List of plagiarisms by Victor Pross


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List of plagiarisms

A word of explanation

Initially I did not want to make this list, but Pross has repeatedly stated in other places that the list of his plagiarisms is not long and the plagiary a temporary reaction to the treatment he received here on OL. For instance, here is a quote from a Meetup post by Pross dated July 4, 2007, but since it is an edit, it was probably made July 5 (according to the time stamp). The quote as presently published is given below. This guy has a habit of changing his public statements after he is found out, so it may change. These are the words as they appear on July 12, 2007.

edit: This must be stressed: the portion of plagiarized posts is small in scale--relatively speaking--to the over two thousand posts I created. So the task at hand is not so overwhelming. We are NOT speaking of in the hundreds here...or, for that matter even 40 or 15. We'll see. Thanks.

Even this would not be enough for me to make the following list, but I have perceived an email campaign to create some kind of movement to denigrate OL by playing down the number of Pross’s plagiarisms as a premise. Let people form any gangs they wish, but facts are facts. Rather than quibble, I prefer to let the facts speak for themselves. Each one given here can be checked independently online.

As there are many posts to look at, this list is a work in progress. I will add to it as I go along so it will grow over time. One advantage of this list is that I will be able to provide a reference to Pross’s plagiarisms without calling undue attention to new ones uncovered. From now on, when a new plagiarism is discovered, I will usually (but not always) confine comments to the actual post in a different color, thus it will not appear on the new posts listing.

I am giving below the date of the plagiarism, a link to the post and the name of the person plagiarized. All other pertinent information can be had by linking to the post. I am using chronological order, so new entries will not necessarily appear at the bottom.

List of plagiarisms by Victor Pross

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Aug 14, 2007: 96

(Chronological identification/edit progress list given at bottom.)

Date ---------- Link ------- Author plagiarized

Jun 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover

Jun 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Albert Goldman

Jun 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Ronald K.L. Collins & Robert Corn-Revere

Jun 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Shelton Hull

Jun 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Gordon Williams

Jun 27 2006 --- Post 001 --- Michael Smith

Jun 30 2006 --- Post 001 --- Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi

Jun 30 2006 --- Post 001 --- Ayn Rand

Jun 30 2006 --- Post 001 --- Luke Setzer

Aug 06 2006 --- Post 012 --- Barbara Branden

Aug 06 2006 --- Post 012 --- Michael Stuart Kelly

Aug 13 2006 --- Post 065 --- Diana Hsieh

Aug 13 2006 --- Post 065 --- Andrew Latus

Aug 13 2006 --- Post 065 --- David Kelley

Aug 14 2006 --- Post 001 --- Diana Hsieh

Aug 14 2006 --- Post 001 --- Andrew Latus

Aug 14 2006 --- Post 001 --- David Kelley

Aug 16 2006 --- Post 005 --- “Bearster” (pseudonym of Keith Weiner)

Aug 19 2006 --- Post 001 --- Robin Craig

Aug 19 2006 --- Post 001 --- Francois Tremblay

Aug 19 2006 --- Post 001 --- Leonard Peikoff

Aug 19 2006 --- Post 001 --- Wikipedia (former article - public domain - presented as original writing)

Aug 19 2006 --- Post 036 --- Barbara Branden

Aug 19 2006 --- Post 036 --- Michael Stuart Kelly

Aug 19 2006 --- Post 037 --- Andrew Latus

Aug 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Paul Davies

Aug 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- George P. Smith II (quoted by The Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG)

Aug 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Lou Marinoff

Aug 26 2006 --- Post 001 --- Logan Feys

Sep 25 2006 --- Post 043 --- Gary Hull

Nov 06 2006 --- Post 052 --- Jennifer Iannolo

Nov 06 2006 --- Post 052 --- Penelope

Nov 06 2006 --- Post 052 --- Adam Buker

Nov 08 2006 --- Post 127 --- Murray N. Rothbard

Nov 08 2006 --- Post 127 --- Raymie Stata

Nov 16 2006 --- Post 001 --- Ayn Rand

Nov 16 2006 --- Post 001 --- Leonard Peikoff

Nov 16 2006 --- Post 001 --- David Kelley

Nov 16 2006 --- Post 001 --- William Thomas

Nov 16 2006 --- Post 001 --- Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi

Nov 18 2006 --- Post 025 --- Joe Kellard

Jan 01 2007 --- Post 008 --- William Thomas

Jan 01 2007 --- Post 008 --- David Kelley

Jan 01 2007 --- Post 008 --- Ayn Rand

Jan 03 2007 --- Post 022 --- Brian Yoder

Jan 05 2007 --- Post 046 --- Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi

Jan 09 2007 --- Post 178 --- Igor Babailov

Jan 09 2007 --- Post 182 --- Claudio Lombardo

Jan 10 2007 --- Post 225 --- Brian K. Yoder

Jan 12 2007 --- Post 030 --- Ashley Frazier

Jan 18 2007 --- Post 046 --- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Jan 18 2007 --- Post 046 --- Scott Renshaw

Jan 24 2007 --- Post 001 --- Rick Bayan

Jan 24 2007 --- Post 001 --- Unknown reviewer at Ruthless Reviews

Feb 16 2007 --- Post 007 --- Paul Davies

Feb 16 2007 --- Post 007 --- George H. Smith

Feb 17 2007 --- Post 071 --- Hal Erickson

Feb 18 2007 --- Post 001 --- Product description of film (public domain - presented as original writing)

Feb 18 2007 --- Post 003 --- Wikipedia (public domain - presented as original writing)

Feb 18 2007 --- Post 003 --- Product description of film (public domain - presented as original writing)

Feb 22 2007 --- Post 001 --- Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi

Feb 22 2007 --- Post 001 --- Ayn Rand

Feb 22 2007 --- Post 001 --- Luke Setzer

Mar 07 2007 --- Post 023 --- Barbara Branden

Mar 07 2007 --- Post 023 --- Michael Stuart Kelly

Mar 17 2007 --- Post 001 --- "pcj, Randy Bonobo" (pseudonym)

Mar 18 2007 --- Post 039 --- George H. Smith

Mar 20 2007 --- Post 110 --- Max More

Mar 20 2007 --- Post 001 --- Luke Setzer

Mar 22 2007 --- Post 130 --- Luke Setzer

Mar 22 2007 --- Post 001 --- Michael Smith

Mar 23 2007 --- Post 145 --- “BattleGear” (pseudonym)

Mar 23 2007 --- Post 147 --- Ronald E. Merrill (further plagiarized by “Ayn Marx”)

Mar 23 2007 --- Post 149 --- Luke Setzer

Mar 23 2007 --- Post 152 --- George H. Smith

Mar 24 2007 --- Post 196 --- Luke Setzer

Mar 24 2007 --- Post 199 --- Leonard Peikoff

Mar 24 2007 --- Post 199 --- Luke Setzer

Mar 25 2007 --- Post 229 --- George H. Smith

Mar 25 2007 --- Post 233 --- George H. Smith

Mar 25 2007 --- Post 233 --- Michael Stuart Kelly

Mar 25 2007 --- Post 233 --- David King

Mar 25 2007 --- Post 269 --- Ronald E. Merrill (further plagiarized by “Ayn Marx”)

