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The Comprehensive GNU/Linux User's Manual

By Morkney in Fiction
Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

I can see with my eyes closed. I don't know why.

I have had this ability for as long as I can remember, but I did not realize that it was anything unusual until second grade. The class was playing a game in which objects, such as silly putty and a box of sand, were passed around. We were told to close our eyes and try to figure out what each object was.

The teacher, Mrs. Oersted, became suspicious as I correctly identified a picture frame, then a bowl full of salt, then a soft eraser, all without hesitation. Moving quickly from the front of the room to my seat, she told me that I'd been peeking, and fit a blindfold over my young head. It was then that I realized that most children could not see with their eyes closed, although I did not yet realize that I was the only one in the world with this ability.

It wasn't until my senior year at high school that the subject intruded on my life again. I mentioned the anomaly to my biology teacher, who mentioned it to some of his friends and colleagues, one of whom decided that the phenomenon merited further study. I was a young man very much dazzled by science, and I was happy to do my part, whatever papers I needed to sign or experiments I had to undergo. So I spent about a month taking dozens of strange tests on afternoons and weekends, at the end of which a paper was written about me and published in an obscure medical journal. The findings were inconclusive: I apparently was seeing with my eyes closed, but they had no idea how I was doing it. The tone of the paper seemed quite frustrated, which I knew to be accurate, since I had watched its author become more and more exasperated as his theories fell apart.

After high school I attended college, where I fell to drinking. I had a friend there who was studying to be a psychologist, and he tried to save me from my shortsighted vices, but I ignored most of his advice and dropped out after only a year. This was at the height of the dotcom bubble, so I managed to get an ill-defined computer job, which eventually settled into "GNU/Linux administrator." During my year at college, I had studied creative writing.

In one of my classes at college, we read a poem called "Harlem," by Langston Hughes. I didn't think much of it at the time, but after four years as a GNU/Linux administrator, the idea of a "dream deferred" started to make a lot of sense to me. It was then that I decided to begin writing my own book, which is nearly done now, and which is called "The Comprehensive GNU/Linux User's Guide." I wrote it to satisfy my own dream of being a writer, but also because I think it fills a need in the GNU/Linux community. Sometimes, to be sure, all you want is a man page; but sometimes, particularly for beginners, a few more words are helpful to "soften the blow." To give you some idea of what this book is like, here's the section on grep:

Many common GNU/Linux commands return a list of information. ls gives you a list of files and directories; ps gives you a list of processes; and strings gives you a list of strings. This information can be useful, but it can also be overwhelming. Try "ls /usr/bin" or "strings moby_dick."

Such lists of information can not be dealt with by a human being---to try to use them in such a raw form is a fool's errand, a task cut out for those who like to fail. No, the task of filtering such overwhelming floods of meaning falls properly to the computer, and is done through grep.

Simple uses of grep are simple; more complex uses require a more thorough study, for which you should consult "man grep." grep will search through a list, taken from a file or standard input; then it will filter the results by looking for a string which you give it; then it will return any lines which match the filter. For example:

$ cat moby_dick | grep "Call me Ishmael"
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long

grep can also be used with regular expressions (see chap. 4) instead of a literal string.

$ cat moby_dick | grep "Call.*Ishmael"
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long

Other options, detailed in the man page, allow grep to search through directories; to return some number of lines before, after, or both before and after a matching line; to label lines with their line numbers; to match multiple patterns at once; and several other useful modifications. Still, despite all its powerful features, grep has severe limitations as well. It can be pedantic:

$ cat moby_dick | grep "Call me Ismael"

This can be fixed by checking your spelling, but a more serious problem is completely unsolveable: if the pattern you're looking for is not to be found in the document.

$ cat moby_dick | grep "fear in a handful of dust"

The string is not in the file, and so no results are returned. There is no correction for this condition. A foolish GNU/Linux administrator could spend his entire life searching futilely for a pattern which simply isn't there. He could destroy his happiness and squander his youth looking for such a pattern. And after finally giving up, he could never be sure that the pattern was not there all along; that he was not, perhaps, simply misspelling it.

The psychologist friend I have mentioned talked to me once about my unique ability. He was the only person I have ever known who read that obscure paper. His name was Dylan "Fish" Purcell---he was called "Fish" because his hands were so cold and clammy, which I thought was terribly unfair because he was such a warm and animated person. I never called him "Fish" myself, but it was widespread at college, and he never seemed to mind.

