Saturday, February 28, 2009

Discord At Last! Unix and Linux-y Humor

Hey there,

Although this post I found on the web is a bit dated, it's new to me and, hopefully, to you :)

If you're a fan of Robert Anton Wilson and/or Robert Shea, you may be familiar with what I still believe is a cult-classic: The Illuminatus Trilogy

If you aren't familiar with them, I'd suggest virtually anything either of them have ever written, but especially the aforementioned Illuminatus Trilogy. Every time someone mentions "The DaVinci Code," which I grudgingly read, I'm always reminded of this book. It's rooted in the same amount of fictitious fact, but is a superbly well-crafted, self-aware and hilarious read. SPECIAL NOTE FOR THE PURITANICALLY SENSITIVE: While the writing in this book is excellent and the story extremely entertaining, it does contain descriptions of fairly commonplace sexual acts to a detail that may make some readers uncomfortable. Fortunately, the humor, violence, ten-mile-deep plot and prose (in general) are equally as engaging :)

If you are familiar with The Illuminatus Trilogy, the following post on "ddate"; a command that translates regular time into Unix time as well as Discordian Time, should be entertaining and give you a good chuckle. Even if you haven't read the books, this stuff is funny on its own. I found this particular post on CyberCiti where you can find lots of other funny and interesting posts.

As an interesting sidenote, the Principia Discordia to which the post refers actually inspired The Illuminatus Trilogy. Or was the one the inspiration for the other (The first edition having only been found in 2006)? The more of this stuff you read, the more confusing it gets ;) If you want to read more about all of the modern reading, writing, movies and television inspired by Discordianism, check out the Discordianism Page on Wikipedia.

Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

p.s. On a sadder note, both of the authors of The Illuminatus Trilogy have since passed away. You can visit their respective websites (continuing where they left off; their legacies' being carried on by their children) at the Robert Anton Wilson Home Page (he passed on January 11th, 2007, peacefully in his sleep. A number of false reports of his death made the papers from 2006 onward) and (He passed March 10th, 1994 of colon cancer although ( yet another oddity ) many false reports of his death marked him as having passed from AIDS-related illness. Whomever his lifestyle offended ended up being more offensive in the end).

, Mike

ddate: Converts Gregorian dates to Discordian dates

by Vivek Gite

Most of you may be aware of date command. There is also a ddate command. It converts Gregorian dates to Discordian dates or Erisian calendar, which is an alternative calendar used by some adherents of Discordianism. It is specified on page 00034 of the Principia Discordia:

The Discordian calendar has five 73-day seasons: Chaos, Discord, Confusion, Bureaucracy, and The Aftermath. The Discordian year is aligned with the Gregorian calendar and begins on January 1, thus Chaos 1, 3173 YOLD is January 1, 2007 Gregorian.

Just type ddate:

$ ddate


Today is Setting Orange, the 71st day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3173

For fun put following alias in /etc/profile (try out on 1st April ;) ):

alias date=ddate

If called with no arguments, ddate will get the current system date, convert this to the Discordian date format and print this on the standard output.. Alternatively, a Gregorian date may be specified on the command line, in the form of a numerical day, month and year.

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