Mar 26 2007 --- Post 001 --- Robert Bass

Mar 26 2007 --- Post 001 --- Ronald E. Merrill (further plagiarized by “Ayn Marx”)

Mar 31 2007 --- Post 002 --- Nicholas Dykes (previously deleted, now restored)

Apr 05 2007 --- Post 354 --- Gary McGath

Apr 07 2007 --- Post 001 --- Leonard Peikoff

Apr 07 2007 --- Post 001 --- Wayne Dunn

Apr 07 2007 --- Post 001 --- Peter Cresswell

Apr 07 2007 --- Post 001 --- Ayn Rand

Apr 07 2007 --- Post 137 --- Wikipedia (public domain - presented as original writing)

Apr 08 2007 --- Post 004 --- Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi

Apr 16 2007 --- Post 001 --- David Hayes

Apr 21 2007 --- Post 001 --- Unknown author on the Madame Bovary site

May 01 2007 --- Post 033 --- Bertrand Russell

Identified and edited plagiarisms added to the list on Aug 14, 2007:

Feb 22 2007 --- Post 001 --- Ayn Rand

Feb 22 2007 --- Post 001 --- Luke Setzer

Apr 08 2007 --- Post 004 --- Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi

Identification/edit progress list:

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Aug 13, 2007: 93

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Aug 12, 2007: 86

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Aug 04, 2007: 79

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Aug 03, 2007: 75

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Aug 02, 2007: 71

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 31, 2007: 64

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 30, 2007: 58

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 29, 2007: 53

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 28, 2007: 48

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 27, 2007: 44

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 24, 2007: 39

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 23, 2007: 37

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 22, 2007: 28

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 16, 2007: 25

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 14, 2007: 24

Total plagiarisms identified and edited as of Jul 12, 2007: 23

(Many others have been identified as of Jul 12, 2007, but not yet edited.)

==============================================================

Articles or initial posts of threads started by Victor Pross containing plagiary

The following list is taken from the above record, so these are not new plagiarisms. I decided to make this separate listing because it is material that the poster made a point of featuring on OL and it gives the titles of his bogus articles. Dates are given and this is in chronological order. Obviously, it will be added to as the identification work progresses.

LENNY BRUCE: A First Amendment Hero! (Jun 26 2006)

The Hatred of Objectivism is the Hatred of objectivity. (Jun 27 2006)

Art and a Sense of Life (Jun 30 2006)

The Mind-Body Dichotomy in David Kelley’s philosophy (Aug 14 2006)

QUANTUM PHYSICS: Objective or Subjective Universe? (Aug 19 2006)

The Dire Search for Meaning and Purpose in a Finite Life (Aug 26 2006)

ART: WHO NEEDS IT? (Nov 16 2006)

Modernist and Postmodernists con-artists (Jan 24 2007)

“Steamy, Sexy and Sensual Movies!, For intelligent men and women!” (Feb 18 2007)

Art, a sense of Life and selectivity: the dance between concretes and abstractions (Feb 22 2007)

Great writers! Was Ayn Rand and George Orwell on the same page? (Mar 17 2007)

Philosophy Attacks Objectivism and objectivity (Mar 22 2007)

Objectivist ethics: Life as the Standard. (Mar 26 2007)

Popping Popper: The Critical Rationalism critique. (Mar 31 2007)

The 'Stolen Concept' (Apr 07 2007)

The Rape Scene in The Fountainhead: Why it was not rape (Apr 16 2007)

Madame Bovary, Its "Moral Theme" is...? (Apr 21 2007)

THE DUEL BETWEEN PLATO AND ARISTOTLE (Mar 20 2007)

Total articles or initial posts of threads containing plagiary identified and edited as of August 12, 2007: 18

==============================================================

(I am adding the following to eliminate all doubt, prompted by a discussion below of Ellen Stuttle. I am listing links so far. Later I might do the text comparisons, but that really is the work of the other site.)

Pross's plagiarisms on Solo Passion before he came to OL, under the present name "Banned User":

Total plagiarisms on Solo Passion under the "Banned User" name: 3.

Michael

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[i wrote the following before signing on, and wasn't sure in which thread I'd post it. Here seems a good place.]

I came across something interesting in a post of Victor's from his SOLO days.

A bit of preface -- I've said some of this before, but to elaborate:

At the time of Victor's membership on SOLO, I was paying little attention to his posts. I never read any of the "articles" he submitted there. Nor did I do more then take a quick glance at the "articles" he submitted when he first started posting on OL. He came to OL in mid-July last year. At that time, the major concern on my mind was needed preparations before my husband and I left for Europe (we were gone from August 8 to 23, first attending a symmetry conference in Budapest, then visiting Vienna).

Back then, I quite bought Victor's explaining the incident of the "integration" borrowed remarks -- which resulted in his being booted from SOLO -- as due to haste and his inexperience with elist quoting protocols. He continues with the same basic story now.

For instance, he wrote in a post on Meetup (here):

[The wording given is as of his editing the post Jul 12, 2007 at 12:41 AM. It's the same wording as in the initial post of Jul 6, 2007 at 12:14 AM -- I copied the initial post; also the current edited version.]

But in must be reinstated again, any failure to properly attribute source material in the early days of my introduction to the Internet (2005) was due to my ignorance of 'internet ethics' and whereby I treated it as an 'email party' and/or chat-room. After a time, it was not excusable. As I said already: At first, it must be emphasized, when I joined the Internet World, I was a wet-behind-the ears-babe-in-the woods (I'm old-school). I did not have, within my definition of plagiarism at the time, a concept which does not include higher grades or a monetary value. Of course I was wrong.

Yes, of course, he was wrong. Furthermore, his initial ignorance of protocol doesn't explain why he proceed to post on OL -- and this was prior to the "Love in Bloom" thread -- "articles" which contained purloined material. Why didn't he stop cold the practice of borrowing THEN, having been caught at it and having been booted from one list because of it?

The "something interesting" I came across, however, does lend credence to his having been ignorant of acceptable list behavior at the start.

I found this because I was searching the SOLO archives wondering how many of his early "articles" on OL had first been posted on SOLO (answer, most of them).

It's in a thread titled "What are SOLOists reading?" (here).

He writes (here):

Submitted by Victor Pross on Sat, 2006-06-03 15:38.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: I'm also reading "The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon."

It was written by Ronald Collins a First Amendment scholar.

Read my post here, at Solo, called LENNY BRUCE: FIRST ADMENDMENT HERO.

(The book is actually by two authors; I gave the cite earlier on the "Exposed" thread:

http://www.wnyc.org/books/6533

The Trials of Lenny Bruce The Fall and Rise of an American Icon

By Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover)

So apparently at that time he wasn't trying to disguise where he'd gotten the material he used for the Lenny Bruce piece.

I find the whole development, in retrospect, a case of "If only I'd been paying attention." Suppose I'd read the SOLO Lenny Bruce post. It would have been entirely apparent to me then that he'd made liberal use of wordings not his own, and perhaps the subsequent history could have been nipped in the bud. Ah, well, way past the time now. My point now is that maybe he indeed didn't know any better at the start -- an excuse, I repeat, which became no longer plausible after he started to post on OL other material the sources of which he had to have known by then he hadn't properly credited.

