[SIGCIS-Members] Another question - "Giant Brains"

James Cortada jwcorta at us.ibm.com
Sat Jan 31 07:18:03 PST 2009

He popularized the term, although it is not clear to me that he was the
first to utter it.  The concept had been floating around since at least the
mid-1930s in the form of mechanically augmenting thinking.  based on what I
read in the 1930s and 1940s, I would give him--or his book editor--credit
for the phrase.  This is similar to the problem we still have with the word
automation.  It was in use at Ford Motors in the late 1940s but nobody knew
about it or used the phrase until John Diebold did when he used it as the
title for a best selling book published in the early 1950s.  He told me
that he had gotten the word from Ford and his editor encouraged him to use
in the title of the book.  The only really clever book title he ever came
up with for his 7+ books.  His experience is what taught me to spend a lot
of time thinking about the title of any book you publish, fighting and
dialoguing with editors, marketing people, and others until you get it

Jim (James) W. Cortada
IBM Institute for Business Value
3001 West Beltline Highway
Madison, WI 53713 USA
jwcorta at us.ibm.com

  From:       "Evan Koblentz" <evan at snarc.net>                                                                 
  To:         <members at sigcis.org>                                                                             
  Date:       01/31/09 04:20 AM                                                                                
  Subject:    [SIGCIS-Members] Another question - "Giant Brains"                                               

Was the term "Giant Brains" already popular when Edmund Berkeley used it in
his 1949 book title, or should he get credit for popularizing it?  I'm
mentioning the term in a footnote and want to be sure credit goes to the
right source._______________________________________________
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