Thursday, February 17, 2011


Yesterday on the TV show Jeopardy, an IBM thinking machine took on two top Jeopardy champions ending a 3 day challenge and won by a healthy margin. Everyone I spoke to was hoping the humans would win. I held back my thoughts because:

As an ex IBMer and manager, I must admit with some shame, that I was rooting for Watson and not my fellow humanoids. I haven't worked for them in in over 35 years and my move to go into my own not hi-tech business proved to be a financially rewarding decision. Yet, I always wondered what I may have achieved should I stayed with big blue.

I don't know if I speak for others but I think that once big blue is in your blood, it can never be exorcised by the time and space continuum.

I still remember my employee number and some of the cast of characters The IBM culture became almost embedded yielding an ethic, a personal standard, and one to which I tend to encourage others. When I drive by the old plant site, since sold to Hitachi, flashbacks overtake my mind and I get a glimpse of what was my second home in the Administration Building. The plant was a place where nothing is impossible, it just costs a little more.

So congratulations Watson, an appropriate name as T.J. Watson, Jr. was to most IBMers a greater-than-human that dwelled solidly at the dominion level.

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