Autograph Hounds

As Jake Rossen reported in a March 28 cover story, the so-called experts “authenticating” celebrity autographs are often full of shit (“How Self-Appointed Experts Sullied the Billion-Dollar Autograph Industry”). Readers were grateful for the information.

Writes Korey Henderson of Inglewood, “Thank you for the insightful article about autograph authenticators. I am in the process of trying to sell my one-of-a-kind item that has two entertainers' autographs and I do not know where to begin. Your article was very informative.”

Buff1999 is mulling the bigger picture. “Interesting read,” he writes. “Nice work, Mr. Rossen. I'm not much of an autograph hound myself; I find it a little bit silly that somebody writing their name on a piece of paper for the sole purpose of providing an autograph could be worth money.

“The Sterpka thing is just odd. Buying thousands of dollars of trading cards with the hope of finding a 'golden ticket' like Charlie Bucket, that you don't even really want? It's one thing if you really, really wanted that signature and hair sample to keep until you die because you are a big fan of the celebrity (Chuck Lindbergh in this case), but to go through all that trouble of trying to get it, just to turn around and sell it? What's the point? For a measly $10K?”

Colleen165 writes, “Jake Rossen, what a well-written article. I bought a Taylor Swift autographed CD a few years ago at a fundraiser, and it came with its own certificate of authenticity. I was surprised, but thinking about how Taylor Swift tries so hard to do everything well, I suppose she wants her fans to know that when her name is on something, it's the real McCoy.

The Testing Racket

Readers also appreciated Adam Gropman's look at the arbitrary “personality” tests being inflicted by employers (“How Personality Job Tests Turn Us All Into Liars,” March 28). Writes NeonMosfet, “Most of the jobs that demand personality tests aren't exactly rocket science. And yes, they are looking for drones. It's cheaper that way.

Jeff Brill also suspects something is afoot: “I just had to write when I read the article by Adam Gropman. I've been subjected to these 'quizzes' for years, just so I could get a job in a restaurant or hospital as a cook! I've always felt that it was a deliberate form of discrimination, primarily because it seems that African-Americans were particularly 'singled out' for these psychological tests. More people should file discrimination complaints if they feel they've been targeted for these 'psych-quizzes.' Maybe that would put an end to the practice.”


Our story about startup Tongal (“First Prize Is a Freelance Job”) provided an incorrect total of prize money won by David Brashear. By the time the story was published March 28, Brashear had been paid $185,785, about $57,000 more than the figure we cited. We regret the incomplete information.

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