John Lott’s number two fan

Last year blogger Xrlq href="http://xrlq.com/2004/03/17/hat-of-the-day-stim-lamberts-xrlq/"
rel="nofollow">dismissed my criticism of
Lott
as “paranoid rantings” and
“gratuitous attacks on Lott personally”, calling me “Dim”, “Timwit”,
“Timbecile”, “a jerk” and “Dim Lambert”.

This year I noted that
Lott had signed his name to a review of Freakonomics
using the same Amazon account that he used for a five-star review his
own book. Over the years the account name had changed from JL to washingtonian2 to
economist123. Xrlq href="http://xrlq.com/2005/05/11/lottsa-personalities/"
rel="nofollow">leaped to Lott’s defence, calling me a moron and
asserting that I was “either a dupe or a fraud”. He argued that
washingtonian2′s review of Lott’s book could not have been written by
Lott because it contained spelling and grammatical errors and because
it “betrays a shallow understanding of the substance of More Guns,
Less Crime.” Here is the paragraph that he based this on (“sic”s added
by Xrlq):

This is by far the most comprehensive study ever done on
guns. It provides extensive evidence on waiting periods, the Brady
Act, one-gun-a-month rules, [sic] concealed handgun laws. For some gun
laws this is the only study available and it is important to note how
many academics have tired [sic] to challenge his work on concealed
handgun laws and failed and that no one has even bothered to try and
challenge his work on one-gun-a-month laws and other gun control laws.

Xrlq claimed that

As one who has met Lott in person, I can assure you that he has a much better command of the English language than Economist123 does.

and

One-gun-a-month laws are not a major focus of the book; in fact,
to the best of my recollection Lott’s book doesn’t mention them at
all.

If you look at the posts that Lott
made
as Mary Rosh
you can see that just like economist123 he made frequent
spelling and grammatical errors. And while most people aren’t aware
of it, Lott’s book includes an analysis of one-gun-a-month laws. Only
a reviewer who was very familiar with Lott’s work, like, uh, Lott
would mention this. In fact, none of the other reviewers mention
one-gun-a-month laws. But Mary Rosh did so
repeatedly
. For
example, in this post:

As to the list of people you put down, notice that none of them one [sic] result that contradicted Lott’s work on the Brady act, waiting periods, or safe storage laws,[sic] one-gun-a-month rules.

So the two arguments that Xrlq raised (spelling/grammar and
familiarity with Lott’s work) ended up confirming that Lott was the
author of the review. Other evidence that Lott is washingtonian2
comes from the locations given at Amazon for the reviews. The
location given for each review at Amazon.com is the location given for
the last review posted from that account. That means that if a new
review from a different location is posted, all the previous reviews
posted from that account simultaneously change to the new location.
We can use this feature to work out which reviews were posted from the
same account. The location shown for washingtonian2′s
review
of
More Guns, Less Crime changed from Washington to
Swarthmore and back to Washington. At the same times, a
review of
Guns and Violence: The English Experience also changed
from Washington to Swarthmore and back to Washington, so it was posted
from washingtonian2′s account. And we know that this review was
written and posted by Lott, because he signed his name to it. Note
also that Swarthmore only has about 6,000
people
. How
many economists with intials “JL” are likely to be living there?

Undaunted by all of this, Xrlq came up with
some more arguments as to why washingtonian2 totally was not John Lott.

First, that Lott would not have used the pseudonym “washingtonian2″
for his review because:

I don’t find it plausible that anyone who neither hails from
Washington nor lives there would call himself “Washingtonian” solely
because he recently took a job there.

I pointed out that Lott had called himself “Washingtonian” at
Freerepublic.com. Xrlq said that it was “much more plausible” that
these postings had been made by some prankster who knew that I had
accused Lott of posting washingtonian2′s review. This was after I
had carefully explained that those postings were written before I made
the accusation. If I was a prankster and I had a time machine, I can
think of better pranks to pull.

Second, that because Lott had another Amazon account in his own
name
, it was (and
I quote) “impossible” for him to have used a different account for his
review of Freakonomics. He hadn’t used that account for
over three years and had been using the washingtonian2 account for all
the reviews since then, including the review of Guns and
Violence: The English
Experience

that he also signed his name to. Impossible for him to continue using
the same account? I don’t think so.

