More computer proverbs

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat Jan 27 23:38:27 UTC 2001

on "information wants to be free"...

could have been stewart brand, but it also might have some
earlier history.  one of my industry informants suggests
douglas engelbart as a possible late 60s/early 70s source;
he is, of course alive and could be asked about the expression
(though he might not remember).

the sentiment was endorsed by a number of people in the 60s-80s -
richard stallman, for instance, though the wording doesn't
sound like him.

there's a fellow at the university of toronto who has a complete
record of everything posted on usenet (the newsgroups, like
sci.lang, not mailing lists, like this one or LINGUIST) for its
first ten years.  (remarkable, but true.  some people will
collect *anything*.)  this includes all the comp groups, where
things like open access, free software, etc. were often discussed.
i'll get his name and e-address soon.

arnold (zwicky at

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