Favicon Boy everyone at Apple sure has nice cars. 

Favicon From my Goodreads Review of Hatching Twitter.

From my Goodreads Review of Hatching Twitter.

Favicon edwardspoonhands: I find it astounding that so many people...


I find it astounding that so many people think “young people these days” are apathetic or stupid or lazy or whatever when EVERY SINGLE GENERATION EVER has said the exact same thing about the generation that came after it.

Maybe they’re just a little bit different from you…building and connecting and affecting change in different ways. Maybe you’re basing your assessment on the one kid who smashed your pumpkin and not the 100 million who didn’t. Maybe the fact that you can’t see past your nose says more about you than about the people you think you’re looking at. 

The Boomers broke the world. My generation, Gen X, sat and moped about it. The millennials want to fix it. Also, the first millennials are like 30 now. They’re not kids anymore. 

Favicon "The effects on real estate value alone could be devastating, Mr. Strauss said. His research shows..."

The effects on real estate value alone could be devastating, Mr. Strauss said. His research shows that there is about $156 billion worth of property, and 300,000 homes, on 2,120 square miles of land that is less than three feet above the high tide line in Florida.

At that same level, Mr. Strauss said, Florida has 2,555 miles of road, 35 public schools, one power plant and 966 sites listed by the Environmental Protection Agency, such as hazardous waste dumps and sewage plants.

The amount of real estate value, and the number of properties potentially affected, rises incrementally with each inch of sea-level rise, he said.

Professor Wanless insists that no amount of engineering proposals will stop the onslaught of the seas. “At two to three feet, we start to lose everything,” he said.


South Florida Faces Ominous Prospects From Rising Waters - NYTimes.com

Florida is wholly and truly screwed.

Favicon "[I am challenging] the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. We’re..."

“[I am challenging] the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. We’re lending money we don’t have, to kids who will never be able to pay it back, for jobs that no longer exist. That’s crazy, right? That’s what we’ve been doing for the last forty years.”

- Mike Rowe on How Many Are Following the ‘Worst Advice in the History of the World’  (via courtenaybird)

Favicon Photo

Favicon jayparkinsonmd: I get pretty excited about little things that...


I get pretty excited about little things that make my life easier. One of those annoying remnants of the 20th Century is carrying around your insurance card in your wallet. So, launching early next week…all you have to do is log in to Sherpaa to view your insurance card with all the details you’d need about your health insurance in nice and friendly, understandable language. 

It’s the little big things that make me happy. I do have to say it’s the most beautiful insurance card I’ve ever seen.

This is awesome. 

Favicon Hit the 50th state in 1996. Hit my last province in...

Hit the 50th state in 1996. Hit my last province in 1999. 

It’s a lot less hard when you get Alaska, Hawaii, the Yukon and Northwest Territories out of the way before you’re 5. 

Favicon rickwebb: A revolutionary, game-changing social network for the...


A revolutionary, game-changing social network for the tragically apathetic.  

Someone reblogged this tonight. From.. 3? 4 years ago? Takes me back. 

Favicon This cat is so cute.

lizstless posted a photo:

This cat is so cute.

Favicon "The best technologies really, truly disappear. You see this. Just 40 years ago a computer fit in..."

“The best technologies really, truly disappear. You see this. Just 40 years ago a computer fit in this room, now it fits in my pocket.”


Jack Dorsey (via PandoDaily)

Antilock breaks, solar power, airplanes, intermittent wipers, penicillin….

Oh my god he’s totally right. THEY HAVE ALL TRULY DISAPPEARED. 

Favicon percolatehq: Shutterstock Teams Up with Percolate to Bring...


Shutterstock Teams Up with Percolate to Bring Great Images to Great Brands — The Shutterstock Blog

More on this next week at our Customer Summit: Shutterstock Teams Up with Percolate to Bring Great Images to Brands

(via Shutterstock Teams Up with Percolate to Bring Great Images to Great Brands — The Shutterstock Blog)

Favicon nycgov: Today in the bullpen: Mayor Bloomberg welcomed...


Today in the bullpen: Mayor Bloomberg welcomed Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio.


Avatar_560111b08440_16 The first time I heard this song, I cried. It was simultaneously...