Ellen

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Ellen, I'm willing to be corrected, but I find it difficult to believe that Victor initially did not understand that when he uses other people's material, he must credit his sources. He said he did not know this because he was not familiar with "internet ethics," and that he treated posting on the internet as the equivalent of "an e-mail party." But his plagiarism has nothing to do with the ethics of the internet or email. No one who first enters the internet or posts to forums is familiar with the special ethics involved -- but even highschool students know the general principle: that you don't lift material from other people without giving them credit. Being a babe-in-the woods about forums is irrelevant. We all were babes in the woods iat one time, but we did not all plagiarize.

Barbara

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Ellen, I'm willing to be corrected, but I find it difficult to believe that Victor initially did not understand that when he uses other people's material, he must credit his sources. He said he did not know this because he was not familiar with "internet ethics," and that he treated posting on the internet as the equivalent of "an e-mail party." But his plagiarism has nothing to do with the ethics of the internet or email. No one who first enters the internet or posts to forums is familiar with the special ethics involved -- but even highschool students know the general principle: that you don't lift material from other people without giving them credit. Being a babe-in-the woods about forums is irrelevant. We all were babes in the woods iat one time, but we did not all plagiarize.

Barbara

Barbara, I find it plausible -- just -- that he might not have thought of it in terms of "plagiarizing" when he first appeared in listland. The note about his Lenny Bruce item does lend some credence to this. As I said, by the time he then proceeded to post on OL items he'd formerly posted on SOLO the excuse no longer washed.

Ellen

Edited to break the list of items into a separate post.

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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Here, while I'm about it, is a list of items which he posted first on SOLO then repeated on OL. Some of these we know contain plagiarized material. With others the suspicion is strong, though a source hasn't been identified. Possibly some of these were borrowed from posts on Yahoo groups -- my understanding is that Yahoo groups can't be googled.

All but 2 of the original articles have subsequently been deleted. The 2 which as of today are still there are the Lenny Bruce article and the one called "ART: The Culture's Barometer." (The small item called "The Liberal Glossary" is also still on SOLO as of today.)

Listing in order (all are from 2006):

June 2: Lenny Bruce: First Amendment Hero! - Fri, 2006-06-02 04:15

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1085

June 6: ART: The Culture's Barometer - Tue, 2006-06-06 04:10 (I don't know if he posted this text on OL; I've copied the complete post into a separate item; see post #7 below.)

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1103

June 9: THE DUEL BETWEEN PLATO AND ARISTOTLE - Fri, 2006-06-09 05:15

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1122

June 10: EMOTIONS: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. - Sat, 2006-06-10 01:16

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1126

June 12: The Hatred of Objectivism is the Hatred of objectivity. - Mon, 2006-06-12 02:18

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1136

June 13: QUANTUM PHYSICS: Objective or Subjective Universe? - Tue, 2006-06-13 04:24

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1141

June 15: Talent. (This one I think is his own unaided writing.) - Thu, 2006-06-15 03:30

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1152

June 16: Satire, Humor and The Good. (I think he might have changed the title of that.) - Fri, 2006-06-16 08:02

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1158

June 21: The Age of SO WHAT? - Wed, 2006-06-21 23:55

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1195

There was also a small item which I don't know if he posted on OL called:

The Liberal Glossary Thu, 2006-06-08 01:06

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1110

Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-09-28 00:08 identified this as having come from the Toronto Sun.

http://torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Mars...21/1543303.html

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Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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The "something interesting" I came across, however, does lend credence to his having been ignorant of acceptable list behavior at the start.

. . .

So apparently at that time he wasn't trying to disguise where he'd gotten the material he used for the Lenny Bruce piece.

Ellen,

I am glad somebody is questioning this because it is prompting me to analyze Pross's posts on Solo Passion in addition to OL. I will not do the same in-depth research that I am doing on OL, but I will uncover the blatant plagiarisms. Here is a first report.

Pross posted under two names on Solo Passion (at least). I have looked at all of his posts under the heading of "Banned User," which is the one where he had the least number of posts (14 by my count). I found 3 blatant cases of plagiary just by Googling some key phrases. None of these have been identified on Solo Passion as far as I know. The links to the posts and the sources are given here if you would like to compare the texts.

Post on Solo Passion made on April 27, 2006 (about art).

This is plagiarism of Art and Ideals by David Kelley and What does Objectivism Consider to be Art (Aesthetics) by William Thomas. (I have to thank Jonathan for identifying the Thomas article when Pross recycled this article on OL.)

Post on Solo Passion made on May 12, 2006 (about sense of life).

This is plagiarism of Sense Of Life by Joseph Rowlands from "The Importance of Philosophy" site.

Post on Solo Passion made on May 31, 2006 (about PARC)

This plagiarizes a book description write-up for PARC probably written by Reginald Firehammer on "The Autonomist" site.

You have interpreted Pross's mention of one source for one plagiarism as "lending credence" to his claim that he was innocently ignorant of the fact that a person is not supposed to plagiarize in public (on the Internet). (He posted the Lenny Bruce article on June 2, 2006, after the above posts.)

I have a different interpretation. I think he goofed and slipped.

My logic goes as follows. When a person performs a whole lot of acts and attributes them to a cause, and there are several indications of that cause, his attribution is at least plausible. When a person performs a whole lot of acts and attributes them to a cause, but there is only ONE small indication of that cause and nothing else, I find it necessary to look for another possible explanation.

Incidentally, that "Internet party" idea came from me after he was on OL. I was fishing for reasons as to why he was so lapse with leaving out sources. I also gave him an excuse for his plagiarism of an article from the Toronto Sun that they had discovered on Solo Passion. Of course, I did not believe it was intentional plagiary at that time. I did think it was extremely lapse (and I was always pushing him to cite sources back then).

I have the emails to prove this, too. Here is what I wrote to Pross on September 27, 2006:

I think you should post something somewhere, maybe in Rants or the Living Room, citing the post and saying that of course you got it from the Toronto Sun. You took a few of the quips and copy-pasted them on the Internet like millions of people do with humorous lists. However, as you have said elsewhere, you will no longer leave out sources, even for jokes.

I will not publish what he wrote because that is his intellectual property. But I can say that he immediately wrote back agreeing with me and used the phrase "email party."

This was in September 2006, after he had posted a huge amount of plagiarisms on Solo Passion and OL. I do not recall the "email party" or "Internet party" idea being floated before September 2006. Of course, now it is a banner waving to the four winds.

I will also look into Pross's posts under his own name on Solo Passion and report my findings. So far, we have 3 plagiarisms out of 14 posts on Solo Passion under the "Banned User" name, and 2 of the posts incidentally are blank because he (or somebody) deleted the content. I think I will add these links to my head post, too, so they don't stay buried here in this thread.

Michael

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I broke the text of this item into a separate post. I suspect he lifted wording from that art website Jonathan has linked (where Bouguereau was declared the most clicked-on painter featured), the name of which I can't think of at the moment (See J's post #8 below):

ART: The Culture's Barometer - Tue, 2006-06-06 04:10

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1103

Submitted by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-06 04:10.

