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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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December 11, 2004

Teen Given "F" for Nuanced Thinking

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Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing passes on the sad and perverse story of a teenager who was given an "F" for writing a paper attempting to distinguish between piracy and stealing:


Geluso, an "A" student, recently completed an in-class exit exam for his Language Arts class. The goal of the exit exam was to write a comparative essay on a topic of the student's choice. Being a student who enjoys a challenge, he wrote an essay contrasting piracy with stealing.

His teacher failed him, saying there was no difference between the two and that he was "splitting hairs." Other teachers who read his essay said that he did well from an organizational and technical standpoint, but because his teacher felt that there was no difference between piracy and stealing, she gave him an "F" because she disapproved of the content of his essay.


So in other words, this teacher is:
1.) an MPAA/RIAA lobbyist deep undercover on a Kindergarten Cop-style reconnaissance mission;
2.) suffered head trauma, lost a few brain cells, then read and swallowed whole What's the Diff?; or simply
3.) profoundly anti-education.

Safe bet she didn't encourage this young fellow to think about a future career as an intellectual property attorney -- those guys "split hairs" like this for a living.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Big Thoughts


COMMENTS

1. Chris Sinkler on December 11, 2004 6:25 PM writes...

That teacher, as far as I'm concerned, shouldn't be a teacher. A teacher who tells their students to think, and then flunks them for doing so is simply a hypocrite, and we have enough of those teaching our students.

Permalink to Comment

2. Alexander Wehr on December 11, 2004 11:23 PM writes...

That is the point of school though.

It isnt there to teach you general knowledge, it is there to quell individuality and differentiating thought patterns.

Creative implemenation of a teacher's directions are ubiquitously termed "smarting off", and punished severely.

You have to be extraordinarily strong as a person to get through school with such creativity in tact, because they do everything they can to rob you of it.

Permalink to Comment

3. Ville Oksanen on December 12, 2004 7:09 AM writes...

Just a very minor detail - I believe that the teacher who failed him is actually he (Mr. B. Deathridge).

Permalink to Comment

4. Knight37 on December 13, 2004 1:18 PM writes...

Frankly, after reading the essay, I'm inclined to support the teacher, not the student. Okay, maybe he shouldn't have gotten an "F", but this was definitely not "A" material. The text is full of errors, for one thing, but aside from that, his case is completely bogus. It sounded more like a justification for piracy rather than explaining what the difference between piracy and theft actually is. Furthermore, he made some claims about piracy being beneficial that he couldn't substantiate except through annecdotal evidence. His essay was full of inconsistancy and logical fallicy. I'd have given him a "D" or maybe "C-".

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