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June 27, 2008

The Coder's Tale, part 3

continued from part 1 and part 2.

Scene 5

What trouble lurked
kept head unrear’d.

For a time, at least.

What news has come?

The wind is a-whisper.
Our day has run its course.
This new man, Andreessen,
has been your heir acclaimed.

What folly is this?
I have tided this new universe,
“Information at your Fingertips” yclept.
Here are my fingertips, and there, just beyond
lies the information.

But your means of transport
were off the mark.
500 channels have of a sudden morph’d
into websites by the millions.
Will our vessel be becalmed,
left behind by rising tide?
This story is sung
from broadsheet to storehouse.

Bah! What fools
occupy the fourth estate.
Their words
have no deeds to fortify them.
Talk of transport—what of it!
‘Tis but the frosting atop the cake,
the upmost tip of the iceberg
above the ice-blue waters.
Have they not assessed our ceaseless labor?
Our work has laid the mighty foundation
upon which this small cottage has been built.
My vision, five years previous,
drove the silicon dreams of thousands.
Display, sound, network—all have come to pass,
and at the proper time.
As if by magic—to those who do not comprehend,
who see in the wizard’s sleight
the larking of the infinite.
Our constructions also, tho’ their names be mystic:
TCP/IP, Winsock, DHCP
create the canvas that supports
this latest doodling.
Our slight pause at the limit
shall be a matter quickly set aright.

We must take the unknown leap.
The future shall not echo the past.
A train passes, and we must leap aboard
with open eyes and nimble feet.

Fie, I say.
The conveyance of our past
has fuel aplenty to burn.
To abandon it would be folly.

Your wizened bleating
reeks of senescence.
Awake, and face the new day
that all around us lightens.

Have our enemies made camp
within our own fortress?
Would you respond to news of storming Picts
by dropping guns and hoisting swords?

This grind-nosed popinjay
would clothe us all in doublets and breeches.

This slipshod lackadaise
will condemn us all to Marshalsea.

I beg of you, cease this senseless bibble-babble.
Here is a conundrum to furrow Jedidiah’s brow!
Two paths diverge ahead,
no signpost marks the way.
This change may come,
but when? That is the heavy weight.
Yet perhaps by clever artifice
I may arrange to place my winnings
on both sides of the line.

Scene 6

More battles were won
and foes put to rest.

Until one, whose looming shadow,
dwarfed all others yet seen.

Woe betide the Geekish race!
What has befallen us?
Our leaders have become
the agent of our enemies.
I implore the fates,
awaken me from this sleep,
that has curved to lurid dread.
My life’s work ripp’d asunder
on grounds whose gloom
would thwart the very sun.
My words dissected
and tarred as fool’s palaver.
Yet each step, at backwards glance,
appeared on bedrock anchor’d.
The rules, it seems,
were scrivened in wave-tossed sand.
No Circe lent her eyes
to guide us through this narrow channel.
And yet, I hear tidings.
A change of the guard may yet preserve us.
Perhaps such outside provocation
must spur an inner reflection.

Scene 7

The change was done.

The lamp unlit,
The road undertaken.

Now I quit this place,
and ponder newer journeys to receive.
The world begs my name,
and I must heed her pleading.
The midmark of my count
lies perhaps astern, yet
my talents, meager or otherwise,
have been with full conviction deployed.
I summited the tall mountain, and yet I espy
a taller one beyond.
And beyond that another,
reaching to the firmament.
I shall miss them all,
strivers and swotsmen,
dreamers and charlatans,
leaders and the led.
No man can say
they would have unearth’d a clearer chart
to steer their rudder amidst these waters.
I have gathered and I have spent,
and when the time of payment draws near,
I shall present my reckoning
with proud-set jaw
and level stare.
That is all a man has cause to hope for.

His stated aim:
“A computer on every desk,
and in every home,
all running Microsoft software”,
though vivid and penn’d to compel,
must appear, to cynical spirit,
As youth’s callow bombast.
And yet, upright against the measure
of his high-heaped deeds,
this judgment we must discard.
Feeble understatement would be,
A phrase found more appropriate.
He has changed the world,
that is all that need be said.

Time will make history of all,
yet for him there is no doubt.
When the book of mankind is written,
his name will be there inscribed
in letters ten feet tall.

the end.

Posted by AdamBa at June 27, 2008 08:54 PM