Why copy someone else, when you can copy yourself, risk-free?
To this conundrum, Hegemann has added a heaping dollop of generational special pleading, and the story has prompted teachers to offer multiple examples of students who don't seem to understand what plagiarism is or that it's wrong. Kids these days, this Cassandra-ish line of reasoning goes, have unfathomably different values, and their elders had better come to terms with this because children are, after all, the future. You can't tell them anything! It's as if people under 25 have become the equivalent of an isolated Amazonian tribe who can't justly be expected to grasp our first-world prohibitions against polygamy or cannibalism -- despite the fact that they've grown up in our very midst. (Laura Miller, Plagiarism:The next generation, Salon, 16 Feb. 2010)
The equally bad variant
You need all As to get a good grad school. Experimentation might at some point lead to something great AND polished, but at first it'll be but an inkling, look awkward, feel raw, and draw the occasional "10" but also more than a few "5s" from the Korean-Swiss-American-whatever judge. Who can risk Bs while you get the hang of it, when it may just be enough to count you out for good, and embarrass you while your more professional-minded friends stick with the familiar and certain and collect their ready baskets of achievement accolades? Almost no one. If you abandon the effort, and repeat the already known, even you're hippie parents will secretly be relieved to have an easier time now bragging about your brilliance.
So the cynical smart student -- the one we apparently want -- learns not to plagiarize, which is risky, but to put forth the solid but familiar-boring, over and over again -- that is, not to grow. The grad school gets the writing sample beginning with, "This essay will problematize . . . " know they've got a savy careerer, and invite her/him on in.
Plagiarism is an interesting topic. But let's not let those who get As but who aren't fundamentally interested in self-growth, know their doing anything but a (socially approved/desired) variant.
Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…
A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.
The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …