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Birth of a Notion.
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The Magic 8-Ball (link) is probably the greatest invention in the
of decision theory since the coin.
President Roosevelt was given one of the first prototypes of this
device (link), and its use in political decision-making has been a
tradition maintained for over 60 years. Military
including large, hardened 8-balls for dropping into combat zones
where urgent decision making was needed (see link).
The standard Magic 8-Ball is a generic instrument, designed to
accurate and sensitive decisions about a very wide range of topics.
Sadly, this means that it is less well suited to decision-making in
MaxCo. is pleased to announce the launch of its new range of
domain-specific Magic 8-Balls. Following extensive and often
intentional research, and using the latest in polymer
manufacturing technology, we have created a range of Magic 8-
balls to suit
many of the most challenging professions and pastimes, including
law, medicine, art, bomb disposal and oral sex.
As an example, the Magic Doctor Medical 8-Ball provides the
following carefully evaluated answers:
"Run a central line"
"No, the _patient's_ right side."
"Check his insurance."
"Check your insurance."
"Yes, that's normal."
"Biological detergent, cold soak."
"Left over right, then knot."
"No, except penicillin."
"Pinkish with blue veins."
"3mg/kg twice daily."
Each domain-specific Magic 8-Ball comes in its own hand-crafted,
machine-engineered walnut-veneered carrycase, complete with
Generic version for non-professional use. [MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2010]
Roosevelt receives prototype Magic 8-Ball in 1944
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2010]
Military version being deployed in combat zone
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2010]
Later president with 8-ball
As you can see, he was not so fond of it. [MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2010]
Obama is never without our "Oil Spill Contingency" model.
We are working on a lighter version, specifically in deference to the President's congenital thumb defect. [MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2010]
Talk about having politicians in your pockets...
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 05 2010]
||I'm pretty sure this already exists for the "naughty" domain. Also, MFD: magic.
||"Sorry ambassador, I gave you the 'Oral sex' magic 8-ball
instead of the 'International diplomacy' one - these MaxCo
walnut-veneered cases all look the same. Anyway, how did
the negotiations go?"
||"Fine, thanks - there doesn't seem to be much difference
between them. We'll continue screwing and being screwed
much as before."
||My "Assembly Line Worker" model always gives me the same
||Have you checked the batteries?
||The Papal one must be interesting - always coming up with the correct answer, and all ...
||I had no idea there were 20 answers, I thought it was just 8. (+)
||[21Q] are you sure it's one of ours? Does it have the haddock-
and-rice logo on the flange?
||//The Papal one must be interesting - always coming up
with the correct answer//
How would that be interesting? In operation, it'd look
exactly like any other magic 8 ball. The only person to
whom it could look different would be someone (the
Diety, maybe) who had foreknowledge of the doctrinally
||In fact, assuming the Pope didn't have that foreknowledge
(and if he did, why would he use the thing) someone could
substitute a normal magic 8 ball and he'd never know the
||Oh he'd know...and he'd be right.