If you like this site, see my recent campaign for collecting money for my works of fiction.

Shlomi Fish’s Aphorisms and Quotes Collection

Introduction

This is a growing collection of aphorisms and funny bits I came up with throughout the years. They are arranged in roughly chronological order.

You can also find them and others in machine-readable UNIX fortune cookies collections.

Table of Contents

List of Aphorisms

A Jewish Deduction

The Bible dictates that “Thou shalt not seethe [=cook] a kid [= young goat] in his mother’s milk”. To avoid any possibility of breaking that regulation, the Jewish tradition ruled that it also applies to female goats, to mature goats, and to the meat and milk of two completely unrelated goats. It is also forbidden to eat the meat with fresh milk, and it applies to beef and mutton as well (including mixing the milk and meat of two different beasts). Finally, chicken, which are incapable of milk production, may not be eaten along with any mammal’s milk either.

We are fortunate that most mathematicians were not Jewish. Otherwise, it would have been forbidden to divide by all numbers between -1 and 1.

This bit used to appear on my signature for a short while, but people got mad because it was too long, so I replaced it.


I Used to be Arrogant

I used to be arrogant. Now I’m simply perfect.

This bit was once said by a relative of mine…


Murphy’s Law

If the ancient Greeks had invented UNIX, Murphy’s Law would have been known as Aristotle’s Law.

Had they invented MS-Windows, Murphy’s Law would have been known as the Law of Socrates.


Microsoft’s Slogan

Microsoft’s slogan used to be “Microsoft - making it all make sense.”

Today it should be: “Microsoft - making everything make sense. Ours.”

And another twist:

“Microsoft - friendliness is our outstanding quality. No matter how much we mess up your computer work, we will always consider you our friend.”


The American Lottery

The American Lottery - all you need is a dollar and a dream. We will take the dollar, but you can keep the dream.


I don’t Believe in Fairies

I don’t believe in fairies. Oops! A fairy died.
I don’t believe in fairies. Oops! Another fairy died.

I don’t really know who said it, so it’s possible that I invented it.


Moses the Smiley

:)-<
 +--

The prefix “God Said”

The prefix “God Said” has the extraordinary logical property of converting any statement that follows it into a true one.


Deltas to “Shit Happens” according to Religions

Judaism: God knows you will do shit, does nothing to prevent it, but makes you take the blame for it anyway.

Or alternatively:

God is all the shit, all the non-shit and all the intermediate demi-shits in between.


Interpret the Past

Let’s interpret the past according to the present and not the present according to the past.

(From an E-mail discussion with Ben Pfaff)


Computer Science and C Programming

“Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes”

Edsger W. Dijkstra

“C programming is no more about computers than astronomy is about stars.”

Shlomi Fish


A more experienced programmer…

A more experienced programmer does not make less bugs. He just realizes what went wrong more quickly.


I promised, I forgot, I broke my promise…

I promised, I forgot, I broke my promise - just shoot me and get on with it!

Potentially some famous last words, I also came up with this bit, and I’m not sure if I heard it before.


The First Phrase that needs to be Taught

The first phrase that needs to be taught when teaching a new language is how to say “Do you speak English?”.

The first thing that needs to be taught when teaching a new computer tool is how to exit it.


If A is A and A is not not-A…

If:
1. A is A.
2. A is not not-A.
does it also imply that:
1. B is B.
2. B is not not-B.

If you don’t understand it, either forget it or consult the following threads: Usenet, Haifa Linux Club


I know I’m blonde…

I know I’m blonde, but I have to colour my hair brown, so people would not think I’m stupid. Because, like the title of the book says: “You’ve only got Three Seconds”.

Actually, since Amazon sent us two books like that, you’ve only got six seconds.


Re-inventing the Wheel

He who re-invents the wheel, will understand much better how a wheel works.

Or:

He who re-invents the wheel, may actually invent a much better wheel.

Nadav Har’El’s response was:

He who re-invents the wheel will likely design a square wheel and spend a year trying to figure out why it doesn’t work properly.


C++ and Object-Oriented Programming

IMO, C++ supports Object-Oriented Programming roughly as much as COBOL supports Functional Programming.

You have to be a relatively experienced hacker to get this joke. So don’t worry if you don’t understand it.


