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Operation MKULTRA: The Battle Against Brainwashing

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According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, brainwashing refers to “a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas”. The question of the existence of mind control has always been one that has caused controversy and is typically associated with people that tread in the realm of conspiracy theories. However, it is purely factual that multiple governments have regarded this ‘conspiracy theory’ as a possible tactic to force opposing governmental spies – or military personnel – to give up extremely sensitive information, or perform particular tasks, against their will. In exposing successful governmental experimentation in mind-control as the premise for the argument that it does exist, not only will this research paper prove that there is indeed a working formula behind performing these tasks upon a given subject, but that this science is so extraordinary that governments and military’s abroad would benefit exponentially from performing current experiments in mind-control to becoming proficient in such a science. Admittedly, there is – at the very least – minimal hope that this research paper will depict the gravity of this atrocious problem and indicate the significance of why this is an epidemic to every individual that is much worse than any bacterial or viral contagion. Since there is concrete evidence of governments experimenting with these sciences, this research paper should allow the reviewer to understand that the sciences of brainwashing – or mind-control – need not be considered a conspiracy theory, but rather a conspiracy fact.

In pursuance of understanding the sciences of modern mind-control and/or brainwashing, it is appropriate to revisit the past and recognize when these sciences came into the spotlight. In a great deal of modern brainwashing origin stories, most will journey to a subject matter that is still chilling to reminiscence: The year 1950, when an abundance of the United States’ military started becoming prisoner’s to North Korea during the beginning of the Cold War; which would eventually come to develop the acronym: P.O.W., or Prisoners of War. This is the war that laid down the foundations for the new, scary concern of the families and military official’s back home in America: The alternate technique of warfare that is now commonly known as “brainwashing” and/or mind-control. As David Droge states in his Momism, Commies, and Mind Control I: A Psychoanalytic Worldview Confronts Korean War P.O.W. Collaboration presentation, on July 09, 1950, only four days after the United Nations Ground Forces took military action against North Korea, “an American officer of the Twenty-Fourth Infantry Division made a nine-hundred word broadcast in the enemy’s behalf over the Seoul radio.” Droge continues to explain some of the stressful situations that American’s endured during this truly Cold War: “Throughout the conflict, the voices of captured Americans appeared on radio broadcasts, identifying themselves by name, rank, unit, and hometown, claiming they had been treated well by their captors, and calling on their comrades to lay down their arms.” He also makes sure to indicate quite possibly the most harmful aspect of the captured American soldier’s dilemma, “a statement signed by two Air Force officers in May 1952. In this confession, eventually endorsed by thirty-eight captive U.S.A.F. pilots, they admitted they had been conducting a campaign of germ warfare!” These revelations led the United Nations to begin an international investigation in consideration of North Korea for the allegations of the possible use of biological weapons; however, the campaign proved to be propaganda – and nothing more – the pilots’ affirmations of the germ warfare led to a rapid fear within the American military community that cutting-edge, powerful psychological weapons had been deployed by the United States’ adversaries.

Mr. David Droge’s presentation extends that by the end of 1953, when the confrontation had finally come to a halt, the existence of the American prisoner’s had been more widely known and that, of the 10,000 American’s that were captured, “about 3,000 had died during the first six months of the war at the hands of the North Koreans;” elaborating, “Even after the Chinese
entered the war and took control of the P.O.W.s in 1951, approximately a third died in captivity.” No matter the hardships of their losses, the American military community had an apparent problem to address. In June of 1953 when the last of the prisoner’s were deported back to their homeland, approximately one-third of them were indicted for conspiring with the enemy and – according to Droge’s presentation – none of them even tried breaking free from their captors. The momentousness of this dilemma grew to even bigger heights upon realizing “This pattern of collaboration “contrasted poorly with that of British, Australian, Turkish, and other United Nations prisoners,” whose treatment by the Chinese was no less harsh than the experiences of American POWs,”” as presented by Mr. Droge. With this information acknowledged, Droge presents that the only apparent curb in this circumstance is that the time the American prisoner’s spent with their Korean and Chinese captors was the first time any ordinary American citizen had ever spent with people’s deriving from any form of Communist societies; and it was this reason that military intelligence officers, medical professionals, and behavioral scientists used interviews and surveys of the returned American prisoners in an attempt to portray their widespread collaboration with the Korean and Chinese Communist’s. It is after these interviews and surveys that David Droge explains that widespread opinion, excluding the military and scientific communities, was that the American prisoner’s to the Communist’s had been victims of mind-control and that a Edward Hunter had developed a proper name for this warfare tactic of coercive persuasion: “brainwashing.”

Droge explains that brainwashing, to the majority of the American public, “appeared to “describe a new Communist Chinese psychological weapon,”” a “mysterious Oriental device—an all-powerful, irresistible, unfathomable, and
magical method of achieving total control over the human mind.” In contrast, he demonstrates that the military and scientific communities “publicly rejected the “brainwashing” explanation,” and instead became entangled over a “disturbing debate on [prisoner of war] conduct” that bridled the public memory of the war “for at least a decade.” His presentation carries on to illustrate that the narrative of the “flawed national character” of these American prisoner’s established the “same psychoanalytic worldview [that] nurtured the growth of the behavioral sciences.” Through these constant debates the American military and science communities spent extensive time collaborating their work and surveys, eventually finding a mutual ground for both of their causes. As the American military and government wanted scientific information for state-of-the-art warfare strategies, the American scientific community wanted to excel in their current understanding of the sciences through any accelerated means possible; therefore, ultimately, placing each other’s funding into one another’s cause created a companionship that was both intimidating and even – at times – extremely treacherous. This dangerous affair would eventually create what is known to be the Military-Intellectual Complex.

Facilitating into the future by about twenty years, on August 03 of 1977, the United States’ government released, mandatory follow-up Congressional hearing document – concerning the Central Intelligence Agency’s funding and nature of particular experiments – titled Project MKULTRA, The CIA’s Program of Research in Behavioral Modification is definitely capable of massive scrutiny! Swiftly enough, on page two (2) of the document, the-then Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts explicates: “Some 2 years ago, the Senate Health Subcommittee heard chilling testimony about the human experimentation activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Deputy Director of the C.I.A. revealed that over 30 universities and institutions were involved in an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens “at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.” Several of these tests involved the administration of L.S.D. to “unwitting subjects in social situations.” Mr. Kennedy also explains that during the hearing, which only took place about a week before the one currently being quoted, that it was specified “heroin addicts were enticed into participating in L.S.D. experiments in order to get a reward – heroin!” Outlining the situation as it was currently known, he stated: “The Central Intelligence Agency drugged American citizens without their knowledge or consent. It used university facilities and personnel without their knowledge. It funded leading researchers, often without knowledge.” Accordingly, “many researchers, distinguished researchers, some of our most outstanding members of our scientific community, involved in this network, now really do not know whether they were involved or not, and it seems to me that the whole health and climate in terms of our university and our scientific and health facilities are entitled to that response.” Not forgetting to mention, before he announced this sad reality, he makes mention of a devastating element that “at least one death [has] resulted from these activities.”

