A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 26, 2018
“If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in”

"If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in” is a jocular saying about committees that has been printed on many images. “If machines get too powerful we can organize them into committees—and that will do them in” was printed in many newspapers in December 1964 by the syndicated feature “The Old Timer.”

“If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in”—with “machines” replaced by “computers”—has been cited in print since at least 1976.


15 December 1964, The Daily Sikeston Standard (Sikeston, MO), “The Old Timer,” pg. 5, col. 4:
“If machines get too powerful we can organize them into committees—and that will do them in.”

23 February 1966, The Daily Herald (Biloxi, MS), “Just Thinking,” pg. 4, col. 1:
“If machines get too powerful we can organize them into committees, and that will do them in.”

14 February 1970, The Bee (Danville, VA), “WBTM radio ramblin’s,” pg. 15, col. 7 ad:
DON’T WORRY...about computers taking over. “Faultless” Bud Feldman says if they get too powerful, we can organize them into committees.

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
Volume 108
1976
Pg. 145:
If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in. — Huntingburg, Ind., Independent, quoted by Bill Gold in Washington Post

Google Books
Arming for Armageddon
By John Wesley White
Milford, MI: Mott Media
1983
Pg. 168:
Some have humorously suggested that “If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees that’ll do them in.”

Google Books
1000 Stories and Illustrations for All Occasions
By Herbert V. Prochnow
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books
1994, ©1972
Pg. 33:
If machines get too powerful, we can organize them into committees, and that will do them in.

Twitter
Stuart Ciske
@sjciske
Replying to @room214
@room214 Last one: If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees.  That’ll do them in.  ~ Author Unknown
6:38 PM - 26 Feb 2008

Google Books
The Best of the Good Clean Jokes
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2013
Pg. 32:
Computer
f computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in.

Twitter
Anne-Maria Yritys
@annemariayritys
If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in. - Anon. #quote
8:05 AM - 25 Mar 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Monday, March 26, 2018 • Permalink