Monday, November 20, 2006

Written products and watercooler discussions.

All right, I've come to some conclusions about the whole sordid affair. Unfortunately, I wrote such a lengthy response, I think I better top-post it.

I’d argue that people, varying in degrees, visit and interact on BOTF for the sometimes unrelated motivations of entertainment/interaction, and stimulation. I think this is an important distinction. The people who are there, at least in large part, for intellectual stimulation probably view writing in a different manner than those primarily for entertainment.

It’s not random that many of the people I consider to be “writers” here (that doesn’t include me, BTW), are the most offended by Topazz’s larcenous post. My take is that these are the people who view their creations here as products, presented, and subsequently appreciated, by an audience. These are the same people who might make a living at writing. It’s striking, to me, that people as diverse as Switters, DawnCoyote, and August are among those who feel offended. This is not an unsympathetic audience.

What I’d like to suggest is that, on the Fray, all people do not necessarily view written products the same way. If I view written products primarily as a vehicle for entertainment, or to engage interaction, then I probably have a very different view of the sanctity of words or ideas than those who make a living (or would like to) by the products of their written work. If Topazz views the primary purpose of her post to be a springboard for discussion/interaction, then it’s entirely possible that she doesn’t view her crime as more than a very minor issue. The best analogy I can come up with, at the moment, is bringing the same issues up in the course of a verbal discussion. She may view her inclusion of the words as representing agreement with them. I guess a written equivalent would be an office newsletter – who provides citations in those? This presumes she was talking about actual experiences she’d had. I haven’t seen anyone challenge that.

This makes Topazz an entirely different creature than Denny, who is presenting products not to facilitate interaction, but in order to impress people with his artistic talents. I also find the comparison with Adam Morgan to be offensively overstated, because what Topazz did, if equivalent to a discussion, is no more sociopathic (intended to impact others with intentional disregard for their welfare) than what millions of people do around water coolers every day. From this perspective, Topazz is only slightly dishonest (a lie by omission), but no more so than most of us, from time to time.

I mean, Topazz didn’t credit her pic of Marilyn the other day, either – did anyone think she was pretending to have taken it? What I’m suggesting is that she views her theft in a similar vein, rather than the egregious infraction viewed by others. Hypothetically, if Topazz had read a post on “The Company Bitch” about a shoplifting incident and said to herself, “Hey – that’s just like what happened to me!” then her subsequent post wouldn’t be plagiarism either, would it? I don’t think it necessarily is (though I also think it’s naïve not to anticipate being challenged for it).

So, the dispute among people on the board may expose differences in assumptions about what happens there. To borrow from Ciinc (borrowing from Vonnegut), perhaps BOTF is a karass, perhaps a granfalloon. Individual perceptions exert a substantial impact on normative expectations, as well as anticipation of sanctions.

Though Topazz is free to use the space as she wishes, however, I also agree that certain stakeholders are entitled to impose their perceptions on other players – Geoff and Ender. Geoff and Ender have created the space in which we’re playing, and have the right to set expectations about the manner in which participants will interact. Geoff is entirely within his rights to pull her star, and Ender is entirely within his rights to pull her blog membership. Geoff isn’t going to flush her, I imagine – I imagine he views the star as reflecting something about the predictable quality of written products.

But the rules haven’t been defined on this space, and Topazz may have reasonably established, though incorrect, perceptions about what constitutes appropriate behavior. Is her character flawed? It seems that most on the Fray who are supporting her are really objecting to the manner in which she seems to be damned. I find myself leaning in this direction. I think submitting your work here takes a post beyond the level of a discussion, however.

Question: Would you feel better if she’d been quietly warned, and she’d withdrawn her posts without comment? Why? If she’d withdrawn them with apology, would you still be wanting her expelled from the blog?

Last thoughts: Switters, I don’t think the comparison to sampled music is disingenuous at all. I wonder if you might feel differently were you a composer, as opposed to a writer [got both in my family, and I know how they feel about it].

I remember working on grant projects in which large sections of other people’s work were lifted and paraphrased. I believe this was seen as acceptable, as the application was seen as a vehicle to an end, not an end itself. I think this is an apt comparison.

Lentenstuffe: Somehow, I have the sense that if someone had lifted a couple of lines from one of your poems, and then posted them as part of their own, you’d have a different sort of reaction. I’m guessing your objection is, in essence, similar to mine above. If not, then I don’t get it. I also disagree with the comparison to kos – it’s not like anyone’s calling for her exclusion because she has bad taste.

