Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blog Assignment 5

In Malcolm Gladwell's essay "Something Borrowed," he talks about plagiarism and he explains that copying someone else’s work is not what matters, but what you copy, how much of the piece of work you copy, and why you copied it. He first starts out by introducing Dorothy Lewis, a psychiatrist that works with serial killers. Dorothy wrote a book and eventually finds out that her "life" was stolen by Bryony Lavery, a British play writer, when she wrote the play "Frozen." Gladwell then talks about plagiarism in the music industry and processes music producers have to go through in order to write their own music. Some music artists have become mad about people stealing a medley from a piece without permission, but in reality it wasn't stealing at all. They simply wrote a song of their own using the same key notes. What Gladwell was saying is that the notes were not stolen because they weren't anyone's original work. Lavery thought that Lewis' work was news. She didn't think she was doing anything wrong by using what she had learned.

I liked this article by Gladwell. It was a little confusing her and there and I'm still not sure I understand what her was trying to say about plagiarism, but he had many good points. Personally, before reading this, I thought that plagiarism was plagiarism and that if you didn't give credit to your source then it was stealing. I didn't realize that there was another way to look at it. I guess it confused me a little about what is right and what is wrong when it comes to plagiarism.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Summary 4

In chapter 7 of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, Ronson discusses his journalist techniques with a friend, Adam Curtis. Adam criticizes Ronson's techniques, but thinks he has done better than some. For instance, he talks about a woman named Charlotte Scott. She wanted to be a journalist, but eventually she became a guest booker for television shows. She admitted to finding the most entertaining, crazy guests for the shows by first finding out what medications they took. Charlotte said she could identify how mad someone was by their medication. If they weren't taking any medication, they weren't mad enough; but if they were taking some type of medication for psychosis, then they were too mad. She had to find and in between. Ronson is thankful that he hasn't done things as bad as what comes close to what Charlotte did.

I liked both chapters; however, I was a little confused as to why chapter 6 was in the book. I understood most of it, but I didn't get the main point. The book is good, and I enjoy reading it. Although, I find that Ronson talks too much about Bob Hare's checklist now, and he doesn't talk much about anything else. I guess I'm just wondering if this book is going anywhere, and if there is any real point as to why Ronson wrote it or if he just wrote it because he was curious about psychopaths.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Research Question

What impact does America have on obesity?

I thought of this question because obesity has grown a lot over time. Even though America may be trying to grab a hold of the situation now, people aren't obese because they were born that way; society has had an effect on them in some way. I could start to look for answers by searching for books about obesity, or finding stories about people's actual experiences on how they became obese. I could also use what I know from my own experience. So if I found stories about actual experiences people had, I might find that there are different reasons people are obese and there might not be just one simple explanation. I might have questions that arise from answers I find. For instance, if I find an answer giving me information about a factor that contributes to obesity, would that factor be a contributor to other health problems? I might find, though, that a lot of factors that contribute to obesity are the same for many people and I may not have enough information to fill my ten pages.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jon Ronson Chapter 4 Summary

In Chapter 4 of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, his main idea is that psychopaths try to act normal to fit in with society, but there were ways to identify them. Ronson started out by talking to a man named Bob Hare, who formed a checklist of twenty items to identify psychopaths. Ronson was invited to a conference held by Bob Hare to teach people how to identify psychopaths using his checklist. Hare showed a video of a man that an assistant of Hare's interviewed, and by answering questions and telling stories from is lifetime, the man fit into every item on the checklist. After the conference, Ronson was trained to identify psychopaths. Because Ronson knew the items on the checklist, he did what he always does and tries to identify himself. He found that he fell under a few of the items and thought that he couldn't possibly be a psychopath. Ronson knew that psychopaths do not have a conscience. Ronson recognized he had some of the traits, but after talking with Martha Stout he knew there was no way he could be a psychopath because psychopaths would never identify themselves with any of the items on the list.
I found chapter 4 to be very interesting. It seems weird that someone could use the list made by Hare to identify psychopaths. Obviously the book is non-fiction, so the list has been used. It would be cool to use the list and ask someone I know questions and see if they identify. I also liked chapter 5 and how Ronson used weakness as a term that made Toto show who he truly was. I wasn't really confused about anything in these chapters; I just found them very fun to read.