Don't you think it's super-awkward when someone pays you a lot of money and then publicly admits that they regret doing so? Anyway, do you think Jonah Lehrer will pay the Knight Foundation back that $20,000 they just gave him to explain why he was fudging things in his work? (But then, the Knight Foundation does a lot of pretty unfortunate money-spending, to be honest!) Still! Tell us all about it in the comments… over at the Knight Foundation's blog.
In the light of this week’s controversy over whether or not coffee makes you smarter, Jonah Lehrer’s "The Truth Wears Off" in the New Yorker seems particularly well-timed. (Lehrer discussed this in-depth here last night.) His topic is the “decline effect,” in which the positive results of an experiment are less and less able to be replicated over time, and he paints a picture of the scientific community as a self-reenforcing echo chamber. Like FOX News, sort of. Not because they’re terrible people, scientists (or because they're all Democrats!) but just because they are people. And people like to be proven right, not wrong. And [...]
Stop crucifying Jonah Lehrer! It's more important that good ideas get disseminated than that magazines keep exclusivity! @jonahlehrer
— Parag Khanna (@paragkhanna) June 21, 2012
No one who's going on about how everyone is "celebrating" Jonah Lehrer's trouble with repackaging works or "crucifying" him or expressing "schadenfreude" has ever cited anyone who's actually doing any of those things.
Here's a lot more on the strange case of Jonah Lehrer, the new New Yorker writer and "idea man" who borrows early and often from his own work. We've been staying out of this one—for one thing, it just doesn't need a mass outrage pile-on (it's not like he was writing things in the public interest; if he was doing this with subjects that were like, somehow important, maybe I'd be upset), and for another, it's all just incomprehensibly weird—but wow, that sure is a lot of recycled text. Oh but wait: there's more.