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Appendix B: The Future Shock

Technology Review commissioned a review of Michelle Delio’s work. Appendix B is examines her work on “The Future Shock”, a story with specific problems with sourcing.

At the request of Technology Review, Inc., Susan Rasky agreed to oversee the fact checking of 10 articles by Michelle Delio that TR published online between December 16, 2004, and March 7, 2005. After conducting their own review, the editors at Technology Review had concerns regarding some of the sources and quotations in these articles.

Click here to see the report findings. What follows below is a point-by-point analysis of what the investigation turned up in regards to “The Future Shock”. Click here to read Appendix A: The Investigation Findings. Click here to read Appendix C: The Invisible Fighter. Click here to read Appendix D: Delio’s response.

REPORT: The Future Shock
Researched by Kim Perry

I contacted Joe Korsmo on April 1. He’s a University of Pennsylvania student studying marketing and business. Korsmo was quoted once in Michelle Delio’s story “The Future Shock”. Korsmo said he wasn’t interviewed for the article (See page 2 for the email exchange, and Delio’s response), but the facts of the article were accurate. Korsmo also said he first discovered the article when a friend e-mailed it to him.

Korsmo contacted Michelle Delio by e-mail to ask about it, and they then exchanged several friendly e-mails. Korsmo said he was delighted the article was written. When it was removed from Technology Review’s Web site, Korsmo was disappointed and wanted the story returned.

I contacted Kolin Pope  on April 1. Pope was quoted three times in Delio’s article. Pope said he was accurately quoted and that the  facts of the story were generally correct, except that a couple of events were omitted. 

Dylan Reiff is an actor and playwright who studies theater at Antioch College. Joe Korsmo studies business and marketing at the University of Pennsylvania. Both are avid gamers and have been playing them together for 15 years. Their installation is titled after Kolin’s mother’s announcement: There’s Someone at the Door, He Says He’s From the Future

Joe Korsmo: (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED). Studying marketing and business at University of Pennsylvania – Wharton undergraduate

  • Contact: April 1, 2005
  • 2:09 p.m. –  I e-mailed Korsmo
    2:30 p.m. – Korsmo called. Spoke briefly: I informed Korsmo of the project. He didn’t want to speak with me until he contacted his business partner, Dylan Reiff.
    2:45 p.m. – Korsmo called. He wanted to talk about article.
    4:40 p.m. –  I returned his call.
    4:50 p.m. – Korsmo called. Korsmo said he wasn’t contact for the article. There is a possibility that he was questioned at the gallery opening. But he wasn’t approached by anyone who identified themselves with Technology Review. Korsmo first heard about the article when a friend e-mailed it to him – his friend found his name online. Korsmo said: “I didn’t even know about it until I read it online.”
            Korsmo said the article was accurate. But the story did make the project “seem more dangerous then it was.”
    Korsmo never gave Michelle Delio information about his project. “I was quoted in it, but I wasn’t interviewed.”
    Korsmo contacted Michelle by e-mail. He asked Delio why she used his name without contacting him.
    Korsmo said Delio replied that she tried to contact him, but couldn’t find him – she said she called the gallery. Korsmo asked her how to get the article back online. She said there was a problem with sources on a few other stories – but she would contact him with suggestions later.
    Korsmo said he was being evasive in the beginning because he was originally delighted there was an article and he wanted to keep the story up. Korsmo said the article’s facts are completely true. But he had no idea about the article until it was there.

    Dylan Reiff: (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED). Majoring in performance and tactical media

    Contact: April 1, 2005

    • 8:14 p.m. – I e-mailed Reiff

    April 3, 2005

    • 2:21 p.m. – Reiff called. Reiff said he didn’t talk with Delio.

    “It (the story) was framed in this idea that we abandoned Kolin in the forest. We didn’t. It would have been more accurate to learn more about the project.”

    “There was a car waiting for him. It wasn’t as dangerous. He knew how to get out. (The article) It was very surface. If she had talked to either me or Joe it would have been very clear the intent of the project.”
     
    “We realize she hadn’t talked to either of us and to our recognition she hadn’t been at the opening.”

    Kolin Pope: CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED). Personal website, details entire project

    Contact: April 1, 2005

    • 1:38 p.m. – I e-mailed Pope
    • 3:52 – Pope called me. Spoke briefly: He said article was “inaccurate and hacked up.”
      3:53 – Pope returned e-mail
      7 p.m. – I called Pope. Spoke briefly: Pope said Michelle Delio interviewed him by e-mail. But judging by the Technology Review article, he didn’t think she looked at his Web site, because she got the time sequence mixed up. The beginning of the article was taken “verbatim.” I asked for specifics. He didn’t have the article. I scanned the article and e-mailed it to him.
      7:56 p.m. – I called Pope. He reread the article and went over it paragraph by paragraph. His main concern was the chronology: The time sequence between the first and second contact with Dylan Reiff and Joe Korsmo was unclear, specifically paragraph eight through 12. Also concerned with paragraph 15, Shags didn’t disappear. Shags was undercover and double-crossed Pope – who describes the event as a “huge plot twist.” Otherwise quotes sound accurate, and facts accurate.