AYN RAND wrote in the ROMANIC MANAFESTO that “art is the barometer of a culture. It reflects the sum of a society’s deepest philosophical values: not its professed notions and slogans, but its actual view of man and of existence.”

Ayn Rand never wrote a great deal about the specific art form that is of my interest-—namely painting. She has given plentiful examples of the culture’s current state by citing numerous examples in the field of her specialization—-literature. And it's all dead-on.

But given the above quote, let’s take a look into the visual art field to demonstrate, further, her penetrating and pin-point analysis of modern culture as a "culture barometer." Objectivists know the philosophic climate of the culture, so there's no need to cover that here, so let's confine the this post to its effects on the visual arts:

The art of painting is one of the greatest traditions in all of human history. It is coming under a relentless assault that started more than one hundred years ago. The accumulated knowledge of over 2500 hundred years, spanning from Ancient Greece to the early Renaissance and through to the extraordinary pinnacles of artistic achievement in the High Renaissance, the 17th century Dutch, and the great 19th century Academics of Europe and America--is on its death bed.

These classic traditions, just as they were reaching their pinnacle, seemingly unstoppable—hit the 19th century at full stride, and then fell off into an abyss, devolving ever downwards into a distorted, contrived notion of “freedom of expression.” Every shred of order and standards, with which it was possible to identify, understand and to create great paintings and sculpture was degraded, detested, desecrated and eviscerated. The backbone of the painters' craft, namely DRAWING--was thrown into the trash along with modeling, perspective, recognizable objects or elements from the real world. The ability to capture, exhibit, and poetically express subjects and themes about mankind and the human condition became compost material. The ability to paint representational was branded as banal, mawkish, photographic, illustration, or petty sentimentality.

Serious art students, who are going to supposedly to the finest universities in the world, are being taught by professors with Bachelors or Arts, Masters of Arts, Masters of Fine Arts, Masters of Art Education and even Doctoral degrees, are being subjected to methodical brain-washing and taught to deny the evidence of their own senses. And they have instilled this on an esoteric theoretical paradigm. And all the artists that painted recognizable scenes with depth and illusion had to be discredited. They were discredited with a virulence and vituperation so scathing and merciless that one would think they must have been messengers of the devil himself to deserve such abuse. And to put the final nail in their coffins, all of their art was banished and their names and accomplishments written right out of history.

No student in a school with this kind of dictatorial brain-washing will ever risk exploring or even listening to opposing views, for fear of being stigmatized with some ugly label. Sadly, a very effective deterrent to independent thought. Thus the visual experience of well-drawn representational elements is perceived as a negative.

If we are to accomplish things of true merit and excellence, we must germinate and nurture great masters in this millennium. We must uphold the old masters because they mastered the techniques of the past, built upon them and then opened them up to an avalanche of new subject matter and Enlightenment ideals, that they accomplished the greatest half-century of painting in art history. The abyss that I mentioned, in which art is falling, is still plunging downward---and at some point—-unless reversed—--will eventually hit rock bottom.

____________________________________________________________

______________________ post-note: Take a look at the

world’s

greatest painter’s work. Google these names: William

Bouguereau, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John William

Waterhouse, Frederick Lord Leighton, Ernst Louis Meissonnier

, Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Frank Dicksee, Jules Joseph

Tissot, John William Godward...and many more.

These world-class masterpieces by some of history's greatest

painters were willfully written out of history by modernist

ideologues.

____________________________________________________________

____________________

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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I broke the text of this item into a separate post. I suspect he lifted wording from that art website Jonathan has linked (where Bouguereau was declared the most clicked-on painter featured), the name of which I can't think of at the moment...

Ellen,

The site is the Art Renewal Center, and your suspicions were correct: the article borrows from here.

J

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Ellen,

After mulling over the "why" of Pross identifying the source of his plagiarism of the Lenny Bruce article, I came up with another possibility that is neither "email party" or "goof/slip." It was an intentional clue left out in the open on purpose. He was gambling with fate, sort of like Russian Roulette.

Here is part of an email I sent to another person on June 15, 2007 that is self-explanatory:

btw - This discussion prompted me to do a Google search on plagiarism and addiction. I didn't have time to read many links, but two very interesting ones popped up. The first is from Stanton Peele's site about David Robinson (a documented plagiarist), who is a worker and writer dealing with addiction itself!

http://www.peele.net/debate/robinson.html

The second link gave a very interesting quote from a former Stony Brook University professor (now deceased) named Peter Shaw comparing plagiary to kleptomania.

http://countrystore.blogspot.com/2002_08_0...re_archive.html

Here is the quote I found fascinating:

"As it develops," the late Peter Shaw, an English professor at Stony Brook University, wrote in a 1982 paper for the academic journal American Scholar, "giving the game away proves to be the rule rather than the exception among plagiarists. Both in the commission of the original act and in the fantastic excuses that follow it, plagiarism is often calculated above all to result in detection."

Shaw found similarities between plagiarists and kleptomaniacs. The pattern, he wrote, "begins with the plagiarist's act of stealing material of the sort that his talent and intelligence would appear to make unnecessary for him. There follows his strewing of clues to bring about detection. After detection, the plagiarist offers excuses that testify to the unconscious motivation of his original act, though ordinarily without acknowledging either its breach of ethics or its obvious self-destructiveness."

Recidivism also appears to be part of the package. Plagiarism, Mallon found, "is something people may do for a variety of reasons but almost always something they do more than once."

Where this quote originally came from is apparently Stolen Words by Thomas Mallon (copyright 1989 and recently reprinted).

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Words-Harvest...n/dp/0156011360

This issue might be a good subject for an article later.

This explanation is the one that makes the most sense to me. Shaw's description fits Pross to a tee.

Michael

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And...while we're documenting...

Here's copy for the famous Night of the Dykes - as I subsequently styled it in off-list correspondence. Michael, I strongly recommend that you don't a second time try to sweep this one under the carpet.

I also recommend that people don't attempt to discuss the substance on this thread. The point here is to document that some of use knew, well before Victor's eventually being banned, that he showed no signs of reforming from his cribbing habits.

This thread was started by Victor Pross in the early hours (est) March 31. A few other people were on-line then: I, Dragonfly (in Holland), Daniel Barnes (in New Zealand), Elizabeth Nonemaker (who posted a comment), and Michael, who soon deleted the whole thread.

What I'm copying here is from an email copy of the thread; the time stamps were stripped. I think I have those someplace else -- I copied the whole thread, expecting that it might be deleted. But I'm too tired to look for them now.

The Nicholas Dykes essay from which Victor copied is accessible at:

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/philn/philn065.htm

---SAVED THREAD, (partial) (start)

Victor Pross

Popping Popper: The Critical Rationalism critique.

I have been doing a great deal of reading of Popper’s philosophy, and I must say: I’m pooped. David Hume set the foundation for much of what passes as “Skeptical thought” these days. In fact, much of what Hume says is repeated like parrots by today's skeptical crowd. Arguments against the miraculous have not advanced much since Hume, although a certain rewording of his verbiage into different forms flourishes. This brings us to Karl Popper.