Dr. Frank Rudolph Olson, a biowarfare scientist stationed out of the Special Operations Division at Camp (now Fort) Detrick, Maryland, “fell to his death from the tenth floor window of a hotel in New York City,” on November 23, 1953, according to an Examiner article titled, Mind Control and Murder: Did the C.I.A. Kill Frank Olson?  Timothy Deal points out in his article that “although initially reported as a suicide, strong evidence has since surfaced that revealed Olson’s death was a result of a homicide.” Mr. Deal strongly starts with letting out the information that Mr. Olson was intimately involved with controversial, top-secret government experiments with extremely sensitive information; which is then followed up with explaining: “C.I.A.’s early scientific initiatives included controversial interrogation techniques, such as the use of drugs, hypnosis, and isolation.” Further illuminating: “In 1949 – 50 experiments were conducted under a program designated as BLUEBIRD, which subsequently became known as ARTICHOKE. In a 1975 C.I.A. memo about Project ARTICHOKE, Olson is cited as a “civilian employee” of the Department of the Army who was “unwittingly administered L.S.D. and subsequently committed suicide as a result. The memo indicates that it is not clear if the use of L.S.D. with Olson was definitely connected to ARTICHOKE or not. The memo also indicated that a Dr. Gottlieb, Branch Chief of the C.I.A. Technical Support Staff, administered the drug to Olson, as well as several other subjects. Gottlieb is a well-known and documented overseer of the C.I.A.’s MKULTRA program. Anecdotal (and heretofore) unsubstantiated reporting from Olson’s family indicates that the [Technical Support Staff] had previously merged with the Special Operations Division at Camp Detrick.” Moving along, Mr. Deal explains that after being administered L.S.D., Frank Olson began to show signs of imbalance throughout the next week and was showing signs of “discontent over his job and wanted to quit.”

Mr. Deal further expounds, “According to statements made by Olson’s wife, Frank Olson expressed concern over the L.S.D. incident, and wanted to quit his job at Camp Detrick. On Nov. 21 – Olson spent the weekend with his wife and family in Frederick, Maryland. During the weekend, Olson told his wife he has made a “terrible mistake.”” “On that Monday, Olson went to his job at Detrick and told his boss, Vin Ruwet that he wanted to quit his job. Ruwet reassured Olsen, that he is doing a good job and should not quit. The next day, Olson went to work but returned home at 10:00 AM, driven by an S.O.D. [Special Operations Driver] driver. Olsen told his wife that Ruwet had said that Olson might become violent with his wife, and that plans were made for Olson to be taken to New York to receive psychiatric treatment by a top-secret cleared doctor.” Olson was working within the frameworks of Program MKULTRA, that was run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence. Mr. Deal lists the “intended results or functions of the program” contained exploration into: (1) “Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public;” (2) “materials which will render the induction of hypnosis easier or otherwise enhance its usefulness;” (3) “substances which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation, and so-called “brain-washing”;” (4) “physical methods of producing shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use;” and, but not limited to, (5) “a material which will cause mental confusion of such a type that the individual under it’s influence will find it difficult to maintain a fabrication under questioning.” Clearly, the C.I.A. had every motive to conduct an assassination on one of their unstable scientists, of which posed a possible threat to exposing their covert program.

A compiled list that was released by the North American Freedom Foundation, in 2002, titled MKULTRA Related Research – People and Places, clearly lists all government bodies, universities, hospitals, and individuals that were experimented on during MKULTRA Program. The hospitals, universities, and government facilities that were involved in the experiments include the following:

“1) Aero Medical Laboratory, Directorate of Research, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
2) Air Force 657 1st Aeromedical Research Laboratory
3) Allan Memorial Institute, Canada
4) American Psychological Association
5) Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts
6) Army Chemical Corps
7) Canada’s Defense Research Board
8) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
9) Children’s International Summer Villages, Inc., Maine
10) Clifton Hospital, York, England
11) Columbia University
12) Commission on Viral Infections, Armed Forces Epidemiological Board, Office of the Surgeon General
13) Cornell University, Cornell Medical Human Ecology Program
14) Creedmore State Hospital, Children’s Unit, Queen’s Village, New York
15) Dugway Proving Ground, Utah
16) Edgeware Arsenal
17) Edgewood Arsenal, Edgewood, Maryland
18) Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
19) Florida State University
20) Fort Benning, Georgia
21) Fort Sam Houston
22) Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC
23) George Washington University
24) Geschickter Foundation
25) Geschickter Fund for Medical Research
26) Hanford Nuclear Facility, Richmond, Washington
27) Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts
28) Hollywood Hospital, Vancouver, Canada
29) House of the Good Shepherd, New York
30) Human Ecology Foundation
31) Ionia State Hospital
32) Johns Hopkins University
33) Leler University of Georgia
34) Los Alamos
35) Louisiana State Penitentiary
36) Marlborough Day Hospital, Wiltshire, England
37) Massachusetts General Hospital
38) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
39) McGill University, Department of Psychiatry, Canada
40) J. P. Morgan and Co., Inc.
41) Montana State University
42) Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada
43) N.A.S.A.
44) New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute, Bureau of Neurology and Psychiatry

45) New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute, Clinical Investigative Unit of the Bureau of Research

46) New Jersey Reformatory at Bordentown
47) New York State Department of Mental Hygiene
48) New York State Psychiatric Institute
49) New York University, New York
50) New York University School of Medicine Committee on Human Experimentation
51) Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies
52) Oak Ridge National Laboratory
53) Oak Ridge, Tennessee
54) Office of Naval Research
55) Ohio State Penitentiary at Columbus
56) Penetang Psychiatric Hospital, Oak Ridge Division, Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada
57) Powick Hospital, Malvern, Worcestershire, England
58) Public Health Service
59) Rand Corporation
60) Roffey Park, Lincolnshire, England
61) Rome State School, Rome, New York
62) Scottish Rite Foundation
63) Scottish Rite Foundation Schizophrenia Research Foundation
64) Scottish Rite Research Committee
65) Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology
66) Seventh Day Adventist Church
67) Stanford Research Institute (SRI)
68) Stanford University
69) St. John’s Orphan Asylum, New York
70) Texas Research Institute of Mental Sciences (TRIMS), Houston, Texas
71) Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
72) UCLA Violence Project
73) University of Denver, Colorado
74) University of Illinois
75) University of Indiana
76) University of Maryland
77) University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry
78) University of Oklahoma, Department of Psychiatry
79) University of Pennsylvania
80) University of Rochester, New York
81) University of Texas
82) U.S. Air Force
83) U.S. Army
84) U.S. Army Chemical Research and Development Laboratory, Edgeware Arsenal
85) U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command
86) U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Fredrick, Maryland
87) U.S. Army Special Operations Division, Fort Detrick, Maryland
88) U.S. Department of Defense
89) U.S. Department of Energy
90) U.S. Federal Penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia
91) U.S. Navy
92) Utica Community Chest, Utica, New York
93) Vacaville State Prison
94) Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
95) Walter Reed Army Medical Center
96) Wayne State University College of Medicine, Lafayette Clinic, Detroit, Michigan
97) Willowbrook State School, New York
98) Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
99) Worcester State Hospital
100) Yale University”

With a compiled list of only one-hundred hospitals, universities, and government facilities, one can only imagine the length of the list of compiled individuals, both witting and unwitting. However, even leaving out the list of individuals, the reviewer of this research project should be capable of understanding the reality of the Program MKULTRA, the experiments that took place within it, and why or how such experimentations could be continuing through psychiatry studies, or other medical and witting outlets. It’s documented that the experiments continued, at least, up to the sixties and was expressed in the ’77 government document of why it would be significant to understand the effects of different drugs and the effects of them on individuals or agents of the United States; in the case, they were to become captives of another countries. These experiments are tremendously frightening, sickenly horrifying, and very real; so real that it is worth killing for, in order to keep secret.