"This scientist who wrote the paper," he told me, "was at a loss to explain your condition. That is because he approached it from the radical empiricist perspective, without taking into account the nature of the observer, which is to say, the nature of humanity. A psychologist has no such disability; a psychologist can explain anything!"

"How do you explain my condition, then?" I asked him.

"In class the other day, we learned about a man whose wife had been a cat lover. She died violently, which traumatized the poor man severely. She was survived by her cat, so the man began taking care of the cat: feeding it, taking it to the vet, and so forth. One day he had to take a long trip for business reasons, so he asked a neighbor to take care of the cat. The neighbor asked him 'I didn't know you had a cat?' To which he replied that of course he didn't have a cat, he hadn't kept a cat since his wife had died! You see, the man had been taking care of this cat completely unconsciously. Until he was confronted by this neighbor, he honestly believed he had no cat; yet he'd interact with it every single day!

"Now, this man is quite an extreme case, but what if all of us have our own cats? Suppose there is a symbol or item which is buried somewhere deep in all of our minds, and each of us is compelled not to notice it? If we see direct evidence of this thing, we pretend not to see it; if we see indirect evidence, we explain it some other way or simply forget about it.

This is the only explanation I can think of for your apparent closed-eye vision. Perhaps we all have three eyes, for example, but we are all unable to notice them, or to see through the third. And perhaps you are the first person born with sight in his third eye, but no one realizes what's going on because we've all been ignoring the thing for so long! Your condition hints at a world of unknown and wonderful things, completely new truths about human psychology and physiology!"

At this point he sat back, and a pensive air seemed to settle over him. "You see something no one else does, my friend. But it will be worthless if you continue with your current habits. You are on your way to joining the great masses who contribute nothing to human progress, I'm afraid. You will become as unseen and unimportant as that cat, if you keep this crap up." He gestured at the beer I was holding.

After I was kicked out of school, I wished I had listened to his advice more earnestly. For a time, I didn't know if I would even be able to find a job. Finally, one of my drinking buddies got me an interview with the CEO of a dot-com startup.

* * *

"Well," the CEO told me, "I don't need to tell you that your qualifications are lacking. But you know, those are old-world qualifications, and it's a new world we're building. I mean, I didn't finish college myself---I left to start this company, and so did my two top programmers. No, the qualifications aren't the central issue."

I grinned. "I'm glad to hear that, sir."

"Let me finish," he told me. "The central issue is the matter of vision. Bill Gates dropped out of high school, but he had vision. Einstein was kicked out of college, but he had vision. Without vision, a college dropout is just a loser, an outcast of society - but with vision, a college dropout can achieve greatness. So I ask you this: are you a man of vision?"

There was only one possible answer to this question. I saw this immediately. "Yes," I should say, "Of course sir." A confident look on my face, maybe a little bit hurt, as if to say "how could you doubt it, sir, when every detail of my demeanor screams VISION at you?"

And yet I knew that this would not be my answer. I could already imagine myself stuttering out a "Y-yes, sir, of course, yes, I do have vision, I do." Eyes glancing to the side, then forcing my head about to bring them back onto his face, as if to say "I have no vision and I know I have no vision but I am so desperate and dishonest that I will try to imitate an honest man, a visionary man, a far better man than myself, by looking you in the eye."

When I finally did speak, neither one of these possibilities came out. What I said was this:

"Hell, sir. I can see with my eyes closed."

* * *

A year from now, I completed my book. I couldn't get it published, so finally I paid to self-publish it. Sales were dismal. The book went unread and unreviewed.

Twenty-five years from now, I was working at a bookstore. I'd been kicked out of my GNU/Linux administrator job for drinking. I applied to the bookstore under the vague hope that such a job would encourage my writing career, but it had the opposite effect. Interacting with the reading public day after day just made me feel alienated from them. After a month at that job, I stopped writing. After two months, I stopped reading anything printed. I stuck to slashdot and a couple of blogs.

I hated the customers. They were so passive. In the morning I would arrange a selection of best-sellers on a rack near the door. They were the worst of books - more lurid and empty with each passing year. Every day I hoped that someone would come in and spit on them. It never happened. The best-sellers were sold, they were sold to an endless stream of simpletons, herds of sheep bred by capitalism.

