Ode to the Rand Corporation

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Malvina Reynolds’s Rand Hymn, recorded in 1961 by Pete Seeger:

Oh, the Rand Corporation’s the boon of the world,
They think all day long for a fee.
They sit and play games about going up in flames;
For counters they use you and me, honey bee,
For counters they use you and me.

It’s so nice to know we have Rand on our side,
We’ll always have good old Rand around;
A zillion will be fried out, but in some neat hideout,
Rand will be safe under ground, praise the Lord,
Rand will be safe under ground.

With a stroke of the pen, they can change us from men
Into numbers that flash on the wall.
These brainy heroes transform us to zeros,
So who gives a damn if we fall, after all,
Who gives a damn if we fall.

Their superior genes will be safe behind screens,
With the rest of our line doomed to die;
We’ll be all sorted out, past a shadow of doubt,
By the all-wise electronic eye; bow down
To the mighty electronic eye.

They will rescue us all from a fate worse than death
With a touch of the push-button hand;
We’ll be saved at one blow from the designated foe,
But who’s going to save us from Rand, dear Lord,
Who’s going to save us from Rand?

Thanks to Robert Dodge’s The Strategist: The Life and Times of Thomas Schelling (Hollis, 2006) for the reference.

11:42 am on September 14, 2007