Works Cited

  1. “Brainwashing.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster.com, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brainwashing?show=0&t=1397596486&gt;.
  2. Droge, David. Momism, Commies, and Mind Control I: A Psychoanalytic Worldview Confronts Korean War POW Collaboration.AllAcademic.com. All Academic Research, n.d. Web. 01 May 2014. <http://citation.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/9/1/2/6/pages191269/p191269-1.php&gt;.
  3. United States. Cong. Senate. Joint Hearing Before The Select Committee On Intelligence And The Subcommittee On Health And Scientific Research Of The Committee On Human Resources. Project MKULTRA, The C.I.A.’s Program of Research in Behavioral Modification. By Birch Bayh, Adlai E. Stevenson, William D. Hathaway, Walter D. Huddleston, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Robert Morgan, Gary Hart, Daniel P. Moynihan, Clifford P. Case, Jake Garn, Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., James B. Pearson, John H. Chafee, Richard G. Lugar, Malcom Wallop, Robert C. Byrd, Howard H. Baker, Jr., William G. Miller, Earl D. Eisenhower, Audret H. Hatry, Jennings Randolph, Daniel K. Inouye, Barry Goldwater, Clairborne Pell, Edward M. Kennedy, Gaylord Nelson, Thomas F. Eagleton, Alan Cranston, Donald W. Riegle, Jr., Harrison A. Williams, Jr., Jacob K. Javits, Richard S. Schweiker, Robert T. Stafford, Orrin G. Hatch, S. I. Hayakawa, Stephen J. Paradise, Marjorie M. Whittaker, Don A. Zimmerman, Harrison A. Williams, Jr., Lawrence Horowitz, and David Winston. 95th Cong., 1st sess. S Res. 400. 94th Cong. ed. Vol. S. Res. 400. Washington D.C.: United States Government, 1977. Print. 2D Sess.
  4. Deal, Timothy. “Mind Control and Murder: Did the C.I.A. Kill Frank Olson?”Examiner.com. Examiner.com, 11 Oct. 2009. Web. 01 May 2014. <http://www.examiner.com/article/mind-control-and-murder-did-the-cia-kill-frank-olson&gt;.
  5. Ross, Colin. “MKULTRA Related Research – People And Places.”AmericanFreedomFoundation.com. The North American Freedom Foundation, July 2002. Web. 01 May 2014.

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MK-Ultra: The Reality of Modern Brainwashing and Mind Control Techniques (Final Proposal)

CIA Disinformation Project

According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, brainwashing refers to “a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas”. The question of the existence of mind control has always been one that has caused controversy and is typically associated with people that tread in the realm of conspiracy theories. However, it is purely factual that multiple governments have regarded this ‘conspiracy theory’ as a possible tactic to force opposing governmental spies – or military personnel – to give up extremely sensitive information against their will. This proves exceptionally true during the years of the Cold War with Russia, with the New York Post exposing Russia (both during and after their Soviet years) pouring $1 billion on government programs that experimented with – what the Post referred to as – “psychotronics” from 1917 up until 2003. Upon further digging, one can find a 1977 United States Congressional Report titled, Project MKULTRA, The C.I.A.’s Program of Research in Behavioral Sciences, that explicitly explains that even our own government dabbled into the sciences of not only mind manipulation, but manipulation on a grand scale that covered: biological effects of plant/vegetable and human life with different chemicals; genetic manipulation of plants; the effects of human’s perceptions/sensations during and after the removal of different parts of their brain; manipulation of actions through the use of drugs (namely L.S.D., or Acid), electroshock torture, as well as sexual abuse; among other extreme scientific experiments.

As can be expected, there are definitely arguments against the existence of these types of sciences. A common argument used against proponents of mind control, or brainwashing, is one that is used in a published article from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry titled, Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a Mind-Control Conference. In his article, Evan Harrington argues that individuals that seek counseling due to these kinds of torture have actually made these scenarios up from their imagination or have what he calls “false memories” of such events. Though Mr. Harrington makes some strong arguments, his published article seems everything but objective in his skepticism concerning mind control, or brainwashed, victims.

Throughout my presentation and my written assignment, I plan to prove how opponents of mind control and brainwashing – such as, but not limited to, Evan Harrington – are simply basing most of their “facts” on personal opinion, and not objective scientific proof or real-time events that have taken place. With as many declassified government documents and published scientific journals concerning such sciences, I feel this will not be a hard task for myself. In exposing governmental experimentation for a basis behind mind control, I feel that I have not only proven that there is indeed a formula behind implanting control into the subjects of these experiments, but that this science is so extraordinary that governments and military’s abroad are still currently interested in this science. Through all this information I intend to expose, I feel that my readers and listeners will understand the gravity of this atrocious problem and grasp the significance of why this is an epidemic to every individual that is worse than any known bacterial or viral disease: since there is proof of government’s and military’s still currently experimenting with these sciences. Furthermore, through these revelations, I sincerely hope and feel that my audience will be very easily persuaded to consider these events not a conspiracy theory, but rather an alarming conspiracy fact.

Works Cited

  1. “Brainwashing.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster.com, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brainwashing?show=0&t=1397596486&gt;.
  2. Ryall, Jenni. “The USSR Spent $1B on Mind-Control Programs.” New York Post. NYPost.com, 28 Dec. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://nypost.com/2013/12/28/the-soviet-union-spent-1-billion-on-mind-control-programs/&gt;.
  3. United States. Cong. Senate. Joint Hearing Before The Select Committee On Intelligence And The Subcommittee On Health And Scientific Research Of The Committee On Human Resources. Project MKULTRA, The C.I.A.’s Program of Research in Behavioral Modification. By Birch Bayh, Adlai E. Stevenson, William D. Hathaway, Walter D. Huddleston, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Robert Morgan, Gary Hart, Daniel P. Moynihan, Clifford P. Case, Jake Garn, Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., James B. Pearson, John H. Chafee, Richard G. Lugar, Malcom Wallop, Robert C. Byrd, Howard H. Baker, Jr., William G. Miller, Earl D. Eisenhower, Audret H. Hatry, Jennings Randolph, Daniel K. Inouye, Barry Goldwater, Clairborne Pell, Edward M. Kennedy, Gaylord Nelson, Thomas F. Eagleton, Alan Cranston, Donald W. Riegle, Jr., Harrison A. Williams, Jr., Jacob K. Javits, Richard S. Schweiker, Robert T. Stafford, Orrin G. Hatch, S. I. Hayakawa, Stephen J. Paradise, Marjorie M. Whittaker, Don A. Zimmerman, Harrison A. Williams, Jr., Lawrence Horowitz, and David Winston. 95th Cong., 1st sess. S Res. 400. 94th Cong. ed. Vol. S. Res. 400. Washington D.C.: United States Government, 1977. Print. 2D Sess.
  4. Harrington, Evan. “Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a Mind-Control Conference.” The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry 20.5.September/October (1996): n. pag. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.csicop.org/si/show/conspiracy_theories_and_paranoia_notes_from_a_mind-control_conference/&gt;.

MK-Ultra: Are You A Victim of Mind-Control? (Annotated Bibliography)

Price, David H. “Buying a Piece of Anthropology.” Aumnicat.aum.edu. Ebscohost.com, 01 June 2007. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. <http%3A%2F%2Feds.b.ebscohost.com%2Feds%2Fpdfviewer%2Fpdfviewer%3Fsid%3De7997b44-e80a-4dcf-8ef2-b5ffed623257%2540sessionmgr112%26vid%3D3%26hid%3D102>.

“Buying a Piece of Anthropology”, written by David H. Price, is going to beneficial towards my paper because it supplies a significant amount of information concerning the use of funds and the people involved in researching ‘mind-control’ or manipulation tactics that are still used today with law enforcement interrogations as well as F.B.I. and C.I.A. tactics with suspects. In using this information I hope to be able to relay persuading entail that will make my audience actually listen to my speech due to interest and not because of a requirement for participation. Thus far, this is the most valuable article written concerning the subject matter of the C.I.A.’s research into ‘mind-control’ on a serious level, without any mockery, according to my opinion.

