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[ "Is This Century's Greatest Woman Novelist a Man?" Steve Sailer (2021).

I've thought about the question of authorship detection in blind refereeing and in political dissent. Anonymity can work out fine even if it everybody knows who the author is-- in fact, it can work even better then, because the author can get the credit he deserves.

You have to think about the purpose of anonymity. When I referee an economics paper, I am supposed to be frank, and the author is supposed to be grateful and take his lumps. If he is told who I am, though, this would create social awkwardness when we meet, as we probably will if both of stay active for ten years. If he knows with 99% certainty who I am, perhaps by my writing style, perhaps because I know Eric Rasmusen's work suspiciously well, that is totally different. Now it is not "common knowledge" (a game theory term). I know I'm the referee; he knows it; but do I know that he knows? Thus, we can both pretend at the American Economic Association conference hotel bar that we don't know who killed his latest paper at Econometrica, something we both wish to pretend.

For dissenting op-eds, it's useful too. If I wrote an op-ed advocating monarchy under my own name, my university would probably feel compelled to denounce me and launch an expensive process to get me fired, both from their own principles and from pressure from radical students and donors. If my name is not on it, then even if everybody knows it was Eric Rasmusen, they have an out and can pretend they don't know it was me.

Thus, it may be convenient for everybody concerned if everybody knows that Starnone really wrote the Ferrante novels but his name is not on them. The reader can pretend to himself to believe otherwise and enjoy the novels more as being written by a woman; feminists don't have to expend energy being outraged; Starnone can sell more novels and still get the glory from the intelligent people he cares about, and won't have the endure being a celebrity to the hoi polloi. They'll still give him money, but he won't have to answer fan letters.