Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Plagiarism thing

I pretty much agree with Atrios on this re: Zakarias.

The thing is, on this blog for eight years (EIGHT FUCKING YEARS, OY!) I make a lot of snide little asides and plays on words.   It is a style, but it is a style that I'm convinced at least several million people share -- probably far far more.  It isn't a great and unique gift, being moderately witty, so I imagine dozens of people say similar things on their twitter account, blog, facebook etc.

It doesn't mean we copied someone else, it just means someone else thought the same thing you did at the same time, because it was a rather obvious thing to type. 

Now, when it starts to get more elaborate and complicated is when it becomes a bit more dubious.  Lots of people may think the same things you do, but do they write the same paragraphs that you do?


Anonymous said...

"I pretty much agree with Atrios on this re: Zakarias."

Did you mean to say.. "my thoughts, exactly"?

Eric P.

pansypoo said...

taint we all allowed 3 paragraphs?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think that it is push back against too much gun control debate from the powers that be.

Montag said...

Look, if you were a working writer, you'd be plenty annoyed at someone else getting paid for your research/writing. It is theft.

What made Zakarias' plagiarism particularly egregious was that it was so friggin' obvious, first, and second, reading the two paragraphs, he went to more trouble and effort trying to disguise the theft than he would have expended just quoting the passage and giving Lepore credit, which means it wasn't accidental, it was intentional. He wanted people to think it was his original work, and it wasn't.