A Better Alternative

Sometimes you don’t need to be familiar with a better alternative to know that something sucks. Take Microsoft Word for example.

This was said by my friend


Good Student vs. Bad Student

The difference between a good student and a bad student is that a bad student forgets the material five minutes before the test, while a good student five minutes afterwards.

This was said by a lecturer of mine.


If it was not Clear

I hope that if it was not clear before, it is not less clear now.

Also by a lecturer.


An Apple a Day

An apple a day keeps a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two doctors away.


Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Next Movie

[Discussing the shortage of IT workers as of 1998 on E-mail]

Shlomi Fish to Omer Zak: “Even the NSA doesn’t have enough programmers. But it is not likely that they will have more, and that’s because Summerschool at the NSA, may might as well be the name of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s next movie.”

Omer Zak to Shlomi Fish: “And as opposed to I Know What You Did Last Summer, it is going to be scary.”


Objective Philosophy…

Objective philosophy is like a pencil sharpener for one’s mind.


Taking a Turing Test

>
> Shlomi,
>
> Have you ever considered taking a Turing test? ;-)
>

<sarcasm>
Sure I did. I sat at one point of an IRC channel, and someone tested me. Eventually it was discovered that I am a computer, but it turned out the other side was an Eliza program. Strangely enough, I could not detect that the latter fact was true.
</sarcasm>


Hi, Sophie!

Jack: Hi, Sophie!

Sophie: Don’t “Hi, Sophie!” me.

Jack: Don’t “Don’t ‘Hi, Sophie!’ me” me!


Corollary of Godwyn’s Law

Shlomi, I’m considering naming a corollary of Godwyn’s law after you - any discussion of anything is over when you mention Freecell Solver.

Muli Ben-Yehuda on #kernelnewbies (irc.kernelnewbies.org)

Muli: BTW, I think that any discussion only begins to gain momentum when I mention Freecell Solver.

Shlomi Fish on #offtopic (irc.kernelnewbies.org)


Keeping an Idea to Yourself

There’s no point in keeping an idea to yourself since there’s a 10 to 1 chance that somebody already has it and will share it before you.


You are banished!

You are banished! You are banished! You are banished! - Hey! I’m just kidding!


Crazy Opinions

My opinions may seem crazy but they all make sense. Insane sense, but sense nonetheless.


Foreign Languages

[Discussing Foreign Languages Knowledge in the U.S.A]

Ben Collins-Sussman: Tis’ true, unlike Europe, the language doesn’t change every 100 miles.

Shlomi Fish: And unlike England, the accent does not change every 10 miles.


What Happened to Christopher Michael Pilato?

What happened to Christopher Michael Pilato?
Is he gone?
Is he gone for good?
Is he gone for better?
Is he gone for best?
Is he gone forever?
Will he return?
Who is Christopher Michael Pilato, anyway?


In Philosophy, as much as in software engineering,

In Philosophy, as much as in software engineering, you don’t get credit for originality. What matters is the final product, not who came up with the idea for each feature first.


He has a high degree of…

He has a high degree of idealism, a high degree of stubbornness, and an even higher degree of inability to distinguish between the two.

I originally thought of something similar to that about Richard M. Stallman who has headed the Free Software Foundation and its GNU project since it’s inception. He is known for his radical and non-comprising views that combine both idealism and just plain stubbornness. Otherwise, he’s a great and noble guy, and I had the opportunity of meeting and talking him during his visit to Israel. (He is much more pleasant in real life than online.)


Hacker Sees Bug

Hacker sees bug. Hacker does not want bug. Hacker fixes bug.

I was told that the natural continuation to this should be “Hack, hacker, hack!”


95% of Programmers

Linus Torvalds: “95% of Programmers consider themselves in the top 5%”.

Shlomi Fish’s Corollary: “95% of Programmers consider 95% of the code they did not write, in the bottom 5%”.


Too Girly

  <rindolf>    Linuxgrrl: well The Gilmore Girls is also a drama. Sort
               of a dramedie, but a serious one.
<Linuxgrrl>    Meh.
<Linuxgrrl>    Too girly for me.
  <rindolf>    Linuxgrrl: you are a girl.
  <rindolf>    Linuxgrrl: let me guess - you’re using Debian or Gentoo,
               right?
<Linuxgrrl>    Gentoo.
  <rindolf>    Linuxgrrl: knew it.
  <rindolf>    Linuxgrrl: no self-respecting tomboy would use Mandrake.

rindolf here is Shlomi Fish


C++ is…

C++ is complex, complexifying and complexified.

