At USC we have students turn their papers in electronically to a system called Turnitin,com. It automatically checks for plagiarism. So what are we to think about the group of German critics about to award a $20,000 prize to 17 year old novelist, Helene Hegemann, who now admits she lifted whole pages from an earlier book for her novel?
“There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity,” said Ms. Hegemann in a statement released by her publisher after the scandal broke.
This reminds me of the arguments from the copyleft, regularly heard in the halls of the academy. One of my graduate students recently left a gathering of these prophets of freedom. This is their argument on why all music and films should be free.
a) “art really doesn’t belong to anyone,” b) “artists shouldn’t be creating for money,” c) “everybody” they know is happy to just to be heard, and d) “everyone” can now make music, movies, art, etc. anyway, so why should some people get paid for it?
I’m sorry, but the cult of the amateur, fueled by this kind of nonsense, has led us to our current “500 channels and nothing on” media landscape. Yes any idiot can put their cat flushing the toilet video up on you tube and call it a movie. Yes any aspiring Lady Gaga clone who can’t sing a lick can post her songs on My Space and show up for an audition of American Idol, convinced they’re a star. But that doesn’t make it so.
In 1922, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, one-quarter of the world’s population,and covered more than 13,000,000 square miles: approximately a quarter of the Earth’s total land area. By 1956, after the disastrous attempt to hold on to the Suez Canal, the British finally abandoned the last of their imperial pretensions and settled into rebuilding their own country, culture and spirit. By 1964 the world was sharing in the joy of life after empire.
To read the analysis of David Sanger in the New York Times this morning, life in America for our children will be a pinched, pale shadow of itself.
For Mr. Obama and his successors, the effect of those projections is clear: Unless miraculous growth, or miraculous political compromises, creates some unforeseen change over the next decade, there is virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors. Beyond that lies the possibility that the United States could begin to suffer the same disease that has afflicted Japan over the past decade. As debt grew more rapidly than income, that country’s influence around the world eroded. Read more…
Categories: Barack Obama, Defense Policy, Economics, Foreign Policy, Futurism, Military Spending, Politics, Recession American Empire, Barack Obama, Credit Crisis, Defense Budget, Military Industrial Complex, Obama budget, Politics, Recession, The Beatles