[Ads-l] Request Coevolution Quarterly 1975, Weinberg's Law - If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs . . .

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 18 12:48:36 EDT 2019


A request to explore the provenance of the following expression was sent to me:

[Begin excerpt]
Weinberg's Law
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then
the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
[End excerpt]

The earliest match I could find was a snippet match in the Google
Books database. Based on examining snippets, extracting text,
searching bibliographies, and using guesswork here is the possible
metadata (incomplete).

Year: 1975
Periodical: The Coevolution Quarterly
Number 8
Article: An Abridged Collection of Interdisciplinary Laws
Author: Conrad Schneiker
Start Page 138, Quote Page 139

I would like to obtain scans of this article together with scans of
the cover page, table of contents, and the page giving the publisher
data. The goal (as always) is determining complete and accurate
citations.

It appears that an archive of content from The Whole Earth Review and
The Coevolution Quarterly was available on a website in the past, but
the database appears to be broken now.

http://wholeearth.com/history-coevolution-quarterly.php
http://wholeearth.com/index.php

Do you have access to 1975 issues of The Coevolution Quarterly? Would
you be willing to help?

This saying was placed into the Unix fortune file, but I do not know when.

Here is a book citation in 1977.

[ref] 1977, Murphy's Law and Other Reasons Why Things Go Wrong! by
Arthur Bloch, Chapter Expertsmanship, Quote Page 81, Price Stern Sloan
Publishers Inc., Los Angeles, California. (Verified with scans) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
WEINBERG'S SECOND LAW:
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then
the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
[End excerpt]

Garson O'Toole

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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