16 October 2014
Evgeny Morozov Plagiarism Accusation Is Organized Envy
A response to:
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:30:00 -0400
From: gab fest <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Evgeny Morozov and the Perils of "Highbrow
Organized envy sounds like a fair characterization. But the organization
is small and centered on a few friends and associates of Medina. Then there
are others engaging in opportunistic one-offs on Twitter and Facebook, at
various levels of engagement.
It's far from clear that Morozov has "made a mistake." Everyone admits there
is no plagiarism. The basic problem seems to be that there has only been
one notable book written about Cybersyn, and given that limitation, it is
easy to contend that the topic, the ideas it generates and the primary sources
are the "property" of the author of that work. When Morozov published an
account of his research, and a photograph of the materials, the response
was along the lines of "oh so you ransacked her bibliography too." It was
also later alleged that not only did he make off with concepts from the work,
but that he also failed to steal the best ones. Twitter forensics, however,
have yet to produce one suspect paraphrase, let alone a verbatim borrowing.
It's not like the Zizek thing.
The melodramatic narratives constructed around his personality aren't very
convincing. He seems resilient and agile, judging by his conference appearances
rather than his Twitter feed.
Maybe it's the odd career arc that's problematic: successful author first,
graduate student second. He got to swing his axe before he ground it. So
it's easy to suggest he's a clumsy ideologue. That's another trope: he's
only seeking an advanced degree to sharpen his existing biases - as if that's
a bad thing.
All of which makes it difficult to critique whatever shortcomings are actually
present in his work.
On 10/14/14 6:17 AM, Geert Lovink wrote:
>did anyone of you follow this story? What's behind all this? I suppose
>Morozov is human and makes mistakes. He is part of the mainstream media
>landscape and has to deliver his journalistic pieces in order to stay
>these circles. That's when one starts to make mistakes after a while,
>suppose. As a journalist it would be easier to forgive him copying without
>attribution (even though he mentioned the author in this case). The problem
>is: Morozov is a very visible public intellectual, a critic, and maybe
>even an academic (after he has gone through the longish American PhD
>ritual). Morozov is the most wellknown and visible net critic, let's
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