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