Why write, when you can rip-off?

I don't think anyone should be surprised at the acceptance of plagiarism among the student community in the digital age. After all, the act's now easier. But then, why just students, business firms too plagiarise. They rip off ideas from competitors and conjure up carbon-copy products.

Which I guess should be why I got pulled into buying the 'Rasna' brand, when in my mind I was thinking I'm buying 'Tang'. The two look dead similar on a shop shelf. Yup, you can also blame 'monetary blindness'. But the truth is, I never noticed the difference. In a way I guess its good for Rasna because should I find the taste similar (to Tang) and cost lower, I am switching. From Tang to Rasna. Though I must add, having lived in the Middle East long enough, there's some nostalgia about Tang and a feeling that Rasna can never be Tang.

Tell you what, original thought is rare. Plagiarised copies abound. What makes plagiarism terrible is that it rips off from the creator of the original with no credit being accorded. Its a shameless act of 'copy' sans remorse. The fallout maybe temporary success for the student at an academic endeavour, but the long term effects are disastrous. Plagiarism stunts original thinking, even for life. So much so, over time a person loses the ability to generate a single original thought.

In academia as in business, originality pays. In academia that means a document that carries original work and so in all probability is the recipient of better grades. In business, the ability to create originals is the key to differentiating vis-a-vis competitors. And with it comes the ability to charge higher prices that consumers are willing to pay. After all, who wants to possess an also-ran when there's an original?

We discerning consumers want the original. And we are willing to pay. Its when we can't that we look to the rip-offs.


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