I have been working on my photography skills since I bought my new camera and I’ve decided that one way to do that is to join Project 365. I’ve committed to taking at least one photo every day for a year. My year started on January 2, when I first read about this project over at Dine and Dish.
I’ve posted a link to my project photos in the column on the right -> ->, just under the list of followers. Here's today's photo:
Several people have also asked about my paintings recently. I’ve posted a link to my paintings as well. Maybe this will motivate me to update my website with some more recent paintings...
Meanwhile, here’s my friend Lori:
Now for the less pleasant stuff.
WARNING -- Rant follows:
Many years ago, when I was a brand new college professor, I assigned my class of seniors a term paper. This was before we had the internet and could buy term papers. Back when students actually had to write them. Well, in theory.
As I was spending a beautiful sunny Saturday grading these term papers, I came on one that simultaneously made me laugh out loud and made my blood run cold. Not an easy thing to do, if you think about it. It made my blood run cold because it was a paper that I had written when I was in grad school. (I am not making this up.) It made me laugh out loud because I wondered if the student who gave it to me was really that stupid or if they just thought I was.
It’s an ugly word. It’s an ugly thing. Maybe it is my academic training, but I have to say that plagarism ranks right up there with shoplifting on my list of things I hate to see. Or to write about, to be honest. But both of them exist whether I want to see them or not. In fact, they’re remarkably similar things.
The Oxford English Dictionary (iPhone version) defines plagarism as ‘taking the work or idea of someone else and passing it off as one’s own’. The work can be a photograph, it can be a painting, it can be a paragraph. It’s all plagarism. It’s all stealing.
It’s a shock to see your work claimed by someone else, to see words you sweated over or a photo you worked on for hours or a painting you spent days on with someone else’s name on it. To see someone else take credit for your work.
My community of artists has discussions about this subject all the time. Plagarism and copyright violation. They’re important issues and the internet has made both of them easier to do. This is something that serious artists take seriously. Writers too.
I’m fairly new to blogging, having been at it not quite 6 months. One thing that that's clear to me, though, is that the bloggers I read and respect are scrupulous about citing their sources. Many even provide links to the original documents. It’s one of the things I appreciate about the bloggers I follow.
Recently I was reading a new blog I’d just discovered. It’s a lovely blog, with of lots of informative posts. I love learning new things, so I was happy to have found this blog. One post was so interesting that I wanted to know even more about the subject, so I went to Wikipedia. To my surprise, I read the exact same information that I had found on the blog I had been reading. Word for word. Some of the same photographs too. I went back to the blog to see if I had missed the citation. Nope. None there. I looked back at past posts and found the same thing.
Plagarism. Stealing. That’s one less blog I now read.