Sunday, March 20, 2011

Something Borrowed by Macolm Gladwell

In Something Borrowed, Macolm Gladwell makes the reader question to what extend should copying be considered plagiarism.  Gladwell starts with explaining that Dorothy Lewis, a psychiatrist that had research papers published about serial killers had her worked copied in the play "Frozen" written by Bryony Lavery-the play has direct quotes from her research papers.  Mrs. Lewis then ventures on a journey of finding a definition of plagiarism.  She goes to the musical industry to find a definition of plagiarism.  She has a friend point out that many songs have the same chords and music notes in the same sequence, but yet it is not called plagiarism because the music was transformed into something entirely new.  ""that soft and then loud, kind of exploding thing, a lot of that was inspired by the Pixies.  Yet Kurt Cobain"- Nirvana's lead singer and songwriter- "was such a genius that he managed to make it his own."" (pg 70)  This gives the idea that plagiarism is defined as completely copying an idea word by word.  In the end, Bryony Lavery is crying because her world is completely destroyed by the notion of plagiarism.  She will seen as a plagiarizer in world for what she did, but the question of did  Lavery not make something else with Dorothy Lewis work to transform it into something of her own, to make it entirely new?  Gladwell points this out and leaves the reader with the thought that the world has made plagiarism too strict and ideas should flourish, be transform frequently to make the world the best it can be.

I liked Something Borrowed by Macolm Gladwell.  The idea of plagiarism is really an interesting one, a stealing of ideas/work.  One first has to think what an idea is, its human thought and non tangible thing.  So how can a non tangle thing have copy rights laws on it?  Someone might get inspiration from that idea and make it better or transform it to their version.  So is it fair for someone to say, hey that’s my idea, when the other thought it was theirs or just simply was inspired by it?  I do not think so, humans get inspiration every day from things it’s how we operate.  Sir Issac Newton even said “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”  We need inspiration/knowledge from others it’s how humans grow and learn the fast way.  For humans can only do so much in their lifetime and to see others perspectives and obtain knowledge from someone else is how we can make progress in technology and other fields.  Something Borrowed by Macolm Gladwell makes the reader question what the definition of plagiarism is and gives the experience of two writers of research papers about serial killers getting plagiarized.

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