I often thought back to Dylan "Fish" Purcell's views on their kind. "The great masses who contribute nothing to human progress," he had said. I saw them sometimes as fish, floundering along, helpless in the rushing river of history. They swam through the bookstore every day, but they saw nothing, they comprehended nothing, they knew nothing, they were just fish.

I had saved up some money from my previous job - along with my job at the bookstore, it would support me until I could retire. I expected to run out of savings just in time to die. I had lost the desire to do anything with my life.

Finally, I lost the desire even to live such a life. I would leave no impact, accomplish nothing. It was better, I decided, to die. I gave three weeks' notice at the bookstore. They didn't care. I went to buy a gun. There was a three-week waiting period. Sometimes, things do work out.

My last day on the job, a woman came in, middle-aged, energetic. Most of the reading nowadays is done by middle-aged women, I think. Some of them are energetic, by which I mean that they will try to talk to me as they buy their books. They'll say something about the weather, perhaps, or something about the books they're buying. "Did you know that Tolstoy never won the Nobel Prize?" I could spot such people from a mile away. And sure enough, when this woman brought her stack of books to the counter, she began to speak.

"Goodness, I just can't get over this weather! It's so warm for October."

I started scanning her books. She would not give up.

"My niece recommended this book for me, and she's a creative writing major in college, so I thought I'd better have a look."

"The total is $58.89, Ma'am."

As she took the cash from her purse, she glanced at my nametag, and seemed to become even more excited.

"Goodness, are you the author of that book?"

"What book?" I asked her.

"Why, I know I remember it, it's on the tip of my tongue - 'The Comprehensive GNU/Linux User's Guide.' That's it. Oh, it was just wonderful. It opened up a whole new world for me, you know." She took her books and was gone.

When I got home that evening, I checked my finances. I would be okay for several months, even without a job. It occurred to me that I had a great deal of my writing left over from decades past. Perhaps I had written something publishable. Perhaps I had written something worth publishing.

I never did make it big as a writer. However, two months later, my story "Mrs. Archer has the Last Word" was published in an obscure, but respectable magazine. From then on I managed to eke out a living writing short stories, tech articles, and anything else that paid. My crowning achievement was the publication of a single novel, which flopped magnificently. Still, I was satisfied - perhaps someone, somewhere had read it, and perhaps it had opened up for them a whole new world.

* * *

After Mrs. Oersted blindfolded me in class, I wandered down to the river. It had always seemed to me that the river flowed in one swift current; but, as I watched more closely, I saw that it moved forward in a thousand eddies and whorls. Some leaves had fallen in the river, and I watched them sail downstream - sometimes they stood still for a moment, or moved backward, before surging ahead, caught once again by the river's momentum. I sat down there for an hour or two, and closed my eyes, and watched the river move by.


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The Comprehensive GNU/Linux User's Manual | 51 comments (34 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
Man, this was so good (3.00 / 6) (#1)
by mtrisk on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 03:14:35 AM EST

And yet, I didn't get anything out of it. Seriously, great writing, but at the end, I was just hanging. Kind of like eating a salad.

"If you don't like our country, why don't you get out?"
"What, and become a victim of your foreign policy?"
IAWTP (3.00 / 2) (#3)
by LittleZephyr on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 04:14:28 AM EST

I really liked reading this, but at the end of the story, I was left going "Wha?"

Maybe this is asking too much, because I'd vote it up even now, but I think one extra paragraph would go a long way to giving some much needed closure
(\♥/) What if instead of posting that comment,
(0.-) you had actually taken a knife and stabbed
("_") me in the eye? You murderer. ~ Rusty

[ Parent ]

Better? (none / 1) (#4)
by Morkney on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 04:54:03 AM EST

I tried to make it more conclusive by adding an extra paragraph. I'm worried that this will distract from the final paragraph, which is supposed to conclude the story. In any case, I'd love to know what y'all think of the changes.

[ Parent ]
Aha (none / 0) (#6)
by LittleZephyr on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 07:18:04 AM EST

I see now!
(\♥/) What if instead of posting that comment,
(0.-) you had actually taken a knife and stabbed
("_") me in the eye? You murderer. ~ Rusty

[ Parent ]
Not bad (3.00 / 4) (#7)
by MrHanky on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 07:58:38 AM EST

But the first example in the guide is a misuse of cat, since grep can take files as input: grep -i "call me ishmael" moby_dick.txt. The last paragraph in the section on grep is still brilliant, though. It shows an existential dimension to the command that I never realized was there.

