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Friday Philosophy: The Intersecting Worlds Around Oracle April 24, 2020

Posted by mwidlake in conference, Friday Philosophy, humour, User Groups.
Tags: , , ,

Some of you may have noticed something about the Oracle Community: How certain other aspects of human nature, factors, and outside activities are unusually common.  An abiding love of the works of Douglas Adams (If you have never read “The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy” you should question if you are right for this community – and if you have read it/seen the series/watched the film and disliked it, I’m afraid you have to leave now); Lego was probably an important part of your childhood (and quite possibly your adulthood, though some “project” this fixation on to their kids). A lot of the most talented people, especially presenters, are called “Martin” or similar :-}.

Three Different Worlds Meet

There are two other groups of people that are large within the Oracle community and that I fit into.

  1. Oracle people who have a thing about cats. A positive thing, not those weird people who don’t like cats. It seems to me a lot of people in the Oracle community are happy to serve our feline overlords. This can polarise the community though, so introduce the topic of cats carefully. If the other person mentions how evil or unfriendly cats are, put them on The List Of The Damned and move on to something else.
  2. Making bread, especially of the sourdough variety. This is a growing passion I’ve noticed (quite literally, given the careful tendering of starter mixtures and also expanding waistlines). It seems to be especially common with technical Oracle people. More often than not, when I get together with a flange of Oracle Professionals (or is it a whoop or a herd?) the topic of baking bread will come up. Unlike technical topics, such as what is the fastest way to get a count of all the rows in a table, baking topics are rarely contentious and lead to fights. If you want to put spelt wheat in you mix, that’s just fine.

Mrs Widlake and I were talking about this last night (one of the problems with all this social isolation business is that Mrs Widlake is being forced to spend a lot of time with me – after 27 years of marriage idle conversation was already a challenge for us and now with over a month together all the time, we are getting desperate for topics). She asked how many of my Oracle friends liked both cats AND baking bread?

It struck me that it seemed to be very, very few. Unusually few. I think this is something that needs to be investigated.  This pattern would suggest that bread makers are cat haters. But in my non-Oracle world, this is not the case. The best people are, of course,  Ailurophiles and many of my feline-fixated friends are also bakers of bread. Just not in the Oracle world.

What makes Oracle people so weird?

Does anyone have any ideas? And have you noticed any other common areas of interest (excluding computers of course, that’s just obvious)?

A few that spring to mind are:

  • Terry Pratchett and the Discworld
  • Running
  • Weird science
  • XKCD
  • The Far Side
  • Star bloody Wars.

Let me know. Or don’t.

And for all of you who don’t like cats…



1. Raymond - April 24, 2020

Oh dear, I bake bread, have two cats, Oracle DBA+APEX Dev, LOVE The Far Side, Weird Science, Run (although more brisk walk these days), Sc-Fi fan in general, not an ACE or Oak member but started with Oracle V2.
Very very suspicious of potato patches these days ,specifically ones which are equivalent to how tall I am.

mwidlake - April 24, 2020

You sound like a very fine person to me. I’m curious on the potatoes though, we just planted the first lot of the season this weekend.

2. Norman Dunbar - April 26, 2020

Hmm, I must be faulty.

Douglas Adams, check.

Terry Pratchett and the Discworld, check.

Running, big no no, never, ever. I won’t even run for a bus.

Weird science, _any_ science for me.

XKCD, check.

The Far Side, check.

Star bloody Wars, nope. Boring.

Cats, see also running. Vermin. I have 24 different cats sh!tting in my garden. One wandered into my shed last week and sprayed the inside. He, for it was a he, must have a bladder the size of a 50 gallon oil drum!

Bread making, sort of. I did a day course and enjoyed it. Haven’t done it since. I’ve baked a few Victoria Sponges though, does that count?

Crafts. I will watch anyone with skills. No matter what in. Wood turning, clock making, etc.

Comedy. I love a good laugh. Shame about my own jokes though.

Dogs. Love them. Funny how dog poo is “unsavoury” (which it is), but it’s ok for cat owners to turn their scruffy hairballs out into other peoples gardens and kiddy sand pits, and not have to pick up!

Ever seen a guide cat for the blind? 😉

Sorry, that was more of a rant than a comment!

Take care Martin, stay safe.


mwidlake - April 26, 2020

Nice Rant 🙂

We are all fundamentally faulty, I think, in our own idiosyncratic ways

Take care Norman.

3. Norman Dunbar - April 27, 2020

We are indeed, all unique. Just like everyone else. 🙂

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