On the way to a sales call, a salesman, a project manager, and a programmer were kidnapped. When their employer refused to pay the ransom, the kidnappers granted each a last wish before killing them. The salesman said, "I still want to make the pitch I prepared for today. It's awesome and will only take an hour." The project manager said, "I still want to present my Powerpoint for this project. It's only 92 slides." The programmer said, "Kill me first."
The thing about this joke is that the accountant is (kinda) right. Suppose they pass one field with about 1000 sheep and lots and lots of fields with ~5 sheep. Someone who thinks "about 1000" + 5 = "about 1000" is going to get a very wrong answer, and someone who thinks "about 1000" + 5 = "about 1005" is going to do much better.
This is also why, when combining floating-point values of different widths, it is better to say single + double -> double than single + double -> single, and why the concept of "significant figures" as commonly taught in schools is dangerous.
My favorite was originally about the DEC minicomputer Field Services organization, known as "field circuses":
Q: How can you recognize a field circus engineer
with a flat tire?
A: He's changing one tire at a time to see which one
Q: How can you recognize a field circus engineer
who is out of gas?
A: He's changing one tire at a time to see which one
Q: How can you tell it's *your* field circus engineer?
A: The spare is flat, too. 
That particular organization may be long gone, but you can definitely spot the behavior. E.g., when calling front-line tech support and being asked to reboot and reinstall things that clearly don't matter.
An mechanical engineer, physicist, and computer programmer are in a car driving down a steep mountain when the brakes fail. The careens around bends picking up speed until they finally reach the bottom and the car rolls to a stop.
The engineer hops out of the car and begins inspecting the brakes for the source of the failure. The physicist grabs a pad of paper and starts calculating the maximum angular momentum and friction coefficients.
The computer programmer looks at the car, then at the mountain and says, "let's push it up to the top and see if it happens again."
Oh god! From the enterprise code I've seen, American large companies must be hotbeds of communism!
And now that I think about it, enterprise systems may be fully realized soviet states. There are long queues for often meager returns, there are a large number of factories that produce mysterious junk, security policies are both incomprehensible and harsh, and to get anything done, you have to know somebody.
This is pretty accurate, actually, and has been studied by economists, for whom this was a huge problem: If the free market is supposed to be so great, then why are firms not organized as markets internally? In fact, why do they exist in the first place? In a sense, the existence of firms is evidence that a free market is not the best organizing principle for everything.
My personal theory is that this is mainly about the primate dominance dynamic. Markets really do work better, but too many people would rather be the alpha monkey to care about little things like organizational effectiveness.
Of course, to bring this back on topic, as a software guy I'm inclined to think it's a hardware problem.
Since you're referring to the Wikipedia page, you are probably aware that there is a reasonable economic answer related to transaction costs and asymmetric information:
"Instead, for Coase the main reason to establish a firm is to avoid some of the transaction costs of using the price mechanism. These include discovering relevant prices (which can be reduced but not eliminated by purchasing this information through specialists), as well as the costs of negotiating and writing enforceable contracts for each transaction (which can be large if there is uncertainty). Moreover, contracts in an uncertain world will necessarily be incomplete and have to be frequently re-negotiated. The costs of haggling about division of surplus, particularly if there is asymmetric information and asset specificity, may be considerable."
>If you're happy and you know it, missing quote
Not a verb
>If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it, If you're happy and you know it, syntax error
At a place where I used to work, someone had a car with one of those Virginia "Internet C@pital" license plates. The design has changed over the years, but this one put the @ in a big blue dot right in the lower center of the license plate. Sadly, I can't find a pic of this person's plate, or even that style of plate, anymore.
Well put. There is actually a major difference between a joke thread here and a joke thread on Stack Overflow: on HN, it would be on the front page for a few hours or perhaps a day at most (less if the volume of comments triggered the anti-flamewar code). But on Stack Overflow, the joke thread was being bumped to the front page every day for months; any edit or new answer jumps it to the top again, even if that answer is a copy of six other answers.
I get incredible value out of Stack Overflow. Do you not?
Does the fact that this question is locked diminish its value or the value of Stack Overflow in any way?
Of course, Stack Overflow is not made for interesting questions. Notice that I am not defending this descision, I am merely stating it. You know this, which is why you were accurately able to predict that this question would be closed. Why is this interesting enough to warrant commenting that this is the case also today?
Ditto. I stopped contributing to Stack Overflow because of this.
It's a classic example of cart-before-the-horse product thinking. Users aren't there to follow your orders; they're people with actual needs that you're trying to serve. I get that they don't want the site to be overrun with goofy content, because that prevents you from serving other actual needs. But there are better solutions than tasking a large number of people with running around and jerkily stomping out anything that doesn't fit the owners' precise vision.
