RR#8 Is plagiarism acceptable some of the time and if so, when?

In a 2014 interview with Clay Shirky, who is considered the leading thinker on the impact of social media, he explains that many of the successes that have occurred in technology have been the result of collaboration and comes at the expense of the first failed attempts. The following adage comes to mine ‘if at first you don’t succeed…’  Not one person holds all the knowledge but the advancement in technology is the product of many as generations come and go.  Shirky indicates that “when communications tools come along and they change how people can contact each other, how they can share information, how they can find each other—we’re talking about the printing press, or the telephone, or the radio, or what have you—the changes that are left in the wake of those new technologies often span generations”. Shirky indicates this is way to measure progress.  No one asked for permission to pick up where the first attempt left off nor was recognition necessarily given for the advancement that exist during multiple generations which were made at its expense.

On the flip side, the essay written by Hollis Phelps in my opinion describes plagiarism gone astray not to say that rules around plagiarism should not be reevaluated regularly as he implies.  Who are you really trying to fool by not giving credit where credit is due?   I struggle to understand how Phelps truly knows how much of a ‘superhuman genius’ Žižek really is, and why he feels that Žižek deserves to be cut slack for his errors.  It seems the author is pointing to Žižek dishonesty because he is attempting to justify his on struggle with plagiarism.  I think having a schedule that is so busy that you cannot verify the primary source or allowing yourself to become overbooked is not a viable excuse.  As long as you are not caught does not this make stealing acceptable?    One point in Phelps’ article that I have to agree with and I have to admit that I have been guilty of participating in is the over use of citing.

In some respects, both authors are making similar points but not exactly saying the same things.  Collaboration is essential to growth and brainstorming allows for innovation to occur and also fosters this growth to continue throughout the generations. However, Shirky’s form appears to be more acceptable and to have no immoral implications. Bottom-line for me is if you put it out there for anyone to access people will find a way to copy it and call it their own, until they get caught. Stealing on the other hand should never be practiced no matter how harmless it seems or who you are.  Of the two articles, I prefer Shirky’s because the benefit is for the greater good on everyone.

Phelps, H. (2014). Žižek, Plagiarism and the Lowering of Expectations. Inside Higher Education.
November 20, 2014. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2014/07/17/%C5%BEi%C5%BEek-

“The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky.” (2014). McKinsey &  Company. Retrieved from

Response Reading # 7 – Set B

Jaron Lanier, the author of Who owns the future?, was interview by Seth Fletcher and the interview was captured on Podcast. Lanier states that “whoever controls the biggest computer has the power”.  He calls these “siren servers or giant information gatherers”.  These siren servers are used to crunch numbers to exclude or include, weeding out the undesirable. Lanier further argues that “open networking cause’s power and wealth to become more concentrated”.  All the data in one place to be freely analyzed, grouped and reused is what Lanier calls ”power without budgetary restraint”. He argues that the government and companies like Google should pay for the data.  Those who are destined to earn money in service level jobs that are not taken by illegal immigrants, or the jobs that computers cannot be programmed to perform are at a disadvantage.  This reminds me of a Ted Talk by Nick Hanauer “Rich people don’t create jobs” that stated that the 1% cannot sustain the 99%.  The gap grows larger as the western middle class becomes devalued. Lanier states that the middle class was created by levies in that the twentieth century had union protection, licenses and academic tenure. In the twenty-first century this protection has been undone by deciding we are not going to pay people for their information.  But the desirable cannot sustain the undesirables.  Lanier refers to this as nefarious schemes. Lanier refers to Facebook and Google as “schemes because it allows our privacy to be captured and stored freely” (Fletcher, p. 1) (Sirius, p. 1).

Lanier references “Kodak which was a multi-billion dollar company that lost thousands of middle class jobs and securities to 13 Instagram employees”. These Instagram employees are now billionaires.  These Jobs were replaced by “informal benefits or free stuff”.  Lanier reported that we need “formal or tangible benefits to pay bills and raise families”.  Companies with fewer employees have greater wealth but the real value is the people.  He argues “program are faster than politics” which would indicate that government officials are allowing this happen and have no solutions (Fletcher, p.1).

Lanier further references that “in 1980, Walmart innovatively collected information on everyone they did business with, negotiated to the barebones and kept all the profits. This process undermined the customers who now cannot afford their prices but also managed to compete against China” (Fletcher, p. 1).

When Lanier is asked what a possible solution for the privacy issue he states “society must stop being so dogmatic or full of the false hope and beliefs that nefarious schemes are not occurring”. We must try different solutions including implementing payment for information.  Without this we are allowing the government access to all of our personal data.  He holds out hope that “honesty and accounting will solve the issue”.  Machines are not free standing and need humans (Fletcher p. 1).