Mind Control Experiments. Perf. Participants Not Currently Listed. Local Broadcast Video Content. CriticalMention, Inc., 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=2&sid=7ad823f3-754a-4a28-8181-4eb849c2d35c%40sessionmgr114&hid=102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=edsggo&AN=edsgcl.341063243&gt;.

“Mind Control Experiments”, as published by CriticalMention, Inc., seems to be the most up-to-date recorded experiment by legitimate scientists that welcome the possibility of real human brain-to-brain mind control. Depending on the outcome of this video, it could prove to be very useful in persuading audience members that such a phenomenon is actually possible and not a fragment of a science fiction movie or one’s imagination. With the possibility of showing such a phenomenon is possible, it can prove to be helpful in proving my case that the United States government could/has used ‘mind-control’ for personal gain within the central-intelligence community and on a national – possibly even international – level!

Social Media Oversharing: The Next Social Problem, or The Next Social Paradigm Shift?

In 2010, Steven Johnson wrote a column for Time Magazine that is titled, “Web Privacy: In Praise of Oversharing.” In his column he indicates how oversharing on social media websites has actually aided society in aspects of what terminally ill individuals go through during their diagnoses, their struggle to recovery, the side effects of partaking in particular treatments, and so forth. The main example Mr. Johnson refers to is the story of Jeff Jarvis: His struggle through a treatable form of prostate cancer and how Mr. Jarvis began blogging through his path to recovery (Johnson). In Johnson’s article, he points out that Jarvis was in his fifties upon diagnosis and that how he used social media for aid during a terminal illness is actually not uncommon. Not only that, but that the simple act of posting about intimate details pertaining to one’s illness is not uncommon, either! As Johnson stated in his column, “We may need a new understanding of how public life can serve a higher purpose. But we also need to know when to shut up already.”

To provide an example of this, one can take a look at a piece written by Stephen Winzenburg, contained in a 2012 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, that explains Professor Winzenburg’s struggle with the content of what his students are presenting to him while giving excuses and/or while discussing classroom absences. In the piece, he explains how “dumbfounded” he was when “a young woman approached [him] in the hall with a smile on her face and said, “I won’t be in class next week because I have to terminate a pregnancy” (Winzenburg). He also continues his description of how students are more willing to expose their most intimate details more willingly in writing that a student had apologized to him for missing two weeks of his class because “she had been in rehab for alcoholism.” Mr. Winzenburg also makes the observation that: “Such intimate details used to be considered too embarrassing to share. But with Facebook and Twitter, young people think nothing of confiding in strangers.”

Mike Urban also makes some valid points considering both the good and the bad in oversharing, and the usage of social media in general. In his 2012 newspaper piece for the Reading Eagle, Urban indicates that social media websites can “become a substitute for actual meetings, which can hurt social development and isolate users” (Urban). Could it be this isolation that develops within an individual actively participating in social media that causes this seemingly more-openness of intimately personal material? Urban goes on to describe that social media can “bring out the nastiest conversation, because participants feel anonymous, or at least have some distance from those they are insulting.” This issue can be broadened into the dilemma of cyber-bullying and why it is such a problem of magnitude. As it is brought up in his piece, “bullies [can] spread destructive information, photos, or lies about others.”

Urban also goes into the problems of security and hackers that could possibly come in contact with one’s personal, sensitive information through using these kind of websites, just as Mr. Johnson did in his Time article when he indicated that Facebook, in 2005, treated anyone interested in getting to know you “like a vampire: he had to be invited in first” (Johnson). However, in late 2009, Facebook announced “that a long list of personal details – everything from your profile photo, your friends and fan pages, your gender, your geographic region, and the networks you belong to – were “considered publicly available to everyone” (Johnson). Even though there are now thirty distinct controls on one’s Facebook for governing their exposure on the website, oversharing remains a problem and the users of social media websites – like Facebook – continue to collect a plethora of new member’s, disregarding their opting-out of more concrete security measures. In 2011, Chris Rose made a clear statement pertaining to the security risk of using interactional websites on the internet when explaining in his article for the International Journal of Management and Information Systems that “according to an annual survey released by Javelin Strategy and Research, in 2009 more than 11 million U.S. consumers were victims of identity theft” (Rose). Mr. Rose also describes the problem with the location-generator within some social media websites like Facebook, which can cause the robbing of one’s home and/or property when the location-generator indicates that the individual is not located at the given place, or around the given object. He also suggests, “Perhaps, the real issue is not technological but psychological,” in observing what Irwin Altman, a professor affiliated with the University of Utah, said: “If one can choose how much or how little to divulge about oneself to another voluntarily, privacy is maintained;” “if another person can influence how much information we divulge about ourselves or how much information input we let in about others, a lower level of privacy exists” (Rose).

Needless to say, the reality of oversharing is that it has been at the cost privacy. Though scholars can definitely benefit from it, the risk of it cannot be completely ignored. The act of oversharing intimate details is one that must be regulated at a domestic level, such as parenting techniques or physically having an educational course dedicated to what is or is not acceptable on a completely public website that allows their users to post anything they’d like to. As Mr. Rose implicated, as long as there are programs/websites that make intimate details of one’s life public that combine the access of these programs/websites by deviant or troubled individuals, “then ubiquitous social media will present a very severe and often overlooked security risk” (Rose). When placing these risks to the side during observation though, one can also see the joy and ambiguous happiness in what Mr. Johnson stated at the end of his column: “We have to learn how to break with that most elemental of parental commandments: Don’t talk to strangers; it turns out that strangers have a lot to give us that’s worthwhile, and we to them.”

 

Works Cited

  1. Johnson, Steven. “Web Privacy: In Praise of Oversharing.” Time. Time Inc., 20 May 2010. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0%2C9171%2C1990790-1%2C00.html&gt;.
  2. Winzenburg, Stephen. “In The Facebook Era, Students Tell You Everything.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 58.42 (n.d.): n. pag. EBSCO Delivery Service. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?sid=d59c71bc-cce9-4133-9a0a-b92af0539486%40sessionmgr4003&vid=5&hid=4105&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=edsggo&AN=edsgc1.298849224&gt;.
  3. Urban, Mike. “Pros and Cons of Social Media.” The Reading Eagle. EBSCOhost.com, 04 Sept. 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?sid=f59c645b-cee7-456d-b5a1-51122ea106b8%40sessionmgr110&vid=6&hid=106&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=nfh&AN=2W63763859652>.
  4. Rose, Chris. “The Security Implications of Ubiquitous Social Media.” International Journal of Management & Information Systems 15.1 (2011): n. pag. journals.cluteonline.com. The Clute Institute, 2011. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. http://journals.cluteonline.com/index.php/IJMIS/article/viewFile/1593/1573.

Midterm Exam Essay

Writing has always been in my life, in one shape or the other. Growing up in a military family during the time the Internet was really beginning to gain popularity, I witnessed a lot of exchange of information through the use of a computer. Within this paradigm, I developed an interest in general writing after constantly talking to individuals in AOL Instant Messenger chat rooms about various different subject matters and learning to use the Internet as a source of reference in researching a particular topic. I began writing poems, short stories, and making constant notes of different thoughts or revelations I would have; therefore allowing me access to return back to the quickly written message/reminder at a time when I wasn’t occupying my time with something else. Eventually, I became quite an excelled writer and had a lot of different people interested in my opinions and thoughts. Though the magazine was short lived – probably due to funding – I even had a piece of mine published in an underground music magazine called Punk Rock Confidential!