I think this is the exact mistake that Friendster made. And really, the same one Google Plus made. Neither of those products were built for the users; they were built to serve the owners' desires.
What's your point, then? You are explicitly stating that you have interest mostly in passively receiving stuff that's out of the site's scope, not interested in actively participating, and not interested in changing the site orientation.
In other words, the site is not interesting to you, yet you choose to rant about it; very strange. Does the very existence of StackOverflow bother you?
(There are other sites on the Internet, y'know. It's not like SO is preventing you from visiting /r/ProgrammerJokes instead.)
How about some examples? I was a diamond mod (Kev) for a while and the stuff we were closing either fell wildly outside the scope of the site, or was just spam/garbage.
If you're unhappy about a question being closed (the community can and does make mistakes) then bring it up on meta-SO. If the question was closed by mistake then more often than not it'll be re-opened if you explain why.
When I teach introductory computer science courses, I like to lighten the mood with some humor. Having a sense of fun about the material makes it less frustrating and more memorable, and it's even motivating if the joke requires some technical understanding to 'get it'!
When put in this context, I think the question has some value. Being honest, programming can be very dry at times. The most mirth inducing stuff I have read in relation to programming is when programmers complain about programming languages, I think SO had a question addressing this issue.
An electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer and a software engineer from Microsoft are riding in a car, when they start down a steep hill. Halfway down the brakes go out and the car crashes into a tree at the bottom of the hill. Luckily, no one is hurt, so they get out and start analyzing what happened.
Electrical engineer: Clearly a short-circuit in the ABS system caused the brakes to go out.
Mechanical engineer: No, no, it was an over-pressure situation that caused a brake line to rupture.
They both turn to the Microsoft guy and ask him for his opinion:
Microsoft guy: I don't know, but let's push the car back to the top of the hill and try it again.
Two regular expressions are sitting at a bar and having a drink. A big, context-sensitive string walks over and steals the drink from the first regex. The second says to the first "Are you going to let him bully you like that?" The first replies "Yeah, I'm no match for him."
To go off topic a bit here - all these SO articles that are not pinpointed programming questions are always closed or locked. You can no longer ask these kind of open ended, leading to a debate kind of questions on SO anymore. The questions have to be very focused and narrow so that someone can answer it to get points. Its really disappointing but that is just the way the community took it in - pedantic.
On SO, mod points are granted by how many "points" you have. The idea is that if you have that many points, you got them by asking good questions, writing good answers, and generally being a good citizen on the site. But if you allow jokes or open-ended questions, then people get tons of points and mod powers even it they don't really contribute to the content of the site.
It would help if they allowed open-ended questions that are marked "community wiki" (which means the author doesn't get points for the post). But you'd still end up with a lot of off-topic content getting upvoted on the front page which would be annoying.
"It would help if they allowed open-ended questions that are marked "community wiki""
And then we'd have quora, which would not be Stack Overflow. The intention of the site from day one was to encourage specific answerable programming questions that do not involve endless open ended discussion.
I truly believe this narrow scope of acceptable question type is why the site is hugely popular.
I don't understand how people don't get this even after five and a half years.
At a friend's wedding, I delivered the toast which was a long list of "To X!" items, where X was something special to/for/about the couple. This worked spectacularly well. Including the dead silence & puzzled looks, and seething consternation from the groom, at "To RTFM!" halfway thru.
I always hated this joke because to me understanding binary does not mean understanding two's complement. Thus the joke took a on a meta-joke: using two bits to represent a binary state instead of one bit. If the joke teller understood binary in their heart they would use a proper enumeration without just using integers.
Strange that the joke most popular with my friends has not been quoted yet. It's about the programmer who goes to bed and places two glasses by the bedside: one with water, in case he wants to drink at night, and the other empty, in case he does not.
It is not, but there are reasons some people say that. Keep in mind this is a posting about jokes. By the way, someone managed to downvote the parent -- what a strange reaction to a joke! Kind of sad, really.
it loops when you get to "With An", not that you get through the whole verse.
That is, the cow says "Moo", the sheep says "baa", and the infinite recursion says "That is, the cow says "Moo", the sheep says "baa", and the infinite recursion says "That is, the cow says "Moo", the sheep says "baa", and the infinite recursion says "That is, the cow says "Moo", the sheep says "baa", and the infinite recursion says "That is, the cow says "Moo", the sheep says "baa", and the infinite recursion says StackOverflowException was unhandled
An unhandled exception of type
'System.StackOverflowException' occurred in Pxtl.dll
Make sure you do not have an infinite loop or infinite recursion.