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From the department of the obvious
Do you remember that lesson on plagiarism back in the day? I sure do. It was the first class of almost every course I took at university and we’re talking more than a decade ago, so it’s not like this is a new issue. Except that now it’s an offence that can be pretty easily (carelessly?) (stupidly?) committed because we’re so permeated with information, thanks to the Internet. I mean, I read dozens if not hundreds of things a week online. And then I write articles here (and in other places) — no matter how careful I am about not stealing someone else’s sentences, I’m sure I’ve come close. Subconsciously, of course (like I said I am very careful, plus I like to be original so).
The thing about the Internet and its vast source of information and our access to it is that a lot of stuff can get fact hecked just like that. It’s very silly to plagiarize on purpose in the age of the Internet. You will get caught (Peggy).
Recently, Canadian media has been shaken up by the Margaret Wente plagiarism scandal. For weeks there have been debates in the media about what constitutes plagiarism and what does not because of Wente’s fiasco. As for Wente, she gave a half-hearted apology. Not really. But she tried to explain.
I reserve judgment on all of this, by the way. There are others much more qualified to give that judgment.
But all of this made me think about workplaces and how lying, cheating (and sometimes plagiarism) make for a crappy workplace and lowered employee morale. When I worked at a certain magazine, there were editors who stole other people’s ideas like it was nothing. It created an atmosphere of distrust and paranoia. Eventually, nobody cared anymore because we were too far gone into our resignation which then turned into apathy. Eventually we got so ... comatose about it that we all just quit. So there you have it.
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