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Scott Lincoln "Omar" Davis

Chapter VI


I don't know who "Gilb" is, but he is obviously a computer wizard who says it for all of us who live, work or spend any time dabbling in this most baffeling of environments-SLD

Gilb's Laws of Computer Reliability

Gilb's Law of Computer Reliability #1:

"Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable."

Gilb's Law of Computer Reliability #2:

"The only difference between the fool, and the criminal who attacks a system is that the fool attacks unpredictabley and on a broader front."

Gilb's Law of Computer Reliability #3:

"Self-checking systems tend to have a complexity in proportion to the inherent unreliability of the system in which they are used."

Gilb's Law of Computer Reliability #4:

"The error-detection and correction capabilites of any system are the key to understanding the type of errors which they cannot handle."

Gilb's Law of Computer Reliability #5:

"Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited."

Gilb's Law of Computer Reliability #6:

"All real programs contain errors until proven otherwise - which is impossible."

The "Ballad of John Dolittle, M.D." is a song I wrote jointly with my daughter, Traci, when she was about 7 or 8 years old. As I recall we had just finished reading the "Dr. Dolittle" stories the night before. We got up the next morning and Traci and I composed the song while eating breakfast. I include it here, only because it is likely the only original song I ever had a active part in creating, and also it will be in a place where it won't be so likely to get misplaced.- SLD



John Dolittle, M.D.

There was a country doctor, John Dolittle was his name.

People came from everywhere as they heard of his fame.

The children especially loved him and followed him about town.

But his great like for animals began to bring him down.

The people said he was crazy for the animals he did keep.

A hedgehog in the kitchen and a living room full of sheep.

White mice in the piano, a duck and a parrot to,

and even a little baby pig, who lived in a shoe.

The townfolk quit coming a knocking at his door.

They laughed at the strange doctor and didn't see him any more.

John Dolittle, he got poorer at each passing day,

and soon could'nt by the old horse any more hay.

Now Polynesia was a parrot, and a very wise old bird.

She told the country doctor all animals could be heard.

He just had to look and listen, as no other man would do,

and soon he talked to animals just as I am to you.

He now could 'doctor' animals as no man could before.

He loved them and he cured them as they lined up at his door.

His sister couldn't stand it and promptly left his house.

But the doctor took them all in, down to the very last mouse.

His esteem among the animals spread all around the globe.

His adventures were so many they cannot here be told.

But happy was the doctor with his merry little band,

As he traveled the wide world over, giving all a helping hand.

Now this is the story of a very wise old man.

The children they all loved him as only children can.

He cared not for money, fortune and or fame.

He was just happy curing the sick and lame.

(By Scott & Traci Davis)

In order to propagate virtue to the world, one must first rule one's country.

In order to rule one's country, one must first rule one's family.

In order to rule one's family, one must first regulate one's body by moral training.

In order to regulate one's body, one must first regulate one's mind.

In order to regulate the mind, one must first be sincere in one's intensions.

In order to be sincere in one's intensions, one must first increase one's knowledge.



War is an ugly thing, but it is not the ugliest of things; The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that no thing is worth war is much worse.

A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more then his own personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men then himself.

-John Stewart Mill-

Many do not realize the character from Edmond Rostand's play (Cyrano de Bergerac) was based on a real person. He was, Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, b. Mar. 6, 1619, d. July 28, 1655, and was a 17th-century French novelist, satirist, and an audacious freethinker. . Noted also for his dueling and his long nose.-SLD

If you expect me to be a pedestrian fellow who will live to be 201 years merely to collect my insurance - no thank you!

If you think I am coming home every night to a sweet, little woman who expects me to act out her small visions of the dutiful fellow she thought I was when she married me - no thanks!

If you expect me to quit spending the $1000 I don't have and exchange my wild dreams for a tame but safe existence in the assembly line - no thanks!

-Cyrano De Bergerac-

My mother had the following "commentary" done for me in wall-hanging done in beautiful calligraphy script (by Gerry Malfait, Silverdale, WA) - It meant alot to one who has had a helicopter strapped to his rear end for a couple thousand hours over the last twenty years. I found the description of flying a helicopter of, "flying hundreds of boring hours, punctuated periodically by stark raving terror...!" to be pretty much true. Harry Reasoner certainly provided a very insightful portrayal of most of the 'copter' pilots I flew with.-SLD




The thing is, helicopters are different from planes. An airplane by its nature wants to fly and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberately incompetent pilot, it will fly. A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other, and if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying immediately and disastrously. There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.

This is why a helicopter pilot is so different from an airplane pilot, and why, in generality, airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, bouyant extroverts and helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened it is about to.

Commentary: Harry Reasoner - 02/16/71

Some "Wisdom" from Uncle Paul / 25 June 1999

One good thing about Alzheimer's is you get to meet new people every


Schizophrenia beats being alone.

If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.

A thing not worth doing isn't worth doing well.


Time is just nature's way to keep everything from happening at once.

Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?

All true wisdom is found on T-shirts.

Strip Mining Prevents Forest Fires

I don't have a solution; but I do admire the problem.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS but it uses up a thousand times

more memeory.

The Meek shall inherit the earth...after we're through with it.

If a thing is worth doing It would have been done already

Two can live as cheaply as one...for half as long.

HAM AND EGGS-- A day's work for a chicken; A lifetime commitment for a


Lord, If I can't be skinny, please let all my friends be fat.

Good Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.


Confession is good for the soul, but bad for your career.

How much can I get away with and still go to heaven?

Sometimes too much to drink isn't enough.

It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

WELCOME TO UTAH Set your watch back 20 years.

Don't get married. Find a woman you hate and buy her a house. It's

a lot easier on you.

Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

The trouble with life is there's no background music.

When blondes have more fun do they know it?

Money isn't everything, But it sure keeps the kids in touch.

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

Losing a husband can be hard. In my case it was almost impossible.

We have enough youth. How about a fountain of "Smart"?

Suicidal Twin Kills Sister By Mistake!

Two wrights do not make a wrong. They make an airplane.

Two wrongs do not make a right, but three lefts do.


Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of it.


from "Through the Looking-Glass" Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898

  'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mame raths outgrabe.
'Beware the Jabberwock, my son,
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch.
Beware the jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious bandersnatch.'
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought.
Then rested he by the tum-tum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One! two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snickersnack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjious day! Calooh! Calay!'
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


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