Sunday, February 13, 2011

Magnificent Mad Men and Machine

HuffPo reminded me this morning that the "Watson" - IBM's new super computer, named for Thomas Watson, Jr. and Sr. - will soon go into competition with Jeopardy winners. I suspect Jeopardy will never have a bigger audience.

Of course, there could not be a more apt name for this marvelous "mental" machine, the Watsons being the soul of IBM.

When I was working on Madison Avenue in the 60s. Martini lunches were rampant on the Avenue and Watson, Sr.'s admonition was still in effect,  even though he died in 1956.

The Watson decree was, IBM reps should not drink alcohol during the day. So the IBM reps started drinking vodka to mask the "illegal" activity. Ultimately Watson issued another decree,  "drink gin martinis at lunch instead of the less fumy vodka martinis so that your afternoon clients will know you are drunk and not stupid."

Elementary, my dear Watson.

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