The Not Quite Newbie TIO user FAQ.
So you've used TIO (The Internet OracleTM), but now you have a question?
Last updated 21Dec03.
First, get the Internet OracleTM help file: ftp://ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/oracle/help
Then, check the Internet OracleTM resources: http://cgi.cs.indiana.edu/~oracle/index.cgi
"Internet Oracle" is a trademark of Stephen B. Kinzler.
Here you'll find answers to things not covered in either:
1.1 Where can I find votes in progress?
1.2 How do I read vote codes?
1.3 How do I find the best oracularities based on votes?
1.4 What happens when votes go over the top?
1.5 Your vote will be rejected if...
1.6 My question/answer is in the digest. Should I vote?
2.1 How come I haven't gotten an answer yet?
2.2 What does "The oracle has nothing to ask" mean?
2.3 What does "The Internet Oracle is pondering your question. Expect an answer in a day or two" mean?
2.4 Can I get my own question back?
2.5 What is queue draining?
2.6 I got the same question again. What now?
2.7 What if I answer my question more than 24 hours later?
2.8 How should I format my question? My answer?
2.9 I've found a very funny URL. Should I add it to my reply?
2.10 Can I actually use the "incarnated by ..." -line?
2.11 How do I reject a question?
2.12 I still haven't gotten a reply. Was my question deleted?
3.1 How are oracularities parcelled out to the priests?
3.2 How many oracularities do the priests get?
3.3 How do priests choose oracularities for the digest?
3.4a When can I expect to see one of my oracularities in a digest?
3.4b When can I expect to see one of my oracularities in a digest?
3.5 Do the priests know who writes what?
3.6 What is priestly feedback?
3.7 How do I become a priest?
Thanks to rhodents and rhod-active priests for rho input given on rhod over the years, and to Richard Wilson for suggestions and additions. And to Steve Kinzler, of course, for starting the Oracle in the first place.
An anonymous spokesperson of the Guild of Professional Incarnations told us that guild members suspect that the voters haven't quite gotten the hang of the "1=bad, 5=good" system yet. If that is indeed the case we might include an elaborate educational note in a later edition of this FAQ.
Subject: Re: Canadian, eh?
From: Al Sharka <asharka.my-dejanews.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 06:13:51 -0600
Matt Kerbel wrote:
> Al Sharka writes:
> > Jim Menard wrote:
> >> Daniel Hildebrandt writes:
> >> > Jim Menard wrote:
> >> > > Ian Davis writes:
> >> > > > Now do it in alpha haiku.
> >> > >
> >> > > Already broken,
> >> > > Cascades degenerate early.
> >> > > Forget greater haiku.
> >> >
> >> > Weighing heavily
> >> > upon my mind are thoughts of
> >> > invalid haiku.
> >> Already begged crowd.
> >> D'oh! Enough forgiveness gained.
> >> Here I, Jim, kowtow.
> >> Laugh, misanthrope, now.
> >> Other people quoting rhod
> >> Slammed the ugly verse.
> >> Writhing xanthochroid
> >> Your zealous attack berates.
> >> Cry, die, evermore.
> > Haiku abounds here
> > Yet ten eighty-zero four
> > suffers in the vote.
> > Two point six the mean,
> > Forty-one votes are counted.
> > Room for improvement.
> Supplicant not know
> How to see current score of
> Digest in progress
ftp c s
indiana e d u
get votes2 file from
pub slash oracle
numbers start with zero so
subtract one from four
Or try ftp://ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/oracle/votes , which gives the votes in a more readable format. This file is 160 kB (28Dec00), while the ftp://ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/oracle/votes2 -file is 243 kB (28Dec00).
The "congrats" message you get if one of yours has been selected tells you what the codes in the votes -part of the digests mean. This is what it says:
Congratulations! An Oracularity which you wrote the question or answer for has been selected and published in an issue of the Internet Oracularities, volume #xxxx. It received an average rating of x.x on a scale of 1 to 5, with votes from participating readers. The distribution of votes was xxxxx, where each digit represents the number of votes of value 1, of value 2, etc. Letters are used for digits beyond 9 (a=10, b=11...z=35, A=36, B=37...Z=61). To participate in the voting yourself in the future, see the instructions at the top of each digest.
