Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Opening paragraphs...........

In Alexander Mackendrick's 1951 Ealing comedy The Man in the White Suit, Alec Guinness plays Sidney Stratton, a dithery, even childlike chemist who creates a fabric that will never wear out or get dirty.  His invention is heralded as a great step forward - until the owners of the textile mills at which he is employed, along with the members of the unions representing his fellow workers, realize that it will put them all out of business.  Soon enough, these perennial antagonists join forces to trap Stratton and destroy his fabric, which he is wearing in the form of a white suit.  They chase him down, corner him, and seem about to murder him, when at the very last moment, the suit begins to disintegrate.  Failure thus saves Stratton from the industry he threatens and saves the industry from obsolescence.
-David Leavitt,  The Man Who Knew Too Much:  Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer

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