"It’s all cut and paste"

A lovely critique, in a way, but I have another quote:

“Copying from one person is plagiarism, two research”.

Both quotes simplify the issue. What is lacking from them is that mere parroting without understanding shows ignorance. One can quote and then come up with a point, well, that’s research. It’s showing understanding and backing up your point that takes it from mere “cut and paste”.

And as they say “There’s nothing new under the sun.” So, why should I “reinvent the wheel”. Christ, I don’t have that much spare time (despite how this may seem).

Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They became significant in Early Modern Europe.

“Commonplace” is a translation of the Latin term locus communis which means “a theme or argument of general application”, such as a statement of proverbial wisdom. In this original sense, commonplace books were collections of such sayings, such as John Milton’s commonplace book. Scholars have expanded this usage to include any manuscript that collects material along a common theme by an individual. Thomas Jefferson had a common place book where he would jot down ideas he thought were important

Such books were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and humanists as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator’s particular interests.

A funny aside, there was this young woman who kept a common place book during the 18th Century (or therabouts), she died and everyone thought she was a genius. Until someone pointed out that was her common place book that she copied the thoughts of others. Never mind her tomb shows her as this literary genius. I’ll put up the info when I locate it. Until then, this will remain an anecdote.

Interestingly enough, Commonplaces are likened to blogs (another good post here). Which is exactly where I am going with this.

I will be the first to admit that law isn’t the most intellectual of professions (which gets me into another quote I want from C.G. Jung about the medical profession not being very intelectual either–I think it’s in dreams). In fact, one could easily set up a computer program that could make legal decisions thus eliminating judges.

Anyway, I hope that my rantings prove useful. They are a way for me to vent. I am feeling particularly frustrated by the Heller decision as my many posts show. It is flawed in its logic, which some people see. Yet for reasons I will get into in future posts, we mostly see praise for this piece of trash called Heller.

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