Wednesday, July 20, 2016

7/20/16 Report - Navy Explosions Mistakenly Reported To Be Earthquakes. 1600s Religious Symbols in Cave. Plagiarism.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Explosion Mistaken for Earthquake.
US Navy Photo by Michael Bevan

Here  is a correction.  Yesterday I gave a source that reported an eathquake off the coast of Florida. It now appears, according  to the following linked source, that the seismic activity was caused by a explosions intended to test a new U.S. Navy vessel.

Here is the link.


A team led by the British Museum and the University of Leicester have found evidence of an early religious dialogue between Europeans and Native Americans. In a cave deep inside the remote island of Mona, archaeologists were astonished to discover Latin inscriptions and Christograms next to spiritual iconography left by indigenous peoples.


I write daily.  I write a lot.  I almost always give sources when I can.  I probably plagiarise sometimes, but not intentionally, and sometimes I probably do it unintentionally.  I think I do a pretty good job of giving sources and credit, but know that I am far from perfect.

I'm copied a lot without receiving credit.  I was made aware of another blog that was basically copying my post.

I don't hold to the highest standards of academic writing.  That is not the kind of thing I do.  This obviously isn't an academic journal.  I just put a few thoughts out there every day - nothing formal.

Sometimes I want to pass along something I heard or read and don't remember or can't find the original source.  I usually tell you when that is the case, so if plagiarism is defined as passing off someone else's work as your own, in those cases, I didn't do that.

I was helping someone who was writing a book recently and provided some text.  The person wrote back and said that later in another section of the book they subconsciously used what I had written. They didn't do it intentionally.  They discovered that they had done it unintentionally. That is natural. If you read or hear things, they register in your memory, you assimilate them, and are likely to use them in one form or another in the future.  That is just how people function.

Here is one type of plagiarism defined by a source found by using the link below.

Uncited paraphrase

When you use your own language to describe someone else's idea, that idea still belongs to the author of the original material. Therefore, it's not enough to paraphrase the source material responsibly; you also need to cite the source, even if you have changed the wording significantly. As with quoting, when you paraphrase you are offering your reader a glimpse of someone else's work on your chosen topic, and you should also provide enough information for your reader to trace that work back to its original form. The rule of thumb here is simple: Whenever you use ideas that you did not think up yourself, you need to give credit to the source in which you found them, whether you quote directly from that material or provide a responsible paraphrase.

Here is that link.

When does a person have an truely original idea?  I'd say almost never.  And when they do, if there are no similar good ideas leading up to the "original idea," I'd bet the "original idea" is pretty bad. In my opinion the above paragraph expressed no "original" idea.

I'd also bet that "the" source, in the vast majority of occasions, has another earlier source, and another and another, documented or otherwise.  People just don't think up ideas "on their own" very often.

Also take into account common sentiments and expressions, such as "I love my son."  That can hardly be an idea that is owned by anyone, first because of its prevalence, and second because when someone else says they love their son, they are not talking about your son, so you are not really expressing the same idea.

The fact is that the vast majority of ideas and language is held in common by a large segment of the human race, and I'd submit those common ideas do not belong to anyone.  Furthermore, there are only a few ways to express those ideas succinctly.  The vast majority of all English written or spoken text is done with around 200 different words.  People just don't construct language in a vacuum, There is much repitition, and there is very little real originality.  There is almost always another older source.

After all the talk about Melania Trump's supposed plagiarism, I decided to test Michele Obama's 2008 convention speech, and found, as I expected, that the online plagiarism test (same one used by one of the TV reporters) found plagiarism in Michele's speech as well.

So when I say "God bless America," or repeat the pledge of allegiance, I hope you'll forgive my plagiarism and simply assume that I was not the first to say those common words or express those ideas, and I am not trying to claim that I am the original author.


We'll have a few days of two-three foot surf.  No tropical activity to report.  This is getting boring but I'd rather have boring than a bad hurricane.

Happy hunting,