#里茲螞蟻批判性思考寫作專欄 #Alex專欄 #外師每週精選閱讀
Some say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in reality, plagiarism is just outright cheating which is born of laziness, and in cases involving master’s and doctorate theses, resulting from immorality. It is different from the type of cheating that indolent students might do when trying to look at a classmate’s test paper to steal their answers because of its severity in terms of the amount of other people’s work being stolen. What makes it even more reprehensible is that, if left undetected it enables frauds to gain respect, reputation and even employment that they are totally undeserving of, based on qualifications they have never earned. In addition to highlighting the dishonesty of the degree-holders, it also cheapens the inherent value of those qualifications, while also completely undermining the credibility of the institutions that issued them.
This opinion piece decrying the “plagiarism culture” in Taiwan, which was written by an associate professor at Asia University (translated into English for the Taipei Times), is interesting for several reasons, especially when considering the issues that it does not examine. It is undoubtedly true that there is an extremely severe problem with plagiarism in academia, as the case of the KMT’s mayoral candidate for Kaohsiung Jane Lee shows, and in particular in Taiwan’s universities such as National Sun Yat-Sen University, whose reputation as degree-mills for political hopefuls appears to be common knowledge. The author alludes to both of these issues, albeit in a somewhat tangential manner, but also without really getting to the heart of the matter, or even considering any of the causes of such widespread misconduct and its continued tolerance.
Of course, examination systems that are built around rote learning in schools and as entrance requirements for jobs, encourage the memorisation of information without the engagement or understanding necessary for long-term learning, critical thinking or creativity. This is something that has been widely recognised for some time as a fundamental shortcoming of too much exams-oriented focus. An additional aspect that the associate professor also does not delve into is whether or not this “plagiarism culture” goes further than just universities, for instance pervading other aspects of society. Ghost writing and outright plagiarism in academia aside, obvious examples of culturally accepted plagiarism can be seen in business in the widespread popularity of knock-off brands and (unbelievably) similar trademarks of companies attempting to replicate other businesses’ successes, as with Subway’s imitator “Subber”, KFC’s doppelganger “KLG”, plus Airwalk versus “Spywalk”, Oakley and “Quiet”, and even the numerous clones of the popular breakfast shop chain 美而美 with various different Chinese characters substituted for the originals. Then there’s the ripping off of foreign mascots and other designs by artists for use in marketing campaigns, the copy-and-paste composition of songs of some musicians; the list goes on and on. Perhaps the root causes of this issue are more complex and extensive than just what occasionally surfaces when an investigative light is shone on the credibility of politicians.
上面的貼文內容是我們的實力派外師Alex，針對每週一篇英文文章閱讀後，親自寫出的批判性思考文（不是copy & paste的東西啊）。旨在讓同學知道如何用不同的角度來讀文章。你可以選擇先讀Alex寫的批判文，也可以選擇先讀本次的英文文章連結，但最好兩處都要閱讀才能達到最好的效果。
Alex是我們的御用老師，每週都會幫梅姨、托托、慕華、金金上英文課。目前星期一晚上有開一班 #里茲螞蟻外師應用英文課程 ，程度高級，充滿知識性與深度。有開放單次付費上課。若你想學習用英文來深度探討各項主題，check it out！