Homiletics: Intellectual Property and Authorship Paradigms

Last semester, in John Logie's RIPPI class, we talked a lot about authorship and intellectual property through the ages. When we talked about the medieval period, Logie noted that at that time, most people didn't think about knowledge in ownership terms. Knowledge was from God: It was freely given by God, so in turn, Christians should freely share it. Yesterday, someone was telling me about a pastor who, some church members alleged, got his sermons from the Internet and didn't cite them. Another person, a member of the church in question, didn't see anything wrong with that. She said, "Of course you get help. Of course you look at books and Web sites. No one writes all that by himself." That got me thinking. What are the paradigms of intellectual property and authorship when it comes to homiletics? A quick search for "intellectual property homiletics" led me to the text of a "public lecture" given by a minister/theologian, and preceding the transcript of the lecture, I found this:

NOTE: All public lectures appear by permission of their authors. These lectures are posted as a service to our readers, with the trust that all conventions of fair use and respect for intellectual property will be followed with respect to this material.

I see a conflict here. To what extent is the "freely given, freely shared" paradigm still in effect? Could be quite an interesting dissertation topic for someone!

Cross-posted at Kairosnews.

Mona Charen's latest column

I read this infuriating piece yesterday in the TimesDaily. The link to the infuriating piece won't be active for long as it is on the Creators Syndicate site and will be replaced the next time Charen writes a column, but you need to look at it while you can. Charen is arguing against affirmative action in college acceptance practices, or "quotas" and "racial preferences" as she calls them. She makes me the most angry when she says that "If preferences were eliminated from higher education, black students at every level of education from primary through middle and high school would have to take academic performance more seriously."

WHAT?!?! What a smug piece of entitlement crap! Her whole argument is based on glaring racist assumptions. Do you think African American students and their parents don't take academic performance seriously, or just not as seriously as white students and parents do? What a crock! It's racism like this that the educational system is built upon. Charen says that "When underqualified black students are granted admission to extremely selective schools, they tend to drop out at extremely high rates and to find the work very challenging." Underqualified? More like excluded and intimidated by predominately white classrooms, invisible white privilege, and institutionalized racism. More like inadequately prepared by a government that would rather privatize education than actually invest money in public education, especially public schools in poor neighborhoods!! Does she really not realize that there's a correlation between wealth and race? Does she think that working-class African American families can actually afford such luxuries as tutors, educational summer camps and programs, etc.? Did Charen ever once think of that? I can think of something Charen should do. [Rolleyes]

New Music and Ennui

Bought three new CDs last night:

  • The White Stripes: Elephant
  • The Donnas: Spend the Night
  • Lucinda Williams: World Without Tears

They all rock. I must admit, though, that the purchase of Elephant was somewhat of a political move because of the band's stance on intellectual property.

Anyway, the music is great, and that's really all I have to say about it...which leads me to the ennui part.

Academic Blogging

Tom Coates has written an intricate post called "Discussion and Citation in the Blogosphere." He argues that rich debate can happen on weblogs. Some might think that's stating the obvious, right? Coates knows that. To my mind, he's arguing for the academic legitimation of blogging, something that's already happening very quickly (as Charlie linked in this post). Coates is arguing that we're experiencing a "micro-paradigm shift" toward a "hyperactive academia." One person who commented pointed out the peer review process involved in academic publication, and Coates responded by saying that in blogging, peer review certainly takes place, but after the fact. That's it exactly. I was talking to Charlie at Computers & Writing about an idea I have about the possible future of academic blogging: What if you, an academic, kept a weblog and blogged all your scholarly essays there. Let's say that if you're looking for a job, someone finds a few people in your area of study to peer-review your weblog. It wouldn't be blind review, true, but it would be something. Thanks Anne for the link. Also posted on Kairosnews.

A blog by a 3-year-old and his mom

Lauren! This is too cute. See also BabyBlogger. This is from Jeneane Sessum's child.

Unfortunately, it looks to me like blogging for small children is already becoming a little commodified.

Friday Five on Thursday

Because I simply can't wait until tomorrow! Friday Five:

  1. What brand of toothpaste do you use?

    Arm & Hammer and sometimes Colgate.

  2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer?

    No preference whatsoever. Scott, Charmin, Kleenex Cottonelle, Quilted Northern...I like them all. I actually have a very strong conviction when it comes to toilet paper: If you are out of toilet paper, your house is not a home.

  3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear?

    Steve Madden! Aargh, now I'm starting to sound like Barbie.

  4. What brand of soda do you drink?

    Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Sprite. Nothing diet.

  5. What brand of gum do you chew?

    I don't chew gum. My dentist told me not to chew gum or crunch ice as I have a poppy-cracky jaw that could be susceptible to TMJ if I were to do either of the aforementioned things.

Hey, Answergrape...

Going by what I just read, I think you should submit something to our edited collection.

Blogs Opening Iranian Society?

Blogs Opening Iranian Society? - Iran's restive youth are using Farsi-language blogs as an outlet to express repressed creativity and sexuality. But the Islamic government is slowly catching on. Michelle Delio reports from the BlogTalk conference in Vienna. [Wired]

The article says there are over 12,000 Farsi blogs and that blogging in Farsi is one way Iranians can participate in Western-centered culture without losing their heritage, and that since Iran doesn't have a free press, these weblogs are more reliable perspectives of what it's really like in Iran. I bet someone could do an analysis of Iranian blogs using feminist standpoint theory! Too bad I can't read Farsi.

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