(With apologies to the Oxford English Dictionary.)


Linux - Because Software Problems…

Linux - Because Software Problems Should not Cost Money


Real Programmers Don’t Write

Real programmers don’t write workarounds. They tell their users to upgrade their software.


If his Programming…

If his programming is anything like his philosophising, he would find 10 imaginary bugs in the “Hello World” program.


Blogging Memes

  <rindolf>  I’m siicckk of blogging memes.
  <rindolf>  You are this file type.
  <rindolf>  You are that type of cloth.
<jkauffman>  You are this member of the Friends show
  <rindolf>  jkauffman: LOL.
<jkauffman>  “January 4th, 2005: Just took an online quiz and it
             turns out I’m a Joey type”

rindolf here is Shlomi Fish


Tcl is Lisp on Drugs…

Tcl is LISP on drugs. Using strings instead of S-expressions for closures is Evil with one of those gigantic “E”s you can find at the beginning of book chapters.


Jewish Atheists

Jewish Atheists are the only true Atheists. They beat the hell out of Goy Atheists.

Yet more Jew-over-Gentile superiority, this time by me. In case you’re wondering, Judaism is primarily a peopleship and the Jewish religion is only a part of it.


An Original Philosopher…

An original philosopher knows the right combination of ideas to steal.


Corollaries to “To err is human…”

Here are some corollaries to To err is human - to forgive divine.

  • To err is human - to apologise - divine.
  • To have bugs is human - to fix them - divine.
  • To have bugs is human - to find them - divine.

Might be mad…

I might be mad. But I’m a mad genius.


If God exists…

If God exists and is the ego-maniacal, sadistic and helpless creature that is described in the Old Testament, then we’re in deep trouble.


The bad thing about hardware

The bad thing about hardware is that it sometimes works and it sometimes doesn’t. The good thing about software is that it’s consistent: it always does not work, and it always does not work in exactly the same way.


Let’s suppose you have a table

Sophie: Let’s suppose you have a table with 2n cups…
Jack: Wait a second - is “n” a natural number?


Chuck Norris and Perl 6

Chuck Norris wrote a complete Perl 6 implementation in a day, but then destroyed all evidence with his bare hands so no one will know his secrets.

There’s more about Chuck Norris and Perl 6 in this Unix fortune file and more about Norris on the Chuck Norris Facts web-site..


Electrical Engineering studies.

Electrical Engineering studies. In the Technion. Been there. Done that. Forgot a lot. Remember too much.


I’m not an Actor

I’m not an actor - I just play one on T.V.


Blocking Internet Pornography

Trying to block Internet pornography is like climbing a waterfall and trying to stay dry.

Drew Dexter


I’m not straight…

I’m not straight - I’m Israeli!

Just for the record, I am straight, and I hate being a macho. Perhaps the sentence is better as “I'm not straight - I'm Italian!” but one should always look at their side of the fence.


I do not think it means…

> You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it
> means.

It does not mean what I think it means, but it means what *you* think it
means.

<evil-laugh>Muahahahah…</evil-laugh>

Chuck Norris Fact #2

If Chuck Norris had been born before World War II, there would have been only one world war.

I feel a bit uneasy about saying it, but it is still kind of funny, for those who like Chuck Norris facts


We don’t know his cellphone number

We don’t know his cellphone number, and even if we did, we would tell you that we didn’t know it.


Sometimes two bugs…

 <rindolf>  sarnold: you go to OGI?
 <sarnold>  rindolf: no; but my boss and a co-worker are professors there,
            and other co-workers earned degrees there…
 <rindolf>  sarnold: OK.
    <muli>  sarnold, have you got one of those pesky things?
 <sarnold>  muli: just Bachelor of Arts… no Masters or Ph.D…
 <rindolf>  sarnold: B.Sc or B.A.?
    <muli>  rindolf, Bachelor of Arts is B.A.
 <rindolf>  muli: I know. But I was just checking.
 <sarnold>  rindolf: ah, you’re right, B.Sc… I chickened out on the language
            requirements :)
 <rindolf>  muli: see?? LOL.
    <muli>  rindolf, sometimes, two bugs cancel each other.
 <rindolf>  muli: wisely spoken.
 <rindolf>  But mine wasn’t a bug - it was a sanity check.

