[PW] Kenneth Olsen Computer Quote (Quotation Query #745)

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sun May 8 11:10:39 PDT 2016

Shapiro, Fred scripsit:

> I can find no contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous documentation
> for Olsen having said this in 1977, nor have I found it quoted anywhere
> near 1977 in Time Magazine.  I would welcome any pre-1984 documentation
> for the quote, or any solid leads to verification of the quote.

<http://www.snopes.com/quotes/kenolsen.asp> quotes Schein et al.,
_DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC_, which in turn quotes Olsen saying he
was grossly misinterpreted: he was referring not to personal computers
in homes, which he expected, approved of, and in fact owned himself,
but to computerized homes that would make autonomous decisions about
housekeeping, supposedly for the welfare of the inhabitants, something
we mostly do not have.  I haven't read the book, and the Snopes article
sheds no light on the question of first presentation or publication,
as it it is hedged with "reportedly" and "supposedly".  But Olsen's own
remarks as quoted there strongly imply that he said something like it.

The publication date of 1969 at the bottom of the Snopes article is an
artifact of the Unix epoch, and should be ignored.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
I suggest you solicit aid of my followers or learn the difficult art
of mud-breathing.  --Great-Souled Sam

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