Fun_People Archive
5 Jun
The Hacker's Tarot

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu,  5 Jun 97 14:33:32 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: The Hacker's Tarot

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>
Forwarded-by: (Guy Harris)
Forwarded-by: (aurienne)

[OK, here are the major arcana; but what are the suits?  Floppies, CD-ROMs,
coffee cups, and T-shirts?  :-)]

Hacker Tarot Cards

0.  The FOOL: a manager using a SPARCStation 413,1432 to run a

1.  The MAGICIAN: a hacker with a Mac, a Pentium box, a Sparc, and
    a Cray on the table in front of him --- all running the same
    program with the same GUI. An infinity sign is over his head.

2.  The HIGH PRIESTESS: a woman holding the Documentation, closed
    and concealed. The crescent moon is showing on an Indigo behind

3.  The EMPEROR: Steve Jobs sitting on a NeXT cube, holding an
    optical disk vertically in his hand.

4.  The EMPRESS: A secretary with a NeXT Machine.

5.  The HEIROPHANT: Bill Gates with two flunkies kneeling before
    him, their faces averted, offering him floppy disks. He wears
    a laptop computer on his head.

6.  The LOVERS: a PowerMAC and an IBM Power PC exchanging software
    as an angel bathed in glory regards them.

7.  The CHARIOT: A man in a chariot, hurtling up an exponential
    curve, drawn by the twin sphinxes of Technology (black) and
    Culture (white).

8.  STRENGTH: A woman holding the entire design and implementation
    of Microsoft Excel in her mind as she corrects the final error. An
    infinity sign is over her head.

9.  The HERMIT: An old hacker, white-bearded, burns the midnight
    oil; its Star-of-David flame illuminates his keyboard.

10. The WHEEL OF FORTUNE: A rotating wheel. Cray is on the side going
    down, despite its good technology; Smalltalk is opposite it, and
    C++ is sitting on top. Four winged beings -- a mouse, a turtle, a
    dog-cow, and a human -- look on.

11. JUSTICE. A cold-faced woman holds a calculator in one hand and
    a delete-key in the other.

12. The HANGED MAN: A programmer is tied by his ankle to a cable duct.
    His phase is completely shifted: he awakens at sunset, he sleeps
    at dawn. His monitor is reverse-video. He programs on, flawlessly,
    oblivious to his circumstances.

13. DEATH: A skeleton wielding a scythe surveys a field, on which are
    scattered PDP-11s, Apple ]['s, IBM 360/91's, Xerox Alto's, and many
    other machines.

14. TEMPERANCE: An angel stands with one foot on her chair and one
    on the floor, as she copies files from one disk to another. A
    cursor blinks from her chest.

15. The DEVIL: The goat-headed Lord of the Pit stands on a pile of
    Windows manuals, holding an inverted torch in one hand. Two humans,
    male and female, are in chains at his feet.

16. The TOWER: An ivory tower is struck by a bolt of lightning.
    Two robed figures, denied tenure, are hurtled to the ground.

17. The STAR: A Mac is running its `warp' screen saver, in a
    transient fragile moment of peace.

18. The MOON: A wolf and a jackal are typing at two PC's. A crayfish
    crawls out of a pool, offering suggestions that may ultimately
    prove deadly. The moon shines through a window.

19. The SUN: A naked child riding a winged rocking horse programs
    clever applications on a high-quality workstation.

20. JUDGEMENT: An angel blows a trumpet; all over the net, web
    pages arise, to be rated Cool or not.

21. The WORLD: A woman dances on the clouds, unclothed, unencumbered,
    in a ring of clouds, a 3-d mouse in each hand. The four winged
    beings from the Wheel of Fortune surround her.

"Hacker Tarot Cards" was originally written by Bard Bloom
( as a part of the USENET Oracle.
[And the Oracle was originally written by me!  It all comes full circle...

prev [=] prev © 1997 Peter Langston []