The first time I heard this song, I cried. It was simultaneously a confirmation that I wasn’t alone in my thoughts and feelings, and a condemnation of them. But that’s youth, right? In our modern society? I read in a book that we are programmed to fall in love with one person in our village of 300 people. And now that hard wired biological programming is totally going haywire in this modern world where we meet our one in 300 every couple of weeks. But we’ve evolved and adapted as a society, I suppose. I used to think it was a curse and now I think it’s good old fashioned common courtesy, like the British and holding the door. After you, my dear Alphonse. It took me another 20 years to learn that. 

1993. Later that summer, Matt Johnson brought The The to Boston, and since Dusk was such a big “hit” in that town he played Great Woods. The show started with this song, the audience did their part. It was glorious and wonderful. Every time I hear it, it still sends chills down my spine. 

Matt Johnson was such an incredibly lyricist. I’d give anything for one more The The album. There was a book launch party for the new History of 4AD, and Matt’s in the photos from the party, looking like Matt. 

Favicon Rick & Emma's giant sci-fi rock 'n' roll wedding | Offbeat Bride

Favicon Video: The Cure plays ‘Burn’ for first time ever at New Orleans’ Voodoo Music Experience — slicing up eyeballs // 80s alternative music, college rock, indie

Video: The Cure plays ‘Burn’ for first time ever at New Orleans’ Voodoo Music Experience — slicing up eyeballs // 80s alternative music, college rock, indie:

I love that this far in, The Cure are still busting out songs they’ve never played live. It’s always awesome when bands do that. 

Favicon "An obscure guitar pedal was for him another kind of poem."

“An obscure guitar pedal was for him another kind of poem.”

- Patti Smith: Mourning Lou Reed : The New Yorker

Favicon Jonah’s an interesting case, because he was actually...

Jonah’s an interesting case, because he was actually called to task for committing two offenses that weren’t technically any of these:

First, he “self-plagiarized.” That is, he re-used previously published works in a new work. This is a strange area, because it may or may not be a crime, imho. Self-plagiarism is bad if you have sold the work to one party, and now are selling it to another. But that is copyright infringement. This is bad, of course, if you’ve been paid by two people for the same work, or you don’t own the rights. Is it bad if I just copy my own words, never previously sold, again and again? I am not so sure. The whole schtick of being a consultant or speaker these days is to just drill into people’s heads, over and over, the essence of the argument you are making. FWIW, Lerer’s publicist states that he actually owned the copyrights to these works. So I am on the fence about whether there was actually a sin committed here. 

Secondly, and much worse, he wholesale fabricated things, like the Bob Dylan quotes that Dylan didn’t actually say. I don’t think this is, technically, plagiarism. It’s fabrication. It’s lying.

The wikipedia article on Lerer cites a review of his work for Wired that found in 17 or 18 articles “contained examples of recycled work, plagiarism, dubious facts, problematic quotes, and/or reuse of press releases.” So maybe, in addition to self-plagiarism and fabrication, he committed another type of plagiarism, but I don’t know which.

Favicon A Proposed Taxonomy of Plagiarism

What with the recent Rand Paul plagiarism scandal, I’d like to propose a new taxonomy of plagiarism. Some plagiarism is worse than others, and the basic definition of plagiarism that most people learned in school is only part of it. 

Chris Hayes started off his show today by referencing the Wikipedia definition of plagiarism: “the ‘wrongful appropriation’ and ‘purloining and publication’ of another author's ‘language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,’ and the representation of them as one's own original work.” The important point here that most people overlook is the theft of ideas. We all learn in school that plagiarism exists if we wholesale copy and paste other people’s words. But ideas are actually a big part of it. 

In the academic world, plagiarism is worrisome in two broad contexts: on the science side of academia, the wholesale theft of another researcher’s data or findings is a grave error. And on the humanities side, the theft of someone’s ideas is the main concern. This is often confusing to us, because when we’re young - in elementary, middle and high school - we’re often given assignments to write about a topic to learn to write and express ideas. It’s understood we may use Encyclopedia Brittanica or Wikipedia as our main source, and that’s okay. Because the exercise is for us to learn to comprehend ideas and explain to them. Thus the main concern is that we’re not copying the words from the article exactly, because then our teacher’s couldn’t tell if we comprehended, OR if we can communicate. 

But again, this is not the whole story. Taking someone’s new, profound idea, and passing it off as our own, even if we change all the individual words, is not okay either. And yet, when we talk about plagiarism, we often conflate the two, or give them equal footing. 