Fluffy: if you’re going to make a statement like that, could you at least flesh it out a little? Hard to know how to respond.

Ender, Dawn, John, August: I’m not exactly disagreeing with you – I think you all have excellent points, particularly about out tolerance level for plagiarism – now that we have the expectation established. I just happen to thing there’s an understandable counter-perspective that isn’t getting acknowledged, and this lack of acknowledgement makes Topazz look like a crook, as opposed to someone trying to provide an interesting, entertaining discussion [God forbid we’d have too many of those on BOTF!]. Though I think Ender has every right to insist on his perspective on the blog, I would have pursued the matter and attempted remediation, before a banning.

Of course, I’m not volunteering to be blogmaster, either. Ender, it's your call - I just wanted you to know how I felt about it.


august said...

TK -- topazz is not denny because she's not fucking insane, because she's a friend, because she belongs (whether she gets it yet or not) in the category of writers. And she clearly understands what she did wrong. She doesn't pretend she was casually putting an idea out for discussion -- she spent time writing that piece.

I just looked at some of the fray discussion and see what rundeep's reacting to, but a word-for-word crib of a lede is not acceptable from anyone who has been to high school (if it was as banal as rundeep suggests, two people would not have recognized the source). It's something I take very seriously and if wikifray becomes a community where it is treated as acceptable, I will leave. I still consider topazz a friend and hope I get a chance to talk to her when I have more time. But please don't insult her intelligence by pretending she didn't know what she was doing.

Like John, I'm happy to revisit this after a time if topazz wants to toppost again, but don't ask me to treat it like it's not a big deal. topazz (and wikifray) is (are) good enough that she (we) ought to be aspiring to magazine quality material.

I'm annoyed because this is taking up my mental energy, I'm annoyed because of all the parallel bullshit shoveled, I'm annoyed because misterioso is due to show up and gloat at any moment, and I'm annoyed because in my line of work (teaching) I'm plagued by people who think that plagiarism is no big deal. I'm annoyed because topazz was approximately 1/10 of an enterprise into which I've put a lot of effort.

As far as I'm concerned, topazz is still a friend and I hope we can continue to have conversations. But she fucked up, and not topposting here for a while seems to me a reasonable consequence.

misterioso said...

"I'm annoyed because misterioso is due to show up and gloat at any moment . . . "

I haven't been here in ages. Why would I show up now?

I've already had abundant opportunities to take the measure of topazz and most of the rest of you in the ethics department. There's no honor among thieves. Nothing to see here.

LentenStuffe said...


I'm glad you brought up these points. Well done.

You say, however, that,

I also disagree with the comparison to kos – it’s not like anyone’s calling for her exclusion because she has bad taste.

The fact remains she has been excluded from your community for whatever reason, and the decision to expunge her was made unilaterally by your blogmaster without regard to the fact that Topazz is a decent person, a person of sound mind and good judgment, a fine friend, and and a person without malice towards her fellows. This has been all of your experience of her.

Ender talks the talk about the wider community. That's hogwash! If anything, the 'wider internet community' will say, "What's this WagTheWkiFraySlate bullshit about anyway. Sounds to me like the whole damn site is one stolen riff to begin with. It's name is stolen; its participants are stolen from elsewhere; its posts usually come from elsewhere, and its webmaster is jabbering on about the strict ethical code governing originality. What a riot!" I say to Ender, if you want credibility for originality, then come up with a name that is original. There's your start, but you've proved unequal to that task, so don't act like you're the fricken pope now.

Incidentally, does the larger WagTheWeb community judge the fray because Denny has been Denny for ... how many years now? Truth be told, the larger community couldn't give a tinker's curse about Denny and his peculiar psychosis. If the wider world visits Slate at all it is probably because Christopher Hitchens writes there, not because of Ender or Schad or Makbara or Dawn or Topazz. Who are these freaks? That's what the larger world asks.

That's the first thing. Secondly, if you are to be fair to Topazz by sitting in judgment of her character, then you might do her the favor of keeping focused and applying your whacky standards to the case at hand. Instead, I feel that here as well as on BOTF you have conducted a witch-hunt, you've demanded your pound of flesh, you've summarily excluded and banned her, and now you deign to sit in judgment of her character. You're all bonkers!