You don't get the congrats -message immediately; you have to wait for the votes to get in first. That takes five digests, so don't fret if it takes some time.
I suggest you do participate in the voting. It's feedback the priests watch and respect, and if you like any given oracularity particularly much, give it a high vote.
One caution, though: most all of us have chosen "reply to usenet" instead of "reply via email" -- once. If you do that, your votes are sent to rhod. O, the embarrassment!
Subject: Re: Sore Umberto (was Re: Internet Oracularities Digest #1117)
From: Al Sharka <asharka.yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 14:01:11 -0500
Matt Kerbel wrote:
> Okay, I give. Where does one find the all-time top (or bottom) scoring oracularities? Is there a list somewhere, or do you just search for ">" on Ross' engine and sort by score?
Get the votes2 file:
Then sort it numerically descending by the third field and then numerically ascending by the first field. I suppose to do it right, you should evaluate the scores, and carry them to more than one decimal place. I don't know if Richard did that for sure, but I suspect he did, because otherwise 1115-9 (1115.8) would be 95th.
The digest numbers are in the format (x)xxx.y where (x)xxx is the digest, and y is the question.
Since Steve is a "True" programmer, the question numbers begin with zero instead of one, so you have to add one to use Ross's search engine. Here are the first 33, since there is a tie at 4.3 starting at 15th place:
Far better, here's a link to the All-Time Top 100 Oracularities (rec'd with thanks from Richard Wilson): http://www.henriettesherbal.com/rhod/oracular-top-100.html
and another link to the Real All-time Top 100 Oracularities (raw file rec'd with thanks from Richard Wilson, edited somewhat) (i.e., all entries with less than 15 votes scratched) (idunnat):
From: Your friendly neighborhood cynic (scottdm.crux.rose-hulman.edu)
Subject: Re: Oracularities voting results
>> The real question is what happens when it gets above Z. Say when *everyone* votes a 5 for example.
> You can see what happened when the voting passed Z in 733-02, which is visible on the web at
> There, the voting results are listed as 98aq* 4.1, but that doesn't seem to be the final result since the votes files from Indiana list that one as 99ct* 4.0, with 121 votes. How many votes were 5s is left as an exercise for the reader. :-)
He's right...I wrote that one! It is my crowning achievement thus far in Oracular endeavors. When I saw the * in the 5s slot, I was kind of surprised; I thought that there must have been some kind of error...I did the math, though, and realized what it meant soon enough. (Sorry, I don't remember how many. :) May any of you who read this group who haven't yet made it to a best of issue of the Oracularities do so...it's a neat feeling.
I asked Steve Kinzler: "What happens if...
- you vote with numbers other than 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5
- you vote for more or less than 10 oracularities?
He said: "Any of these would invalidate a vote set and would lead to either not counting the set, returning the set for a retry or counting a corrected set."
So the idle speculations about sending in a 0 vote for an oracularity you simply don't want to vote for (on rhod, back in 1998 or so) (voting, say, 1 2 3 4 5 0 1 2 3 4) were without foundation. As were the idle speculations that Kinzler had set the software to count zeroes as fivers and votes over five as ones.
... except, there's that "counting a corrected set." Hmmm ...
There's too few votes, if you ask me. So sure, go ahead. That way, if you liked your bit, you can influence the priests to select more of yours - give it a fiver. And if you didn't like your piece, you can really tell'em that you suck: give it a one.
I dimly remember a discussion on rhod about priestly voting habits, a few years ago. They seem to be pretty divided on whether or not to vote on oracularities they've digested or otherwise contributed to.
... I'll leave all the habit jokes to your collective imaginations.
Subject: Re: [Rebeka Thomas] Name Change!
From: "Lane Gray, Czar Castic" <E9c6zumball.mwis.net>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 08:42:54 -0600
>>Meanwhile, I have not received an answer to the question I sent to the Oracle, but I did have some fantastic tofu-stuff with Thai basil in it that was out of sight, man.