Karl Popper, I can clearly see, constructed his philosophy on foundations extrapolated from David Hume and Immanuel Kant. But in this post, I want to take a fast glance at Popper’s philosopher inheritance from Hume. Hume, whom Popper called "one of the most rational minds of all ages,” is renowned for elaborating on the 'problem of induction'. This is a supposedly logical proof that “generalizations” from observation are invalid. His first premise was enthusiastic receipt of Hume's attack on induction. Hume, said Popper, had shown that: "there is no argument of reason which permits an inference from one case to another... and I completely agree" Elsewhere he referred to induction as "a myth" which had been "exploded" by Hume. He further asserted that "There is no rule of inductive inference - inference leading to theories or universal laws - ever proposed which can be taken seriously even for a minute"

Sadly, philosophers have accepted Hume's arguments as a truism, and volumes have been filled with endeavors to solve his 'problem.' This tradition is being carried on to this day—and all of it with a sober philosophical erudition. And it all began with David Hume.

Hume assumed that experience does not give us “necessity” further stating that “things are contingently true”, but that they could be otherwise. Basically, we cannot say with certainty that there are objects, identity, causality, order, and other laws of reality. Hume’s conclusion was that we are required to be skeptics. Science, with this approach, crumbles at its foundation because science deals with causal connections.

David Hume contended that neither inductive nor deductive reasoning can supply men with real, certain, and necessary knowledge. He asserted that he has never seen “causality” nor experienced “self” or “consciousness.” According to Hume, men merely experience a fleeting flow of sensations and feelings. He also argues that the apparent existence of something did not guarantee that it would be there an instant later. Hume thus surmised that consciousness was limited to the perceptual level of awareness. And this is the same dead to which Popper’s “philosophy” (his carbon copy philosophy of Hume and Kant’s) brings us.

Ayn Rand, it may be assumed, did not consider Hume’s philosophy worthy of elaborate refutation. (“But I don’t think of you.”) However, a strident case against Hume was stated in 1916 by H.W.B. Joseph in An Introduction to Logic. "A thing, to be at all”, wrote H.W.B Joseph “must be something, and can only be what it is. To assert a causal connection between a and x implies that an acts as it does because it is what it is; because, in fact, it is a. So long therefore as it is a, it must act thus; and to assert that it may act otherwise on a subsequent occasion is to assert that what is a is something else than the a which it is declared to be." Hume's premises are, to borrow Joseph's words, "in flat conflict with the Law of Identity."

Existence implies identity. It is not possible to exist without being something, and a thing can only be what it is: A is A. Any actions of that thing form part of its identity: "the way in which it acts must be regarded as a partial expression of what it is. Thus to deny any connection between a thing, its actions, and their consequences, is to assert that the thing is not what it is; it is to defy the Law of Identity.

It is not necessary to ague this any further: Entities exist. They possess identity. By careful observation--free from presumption --we are able to discover the identities of the entities we observe, and we are entirely entitled to assume that like entities will cause like events, the form of inference we call induction. And finally, because it rests on the axiom of the Law of Identity, correct induction --free from contradiction--is a valid route to knowledge.

To summarize: all knowledge of entities (and all knowledge of language) is attained inductively. For example, a child's knowledge of spinach is supported on a very limited sampling, and a student's knowledge of the word 'inference' is founded on a similarly narrow acquaintance. If it were true that induction is a myth, then all of mankind's knowledge of external reality, all language, all science--and all human thought - which depends on knowledge of reality and on language - would be myths as well. Incidentally, this includes Critical Rationalism.

In view of the above, wholesale dismissal of Ayn Rand's ethics is as idiotic as criticizing the principles of civil engineering by saying that "the entire system is subjectively dependent on the individual designer's whim.” In both cases, what makes the theory objective is if it identifies the means that are objectively necessary for achieving an end result (in the case of ethics--your own survival; in the case of civil engineering--having the building remain standing). The study of ethics is a form of applied knowledge, similar to engineering or medicine, whose purpose is to identify the means needed for achieving certain results in order to guide the actions of those who want to accomplish these results. Ethics, it is true, is a field that is wider in scope and more fundamental than other forms of applied knowledge, because it guides the most basic choices that affect everything in your life. But the pattern and basic principles are the same. Aristotle showed the truth of the law of causality, though Hume missed it. Ayn Rand showed

the good of this-worldly values, though too late for Hume to take note. Popper, as a professional philosopher of the 20th century, has no excuse.

**

This post has been edited by Victor Pross: Today, 04:15 AM

[Next post]

Daniel Barnes

[i do wish Daniel would use the quote function so one could find the post to which he's referring, instead of using the "carrot-indent" style. But...]

Victor Pross;

> I have been doing a great deal of reading of Popper’s philosophy, and I must say: I’m pooped.

Actually, Victor, the only thing you seem to have been doing is a great deal of plagiarising.

I wasn't going to add to this thread, but having read Victor's post I am somewhat amused - and not in the least suprised - to point out that it is mostly cribbed from Nicholas Dykes' old critique "Debunking Popper" - right down to the HWB Joseph references, and much of it simply word for word. I read have read Dykes piece many times - I recognised it immediately. Yet he gives no attribution to Dykes whatsoever. Victor, you are clearly attempting to pass off the man's work - largely incorrect as it is - as your own.

I invite readers to compare below.

Pross:

"Hume, whom Popper called "one of the most rational minds of all ages,” is renowned for elaborating on the 'problem of induction'. This is a supposedly logical proof that “generalizations” from observation are invalid."

Dykes:

"Hume, whom Popper called "one of the most rational minds of all ages" [PKP2 1019], is renowned for elaborating the 'problem of induction' - a supposedly logical proof that generalisations from observation are invalid."

Pross:

"Existence implies identity. It is not possible to exist without being something, and a thing can only be what it is: A is A. Any actions of that thing form part of its identity: "the way in which it acts must be regarded as a partial expression of what it is. Thus to deny any connection between a thing, its actions, and their consequences, is to assert that the thing is not what it is; it is to defy the Law of Identity."

Dykes:

"Existence implies identity. It is not possible to exist without being something, and a thing can only be what it is: A is A. Any actions of that thing form part of its identity: "the way in which it acts must be regarded as a partial expression of what it is. Thus to deny any connection between a thing, its actions, and their consequences, is to assert that the thing is not what it is; it is to defy the Law of Identity."

Pross:

"However, a strident case against Hume was stated in 1916 by H.W.B. Joseph in An Introduction to Logic. "A thing, to be at all”, wrote H.W.B Joseph “must be something, and can only be what it is. To assert a causal connection between a and x implies that an acts as it does because it is what it is; because, in fact, it is a. So long therefore as it is a, it must act thus; and to assert that it may act otherwise on a subsequent occasion is to assert that what is a is something else than the a which it is declared to be." Hume's premises are, to borrow Joseph's words, "in flat conflict with the Law of Identity."

Dykes:

"The crux of the case against Hume was stated in 1916 by H.W.B. Joseph in An Introduction to Logic: "A thing, to be at all, must be something, and can only be what it is. To assert a causal connexion between a and x implies that a acts as it does because it is what it is; because, in fact, it is a. So long therefore as it is a, it must act thus; and to assert that it may act otherwise on a subsequent occasion is to assert that what is a is something else than the a which it is declared to be." Hume's whole argument - persuasive though it may be - is, to borrow Joseph's words, "in flat conflict with the Law of Identity.""