Janet Maslin, author of the book review Fighting words against big data: ‘Who owns the future?, speaks highly of Lanier referring to him as a “mega-wizard in futurist circles and the father of virtual reality”. She argues “if it were not for his appearance his genius would be more recognized” as she cites many of his “brilliant” works, and she points to the fact that he is “critical of big Web entities and their business models such as Facebook and Google”.  Maslin indicates that his book bring to light the need for an answer to how does own the future and as she pits Lanier’s pessimistic attitude about the future of big data against the more hopeful optimism of Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Cohen (Maslin p.1).

Fletcher, S. Scientific American (Producer). (2013, October 15). How to Think About Privacy: An Interview with Jaron Lanier.

[Audio podcast. Retrieved from



Maslin, J. (2013, May 6). Fighting words against big data: ‘Who owns the future?. [Book Review].

NYTimes.com. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/books/who-owns-the-future-by-jaron-


Sirius., R. U. (2013, May 23). ‘Who Owns The Future?’ Jaron Lanier thinks Google and the government

should pay for your data [Book Review].” The Verge.



Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

The Chainsmokers – #Selfie Lyrics

Artist: The Chainsmokers

Album: #Selfie

Heyo! SONGLYRICS just got interactive. Highlight. Review: RIFF-it. 
RIFF-it good.

When Jason was at the table
I kept on seeing him look at me while he was with that other girl
Do you think he was just doing that to make me jealous?
Because he was totally texting me all night last night
and I don’t know if it’s a booty call or not
So… like what do you think?
Did you think that girl was pretty?
How did that girl even get in here?
Do you see her?
She’s so short and that dress is so tacky
Who wears Cheetah?
It’s not even summer, why does the DJ keep on playing “Summertime Sadness”?
After we go to the bathroom, can we go smoke a cigarette?
I really need one
But first,

[Beat drops]

Can you guys help me pick a filter?
I don’t know if I should go with XX Pro or Valencia
I wanna look tan
What should my caption be?
I want it to be clever
How about “Livin’ with my bitches, hash tag LIVE”
I only got 10 likes in the last 5 minutes
Do you think I should take it down?

[Beat drops]

Wait, pause, Jason just liked my selfie
What a creep
Is that guy sleeping over there?
Yeah, the one next to the girl with no shoes on
That’s so ratchet
That girl is such a fake model
She definitely bought all her Instagram followers
Who goes out on Mondays?
OK, let’s go take some shots
Oh no, ugh I feel like I’m gonna throw up
Oh wait, nevermind I’m fine
Let’s go dance
There’s no vodka at this table
Do you know anyone else here?
Oh my god, Jason just texted me
Should I go home with him?
I guess I took a good selfie

Selfie [on repeat]


Reading Response #6

Are we Getting Privacy the Wrong Way Round?

There are those who are not adept in modern technology but believe that retaining personal privacy is of great importance. It is one thing to wittingly disregard privacy issues and continue to participate with online access but for the minority who have no knowledge of how the internet exposes personal information the negative impact can be startling.

Are we Getting Privacy the Wrong Way Round?, article contains a quote regarding the “Mills test which implies individuals have rights (decisional privacy) to do as they please which may or may result in negative consequences” (O’Hara 2014). These rights are to exist without others knowledge or interference.  However, some may choose to give up this right (informational privacy) if it is to their advantage.  Others as referred to by Ayers (2013) and Clark (2014) may not be aware that their rights are being compromised.  O’Hara argues that the relinquishing of rights by the individual has an impact on the group, which assumes that the individual and the group cannot share in the benefits of privacy.  The article implies that no one has privacy because a few have given it away which in turn has an impact on many as is indicated in this quote, “Communitarians and individualists agree that the gains of privacy accrue to the individual, while its costs are felt by wider society”.  Where does this place those who do not embrace the digital age?

I found this article to be difficult to follow because many sentences were stated as facts but were left unsupported.  I also found that the information was disjointed.  I am left confused as to where O’Hara stands on the issue.  More importantly, I cannot recognize the thesis though I am sure it is in there someplace.

O’Hara, K. Are we getting privacy the wrong way round?. IEEE Internet Computing 17.4 (2013): 89-92.    Retrieved from


What is ‘evil’ to Google?

Bogosts’ (2013) article implies that Google has a tendency to “misuse customers’ private information” unless they are caught first and this activity has earned Google the slogan “Don’t be evil.” Bogost argues that “While Google has deemphasized the motto over time, it remains prominent in the company’s corporate code of conduct, and, as a cornerstone of its 2004 Founder’s IPO Letter, the motto has become an inescapable component of the company’s legacy” (2013).  Bogost created the article in 2013 but references, a few times, a 2004 document which leads me to believe that Bogost is presenting an outsiders viewpoint.  He admits that the relationship of the slogan to Google is unclear and he then goes on to attempt to make since of the slogan. He alludes to the fact that Google is somehow immoral as can be in the following “The contrast between the holy scripture and the engineer’s fist is almost allegorical: in place of a broadly construed set of sociocultural values, Google relies instead on the edict of the engineer.” (2013). I find it ironic that Bogost points out the CEO of Google’s inability to provide needed facts. There is a lot of evil in this article, whatever evil may be. I am left wondering “so what?”