>Don't worry, it will get answered EVENTUALLY. I've never figured out how long the Oracle gives the first incarnation before putting a question back on the queue, but I suspect it's longer than the 24 hours that's often suggested. I've had to wait almost a week sometimes.
Each incarnation gets 24 hours, then it goes back to the back of the queue. If the queue is fullish, it can take awhile for it to get back to the next incarnation. Also, I suspect that some questions get passed on by more than one incarnation. It took 2 weeks to get an answer to the woodchuck question (posed in Esperanto), but the third times' the charm. I got a hilarious answer, which I posted as a SL here a while ago, and mean to dig it up from deja, as it is lost to me, as it was done from the old 486 machine (RIP).
You've done an askme or five. The queue is now empty. Do a few creative tellmes. You won't get your own questions back, but others will appreciate them.
2.3 What does "The Internet Oracle is pondering your question. Expect an answer in a day or two" mean?
You've done a tellme or three. The queue contains no questions but yours. Do a few more creative tellmes. You won't get your own questions back, but others will appreciate them.
Yes, but only if you use two email addresses. Note that it is very much frowned upon to try to get your own question back.
1) It's when somebody answers every askme they got (and they made sure they got plenty) with "Zot!", "Yes no hell!", or similar shows of advanced amentia. See point 5.1 for emphasis.
2) It's when somebody does lots of askmes without giving any tellmes back. If you do askmes until you get a question you like, you've drained the queue. True, all the ones you didn't answer go back to the queue after 24 hours, but meanwhile, the rest of us have less to play with.
True dimwits do either until they get the "no questions" back. This is very much frowned upon. If you're in the habit of doing this, be sure to give us your address, open your front door, and stand quivering in your tub. We'll be along shortly.
(And then, of course, there's the sad individual who, after several lobotomies, thought that queue draining consisted of sending in tellme's ... may he rest in pieces.)
From: Henriette Kress <hetta.saunalahti.fi>
Subject: Re: Rhod New Year Resolutions
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 10:13:12 +0200
 I have no compunctions whatsoever about sending back identical answers, if TIO gave me, say, three identical questions. Two, okay, answer one, let one go back to the queue. But if you sent three, chances are you sent ten. At least space them out a bit so they end up in different inboxes, eh?
From: HeySteveo.steveo.cjb.net (Robot Karate Man)
I agree, to a point. If I get the same question at the same time, the person multi-submitted and deserves to get the same answer back. If I get the same question spaced out, it's obvious the supplicant didn't give a rat's ass for my answer, so I let it fall back into the queueue and do an askme.
After 24 hours, your unanswered question goes back to the queue, and is picked up by another incarnation whenever. If you do answer late, the supplicant gets whichever answer is sent in first. If that is yours, the hard work of the -other- incarnation, who can't know that the question has already been answered, only goes to the priest. The supplicant will only see a second reply to his/her question if the priest digests it.
When an answer is sent in the question is removed from the queue. Note that priests in general frown on late answers (not that they can tell from a single instance, but if you do it often you might get noticed.)
If you find an unanswered question in your mailbox, say, six months later, your answer code might not be valid anymore. So, if you do answer it, chances are that nobody at all will see your muse's hard work.
- .sigs: remember to turn them off.
- Trailing blank lines: if you want to be really neat, remove them.
- MIME -code: avoid that, unless you really want to include it in your question.
- Line length: oracularity line length is max 74, so if you want to make it easy for priests to digest your masterpiece, set your line length to 72. That leaves room for the "> " (question) or "} " (answer).
- A long, rambling answer can be very good, but the punchline should top the jokes you made along the way. If it doesn't, go for shorter.
- Re-read your question before sending it in.
- Re-read the question -and- your answer before sending in your reply. That way you answer the right question.
- You might have out a word, or or written one twice.
- Check yr speling and, puntuation often;
And when you send in your answer: remember, delete the question. Send in only your reply.
1) URLs are frowned upon in the Oracular community. Not only are they a cheap way out of a possibly engaging question, but they show no originality on the part of the incarnation.