And so on, for more of the same. For interested readers, Dykes original essay is here:

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/philn/philn065.htm

Do you think we are stupid, boy? Do you think that, like you, we came down in the last shower? Dykes' essay has been around for ever, and is laughably bad. I even know the name of the fellow who gave Dykes his first Ayn Rand book!

You are a grade-A phoney, sir. As was completely obvious to me from your first sentence in our exchange to your last. I was right: you know not of what you speak. You have read nothing, you know nothing.

Mr Kelly, over to you.

---SAVED THREAD, (partial) (end)

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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Ellen,

If you can find the time stamps, I would be grateful. When I saved the thread in the form that I sent to the posters on that thread (the copy you just posted), I was livid and not thinking straight. So I merely copy/pasted the text by hand from the screen into a Word file instead of using the export to Word file feature (under "Download this Topic" in "Options"). I simply forgot about that. The computer was jamming when I tried to do an image copy/paste into Word to get all the information, so I chose the text only.

(Did you see that Pross is now blaming me on Meetup for not banning him at the time and missing the subtext of his actions that he wanted to be banned? Heh. Pass the mustard. I missed a couple of crow feathers. I actually thought he had some good qualities at the time that were worth fighting for. I have since accepted that he chooses to be immoral because he likes it.)

Why not post the entire thread? If you don't want to, I can do it. I also suggest using the quote feature for each post, since it makes it more organized on the screen and far easier to read.

Incidentally, I was going to get to this issue (and the thread plagiarizing Diana Hsieh's work on Kelley that I deleted) and a few other issues after I finish the original edits from Dan Edge and some others. Now I will use your post here as my reference for the Dykes article.

(I put all these matters into an edit queue as they arise. There are many.)

Michael

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I am plodding through the Solo Passion threads for username "Victor Pross" and have uncovered several plagiarisms so far by simple Googling of phrases. I will report on them, but one got me laughing so hard I have to report it now. I think I am right about the idea of Pross as plagiarist leaving clues all over the place instead of the "email party" thing or slipping up.

On June 10, 2006, Pross decided to give a preview to Solo Passion members of an excerpt from his novel-in-the-works, The Hungry Artist. The thread is called Philosophical Detective Caps. Pross gives a philosophical statement from his villain, Ivan Wine, who is a "a postmodernist scholar and 'artist'" and is speaking to another person.

However, attentive Solo Passion readers had already read this: Flirting with Friedrich by Lindsay Perigo (although nobody mentioned it at the time). In this case, I cannot resist doing the donkey work and presenting quotes.

Pross:

He sees himself as the Overman, who wishes to attain the virtues of the Lion: ‘hungry, violent, godless, fearless and fear-inspiring.’

Perigo:

He must prepare the way for the Overman, attain the virtues of the Lion: "hungry, violent, lonely, godless...fearless and fear-inspiring."

Pross:

The individual has significance to Leo only as part of an ascending line to this Overman status, or a descending line away from it: a stupid consumer.

Perigo:

The individual has significance to Nietzsche only as part of an ascending line to this Overman status, or a descending line away from it.

This was 4 days after the Lenny Bruce article where he left a strong clue. What better clue to leave than quote the site owner himself and not be detected? Right out there in plain view for all to see, but nobody sees it. And then there is the irony of putting Perigo's words in the mouth of a postmodernist scholar and villain. I wonder what kind of rush this gives, what kind of payoff.

I am going to speculate on 2 things right now, but I would bet some serious money on them:

1. Perigo is Pross's unknowing coauthor of much, much more of the portion of The Hungry Artist that has been presented online.

2. If Pross did that to Perigo on Solo Passion, he did that to me on OL. Maybe Barbara too?...

Heh.

Dayaamm!

Michael

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Ellen,

If you can find the time stamps, I would be grateful.

[snip]

Why not post the entire thread?

Michael

I'm almost sure I have the times -- on my other computer. I'll look tonight, and post the whole thread.

I missed the latest on Meetup -- that thread has now been deleted.

Would you believe...I didn't think of looking for plagiarized material in his novel sketch, haven't even read that to this day since there's a limit to my tolerance for bad prose. How very funny that he snitched from Linz.

Ellen

___

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Michael,

I found the date stamps. I'm going to copy the series as individual posts on a separate thread titled "Deleted Thread -- Victor Pross Plagiarism of Nicholas Dykes." You might want to lock that thread, keeping it pristine as an archive item. I think it wouldn't be good to continue the subject by discussing the substance of the posts there.

I'd like, though, to make one remark about my own reactions the night the incident occurred. I had signed on just a few minutes prior to Daniel's identifying the source of "Victor's" essay. I felt astonished that Victor would have cribbed from so widely known a source, and I wondered how he could have possibly imagined that Daniel wouldn't hand him his head on a platter. (At the time I thought his cribbing from an essay which had been talked about a great deal over the years on O'ist lists was indicative of how far out of the loop Victor had been.)

Awhile after that, Elizabeth posted her remarks of amazement at the foolishness of what some folks say. And then Victor replied that, yeah, Liz, how true, etc. That marked the end of the last limits of my own tolerance for having Victor Pross as a member of the same list on which I was posting. I was incensed at his beguiling Elizabeth's young mind with misinformation. Elizabeth is very smart, and she's exceptionally well-read for her age level; but being young, she still has a lot to read and to learn in becoming familiar with the history of thought. Victor's telling her bilge, passing himself off as knowing what he was talking about based on an inaccurate critique of Popper, was the point of no return for me insofar as Victor's list presence was concerned.

Ellen

___

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Michael,

For the sake of my own conscience, I feel that I must enter disagreement with the psychological profile you're drawing of Victor Pross's plagiarizing. (See your post#9 especially.) I doubt you're right that from the beginning he was hoping to be caught, and that he was deliberately (or semi-deliberately) strewing clues around.

Some considersations which militate against this interpretation: Did he have a history of plagiarizing before his appearance last spring in Objectivist listland? At least according to Victor's story, his ambitions of becoming a writer are of pretty recent origin. I've been "around" O'ist listland since early 1999, and I'd never heard of Victor Pross prior to his appearance on SOLO (I gather he was also posting at that time on The Autonomist list, but I very rarely look at anything there).

My own belief is that at root he's been driven by a hunger for attention (his title "The Hungry Artist" seems appropriate) and that he lifted writing from others both from carelessness and from haste to make a splash. There's underlying dishonesty, yes, considerable underlying dishonesty, a willingness to get attention and credit for what others have done. But according to the profile of the compulsive plagiarizer, in the material you yourself cite, the compulsive plagiarizer is generally someone who could do the writing on his or her own -- just as kleptomaniacs are so often people who have no financial need for what they steal.

(Quoting from the excerpted material: "Shaw found similarities between plagiarists and kleptomaniacs. The pattern, he wrote, 'begins with the plagiarist's act of stealing material of the sort that his talent and intelligence would appear to make unnecessary for him.'")

Victor lacks both the writing skills and the intellectual background to do the work on his own. I see his copying as at root a shortcut to being noticed.

