Sunday, February 28, 2010

extra creditt!!

After reading these two articles about plagiarism, I have the fear that plagiarism won’t even exist anymore. It would cease to be called plagiarism and instead of replaced by the word “mixing.” It’s surprising that even though Helene Hegemann was found to have plagiarized a full page from another book to her novel, she was still chosen as a finalist for the Lepzig Book Fair. The prize was $20,000. If I could copy one of the Harry Potter Books and still qualify for $20,000, I would do it.

I do not think that I could choose whether Hegemann was plagiarizing or mixing because I know that articles are bias toward the situation. In the article, “ Author,17, Says It’s ‘Mixing,’ Not Plagiarism,” by Nicolas Kulish he writes that, “In one case, an entire page was lifted with few changes.” But what does he mean when he says with few changes? If she had copied the page word for word and just changed a few transitions, that’s messed up that she did not get punished at all. But if she changed the page so that a paragraph was different, not too bad, she should get reprimanded for it, but an apology would do. However, if she reworded half the page, I would say she could get away with it.

What am I kidding? There is no such thing as mixing unless you reword. If you copy the words to the dotted i and crossed t. You are plagiarizing. I find it utterly surprising that Volker Weidermann, book critic said, “I believe it’s part of the concept of the book.” So the concept of the book is plagiarizing?

It’s unfair that Hegemann did not respectively give her inspirations to the author she stole from. Perhaps, she did mix a lot of the ideas from the author but if she did take a full page, that’s just being plain lazy. I think that it also comes from her age that her book did not receive any of the consequences. It is the story that because she is 17 and able to write a successful novel that wows the whole country of Germany instead of the fact that she plagiarized she would be hated by the whole nation. It feels like because she is younger, she should be let off this time until when she’s older and expected to know what she’s doing.

It would be different if she took the concept of the book she read, and used the same concept but made her book into a whole different world. An example is Lord of the Rings and the book the Sword of Shanhara. They both featured an unlikely character being the savior of the world and they must find a certain object or protect it because they are destined to. The names are different, the place is different, the object is different, the experiences are different but overall the concept is still the same. If Hegemann truly stole, she should be kicked out of her stardom.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blog list

I have a problem making the blog list and having it show up...but anyway I usual like blogs of people who have a very strong opinion about something. It helps that they have pictures to show what they're talking about. I also like if blogs talk about current news and make it easier to understand because politics is always complicated.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chapter 3: Authenticity vs. Performance Self

When I'm with different people, I have different sides of me that appear. I'm very conservative with my parents because that is how they would want me to be. With my teachers, I wouldn't reveal too much of my life but I would be as courteous as possible. With people I know somewhat, I make jokes and laugh. But with my best friends, I'm a total dork. In the end however, I can say that I am Joyanna Lin; I am my authentic self.

Susan Blum in her book, My Word!, describes a performance self as, "...focus on knowing what the expectations are in particular cntexts and are adept at meeting those expectactions."(64) I think this is a pretty accurate description except I agree more with Edward and Monica who were interviewed that comfortability can easily be mistaken as performance. There are times when I,myself, am more quiet than usual because I don't feel comfortable enough to be outgoing or maybe I'm just tired. There are also random times, where I feel perfectly comfortable with my friends so I feel like I can say my opinions or be completely dorky. I think that everyone changes their personality when they're in a different environment such as the classroom. With a teacher present in a classroom, students may feel more contained because a teacher has their own rules and they may not feel comfortable enough to relate to the teacher at a personal level.

Authenticity as Blum says," celebrates uniqueness, individual contribution, essence, fixity, and authorship. It is inner directed. Its words are its own, and are always meant and sincerely believed." (61) This I think is true, but I question how Blum does tell performance from authenticity and in what context. Being unique is derived from somebody's experiences such as going to camp at a certain age, having to take care of siblings, or being pampered by parents. So in a sense, being authentic is still coming from many different sources. In writing, it is more apparent to sense when a student is putting on a performance but only if they admit they are. Within technology, authenticity is also harder to tell because someone can simply publish or show what they want and it's up to the interpretation of viewers whether the user is being authentic or not.