Next, Xrlq disputed my findings in The Case of the Vanishing Wish
List
. Within minutes of
my posting that washingtonian2/economist123′s Amazon wish
list
was
titled “JL’s wish list”, the wish list was mysteriously
deleted. During those few minutes, one of the IPs that Lott was using
visited that page. Xrlq demanded proof that Lott was using that IP.

Here it is: From September to December 2004, one of Lott’s sock
puppets, Tom H, was
posting from a Speakeasy DSL IP (66.93.100.155), which according to
Geobytes is located in
Washington DC. Also posting from that IP were another sock, Bob
H
, and Maxim Lott
(Lott’s son). During that time there were frequent visits from that IP
to the Lott posts (and just the Lott posts) on my blog. After
December, there was not a single visit from that IP. It seems that
Lott switched ISPs because instead there were visits from a Comcast IP
(69.143.109.93) (located in Arlington VA, right next to Washington DC)
and posts from that IP by Tom H, Bob and yet another sock,
Gregg. The first visit
of a day was not to the front page but to this
post
about Lott where Tom H
and Bob had commented extensively. Clearly Lott had bookmarked that
page and used it as an entry to my blog. The browser used for all of
these visits was Safari under MacOS X 10.3. Oddly enough, one of the
reviews that washingtonian2 posted was for MacOS X 10.3.

All visits from this IP stopped on April 15. On April 17 frequent
visits started from 69.143.118.89, another Comcast IP also located in
Arlington VA. The very first visit from this IP was to Lott’s
bookmarked post. It looks like the lease on the previous IP expired
while he was upgrading the OS, because now the visits used Safari
under MacOS X 10.4. There were frequent visits from that IP after that
– he visited the post about
economist123
about a
dozen times on the day I posted it. 69.143.118.89 visited my
page in the short interval between when I linked to JL’s wish list and
when it was deleted. Note also that Comcast provides one IP per
residential
address
,
so all these visits came from the same house.

Faced with this evidence, Xrlq just made up his own facts about
IP numbers:

cable providers do not change any part of your IP address except the
final segment when you disconnect and reconnect.

This is untrue. It easy to find Comcast customers who have had their
address block
changed
.

Now I know what some of you are thinking—Xlrq uses a pseudonym, is a
fanatical Lott defender, claims to have met Lott and been impressed,
calls me names, and even has a five-star
review

of More Guns, Less Crime. Is Xrlq another one of Lott’s
sock puppets?

Well, he isn’t. The writing style on his review is different from
Lott’s. He is not very familiar with Lott’s research. He blogs about
things other than the wonderfulness of John Lott. His IP number is
from California. His Amazon wish
list

shows that his real name is Jeff Bishop. (No it’s not a secret.)
Notice how that for genuine Lott sock puppets all the evidence points
to Lott, but for those that are merely Lott fans, there is plenty of
evidence to show that they are not Lott.

Update: Just as “JL’s wish list” was replaced by “Economist123′s wish list” when I pointed it out, in another one of those uncanny coincidences that Xrlq insists means nothing, “Jeff bishop’s wish list” has been replaced by “Xrlq’s wish list”. And they say history never repeats.

Comments

  1. #1 Anon
    July 11, 2005

    Just curious. You seem to have obtained what I and many others would consider to be pretty private information about these IP addresses. Ordinarily, I would not have a problem if someone was posting to your site. But it seems you were able to track down this information from postings to other sites. How is this possible without a breach of privacy.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2 Juicy
    July 11, 2005

    That was amazing. I am in awe. Remind me never to get on your bad side Tim.

  3. #3 SayUncle
    July 11, 2005

    He argued that washingtonian2′s review of Lott’s book could not have been written by Lott because it contained spelling and grammatical errors and because it “betrays a shallow understanding of the substance of More Guns, Less Crime.”

    IIRC, he argued that he wasn’t convinced not that it couldn’t have been.

  4. #4 Tim Lambert
    July 11, 2005

    Xrlq presents an alternative “Perhaps Lott’s strategy really is to pose as many different personalities”, but he’s just being sarcastic since he groups that with the possibility that I am Lott.

  5. #5 Tim Lambert
    July 11, 2005

    Anon, you should not consider your IP number to be private information. Many sites make the IP number you used for your post public — that’s how I obtained the other ones.