One other thing I feel I must say: Although I fully grant that you were not responsible for Victor's plagiarizing -- his trying to foist part of the blame off on you doesn't wash; he did the plagiarizing -- it's nevertheless the case that my respect for your list management took a nosedive from which I don't expect it will recover when you didn't promptly pull the plug on your Victor-redemption hopes the night of the Dykes. You had told Victor previously that were he caught again, he was out. He was caught again, in a flagrant example (an example so flagrant it gives credence in my mind to his own claims of hoping by then to be dumped from the list). Instead of leaving the thread up and announcing, "Victor Pross is hereby banned," you deleted the thread, with further off-list warnings to him. Thus there is an important respect in which I do consider you to blame for the sorry story which has happened since.

I hope this will be my own last post on the subject. I'm desirous of retiring from posting for other reasons. I probably won't respond to whatever reply you might make to this. But I felt that I must say in public, (a) that I think your thesis about Victor's psychology has its problems; and (b ) that I was disappointed in you for not getting rid of Victor when you were presented with an unmistakably clear and ripe opportunity.

Ellen

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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I feel that I must enter disagreement with the psychological profile you're drawing of Victor Pross's plagiarizing.

Ellen,

We have different opinions and I stand by mine.

Strongly.

I am supporting it daily with examples, starting with the Perigo plagiary right when Pross showed up on Solo Passion. Also, to quote Peter Shaw from above (I am putting the appropriate text in bold):

"As it develops," the late Peter Shaw, an English professor at Stony Brook University, wrote in a 1982 paper for the academic journal American Scholar, "giving the game away proves to be the rule rather than the exception among plagiarists. Both in the commission of the original act and in the fantastic excuses that follow it, plagiarism is often calculated above all to result in detection."

Shaw found similarities between plagiarists and kleptomaniacs. The pattern, he wrote, "begins with the plagiarist's act of stealing material of the sort that his talent and intelligence would appear to make unnecessary for him. There follows his strewing of clues to bring about detection. After detection, the plagiarist offers excuses that testify to the unconscious motivation of his original act, though ordinarily without acknowledging either its breach of ethics or its obvious self-destructiveness."

Recidivism also appears to be part of the package. Plagiarism, Mallon found, "is something people may do for a variety of reasons but almost always something they do more than once."

I have done some other reading about plagiarism and this view seems to be common. So my opinion is not made on whim. It has grounds in the opinions of those who have studied plagiarism and examples I am providing from actual posts. You obviously disagree and I have no idea of what you have studied on plagiarism outside of Pross's posts. From your words, you give the impression that you loathe him. Even so, I have no problem with your different opinion. I intend to continue backing my view with facts. You are free to do the same.

EDIT: On rereading this, I see you present a false dichotomy. Nowhere does the fact that part of the psychological profile of a plagiarizer (including Pross) is to leave clues for detection eliminate the fact that he is trying to gain attention, be a big shot, take short-cuts or even have limited talent. Claiming this is merely oversimplifying in order to condemn more harshly. I am looking at his first plagiarisms and comparing them to the rest of his non-plagiarized material. The first ones were not particularly brainy and more or less support Shaw's thesis that it all "begins with the plagiarist's act of stealing material of the sort that his talent and intelligence would appear to make unnecessary for him." Pross's intellectual background in Objectivism (supported by others) is studies with John Ridpath. I imagine the papers he wrote during those studies (and during school in general) are filled with plagiary and he got good grades for them, but this is my own speculation. I even speculate that he got busted a few times for using online term paper articles, etc.

You had told Victor previously that were he caught again, he was out.

This is incorrect. I never did say that—anywhere to my recollection. Here are my actual words written on September 6, 2006.

Statement of Policy about Plagiary and Copyright Infringement

. . .

But in the end, OL cannot tolerate plagiary or copyright infringement, neither purposeful nor inadvertent. Such material will be removed regardless of the reason. Should a member insist on repeating either practice, he or she will be banned. That is our formal policy.

The Dykes material was removed, just like I said I would do. Pross insisted on repeating so he was banned, just like I said I would do. Notice the phrase "I said." That does not mean "you said." If you wish to criticize my policies, I have no problem with that. However, I would appreciate it if you at least attributed my words correctly. I feel no lacking in myself whatsoever for not having enforced your policy, but having enforced my published policy instead. (I do feel lacking in my judgment of Pross at the time, but I reserve the right to make mistakes. I am both cleaning up the mess and I have adjusted my awareness. I don't expect this mistake to repeat.)

Anyway, even if I had stated such, I reserve the right to manage my forum (and Kat's) in the manner I see fit—not according to your manner nor that of anybody else. I can and will grant exceptions according to my own judgment and values. And frankly, I think I am extremely fair. No, scratch that. I know it.

For instance, I am leaving some plagiarized material up out of respect for the other posters so as to not make hash out of their discussions, despite saying I would remove it. To get around this, I am making full disclosure with links at the spot of infraction. This is an exception to what I said and it is my call. I expect future plagiarism from others to be removed since, hopefully, it will be detected before a discussion develops. I have also notified many of the authors who were plagiarized and have receive answers from most of them. All have expressed approval of the way I am handling Pross's misuse of their work.

You don't have to like my forum management. You don't have to like the amount of time I am taking (I am one, I do not have a staff, I have not been well, and I do it all—but it all will get done.) Your likes and respect are your business and they are not a requirement from my end for using the forum.

Michael

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Ellen, I think some consideration must be given to the sheer audaciousness of Victor's numerous plagiarisms. Has anyone ever seen the like? I think Michael should get some slack on this for this alone.

I generally didn't read "his" articles. Whatever the articles' original virtues, I perceived them as too much opinions too few facts. I have increasingly eschewed reading such in all media. The irony is he never impressed me. I am sure there is a lot of good stuff he stole, such as from GhS, but I never got to it.

Where he did impress me was in his caricature work; there is real talent there, though I frequently disliked it--intensely disliked it. He did do a great one of Chris.

--Brant

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Brant,

Thank you.

I still have about 30 plagiarisms in an edit queue to edit (some even still left from Dan Edge's identifications). They will only go on the tally in the opening post of this thread when I edit them. Also, some of those already edited need revision because other parts have been identified in the same post. After I finish those, I will examine Pross's posts one by one from the beginning. I won't catch everything, but I will catch plenty.

I have not been doing this as fast as I would like for several reasons (travel, health, other projects, etc.), but it is a medium-to-long term job anyway I look at it. So I will plod along doing it and one day it will end.

Michael

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You had told Victor previously that were he caught again, he was out.

This is incorrect. I never did say that—anywhere to my recollection. Here are my actual words written on September 6, 2006.

Statement of Policy about Plagiary and Copyright Infringement

. . .

But in the end, OL cannot tolerate plagiary or copyright infringement, neither purposeful nor inadvertent. Such material will be removed regardless of the reason. Should a member insist on repeating either practice, he or she will be banned. That is our formal policy.

The Dykes material was removed, just like I said I would do. Pross insisted on repeating so he was banned, just like I said I would do.

Michael,

That's just too wormy to allow to pass without calling you on it. Notice the date -- September 6, 2006 -- of your "Statement of Policy about Plagiary and Copyright Infringement." Notice the date -- September 5, 2006 -- of Victor Pross's "Personal Statement about Plagiary" (see). Victor had already been caught as of the time of your policy statement, which was well before the Dykes plagiary. The Dykes plagiary -- March 31, 2007 -- was already "insist[ing] on repeating." That much of the evidence as to what you knew of his repeat offending is publicy documented.

