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"It's wrong to do others work for them and let them represent it as their own"

which is what I do in my everyday job. And I am not shadow-writing, I am a consultant...Writing ideas that superiors represent as their own, or clients do. I guess this is capitalism, life or something. And someone not worth it has to be promoted before I do, as in the author's case someone has to be admitted for her to live.




Your ideas and work product are the ideas and work product of the organization, which your superiors represent... different kettle of fish.


I had a friend who got her degree from UC Berkeley, and maybe wrote 5-10% of her work, she had other people (Friends, Lovers, colleagues) write all the others - she was a master of manipulation.

Who is to say that the valuable skill she developed wasn't her delegation and management skills, and that those were far more important in the long term than her ability to wax poetically about Plato's Republic?

The fact that she had to write that 5-10%, and do the occasional in class essay, that she did okay in, suggests that not writing the other 90-95% didn't seem to negatively impact her, "Learning Experience."

What I find particularly humorous, of course, is that all these random people, none of whom had taken any of the course work, or background that she presumably had, and many of them without college degrees, were capable of whipping out a paper with a day or two of research (under her guidance, and with a bit of her editing and supplying of facts) that passed muster at Berkeley.


>> Who is to say that the valuable skill she developed wasn't her delegation and management skills, and that those were far more important in the long term than her ability to wax poetically about Plato's Republic?

Nobody. It's likely a highly useful skill. However she should not have a degree as she didn't do the work.

It's pretty simple.


True. But the question is, if she is able to get the degree easily with skills the degree is not meant to require, is there something wrong with the degree itself? If there was a sysadmin certification you could pass with knowledge of cooking and a little luck then the certification is flawed. Of course there are always ways to game any system, but it shouldn't be quite so easy. If a reasonably intelligent person who is good at writing can do the work required to get a degree given a few weeks and internet access, then the degree probably needs to be reworked.


>> But the question is, if she is able to get the degree easily with skills the degree is not meant to require, is there something wrong with the degree itself?

Nope. While the people running the degree should take reasonable precautions, it's not on them to entirely prevent people abusing the system. They're running a course, not trying to be the police.

>> Of course there are always ways to game any system, but it shouldn't be quite so easy.

Manipulating multiple people into doing 90% of your work for you over several years is not exactly entry-level cheating.

>> If a reasonably intelligent person who is good at writing can do the work required to get a degree given a few weeks and internet access, then the degree probably needs to be reworked.

I would agree. It doesn't sound much like that happened here though.


Management and manipulation are not the same, although the successful management may require some manipulation. Good managers do more then just manipulate a bunch of people into doing managers work. I have seen managers like that and they are useless to organization. They just suck up money and time, although they personally may be doing good. We do not want the schools to produce more people like that.


I went to Georgia Tech, which is considered a difficult school (though I personally believe it is not as tough as Berkeley). The most difficult part was that you had exams and assignments in several subjects at once. Life would have been really easy if we had just one class per semester; most of the individual papers weren't extraordinarily difficult. A couple of days research sounds reasonable for about 50% of the assignments I wrote, but you'd be shocked to see the dip in quality if you can only find 2 hours to spend on it instead.


This is different from any university how?


I think his point is that the "master of manipulation" at Berkeley was able to get satisfactory work from people who didn't even have a college degree only because they didn't have enough to simultaneously work on multiple assignments (and could therefore dedicate a lot of time to one assignment). So the difference between one of them and a good college student is just the throughput, rather than a fundamental difference in the ability to complete the assignment in the first place.

However, I don't agree with that comparison in one respect - you typically have plenty of flexibility in college with regards to when you actually complete the assignment. You get it weeks in advance, allowing you to plan things out meticulously, if you're that sort of person.

And this is true - I remember people from college like this. They didn't have the raw brainpower or intelligence that you might expect of a typical high achieving student, but they made up for it with superior time management skills and perennial self discipline.


How did it turn our for her? Is that strategy working for her after college as well?


Good question. She has a degree from Cal., so that opens doors for her. Last I checked she was VP of marketing for a chain of Valero gas stations in California. Much of her work seems to consist of negotiating large sums of money from various vendors for placing their products/refrigerators at key locations in their stores. It's astonishing what a generic-brand ice-cream vendor will pay a gas station to replace Hagen Daz with their brand of ice-cream.

I've watched her at work, and really, it seems like she's mostly an excel jockey who dresses well, drives a nice vehicle and takes a lot of meetings with vendors.

Honestly - It's not clear to me that she couldn't have done exactly the same thing without her degree - she got a B.S. in Conservation and Resource studies. What she's doing now seems entirely unrelated.


You've pretty much identified her with this description. Did you mean to?


It's a classic sign of sociopathy, so at a guess she's either a CEO or in prison.


Sounds like she will do well in Management to me.


People belong in organisations, have roles in organisations, but also act within organisations and with reference to their organisations. The assertion of representation is not always valid, and I am sure many people get the context of what I am suggesting here. Now, in the admissions process of the example, an organisation (ad-hoc but valid) is also present and the paying applicant represents the financial relationship they built with their shadow writer. Why is the ethical context different when we consider mystic, gargantuan organisations than when we consider rich, clueless teenagers?


> Writing ideas that superiors represent as their own, or clients do.

If they actually do that, it'd be considered unethical. While specific credit isn't always given to the originator of an idea, superiors shouldn't pretend they actually had the idea. In many organizations, explicitly passing off an idea as your own would be a pretty serious offense.


No, it'd be business as usual. It is exactly how things are expected to work in industry. Industry is not academia, and crediting the originator of the idea is not a concern. Especially when it makes you look bad (why couldn't you come up with this? etc.)


I don't know what you mean by "industry." I don't think there are many generalizations that hold true between, say, government contractors and internet startups. Also, many companies have their own cultures - deliberately so.


>It'd be considered unethical

There's a big difference between passing someone's idea off as your own, and allowing someone to pass an idea off as their own.

I guess I'm considered "unethical" around these parts, but I stand firmly in the court that the buyer may have ethical issues, but certainly not the seller.




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