This one was two big for one post! In part 1 I looked at some of the underlying patterns that seem to affect the outcome of the purportedly unpredictable NBA draft lottery. A billion-dollar industry and the billionaires and future millionaires driving it supposedly have their futures determined by a random drawing of ping-pong balls. If you believe that, you probably think we live in a two-party democracy, and you’re about to pay the deposit on that lovely bridge in Brooklyn you saw listed on Craigslist. Part 1 also spelled out the cases for and against the teams with the worst odds of winning the first pick. Part 2 examined the karmic cases for and against the top ten hopefuls.
This week, at both colleges where I teach, someone posted flyers advertising for a paper-writing service. They marketed themselves as a “current Master’s student.” I was struck by the seeming audacity and doublethink of this. So I called the ad, pretended to be a student, and set up a meeting. I wanted to find out how someone in academia came to the conclusion that writing papers for others is kosher. I also wanted to hear from students about their feelings regarding plagiarism. Check it the story over at the Stony Brook Writing & Rhetoric blog.