“It’s perplexing why you’d plagiarize when just introducing yourself.”

So says a commenter on this odd story, and so say all of us. Plagiarize a scholarly article, a commissioned report, a poem, yes. But a letter introducing yourself? Yourself?

IgNobel

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark
She looked at him and he found the Spark

Plagiarism: The Blind Lateral Play.

Making $115,000 is easy when you’re asked to write a report for an interest group with whose policy positions you agree. It’s even easier when you figure no one actually reads policy reports like these; the interest group sends the report along to reporters and legislators and again no one reads them; or if they read them it’s rapid skimming for a quotation or two. Piece of cake.

Pity this University of Tennessee report-writer, though: He quite reasonably assumed he could cut and paste something and no one would read it and he’d get paid — end of story. But in this case it turned out to be a blind lateral move. Cuz the advocacy group hired (unknown to the original report-writer) another guy to also write a report for them. They showed this other guy our guy’s work. This other guy immediately recognized that our guy “had replicated a significant portion of work, word-for-word and without citation, from [this other guy’s] colleague.” A lawyer for the advocacy group (there’s a lawsuit, natch) adds: “The Initial Report also copied portions of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Inter-Governmental A1 Relations, Study A-121, and a brief by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

So our guy threw a blind lateral – he took from here and he took from there without glancing over to see whether his main source might be standing right here on the field right next to him.

UD‘s favorite part of this plagiarism story involves the amazing chutzpah of the plagiarist (a guy who specializes, by the way, in media ethics), who “admits,” through his lawyer, that “he tried to fix the report, adding additional footnotes and attribution, to suit the foundation and even threw in some additional research for free.”

Mes petites, you gotta love it. I mean, not just the word “fix.” Oops, just a little fine tuning needed… there! Fixed! Not just the word “additional.” Oh, all right. If you really insist, I’ll go back and futz with the report, you annoying nit-pickers…

Datz nothing! He even “threw in some additional research for free.” They should be paying him! With his first-rate research skills, he did some pro bono work for them – out of the goodness of his heart. And now they’re still suing him! And they still want their money back!

And it doesn’t end there! Our guy “is arguing that even if he is guilty of plagiarism, only the authors of the works from which he stole can pursue legal action for copyright infringement.” The foundation points out that the plagiarism is on them; if the other guy hadn’t found it and told them about it, it would have made the foundation look like … well, let’s not be unpleasant and use adjectives to characterize the sort of person who does what our guy does and then tries to clean up the mess the way our guy has… If you don’t have anything nice to say, as our mothers instructed us, don’t say anything at all…

“Titillating” doesn’t begin to describe how exciting UD finds it…

… when big ol’ macho men accused of plagiarizing counterattack. Rand Paul drew himself up to his full Randian height and spat the following out to the “hacks and haters” who exposed him:

“I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting — I have never intentionally done so and like I say, ‘If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know it’d be a duel challenge.’”

Here he is in all his finery up against Rachel Maddow. (Gets a little gross at the end.)

But now there’s David Clarke, and you just know this dude is also going to challenge someone to a duel.

So far he’s only done ye olde it’s a political smear thing. UD predicts his next move will up the ante and thrill her right down to the ground.

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UPDATE: YES!! Calls guy who outed him a “sleaze bag.”

Things are coming along nicely, and UD pants for Clarke, like Rand Paul, to upgrade to direct threats.

Could Clarke take it one step further than Paul’s mere fantasies about duels? Be still my heart…

Limerick.

At writing, Trump’s candidate, Gorsuch
Has certainly got quite a poor touch.
But to disqualify
I’m afraid this won’t fly.
There really has got to be more such.

Double Arias at…

… the Vienna State Opera.

America’s Ready for a Plagiarist to Run the Nation’s Housing…

… but not a plagiarist to run communications.

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I’ll tell you ol’ UD‘s take on it.

Crowley was a veteran, all over the place, slaphappy plagiarist. So are a lot of people. What’s scandalous here is the woman’s assumption that even after having taken the job of one of the country’s highest-profile writers, she could continue to get away with it. She didn’t even fucking disclose!

And you know why not?

Because virtually everyone in this administration, starting at the top, flagrantly plays the angles. She figured she could too.

(Carson? He apologized. He’s more high-profile, having run for prez. And being a plagiarist doesn’t have obvious and immediate implications for running housing.)

Limerick.

Shakespearean Limerick About Monica Crowley

Now Harper and Collins, most growly,
Suspend their edition of Crowley.
“You blackguard! Whoreson!”
Crieth vilified Mon.
“Thou playest against me most foully.”

“[V]arious Spanish media outlets have published at least 10 different examples of material allegedly plagiarized by [Francisco] Suárez, including [from] his own father, Francoist historian Luis Suárez.”

The obsessively plagiarizing president of Spain’s King Juan Carlos University allegedly steals work from his own father (author, by the way, of the “hagiographic entry for Francisco Franco in the 2011 Diccionario Biográfico Español,”), but I’m sure Dad doesn’t mind. (I wonder who he named little Francisco after?) What sort of father would object to his son stealing his work?

I bet Luis stole his work from his father. These legacy things are very Spanish.

Meanwhile, Francisco has refused a request from the regional parliament to testify about the matter. He’s way not in the mood to talk about it.

Miscreant Theater…

… is such a great phrase. It used to be the name of a New York City drama group, but I don’t think they’re active anymore. May UD use it? It could be this blog’s subtitle…

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Fernando Suarez, the chancellor of Madrid’s King Juan Carlos (speaking of miscreants!) University, “has been accused of copying other historians’ work and that of his students, over a period of up to 10 years.”

