Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When should you credit an actual poet?

Using the stylistic tricks filling in at Instafuckingasshole taught her, Megan has produced a post where she doesn't call Kathy G. a blogging equivalent of a plagiarist, she just approvingly quotes entire emails by another blogger strongly implying it. The charges are based largely on KG seeming to have read not only the blogger's post, but also a paper by Coase the blogger linked to and found similar passages relevant. Shocking.
In the same spirit, I'd like to claim right to the most famous of Hunter S. Thompson's works by here using the phrase "fear and loathing". If you reference that work without crediting me, you are a poopypants.

(Explanation for the title of this post here.)

17 comments:

Frank Rizzoo said...

It's all well and good for Megan to lecture every one about blogging ethics, but just today she did this to me.

It always begins, as you guys know, with Megan saying something stupid. This morning she complained that no one in the media was writing about the economic problems caused by "the fact that chemical fertilizer is made from natural gas."

Now, I don't know anything about farming or agriculture, but I do know that fertilizer is not made from natural gas, which is just carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Fertilizer has all kinds of other stuff in it.

So I posted a short correction for Megan, pointing out that maybe the reason no one's writing about fertilizer being made from natural gas is that it's not true. In fact, the article she links to tells you what fertilizer is made from, and it's made with a whole bunch of stuff, natural gas being one of those.

When I checked back on her blog just now, I saw that she changed the words of her original post to clean up her stupidity. Now, instead of saying that "chemical fertilizer is made from natural gas," her post says "chemical fertilizer is largely made from natural gas." That's a big fucking difference. She also made the same change to my own post quoting her.

I read things pretty closely, and if I had seen a weasel word like "largely" I wouldn't have posted the way I did.

Instead of making a correction and admitting her mistake, Megan dishonestly changed the words in her original post and in mine, simply because she doesn't want to look like a complete idiot.

From now on I'm printing her posts where she says something totally wrong and stupid before she can re-edit them once she realizes how dumb her writing is. She has no business lecturing other on blogging ethics.

Any one else have a similar experience?

brad said...

Wow. If that's true, and I don't doubt you but this is the internet and there's no Google cache of the post in question, then that's just sad, and dishonest.

Dhalgren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dhalgren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dhalgren said...

We can drill down a little further. Ammonia is a common chemical is making fertilizer. You need lots of hydrogen to make ammonia. We get lots of hydrogen from natural gas.

Megan is willing to let the Atlantic IT guys look into this if Frank wants to pursue it.

spencer said...

I love stirring shit up.

Clem said...

Atlantic: Megan, we need to look into this claim.

Megan: I fail to see the need for such a...

Atlantic: It's kind of serious.

Megan: It strikes me that this a grey area and-

Atlantic: We need the log file number to give to the IT people so we can clear this up. And it's gray, not grey.(Leaves cubicle)

Megan: Oh fuck oh Jesus oh fuck okay okay breathe, that's it, breathe. Everything'll be fine, I just need to make it look like this investigation is my idea and everything'll be fine. Fine. FINE.

Clever Pseudonym said...

You guys are making too big a deal of this. Frank just misunderstood her point.

spencer said...

LOL @ cp.

You had me there for a second.

brad said...

Seems there might be a screenshot of the RSS feed to be had, if we're lucky. This might turn out quite interesting.

Clever Pseudonym said...

I'm willing to give Megan the benefit of the doubt on this until there's proof, but if she actually did change not just her post, but the comment of another person, that's severely unethical. If they won't fire her because she writes like crap, doesn't know what she's talking about half the time, and provides second-rate (at best) analysis of the topics she covers, then they should fire her for that. IF it can be proved.

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Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently talking about how involved with technology our daily lives have become. Reading this post makes me think back to that discussion we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further innovates, the possibility of copying our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could see in my lifetime.


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