Kari Mozena of Los Angeles
This month, Los Angeles magazine tackles the imbroglio surrounding the once-heralded (and now discredited) genius in our backyard: Jonah Lehrer. In the piece, Lehrer speaks (via email) for the first time since issuing a statement about resigning from The New Yorker in July. Lehrer tells editor-at-large Amy Wallace that he is writing his own piece about “the mistake.” He also says many of the accusations against him are false.
Lehrer had a difficult summer. First the prolific author was found to have plagiarized himself in several blog posts for The New Yorker. Then Tablet magazine’s Michael C. Moynihan revealed that several Bob Dylan quotes in Lehrer’s best-selling book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, were either made up or distorted. Finally, an independent investigation commissioned by Wired magazine, one of Lehrer’s other employers, concluded that Lehrer has a history of ethical and factual transgressions.
In her piece, Wallace talks about the affair from the perspective of “those of us who pay our bills writing non-fiction” -- as Lehrer supposedly did. Analyzing the story surrounding the story, she explores what might be called the dark secret of journalism -- the temptation to cut corners when the clock is ticking and a story isn’t coming together as planned (a temptation that Lehrer clearly gave in to). As she laments, his legacy tarnishes everyone who tries to tell the truth. “Now even more readers will believe journalists really are willing—as the saying goes—to make stuff up to sell newspapers, magazines, books. Readers will distrust writers as much as our various detractors say they should. Lehrer’s sins soil not just his own reputation but those of his fellow journalists.”
Caught Getting Creative: The disgrace of wunderkind writer Jonah Lehrer, outed for manufacturing quotes, reverberates worst in the city he calls home
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]