Ten years? I rather doubt it. If he’s been kicking around long enough to enchancellor a university, it’s gotta be more like twenty years. Start with the dude’s dissertation, suggests UD.

Suarez is a classic plagiarizer: He’s been at it forever; he lifts from his betters, he has really pissed people like Bernard Vincent off, and he’s fiercely defending himself against this nefarious plot against his good name. He argues that aside from being the victim of said evil conspiracy, he didn’t make any money off of whatever he did or didn’t do, and it was the fault of other people and so he’s innocent.

Colleagues are currently trying to remove this big ol’ butt-boil from the Spanish university system, but as of this writing Suarez remains firmly affixed to that country’s higher education establishment.

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Sign a get-rid-of-him petition here.

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UPDATE: More detail on the dude’s wondrous multifarious self-defense:

Suarez fought back against the accusations on Nov. 25, when he denied that his methods constituted plagiarism, alleging that his academic publications generated no economic profit and had limited print runs.

He said that the plagiarism cases uncovered by journalists were actually “dysfunctions, because I’m human.”

“We work with avalanches of material in our research teams,” Suarez said, adding that the accusations against him were an attack against the university “by the usual suspects.”

Let’s review, shall we? I’m off the hook because

1. I made no money off of it.

2. I only printed a few copies.

3. Everyone’s human.

4. Material-avalanche.

5. Goddamn anti-intellectuals.

A word of advice for Suarez from ol’ UD, who has been covering plagiarism stories for a long, long time:

He’s pretty much out of hope at this point. Chances are excellent that he’s about to have his ass handed to him. But should Suarez opt to keep up the struggle, UD would urge him to expand on #3. Now’s the time to release biographical material about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother — a trauma so total that in order to cope he split off into two personalities, Good Suarez and Bad Suarez…

Perdonami, scusami tanto!

I reviewed your paper for the Annals of Internal Medicine, but I liked it so much I put my name on it and submitted it to another journal! Of course I made sure the other journal was obscure enough to fail to catch your attention but whooooops…. è colpa mia!… I played the angles and figured a fancy American like you wouldn’t notice an obscure Italian like me in the pages of no-name EXCLI Journal…

At least however I tried to show a fine Italian hand; you on the contrary have showed truly poor form by complaining about the matter publicly.

Dr. Michael Dansinger, of Tufts Medical Center, has taken to print to excoriate a group of researchers [Oh right. I put all my friends’ names on it too. Happy to share the credit!] in Italy who stole his data and published it as their own.

And what’s even more disappointing in your behavior is how you discovered my little mistake!

Dansinger was tipped off to their duplication while searching the internet for papers bearing his name.

Narcissism is an ugly character trait. Had I known how egotistical you are (searching the internet for your name!), I and my associates would never have chosen you. Next time forget it! Basta! You’ve put me through enough.

Yours, Mine, or Klein’s?

Faced with a famous, high-level plagiarist/physicist, a person the government just put at the head of an important scientific panel, France’s education minister has opened an inquiry into the curious cuttings and pastings of Etienne Klein.

We will see if UD is correct in identifying the source of Klein’s problem. UD suspects he hires people to write his books for him, but fails to read what they write before he puts his name on it.

If UD has said it once, she’s said it a hundred times: Keep an eye on the help.

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That panel he’ll be heading?

… the mission of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology (IHEST) … is to restore trust between scientists and society.

Eine Kleine Plagiat

Famous French popularizer of science Étienne Klein is apparently a serial plagiarist. Like Cary Grant in that movie, he is a very classy thief, his pinches revealing un homme très cultivé – Zweig, Zola, Bachelard… ANDUD is thrilled to add… Klein steals from an old friend of the Soltan family! Roman Jakobson was a Harvard colleague and Cambridge neighbor of Jerzy Soltan’s. Even after death the two men remain neighbors – their graves lie a few feet away from each other in Mount Auburn Cemetery. And even after death (especially after death – all career plagiarists know it’s better to steal paragraphs from people not in a position to complain) Jakobson is making himself useful…

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Recalling UD‘s typology of plagiarists, Klein is clearly an Atelier, done in, I’m going to guess, by one of the many little people he hires to write his books for him.

“A whole body of work is new.”

Comme vous le savez trop bien, ma gentille, UD does not bother reporting plagiarism stories unless they are really really big. Plagiarism is boringly internationally endemic, and now that everyone’s got detection software it’s all too much of a muchness. But Redscar McOdindo, a Kenyan poet still in his twenties, makes the cut.

And paste. The man has been raiding ladies’ panties all over the world (he steals women’s poems about things like female genital mutilation, and basks in the praise of poetry judges who marvel at his ability to write with intimate sensitivity to the other gender’s point of view), and he’s been doing it for years.

As is common in these stories, no one in the international poetry establishment suspected a thing as McOdindo collected one award after another. A sharp-eyed reader of one of his victims exposed him, at which he immediately shut down his blog and disappeared from the face of the earth.

Shanghaied

… Wendy Taylor, whose 43-year-old sundial sculpture stands on the banks of the River Thames near London’s Tower Bridge, told British news outlet The Independent that a holidaying art aficionado alerted her to the apparent replica [of the piece in Shanghai].

… The Chinese version, by an unspecified artist, has stood in a park next to the Huangpu river, which courses through the commercial hub, since 2006, Shanghai media reports said.

It has since been removed and [a] journalist saw park workers filling its circular base with plants and flowers on Thursday.

At the same time [journalists watched] workers removing two other statues, one of which resembled “Lute Being Played by Evert Taube”, which stands in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

The other bore a striking similarity to the centrepiece statue of the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Might as well get all our spring cleaning done at the same time.

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