Futility Humor

Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Benford’s Corollary: Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

Raymond’s Second Law: Any sufficiently advanced system of magic would be indistinguishable from a technology.

Sterling’s Corollary: Any sufficiently advanced garbage is indistinguishable from magic.

Langford’s application to science fiction: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a completely ad-hoc plot device.

____________

Why should not a chicken cross the road?
It would be a fowl proceeding.

Potter’s American Monthly
___________

Three men are stranded on a desert island when a bottle washes up on the shore. When they uncork the bottle, a genie appears and offers each a wish.

The first man wishes he were in Paris. The genie snaps his fingers, and the man instantly disappears.

The second man wishes he were in Hollywood, and at a snap of the genie’s fingers, he too vanishes.

The third man, now alone on the island, looks around and says, “I wish my friends were back.”

____________

Mark Twain’s list of 27 items to be rescued from a boardinghouse fire:

  1. Fiancees
  2. Persons toward whom the operator feels a tender sentiment, but has not yet declared himself
  3. Sisters
  4. Stepsisters
  5. Nieces
  6. First cousins
  7. Cripples
  8. Second cousins
  9. Invalids
  10. Young lady relations by marriage
  11. Third cousins, and young lady friends of the family
  12. The unclassified
  13. Babies
  14. Children under 10 years of age
  15. Young widows
  16. Young married females
  17. Elderly married ditto
  18. Elderly widows
  19. Clergymen
  20. Boarders in general
  21. Female domestics
  22. Male ditto
  23. Landlady
  24. Landlord
  25. Firemen
  26. Furniture
  27. Mothers-in-law

“In either ascending or descending the stairs,” Twain wrote, “the young gentleman shall walk beside the young lady, if the stairs are wide enough to allow it; otherwise he must precede her. In no case must he follow her. This is de rigueur.”

__________

Excerpts from students’ civics exams in the 1800s:

  • “The three departments of the government is the President rules the world, the governor rules the State, the mayor rules the city.”
  • “The first conscientious Congress met in Philadelphia.”
  • “The Constitution of the United States was established to ensure domestic hostility.”
  • “The Constitution of the United States is that part of the book at the end which nobody reads.”
  • “Congress is divided into civilized half civilized and savage.”

– From Mark Twain, “English as She Is Taught: Being Genuine Answers to Examination Questions in Our Public Schools,” 1887

_________

Two racehorses and a dog are in the stable on the night before the big race.

The old horse says, “Kid, I have a favor to ask. Tomorrow’s the last race of my career. If I win, they’ll have a big parade in my honor and put me in a nice pasture for the rest of my life. If I lose, they’ll send me to the glue factory. Now, I’m still a pretty good racer, but I think we both know that if you try tomorrow, you can beat me. So I’m asking you, just this once … will you let me win?”

The younger racehorse looks at the ground for a long time. “I understand what you’re asking,” he says, “and I feel for you, I really do. But look at this from my point of view. I’ve never lost a race. If I keep up my record, there’s no telling how far I’ll go. And, no offense, but if I lose this early in my career, to a horse as old as you, I could never recover. I’m really sorry, but I just can’t do it.”

The dog says, “Are you out of your mind? You’ve said yourself that you already have a great record, and he’s asking you to come in second, in one race, to save his life. How can you refuse that? Have you no soul at all?”

The young horse says, “Look — a dog that can talk!”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s