  6. #6 Anon
    July 11, 2005

    Yes Tim, I understand my ip address is public.It seems though that you obtained the IP address from Lott’s posting on Amazon, is that right?
    Isn’t what you did the same as any poster above obtaining my IP and making public use of it? In other words, you are inferring that poster, “Say uncle” could get my IP address from your blog and use it as he sees fit? Am I wrong or am I missing something here?
    I am not trying to lead this anywhere sinister, I am trying to understand what you did. If Lott is being dishonest he deserves to be exposed, providing the information was not obtained in an illegal manner. That’s what I would like clarified

    Thanks again.

  7. #7 Xrlq
    July 12, 2005

    Faced with this evidence, Xrlq just made up his own facts about IP numbers

    Speaking of making up facts, that may be your story now but you I was “faced” with no such evidence then. You were all too eager to volunteer that one of the IP addresses alleged to be associated with Lott had accessed your site shortly before the allegedly existent “JL” cache disappeared, but actually getting you to identify it was like pulling teeth. When you finally did, you didn’t claim Lott currently used a cable account at 69.143.118.89 after canceling his DSL account and switching to Comcast in December, getting a different lease while upgrading his OS and/or preparing his tax return. That story would have at least been plausible. Instead, you alleged that Lott “uses” (present tense, as distinguished from “has used”) several different IPs, which would only have been possible if he had maintained a DSL account and two separate cable accounts (or at a bare minimum, one DSL account plus one atypical cable account with an extra IP address) at the same time. Meanwhile, back on your own blog, you even claimed to be able to trace his AOL IPs by neighborhood – an impossibility given that AOL is a dialup provider. Your entire argument smacked of Marx’s “Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?”

    To be honest, if you had started out telling the same story you’re telling now, I might well have believed you. But your story has changed too many times, too many ways, on top of the fact that it consists of so many unproven conclusions of yours resting entirely on other, equally unproven conclusions (which, in turn, rest on more unproven conclusions still, and so ad infinitum).

  8. #8 Aaron Swartz
    July 12, 2005

    Xrlq says Lambert claimed to be able to trace AOL IPs by neighborhood. Yet using an extremely advanced research technology invented by Tim called “following the links”, I find that Tim actually said: ” I can’t tell where the AOL ones are.”

  9. #9 Xrlq
    July 12, 2005

    Tim actually said: “I can’t tell where the AOL ones are.”

    Err… yeah, about nine hours after I called him on the matter in the same thread. Next time, try reading the original message and not just certain hand-picked comments. Here’s a free clue: Tim’s in Australia, so merely scanning the post for “neighborhood” won’t work.

  10. #10 Tim Lambert
    July 12, 2005

    Here’s a free clue for you too, Xlrq. I never said I could trace AOL IPs by neighbourhood, either.

    And here’s another: you don’t have to use dial-up to get AOL. You can get AOL over broadband. If you do, the IP that you use to post comments is the IP of AOL’s caching proxy. Now if someone, say John Lott for example, post a message using Safari and then posts a message using AOL’s browser, he is using two different IPs to post without having multiple accounts at the same time.

    My story has not changed at all. What has been going on is that you have repeatedly managed to somehow misunderstand me, even though others have had no trouble. Then when I correct your misunderstanding, you claim that I am changing my story. When it takes several attempts to get the facts to sink into your brain you accuse me of changing my story multiple times.

  11. #11 Max Power
    July 12, 2005

    It seems that on the internet, everyone can find out you’re a dog.

  12. #12 Pinko Punko
    July 12, 2005

    “When I get to the edge, I look , I fall, I get deeper, and deeper…” Sing it with me people! The Fixx circa a long time ago- Xrlq, take it away!

    Or as Timmy L. might sing “who can it be now? who can it be knocking at my door? Go away, John Lott, don’t come round here no more.”

  13. #13 Tim Lambert
    July 12, 2005

    Xrlq’s IP number in comments above: 68.4.242.xx

    Xrlq’s IP number in previous discussion: 68.5.71.yyy

    According to Xrlq:

    cable providers do not change any part of your IP address except the final segment when you disconnect and reconnect.

    I guess one of them must be an imposter.

  14. #14 SayUncle
    July 12, 2005

    Hmm, gee, i wonder if, like me, he has a computer both at home and at his office.

  15. #15 Tim Lambert
    July 12, 2005

    That would be impossible according to Xrlq’s comment above.

  16. #16 z
    July 12, 2005

    Ironically (?) one of the style cues that any particular poster is NOT a Lott sock puppet is that Lott does not seem to indulge in the spittle-flying hair-standing-on-end wild-eyed topic-jumping scattershot brand of intelligence-deprived invective which seems to be the trademark of so many of his fans, who apparently believe that this is the ideal technique to convince people that there is no possible down-side to their being allowed free access to firearms.