I feel that authenticity and performance do intertwine in different aspects of life. But as long as one knows who they are, that's the most important part.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Picture Problem by Malcolm Gladwell

Similar to Susan Blum's My Word, Malcolm Gladwell in his article, " The Picture Problem" was able to engage my attention throughout the whole article. He pieced his thoughts very well on the matter of plagiarism and was not bias on his article whatsoever, which according to the journalistic stereotype, seems alien not to do so. He was able to explain his experience of plagiarism concisely and overall , was also able to address the underlying issue of plagiarism in the context of our world today.
His experience begins with an article he writes about psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis who specializes in working with serial killers; his story then is taken by Bryony Lavery for her musical, “Frozen.” From speaking with Lavery about the situation, she admits her careless mistake and seems genuine. I thought that having her reputation crumble was a harsh consequence. But since, her musical gained so much prestige, it seemed unavoidable. I remember watching the Oprah show, and hearing her disown the author James Frey because he had stated his novel , A Million Little Pieces, was true when it was pure fiction. His life shattered after that. In society today, plagiarizing and having it known to public on a grandiose scale means no more stardom. Reading Gladwell’s description with Dorothy Lewis also made me understand why Lewis felt violated with Lavery’s work. Though Lavery did not technically take anything from Lavery, it is because she took pieces of Lavery’s life story and twisted them that Lewis felt so hurt and sued. I thought that if Lewis was at the point where her friends called her and told her, “ It’s you! It’s you!” that Lavery did go overboard.
My respect however, goes to Gladwell. Instead of dwelling between the two womens’ opinions he decides to research more into the topic of plagiarism. I never realized that plagiarism coincides closely with inspiration. Being an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan, I did not know that so many other songs had similar sounds to them. It was interesting that there are musician in the world that can hear even the smallest chords that match with famous songs such as Beethoven’s Fifth. I suddenly began to agree with Gladwell’s point that plagiarism’s defiiniton is still very muddled. Lavery even said herself that she was being inspired by Lewis’s story and had no intention of hurting her.
So the question is, is it still plagiarisim if someone borrows the same idea but makes it better? Even on a daily basis, I know that I share ideas with so many people throughout my day. They could take that idea and do something about it but I wouldn’t get any credit. If they were nice, perhaps they would tell me that they were inspired by me and ask me for permission. But it would be unfair, if they do all the work of executing and I get nothing at all.
In the end, Gladwell’s conclusion seems to be that he was only a third party. He was only involved in the situation because he wrote the article but the issue was ultimately between Lavery and Lewis. He understood that Lavery did take Lewis’s story but created a fictional character based on her…but was not really her. I agree with him. I think that to avoid situations with plagiarism or copying or even inspiration, it’s always best to give credit to who you were inspired by.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Essay, essay, essay, ese?

I literally started loling when I decided to search up the meaning of "essay" on ; it was a classic approach to the hook of an essay and it definitely made my blog more interesting.

The results considered the following:

1. essay
def: useless work used to torture billions of kids in the world
Jimmy had to do his long essay instead of playing outside with his friends.

2. essay
def: how a moron spells ese.
An essay is something you write for school, not a Mexican.

3. essay
def: a waste of time that MLA and APA supporters believe is not colossal enough in its time wasting ability . used by professors whose sole dream it is to stop students from slacking off from the weekend. goes well with coffee.

I can't believe Mr. Smith just gave us that huge fucking essay! He's out of his mind.

Jimmy, you can't go to the senior prom until you finish writing that essay.

Hilarious, right? So, from a student's point of a view an essay is torture but I think it depends on the topic. If it's something that is interesting, an essay is an expression of one's thoughts and opinions. It's a form of five paragraphs consisted of five or more coherent sentences that give concrete details about the topic. There's the intro, at least three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. An essay is quite strict. All sentences should have correct grammar, punctuation, and should always contain a subject and verb. Usually essays are more formal instead of colloquial because the formality shows the topic a certain respect. Also, an essay should contain concise language so that the reader is able to understand the topic easily and also get a hint of a writer's style.