After MySpace and Facebook came along and blogging in public forums on different websites became the new AOL Instant Messenger, I began doing so myself. I found that posting material on the Internet proves to be much more beneficial than just handing somebody a notepad/notebook full of your rambled thoughts and personal jargon. Upon becoming familiar with blogging and posting on the Internet, I began writing proper/formal essays and papers as a hobby, concerning the recreational research I had done on any given topic. In doing this, I became more comfortable in writing these types of essays and/or papers, causing me only to be even more driven to write about my research. All I wanted to do was write papers and continue to simplify these thoughts/theories I had written down for future reference, which is why I grew to really excel in all of my English/Writing classes.

At the beginning of this class, I was a bit curious to what exactly “Living Online” meant and was a little intimidated by my lack of understanding. However, since the starting of the semester, this class has improved my writing skills in ways that I have never been capable of doing before. To list a few: I’ve learned how to more accurately use parenthetical citations, how to properly apply better paragraph structure, and I have definitely began to improve on my punctuation usage. In having an English Composition class demonstrated through the use of a blogging website, the instructor can directly correlate the bloggers weaknesses and strengths with different assignments at an astronomical level. The topics available to the student are so large in quantity that one couldn’t possibly be capable of placing a number on that amount. The methods in which a student can receive feedback is extraordinary as well, such as through: eMail, directly through the blogging website (in the comments section), or – more traditionally – while in class with that student.

In receiving what feedback I have received thus far in the class, my goal for the conclussion of it is made quite clear to me. I’m striving to feel confident in my paragraph structure, because it’s clear that I can sometimes just use incorrect punctuation and simply over-use particular words at times. This is mainly due to my struggle to find “simplified” words that do not steer the attention of my readers away. I also still have a tendency to slip into that prior paradigm of feeding the reader with too much information at one time; as if the writting material was in a journal or a log, much like my original pieces.

In the completion of these set goals for English Composition 1020: Living Online, it could play plenty of different roles in possible career fields I’m interested in. As a person of my habit would naturally be appealed to it, I have a strong drive for journalism and the investigative work that goes into it. In using the techniques and methods of writing that I would develop through this class, I could appeal to a larger fanbase of followers and readers. Another possible career path has been a form of politician. In good writing, comes good speeches (with the proper training of giving a speech, that is), and if I can speak as good as I write, I could obtain a large support group for my supposed campaign. Generally speaking however, placing careers aside, if I could learn to organize my information and make it more understandable to those around me, I could essentially do nothing else, but be a happy, grand scholar doing nothing else other than speaking with people around me about my life lessons and do everything I can to aid them through any personal problem or conflict with different ideas, I would be more than joyous, I would be ecstatic.

Social Media Oversharing: The Next Social Problem, or the Next Social Paradigm Shift?

In 2010, Steven Johnson wrote a column for Time Magazine that is titled, “Web Privacy: In Praise of Oversharing.” In his column he indicates how oversharing on social media websites has perpetually aided society in aspects of what terminally ill individuals go through during their diagnoses, their struggle to recovery, the side effects of partaking in particular treatments, and so forth. The main example Mr. Johnson refers to is the story of Jeff Jarvis: His struggle through a treatable form of prostate cancer and how Mr. Jarvis began blogging through his path to recovery (Johnson). In Johnson’s article, he points out that Jarvis was in his fifties upon diagnosis and that this older generation-use of social media for the sake of aid during a terminal illness is actually not uncommon. Not only that, but that the simple act of posting about intimate details pertaining to one’s illness is not uncommon, either! As Johnson stated in his column, “We may need a new understanding of how public life can serve a higher purpose. But we also need to know when to shut up already.”

To provide an example of this, one can take a look at a piece written by Stephen Winzenburg, contained in a 2012 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, that explains Professor Winzenburg’s struggle with the content of what his students are presenting to him while giving excuses and/or while discussing classroom absences. In the piece, he explains how “dumbfounded” he was when “a young women approached [him] in the hall with a smile on her face and said, “I won’t be in class next week because I have to terminate a pregnancy (Winzenburg).”” He also continues his description of how students are more willing to expose their most intimate details more willingly in writing that a student had apologized to him for missing two weeks of his class because “she had been in rehab for alcoholism.” Mr. Winzenburg also makes the observation that: “Such intimate details used to be considered too embarrassing to share. But with Facebook and Twitter, young people think nothing of confiding in strangers.”

Mike Urban also makes some valid points considering both the good and the bad in oversharing, and the usage of social media in general. In his 2012 newspaper piece for the Reading Eagle, Urban indicates that social media websites can “become a substitute for actual meetings, which can hurt social development and isolate users (Urban).” Could it be this isolation that develops within an individual actively participating in social media that causes this seemingly more-openness of intimately personal material? Urban goes on to describe that social media can “bring out the nastiest conversation, because participants feel anonymous, or at least have some distance from those they are insulting.” This issue can be broadened into the dilemma of cyber-bullying and why it is such a problem of magnitude. As it is brought up in his piece, “bullies [can] spread destructive information, photos, or lies about others.”

Urban also goes into the problems of security and hackers that could possibly come in contact with one’s personal, sensitive information through using these kind of websites, just as Mr. Johnson did in his Time article when he indicated that Facebook, in 2005, treated anyone interested in getting to know you “like a vampire: he had to be invited in first (Johnson).” However, in late 2009, Facebook announced “that a long list of personal details – everything form your profile photo, your friends and fan pages, your gender, your geographic region, and the networks you belong to – were “considered publicly available to everyone (Johnson).”” Even though there are now thirty distinct controls on one’s Facebook for governing their exposure on the website, oversharing remains a problem and the users of social media websites – like Facebook – continue to collect a plethora of new member’s, disregarding their opting-out of more concrete security measures. In 2011, Chris Rose made a clear statement pertaining to the security risk of using interactional websites on the internet when explaining in his article for the International Journal of Management and Information Systems that “according to an annual survey released by Javelin Strategy and Research, in 2009 more than 11 million U.S. consumers were victims of identity theft (Rose).” Mr. Rose also describes the problem with the location-generator within some social media websites like Facebook, that can cause the robbing of one’s home and/or property when the location-generator indicates that the individual is not located at the given place, or around the given object. He also suggests, “Perhaps, the real issue is not technological but psychological,” in observing what Irwin Altman, a professor affiliated with the University of Utah, said: “If one can choose how much or how little to divulge about oneself to another voluntarily, privacy is maintained;” “if another person can influence how much information we divulge about ourselves or how much information input we let in about others, a lower level of privacy exists (Rose).”

Needless to say, the reality of oversharing is that – as of recent – it has been at the cost privacy. Though scholars can definitely benefit from it, the risk of it cannot be completely ignored. The act of oversharing intimate details is one that must be regulated at a domestic level, such as parenting techniques or physically having an educational course dedicated to what is or is not acceptable on a completely public website that allows their users to post anything they’d like to. As Mr. Rose implicated, as long as there are programs/websites that make intimate details of one’s life public that combine the access of these programs/websites by deviant or troubled individuals, “then ubiquitous social media will present a very severe and often overlooked security risk (Rose).” When placing these risks to the side during observation though, one can also see the joy and ambiguous happiness in what Mr. Johnson stated at the end of his column: “We have to learn how to break with that most elemental of parental commandments: Don’t talk to strangers. it turns out that strangers have a lot to give us that’s worthwhile, and we to them.”