  17. #17 z
    July 12, 2005

    Having just gone through a series of home visits from Comcast techs, I can confirm that Comcast does indeed require you to get a new IP address lease when you reinstall the software, change modems, etc. (And that sometimes it doesn’t happen automatically and the tech has to phone his friend in the office). I assume that going to a new operating system would look rather like reinstalling the Comcast software.

  18. #18 SayUncle
    July 12, 2005

    “That would be impossible according to Xrlq’s comment above.”

    Now, you’re making stuff up. He was referencing one specific connection/computer/location. Not the possibility of different ones.

  19. #19 Tim Lambert
    July 12, 2005

    If he was just referring to Lott having the same IP at the same location, then his argument is irrelevant since he was trying to show that Lott could not have multiple IPs at the same time.

  20. #20 slickdpdx
    July 12, 2005

    You’ve definitely got the upper hand in the argument, but you’ve gotta admit that “Timbecile” and “Dim Lambert” are both pretty good (if uncalled for and patently false!) Maybe xlrq should get a full time job writing jokes for elementary school age bullies.

  21. #21 Chris Jarrett
    July 12, 2005

    SayUncle, try to be consistent. If Xrlq “was referencing one specific connection/computer/location” as you claim in your second comment, then your first comment about “a computer both at home and at his office” is erroneous and/or incoherent.

  22. #22 Chris in SF
    July 12, 2005

    XRLQ is pretty good at those nasty kinds of insults. He is a full-time insurance industry whore,(and failed candidate for California Ass.) so the jokes will probably be limited to his vituperative blog, where he specializes in creating “facts” out of whole cloth.

    He could also probably spend any free time improving his German language skills – they’re not quite what he thinks them to be.

  23. #23 William
    July 12, 2005

    Interested folk can also look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:JohnLott#Lott.27sedits for some more apparent Lott sock-puppetry found by Tim.

  24. #24 Xrlq
    July 13, 2005

    Here’s a free clue for you too, Xlrq. I never said I could trace AOL IPs by neighbourhood, either.

    Technically true, but who are we kidding? Either AOL IPs are “unique to a neighbo(u)rhood” or they aren’t. If they are, then surely someone can trace them, why not you? But the point is not whether you personally can trace them, it’s whether or not they can be traced, which they either can or can’t.

    And here’s another: you don’t have to use dial-up to get AOL.

    I know, having let myself be conned into accepting that “service” once upon a time. But then again, I’m sure you know that already, as I posted a comment or two on your blog while I had that godawful service. So you probably have multiple comments from me indicating some specific neighborhood (albeit one unknown to you personally, I suppose) of AOL, correct?

    You can get AOL over broadband. If you do, the IP that you use to post comments is the IP of AOL’s caching proxy.

    If you use AOL’s proprietary browser, maybe, but who in his right mind would do that, and why? Running an AOL browser on top of AOL running on top of a broadband connection makes about as much sense as buying alcohol-free “Near Beer” and then spiking it with vodka to get the alcohol content up to normal. The only situation in which I could imagine someone doing that would be if the whole point was to cover one’s tracks – and then only if they were tech-savvy enough to know that using AOL’s browser to visit web sites will mask the IP of their actual provider (assuming it will in fact do that). And if that were the goal, why not play it extra safe and simply dial in, instead?

    My story has not changed at all.

    Oh please. As noted above, on May 11, your story was that Lott was using multiple IPs at that time, which is highly unlikely. Now, your story is that he used each of these IPs at a separate point in time, which is far more plausible than the original story. And then there’s the nonsense, recycled here, about Lott having “signed” an Amazon review, based on a dowdified synopsis of an entry which, when viewed in full, clearly reflects that someone (anyone) simply copied and pasted it the review from Lott’s site. And then there’s the revisionism about my original post, where you led your readers to believe I had called you all those nasty names solely because of your attacks on Lott, when in fact the post was sparked by your even more baseless charges against someone else, Neil Mackay, on an unrelated issue. The only connection to Lott was extremely tangential: you didn’t agree with either Lott’s conclusions or McKay’s, and in both cases jumped to the conclusion that this meant they were being dishonest rather than merely disagreeing with you. That’s the only reason Lott even came up in that post, to show an apparent M.O. On the one hand, I suppose I can’t blame for switching the subject to Lott, whose alleged issues you had at least sort-of documented unlike Mackay’s. On the other, you’ll have to excuse me for my reluctance to believe your word over Lott’s, given this tendency to cry “dishonesty,” along with the fact that your “clarifications” in Lott’s case were all over the map while his remained largely consistent.

