Cyber Tao Te Ching


Translated into the vernacular by Douglas Lang and David Hartley

A Brief Introduction

Not so much tongue-in-cheek as “tongue of geek”, this is the Classic of the Way and Virtue, translated into geek-speak. As techie lingo continues its swift drift from standard English, frenetic techies and project managers need – now more than ever – the timeless messages of the Tao Te Ching, spoken in terms to which they can rly rel8.  Had Lao Tzu been a sys admin in the early ‘90s or an IT manager today, this is how he might have phrased his classic messages.  Our text is based on the variations in sense and meaning of eight English translations of the Tao Te Ching, as well as on our own sense of what the timeless messages should try to put across in this digital age.

The Book

In case you are not at all familiar with the topic:  The Tao Te Ching is one of the fundamental texts of Taoism and is said to have been translated into more languages than the Bible. It is a small book – the longest chapters have perhaps 25 lines; generally it is printed with one chapter per page. It was written during the Chou Dynasty (1030 -- 207 B.C.) around 400 - 300 B.C. by a person known as Lao Tzu; very little is known about him or his profession. The Tao Te Ching consists of 81 chapters divided into two parts. The Upper Part, chapters 1 to 37, begins with the word 'Tao' and is known as the Tao Ching (Classic of Tao). The Lower Part, chapters 38 to 81, begins with the words 'Shang Te' (High Virtue) and is known as the Te Ching (Classic of Virtue). The Tao Ching and Te Ching together constitute the complete work, the Tao Te Ching.

The Authors

Douglas Lang has been a webmaster, programmer, network architect, and project manager.  Having run a small web hosting company with his wife while working full-time, earning two Masters degrees, and raising three wonderful kids, his interest in the Tao is the basest form of escapism.  He is currently working full-time for a global IT consulting and services firm, neglecting to fix up the house, and trying not to fall asleep on his keyboard too often.  When he dreams, he dreams of sleep.


Once upon a time David Hartley programmed, scripted, and coaxed machines into doing things they seldom wanted to do. During that time, he learned the CyberTao as a Darwinian survival skill. Like Mr Lang, he spends a considerable amount of time not sleeping, converting espresso into work, and wondering who the mostly social people who live and sleep in his house are.


The authors spent 2 years researching and writing this modern edition, having started on a whim in the back seat of a car driving to New York City. While obviously for techies, those making a serious study of the Tao Te Ching and its postmodern interpretations should also find this book worthwhile. This is not a tongue-in-cheek parody; it was written to retell the classic messages in a modern, specialized, language. We hope we have successfully captured the quintessential something that makes this text timeless in any language.

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