 

Works Cited

  1. Johnson, Steven. “Web Privacy: In Praise of Oversharing.” Time. Time Inc., 20 May 2010. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0%2C9171%2C1990790-1%2C00.html&gt;.
  2. Winzenburg, Stephen. “In The Facebook Era, Students Tell You Everything.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 58.42 (n.d.): n. pag. EBSCO Delivery Service. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?sid=d59c71bc-cce9-4133-9a0a-b92af0539486%40sessionmgr4003&vid=5&hid=4105&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=edsggo&AN=edsgc1.298849224&gt;.
  3. Urban, Mike. “Pros and Cons of Social Media.” The Reading Eagle. EBSCOhost.com, 04 Sept. 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?sid=f59c645b-cee7-456d-b5a1-51122ea106b8%40sessionmgr110&vid=6&hid=106&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=nfh&AN=2W63763859652>.
  4. Rose, Chris. “The Security Implications of Ubiquitous Social Media.” International Journal of Management & Information Systems 15.1 (2011): n. pag. journals.cluteonline.com. The Clute Institute, 2011. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. http://journals.cluteonline.com/index.php/IJMIS/article/viewFile/1593/1573.

Social Media Passwords and Their Significance to Privacy

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Helen A.S. Popkin wrote a column for NBC News addressing the issue of the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District – in Cassopolis, Michigan – asking one of their teacher’s aide’s, Kimberly Hester, for her password as a repercussion of a complaint placed by one of her Facebook friend’s that was affiliated with the school. The complainant was disturbed by a picture Hester posted of a coworker “with her pants around her knees”, Popkin describes. The column indicates that Kimberly Hester was then fired after refusing to give up her password. Popkin then explains that this issue is still a ‘gray-area’ within the legislature and that many congressman are moving towards having regulations against such practices. She finishes the piece with an almost hopeful attitude listing a few congressman specifically, and even a representative of Facebook itself, that support Hester and her fight for privacy; with even a congressman of Michigan wanting to use her story, particularly, in the legislature in support of such legislation!

Popkin makes it vividly clear to the reader that she stands in support of Kimberly Hester through constantly writing information that supported Hester’s protest. Though the information presented is quite convincing, one cannot help, but notice the lack of opposing views concerning matters such as social media privacy rights. Upon finishing Popkin’s column alone, the reader is left wondering some questions that could, or could not, make for appropriate consideration in observing the situation Popkin presents: Was the picture posted by Kimberly Hester of a coworker from within the school, or from another occupation Kimberly attended to?; How many other similar stories have received coverage by other journalists or news broadcasts; and even more after reading into the links within her column. However convincing Popkin’s information is or is not, she makes a reference to a piece that she’s already previously written within this same column, which I personally consider to be distasteful in the art of Journalism; furthermore, her title seems a bit bland and tiring. Putting these subjective issues aside from me, I thought the information Popkin presented to be intuitive and very important to not only blogger’s specifically, but anybody planning on living in modern-day and future America. I can only imagine the privacy boundaries that could be infringed on if Hester’s protest is deemed ill by the law and American society; and I cannot find peace in allowing people that have had theories and/or written of America’s ‘Big Brother’ society become true prophets.

Jim Sleeper’s Plagiarism: Even Worse Than It Looks

Yale University, in the state of Connecticut, has always been known for its exquisite line of studies and extraordinary graduates; producing some of America’s finest scientists, philosophers, and irreplaceable scholars. However, it’s not every day that one stumbles upon a journalist/scholar from Yale University aggressively correcting and suggesting that another journalist/scholar from Yale is completely undermining the entire university’s reputation. On August 10th of 2012, C.N.N. reporter, Time columnist, and Yale Alumnus, Fareed Zakaria publicly apologized for “[making] a terrible mistake” in publishing a column for Time that “bear[ed] close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker (Abad-Santos).” Zakaria apologetically explains himself, soon thereafter the popularity of the incident: “It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers.” At 4:18 P.M. that same day, The Atlantic Wire reports, even though Fareed had offered his public apology, Time has suspended him for his offense of plagiarism; by 5:17, The Atlantic Wire reports that C.N.N. announced they had also “suspended Fareed Zakaria while this matter is under review.”

Soon there before C.N.N. had announced their coming-suspension of Fareed Zakaria, Jim Sleeper – a Huffington Post columnist, Political Science lecturer at Yale University, as well as part of the Yale University Alumni – had published his column that strongly expressed his viewpoint concerning the incident of plagiarism as committed by Mr. Zakaria. In Sleeper’s column, he takes continuous stabs at Mr. Zakaria for irrelevant material such as personal attitude traits, makes overwhelmingly subjective comments, and indicates, “As long as [Mr. Zakaria] remains a Yale trustee, he will remain a sad example of Yale’s own transformation from a crucible of civic-republican leadership for America and the world into a global career-networking center and cultural galleria for a new elite that answers to no polity or moral code and that aggrandizes itself by plucking the fruits of others’ work (“Fareed Zakaria’s Plagiarism: Even Worse Than It Looks”).” Mr. Sleeper’s column seems to fail in persuading his readers that they should feel as aggressive about Mr. Zakaria’s actions as he does because it appears to lack value, reputable sources, and even responsible journalism in some cases. After one of the only direct references to the events of Mr. Zakaria’s demonstrations, within the first paragraph when Sleeper paraphrases Alexander Abad-Santos’ expression of Mr. Zakaria’s “egregious plagiarism”, Sleeper moves into describing the morals and values of Yale; writing, “If the Yale Corporation were to apply to itself the standards it expects its faculty and students to meet, Zakaria would have to take a leave or resign.” Writing further, “If anyone knows what it means to steal another scholar’s work, it’s Zakaria, who holds a PhD from Harvard.” Explaining how a prestigious school, such as Yale University, would feel about the demeaning actions of one of their alumnus is understandable in such a column.

However, moving into the fourth and fifth paragraphs, Sleeper begins to seemingly commit various types of ad hominem attacks on Mr. Zakaria. While analyzing the column from an observational angle, one could understand the occasional reader pondering the validity of his argument through the use of these foolish journalist-tactics. In the fourth paragraph, Sleeper makes a reference to another highly subjective column that generalizes Mr. Zakaria as one of an “over-rated thinker” simply because “there’s something suspicious about a thinker always so perfectly in tune with the moment (The Editors).” Since this reference is purely subjective, it can be considered for a reference of personal opinion, but even so, the reference made by Mr. Sleeper from The New Republic doesn’t include any negative comments referring to Mr. Zakaria’s personal value system or his general actions. The New Republic, more or less, wrote a personal assessment about Fareed Zakaria, that includes completely subjective detail with a professional commentary format. This column fails to lead the reader to believing him to be a superficial bad man that deserves to be punished. Furthermore, the writer(s) individual information from The New Republic are next to impossible to find, only adding to the possibility that this(these) subjective writer(s) are not reputable.

Sleeper makes another failed attempt to demonize his subject within the fifth paragraph of his column, acknowledging Mr. Zakaria’s wealth and introducing information concerning his earnings. Sleeper indicates that Fareed Zakaria earns a rate of $75,000 from giving speeches and lectures on Wall Street, according to the Columbia Journalism Review (Starobin). Although this reference showed Sleeper’s reader’s that Fareed Zakaria is of higher society by his heightened income compared to that of the regular American Citizen and should be held to a higher responsibility to not commit acts such as plagiarism, the reference also talked Mr. Zakaria’s professionalism up and could have a counteraction to Sleeper’s intentions; resulting in his reader’s possibly feeling conflicted to his view and/or losing interest in his column as a prospect for reputable argument.

Well into the sixth paragraph of Sleeper’s column, he makes mention of one of his older column pieces for The Huffington Post that really raises some questions concerning the rest of his currently viewed piece. Upon the introduction of his other column, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary: Just another column about something that is currently on the mind of Jim Sleeper. However, continuing on downward towards the end of the column, the reader may be capable of distinguishing and connecting some peculiar aspects from his older piece to his current one. In his older piece he describes Fareed Zakaria as “a wind-up toy of [himself] at his self-important, elitist worst” while criticizing one of Mr. Zakaria’s articles pertaining to a project between Yale University and the country of Singapore (“The Showdown Over Liberal Education at Yale”).

