Correction/Last on Lucent

James Randi --- Wizard (
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 11:36:51 -0800 (PST)

Several of you have written that you were unable to access the Peter
Duffie site --- my mistake and I apologize for the error, the address
I gave was incomplete. The correct address is:

and more precisely (thanks to John Atkinson):

Several readers commented on a possible rationale for the Lucent dip
into paranormal nonsense. None expressed it better that Brent, a
member of JREF (are YOU a member yert?) and a chap who contributes
pithy comments to us from time to time. Says Brent....

Many managers mistakenly think their changes
are "working" because productivity increases,
when the reality is that any change would have
the same effect. Many self-styled "management
consultants" have capitalized on this effect,
pointing out how productivity increased after their
changes were implemented, failing to point out
that productivity then proceeeded to drop until
the next change arrived. Lucent's management
was undoubtedly taken in by just such claims,
and paid little attention to the actual process that
led to the "increased productivity." I'll agree it's
sad, but it's hard to imagine any modern
manager, given our downsize-happy economy,
publicly admitting to such a gaffe. I wouldn't
expect much from Lucent; they'll no doubt hope
it all quietly fades away.

Well, Lucent as an organization hasn't responded, so Brent is probably
right. But individuals within Lucent are still rankling over the use
of nonsense to promote productivity, and are telling me so.


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