Monday, October 31, 2011

Gladwell's "Something Borrowed"

In "Something Borrowed," by Malcolm Gladwell, plagiarism is examined in depth. Gladwell looks at plagiarism by talking about a play called, "Frozen." The play was written by Bryony but it just so happened that Lavery's play was pretty much the exact same story that was in Dorothy Lewis's book, "Guilty by Reason of Insanity." Gladwell uses that as an example of a major plagiarism case and then goes on to talk about other plagiarizing cases, such as with music, papers, and all sorts texts. One of the many questions Gladwells asks is why didn't Lavery credit any of her sources? Gladwell meets with Lavery and Lavery, after reading all the reviews on her play, then realizes how wrong she was in doing that and feels ashamed of what she did.

I didn't like how Lavery used such childish excuses for why she didn't ask to use certain ideas that weren't hers. It didn't really make any logical sense to me that Lavery didn't know what she was doing wasn't right.   I just thought that was really weird. Overall, I feel like Gladwell did a good job in showing the reader how wrong it is to plagiarize. I feel like sometimes one can be copying someone else's work without even knowing but there are certain lines one absolutely cannot cross when it comes to using others' ideas.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapter 7 Summary: The Right Sort of Madness

In this chapter Ronson meets a woman named Charlotte who worked with different television programs including Trisha and Jerry Springer. Basically she looked for people who were considered "mad enough" to be candidates for the show she worked with. She explained to Ronson that she would asses their madness on the medications they were taking. She also talked about how her and others would mock and laugh at the candidates. At the very end of the chapter Ronson comes to the conclusion that what Charlotte does for a living is wrong and makes him feel a little better because what he is doing isn't nearly as bad.

I thought chapter 6 and 7 were interesting chapters, especially chapter 7. I never would've imagined people doing this for shows like Jerry Springer. It makes me think about how far people are willing to go to put on a good show. Even for journalists, I think many are more than willing to cross the line in order to bring a really juicy story to the public. I guess that's just how show biz works in many cases.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blog #3

How is technology shaping today's youth?

I chose this question because I myself am part of what we call, "Generation Y." Many people have negative views towards my generation because it has been said that teenagers and adolescents are selfish, lack respect, and rely way too much on technology. Older generations believe that the world of teenagers is absorbed by technology and more technological advances will only negatively impact the younger generations.

I think this is a question with numerous answers. With this topic being so popular, I think I would be able to find endless amounts of data and research. In terms of a 10-page paper, I feel like it would be helpful to look at teenagers from other parts of the world and not just focus only on American teenagers. I think a good way to start is to look at the academic performances of teenagers in relation to the amount of technology used everyday by teenagers. It would also be good to look at how much time teenagers spend every day on their ipods or computers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapther 4: The Psychopath Test

In this chapter, Jon Ronson is introduced to the psychopath test and learned what it was. He met Bob Hare who diagnosed patients with psychopathy by inflicting painful shocks on them. Ronson attented a conference, hosted by Hare himself, where he learned all about the psychopath test. Bob Hare, at the conference attempted and succeeded to pursuade the other psychologists that the psychopath test is really a reliable test for diagnosing psychopaths. Ronson is given a checklist that contains cues that one should look for when diagnosing a psychopath. With this Ronson is inspired to examine certain people in his life to uncover their psychopath ways.

This chapter was an interesting one because the methods these psychologists used, for example Bob Hare, are ones that I could never imagine myself using to diagnose a person with psychopathy. I thought this was one of the most important chapters in the book because it introduced the famous psychopath test.

Chapter 5 made me think about the ways in which psychopaths like to manipulate others and made me wonder how someone could even think of such things. Toto is my favorite character in the book so far because he misleads the reader to thinking that he might not actually be a psychopath but changes their mind in an instant. I thought this chapter was was very interesting.