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Sunday, 30 April 2006

Comments

Darth Vader

I'm with ya there Shamash. I wish there was a way to get across to our students the idea that cheating and plagiarism are wrong and there are severe consequences but sometimes I just don't see people backing it up. I for one am glad to see administrators step up and play hardball.

We expelled a graduating senior last year less than a month before he took his IB exams. He got caught plagiarizing a paper and had been warned ahead of time that any indiscretion would result in the expulsion. Our normally timid director got a consensus from the staff and booted the bugger.

But more to the core of the matter is that I want my kids to understand what makes the world go 'round. Despite the popular answer "money", its actually "trust". Without trust, the world doesn't work and anarchy reigns supreme. We trust that we will get paid for our work. We trust that our money will be worth something when we need it to. We trust others with our life for so many different things, what would happen if we could no longer trust people?

Without honesty and integrity, people cannot trust one another. Imagine a world without honesty and integrity - not a pretty picture...

Lamamamajama

Wow, Sometimes I am really thankful my parents just wanted me to live in something more than a tipi or schoolbus. My dad drove me towards success in athletics which makes many people do simmilar things like take steroids.
When we can accept our children and ourselves as we are and help each other achieve what they truely want, then the world will be a better place.

shamash

"We trust others with our life for so many different things, what would happen if we could no longer trust people?"

Nicely put, Darth Vader.

I think that cheating is increasing because the competition to get into the university is getting tougher and tougher. I was just reading in Newsweek International that in the UK the number of students going to univsity has increased 30% in the last 5 and the percentages are increasing in the US, as well.

And, you're right, LMJ, about sports being competitive, too. Good comparison.

Ms Sicily

what a post to read 3 weeks before my final examinations for my master!!!! xxx

shamash

Hey, Ms Sicily! I'm sure you feel the pressure of competition at your school, too.
I have nowdoubt you'll do fine, being the brilliant researcher that you are. good luck with you final exams!

Tish G

hey Shamash...

you said what I didn't say about this whole thing--that there is a culture that encourages cheating. I used to see it in the part of NJ where I was from (heavy Asian population) and, as a tutor at the community college I attended, at times was pressured by some of the male Asian students to actually *do their work for them*! I knew it was pressure--academic success means success in marriage and success for their family overall.

Personally, I'm sickened by the idea that people can buy their kid's way into an Ivy League school through all these weird programs that guarantee success--it's the same way that "legacies" in Ivy League schools sickens me (a "legacy" is when a member of one's family has gone to the school--there's been this kind of pref. treatment for 2 centuries in Ivys.)

So many people want their children to be something their not--makes me think that the parents are trying to live their lives over thru their kids. that's a pretty sorry state of things.

Michiel

I've mixed feelings about this plagiarism case; I've followed the links and compared the passages but I can't be bothered to read the two books because they don't sound all that interesting to me.

Do they tell the exact same story, or has the second author 'lifted' certain passages, adapted them for her use, and used them to tell her own story?

And in what measure were their individual core plots borrowed or copied from others? There are only so many dramatic twists and turns, most if not all of them had been covered (or at least documented in a lasting way) by the time of Shakespeare.

Doesn't all art build on all the prior art the author has been exposed to? Didn't Picasso state "If there is something to steal, I steal it!"?

In our ReMix culture, copy/paste isn't a crime; it is one of the tools of transformation and creation.

shamash

"So many people want their children to be something their not": this is what concerns me the most, Tish

Micheal: The books don't sound interesting to me either, but in answer to your question "Do they tell the exact same story, or has the second author 'lifted' certain passages, adapted them for her use, and used them to tell her own story?", check out this link and decide for yourself.

As one of Creative Commons' biggest advocates, a teacher of the joys of Photoshop manipulation, and a literature teacher who knows that (as in the oral tradition) most of Shakespeare's works were based on Italian and French tales, I don't see the "copy and paste" culture as a crime.

However, when I compare passages, I'm shocked at the sheer NUMBERS of nearly identical passages. Ms. Viswanathan claims to have "internalized" the work. If this is so, this young author has a photographic memory, and should probably be using that talent for more than writing chick-lit novels.

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