Continuing on with the column, Sleeper jumps right into a reference he’s made on his plagiarism column, The New Republic, and states: “Judged by The New Republic to be one of America’s “most over-rated thinkers”, Zakaria, who will be Harvard’s commencement speaker this spring, was interviewed about the state of the world last year by none other than Levin before a large audience at the kick-off [of] Yale’s $50 million Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the new home of “Professor” Stanley McChrystal and of what Lapham, writing of the Ivies in another context, called “the arts and sciences of career management,” including mastery of “the exchange rate between an awkward truth and an user-friendly lie.” To compare that quote to that of was written on his later-plagiarism piece: “Although he’s judged by The New Republic to be one of America’s “most over-rated thinkers”, he was interviewed about the state of the world by Yale President Richard Levin before a large audience at the kick-off [of] Yale’s $50 million Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the new home of “Professor” Stanley McChrystal and of what Lewis Lapham has called “the arts and sciences of career management,” including mastery of “the exchange rate between an awkward truth and an user-friendly lie.” To add harm to injury, Sleeper’s prior column not only involves this near-exact quote within his plagiarism piece, but it continues to present information – in some cases, word for word – that is presented in the plagiarism column!

Jim Sleeper attempts to make his apparent corporate-arch-enemy, Fareed Zakaria, appear to be an unruly man that has no boundaries and that must be punished. However, Fareed Zakaria was being placed under deep scrutiny because of writing a relative replica of an already existing column and not giving the column the credit for originating that idea. How is it that Fareed Zakaria becomes a symbol for plagiarism and is ridiculed because of this yet, Jim Sleeper can duplicate/paraphrase six paragraphs from one of his own previous columns into one of his newer columns and not be penalized for the exact action that his own column-subject is being scrutinized for? Unfortunately, self-plagiarism tends to be overlooked and is in much more of a “grey area”; more than likely, due to the fact that it obviously takes more time and energy to catch somebody committing self-plagiarism as opposed to general plagiarism. Since Jim Sleeper seems to enjoy making ad hominem attacks, using subjective material for making concrete logic, and apparently doesn’t think I’m intelligent enough to catch him in his own act, any argument he attempts to make is invalid and completely unable to be reputable . Tim Graham, in his column also concerning Mr. Zakaria’s mishap, “Time, CNN Star Fareed Zakaria Suspended for Admitted Plagiarism,” mentioned that “something that suggests a lack of intelligence [is] plagiarism (Graham).” Albeit, something that suggests an even greater lack of intelligence is criticizing somebody at the aggressive level Jim Sleeper was with Fareed Zakaria, all while committing the same actions, at the same time.

Works Cited

  1. Abad-Santos, Alexander. “Fareed Zakaria Apologizes for ‘Lapse’; Faces Time and CNN Suspensions.” Web log post. The Atlantic Wire. The Atlantic Wire, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.thewire.com/business/2012/08/fareed-zakarias-take-gun-control-strikingly-similar-new-yorkers/55652&gt;.
  2. Sleeper, Jim. “Fareed Zakaria’s Plagiarism: Even Worse Than It Looks.” Web log post. The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-sleeper/fareed-zakaria-plagiarism_b_1765903.html&gt;.
  3. “The New Republic.” Web log post. New Republic. Ed. The Editors. NewRepublic.com, 03 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/96141/over-rated-thinkers?page=0,1&gt;.
  4. Starobin, Paul. “Money Talks.” Web log post. Columbia Journalism Review. CJR.org, 19 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.cjr.org/feature/money_talks_marchapril2012.php?page=all&gt;.
  5. Graham, Tim. “Time, CNN Star Fareed Zakaria Suspended for Admitted Plagiarism.” Web log post. NewsBusters. NewsBusters.org, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2012/08/10/talk-about-concealed-carry-fareed-zakaria-plagiarized-paragraph-history-&gt;.

Jim Sleeper’s Citicism of Plagiarism: Even Worse Than It Looks

Yale University, in the state of Connecticut, has always been known for its exquisite line of studies and extraordinary graduates; producing some of America’s finest scientists, philosophers, and irreplaceable scholars. However, it’s not every day that one stumbles upon a journalist/scholar from Yale University aggressively correcting and suggesting that another journalist/scholar from Yale is completely undermining the entire university’s reputation. On August 10th of 2012, C.N.N. reporter, Time columnist, and Yale Alumnus, Fareed Zakaria publicly apologized for “[making] a terrible mistake” in publishing a column for Time that “bear[ed] close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker (Abad-Santos).” Zakaria apologetically explains himself, soon thereafter the popularity of the incident: “It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers.” At 4:18 P.M. that same day, The Atlantic Wire reports, even though Fareed had offered his public apology, Time has suspended him for his offense of plagiarism; by 5:17, The Atlantic Wire reports that C.N.N. announced they had also “suspended Fareed Zakaria while this matter is under review.”

Soon there before C.N.N. had announced their coming-suspension of Fareed Zakaria, Jim Sleeper – a Huffington Post columnist, Political Science lecturer at Yale University, as well as part of the Yale University Alumni – had published his column that strongly expressed his viewpoint concerning the incident of plagiarism as committed by Mr. Zakaria. In Sleeper’s column, he takes continuous stabs at Mr. Zakaria for irrelevant material such as personal attitude traits, makes overwhelmingly subjective comments, and indicates, “As long as [Mr. Zakaria] remains a Yale trustee, he will remain a sad example of Yale’s own transformation from a crucible of civic-republican leadership for America and the world into a global career-networking center and cultural galleria for a new elite that answers to no polity or moral code and that aggrandizes itself by plucking the fruits of others’ work (“Fareed Zakaria’s Plagiarism: Even Worse Than It Looks”).” Mr. Sleeper’s column seems to fail in persuading his readers that they should feel as aggressive about Mr. Zakaria’s actions as he does because it appears to lack value, reputable sources, and even responsible journalism in some cases. After one of the only direct references to the events of Mr. Zakaria’s demonstrations, within the first paragraph when Sleeper paraphrases Alexander Abad-Santos’ expression of Mr. Zakaria’s “egregious plagiarism”, Sleeper moves into describing the morals and values of Yale; writing, “If the Yale Corporation were to apply to itself the standards it expects its faculty and students to meet, Zakaria would have to take a leave or resign.” Writing further, “If anyone knows what it means to steal another scholar’s work, it’s Zakaria, who holds a PhD from Harvard.” Explaining how a prestigious school, such as Yale University, would feel about the demeaning actions of one of their alumnus is understandable in such a column.

However, moving into the fourth and fifth paragraphs, Sleeper begins to seemingly commit various types of ad hominem attacks on Mr. Zakaria. While analyzing the column from an observational angle, one could understand the occasional reader pondering the validity of his argument through the use of these foolish journalist-tactics. In the fourth paragraph, Sleeper makes a reference to another highly subjective column that generalizes Mr. Zakaria as one of an “over-rated thinker” simply because “there’s something suspicious about a thinker always so perfectly in tune with the moment (The Editors).” Since this reference is purely subjective, it can be considered for a reference of personal opinion, but even so, the reference made by Mr. Sleeper from The New Republic doesn’t include any negative comments referring to Mr. Zakaria’s personal value system or his general actions. The New Republic, more or less, wrote a personal assessment about Fareed Zakaria, that includes completely subjective detail with a professional commentary format. This column fails to lead the reader to believing him to be a superficial bad man that deserves to be punished. Furthermore, the writer(s) individual information from The New Republic are next to impossible to find, only adding to the possibility that this(these) subjective writer(s) are not reputable.

