Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell: Something Borrowed

In "Something Borrowed" Gladwell describes the plagarism case of Broadway play,Frozen .British playwright Bryony Lavery, produced a play about a serial killer named Ralph, who kidnaps and murders a young girl. Nancy, the mother of the young girl, wants answers. Agnetha , the psychiatrists works to provide answers of whether Ralph's crimes were acts of evil or illness. It turns out that Lavery was "borrowing" ideas from the work of Gladwell and Dorthy Lewis. This incident, inspires Gladwell to question the act of plagerism. The answer is not clear because Gladwell mentions many different definitions of plagerism. For example, on page 107, Gladwell writes "What matters is what you copied, and how much you copied. Intelectual-property doctrine isn't a straight foward application of the ethical priniple 'Thou shalt not steal' At its core is the notion that there are notions were you can steal". On page 108, Gladwell writes "This balance between the protecting and the limiting of intellectual property is , infact, enshhrined in the costitution: 'congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and useful Arts, by securing for limited'". On page 109, Gladwell writes ".....when it comes to literature, we have some how decided that copying is never acceptable".

I enjoyed this reading, it was very informative. I never  understood why people take plagerism so seriously until now. Now I  understand why Lewis becomes outraged, when Lavery uses aspects of Lewis's personal life in her productions. I would be mad too!  I will never cite unproperly again! Also, It is ironic that this passage talks about "psychopaths".

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