Bogost, I. (2013). What is ‘evil’ to Google? The Atlantic.  Retrieved from


Response Reading 5 – “Does Digital scholarship have a Future?”

The thesis is technology advancements are happening at a fast pace but the scholarly books and articles that are created today show little to no influence from the digital technology.

What is his definition of Digital Scholarship?

His definition of Digital scholarship is “discipline-based scholarship produced with digital tools and presented in digital form.  It is collaboration of the scholars and technology experts”.

The purpose of all scholarship, whatever its form is that digital scholarship can reframe issues of enduring interest with broad arrays of information, it can integrate vast scholarly literature into more useful forms, and it can significantly broaden our temporal or spatial comprehension. In short, digital scholarship needs to do things that simply cannot be done on paper.

The challenges to Digital Scholarship are as follows – First, the number of scholars will­ing to commit themselves and their careers to digital scholarship has not kept pace with institutional op­portunities. Second, today few scholars are trying, as they did earlier in the web’s history, to reimagine the form as well as the substance of scholarship.

The scholarly communication process can be described as the following.  Scholarly innovation has been domesticated, with the very ubiquity of the web bringing a lowered sense of excitement, possibility, and urgency.  Print scholarship fol­lows a deliberate path toward publication, with research, evaluation, and revision being completed before the scholarship appears before the public. Then, another slow process of dissemination follows; it takes years for a book to be widely read, reviewed, comprehended, absorbed, and debated or built upon.

Digital scholarship grow in the following ways.  The Digital Scholarship Lab atlas will be a part of what we call generative scholar­ship—scholarship that builds ongoing, ever-growing digital environments even as it is used. Generative scholarship is framed with significant disciplinary questions in mind, offers scholarly inter­pretation in multiple forms as it is being built, and invites collaborators ranging from undergraduate students to senior researchers to public historians. The atlas, like generative scholarship more broadly, will attempt to enhance the es­sential aspects of monographic scholar­ship even as it does things that simply could not be done in print.

Work Cited

Ayers, E. “Does Digital Scholarship Have a Future?” Educause Review Online. August 5 2013.Web.


10/16 Book review – Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

Viktor Mayer-Schӧnberger is a professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford Internet Institution, Oxford University. He is also the author of over a hundred articles and eight books, and is on the advisory boards of corporations and organizations around the world, including Microsoft and the World Economic Forum.  (Mayer-Schӧnberger & Cukier, 2014)

The co-author, Kenneth Cukier, is Data Editor of the Economist and a prominent commentator on developments in big data. Cukier’s writings on business and economics have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, and the Financial Times. Mayer-Schӧnberger and Cukier credentials indicate that they are experts on big data. Big data: a revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think indicates that we are living in an age where there is a plethora of facts and statistics to be captured, stored and used to improve society.  There is no such thing as too much data and therefore, no limits to who should have access to it. (Mayer-Schӧnberger & Cukier, 2014)

Tim Harford writes the Undercover economist column for the Financial Times, and he wrote the book, Adapt: why success always starts with failure.   Hartford presents the BBC radio series More or Less and wrote a book review titled  Big data: are we making a big mistake?  which critiques Big data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think.  Hartford can also be considered an expert on big data and has documented consequences of having huge amounts of data available.  Hartford indicates that data alone is incomplete and prone to errors. He writes that “it is ok to make (data) mistakes as long as we learn from them and improve upon them”.  Hartford has more compelling information as he asserts that we have to accurately data mine to make sense of it using tools such as correlation and complex algorithms.  (Harford, 2014)

The points of view in Big data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think provide a wide-reaching amount of information regarding the efficacy of big data from tracking the flu viruses to marketing by sending coupons and other information to shoppers based on past purchases. I agree Hartford’s point that more should written to prevent the uninformed from believing that access to data can save all of the world’s problems because with this amount of data readily available it is possible to create unforeseen problems with privacy or legal issues we are unprepared to deal with. For instance, who would decide which data is fair game?  For Facebook users, one may think it is alright to post radical opinions for viewers but is it ok with those you have befriended to be associated with those comments?  This unveils issues with privacy because once the information is extracted and analyzed, care must be taken to ensure that the information is documented and handled securely. Also, there are legal and ethical considerations as steps must be taken to prevent fraudulent behavior such as handling and disposing of obsolete data. (Harford, 2014; Mayer-Schӧnberger & Cukier, 2014)

I recommend Big data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think to anyone who is unfamiliar with the definition of big data and how this data is being used, with and without public knowledge.   This book is easy to follow, a very good stepping stone and should be used along with other references to obtain a full understanding of the positives and negatives of harnessing big data.

Works Cited

Harford, T. Big data: Are we making a big mistake?. Financial Times. March 28 2014.

<http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/21a6e7d8-b479-11e3-a09a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2zi UgQIoH>.

Mayer-Schӧnberger, V. & Cukier, K. (2014).  Big data: A revolution that will transform how we    live, work, and think.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. New York, NY.