The Ancient Masters

Ξ February 28th, 2006 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Humour |

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The Ancient Masters
Book Two

Thus spake the master programmer:

"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless."


    The programmers of old were mysterious and profound. We cannot fathom
    their thoughts, so all we do is describe their appearance.

    Aware, like a fox crossing the water. Alert, like a general on the
    battlefield. Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests. Simple, like
    uncarved blocks of wood. Opaque, like black pools in darkened caves.

    Who can tell the secrets of their hearts and minds?

    The answer exists only in the Tao.


    Grand Master Turing once dreamed that he was a machine. When he awoke
    he exclaimed:

    "I don't know whether I am Turing dreaming that I am a machine,
    or a machine dreaming that I am Turing!"


    A programmer from a very large computer company went to a software
    conference and then returned to report to his manager, saying: "What
    sort of programmers work for other companies? They behaved badly and
    were unconcerned with appearances. Their hair was long and unkempt and
    their clothes were wrinkled and old. They crashed out hospitality
    suites and they made rude noises during my presentation."

    The manager said: "I should have never sent you to the conference.
    Those programmers live beyond the physical world. They consider life
    absurd, an accidental coincidence. They come and go without knowing
    limitations. Without a care, they live only for their programs. Why
    should they bother with social conventions?"

    "They are alive within the Tao."


    A novice asked the Master: "Here is a programmer that never designs,
    documents, or tests his programs. Yet all who know him consider him
    one of the best programmers in the world. Why is this?"

    The Master replies: "That programmer has mastered the Tao. He has gone
    beyond the need for design; he does not become angry when the system
    crashes, but accepts the universe without concern. He has gone beyond
    the need for documentation; he no longer cares if anyone else sees
    his code. He has gone beyond the need for testing; each of his
    programs are perfect within themselves, serene and elegant, their
    purpose self-evident. Truly, he has entered the mystery of the Tao."


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