    What has been going on is that you have repeatedly managed to somehow misunderstand me, even though others have had no trouble.

    Well, that’s a ringing endorsement of the others, isn’t it? Several of those others who “had no trouble” (read: agreed with you) also commented about me likely being another “sock puppet.” Well, of course you had no trouble convincing them! I also wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a substantial number of your readers were long-standing gun control advocates who have eagerly believed every other kooky story surrounding Lott, Kleck, Mauser, and every other researcher who has looked at the issue of guns and crime and committed the cardinal sin of not reaching the “right” result. I’m sure you had no trouble convincing that group, either, but again, so what? You could have convinced those guys to believe almost anything.

    Don’t forget about selection bias. Blogs tend to be echo chambers for the most part, not so much by design as by default. Every now and then I’ll get a spirited debate on my blog, but as often as not I get either no comments at all or a few comments largely agreeing with my post, expanding on it a little, or maybe quibbling around the margins, and I’d be surprised if your usual traffic was all that different. And all this happens by default, not by the rare blogger who goes out of his way to ban anyone who doesn’t see his point of view. I can count on one hand the number of commenters I’ve banned for any reason, and all were for much more egregious violations than mere disagreement per se. It probably bears noting, though, that one of those rare gems is Chris Hall, who recently commented here. No, I didn’t ban him for purportedly outing me as an “insurance whore,” for identifying my real name (and thanks a heap for doing that yourself, Tim), or even for bragging about how much better his German is than mine. I did it because he outed a gay man who had told him about his sexuality in confidence. [And yes, I called him some nasty names, too, and unlike the admittedly juvenile puns I made on Tim's name a year and a half ago, I make no apologies for it.] Yet, a surprisingly high percentage of readers seem to agree with me on most of the issues I raise. Imagine that!

    In the end, it all boils down to one of two options: either you are wrong about Lott, or Lott is an incredibly good liar when he wants to be, and an incredibly bad one the rest of the time. It’s a lot to swallow, except for those who were intent on swallowing all along.

  25. #25 z
    July 13, 2005

    “either you are wrong about Lott, or Lott is an incredibly good liar when he wants to be, and an incredibly bad one the rest of the time.”

    Well, no. The strange thing about Lott is that he is incredibly persistent in the face of chronic exposure; but he is definitely a bad liar, although not an incredibly bad one. I’m not sure whether being a bad liar is a character flaw, or something that is in some odd way to his credit.

  26. #26 Tim Lambert
    July 13, 2005

    If you use AOL’s proprietary browser, maybe, but who in his right mind would do that, and why?

    Who cares why? Tom H posted comments with AOL cache IPs using AOL’s Macintosh browser. Tom H also posted comments with the same Speakeasy IP address as Maxim Lott. Each Speakeasy account gets its own (possibly dynamic) IP. That means that Tom H posted from the same house as Maxim Lott.

    As noted above, on May 11, your story was that Lott was using multiple IPs at that time, which is highly unlikely. Now, your story is that he used each of these IPs at a separate point in time, which is far more plausible than the original story.

    Again, I haven’t changed my story. Lott was using multiple IPs at that time. Tom H, for example, would post from both a Comcast IP and an AOL IP. This is not “highly unlikely” because it actually happened. And it’s not complicated, except perhaps to you, to see how it happened: he used both Safari and the AOL browser.

    Other IP addresses, like the Speakeasy one, were used at different times.

  27. #27 Chris Jarrett
    July 13, 2005

    It’s a serious character flaw. It’s bordering on Opppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD – Look it up). Lott simply can’t admit errors in his research. I’ve talked to people who went to grad school with him and people who worked with him at various faculties. They noted that he goes to considerable lengths to twist, turn, and dodge to avoid admitting problems and errors in his research. Even though his CV has more than enough publications to get hired with tenure at a major univerisity, he can’t get an academic posting and he has tried. His colleagues at Wharton were quite happy to get rid of him. Lott is one ODD dude.

  28. #28 Tim Lambert
    July 13, 2005

    And then there’s the revisionism about my original post, where you led your readers to believe I had called you all those nasty names solely because of your attacks on Lott, when in fact the post was sparked by your even more baseless charges against someone else, Neil Mackay, on an unrelated issue.