In addition, they'll be obsolete in about two years or so. While it might entertain your supplicant today, the 404 sure won't entertain any multitudes later on. In other words, you won't get digested.
Try this: do a search for "incarnated by" on Ross' Oracularity Search Page: http://www2.wmin.ac.uk/clemenr/ORACLE/search3.html - not very many hits, eh? Priests in general like the idea of anonymous oracularities. That means that you have to be -really- funny, if you use that phrase and want to get digested. Now, listen closely, for there's a catch: if your answer is -that- funny, it won't get digested. Un-hnn, no chance. It'll be handed around for general merriment during the priesthood's annual Fiji retreat, instead.
Trust me. I've heard it from Reliable Sources.
So you've received a question, but for whatever reason, you think you can't do it justice. What now?
Just delete it. Forget about it. Don't reply. In 24 hours another incarnation will receive the same question. Unless, of course, the queue is full, in which case it may take longer than 24 hours.
If you also got the message "The queue is getting full ..." you could send in a separate askme.
On a related note, you don't have to know the subject matter at hand in order to give an entertaining answer:
From: Tom Harrington (tph....)
Subject: Re: Oracle protocol
morse.garnet.msen.com (Johnson Bookbinding) wrote:
: I noticed that the Oracle was asking for more "ask me" messages to help un-jam the back-log. I ask-me'd a couple of times and took care of them in short order, but the next question was one that I didn't think I could handle as well as someone else (it was a computer question, and I only know enough to just turn on one of the things, not how it works).
The Oracle's intended for humor; you don't need a deep technical understanding of the question to write a funny answer, usually. It doesn't hurt, but it's not a requirement. I know I've answered questions on topics I knew almost nothing about, and had quite a good time at it. :-)
It might have been swallowed by a glitch in emailing software or by, say, a full mailbox or an incorrect return email address, but the Oracular Queue doesn't swallow questions never to be spit out again. I asked Kinzler: "Are questions deleted from the queue if enough incarnations let them slip back? Say, ten tries and it's a goner?" and he said: "Nope, there's currently no feature like this."
While I had his attention I also asked if he'd implemented any automated replies for "do-me" or "zot-me" in the subject line (see BoRHOD Jun95, Jul95: http://www.henriettesherbal.com/rhod/1995/jun95.html or jul95.html). He said no...
Way back when, when the Oracle was just a young'un, he had a computer program that added random YOTOs to his answers. Alas, he's old and arthritic now, his computer went down the drain years before the Y2K problems, and nobody on Mount Olympus quite knew how to install a new one. So the tribute request is no longer added automatically.
However, incarnations have found that a YOTO -line, if chosen carefully, sometimes can add immensely to the answer.
From Richard Wilson:
The Oracle hates having to answer the same question over and over. And no question has been asked more often, and in more ways, than the ghastly w**dchuck question. As a result, the Oracle detests not only the question, but also w**dchucks generally. Rumours that an organisation called ROUS (Rodents Of Unusual Size) headed by a certain Queen Chuckzilla are striving to overthrow the Oracle are, of course, nothing more than paranoid delusions. All the same, avoid w**dchucks unless you're confident you have an original slant on the subject.
Why do people start their questions with things like "Oh great and bodacious Oracle, whose toenails I'm not worthy to polish, who can move the moon, who can moon the sun, who ..."?
From Richard Wilson:
At some stage in his early career, the Oracle took on the aspect of a vengeful Old Testament style god, and started ZOTting supplicants who displeased him (particularly by asking the w**dchuck question - see above). Nobody is quite sure exactly what a ZOT entails, other than it resembles being hit by a scaled-up version of the BC comic strip's anteater's tongue and is almost invariably lethal. A Staff of Zot [tm] has been postulated as the weapon used. (see borhod Jul95 http://www.henriettesherbal.com/rhod/1995/jul95.html#zot for more info on this.)
To be on the safe side, supplicants started to grovel. Although supplicants should never be punished solely because their question lacks a grovel, an imaginative and/or elaborate effort invariably puts the Oracle in a good mood.