I think the story could actually be made into something that's OK by any standards, not only for K5 fiction (which is, frankly, garbage). The writing doesn't seem too shabby (but I'm no native speaker of the language), and the ideas -- both the theme and the motives -- are interesting enough. The main problem is the narration. It often jumps from here to there with no internal motivation; from The Comprehensive GNU/Linux User's Manual to Mr. Fish, from him to the dot com, from the dot com to the book store. This is rather inelegant, and since the motivation for these leaps can't be found in the progress of the story itself, the reader will look for it in the mind of the narrator and main character. This causes a new problem.

The narrator is relatively strong; the story follows his ordering of things, they are all his reflections, yet he seems to be without any influence on them as a character -- he's hardly part of the story at all. When his friend the psychologist gives him "advice", he just stands there silently with a bottle in his hand. He's like a beer-holding vegetable -- hardly the same person as the talkative and thoughtful narrator, which makes them both less credible.

Most of this can be fixed if you make better use of the main character. Mr. Fish's monologue should be a dialogue (not least for his own sake -- he doesn't seem as much a "warm and animated" friend as a snotty student who likes to hear his own voice), the drinking buddies should have names, they should be somewhere, drinking, chatting, perhaps fishing by the river, perhaps not, since they also would be pissing in it. For a story about someone who can see with his eyes closed, the visual descriptions are ... well, not there.

"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.

the disconnect between the narrator and character (none / 0) (#12)
by trane on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 05:24:40 PM EST

didn't bother me, not being able to express oneself in face-to-face situations is often a characteristic of introverts.

[ Parent ]
That's not the problem (none / 0) (#15)
by MrHanky on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 09:11:36 PM EST

It's the contrast between the narrator and the main character -- the same person! -- that is bothers me. If the narrator was an introvert, then it would be OK. But even if he was, the character doesn't behave convincingly.

"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]
And fuck (none / 0) (#16)
by MrHanky on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 09:17:52 PM EST

I shouldn't be writing when stupidly drunk, since I forget what I respond to: I'm introvert myself, but I still don't believe in the man. He should report on what he's thinking, even if he doesn't say everything out loud. After all, introverts do reflect on things, even if they keep it silent. But OK, if it's a monologue, report the main character's thought in between.

And a happy fucking new year and stuff.

"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]

referential sortid universal oblivion (none / 1) (#46)
by grant7 on Sat Jan 07, 2006 at 02:49:24 AM EST

the disconnect brings me straight toward my own worldly experiences, referential integrity that sets the chaotic stream into reality I like the disconnect, it's really connecting for me.

[ Parent ]
:) ? w/t (none / 0) (#47)
by levesque on Sun Jan 08, 2006 at 08:46:09 PM EST

In no particular order:

(English: english)

sor·did adj.

   1. Filthy or dirty; foul.
   2. Depressingly squalid; wretched: sordid shantytowns.
   3. Morally degraded: "The sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils"    
   4. Exceedingly mercenary; grasping.

sor·tie n.

   1. An armed attack, especially one made from a place surrounded by enemy forces.
   2. A flight of a combat aircraft on a mission.

    intr.v. sor·tied, sor·tie·ing, sor·ties
    To go on a sortie.

sort n. / tr.v. sort·ed, sort·ing, sorts

   1. To arrange according to class, kind, or size; classify. See Synonyms at arrange.
   2. To separate from others: sort out the wheat from the chaff.
   3. To clarify by going over mentally: She tried to sort out her problems.

(Latin: french)

sorditia, ae (sordities, ei), f. : saleté, malpropreté.

sorticula, ae, f. : bulletin de vote.

sortiger, era, erum : qui rend des oracles.

sortilegus, a, um : prophétique.

sortilegus, i, m. : devin.

sortior, iri, sortitus sum :
   1 - tirer au sort.
   2 - assigner comme lot, attribuer,  répartir.
   3 - désigner, choisir.
   4 - recevoir en partage, avoir pour lot, échoir à, obtenir (par le sort), avoir.

sortitio, onis, f. : tirage au sort.

sortitus : qui a obtenu, qui a reçu en partage, qui possède; qui a reçu de la nature.
   - sens passif : tiré au sort, échu à, assigné à; choisi.

sortito, abl. abs. n. (adv.) :
   a - après tirage au sort, par tirage au sort, au sort.
   b - par arrêt du destin, suivant l'ordre de la destinée, fatalement.
   c - Hor. naturellement.

