Subject: Re: [sliderule] male/female
         Date: Sat, 11 Sep 1999 20:03:05 +0000

Since the basic (linear) slide-rule
is composed of a male part (extension)
that fits and slides within a female part (cavity),
we may regard it as manifesting a perfect functional congress
-- like the union of male and female plugs, but active
rather than static.  In this perspective, the sliderule's nature
is neither male nor female, nor neuter
(as simple cancellation of opposites might be understood),
but both-in-one, in Taoist harmony.


         Subject: Re: [sliderule] Keeping the group on an adult level.
         Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 21:56:15 +0000

Speculation about the nature
of something so intimately loved
in such various ways
is surely not out of order
in serious adult discussion.

Nor should even a penile reference
be dismissed prudishly or sneeringly
as mere "sexual innuendo," if inquiry
into the emotional substrate
of our fondness for the useful tool
-- or into the M/F ratio
of subscribers to this discussion --
be taken as legitimate.

More personally, as my own take
is more metaphysical than carnal,
I am distressed to find
that my recent description
of the slide-rule's receptive/active structure
as a Taoistic polarity
has been dismissed as smut.

So, Moderator, prithee keep
an open mind
to entertain this sequel thought:

Further sign of the Taoist fount
of our affection may be found
in the fond North American nickname
for this instrument in my youth.
While "slip-stick" is ordinarily parsed
to name it by its moving part,
initiates grasp the esoteric meaning,
knowing slip/stick as another
of the ten thousand ways
the Yin/Yang engenders the universe.


                                                        11-13 Sept 99