From Watson Senior to IBN : Saud in three (human) generations - what a parabola! You know, that idea of the Oil Emirate buying up IBM has poetic appeal: I can see Carey, Opel and Co. making the pilgrimmage to Mecca, or at least Riyadh, changing the dark-blue-suit-with-vest for white robe and corded headdress, bowing three times a day toward Armonk (lower-than-quota salesmen will be required to prostrate themselves, and azimuthally impeccable maps will be issued to World Trade personnel), and continuing to abstain publicly from alcoholic enjoyments. Gorgeous!

Of course, the attempts to purchase control will drive the stock up to unimaginale new heights.That will so enrich the Golden Boys that any resistance they might otherwise feel to learning Arabic and eating only with the right hand will be minimized. Assuming that the 75 million shares needed for absolute control would cost from Dollar 150 to 600 Dollar each, a mere 30 or 40 billion petrodollars - Middle East small change - ought to do the trick.

As regards sales, U. S. customers might be somewhats more inclined to go Univac or Burroughs - especially Jewish ones! On the the hand, nations anxiouse to butter up the oil boys (I Æm thinking of France and Japan) might well be less inclined to encourage or protect their indigenous computer industries, and hence produce more sales for Petronational Business Machines Corporation.

To my admittedly parochial eye, the really deep effect would be to restore the old Watsonian "family" attitude. The nationalization, institutionalization, dehumanization, ITT-ization of the Gray Giant might well be reversed - and that would be good for us all, competitors and customers and IBM employees alike. Ibn Saud, take it away!