Let me assert for the weak-at-heart: Character as you claim to know it doesn't exist in cyberspace. Character is a social construct that is fickle, protean, elusive and largely fictional. There's not one authentic person on here, or on BOTF. I dare any of you to prove otherwise. See? You cannot. So why are you importing the larger, real world and trying to apply its standards. Do you possibly imagine how silly it looks? Topazz's top-post was just another stupid poll on yet another tiresome topic. It was designed for the purely peasant mentality, that is to say, the small-minded pea-brains who jump up and down and yell nonsensicalities while the world goes to shit around them. "Look at me, I'm the salt of the earth. I'm no plagiarist! I'm no misognyist! But ZB is a total slimeball dick! Yea, Yea, Yea!"

Wake up, your little internet community is nothing more than an escape from reality, a vacation from your real selves and the fucked-up world you inhabit. But none of you are paragons of ethical purity, and if you were you wouldn't be presuming to judge your peer in this mendacious manner. Get off the cross, people, we need the wood. (O yea, Tom Waits said that. He also said, "I'd prefer to have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy", but who amongst you bullshitdetectors knows that?)

My comparison with Dkos is right on for this reason: the banned kossite rarely got the opportunity to defend him or herself. The community gathered like a lynch-mob, issued its ratings and, bingo, the thorn in the side was removed. Well, it's not like Topazz is unknown to you people. She's no troll surfing around; why, she's one of your very own, a pillar of the BOTF community and a regular here. Why then the big hurry to consign her to oblivion?

When Ender invited me to contribute to WagTheWikiFraySlate he said this was a community blog, set up to serve its members. Really! Why then did he intervene and preempt your judgment in this matter? He did so because yours is not a community, it is an extension of Ender's ego and as such serves his vanity, as well as his craven ethical standards. Prove to me he's not a smug-thug. None may plagiarize that neologism. It's mine, hear! The reason the comparison with Dkos is correct is because the end result is the same, and now the rationalizations are taking their cue after the fact. Piss poor form, folks.

C'mon, people, you are not all that. Don't you all acknowledge that the very moment you assert of yourselves, "I am a good person", that you've no way to prove or verify that statement, but, conversely, if somebody says of another, "she's a misognyistic, plagiarizing scumbag", then the mob, kossack mentality kicks in and the hanging gets under way.

August is right in his assessment: Topazz is totally amenable to discourse. Plus, her intention in the piece was clearly lame, just as the whole thingie afterwards was lame. That's it, pure and simple: poor judgment on her part. Does this mean she's beyond rehabilitation? Absolutely not? Does it mean you guys have no desire to try to include her here henceforth? Well, yes, it does.

Finally, TK, if someone stole something of mine, they would never be able to enforce its provenance in any legitimate forum because of the way I protect my copyright. I have utmost confidence in the precautions I've taken, so it doesn't really matter what anyone might try. My proofs are legally irrefutable, so I'm not bothered. Anyway, people pilfer the words I use all the time. Why, sometimes I feel like the Fray's human thesaurus!!!!

Am I a dick as Mzzeeeellllyyeiaaa points out for pointing this out? Yes, I am. But do I give a hoot? I'll give y'all three guesses.

rundeep said...

TK: Nice post. And I'm not commenting on your character, you seem to be seeking a way on this.

August: here's the thing -- the pile-on and nastiness (all the crap about how she was doing it for attention, how she had a "history" of borrowing, etc). Splendid Ireny I think got the tone exactly right. Disappointment, certainly, but not burning at the stake. Had everyone stuck to that, it would be fine. Since Gregor seemed to be advocating shunning as a tactic for reinforcing the group ethic, I asked whether forgiveness was possible and under what circumstances. Perhaps I wasn't clear, but the impression I got from him and especially Schad was that it didn't matter, forgiveness wasn't gonna happen.

If you don't think she was sorry for this, then you don't know topazz. I think you've all driven her to the edge with the nastiness. And that's the part that bothered me.

As to ZB, I am in near total agreement.

Misterioso: Guess what, I'm still posting at kos. And the delusion over there is still running high. Murtha, anyone?

JohnMcG said...


You say topazz was banned at Kos; ahe was banned here, ergot Kos and WF are morally equivalent, since the end result is the same.

That's ridiculous -- if I get fired at one job for making s sexual harassment suit, and fired somewhere else for not showing up, that doesn't make the two firms morally equivalent.

I have made no comment on topazz's character; I have no interest in her character. I do have an interest in building this place up. Topazz's behavior is an impediment to that, so it irks me.

Also, I would argure that the fact that the Fray is a comfortable home for posts like denny's has made it difficult for anybody, including the people who hold the purse-strings at Slate to take it seriously. Why invest in a masturbatory playground? Why shine light on it?