    Now this is just desperate. I linked to your post so anyone who cared could see what prompted your ranting. And it’s likely that the real reason for your post and all your name calling is my criticism of your hero, John Lott. I mean, I put two brief comments on another blog and you respond with a thousand word abusive post on your blog.

    And no, it’s not just people who don’t like Lott who are able to follow what I write. No other Lott supporter has looked at my accusation that Washingtonian was Lott’s sock and concluded that the most plausible explanation is that someone who knew of this accusation planted the evidence that I list in my accusation. (Have you figured out what is wrong with your theory yet?)

    And I’m not just preaching to choir, see Eugene Volokh for example.

  29. #29 SayUncle
    July 13, 2005

    Chris, please try to keep up. Xrlq having to separate IP addresses could denote two locations for Xrlq. The other discussion was in reference a computer in use by Lott.

  30. #30 ben
    July 13, 2005

    Yeah, something is fishy about Lott. He’s our Paul Krugman.

    Making mistakes is perfectly acceptable, but ruining your credibility, with an assortment of weirdnesses that make my eyes squint, in order to cover up your errors/fabrications is not.

    I currently do not trust Lott. Maybe he’s the victim of a vicious smear and misdirection campaign. Maybe he’s dishonest. Maybe it’s both. Some of his errors seem too obvious, and pulling a Paul Krugman by not admitting mistakes doesn’t do it for me.

  31. #31 Chris in SF
    July 13, 2005

    Pointing out your shortcomings in German, Jeff, is not quite the same as bragging that my German is better. There’s a difference there that clearly escapes you. On the topic of bragging, though, it is notable that you haven’t recently posted anything in German on your blog for the benefit of your hundreds of German readers. Do you know how to say “pompous ass” auf Deutsch ?

    I did in fact point out the hypocrisy of a bitter, semi-closeted, reactionary jerk who frequently posts attacks on other gay men and their political views on a blog which is read largely by other gay men. He claimed to not be out to his own family, but regularly posts on that blog, so it’s quite a stretch for me to believe that outing him on a mostly gay blog is much of an issue – unless, of course, his family were reading too. Were that true, I suppose he should have thought a bit more about where he posts.

    I believe it was Karl Rove who introduced the idea of “fair game” in terms of outing. Just recently on your blog, Jeff, you didn’t seem to have much issue with THAT outing, so your indignation is just a bit unbelievable. Perhaps I missed the day you ran a “Karl Rove Is a Prick” headline, banned him, and posted his name and e-mail address on your blog. (And just so you know, only one person wrote me, and he agreed with me). My guess is that you don’t have an issue with outing unless it suits your purposes. Your indignation about putting people’s names out on the net certainly didn’t exist when you did it to me.

    The nastiness with which you treat people who happen to not share your opinion is really what has bothered me all along (and what led me to post here). While you may happen to admit being wrong from time to time, the nastiness and name calling along the way is rarely acknowledged. You reap what you sow, and you’re soaking in nastiness, Blanche.

    Given your stellar understanding of IP addresses, Jeff, I guess you really don’t know whether people you’ve “banned” have been posting on your blog or not.

  32. #32 ben
    July 13, 2005

    Hey, don’t start on Karl Rove. That case is certainly not closed yet. If you want to argue that one, start it somewhere else, or wait for Tim to bring it up here.

  33. #33 Chris Jarrett
    July 13, 2005

    SayUncle, it appears that you share Lott’s problem with ODD and Bishop’s inability to comprehend how IP addresses work. Try moving the goalpost again.

  34. #34 SayUncle
    July 14, 2005

    And you seem to lack reading comprehension skills.

  35. #35 Tim Nayar
    July 14, 2005

    Wow…

    A) This is a lot of thread… a lot of complex thread. A lot-o-thread if you will.
    B) Why do people seem to be taking this personally?
    C) I have no idea what is going on in this thread. I followed it in the beginning but, frankly, my brain crapped out on my and my tech skills are rather… ahem… rusty. Hope everything got resolved and the liars/cheats/idiots/etc were revealed properly.
    D) Funny how politics are becoming involved in the discussion no matter what the original topic was.

  36. #36 Xrlq
    July 16, 2005

    Outin’ Chris writes:

    My guess is that you don’t have an issue with outing unless it suits your purposes.

    Well, then, your guess would be wrong, then, wouldn’t it? Unlike you, I have a huge problem with “outing” people simply to harass them and intimidate others, which is exactly what you are attempting to do here, and exactly what you did do to you-know-who before. It’s not as though he had publicly claimed to be straight, or to hate gays, or to do anything else that might have made his true sexual orientation relevant to the discussion or otherwise newsworthy. He simply expressed views you disagreed with, and in your sick mind, apparently that made his private life fair game.

    My real name, while significantly less harassing than someone’s sexual orientation, is equally unnewsworthy. Its only relevance to this post lies in what the name isn’t, e.g., it’s not “Lott,” “Rosh,” “H.,” “bad Tim is not very accurate,” or any other surname alleged to have anything to do with John R. Lott, Jr. Anyone wanting to know where I stand on this issue or any other can learn a hell of a lot more by Googling the name Xrlq, or even a common typo like xlrq (see this, for example) than they could by Googling my real name, which will yield only a few rogue posts like this one, buried under a ton of false positives.

    Your indignation about putting people’s names out on the net certainly didn’t exist when you did it to me.

    That’s because you never dropped the slightest bit of evidence you intended to be anonymous in the first place. You posted under your real first name and city, using an email address that consisted of your real first initial and your real last name, so there was nothing “in” there for me to out. All there was was a judgment call as to how much of the information to use which you yourself had publicized, and then only with an eye to minimize the risk of undeserved repercussions for innocent individuals who also happen to have such an incredibly rare first name as “Chris,” and who also happen to live in San Francisco (or, for that matter, San Fernando, Santa Fe, or any other city whose names have the initials “SF”). And yes, I included that part too, to prevent any equally undeserved headaches for any of the gazillion guys and gals out across the English-speaking world who share both your first and your last names, but who don’t hail from a cities with the initials “SF.” Seeing as you received only one hate mail and a few bannings from local bloggers I know and trust to know who you are, I’m pretty confident there was no such collateral damage.

    Speaking of gratuitous outing-for-outing’s sake, don’t miss the latest update to this post, where Tim, rather than having the decency to remove my allegely real name, repeated it and made a further non-issue of the fact that I had finally corrected a bad setting that had remained on my Amazon profile when I changed the profile name months (years?) ago to Xrlq. What he neglected to mention was that it took me a day, or more than twelve hours after I had posted a comment here, to figure out how to change it. By contrast, whoever maintained that “JL” wish list, which no one but Tim appears ever to have seen in its original form, is alleged to have been gone “within minutes” of the appearance of Lambert’s post referencing it (it certainly was gone when I looked for it mere hours later).

    All this suggests that whoever maintains the alleged “JL” account (and I’m beginning to wonder if the “L” part may be correct after all), is an order of magnitude more tech savvy than I. Which brings us to yet another example of why Lambert’s theory requires Lott to be an extremely good liar in some ways while being a comically bad one in others. If Lott knows the ins and outs of Amazon well enough to know how to change his wish list name on a dime, or how to mask his broadband IP address while AOL over that same broadband connection he’s trying to hide, then he’s an excellent liar indeed, as he’s done a superb job of convincing me he doesn’t know the first thing about computers. If convincing me that he was incapable of doing half the stuff he knew Lambert would catch him doing, it was a pretty elaborate scheme indeed. But then again, if he were that savvy, couldn’t have found a way to stay off Lambert’s radar screen, as well?

  37. #37 Tim Lambert
    July 17, 2005

    Here’s what JL had to do to change the name on his wish list. 1. Click on my link to his wish list. 2. Click on the link “Edit this information” under his name. 3. Enter new name and click on “Save Changes”.

    It takes less than a minute and doesn’t require super-advanced knowledge of computers.

    Nor does doing this make him a master of deception. In fact, he incriminated himself by making the change right after I pointed it out. If it was just the wish list of some other economist from Swarthmore with initials “JL”, why change the name?

    As for using the AOL browser, there is no reason to believe that he was using it to conceal his identity, since he was also using Safari to post comments. More likely he was searching through AOL’s forums for references to John Lott. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had another sock that he uses there.

  38. #38 Chris in SF
    July 17, 2005

    Your reasoning regarding whether I wish(ed) to remain anonymous is pretty crappy. You also overlook whatever malicious intent you had by posting it and urging others to write me. Sure looks like you attempted to “harrass and intimidate” me.

    I trust you’ll find the decency to remove your call to write me, my name, and my e-mail address from that particular post on your blog.