    -- #offtopic on OFTC

What do you mean…

What do you mean by “WDYM”?


Windows vs. Linux

Chen Shapira: spent 5 hours yesterday trying to get Windows to print on my new wireless printer. It still doesn’t work. On Ubuntu it worked after few minutes.

Shlomi Fish: Heh. Linux++ .

Chen Shapira: I’d do Windows-- , but this may result in an integer underflow.


Pedantic People

I often wonder why I hang out with so many people who are so pedantic. And then I remember - because they are so pedantic.

An Israeli Perl Monger


I Met a Guy in the Bar

I met a guy in the bar, talked to her and she gave me her phone number.

This is an anti-thesis to the fact that many Feminazis claim that using “girl” for “a female guy”, is derogatory, despite the fact that it is very common, and quite harmless. In Hebrew, there’s a perfectly good word for a girl, which is not a female child, and since I think in Hebrew about 50% of the time, I tend to import such things into my English speech. There are much worse derogatory etymologies in Hebrew of course, but “guy”/“girl” is not one of them.

While as a general rule I support the woman liberation movement, and believe in equality of opportunities among the genders, I still don’t believe that a Politically-Correct re-engineering of the English language to be 100% gender-neutral (and mostly only the English language, because most other European and Semitic languages are not gender-neutral, and even have genders for objects) is a good idea. I also don’t believe in applying government control in order to “promote” women, and think that members of both genders, and all other divisions should learn to cope with discrimination and other abuse as they encounter it, instead of just bitching about how they were discriminated against, or accusing the other party of being “sexist” or “racist” or whatever.

So I’m going to continue using “girl” for a “female guy”, regardless of what other people think. I also don’t mind using the term nazi for someone who’s unnecessarily strict or calling Black people “Negros”, which is just the Spanish word for the colour “Black”.


On the Internet

Two female dogs talking about modern-life:

Jasmine: It’s so cool! On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog!

Daisy: Yeah, but everyone can tell right away that you’re a bitch!


God gave us…

God gave us two eyes and ten fingers so we will type five times as much as we read.


Only wimps complain about bad code

Only wimps complain about bad code. Real men clean it up.


Wikipedia has…

Wikipedia has a page about everything including the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitchen_sink .


What does IDK stand for?

What does “IDK” stand for? I don’t know.


Significance of Being 18

A kid always wishes they were older until they are 18. Afterwards, they always wish they were younger.


Chuck Norris and the Wikipedia

Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.


Give me ASCII

Give me ASCII or give me deaþ!


Technion Ways

In the Technion, there are many ways to get from one place to the other, but they are all the same length.


Chuck Norris and Wikipedia Deletionists

Deletionists beware! If you delete Chuck Norris’ Wikipedia submission, he will delete you!

Or:

Deletionists delete Wikipedia articles that they consider lame.

Chuck Norris deletes deletionists that he considers lame.


English Spelling

English spelling aims to be consistent. Publicly and methodically.


Sorting the Dishes

Shlomi’s Father: If you don’t sort the dishwasher, the dishwasher won’t be sorted.

Shlomi: No, it won’t be sorted by me.

Shlomi’s Father: No, it won’t be sorted at all. We will throw away the dishwasher.

Together: Along with all the dishes.


Cats in Soviet Russia

In Soviet Russia, cats own you. No, wait! Cats own you everywhere.


E-mail, web feeds…

E-mail, web feeds, and doing something productive — choose two.


Wasting time

The worst way to waste your time is to never waste it.

For more information about that, see the book Momo by Michael Ende and this post on my blog.


Interesting vs. Successful

There's a negative correlation between “interesting” and “successful”.

That was said by Anno on Freenode's #perl.

I'm hungry today…

Sophie: I’m hungry today.
Jack: well, wait until tomorrow - maybe this feeling will pass.


We agree…

We agree. But do we agree to agree?


In Soviet Russia

In Soviet Russia, superstition believe in you.


If it isn’t in my E-mail

If it isn’t in my E-mail, it doesn’t exist. And if the whole world says one thing and E-mail says another, Email will conquer

Said to me in a private conversation by an Israeli Linux enthusiast.