Schadenfreude said...

topazz said: I fell for the temptation to give a boost to my writing by using someone else's.

What part of that is unclear to you?

TenaciousK said...

topazz said: I fell for the temptation to give a boost to my writing by using someone else's.

What part of that is unclear to you?

Schad, if I'm sitting at the office, impressing my coworkers with my discussion on female misogyny (ok, maybe not the best example), I might bring up all kinds of whacky ideas that I didn't originate. Same, if I'm wiriting an unreferenced article on female misogyny for the office newsletter. Different, however, if I'm writing an article for publication (even, well, online publication).

My question is - Does/did Topazz view this forum as being more like a departmental newsletter, or a publication? If the former was an issue in her penchant for, er, more "concrete inspiration", then that's a remediable issue based on a difference in perception between her and the other blog members (mostly Ender - his blog). If the latter? Well, I'm all for opportunities for redemption and all, but in that case, Ender's points about credibility become much more of an issue, and we start to have a different kind of conversation about all of that.

I guess that's my problem - I see two distinctly different conversations going on, both of which make sense and seem relevant, but the disconnect between the two is distressing - in no small part because that's my friend stretched on the rack over there. I think you might tend to view disagreement in situations like this in ways that reinforce your perception that not everybody "gets it," but I'd invite you to consider there may be something in this situation that you are also not getting.

Everybody else - I'll have to get back later [fucking work, and all that]

august said...

ZB and RD --

I'm happy to contemplate forgiveness. My points were about wikifray, not Slate. I agree re. Splendid (Keifus also). But I'm not willing to pretend that copying a line of text and presenting it as one's own is not a big deal. It is.

Dawn Coyote said...

Cutting to the chase: Implications of plagiarism on this blog are more serious than they are on the fray. However, without established guidelines, topazz may have not thought of the broader consequences (certainly, I was fuzzy on them). Therefore it stands to reason that with the clarifying of posting standards for the blog, a clean slate could be considered for all previous transgressions.

Topazz should be welcomed back, provided that all members are satisfied. Yeah or nay?

Schadenfreude said...

Well, TK, what I'm saying is that it is reasonable to view topazz's transgression on her own terms. It seems to me that you (and others) are attempting to introduce mitigating circumstances (read: excuses) that simply don't exist. I object to that for the simple reason that it's not reality. You can if any subject to death, but that doesn't mean that your conversation has any useful meaning.

Again...for someone like bacon, the Fray is a place to shoot the shit, so stealing quips, etc. isn't really an offense. He's already a published author, so, to him, the Fray is just a playground. For someone like topazz (or Ender, for that matter) the Fray is something more - they gain some measure of validation through recognition of their writing. Which is why stars, checkmarks, Fraywatch mentions, etc. are important to them.

Topazz committed a grievous sin, from her own point of view. She feels ashamed, understands what she did, and accepts her punishment. This is right and proper.

Attempts by posters like rundeep and Isonomist to make this out as some kind of factional battle are absurd beyond belief. The issues are quite simple and straightforward - even moreso for this blog, whether Ender's in charge or it's a collective effort.

rundeep said...

For the last time Schad:

It's proportionality which makes the difference. Statutory offense v. misdemeanor v. felony. Even the hardest of judges know when to credit remorse and a promise not to do it again. That's all I ever argued about the matter, and I was met with an increasing level of shrillness and moral superiority.

But then, you knew that. I'm done with the topic.

Schadenfreude said...

rundeep said:
It's proportionality which makes the difference. Statutory offense v. misdemeanor v. felony

Mostly, I have no idea what you're talking about. My suggestion that she turn in her star seemed obvious and perfectly reasonable. In a medium governed entirely by words, plagiarism strikes me as a 1st or 2nd degree felony.

The shrillness is coming entirely from your end (trust me).

rundeep said...

Trusting you is a losing enterprise. I'm not complaining about her losing the star. I'm complaining about the attitude of many who posted in the pile-on, including you.

I really am done with this now.

Schadenfreude said...

Not that simple, rundeep.

Question: whose behaviour has been worse - mine or topazz's?

PS. flemba? Really, this word verification is...#$##$%%

TenaciousK said...

Question: whose behaviour has been worse - mine or topazz's? Classic Schad - implication that RD's not criticizing Topazz, yet she is criticizing you, and therefore she's being unfair (ignoring for the moment that she already feels like others are broiling Topazz, so a little more heat from her would just be that much overkill). It's what makes you so loveably maddening.

TenaciousK said...