Sleeper makes another failed attempt to demonize his subject within the fifth paragraph of his column, acknowledging Mr. Zakaria’s wealth and introducing information concerning his earnings. Sleeper indicates that Fareed Zakaria earns a rate of $75,000 from giving speeches and lectures on Wall Street, according to the Columbia Journalism Review (Starobin). Although this reference showed Sleeper’s reader’s that Fareed Zakaria is of higher society by his heightened income compared to that of the regular American Citizen and should be held to a higher responsibility to not commit acts such as plagiarism, the reference also talked Mr. Zakaria’s professionalism up and could have a counteraction to Sleeper’s intentions; resulting in his reader’s possibly feeling conflicted to his view and/or losing interest in his column as a prospect for reputable argument.

Well into the sixth paragraph of Sleeper’s column, he makes mention of one of his older column pieces for The Huffington Post that really raises some questions concerning the rest of his currently viewed piece. Upon the introduction of his other column, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary: Just another column about something that is currently on the mind of Jim Sleeper. However, continuing on downward towards the end of the column, the reader may be capable of distinguishing and connecting some peculiar aspects from his older piece to his current one. In his older piece he describes Fareed Zakaria as “a wind-up toy of [himself] at his self-important, elitist worst” while criticizing one of Mr. Zakaria’s articles pertaining to a project between Yale University and the country of Singapore (“The Showdown Over Liberal Education at Yale”).

Continuing on with the column, Sleeper jumps right into a reference he’s made on his plagiarism column, The New Republic, and states: “Judged by The New Republic to be one of America’s “most over-rated thinkers”, Zakaria, who will be Harvard’s commencement speaker this spring, was interviewed about the state of the world last year by none other than Levin before a large audience at the kick-off [of] Yale’s $50 million Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the new home of “Professor” Stanley McChrystal and of what Lapham, writing of the Ivies in another context, called “the arts and sciences of career management,” including mastery of “the exchange rate between an awkward truth and an user-friendly lie.” To compare that quote to that of was written on his later-plagiarism piece: “Although he’s judged by The New Republic to be one of America’s “most over-rated thinkers”, he was interviewed about the state of the world by Yale President Richard Levin before a large audience at the kick-off [of] Yale’s $50 million Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the new home of “Professor” Stanley McChrystal and of what Lewis Lapham has called “the arts and sciences of career management,” including mastery of “the exchange rate between an awkward truth and an user-friendly lie.” To add harm to injury, Sleeper’s prior column not only involves this near-exact quote within his plagiarism piece, but it continues to present information – in some cases, word for word – that is presented in the plagiarism column!

Jim Sleeper attempts to make his apparent corporate-arch-enemy, Fareed Zakaria, appear to be an unruly man that has no boundaries and that must be punished. However, Fareed Zakaria was being placed under deep scrutiny because of writing a relative replica of an already existing column and not giving the column the credit for originating that idea. How is it that Fareed Zakaria becomes a symbol for plagiarism and is ridiculed because of this yet, Jim Sleeper can duplicate/paraphrase six paragraphs from one of his own previous columns into one of his newer columns and not be penalized for the exact action that his own column-subject is being scrutinized for? Unfortunately, self-plagiarism tends to be overlooked and is in much more of a “grey area”; more than likely, due to the fact that it obviously takes more time and energy to catch somebody committing self-plagiarism as opposed to general plagiarism. Since Jim Sleeper seems to enjoy making ad hominem attacks, using subjective material for making concrete logic, and apparently doesn’t think I’m intelligent enough to catch him in his own act, any argument he attempts to make is invalid and completely unable to be reputable . Tim Graham, in his column also concerning Mr. Zakaria’s mishap, “Time, CNN Star Fareed Zakaria Suspended for Admitted Plagiarism,” mentioned that “something that suggests a lack of intelligence [is] plagiarism (Graham).” Albeit, something that suggests an even greater lack of intelligence is criticizing somebody at the aggressive level Jim Sleeper was
with Fareed Zakaria, all while committing the same actions, at the same time.

Works Cited

  1. Abad-Santos, Alexander. “Fareed Zakaria Apologizes for ‘Lapse’; Faces Time and CNN Suspensions.” Web log post. The Atlantic Wire. The Atlantic Wire, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.thewire.com/business/2012/08/fareed-zakarias-take-gun-control-strikingly-similar-new-yorkers/55652&gt;.
  2. Sleeper, Jim. “Fareed Zakaria’s Plagiarism: Even Worse Than It Looks.” Web log post. The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-sleeper/fareed-zakaria-plagiarism_b_1765903.html&gt;.
  3. “The New Republic.” Web log post. New Republic. Ed. The Editors. NewRepublic.com, 03 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/96141/over-rated-thinkers?page=0,1&gt;.
  4. Starobin, Paul. “Money Talks.” Web log post. Columbia Journalism Review. CJR.org, 19 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.cjr.org/feature/money_talks_marchapril2012.php?page=all&gt;.
  5. Graham, Tim. “Time, CNN Star Fareed Zakaria Suspended for Admitted Plagiarism.” Web log post. NewsBusters. NewsBusters.org, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2012/08/10/talk-about-concealed-carry-fareed-zakaria-plagiarized-paragraph-history-&gt;.

Wikipedia: Truth or Deception?

   Is Wikipedia a website that can be used for obtaining useful and informative information, or is it just another website full of rubbish written by the ignorant, arrogant portion of our civilization that just cannot handle the entire world at their fingertips? In the first reading, Can You Trust Wikipedia?, many blogger’s and writer’s display the feeling that Wikipedia.com is actually a decent website for quick and fast information, or even a swift introduction, but clearly demonstrated complications with Wikipedia.com as a reliable source of information; such as when Anthony Julius stated on the website, “Its purely factual and not in any way analytical,” or even Mike Barnes’ remarks: “All the facts that I have cross-checked were correct, but some of the writing is unhelpful.” On the second reading, Wikipedia: You Still Can’t Trust It, author Lance Ulanoff begins his article with an aggressive attack on Wikipedia.com by reciting an incident concerning a man that wrote a fake biography of journalist John Seigenthaler, on the website, and linking him to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, all as a joke, in order to indicate how easily someone with discredited or tainted information could post to the website; therefore, making it a severe concern in relation to reliability for information. However, Ulanoff continues to make some valid points. In his article, he states that “[he] heard a report recently that noted that you can find errors in physical encyclopedias too,” and continues, “I know there have been mistakes in, say, dictionaries, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to notice one in the Encyclopedia Britannica.” Interesting enough, the third article in the assignment explains why Ulanoff’s statement could be considered overreaching. Within the third article, Study: Wikipedia as Accurate as Britannica, the journal Nature publishes a study in which – as the article listed them – “”relevant” field experts” performed “peer review” on both Wikipedia and Britannica to compare and contrast the information the two were reciting. At the end of the study, it was determined that there were one-hundred and sixy-two (162) errors found in Wikipedia, compared to Britannica’s one-hundred and twenty-three (123). Even though Britannica proved to be more reliable in the study performed by Nature, the article still stressed that Britannica is not a perfect, reliable reference at all times, just as Wikipedia is not.

   Before reading these articles, I felt that Wikipedia could be trusted so long as the people reading the information checked the sources that the website lists at the end of their articles; even more, if there were no additional links, then not to believe a word of what I had just read. After reading these articles, I have found that I feel the same way as I did before reading them. In a world filled with so much diversity, complex ideologies, and everyone who thinks they may or may not have the cure for this disease, that disease, or the answer to any and all your problems, people need reliable information. Without checking for reliability, your information and personal reputation is minimized and can even be crushed. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, just listen to author Lance Ulanoff when he wrote in his article: “…no reference is one-hundred percent (100%) perfect.”

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