[ Parent ]

Babel Fish (none / 0) (#48)
by levesque on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 08:24:53 PM EST

sorditia, ae (sordities, I.E.(internal excitation)), F: dirtiness, dirtiness. sorticula, ae, F: ballot paper. sortiger, will era, erum: who returns oracles. sortilegus, has, um: prophetic. sortilegus, I, Mr.: soothsayer. sortior, iri, sortitus sum: 1 - to draw lots. 2 - to assign like batch, to allot, distribute. 3 - to indicate, choose. 4 - to receive in division, to have for batch, to fall to, obtain (by the fate), to have. sortitio, onis, F: drawing of lots. sortitus: who obtained, who received in division, which has; who received nature. - passive direction: drawn with the fate, fallen with, assigned with; chosen. sortito, abl. ABS N (adv.) : has - after drawing of lots, by drawing with the fate, lots. B - by stop of the destiny, according to the order of the destiny, fatally. C - Hor. naturally.

[ Parent ]
I see your point (none / 1) (#20)
by Morkney on Sun Jan 01, 2006 at 12:13:56 AM EST

The narrator in this story is very similar to the narrator in all my other stories - they tend to just sit back and observe.

This sort of writing comes naturally to me, whereas dialogue and action driven stories are an immense effort. I don't really want to try to edit this story to have more action and dialogue, but I will bear your points in mind when I start on my next story (in fact, I already have).

My reasoning for the grep section is that it would be maximally helpful to a new user of unix. By learning this command: "cat foo | grep bar," they are also learning the patterns "x | grep bar" and "cat foo | x." Each of these is useful for a variety of commands, whereas the pattern "grep bar foo" is not.

That said, I'm not at all an expert on this stuff, I just use GNU/Linux on my personal computer. If my reasoning is off, please let me know.

[ Parent ]

pipes: overrated, overused, and frequently abused. (none / 1) (#44)
by pb on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 06:58:44 AM EST

Instead of doing, say,

cat foo | grep bar

and if you're not going to do

grep bar foo

then might I suggest instead:

grep bar < foo

"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Of course (none / 1) (#38)
by Lionfire on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:28:34 AM EST

He didn't even know he had a cat.

[ blog | cute ]
[ Parent ]
It's a short story (none / 0) (#41)
by basj on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 03:41:26 AM EST

There is no time for discriptions and very little time for character development. Both only virtues of the mediocre story, by the way.
Complete the Three Year Plan in five years!
[ Parent ]
That was...good. (none / 0) (#8)
by caine on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 11:26:52 AM EST

In the real sense. Like Good. With a capital G.


Bleh (none / 1) (#10)
by debacle on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 04:48:27 PM EST

If we're posting to diaries to the front page now, we better exchange that bridge for a keen looking metrosexual heiffer.

It tastes sweet.
this fiction is the bee's knees. (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by rhiannon on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 07:10:17 PM EST

I actually enjoyed it, good job.

I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
"strings moby_dick"? (none / 0) (#22)
by GreenYoda on Sun Jan 01, 2006 at 01:37:17 AM EST

"strings" gives you the list of strings in an object file or executable. "moby_dick" is an unlikely name for such a file, and, in fact, seems to be a text file in your "grep" example.

strings (none / 0) (#23)
by Morkney on Sun Jan 01, 2006 at 01:52:16 AM EST

Strings gives a list of printable strings in a file. A text file is a file. The example as written would produce the text of moby dick.

It probably wouldn't ever be useful to run strings on moby_dick, but it's just a silly example.

[ Parent ]

Why, thank you. (3.00 / 3) (#31)
by gzur on Sun Jan 01, 2006 at 08:04:40 PM EST

You managed to drive me off my ass to fire up my cygwin install, download a copy of Moby Dick, and proceed to regexping my way through it.

"I'm not looking for work, but I wouldn't say no to a Pacific rim job."
I stand in awe (3.00 / 4) (#33)
by starX on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:15:59 AM EST

Good, quality fiction on k5 that doesn't need any real qualifiers beyond that?  Something that sits on the verge of being literary?  Good lord man, are you mad?  Publishing this thing here is a waste, it's only going to get voted off because it isn't mind numbingly bad.

Okay, so here's some feedback you might be able to use in your further attempts at craftsmanship.

