No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success

Plagiarism etc…

Posted by Ben on Thursday, July 10, 2008

No, no one is plagiarizing me (that I know of, and if they were, that’s REALLY scraping the bottom of the barrel) nor am I plagiarizing anyone else. I say the former because (1) I haven’t been writing on here that long, (2) I’m not really presenting any “new” material here (just links to other people’s stuff in context), and (3) I HIGHLY doubt anyone could make money from ripping off the content found on this blog; I say the latter because, let’s face it, I’m still a relative neophyte in the realm of fitness/lifestyle writing. As you’ve noticed, I can crank out two or three pages worth of stuff at the drop of a hat—thank you, liberal arts studies—but as far as producing original and specific content, I’m nowhere near there yet (c’mon, I just got my CSCS study materials in the mail yesterday).

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there ripping off others’ work and trying to pass it off as their own (and profit from it). Unless you’re a regular reader of several blogs, forums, and product sites, you probably don’t realize some of the more recent episodes that’ve popped up—I sure wouldn’t know about them if I didn’t follow these sources (most, if not all, of which are linked to the right). Back in April, there was a spirited discussion surrounding the apparent plagiarism of someone who was thought to be one of the up-and-comers in the fitness industry. That was followed up this week by the calling-out of another high-profile industry “guru” for similar practices (developing discussion here).

I’m not sure what to say about these cases other than I followed the writings—and bought some of the product—by one of these persons. That’s not to say it wasn’t good product overall, but the integrity of the content is now in serious question. As I mentioned before, all (I think) of the blogs and forums I follow are linked to the right, and when one of those writers comes into as much scrutiny as this, I remove those links until I feel the writer(s) in question are cleared of any reasonable doubt. Let me say that I only know in person a tiny handful of the people behind the scenes of those blogs and forums, but I want my information—and the information I pass along to you—to be as original, potent, relevant, and practical as possible.

/teacher mode

Now, to break up some of the tension, I present to you Tony Gentilcore’s latest offering. Take note of (most of) the comments on that post. Maybe the spinning sex-grunter should pair up with this guy (oh wait, is it plagiarizing if I copy my own words?). Too bad he and Eric Cressey work up on Boston; otherwise, this sign in their gym could be reason enough to move there to train:

Since this was an unplanned blog, the following will encompass the “etc” portion of the title in the customary hodgepodge format (no overarching theme today beyond the first part of the writing). That’s not to say there isn’t anything to talk about. In fact, I was already gearing up for another nutrition-focused writing, so I can go ahead and toss some of that stuff your way, but first, I want to follow up on a few issues I’ve already tackled in previous posts as others have done their own writing and updates on the matters:

—Dr. Eades weighs in on statin prescriptions for children (hint: he ain’t happy about it).
—Young athletes are showing more injuries found more commonly in adult athletes (here, too—wait, isn’t that the EXACT same story on two DIFFERENT news sites? Oh wait, it’s the Associated Press, so nevermind). Here are some simple tricks for pain relief during treatment (I especially like the pinwheel idea).
—The new name/face/mind behind Male Pattern Fitness (formerly by Lou Schuler) is… Andrew Heffernan *riotous applause* His introductory post is reminiscient of some of my substitute teaching days.
—Coach Steer adds his take on reaching and maintaining your body’s “set point” that Alan Aragon talked about at this year’s JP Fitness Summit.
—Gary Tanaka offers his thoughts on keeping a food journal (hint: it’s a good thing).
—For simplicity’s sake, I’ve mentioned before—as have others—that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, which is true up to a point, but if you’re serious about some body composition goals, it still helps to put calories into context.
—While I’m not all for grains, I realize that they are going to be a part of the American diet—and I fully intend to down a whole loaf of sourdough, with or without candle(s), from Nova’s on my upcoming birthday—so when it comes to your bread, as with other things, be wary of what you’re actually eating. Here are some good summertime alternatives anyway. Follow-up follow-up: As I was writing this, I was also emailing Alan Aragon about the bread link, to which he said:

The fact that one type of bread has a greater or lesser glycemic/insulinemic response than another has no bearing on body composition, but total calorie balance over time does. As for health implications, unless you’re diabetic and intend to eat half a loaf of bread a day (as opposed to 2-4 slices), then the glycemic response of the bread might matter — only in the event of a total caloric surplus.

And there it is.
—Piggybacking off earlier commentary on marketing and advertising, are your cravings truly physical, or are they just mental manifestations?
Age is still not an excuse.

Now for some relatively untouched subjects (not all of which are directly relevant to our well-being, but I’ll save those for the end of the list):

—More so than with grains, I’m not a fan of “cardio” (boot camps are a totally different—and awesome—animal if designed and executed correctly), but hey, if it gets people off the couch, it’s better than nothing. Just make sure that, no matter what you’re doing, you’re periodically checking to see that you’re progressing toward your goals.
—Light beer contains alcohol just like regular beer, though maybe with fewer calories but no fewer buzzwords, but in a shocking revelation, “light” or “low-tar” cigarettes is found to still contain harmful (amounts of) carcinogens.
—You still have to leave the couch (for the most part) to get your hands on the more popular movies, but plenty of others are available sans movement, but where’s the fun in that?
—It seems unruly patients aren’t the only ones allegedly abusing nurses. At least there’s a chance that you’ll see fewer office supplies bearing the names of drug companies’ products. Maybe. Then there’s the recent Medicare flap, which is a whole book or four in and of itself, which could be a bigger issue than it already is if human bias really is a problem.
—Drug abuses are perpetuated online (here and here—yes, two more or less different writings!)? The hell you say. I guess all those spam emails for Viagra and other “natural male enhancement” pills are legit, eh? Maybe I really should send my bank account information to the deposed yet rightful prince of Nigeria…
—Mini geek-out: animation technology is finally reaching a point where biology can feasibly be a huge inspiration; say good-bye to some of the already few mornings you get to sleep in.

Finally, a little encouragement from Gary, who notes that he’s been focusing more on the mental approach to training (and life) lately. Remember, it could always be worse, or maybe it has been, but your mentality is ultimately the key to your success (see: Alpo).


UPDATE – July 11, 2008: The person in question at the center of the latest plagiarism situation has issued a response via email that he also allowed to be posted in the above-referenced discussion forum. I’ll post further updates if/when they become available.

UPDATE – July 13, 2008: A co-author speaks.

UPDATE – July 14, 2008: As is customary on the Internet, the afore-linked developing discussion has turned into a name-calling pissing contest. Nothing like winning an online argument, eh? At any rate, the accuser has yet to reply to the accused’s response. I’ll update when/if that happens; otherwise, I won’t add anything else here. Once the whole story comes out, I’ll restore the removed blog and website links if warranted. Otherwise, I’ll just keep wondering how people can act like there’s nothing else wrong in the world and therefore turn something like this into a cyber-circus.

UPDATE – July 18, 2008: Bit late on this update, but the accuser (I think) responded, albeit on his own forum rather than his more public blog. At this point, I couldn’t give a roaring rip considering how much this has blown up with very few facts and a shit-ton of speculation and assumption. Sorry, the rest of the world isn’t exactly fixed yet, so this doesn’t warrant anymore attention from me (pending actual litigation or a blaze-of-glory nosedive from someone).


One Response to “Plagiarism etc…”

  1. Mich said

    Thank you for posting the picture of that sign. I needed a smile today and that hit the spot. :-)

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