Wednesday, September 15, 2004

john lott - conservative toadie, narcissist

this is a hilarious post from brad delong. john lott wrote a notorious book 'more guns, less crime' a few years back, arguing that increased gun ownership reduced episodes of violent crime. regardless of the 'let's all pack heat and crime will disappear' implication of this argument, the book was largely demolished by analysts and critics, particularly when lott's main funding source, the right-wing olin foundation, came to light.

lott is back with a new study that appears similarly worthless and again the product of a pre-determined ideological paycheck. but the best part of the whole story is lott admitting that, during the controversy over his 'guns' book, took on a pseudonym and participated in online debates pretending to be someone else. delong notes some of lott's posts under the assumed name 'mary rosh'.

I [i.e., Mary Rosh] have loaned out my copy [of John Lott's book] a dozen times and while it may have taken some effort to get people started on the book, once they read it no one was disappointed....

I [i.e., Mary Rosh] had him [John Lott] for a... class... at the Wharton School.... [H]e was the best professor that I ever had.... Lott taught me more about analysis than any other professor that I had and I was not alone. There were a group of us students who would try to take any class that he taught. Lott finally had to tell us that it was best for us to try and take classes from other professors....

Academic after academic has replicated [Lott's] results... [which have] survived remarkably well.... This classic has stood the test of time....

[A]ll the attacks on [Lott's book] are completely bogus.... [T]hey are afraid that those who have lied about Lott’s research will lose their credibility.... Those attacking [Lott's] book will stop at nothing....

sounds like a credible, objective researcher to me.

- LH

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