      The interview was by e-mail. Pope didn’t speak with Delio. Kolin e-mailed Michelle to find out what happened to article when it was taken down. She didn’t respond.

      • Reverse Engineers exhibition at the Carnegie Art Center
      • Web Research: Dylan Reiff and Joe Korsmo

        From Appendix D (Delio’s responses)

        5. For the Future Shock story, when did you interview Joe Korsmo? Mr. Korsmo says you didn’t interview him for the article. He says he didn’t speak with you until after your article was published when he contacted you. Do you want to comment?

        I made a stupid mistake here. I roughed out a quote based on a sheaf of material I read on Joe’s art project. It was basically a placeholder that I could write around. I called and emailed his gallery several times to get his contact info and never got a reply. I evidently didn’t take out the quote or during the edit process maybe I hit ‘accept change’ rather than ‘reject change’ in MS word. I was sure I’d pulled it.

        But the quote ran. I didn’t even realize it was there until I received an email from Joe saying in part: “was this quote taken from me at the gallery? I wasn’t aware you were doing a story. I don’t really mind in this case, because I probably would’ve said the quote anyway.” I explained and he replied “it’s perfectly fine that I was quoted in there, I was just wondering if the quote came from anywhere in particular.  I think it’s a great article, by the way.”

        **

        This email correspondence was provided to Susan Rasky’s team by Joseph Korsmo.

        From: Korsmo, Joseph R (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 1:36 PM
        To: (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Subject: Future Shock Article

        Hi Ms. Delio-

        I’m writing to you about your article, “The Future Shock”, that appears currently on technologyreview.com.  I’m quoted in it as saying something or other about Kolin, but I had no idea this article was even being written…was this quote taken from me at the gallery?  I don’t really mind in this case, because I probably would’ve said the quote anyway, but I would appreciate it next time if you let me know I’m being quoted in an article.  Could you tell me where you got the quote?

        Thanks,
        Joe Korsmo

        **

        From: Michelle Delio (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Tue 3/8/2005 1:55 PM
        To: Korsmo, Joseph R
        Subject: RE: Future Shock Article

        Hi Joe,

        I tried to contact the gallery half a dozen times last week, sent 4 emails and made 2 phone calls, in an attempt to get in touch with you to let you know that we were doing the article and to see if you had further comments.

        Unfortunately not one of the emails or calls was returned. I googled and ran various other searches and couldn’t locate your contact info on line either.

        More to follow when I get back to the office later this afternoon.

        Michelle

        **

        From: Korsmo, Joseph R (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 9:46 PM
        To: Michelle Delio
        Subject: RE: Future Shock Article

        Hi Michelle-

        Did the article get taken down?

        Joe Korsmo

        **

        From: Michelle Delio (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Thu 3/10/2005 1:05 PM
        To: Korsmo, Joseph R
        Subject: RE: Future Shock Article
         
        Hi Joe,
         
        We’re dealing ith a problem concerning a source misrepresenting himself to me – I’ll spare you the ugly details. I wasn’t aware that all my stories had been taken down though.
         
        I really loved the “future” story and hope it’s back on the site soon. If not, perhaps we could update it for another publication. Do you have any other shows scheduled? Any intention to play another round?

        **

        From: Korsmo, Joseph R (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 3:10 PM
        To: Michelle Delio
        Subject: RE: Future Shock Article
         
        Hi Michelle-
         
        A bad source?  A fake me maybe?  I do hope that the article is back up there soon, because I think it’s great.  We currently don’t have any other shows scheduled, but we’re working on a couple new things right now - but I wouldn’t want to get into the details until they happen. 

        I hope we could get this in another publication, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
         
        Joe K.

        **

        From: Michelle Delio (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Thu 3/10/2005 3:18 PM
        To: Korsmo, Joseph R
        Subject: RE: Future Shock Article

        Not a fake you, or even a future you, it’s another story altogether.

        Let’s see how this shakes out over the next couple of days and then figure it out from there.

        **

        From: Korsmo, Joseph R (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 5:35 PM
        To: Michelle Delio
        Subject: RE: Future Shock Article

        Hi Michelle-
         
        Is there any news on the article?  Do you still have any interest in a continuation?
         
        -Joe Korsmo

        **

        From: Michelle Delio (CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED)
        Sent: Thu 3/17/2005 6:03 PM
        To: Korsmo, Joseph R
        Subject: RE: Future Shock Article

        Huge interest in a continuation, Joe – I loved that story. got any news for me?
        Michelle

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