Monday, October 31, 2011

Gladwell on Plagiarism

      Gladwell's article on "Something Borrowed" examines the problems associated with plagiarism. Gladwell describes how plagiarism is used throughout the music industry and how it sometimes is not even considered plagiarism because there are only so many tunes you can create with instruments and devices that you will eventually run out of "original" tunes. So similiar tunes are often heard in different songs. Gladwell writes how he was shocked to have his own words used in plays that were in Broadway such as "Frozen" and some quotes were taken directly word by word. Gladwell discusses there is a point which can eventually be reached when you learn that the work you are writing is not your work but the work of another just reworded. Gladwell has many odd ways of characterizing what he considers plagiarism and what he does not such as how he considers twisting the music tunes of artists into a song "art" instead of plagiarism.

      I found this article really interesting in the way Gladwell incorporated music into plagiarism. This article confused me a lot too I felt like it was asking too many questions, but I think I still understood it fairly well. I also find myself questioning whether some of the things I do are plagiarism now for examples dancing it is almost impossible to find a dance move that has not been performed or done in some way before so is it like if I am plagiarizing someones dance or is it as Gladwell put it for music am I doing just mixing the moves and making some form of art. Oh and this is not relevant to Gladwell, but I just noticed how in the main blog you put that it says "Shirts" for the other class and "Skins" for our class, which is funny.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapter 6 and Chapter 7

     In chapter 6 of this novel Jon Ronsen visits ex-CEO Al Dunlap in Shubuta to see what psychopathic traits the man possesses. Al Dunlap was known for being "heartless" because he seemed to make joy out of firing people from their jobs. When Ronson first arrived to Dunlap's place he found it interesting how Dunlap had many giant stone statues of lions, eagles and different types of predators. Ronson asked Dunlap a variety of questions to see how many of the psychopath traits he possessed. Ronson later on tells him head on that he's asking Dunlap many of these questions to test whether or not he is a psychopath unaware of how Dunlap will react. Dunlap starts laughing and decides to allow Ronson to ask him as many questions as he likes to test how psychopathic like he is and he also makes many statements saying how many of the traits such as "lack of empathy" help make a stronger leader. Dunlap also seems to admit to having a lack of empathy, but later on when Ronson discusses his talk to Dunlap with Bob Hare he talks about how Dunlap cried when his dog died. Bob counters this saying that dog is property and psychopaths feel empathy for objects occasionally but not people

    I found these two chapters really interesting in the way Jon Ronson makes many analogies. I found it funny how Ronson made an analogy between the Stone statues that Dunlap had in his area to Narnia in that if the Queen of Narnia came she would have turned them into stone and would have looked exactly the same. I also found it funny how Ronson had like moments like on page 148 where he was like "Oh REALLY?" as if he was having like a very powered state of mind. I also find it a little odd how Dunlap allows Ronson to do the psychopath test on him without like kicking him out of his household. These two chapters were really interesting to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Do People Rely on Technology Too Much?

    I chose this question because we seem to use technology everyday in our lives. Whether it be for heating up a meal in a microwave or using a laptop to do homework online and what if, we did not have all the advanced technologies we have today. I think I would start looking for answers related to this everywhere on the internet, around the dorms I live in, and by the streets we pass by because technology is used in everything nowadays. Possible answers would be yes, we do rely on technology too much because if we did not have lots of the technology we have today, we would not be as advanced as we are, in regards to research and would not be able to identify many problems in our society or environment as easily. Subquestions that might pop up would be should society be learning more ways to restrict the use of technologies on certain things and be having more back-ups incase technology does not seem to be effective one day? Also is technology abused? Possible problems that I may have with answering this question would possibly be identifying credible sources which correlate to the research topic.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chapter 4 Blog

      The Psychopath Test was finally introduced brought up in more details in Chapter 4. Jon Ronson met up with a psychopath psychiatrist who's name was Bob Hare, he was the inventor of the psychopath test. Ronson attended a meeting about the checklist which he was also charged to attend, but got a small discount because he was media. Bob Hare discussed in the seminar how he and many other psychiatrists originated the checklist by studying psychopaths carefully. Another psychiatrist that also studied the psychopaths was Adam Perkins except he used more medical based concept for his research such as screening of the brains activities in psychopaths versus non-psychopaths. Perkins found that there was a major difference in the nervous system between the two which shows there are some differences. Ronson is really fascinated by the list that was developed and decides that he wants to test it out for himself which is the beginning of the next chapter where he interviews Toto the other "psychopath".
      I thought this chapter was really interesting as it really makes you think what would you do if someone accused you as a psychopath. The psychopath list has such a wide range of things that can identify you as a psychopath so it's difficult not to be diagnosed as one. This book does a really good job describing many things in detail. The psychopath test makes it possible for many people to possibly be diagnosed as psychopaths, how do you know if the people that created it were not psychopaths. It really leads you to question many things. However, overall I think this book is really interesting and it actually makes you think about things in more detail.