Is Laura K. Krishna a Plagiarist?
This post at a group blog of comedians is making the rounds. Apparently, a college student solicited a paper on Hinduism ["5 pages on a topic in hindu either the gods or yogas or caste or anything about the religion"] over AIM from the comedian/blogger Nate Kushner [his AIM profile listed a hobby of"Eating Hindu Sculpture"].
Mr. Kushner played along and wrote a farcical paper ["if a Shudra watches dharma and greg, it will have a positive effect on his karma"] which he cribbed form various online sources and sold it to her for $75 bucks. He, then, posted the entire episode on the blog and further emailed the blog post to authorities of, what he thinks, her college.
Now the blog post itself is pretty funny. But the more interesting thing, for those of us involved in the pedagogical profession, are the comments generated to this post. The majority seemed to be of the opinion that Mr. Kushner was"mean" and"harsh". That"she should be caught by an observant professor, not some self righteous english major." That his action was"tantamount to pulling wings off flies" and lots more in that vein. I couldn't help getting the feeling that plagiarism is becoming a crime only if one gets caught - and that by the appropriate authorities alone. Blogging, Google and Plagiarism may have finally reached the Perfect Storm status.
Caveat: Seeing as that this post is on a comedian's blog, it could very well be a hoax. Though I am inclined to believe Mr. Kushner at this point. Also more comments here
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Adam Kotsko - 3/31/2005
I don't know that the students' attitudes are a sign of some kind of decline. There's a venerable American tradition of believing that, in principle, you have a right to break the law.
For instance, people break speed limit laws every single day of their life, and their response when they happen to get caught is not to be contrite and reform, but to be angry that they weren't able to get away with it like everyone else that day. This situation would be the equivalent of someone assuring you that the cops never patrol a certain part of the expressway, then specifically calling the cops to inform them that some kind of drag racing thing was going down at that spot, so that you'd get caught.
Ben W. Brumfield - 3/31/2005
The plagiarist denies the entire transaction in order to avoid paying the $75 dollars she promised for the paper.
The plagiarist is contacted by her dean, denies everything, contacts the site's author, and is very, very sorry that she got caught.
Christy Jo Snider - 3/30/2005
I mentioned this story to one of my students and her response was: "It just goes to show that you need to know the people you get your papers from."
Makes me want to pull my hair out.
Ralph E. Luker - 3/30/2005
Manan, Whatever is true about this story, it really is very funny.
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