The English Wikipedia…

The English Wikipedia: now you don’t see it - now you do.


If you start something

Shlomi is sorting the dishwasher.

Shlomi’s Father to Shlomi: if you start something, you’ve got to finish it.

Shlomi: and if you finish something, you’ve got to start it all over again.

That may work better in Hebrew where we have an idiom about that.


Yo NSA, Publish or Perish

Yo NSA, Publish or Perish

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons under CC-by-sa/GFDL.


Initial Reaction to Aristotle’s Organon

“A is A, and A is not not-A? What the f**k is he talking about??! Of course A can be not-A! I want a little of the stuff he’s on!”

Aristotle’s Organon is now considered the foundation of science and modern thought, but I believe that back then, it was not taken for granted as it is today.


Laziness

Laziness will be the downfall of mankind, but I cannot be arsed to do anything about it.


Wikipedia Deletionists Don’t Die

Wikipedia deletionists don’t Die. They lose notability and get deleted.


It’s kinda…

It’s kinda, sort-of… pretty much… quite… awesome I tell you - awesome! Got it? It’s kinda awesome!


Two Kinds of Fools (Extended)

There are two kinds of fools. One says, “This is old, and therefore good”.
And one says, “This is new, and therefore better”.

John Brunner, The Shockwave Rider

Two more kinds of fools. One says: “This is popular, and therefore good”.
The other says: “This is good because it’s not popular”.

— Shlomi Fish (though may not be a 100% original sentiment).


Scary Thought of the Day

Scary thought of the day: The Princess Bride: the 3-D Remake.


If Ayn Rand was born in the 1990s…

Ayn Rand→Christina Grimmie

If Ayn Rand was born in the 1990s, she would be Christina Grimmie.

Very much inspired by what Peter Ustinov said that “If Botticelli were alive today he’d be working for Vogue.” (which was a praise of the then held-in-much-contempt “Vogue” magazine). However, I am taking it a little further. I hope Ms. Grimmie is not offended by me comparing her, who despite her early low-quality cover videos, is almost entirely perfectly normal and wonderful in any way, to Ayn Rand whose words, deeds, and personal life, both exhibited many issues that are seem appalling in 2014, and were often quite objectionable even back then.

My point is that both Ayn Rand at the time and Christina Grimmie now, are at the cutting-edge of influencing the world and taking it forward instead of backward (despite whatever faults they both had or have). Back in Ayn Rand’s time books and the early Hollywood feature films (that most of which seem incredibly boring and tedious today) were the primary vehicle for influence. In this day and age, however, songs and other videos on YouTube, especially by “independent” cover artists, are what bring the most long-term (and usually positive) influence among the people who matter most (= the “Alphas”).

Sorry for the long explanation.

Some links:

  • #TeamGrimmie Twitter hashtag

  • “Buffy is not a nobody…” - about why you should believe in yourself, think you're the most powerful person on Earth, and even the messiah, proudly say that “I am [Insert Name and/or Nickname here]”, and realise that you can “kick some ass”, change the world for the better, improve yourself and what you achieve, and eventually become a “winner” (even if you do not take first place at every silly-or-not-so-silly competition). References Christina Grimmie and refers to her “Feeling Good” song, which features videos of her fans from all over the world doing some amazing (or some seemingly not so amazing) feats, and is a wonderful tour-de-force and like a newer, and better, “Make your own kind of music.”.

  • Summer Glau Factoids - Chuck Norris getting pwned by a real-life girl - hawt!!!

  • Peter Ustinov quotes on Wikiquote - many positively great quotes by one of the greatest action heroes of all time. Action heroes are also known as “geeks”, “hackers”, or even - “amateurs” which used to mean people who love what they do, rather than doing it only for money, and not liking that.


Being convinced of being wrong.

I love being convinced that I was wrong before. That way I knew I improved and am now wiser. Like the Klingon warriors say when it happens: “What a great day it was for me to die!”.


Where to Find a Good Significant Other

You are much more likely to find a good significant other - of a perfectly sound mind and body - in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/etc. conference than you are in the middle of the wilderness.


Copyright and Licence

This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2002, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version).

For securing additional rights, please contact Shlomi Fish and see the explicit requirements that are being spelt from abiding by that licence.