"One cannot become a true UNIX geek without growing one at least once. Like a monolithic kernel, a UNIX geek’s beard is a commanding obelisk of knowledge, wisdom, and hubris. It is a focal point, a symbol of arcane power."
A programmer once built a vast database containing all the literature,
facts, figures, and data in the world.
Then he built an advanced querying system that linked that knowledge together, allowing him to wander through the database at will.
Satisfied and pleased, he sat down before his computer to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
After three minutes, the programmer had a headache.
After three hours, the programmer felt ill.
After three days, the programmer destroyed his database.
When asked why, he replied:
'That system put the world at my fingertips. I could go anywhere, see anything.
Because I was no longer limited by external conditions,
I had no excuse for not knowing everything there is to know.
I could neither sleep nor eat. All I could do was wander through the database.
Now I can rest.'
-- Geoffrey James, The Zen of Programming.