Topazz committed a grievous sin, from her own point of view. She feels ashamed, understands what she did, and accepts her punishment. This is right and proper.

I don’t see any evidence of this. Do you? Where? What I see is acknowledgement from her that other people see it as more important than she does. Topazz is a decent, rational human being. My take: she’s applying a set of standards here that are not entirely consistent with the standards Ender, and others, are applying. Thus, it’s more along the lines of a mistake than a damning indication of her character or honesty.

The issue isn’t whether or not she views it as a transgression (she does), but her assessment of its seriousness. I’m not iffing anything, as much as I’m acknowledging something you refuse to – that she just doesn’t see the crime in as damning a light as you do.

I don’t find John’s argument about Fray credibility at all compelling – it’s a discussion forum, for God’s sakes. Any place where you and I can compete to be ThyGoddesses whimsical plaything establishes it’s level of baseline credibility. There are good writers and original ideas there, and the level of discussion can get both heady and highly entertaining. But, Salon it’s not. Nor do I want it to be.

I find Ender, August and Dawn’s discussion about this forum quite persuasive, however, and I think an important point no one but Dawn has chosen to pursue is – the woman who wrote the article is a professional writer, who specializes in internet writing. This is like snagging a piece of candy from the local convenience store, rather than snagging an extra goody-plate at a wedding reception. Somebody is making a living peddling their words there.

So, my point is that, as nearly as I can tell, Topazz’s admission is for a transgression of a different level than what you, Ender, et al are talking about. Both arguments are reasonable, and if the whole fucking thing was based on an initial misapprehension, then perhaps expelling her from the blog was premature.

Perhaps. I just wanted a discussion about it (and Dawn, that would be a yea from me on the point of inviting her back with a clean slate. I don’t know that she would choose to accept, however).

I think it’s been disheartening for everyone involved to see the maelstrom that followed her confession – all the bickering, and factionalization is destructive. Because people see intense responses from others on an issue they wouldn’t have predicted, the place starts to feel unpredictably unsafe (different from anticipating criticism of your ideas, writing etc., which anyone there ought to do when they post anything). The stubborn refusal to acknowledge that there’s another side to the argument encourages escalation on both sides*, so as far as the social impact on the Fray is concerned, all kinds of people are running around on white chargers, making their own unique contributions to the morass – the lazy way out of a conflict is to selectively attend to only some aspects, while discounting others. But doing so precludes a solution that might be more acceptable to all parties involved, because people will choose to attend to different aspects of the issue at hand.

But, be that all as it may, I think it’s fair to say that there’s enough dishonesty, of all kinds, here to go around for everybody. I’m with Dawn – we invite her back, with a clean slate, explicit expectations about the kind of standard we intend to uphold, no hard feelings, yadda, yadda, yadda. But, it’s Ender’s blog. Though he’s not the only one whose put in work, he’s the one who has contributed the most, and he holds the keys. I’m just putting my two cents in.

*You ever notice how, when you have something really important to say but no one is listening to you, you raise the level of your voice? And how before long, you might find yourself yelling? With the exception of oncoming trains and such, is that usually an effective strategy? Not the manner in which it typically plays out, I’m afraid. Human nature. Go figure.

Schadenfreude said...

Quick general model of TK: can't resist sticking his oar in, even when he's not in a boat.

Archaeopteryx said...

Ender's apparently admitted to plagiarism over on the Fray. This just gets curiouser and curiouser.*

*Dodgson, 1865

TenaciousK said...

Quick general model of Schad: Rapid cognitive closure results in funcional impairment in abstract reasoning.

For instance: Rowing is to boat as XXXXX is to community blog project.

Schadenfreude said...

TQM...errr...I mean TK.

1. Never mind.

2. See 1.

Me: Question for rundeep.

You: What Schad means by that question is blah, blah, blah (for the lame: the blah part means that he was wrong).

Me: That wasn't about you.

You: Something about something that makes little sense in context.

Maximo said...

well... it's less weird for you people to be talking about it here.

so you're not dkos, but it is sorta funny to be talking about standards when no one's really bitten the bullet.

might i recommend you form up a p.r. committee to stay ahead of these kinds of things?

TenaciousK said...

Note to self: breakdown of categorical reasoning, abtract reasoning impairment, field/ground processing deficit, rapid cognitive closure...

OMG - Asperger's?


switters said...

Can one be naïve and jaded at the same time? And then, on top of that, bitterly cynical? Because I think that's a pretty good description of myself.