Note: It takes a certain amount of skill to pull off a successful Zotting. If you don't have that, you'd best avoid the Staff of Zot. It is, after all, usually just a cheap cop-out.
From: Tom Phoenix (rootbeer....)
Subject: Re: Two things that have gotten *extremely* old
> I've made a practice of zoting anybody that doesn't include a grovel.
Somebody else said it better once before,
"No grovel? Zot!" isn't funny any more, if it ever was.
I like it when someone includes a grovel, but groveling is only a custom, not a law.
They're one way to do an interesting narrative, if you are good at narrative, that is. They're also Tired Old In-Jokes. That means that not everybody likes them, and -that- means that using them might lessen your chance at digestation. That being said, you'll find that the most prominent TOIJs have their own webpages. Well, almost all of them, anyway:
Lisa is a net.sex.goddess that has been making regular appearances as the Oracle's SO since before the digests began. Paradoxically, she has no website dedicated to her voluminous charms.
For Zadoc, I refer you to the Zadocularities page: http://www.unitedheroes.net/zadocularities/ - here you'll also find the Staff of Zot, prominently displayed. Not to mention Lisa, for whom prominent display is a way of life.
For Og, there's the Og page: http://www2.wmin.ac.uk/clemenr/ORACLE/og.html
For an example of a Tired New In-Joke, there's the Ladies from Delphic Research, Inc. Their office is here: http://www.unitedheroes.net/dri/ .
Subject: Re: Q & A dist
From: Al Sharka <asharka.my-dejanews.com>
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 22:04:14 -0500
On Wed, 12 May 1999, Rhod Stewart wrote:
> Anyone know how answers are parceled out to the priests? Do questions get divided up amongst all priests and the questions sent to the priests not playing anymore just get tossed in the trash? Or do priests ask for questions to review in a 'askme' type fashion? How do ques/answs get "assigned"?
A quick search of deja gives the answer in the form of Dr. Noe spilling the beans:
Each priest has a current "load status", which is a whole number. Usual load is 1, but when a Priest is going to be away from e-mail for a while (such as a trip to the asylum brought on by reading too many Oracularities), his/her load can be set to 0. When a Priest goes REALLY nuts, she/he/it/they may request increasing the load to more than 1. Now imagine a list on which every Priest's name appears a number of times equal to the Priest's load status. Incoming submissions are sent to the next name on the list, with the process continuing to the next name, ad nauseam. So if there are 12 Priests each with a load of 1, each will receive one submission out of every 12 consecutive ones. This is a fairly typical situation, and the result is each Priest reviews around 9 or 10 submissions daily. Under normal circumstances, no submission is reviewed by more than one Priest. So it's more or less random which Priest gets your question and answer, depending on the relative order in which they arrive.
Subject: Re: What to do, what to do?
From: Ian Davis <Ian.Davis.ludwig.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 08:06:24 +1100
Petulantia Spliffbint wrote:
> Also Sprach Richard Wilson:
> > I suspect a number of factors affect what gets into the digest, but the biggest is probably the numbers of Oracularities that have to be sifted through these days. Picking the best 10 out of 100 is reasonably straight-forward and unlikely to lead to controversial choices; if it's 10 out of 1000 or more the choice starts to look random to most observers.
> I'd be intrigued to know what the actual ratio is. 10 in 1000 sounds a little high to me.
According to this week's figures, 18 active priests reviewed 585 oracularities and returned 17 (2.9%). Thus far, of the 312925 oracularities in the history of the Oracle, 4% have been published for an average vote of 3.02.
One day this sort of information will accidentally be radioed into space. Wiser and kinder beings than we, on a gentle planet circling a distant sun, will pick this up on their SEPI (Search for Extra-Planetary Idiocy) program and will order the destruction of this planet, with regret but no remorse.
That's fairly easy. They select things that make them laugh. Or chuckle. Or groan, in the case of puns. If your masterpiece can't move an overworked priest to at least a smile, but it still isn't complete dross, it usually goes into a "maybe" folder. Some priests check their folders regularly, say, every month or so, some don't. Some don't keep any "maybe" folders, some keep two.
