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"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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Can We Agree on these?
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The Brothers Karamazov
Critique of A New Earth
Buddhist Violence
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In Search of Moses
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How the World Will End
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 Digital Justice: A Computer Poem by Po'

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
wasted paper and more, manuals piled on the floor,
Longing for the bed sheets, I sat there doing spreadsheets.

Having reached the bottom line, I took a floppy from the drawer,
invoked the SAVE command, and waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.

Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token.

"Save!" I said, "You cursed mother! Save my data from before!"
One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
 Just, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Was this some occult illusion, some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired, ones I'd never faced before.
Carefully I weighed the choices as the disk made impish noises.

The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting, baiting me to type some more.
Clearly I must press a key, choosing one and nothing more,
From "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

With fingers pale and trembling, slowly toward the keyboard bending
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee, timidly, I pressed a key.

But on the screen there still persisted, words appearing as before.
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, haunted, as my patience wore,
Saying "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

I tried to catch the chips off guard, and pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded with the cursed thing: I begged and cried and then I swore.
Now in mighty desperation, trying a random combination,

Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, refusing my data to store.
Reading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted.
Getting up I turned away, and paced across the office floor
Thinking,. "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

And then I saw a dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the night
A painful gasp came with horror, shook me to my very core.
No more,  "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

The lightning zapped my data, lost and gone forevermore.
All before I got the infernal thing to store
No more, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

To this day I do not know, the place lost data go
To what demonic nether world, was my precious data hurled,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls, beyond the portals of black holes?

But sure as there's C, Pascal, Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more,
You will one day be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading, "Please don't Ignore! Retry forevermore!"

 

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