The Census

March 16, 2010

This image has been posted with express written permission.

This cartoon was originally published at Town Hall.

Greetings From Waterloo

March 16, 2010

Via TribLive

The Kiss

March 16, 2010

This image has been posted with express written permission.

This cartoon was originally published at Town Hall.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

March 16, 2010

This image has been posted with express written permission.

This cartoon was originally published at Town Hall.

In Character:

Last month, in what is becoming a perennial scandal in journalism, two writers admitted to plagiarizing in their work. Zachery Kouwe, a young business reporter at the New York Times, resigned after he was found to have lifted passages from the Wall Street Journal on the Times’ DealBook blog.  “I write essentially 7,000 words every week for the blog and for the paper,” he told the New York Observer by way of explanation.  “I was pushing myself to do as much as I possibly can. I was careless.”  Journalist Gerald Posner of the Daily Beast also blamed the accelerated pace of online publishing when he was caught using multiple passages of others’ work without attribution. “The core of my problem was in shifting from that of a book writer-with two years or more on a project-to what I describe as ‘the warp speed of the net,’” he wrote on his blog.  He vowed, “I shall not be doing journalism on the internet until I am satisfied that I can do so without violating my own standards and the basic rules of journalism.”

Recent years have also witnessed an increase in what might be called plagiarism-by-design:  authors who liberally lift passages from others’ work without attribution but justify their use of it by calling the finished product a “mashup” or “pastiche” of multiple forms.  Seventeen-year-old German writer Helene Hegemann, whose novel recently appeared on best-seller lists in Germany, was uncontrite when observers pointed out that she had lifted large passages of her book from a less-well-known novel.  Her generation doesn’t see this as thievery, she said, but as a new form of expression that samples and mixes from a multitude of sources to create something new.  “There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity,” Hegemann said in a statement.  Similarly, in David Shields’ recent book Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, he calls for a revolution in literature that would allow writers freely to plagiarize from others so as to avoid being “constrained within a form.”  “The novel is dead,” Shields declares.  “Long live the antinovel, built from scraps.”

In all of these cases the medium that allows for liberal sampling and stealing is technology, particularly the Internet.  Kouwe and Posner both blamed it for their plagiarism, while Hegemann and Shields praise it for its wealth of artistic raw material.  In fact, what each of these cases suggests is a broader shift in our understanding of personal responsibility and an abandonment of patience in the digital age.  The speed and power of the Internet is now invoked to justify behavior that a generation ago would have been considered unethical, but today we are urged to embrace it as a revolution in technique rather than a failure of character…

Read it all.

Via IBD

Good Question

March 16, 2010

This image has been posted with express written permission.

This cartoon was originally published at Town Hall.

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