  39. #39 Nabakov
    July 18, 2005

    Anyone following this so far, up for a little flamewar bingo?

    I’ve ticked off 8 so far.

  40. #40 Xrlq
    July 18, 2005

    Chris, as usual you are full of it. I reread the post in question and there is nothing in it that can be reasonably interpreted as “urging” or “calling on” anyone to write you. I did urge others to ban you, and given your unrepentant attitude, I still do. If you can suggest an equally effective way for others to ban you without my having to reveal your surname or your email address (both of which, by your own admission, have resulted in zero harassment anyway), I’ll be happy to make those changes. But any “solution” that could result in the inadvertent banning of other people whose only crime is being named Chris and/or hailing from SF is unacceptable.

  41. #41 Chris in SF
    July 18, 2005

    Thank you for responding to my request to remove my personal information from your blog. I didn’t really expect that you would, so I’ll give you points for that.

    My recollection is that you did in fact post something to the effect of “write him and tell him what you think”, along with my e-mail address. Since you’ve now edited that posting, I can’t prove otherwise.

    The “as usual..” comment (above), and the “newfound interest” comment (from your updated blog) are typical of the snark one can expect of you. The decency you’ve displayed is just a bit tainted as a result.

    “Gracious” might be a good word for you to learn auf Deutsch as well.

  42. #42 Xrlq
    July 19, 2005

    Chris in SF:

    My recollection is that you did in fact post something to the effect of “write him and tell him what you think”, along with my e-mail address. Since you’ve now edited that posting, I can’t prove otherwise.

    I didn’t, but I’ll take your word that this was a sincere recollection on your part, and not an effort to rewrite history. Just for the record, here’s the text of the original message, minus the personal data:

    Chris Matthews Is A Prick

    And as of today, a banned one, at that. Just thought you might like to know. Here’s why.

    If you agree with my reason for banning this subhuman scumbag, be sure to ban him from your site, as well. He typically posts under the name “Chris in SF,” using the email address chrisinsf@example.com and the IP address 123.456.78.# (University of San Francisco).

    So yes, I did call you some pretty nasty names, but no, I didn’t encourage anyone to contact you, only to ban you, and then only if they agreed with my reasons for doing so myself. I suppose you could argue that anytime you include someone’s email while saying bad things about them, you’re implicitly “encouraging” someone to contact them as well. It’s a defensible position, but it certainly wasn’t my intent. In any event, it’s all gone now, except in Google’s caches, so feel free to consult them if you think I’m fibbing.

    The “as usual..” comment (above), and the “newfound interest” comment (from your updated blog) are typical of the snark one can expect of you.

    Close, but not quite. The latter example is typical of the snark one can expect of me when I’m writing about someone whose sincerity is in doubt. If I thought that a year after outing somebody, and mere days after broadcasting stuff about me, you had suddenly been struck blind by the Privacy God on the road to Damascus, I might privately muse about your “newfound” interest in privacy, but I wouldn’t mock it. Quite the contrary, I’d have rewritten the entry more thoroughly, stating that Ol’ Chris seems to have turned over a new leaf, and urging those who had banned you to unban you and give you another shot. But the impression I got was less of a heartfelt concern for privacy, and more a case of playing the privacy card. Was I mistaken?

  43. #43 Chris in SF
    July 19, 2005

    It’s more of a case of being fairly annoyed that you would post my name, an IP address, and e-mail address on the net in response to something I wrote which never involved YOU in the first place. (Because I and you-know-who have both previously posted on your blog, you may have presumed I might “out” him on your blog, but you’d be wrong. You-know-who knows why I did it where I did it. The operative phrase (or smear, in this case) from you-know-who which prompted the whole thing was “self-hating”, a term which sadly enough can have an awful lot to do with a gay sexual identity.

    I’m sure you wouldn’t be too pleased, either, if someone decided to post your home address, home/work phone number, work e-mail etc., no matter what the poster’s intent is. If that’s “playing the privacy card”, so be it.

    As for “broadcasting stuff” about you, the only bit that hasn’t already been thrown out on the net about you is that “W” word. (And that might not be true, either, but I’m unaware of any other posting where someone called you that). I would imagine you should know better than most that calling people nasty names often results in them throwing nasty names back at you.

    I think Tim has put up with enough of this topic now, and I’ll be away from the internet until next week. You’ve got my e-mail address if you really want to continue, XRLQ.