Woke last night to the sensation of something scurrying across my abdomen. Swatted instinctively, felt a handful of… something. Carried it into the bathroom, hit the light, and found a dead centipede in my hand.
Long ago, in a finite state far away, there lived a JOVIAL
character named Jack. Jack and his relations were poor. Often their
hash table was bare. One day Jack’s parent said to him, “Our matrices
are sparse. You must go to the market to exchange our RAM for some
BASICs.” She compiled a linked list of items to retrieve and passed it
So Jack set out. But as he was walking along a Hamilton path,
he met the traveling salesman.
“Whither dost thy flow chart take thou?” prompted the salesman
in high-level language.
“I’m going to the market to exchange this RAM for some chips
and Apples,” commented Jack.
“I have a much better algorithm. You needn’t join a queue
there; I will swap your RAM for these magic kernels now.”
Jack made the trade, then backtracked to his house. But when
he told his busy-waiting parent of the deal, she became so angry she
“Don’t you even have any artificial intelligence? All these
kernels together hardly make up one byte,” and she popped them out the
— Mark Isaak, “Jack and the Beanstack”