Monday, October 31, 2011

"Something Barrowed"

Plagiarism is not specifically about the what, but more the why. The rules of plagiarism delve deeper then simply yes or no. Malcolm Gladwell addresses this topic by use of examples including that of the play "Frozen", numerous musical numbers, and musical sequences. His main focus on Bryony Lavery's play "Frozen" and its large similarity to Dorthy Lewis's literature pieces proves that plagiarism is not a black and white idea like society tends to view it. He touches on the fact that ideas are constantly thrown into society and used to form new ideas or mold old ones. He asks if it is possible to take credit for words, for ideas. If ideas such as cancer research are "stolen" than that is for the common good of the world but if an individual steals an article on cancer, than it is taking more seriously. For this reason is why plagiarism is more about the why and not the what. The complexity of plagiarism does not come from its nature, but rather from the question as to where to draw the line between useful searching and straight up copying.
Gladwell made me really think about the topic of plagiarism in a new light for the first time. I always viewed it as a lazy person finding the easy way out. As he addresses the topic, I now see that it is much more then someone taking the easy way out. It holds complexity that is difficult to determine. The answer to whether something is copied is not a yes or no question as I had always assumed it to be, but rather, how much is copied and for what reasons? I had never even considered the thoughts and ideas of cancer treatments being an indicator of plagiarism; however, it consistutes as an idea stolen. Words are a difficult thing to monitor let alone give credit to. Because we as humans constantly vocalize and socialize, we continuously create new sayings everyday. The odds that the way in which we choose to put our words together don't coinside with others is hard to determine. I was a little confused on who was talking by this passage? It seemed to flip flop from referring to "my" work and then speaking in 3rd person.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ronson Chapters 6 & 7

In Chapter 6, Ronson draws attention onto Al Dunlap. By using the specific example of Shubuta, Mississippi and how the shut down of Sunbeam factory had ruined the town, he showed just how influencial one individual can be. Dunlap was responsible for this, among many other shut down of companies. Ronson met with Dunlap to assess his personality characteristics and see how he compaired to Bob Hare's Checklist. He found that Al had a firm belief in preditor versus prey and gave excuse for his actions by claiming they were all assests of profound leadership. His heightened sense of self and lack of empathy made Ronson believe he could possible be one of many "psychopathic CEO's" affecting the world.
Chapter 6 and the discussion of Al Dunlap was very interesting. I thought the fact that Al had not wanted to meet with Stewart but met with Ronson purely on his interest in why he differed from most individuals was a caution about his personality. It gave evidence of his profound sense of self worth but also his curiousity in the understanding that individuals vary greatly. In chapter 7, Ronson had a conversation with Adam, another journalist. Adam's words towards Ronson's beliefs and works for the passed years really stigmatized Ronson. He came up with reasons to persuade himself of Adam's faulty judgements. This shows Ronson's insecurity because he addmitted that Adam had valid points but was unwilling to shift his judgement on psychopaths and the work he had been conducting and how it related to him and his characteristics.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Research Topics

Alzheimer's Disease; Is it Genetic?
My interest in Alzheimer's Disease stems from my grandfathers diagnosis back in 2001. I have seen the progressiveness of the degenerative disease and how it effects those dealing with the slow loss of a family member. I have since been very interested in the process that Alzheimers takes and how it is generated. Recent studies have shown that genetic factors may be to blame in addition to possible links in nutrition. This topic is close to me and I would enjoy researching it in more detail.
I would search for information via the internet and look for case studies along with detailed information known about the disease. I may run into a road block while trying to find ten pages worth of information because the disease is still relatively new and not a substancial amount of evidence is known about it.
Is Fast Food making us Lazy and Fat?
The fast food industry is one that is taken off the recent years, partly because of its accessability and lack of effort on the consumers part. I would look at questions such as: Is fast food to blame for obesity? Does America have the right to blame fast food? or themselves? What effects does fast food have on our bodies? This topic is rather general and I feel I wouldn't have a difficult time finding enough information to address this topic. I also find it interesting to see the effects it has on our society seeing that sixty percent of all American's end up overweight. I would search for studies via the internet and hopefully find opinions along with factual studies.The answer would be some what indirect so my answer may involve opinion and fact. This can be problematic because those reading my paper may not have the same view points as I do.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ronson Chapter 4 & 5.

Chapter four of Ronson’s book opens the door for his desire to diagnose psychopaths. By attending a three day session aimed towards how to detect psychopaths, Ronson begins to clear up his mind about the possibility of psychopaths truly being manipulative, witty, and heartless. The conference, held by Bob Hare who came up with the twenty point PCL-R Checklist and a well-known name in psychology, gave Ronson an insight into how psychopaths differ from normal humans through experiments involving short term memory  and fear in relation to their amygdala. The study of this relation set off a spark in Ronson, who immediately took to it with multiple theories about its correlation to psychopaths. Hare provided enough evidence to gain Ronson’s trust and persuaded him to believe in the checklist and the twenty factors that psychopaths play into. This conference had a major effect on Ronson’s view of psychopaths and how they functioned, as now he believed they are everywhere and could easily be detected by him.

Chapter four of The Psychopath Test did a very nice job of providing information on Bob Hare’s perspective of psychopaths. It not only informed the reader of his opinions, it opened up the idea of varying theories behind the reasoning of psychopaths.  Chapter five made me believe that Ronson perhaps thought too highly of the checklist and worked too hard to correlate what was being said or thought to the checklist. If you try hard enough, I’m sure one could relate anything someone says to one of the twenty points on the checklist. His overexcitement in the checklist may be a cause for concern. Being too invested could alter the way in which he perceives an individual and adjust the results of his diagnosis.