Not quite Delphi

An “oracle” appeared in Brooklyn recently, at the corner of Bergen St. and Flatbush Ave.

Here’s how it works: Dean Olsher, host of WNYC’s The Next Big Thing, transmits your questions to the oracle and reads the answers that appear on the oracle’s electronic billbard. But Olsher is cagey about the identity of the Brooklyn author who answers for it.

According to The New Yorker, all signs point to Jonathan Safran Foer:

Olsher is cagey about the oracle’s identity. “The Oracle is a writer who lives in Brooklyn,” he said. Is it Colson Whitehead? It is not. Is it Paul Auster? It is not. Is it Jonathan Lethem? It is not. “I thought you were going to ask if it was Jonathan Ames.” Is it Jonathan Ames? No.

Questioning the Oracle directly about his identity was more fruitful. First, the Oracle was asked for a hint.

Oracle: I’m equally comfortable referencing Nachman of Bratslav and Seka the Swedish Bombshell.

Then the tactics got trickier. The Oracle was told, “O.K. I’m going to ask you a question and if I don’t get a response in five seconds I’m going to take it as a yes: Are you Jonathan Safran Foer?” For once, there was no answer.


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