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Sucking Stones: The Programmer Psyche in Beckett

Sucking Stones: The Programmer Psyche in Beckett

Slides accompanying a Barcamp presentation in Chiang Mai, 2012 (http://simonrobson.net/2012/07/01/sucking-stones.html)

Simon Robson

June 30, 2012

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  1. Samuel Beckett 13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989 1969

    Nobel Prize for Literature http://www.cambridge.org/uk/literature/beckett/ Sunday, 9 June 13
  2. “The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.

    Murphy sat out of it...” Murphy (1938) Sunday, 9 June 13
  3. “He sat in his chair this way because it gave

    him pleasure! First it gave his body pleasure, it appeased his body. Then it set him free in his mind” Murphy (1938) Sunday, 9 June 13
  4. “For it was not until his body was appeased that

    he could come alive in his mind, as described in section six.” Murphy (1938) Sunday, 9 June 13
  5. “And life in his mind gave him pleasure, such pleasure

    that pleasure was not the word.” Murphy (1938) Sunday, 9 June 13
  6. Sucking Stones - a meditation in 1,700 words Molloy (1938)

    http://www.samuel-beckett.net/molloy1.html Sunday, 9 June 13
  7. But this was only a makeshift that could not long

    content a man like me. So I began to look for something else ... For I was beginning to lose all sense of measure, after all this wrestling and wrangling I gazed at them in anger and perplexity One day suddenly it dawned on me, dimly, that I might perhaps achieve my purpose without ... but simply by.... Sunday, 9 June 13
  8. I firmly believe that other solutions to this problem might

    have been found and indeed may still be found, no less sound, but much more elegant than the one I shall now describe Here then were two incompatible needs, at loggerheads. For I would never have been sure of not making a mistake, unless of course I had kept a kind of register But however imperfect my own solution was, I was pleased at having found it all alone, yes, quite pleased. Sunday, 9 June 13
  9. And the solution to which I rallied in the end

    was to throw away all the stones but one, which I kept now in one pocket, now in another, and which of course I soon lost, or threw away, or gave away, or swallowed Molloy (1938) Sunday, 9 June 13
  10. I am interested in the shape of ideas even if

    I do not believe them. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine. I wish I could remember the Latin. It is even finer in Latin than in English: “Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.” That sentence has a wonderful shape. It is the shape that matters. Sunday, 9 June 13
  11. “Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in

    the hole, lingeringly, the grave- digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener.” Waiting for Godot (1949) Sunday, 9 June 13
  12. “Do not despair–many are happy much of the time; more

    eat than starve, more are healthy than sick, more curable than dying; not so many dying as dead; and one of the thieves was saved.” “At the graveside the undertaker doffs his top hat and impregnates the prettiest mourner. Wham, bam thank you Sam” Jumpers, Tom Stoppard (1972) Sunday, 9 June 13
  13. “Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let

    us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late!” Waiting for Godot (1949) Sunday, 9 June 13