Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fifth blog assignment

In "Something Borrowed", Gladwell asks what constitues plaigarism. He begins by talking about a play that was produced by Bryony Lavery that had a lot of lines and ideas from a book he wrote. He claims how this is plaigarism because it was copied exactly from his own words. But then he goes on to talk about music, and how it is not as easily "owned". He claims how people can copy something without even realizing they are doing it. He uses this frame of mind to continue thinking about the copying of his book. He wonders if maybe Lavery had the right to use his information. That she still changed the story line behind his work, to make it into her own story. Gladwell concludes talking about how words will last forever, and will probably be used many times, without anyone being aware.

I really liked this article. At first I was confused because I thought it seemed like Dorothy Lewis was writing the article, but then I realized Gladwell just summarized her in his book. After that I like the example he used with the music, that it's hard to distinguish between plagairism and just not knowing you are using it; maybe because you heard it or read it once and it just stuck in your head, but you don't recall remembering it. I felt bad for the lady who used Gladwell's work in her play. She seemed genuine, and that she really didn't mean to hurt him. Overall, the article gave me a new perspective on plagiarism, and I am glad it's not a tell all definition.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog 4 Ronson Chapters 6 and 7

In "The Right Sort of Madness", Ronson talked with an old friend at a bar, and his friend made him realize that it might not just be journalist's interviewees that are insane, but the journalists as well. That journalists look for the most insane people in order to get their best story, so what does that say about the journalist? This mindset led Ronson to interview Charlotte. Charlotte told Ronson about her job as a guest booker for TV shows. She revealed her secret that in order to find the best person for the TV show, she needs to find people with "the right sort of madness". She finds out what kind of medicine the interviewee was taking, and in doing so she made a formula to find out who was the best for the show. Charlotte had to try and find ways to detach herself from the interviewees, or she would go mad herself, having to listen to people's depressing stories day after day. Charlotte had done many cruel things in order to get bookings for the show; for example, she booked a man with a disorder and after he was ridiculed on the show he slit his wrists. After his interview with Charlotte, Ronson was relieved that he had not done horrible things like Charlotte had.

I did not think I would like reading about psychopathic CEO's as much as I like reading about serial killers, but chapter 6 was not horrible. I liked the description of Dunlap's house, and I thought it was weird how he had so many predatory animals in it. When he was described earlier in the chapter, that was not how I pictured him to live. After reading chapter 6, I was a little bit confused about Dunlap's wife. Why would she want to marry someone who was so cruel to employees? Was she a psychopath too?

I did not really understand how chapter 7 tied into the book. What did it have to do with psychopaths? I think it was kind of unnecessary. Even though I didn't think it was essential, I did like the chapter. The stories were really sad, like the one about the girl who got denied her plastic surgery and her sister ended up committing suicide. That one really upset me. I wanted to pay for her plastic surgery. The other story that was really sad was the one about the man with severe body dysmorphic disorder. I cannot imagine the guilt I would feel if someone slit their wrists because of me. I could not do Charlotte's job.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Third Blog Assignment- research questions

What are the implications of gender reconstruction surgery?
What are the ethical issues of assisted child conception?

Question #1:
I chose this question because I watched a movie today in Sociology-160 about gender reconstruction surgery. It was interesting to me because I assumed that if people looked different, then they would want surgery to fix that. In reality, the people who underwent the surgery actually regretted it, and wouldn't have minded if they looked a little different than other people. I think I would look for answers in books and online, and also in the articles from my sociology class. I would like to look for actual research done on the topic to get results on how people felt about it. I think that the implications would be that people are not happy with the surgery. Some things I might look for would be comparing the different ages people have their surgery to how they felt about it.

Question #2:
I chose this question because I have always been interested in assisted child conception because it is a very controversial topic. I would look for answers online and in books, and I would also look for studies done with actual women. I think questions that might pop up will be about how the two sides of the controversy feel about assisted child conception and why? I believe there will be a lot of ethical reasons. It might be hard to answer some questions about ethics, because people are very set on their views, and there might not be a lot of good information from someone who gives arguments about both sides.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blog #2 Ronson chapters 4 and 5

In "The Psychopath Test", Jon attends a seminar headed by Bob Hare to learn about the different items used to identify a psychopath, and Jon starts to worry himself if he possesses any of the traits.. Bob met with Jon at a bar and told him about his path to making the Psychopath test. He worked at a psychiatric prison, and was tricked so much by psychopaths, that he devised a test to pick them out of a crowd. Now he is teaching a seminar on it. Most of the attendees of the seminar arrived with skepticism. Hare then got into stories of psychopaths, and actual accounts of his test being used. The people attending the seminar became less skeptical as time went on, because they could see the use of the Psychopath Test in actual documentaries. After the seminar, Jon became an advocate of the Psychopath Test, and started using it on people to see if he could pick them out as being a psychopath. He started to worry that he himself possessed some of the traits, but Hare reassured him, and told him that if he was worrying that much about it, he was not a psychopath.

Chapter 4 was very interesting. I liked how Ronson would put the item number and explanation of the Psychopath Test in whenever he believed someone held one of the psychopath traits. It makes me want to try and pick out psychopaths. While I was reading the chapter I kept thinking it was fiction, because I feel like it would be unjustifiable to just use a checklist to determine if someone was a psychopath, but towards the end I realized that most people would not fall under a majority of the items. In chapter 5, I enjoyed how Ronson put his skills to the test. I was even trying to put my own skills to the test to see if I thought Toto was a psychopath before Ronson did. I did think he was a psychopath, which it turns out he probably was.