Reading Herbert Simon's generally quite good 1977 "What Computers Mean for Man and Society", I chanced on this paragraph, which has aged poorly, highlighted sentence particularly.

As we know now, Nazi German DID have extensive mechanised data processing, supplied, contracted, supported, and organised by IBM.

This detracts to the extreme from Simon's argument.

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politics / genocide 

@dredmorbius and i think you could reasonably make an argument that even in the absence of "mechanization", precursor technologies in the bureaucratic / systems realm have been essential to all sorts of the 19th-21st century's more mass-murdery undertakings. it's not an understanding of things that's held up well at all. 60s & 70s objections to computerization and databases that were dismissed as hippie bullshit at the time look more reasonable with every passing year.

politics / genocide 

@brennen Indeed.

The fact that Simon (whom I otherwise tend to respect) was so spectacularly mistaken in this case strikes me as quite significant.

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