baselineIBM logo.In the matter of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)

"The sun never sets on IBM" (various, 1975)

A neighbor is a retired cardiologist who told me a story: He had a patient who worked in IBM Research (right). The patient told him that when John AkersAll trash to recycling! became CEO of the company, everybody was told to take their THINK signs off their desks. The employees complied and stopped thinking.

This story leads me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) to speculate about the deaccessioning and warehousing of books in the Research library that always troubled me. One day (1986-ish), the library discarded a lot of books (free for employees to take if you wanted any of them; I took a couple and protested to the company about them deaccessioning some others), and they were going to warehouse others. These included such important books as several volumes of Joseph Needham's "Science and Civilization in China". The books were mainly about cultural topics broader than IBM's specific business. I always naively thought the deaccessioning and warehousing was mandated by that the physical space in the Research building's library had become overfilled. Now I ask: Could the reason have been sinister: An act to discourage THINKing, by removing food for thought from the workplace?

Something else I heard after I left the company is that they did some accounting trick to reduce the pension of employees with very many years employment service. I did not find out the presumably disgraceful details. What I recall was pictures in an employee newsetter honoring employees who lasted 25, 30, 35 and 40 (more?) years in the company. Maybe they stopped that along with starting to cheapskate them?

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I spoke with a retired cardiologist [yes, I am repeating myself here...] who had had a patient who worked in IBM Research where many people used to have little THINK signs on their desks. The patient had told him that when John Akers became head of the of the company (in thte 1980s?), an order came down for everybody to remove these little signs from their desks. "Everybody obeyed and they stopped thinking"

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