International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines

The International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines (or ISADAPROM) was founded by Harvey Matusow in the late 1960s. Its aim was "to conduct guerrilla warfare against the computer by such means as sending a penny too much or too little when paying a utility bill."

San Francisco Examiner - Oct 27, 1968

Matusow also authored The Beast of Business, which was supposed to serve as a manual for the guerrilla warfare against the computer. I wonder if any of the techniques he detailed would still work today?

However, Matusow is best known for giving evidence in court against individuals during the McCarthy era. Later he claimed that the FBI had paid him to give false testimony, and he detailed these allegations in his book False Witness.

He seems to have had a rather eccentric life and career. Some other highlights of it, from the University of Sussex's page about him:

  • Founded a band called the Harvey Matusow’s Jew’s Harp Band
  • Married approximately twelve times
  • Is possibly part of the reason The Beatles broke up – he held the party where John Lennon met Yoko Ono
  • Worked as a children’s TV clown called Cockyboo in Tucson, Arizona
  • Converted to Mormonism and spent his last years known as Job Matusow
     Posted By: Alex - Sat May 29, 2021
     Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations | Technology | Computers | 1960s

For anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the The Beast of Business, Abe's Books has two copies available. One from Austraila for almost $50 and the other from Argentina for about $98. Both prices include shipping. Enjoy 😊
Posted by Steve E. on 05/29/21 at 10:57 AM
Spoiler alert: It was them…
Posted by Brian on 05/29/21 at 03:37 PM
You'll wish we had listened to him when the terminators come.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 05/30/21 at 10:56 AM
How charmingly naïve!

We're currently at the stage that no one can stop autonomous drones from independently targeting and killing people ( (Whether they were actually successful is moot -- a Libyan with a Turkish drone using Swiss software provided proof-of-concept.)

I'm waiting until I can buy shares in Skynet to prove to our new overlords that I'm on their side.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/30/21 at 04:25 PM
Virtual, thanks for posting that. I'd seen it but not recently. Best comment I spotted: Good to know when robots take over, they'll be able to dance on our graves.
Posted by ges on 05/30/21 at 05:13 PM
Matusow was way too late in his warning. Kurt Vonnegut wrote "Player Piano" in 1952.
Posted by KDP on 05/31/21 at 01:05 PM
@KDP: Karel Čapek wrote R.U.R. in 1920, and that was the work which introduced the word "robot"; Brave New World, where everything in your life is predetermined, stems from 1932. And, of course, in real life Luddites go back much further than Ned Ludd himself.
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/05/21 at 09:06 AM
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