True but misleading: The New Yorker quote I should have quibbled with.

1 min readOct 1

Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s article mainly about Dan Ariely includes an accurate quote of something I said. The fact checkers had asked me to confirm the quote, which I did. But I should have insisted on more to assure the context of the quote was clear. Rookie mistake, but I’m not a rookie.

The quote is this:

Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Harvard, told me he is certain that Gino is innocent. “I’m convinced about her because I know her,” he said. “That’s the strongest reason why I can’t believe this has happened.”

That makes it sound like the only reason I believe Gino is “because I know her.” That’s a fair reading of those words, but it’s not an accurate account of why I believe as I believe. My knowing her led me to speak to her. That led me to understand both some of the stuff that’s been released so far — see her website, just launched—and stuff that’s not yet known publicly. All that together convinces me that in the end, she will be found not to have committed academic fraud.

When that happens, we’ll see how many of the now certain will acknowledge as much. Meanwhile, this page will remain here unchanged.


law professor, activist.