[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

CypherPunks Theology (Required Reading)

[headers didn't exist yet]
   In the beginning, God created the bit. And the bit was a zero.
   On the first day, he toggled the 0 to 1, and the Universe was.  (In
those days, bootstrap loaders were simple, and "active low" signals 
didn't yet exist.)
   On the second day, God's boss wanted a demo, and tried to read the 
This being volatile memory, the bit reverted to a 0. And the universe
wasn't. God learned the importance of backups and memory refresh, and 
spent the rest of the day (and his first all-nighter) reinstalling the 
   On the third day, the bit cried "Oh, Lord! If you exist, give me a
sign!" And God created rev 2.0 of the bit, even better than the original
prototype. Those in Universe Marketing immediately realized that "new 
and improved" wouldn't do justice to such a grand and glorious creation.
   And so it was dubbed the Most Significant Bit.  Many bits followed, 
but only one was so honored.
   On the fourth day, God created a simple ALU with 'add' and 'logical
shift' instructions. And the original bit discove red that -- by 
performing a single shift instruction -- it could become the Most 
Significant Bit.
And God realized the importance of computer security.
   On the fifth day, God created the first mid-life kicker, rev 2.0 of 
the ALU, with wonderful features, and said "Forget that add and shift 
Go forth and multiply."  And God saw that it was good.
   On the sixth day, God got a bit overconfident, and invented 
pipelines, register hazards, optimizing compilers, crosstalk, 
restartable instructions, micro interrupts, race conditions, and 
propagation delays.
Historians have used this to convincingly argue that the sixth day 
must have been a Monday.
   On the seventh day, an engineering change introduced Windows into 
the Universe, and it hasn't worked right since.