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    Countdown to Launch: The Computer Programmer’s Guide to Smalltalk (Version 0.8) by Lewis Brown

    By Emily 4 years agoNo Comments
    Home  /  Countdown to Launch  /  Countdown to Launch: The Computer Programmer’s Guide to Smalltalk (Version 0.8) by Lewis Brown

    Countdown to Launch gives you one of our favourite submissions every Monday (or Tuesday in this case). Lewis’s poem can be found in the FREAK Circus bumper Kindle edition. Available October 1st.

    This week we have a poem from Lewis Brown. This piece makes me wonder if after the singularity we will still be dealing with small talk instead of transferring illegally downloaded music files and pictures of our motherboards.

    The Computer Programmer’s Guide to Smalltalk (Version 0.8)


    Lewis Brown

    //engaging smalltalk.exe//

    Hi- //print variable: $name//
    //error 404 – $name not found//
    //smalltalk failed ABORT ABORT//
    //…rebooting. Press any key to continue//
    How’s it going?
    How’s that- //print variable $relevant personal detail//
    -thing coming along?
    Oh, that’s good.
    Me? I’m- //accessing platitude database//
    -fine. I’ve been pretty busy, but it’s going well.

    //searching for conversation programs…//
    //conversation programs found – options: sports, politics, television, incoherent burbling//
    //engaging sports_talk.exe//

    ‘So… do you follow the //calculating variable: $poshness//
    – rugby?
    Uhuh? //copy//

    And… uh… was that supposed to happen?
    Oh, I see. So does that mean that –
    //error – apathy overflow detected//
    //program: sports_talk.exe has crashed//

    //loading new conversation program…//
    //options: television, politics, incoherent burbling//
    //running inoffensive_political_nonesense.exe//
    So, what did you think of the election result then?
    Mmm. Yeah?
    Well, I, uh – //warning – strong opinions detected, initiating conflict avoidance protocol//
    //accessing political-joke database//
    Me? Haha, I’m somewhere to the left of Genghis Khan!
    //loading new conversation program…//
    //conversation options: television, incoherent burbling//
    //running easy_TV_chat.exe…//
    //error – accessing actor-name database failed//
    //error – Games-of-Thrones-trivia files corrupted//
    //dumping &^%£2data//
    //failed to launch easy_TV_chat.exe//
    //conversation options: incoherent burbling//

    I… uh…
    You… uh… new… hair?
    Face? Nice… face, yes.
    //connection lost – attempting to reconnect//
    No, no, I’m fine.
    I’m just a bit – //urgent maintenance update required – please restart//
    – tired this evening.
    I’ll probably head home soon, get some rest.
    Oh, is that…? It is!
    I’d better go say hi to… yeah.
    Anyway, nice seeing you!
    Thank god. Who even was that?
    Your boyfriend? Oh. Well.
    He seems… nice.
    You know what?
    I think I’d better go.
    //smalltalk.exe has suffered a fatal exception//
    //shutting down…//

    Lewis is a master procrastinator, amateur performance poet and final-year English student. Also spends a lot of time playing video games, denying reality and not making decisions. Is also a member of the Loud Poets, and runs a blog at

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