Both priests and supplicants like to see some effort go into your answer. And answers like "Zot!" or "You didn't grovel, scum!" are -extremely- unlikely to either entertain the supplicant or make a digest.
Subject: Re: Cutoffs for oracularities
From: Scott Panzer <stenor.pcnet.com>
Pete Krawczyk, pkrawczy.uiuc.edu writes:
>When exactly is the cutoff for the Oracularities?
>For example, I sent one in this morning at 8 am CST. The times on 806-* say 4 pm EST. Was mine considered for 806 or does it roll over to 807?
There is none. There is no deadline for any particular issue, nor does the Priesthood review any given Oracularity with publication in a *particular* issue in mind.
The way it works is this: incoming Oracularities are distributed evenly among the Priesthood for review, each Oracularity going to exactly one priest. If the priest likes it, s/he sends it back to Steve Kinzler to be published. When Kinzler has accumulated 10 Oracularities the group of them are published as a digest.
Kinzler, as editor, reviews the collection and sends it out. There may be a little lag between the time 10 Oracularities are accumulated and the time the digest actually gets sent out, so it's possible that some Oracularities have accumulated for the next digest before the current digest has been sent out.
In any case, the digest your Oracularity appears in depends mostly on how quickly it is reviewed by the priest to whom it has been sent for review. That could be anywhere from within an hour or two to several days.
Hope this helps.
Scott Panzer, Priest
Subject: Re: Deja Vu
From: cierhart.ic.net (Otis Viles)
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 1999 23:11:08 GMT
On Fri, 05 Nov 1999 06:58:24 GMT, pooga.home.com.RemoveThis (Pooglian) wrote:
>So under normal circumstances, only one priest will get an Oracularity? Makes sense, I'm just trying to clarify this in my mind.
That's the way it works but sometimes we pass one around a mailing list if we think it's got some substance but not enough that we personally would Digest it.
(Note. A few priests spoke up on rhod during the DRI flap (Dec00). They said that there are -far- too many oracularities in their inboxes for oracularities to be shared routinely on the priestly list. It's more a once in a blue moon thing.)
Subject: Re: How long?
From: Richard Wilson <richard.molerat.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 09:17:19 +0000
Fierce Cookie <putain.de.2cv.mindspring.com> writes
>"Stimpy JC" <Stimpy.SPAM.wgt.org.uk> wrote:
>>No, not that question, I mean how long do you have to wait after writing an Ocularity that you thought should have been digested until you give up and post it to RHOD in hopes of someone else finding it at least a teensy bit funny?
>>Oh, and yes, I'm back, I didn't go away, I just lurked for a while cause I wasn't doing anything particularly worth posting about, and I was feeling far too unsociable to respond to anything.
>>Uhm.. yeah. So, how long?
Going from personal experience of digested oracularities:
|90%||appear in the next digest|
|9%||appear in the digest after that|
|0.9%||appear when the moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars|
|0.09%||appear in at least 2 of the above|
>Give it at least a month, and if it doesn't clear up, see a dermatologist.
And 0.01% are written in April and Putain de 2CV decides to save them up for the following Christmas for reasons too abstruse to enter into here.
--*----*---*---*----OTOH, if your answer was actually funny,it'll--
--*-----*--*----*----*-have ended up on the priests' secret list---
Subject: Re: Lisa/Santa/Priest bashing
From: drey.speakeasy.org (Otis Viles)
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 23:36:13 GMT
Wikkit <latebird.usa.net> wrote:
>Anyway, on the digest system. I've heard of priests getting ticked off and mailing the supplicant or incarnation for being a moron, or mean, or whetever. Doesn't that screw up the system? If you were one of the few priests that still hang out in this forum, and you were not getting along with one of the people here, wouldn't that bias the way you filter through the messages? Or has the all-mighty Stephen B. Kinzler made it blind?
The whole thing is anonymous. The email address of both the Supplicant and the Incarnation is hidden from us the entire time. When we send feedback, it's through a remailer that can figure out who it needs to go back to.
