Lamo: Doing Research

Found this (on paper) while cleaning up my desk this afternoon:

With the New York Times, I couldn’t even piece together every link in the chain of events, but when the intranet page loaded, my friend sitting next to me was just floored‚Äînot because it was the Times, but because of how randomly it had happened: Sitting there, chatting, me just randomly following a chain of sites on a random tangent. Read an article on one, push the security envelope on another, follow up on something I saw mentioned during the course of that, and research it on a different one, eventually end up with an interest in who had written something specific, and fire off an email to an autoresponder to get their middle initial to see if it was the right person, and see a specific IP address in the headers of the autoresponse from the New York Times that led to finding another subnet that I scanned on a whim…that glosses over a lot of it, but when things unfold like that, it’s really the best for me.

Adrian Lamo | interview in New Architect

What struck me about these comments is that Lamo’s research methods are much like mine–a combination of intention and accident, knowledge and inspiration. He sees something, it reminds him of something else. He sees another thing, and looks for something related. Suddenly the pieces fall together….


Of course, Lamo’s gotten a lot more famous by telling technology reporters about breaking into the Times than I’ve gotten telling stories about the Midwest League.