  1. I like the refference to Hughes' "Harlem."  It's subtle, but poignant, tickling the tastebuds of the reader for more without force feeding them.  Exactly what a literary refference should do in a story like this.  Kudos.
  2. The passage on grep drags a bit, which is a shame because it's more likely than not to cause readers to skip it and miss the refference to Melville.  Non technical people will be turned off by a sly attempt at teaching them something technical, and technical people will feel they know this already and will move on.  It might have been better to excerpt only the last example and surrounding few sentances, as it would have got your point across nicely.  I think the problem is that, whereas you trust your readers to know Hughes and Melville, or to learn about them if they don't, you don't do the same with grep.
  3. Fired from a startup for drinking?  Nah, tell it like it is man, the thing failed because the founder had lots of vision, not so much capital or product.  We were there, so we know.  Approaching one's mid forties and working in a bookstore as a non manager?  That tells us all we need about the fellow's drinking problem (since it has already been established at that point).  
  4. I find the circumstances of the woman at the checkout highly improbable.  Jarringly so.  Most of the time clerks only have their first names on name tags, so unless the first name is very unusual, it wouldn't stand out, and if it is unusual we should hear about that.  Also, few technical manuals change one's life to the point where we know the author's name a quarter century after the fact.  Even now there are only a select few authors whom I would be able to identify as authors of technical works.  Perhaps a suggestion of how or why she knows this name would be in order, or maybe she is even buying the book at the moment on the recommendation of her daughter the successful system admin trying to introduce her mother to free software.
  5. As slashdot continues to devolve, I suspect that in 25 years reading it will not be something any respectably intelligent person will want to own up to, but then again, I'm both a sarcastic bastard and a pessimist.
  6. The reflection on the childhood we have glanced over in the beginning at the end of the text does a nice job of tying the story together and providing some introspection.  
Again, well done.  I hope to see more of your work in the fiction section, but really I think you might want to focus your publishing attempts at some place that will recognize quality work when it comes along.

"I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
And where would that place be? (none / 0) (#50)
by artis on Tue Jan 17, 2006 at 10:49:11 PM EST


You are right, the net is full of well known sites that will recognize quality work when it comes along!
Can you know that you are omniscient?
[ Parent ]

-1 linux (1.12 / 8) (#34)
by durdee on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:36:36 AM EST

Fact: You have no insight whatsoever into my motivations, personality, or thought process.
Dammed title (none / 0) (#35)
by Sgt York on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:39:49 PM EST

I skipped this in the queue because I assumed the title was descriptive. Didn't even notice the "fiction" tag.

Excellent story, very enjoyable read. Good job!

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Pretty good (none / 0) (#36)
by stuaart on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:58:03 PM EST

But you need to make the point about the final paragraph really count for more. A large portion of the tale feels just incidental. Maybe that is your intention...

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective

Great. (none / 0) (#37)
by th0m on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:19:48 PM EST


Attention trolls (2.60 / 5) (#39)
by tetsuwan on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:14:33 PM EST

If you think this story had 'no point', then you are not qualified to read literature. For example, I recommend you not to read Hesse.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

Congratulations! (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by jobi on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 04:24:59 PM EST

You've just comprehensively won this weeks UUoC award!

Apart from that, a good read.

"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."

psychic? (none / 0) (#42)
by strathmeyer on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 02:52:35 PM EST

I'm so confused. Are you claiming to be psychic? If not... I'm so confused...

I enjoyed this. (none / 0) (#43)
by creature on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 03:49:15 PM EST

Don't get me wrong, I didn't understand it. I can see there's layers of meaning in there but I don't entirely understand them, but that's OK because it was 2AM and I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Your third eye is well squeegeed. (nt) (none / 0) (#45)
by cburke on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 10:38:32 PM EST

gee i liked this (none / 0) (#49)
by wampswillion on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:10:25 PM EST

but i don't get the grep part (computer illiterate?)  and i don't understand why i didn't read this while it was in voting.   perhaps the title fooled me?

I liked this story. (none / 0) (#51)
by bobspez on Sun Mar 26, 2006 at 06:00:10 AM EST

I get the grep analogy (I think) to Moby Dick. You can spend your whole life grepping and never find anything/you can spend your whole life looking for a white whale and never find one. I'm a unix admin and grep is one of the most used and useful unix commands. Is the sequencing meant to be quantum? It feels like it and I liked that too. A pleasing story.

The Comprehensive GNU/Linux User's Manual | 51 comments (34 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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