The worst, of course, is when it’s neither your idea, nor your words. Because using someone else’s words, and being too damn lazy to even re-write it is just dumb. Especially in this day and age when professors, and journalists, have plagiarism software. 

As an aside, this software is part of the problem. Every schmuck knows - or should know - to rewrite things. But it is not enough. 

With every plagiarism scandal, there is a large amount of debate about just how sinful the crime is, and how much the perpetrator should punished. Part of the challenge, I believe, is due to the fact that we are talking about many different offenses, all as if they are the same. What is needed is an ability to distinguish between various shades of plagiarism, and to be able to easily discuss the differences between them.  

A Taxonomy of Plagiarism

So, then, here is a proposed  taxonomy of plagiarism.

Special note before we begin: There are three modifiers to any of these types of plagiarism:

First, I propose that for each of the types of plagiarism below, there can also be an grievous version of it: a version where the exact words are also copied verbatim. 

Second, I propose that we specify whether plagiarism is written, or oral. There is a long history in oral storytelling of lifting and modifying and reworking, and, right or wrong, the rules are somewhat different. No one can agree on exactly those rules, but everyone seems to agree they are different. 

Third, I propose that we add the modifier extreme to any grievous instance over 1,000 words. 

So, then, to the types. 

Type A Plagiarism, or “I told you about that before” - This is plagiarism where the perpetrator has previously cited the original work or author. For example, if I give a speech where I quote someone, and in several speeches I quoted them by name previously, but failed to this time, then this is Type A plagiarism. It is, I believe, relatively minor, and often an error. 

Type B Plagiarism, or “Lazily getting to the point” - This is where one plagiarizes some ideas or concepts, as laid out by someone else, in order to get to a larger point that is your own. That is, yes, you have cribbed someone else’s concepts, but in an explanatory manner of a sub point. For example, if I am trying to make a joke about how    the rebel alliance in star wars is sort of like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, and I need to explain to you the rebel alliance, and in doing so I crib the definition on Wikipedia and say something like “the rebel alliance is a faction in the Star Wars universe in opposition to the Galactic Empire, dedicated to the restoration of the ideals of the old republic.” I didn’t exactly quote the Wikipedia page on the Rebel Alliance there, but I definitely lifted their general gist of their definition. This was a bit of plagiarism. If I were to use my own definition I’d have said something like “the antiestablishment good guys in Star Wars who fight against a totalitarian empire that masquerades as democratic.” HOWEVER, my main point and idea here is that the rebel alliance is sort of like Snowden and Greenwald, and that is my own personal new thought. So yes, this is plagiarism, but it is relatively mild.   

Type C Plagiarism, or “I I have an idea” - This is the wholesale regurgitating of someone else’s idea as your own. An example would be writing a whole article where you express the central beliefs of existentialism, without calling it as such or mentioning Camus or Sartre. Writing a speech talking about how you have a dream that one day your kids won’t be judged by their race but by their personality. This is obviously pretty bad. 

Type D Plagiarism, or “It happened to me” - This, in my view, is the worst, and least defensible version of plagiarism. This is the wholesale lifting of someone else’s personal experience and proffering it as your own. Examples would include Columbia valedictorian Brian Corman, who wholesale lifted a personal story from Patton Oswalt. Not just an idea, but a personal and personal experiences. This, to me, is the worst for a few reasons. Because there is no possible explanation for it other than thievery. And it’s about more than ideas, it’s about our experiences, and our experiences are part of us.   

Referring to cases of plagiarism with the new taxonomy:

Rand Paul’s use of Wikipedia’s definition of Gattaca in speeches: Grievous, Oral, Type B Plagiarism. Rand Paul made the offenses in speeches, hence, oral. It was grievous, because he copied the definition from Wikipedia verbatim. It was Type B, because Rand Paul was not giving a speech about Gattaca, he was using the plot of Gattaca to make a larger point about Eugenics.  

Biden’s plagiarism of British Politician Neil Kinnock: Oral, Type A Plagiarism. This one is tricky, as the story was a personal anecdote, but the fact remains that it was in spoken speeches, and Biden had referenced the story many times before. 

Jayson Blair: Repeated, Extreme, Grieves, Written, Type B, C and D. Ay yi yi. 

What do you think?

N.B. I should also say my wife Emma helped me with this, lest she accuse me of plagiarism.

Favicon Sorry to pester, but what movie is that? The one that's even better than you remembered?

Whoops! Apologies. The Right Stuff. 

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