The Lazarsfeld-Merton collaboration scandal

After reading about the way Rogers described the collaboration between Lazarsfeld and Merton, I’m beginning to suspect there’s something going on between the two. Let me highlight some “points of interest” in the text (with some direct quotations from the text):

  1. Firstly, the two of them 一见钟情. Before this, the two of them had never heard of each other before going to Columbia, not even read each other. But when Lazarsfeld decided to make a move on Merton “make a friendly move and invite the Mertons to dinner,” they clicked instantly and talked until after midnight.
  2. And so after that fateful dinner, Merton remained for 35 years. “They spent the equivalent of a continuous 3 and a half years together, talking one-on-one.” That’s about 18,000 hours together. No wonder Lazarsfeld married three times.
  3. “Merton complained in a letter to a friend that he had ‘gotten trapped’ in radio research, but that it was so interesting that he was getting home at 1:00 or 2:00 every night.” zomg how interesting that is.
  4. To top it off, Rogers describe them as “something like the original odd couple” and their “intense interaction” as amazing. Well..quite odd indeed…

P.S. please excuse the above gibberish. Shannon’s information theory states that redundancy will make it more likely that signals will go through. If certain bits are lost, the message can still be reconstructed after transmission. So I am adding extra bits in here in the hopes that the whole of my 207 textbook will transmit to my brain by exam time, and that the bits that are lost are the redundant ones (like the above post).