Thursday, April 21, 2005


Gladwell's Gold Trove

I have definitely been on a Malcolm Gladwell pitch lately. I am actually re-reading his book Blink...which got me interested in his website...which linked me to his past New Yorker articles. (Blink is also #1 for Hardcover on the New York Times list). Wow! I struck gold. Back in November, Gladwell wrote an article entitled ANNALS OF CULTURE Something Borrowed Should a charge of plagiarism ruin your life? As educators, we ALWAYS refer to plagiarism and why it's wrong. But I don't think we address the issues of copyrighting and plagiarism enough; probably because the two are so darn difficult to understand for even some adults. I actually attended a conference on Copyrighting and I was even more confused after I left. But for some reason, Gladwell makes it easy to "get" because he addresses the issues of Plagiarism and Copyrighting with a story; as well as a cogent use of visual metaphors. It works for me. But I won't try to summarize's a MUST READ. He also refers to a quote in this article from Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig's book "Free Culture." Within the quote of Lessig's is a line that really shines a spotlight on the differences between copying from someone and stealing. It's not as gray as we sometimes think. " Thomas Jefferson said (and this is especially true when I copy the way someone dresses), "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

I am also not the only blogger finding great jewels in Gladwell's writings. Visit Marginal Revolution blog

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