Sunday, December 04, 2005

Internet Oracle

Back in 1998, I first stumbled across The Internet Oracle,™

an anonymous, cooperative email system for creative, (usually) humorous writing, serving the Net since 1989 and realizing its first virtual personality.
It's a pretty cool system. Users ask the oracle a question by email to, and as long as the words "tell me" appear in the subject line, it will be forwarded to another user for an answer. All of the answers are reviewed by the Oracle's Priests, who select the best for a periodic digest. Users vote on the digested "Oracularities," and the best of those are then published for each set of 25 digests.

Here's an example from the latest best-of digest:
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> O Oracle most helpful,
> Despite the fact that I lost my arms in a horrible accident 2 years
> ago, none of the arms dealers I've spoken to are willing to help. Why
> is that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Like you, I'm stumped.

Give it a try! Just don't ask the w**dch*ck question.