Friday, January 04, 2008

Artificial sarcasm

It used to be the custom for mathematicians, philosophers and the like to encode their ideas and discoveries as cryptic anagrams so they could later supply the original text to establish their priority.

Today I was idly reading part of Wikipedia and was amused, and very nearly annoyed to discover a couple of places where other people were being given credit for inventing things that I'd done years before... One example was syntax highlighting in text editors, the others were in a similar vein [1]. Well, my development tools still do one or two useful things that programmers haven't yet thought of and it struck me that I really ought to get the olde anagram generator out and encode the ideas so that I can use them in my dotage to support claims of "Idiots - I was doing that forty years ago!" and suchlike profoundly unhelpful but satisfying remarks.

Unfortunately the first anagram it came up with started "Oh dear me, holier-than-thou..." (that's not the complete wording, no point decoding it) which I took as a hint and abandoned the whole enterprise.

But what the hell - here's one for you all to be going on with. Decode this and untold millions of programmers will bang their heads on their desks with cries of "Why the fuck didn't anyone else think of that?"

"Oh dear me! Damnation, the stealthier acuteness"

Mind you, it's probably easier to just get me pissed and ask nicely.

[1] Of course, I could just edit the entries in Wikipedia, but somehow changing them to "Actually, Design Design invented this in..." seems a little bit too sad. Besides, who's to say we were the first? Good ideas that give a commercial advantage are not openly discussed. The whole idea's intrinsically flawed and offensive.

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