The young prince thought for a moment and then said, "I would tell her that she was my best friend, and then cut off her head." The king knew that his son would be a great king.
“If we live, we live; if we die, we die; if we suffer, we suffer; if we are terrified, we are terrified. No problem.” (Alan Watts)
"No program is perfect," They said with a shrug. "The customer's happy-- What's one little bug?" But he was determined, Then change two, then three more, The others went home. As year followed year. He dug out the flow chart And strangers would comment, Deserted, alone. "Is that guy still here?" Night passed into morning. He died at the console The room was cluttered Of hunger and thirst With core dumps, source listings. Next day he was buried "I'm close," he muttered. Face down, nine edge first. Chain smoking, cold coffee, And his wife through her tears Logic, deduction. Accepted his fate. "I've got it!" he cried, Said "He's not really gone, "Just change one instruction." He's just working late." -- The Perfect Programmer
There was once a programmer who worked upon microprocessors. "Look at how well off I am here," he said to a mainframe programmer who came to visit, "I have my own operating system and file storage device. I do not have to share my resources with anyone. The software is self-consistent and easy-to-use. Why do you not quit your present job and join me here?" The mainframe programmer then began to describe his system to his friend, saying: "The mainframe sits like an ancient sage meditating in the midst of the data center. Its disk drives lie end-to-end like a great ocean of machinery. The software is a multi-faceted as a diamond and as convoluted as a primeval jungle. The programs, each unique, move through the system like a swift-flowing river. That is why I am happy where I am." The microcomputer programmer, upon hearing this, fell silent. But the two programmers remained friends until the end of their days. -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Once upon a time, there were five blind men who had the opportunity to experience an elephant for the first time. One approached the elephant, and, upon encountering one of its sturdy legs, stated, "Ah, an elephant is like a tree." The second, after exploring the trunk, said, "No, an elephant is like a strong hose." The third, grasping the tail, said "Fool! An elephant is like a rope!" The fourth, holding an ear, stated, "No, more like a fan." And the fifth, leaning against the animal's side, said, "An elephant is like a wall." The five then began to argue loudly about who had the more accurate perception of the elephant. The elephant, tiring of all this abuse, suddenly reared up and attacked the men. He continued to trample them until they were nothing but bloody lumps of flesh. Then, strolling away, the elephant remarked, "It just goes to show that you can't depend on first impressions. When I first saw them I didn't think they'd be any fun at all."
“Live fast, die young, and leave a flat patch of fur on the highway!” -- The Squirrels' Motto, "The Hell's Angels of Nature"
That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could have loved so before us, and that no one will love in the same way as us. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
You can fool some of the people all of the time,
and all of the people some of the time,
but you can make a fool of yourself anytime.
"Technique?" said the programmer turning from his terminal, "What I follow is Tao -- beyond all technique! When I first began to program I would see before me the whole problem in one mass. After three years I no longer saw this mass. Instead, I used subroutines. But now I see nothing. My whole being exists in a formless void. My senses are idle. My spirit, free to work without plan, follows its own instinct. In short, my program writes itself. True, sometimes there are difficult problems. I see them coming, I slow down, I watch silently. Then I change a single line of code and the difficulties vanish like puffs of idle smoke. I then compile the program. I sit still and let the joy of the work fill my being. I close my eyes for a moment and then log off."
Certainly there are things in life that money can't buy, But it's very funny -- did you ever try buying them without money? -- Ogden Nash