Ellen

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Ellen,

The policy statement occurred because of Pross's affair with the David Kelley mind-body dichotomy article where he plagiarized Diana Hsieh. That is all public. Everything that ensued thereafter was, too. Even when I deleted the Dykes thread, I sent copies of the entire thing to every poster on that thread for his/her use.

If you wish to call me wormy, please read the facts and my words first instead of thinking you are discovering some sneaky little crap. You aren't. I am very precise about what I say and it is all out in the open. I feel bad for you that the facts don't fit your bad humor and but they are not going to change to accommodate you. Reality doesn't work that way.

You claimed "You had told Victor previously that were he caught again, he was out." I repeat, I have never said that to my knowledge. I said what I did and did want I said instead.

EDIT: Come to think of it, the facts will not change because you insult me. You got your facts wrong and seem to think an insult will make them the way you thought. It won't. All it does is insult. As the lady said, A is A. The facts are what they are and you didn't look or understand correctly. Now you want proof for morally condemning me and the facts you present for it are wrong. No amount of wishing, hatred, contempt, insults or any such will change them or generate them. There was a time when I would have bet almost any amount of money that you were above that kind of thing.

Michael

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You claimed "You had told Victor previously that were he caught again, he was out." I repeat, I have never said that to my knowledge. I said what I did and did want I said instead.

Michael, this is absurd. You posted a policy statement immediately following Victor Pross's being caught plagiarizing. That policy statement says a repeat offender will be banned. The offender repeated and was not banned. This is so simple black and white. If your problem here is that you didn't specifically say -- on list -- directly to Victor Pross, Victor, you will be banned if you're caught again, oh, wow, is that trying to hide behind a technicality.

I won't re-iterate yet another time, Michael. I think the point is abundantly clear.

Ellen

___

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Ellen,

A repeat offender was banned. The only problem I see is that he just wasn't banned fast enough for you and maybe you're miffed that he was not burned in oil.

I stated that if a poster "insists on repeating" he will be banned. That does not mean "the very next time regardless of reason" and you want it to mean that. But it doesn't mean that and never did. That's black and white.

Michael

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Going through all my old files to see if I had ever given a "one more time and you are out condition," I came across the email I sent to Pross the night I deleted the Dykes thread. It is dated March 31, 2007.

Victor,

Daniel kicked your ass and you thoroughly deserved it. You get into an argument and want to prove your point so badly that you do shit like that. I tried to warn you at the beginning about Daniel. He is EXTREMELY intelligent and well-read. But no, you, an intellectual beginner on things like Popper, went off on the attack against a heavy-weight. No wonder he knocked the shit out of you. Hell, after that, I want to myself.

God damn it to hell!

I have an interest in defusing Daniel's arguments, but not with the bumbling shit like what you just did. You just helped him prove that Objectivism has no answers. IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO????

I am going to clean up this mess. But this is the last time.

Yes, the plagiarism thing will haunt you for a long time. That's called reality. You accept it or you evade it. That's your choice. I have offered you both an out and a place to develop a public voice. You have to take the out I offered. There is not other alternative in public. That out is that you are not allowed to quote people and present their ideas without citing sources. Period.

I can't support you if you insist on making the same error. I learned in NA that there is a word for repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting a different result: insanity. Ironically, you, in defending causality, are ignoring it. You think it doesn't apply to you.

Here are the rules. When you quote others, you have to make doubly sure you attribute them. YOU HAVE TO MAKE DOUBLY SURE YOU ATTRIBUTE THEM. Even when others don't. That is your reality because you made it that way. This means mention your sources at the beginning.

The second thing, and I don't know if you are capable of this, is to keep you mouth shut when you don't know something. You may know some things about Rand, but it is clear you don't know a goddam thing about Popper. Anybody who read that thread knows this, too. You proved it.

More later.

Michael

(In my email copy of the deleted Dykes thread to Daniel Barnes, I included a copy of this email to Pross, but I had snipped out the paragraph starting with "I have an interest in defusing Daniel's arguments..." because I thought it might be possible to interpret this to mean that I wanted to promote Rand at all costs and was teaming up with Pross to do that, instead of meaning I wanted to arrive at strong answers to issues like Popper raised from an Objectivist viewpoint. It was badly worded, written in a fit of anger and I did not want to complicate the issue further.)

I wrote very few emails to Pross after that and I certainly did not clean up any more of his messes. But at that point in time, I was still holding out for the possibility that he was using the work of others and not attributing them out of some kind of irrational impatience to win an argument, and was merely incompetent, arrogant and snarky. It took some time for that idea to change in my mind, even with the Madam Bovary thread on April 21, 2006, where Dragonfly disclosed his plagiary. After watching the exchanges, reading new posts there and on other threads and seeing that things were not getting any better, on May 7, I shut the door in my heart.

You are right about favoritism. I have played favoritism in your favor for far too long. I am not trying to groom you. I tried to give you space to catch your breath from the attacks and learn.

Bottom line. It doesn't matter anymore. I want you to stop plagiarizing on my site.

I put him on moderation that same day. If anyone wants to check his posts, they will not find any made by Pross after May 7, 2007. He made 4 more posts, but I did not let them through. I was against making a martyr or something out of Pross at the time, and I was sick of talking to him and about him, so I decided to wait on announcing his being prohibited to post. I wanted to let the dust settle and let people get used to posting without talking about Pross all the time. Then on May 22, I announced that he could no longer post on OL permanently.

Anyway, these kinds of decisions are serious ones for me and I take my time in making them. But I do not go back once they are made.

Then Dan Edge decided to reveal a sample of the full extent of the problem and the issue blew up into a major discussion despite all my previous efforts to contain it. Like it or not, OL is going to be discussing The Victor Pross Show for some time to come. I don't like that. I think OL is for better things, but that is one of the prices I now have to pay for the failure of my attempt to help him.

At least I learned a lesson. Let 'er rip.

EDIT: So after all this crap I went through and am going through, the big respect-losing moral issue Ellen has with me is not that I didn't ban Pross for plagiarism. I did. The problem is that instead of banning him when she wanted me to (March 31) according to her convenience, I stopped him cold 5 weeks later (May 7) according to my values (which included abandoning a project that was important to me). Gimme a break! That's not morality. That's nagging.

Michael

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Ellen,

Had I been running a forum and already caught Victor Pross posting plagiarized material on it, I probably would have given him the boot after one more audacious ripoff, such as lifting from Nicholas Dykes.

But I'm not running a forum.

It's Michael's forum. Michael was the one who had to make a judgment call. While contending with a pattern of behavior--seemingly compulsive serial plagiarism--that few of us have previously encountered.

Mr. Pross has left plenty of poop around here that needs cleaning up. What's the point of going after Michael, when he's got more cleanup chores ahead of him--not to mention publicly dining on crow with various seasonings?

Mr. Pross's legacy to OL is pretty damn sour already. Why give him the satisfaction (if that's the right word for it) of knowing that major legitimate contributors to the list are quarreling over him after he's gone?

Robert Campbell

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