On the Road Again

Dear Readers,

As you know the blog the past month or so has been rather slow. This has been for a number of reasons.

First I judged it to be best to skip out on blogging during Lent. It freed up some time to spend with my family and gave me a bit of perspective. Sometimes you need to get away from something to see it more clearly.

Second, I have a paper forthcoming for publication and another one under review which along with my teaching duties has consumed a fair amount of my time. 

Third, I have been embroiled in an academic fracas since another person that I thought was a friend of mine, and a professing Christian, (I suppose thankfully that they aren’t Orthodox) turned out to be plagiarizing my most important work. For academic and legal reasons I am not able to write about this openly. But a word to the wise, if you are in academia, I wouldn’t share any of your best (or original) ideas in seminar with anyone. In my opinion, unless it is in print, formally published and unless there is verbatium copying, you simply can’t win, no matter how overwhelming the evidence. It doesn’t matter what a given policy states in terms of class presentations, colloquia or whatever. If it isn’t in print, you’ve lost. As I have learned this is the unspoken “gnosis” among academics. Silly me, I thought integrity mattered. The will to power crops up in the oddest of places. (See Time Bandits)

Consequently, I won’t be airing some of the cutting edge stuff or things I am kicking around, here anymore or any of my papers even though I have a copyright listed at the header of the blog. It just isn’t sufficient protection against intellectual theft. So until material is accepted for publication, I need to be silent as a trappist church mouse.

So as soon as finals are over and the grading is done, (after the 15th) watch for some new posts on various topics. These will include a second part on metaethics, the inadequacy of Catholicism and Protestantism replies to the problem of evil, and the eternity of the world. I also plan to address some comments I left standing. And a number of you have made email inquiries that I haven’t been able to get back to, so please be patient.

10 Responses to On the Road Again

  1. […] teaching position and my academic career was terminated. Needless to say this was due to my having integrity. If I had been dishonest and gone about things in a non-biblical matter by going to the person who […]

  2. Ryan says:

    The plagiarism of your greatest work inflicts a wound that not even time will heal. I hope you are able to fight this, and regain it without losing anything else, mainly your job. I have heard you speak of the work in the past, and was quite interested in reading it myself someday. I doubt that there would be anything that a lowly peon, especially one as annoyingly persistant as myself, could do to help you out, but if there is, I would gladly step in to assist you.

    Your Friend,
    **** aka Ryan

  3. Fr. John says:

    I think the deification of the most notorious Plagiarist of the XXth Century (Marchin’ Lootin’ King) by liberals, and Gnostics, and liberal gnostics, is proof positive that the “tenured radicals’ who (once they get in power) can foolishly look up at the Air Force and say “Those are OUR planes now!” (Bill Clinton, first term) are those willing to overlook such events ‘within house,’ as long as they can deify themselves in the “Glass Bead Game,” …or a run for the White House.

    Mores the pity….That we suffer such fools gladly.

  4. Thomas,

    That blog casts the net for what constitutes Orthodoxy rather widely. While I try to be “big tent” and shy away from a Donatistic attitude, I agree that they cast the net too widely.

    As for the plagiarism, it is quite possible that this person has done so. I know that they have taken some of the material I have informally written on criticism of sola scriptura and normativity and are trying to work that into a paper as well. Of course if there are other accusations, I don’t know about them.

    As things stand, this whole mess continues to drag on and unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will end well for me, but we will have to see.

    Perry

  5. trvalentine says:

    Regarding the plagiarism — istm that if someone has plagiarised one’s work, that person has probably plagiarised the works of others as well. Perhaps spreading the word that so-and-so has plagiarised your work would cause other victims to speak up as well. I would think it would be more difficult to ignore/explain away multiple accusations of plagiarism.

    Thomas

  6. trvalentine says:

    Regarding the voting for ‘Eastern Christian Blog Awards’ — much to my surprise and disappointment, it seems the vast majority are heterodox. Mostly Uniate. 😦

    Thomas

  7. Perry,

    Now you see why the Academy is the proud home of Gnosticism. There is no difference then, and there is no difference now. Praise be to the “handmaiden of theology.”

    Photios

  8. Gabriel,

    “Obi-wan used to think as you do.” I used to think the same thing, but experience has taught me differently. Departments generally circle the wagons and protect the plagiarizers. The only time they don’t is when the plagiarism is egregious where say a whole page or chapter is lifted verbatium. But academics aren’t usually stupid enough to do that. What they are stupid enough to do is invent sources for example or patch together citations in ways that would make the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society proud.

    Departments will usually bend overbackwards giving the most inane and stupid justifications for the offending party, especially if they have brought some positive prestige to the department. “Oh these things are just in the air.” for example. Often, as is the case with other Whistle-blowers they will persecute the accuser, fire them, cut off their funding, etc. (here is wisdom. Let the reader understand.) So as I wrote above, unless you have it published, you have no reasonable protection.

    Of course, there is the “Nuclear Option” of just posting it on the internet and then making certain people aware of it and then linking that person in the search engines so that http://www.John-Doe-is-a-plagiarist.com comes us every time they look for that persons name until the end of time, and then you place it beyond the judgment of a university, but then you have pretty much killed your chances of doing anything in academia if you make it public, so that is only a viable option after you’ve been fired.

  9. Gabriel says:

    Perry,

    The joy of the legal academy is that nobody here has original ideas.

    But seriously, I hope you are pursuing this matter as forcefully as you can. I know people have been denied positions in the (legal) academy for “lifting” pieces from their cohorts. I can’t imagine a department would be pleased to find out one of its students is at least suspected of engaging in intellectual theft. I know that formal protections may be lacking, but it seems that you might try to just raise enough of a public stink to allow for de facto sanctions. No academy and certainly no academic publisher wants to be tied to promoting the theft of another’s work; it may be helpful to alert the appropriate people and cut this fellow off at the knees.

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