Subject: Re: Irony
From: HeySteveo.steveo.cjb.net (Robot Karate Man)
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 16:54:46 -0000
Simon J Grimshaw wrote:
>> Well, it got Oracle feedback from me...
>Oracle Feedback? Loud wailing Hendrix-esque tones, or is this something else (the process by which the digests are chosen??)
Oracular Feedback is when one of the priests snaps and sends you an email about your last incarnation telling you off for being mean to the supplicant, flogging you for being consistently unfunny, berating you for trying to create in-jokes about the Oracle's dog, and speaking in a high squeaky voice that irritates the priests until they start hitting their heads with hammers begging for the noise to stop please God stop aaaaaayyyyyeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Ok, so maybe that was just the feedback I got from Paul.
Ask Steve Kinzler.
So you've written a great answer to a question you got, but the priests (the fiends!) haven't deigned to select the resulting oracularity for a digest? Sure, go ahead and post it as a SL (sore loser) to rhod (news:rec.humor.oracle.d). Maybe you'll even get comments on it there.
You should wait for a decent amount of time first, though, to give priests a chance. They throw away any rhod-posted SLs they have in their maybe folders, so chances for digestion, after a SL post, are slim. Things might sit in these maybe folders for a -long- time, too - some priests check their folders every month, others only when it snows in the Sahara.
----- SL'ing questions: -----
Subject: Re: Looking for incarnation (credit where credit is due)
From: drey.speakeasy.org (Otis Viles)
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 23:59:07 GMT
Gordol <postmaster.gordol.org> wrote:
>May I remind you that the Answer is only one part of the thing? Without the Question, there is no answer. I think supplicants can SL as well as Incarnations. Given a decent waiting period to see if it gets digested first, of course.
Precisely. Neither party should SL here until both parties agree that a sufficient waiting period has passed. The Priesthood will leave it up to the Supplicant and Incarnation to contact each other and work out the details of how long is sufficient.
After two months. <looks around> Why are you all looking at me like that? It's a good rule of thumb!
From: Michael Jennings (M.J.Jennings.amtp.cam.ac.uk)
Subject: Re: A question for all you Oracle users
Thomas Pscheidt <pscheidt.ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>What the heck is alt.humor.oracle? It has nothing but very strange messages. I know Orrie moves in mysterious ways, but really....
alt.humor.oracle is the group that the Oracularities were posted to before the oracle moved into the big 7 hierarchies when rec.humor.oracle and rec.humor.oracle.d were created. As it is practically impossible to delete alt groups these days, alt.humor.oracle remains as a surreal shadow of its former self.
From: putain.de.2cv.mindspring.com (Fierce Cookie)
Subject: Re: Alright then...
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 12:13:37 GMT
I'll come back to the basic point that I've tried to make, over and over, but the horse is obviously not yet dead so I'll keep beating it. The point of the Oracle IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN TO MAXIMIZE YOUR PUBLIC EXPOSURE THROUGH THE DIGEST. If that is your goal, you're going about it all wrong. As the supplicant, strive to create a germ of creativity in the incarnation. If you're an incarnation, strive to entertain the supplicant. If you do these things, you are using the service appropriately. If the priest who receives an Oracularity likes it, the Oracularity goes in the digest. I like to think of the digests as advertising for the service in general -- people read them, then say, "wow, that looks cool, I'll get the help file so *I* can play, too." I can't help but think that all the null questions, all the bitchy ZOT incarnations we see, are the direct result of people thinking that the whole point of incarnating is to see your words in print. Jeez, there are easier ways to do that -- post to Usenet. Doing it right, playing the game, trying to entertain the supplicant, will result in the maximization of fun, and in the bargain will probably result in more digestations.
Or, as one priest told me by private email (added with permission):
Um...did you enjoy writing it? Did you have fun while you were doing it? Don't place so much emphasis on what the priesthood selects. Concentrate on enjoying the process, and tell us to <censored><censored> for having our snotty opinions. If you get to the point where you no longer consider what we have to say about things to matter at all, then you will be on top of it.
You owe the Oracle a good time^Wtellme or three.