Joyce On a Compiler


Dublin, Post-modernist fixations, and coding.All while looking for a Cricket store that does not sell mobile plans.


The finest way to desecrate a study of jest is to overdo it. So I will put the copper pan on the slow cooker and unfold my palms on it to conjure something that is not bland, for once. When James Joyce’s Ulysses was published it was still about twenty years till the first computer came out. A throwback to an era of mass disenchantment and factionalism in colonial Ireland smarting under a state of revolution, Ulysses acts like a stylized mirror to the Freudian alleys of Joyce’s melting pot of delicious dichotomies. When you start to code as a teenager, the first thing you notice is the chaos, the blaze of the undefinable, and the seemingly trivial, which resonates Ulysses in a way it resonates Ulysses. While a work of unbridled, all encompassing genius, it’s virtually unfathomable and practically unquotable, and has more things working for it than working against it in the sea of literary referentialism. A set of perfectly good code can look incomprehensible when you finish write it, but if you have done it right, and you know that it works, then it does not matter if it does not sense to the uninitiated. The truth of the pudding is in the eating, as Dr. Sen would say.

At this juncture I would like to take the liberty of delving into everyone’s favored breakfast muse at present, the libertine mazes of Indian polity. A microcosm of sapiens and ideas myriad and incongruous, much like Joyce’s Dublin, it seems to spiral away every time Ulysses spirals in on social morality and keeping societal differences and sensibilities together. If you set a loop to decrement the count on the step-by-step veering of the Indian political system away from the civilized as the counter for Joyce’s Ulysses weaves in steps of a unit, you would get exactly zero. Speaking of mathematical analyses. A system with a million variables at play, you cannot come to think it would ultimately fail because of the bias of the programmer just for some particular functions whose ideas seem likable on the first look. A code is logic and math, and each has more to do with human consciousness than most people like to believe.You cannot run away from either when you are trying to write an effective code, and they must come together well, a lot like Joyce’s references and stylized writing in Ulysses. It must make sense here and now, and past versions and interpretations posit little value. Unlike the political system in India, stuck in a tangle of propaganda of slumber from an era gone by.

The characters and the settings in Ulysses struggle to co-exist as the novel begins, but by the time it concludes, they seem almost eerily at peace with each other. A set of code can be ill assorted and out of place in the beginning, but if you match your algorithm for your logic, and care to check for all the dark corners and loose drawers, take nothing for granted, and code with a cool mind but a warm spirit(a la Giovanni Trapattoni, Sean St Ledger, Henry and the Le Hand of God), with dexterity and joy, you can get surprisingly good balance,functionality and efficiency out of it, just like Joyce did. It can contain a thousand library calls again like the thousand references in Joyce’s work of post-modernist exemplar, but it can still be spectacular in its own way of working towards an outcome of utility and gusto. The Indian political system on the other hand, dare I say it, rewards circuitous pursuits of malice and elaborate swindling as a virtue. It is the coding embodiment of what programmers would call rancid programming- slow, not caring for feedback, incredibly biased, blaming others, reinventing the wheel all the time, and caring the least for non-functional requirements. It glorifies corruption and blatantly laughs at sects or worse, takes advantage of them, literally poles apart from Ulysses,which is so self conscious that it actually sticks these things as satire on the shamrock Irish wall. So since this the first blog entry and it’s the holidays, without going further afield I would say, as I look for lacquer for the duke cricket ball along the wine colored sea-waters of the Mid-Atlantic, let the new year and new codes be more Ulysses and less South block. Bon Appetit.


cover image source :

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s