Ender is, for better or worse, by default, the editor of this blog. He and I haven't had much interaction on The Fray, but what we have had has been both negative and positive and, when you add them all up, I think the remainder in that division problem would end up a positive integer. (Terrible, terrible analogy!)

Still, I don't know that I could think of another frayer more scrupulous, more brutal, more dedicated (to making that which he's involved in better).

A brief anecdote:

A while back, I asked Ender what it was that he did that made so many people strikingly pissed off at him as a poster. Before anyone could get a word in edgewise, Hauteur, of all people, came through and started bitch slapping me (but like a girl would) about my neophyte status and Ender's Nazi witch hunts with regard to someone called Loree (or something), after which every raisin cake* in the vicinity started taking lame-ass swings. Crackpot, history_guy, Dawn, bacon (and some others), meanwhile, provided links. All Hauteur could do was insult those trying to provide me with information with regard to Ender so that I could make up my own mind. I was no fan of Ender at the time; I was just fascinated with the vitriol his mere presence brought about.

My point is, the boy's got integrity. He loves The Fray, to a fault (like many of us [see "naïve" above]). So I really couldn't think of a better editor for whatever it is we think we're trying to accomplish here. I'm with Dawn: It's easy to take it (ourselves) too seriously, but it might be nice to take ourselves (it) at least a little bit seriously.

Zeus, m'boy: From whence derives your considerable anger? You're a fantastic writer, if somewhat mannered and affected (I know, I know: "Hey, pot! Kettle here. How's it hangin'?"**). Why not build instead of tear down? The difference between wiki and dailykos with regard to these matters is pretty clear (and simple): I was banned and flushed (or was I? My diaries seem to be back up… Hmm…) because of language, offensiveness, and supposed political ideologies, most of which were ascribed to me rather than actually held (I read/reread to a fault; can't say that about most); topazz was banned from here (and destarred on The Fray) because she passed off someone else's work as her own. I'm pretty much with Dawn on that score (again). I really like her and her posts, but plagiarism is "Fray cancer".***

I wanted to toppost this rather than put it in one of the many threads already extent. I miss the attention. But I won't. I'd just say that when I see who posts here, one has to admit that there's some pretty significant firepower. I'm not being arrogant. I'm of the least caliber. When you've got cats like Tenacious, august, rundeep, kyu (one of the smartest/funniest/most misunderstood frayers) and the rest**** (sorry if I left you off; you know who you are)… Think about it. We're sitting on a gold mine here. Ender: Make it look more like a magazine, sell some ad space, and start handing out the checks. If we could just get BullshitDetector to come on staff as our fact checker, and bacon to do research. (Note: daveto has stopped by. That's huge in my book. Pay attention.)*****

Still, Ender: Please quit moving us around. It's beginning to confuse people.

(Not that anybody cares, or anything******…)


*Patton Oswalt
**paraphrased/updated Phoebe from Friends
***again, from Friends, when Rachel's father is talking about rust being boat cancer and Ross responds something like, "Wow, I'm sorry, when I was a kid I lost a bike to that…"
****from the theme from Gilligan's Island before the lyrics actually mentioned "… the professor and Mary Ann…" by name after "… A movie star…"
*****again, see "naïve" and "jaded" above
******okay, that one's pretty much mine
*******I give TQM another 4 hours, and then he'll come out with the old "Intellectual Honesty and The Fray: What does it all mean?" final thoughts post; Whoops! Looks like we got the morality play fraynalogy bit
********Ender's alleged plagiarism wasn't so much plagiarism as it was an inside joke; not making excuses, just clarifying; he knows that

Schadenfreude said...

OK. I'm done with this site. Too annoying and silly.

Archaeopteryx said...

I never get the inside jokes.

JohnMcG said...

My point about the Fray is that we're always whining about WaPo's failure to invest in it.

If we're saying it's a playground where plagiarism is accepted, that's fine, but then I don't think we should be surprised when Slate treats it as such.

Maximo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LentenStuffe said...


what a pile of kack!

Isonomist said...


Attempts by posters like ... Isonomist to make this out as some kind of factional battle are absurd beyond belief.

Care to back that up?

Maximo said...

arch: that's really not a bad thing.

fluffy black puppies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fluffy black puppies said...

tk: i'll expand that. barf.

i don't have any great desire to [1] discuss the subject any further than i have, or [2] hang out here [i like botf, even if the servers don't like me].

august: please accept my humble apologies. i don't agree with you entirely on the subject as a whole, but you have a good point about students and plagiarism.