Plagiarize!

It’s important that this opens with the appropriate disclaimer:

Interestingly enough, three years after Lobachevsky made his discovery, the Hungarian mathematician Janos Bolyai also disproved Euclid’s Fifth postulate on his own. At some point, the fact that Gauss and Bolyai had made the same discoveries as Lobachevsky formed opinions, accusing Lobachevsky of plagiarism. However, those claims were proved groundless. A century later, in the 1950s, the rumors were picked up by Tom Lehrer, a mathematician and humorist, who wrote a song about Lobachevsky. In the song Lehrer sarcastically credited Lobachevsky with teaching him the secret of success as a mathematician – plagiarism. The funny little song however, didn’t have anything to do with Lobachevsky’s alleged misdemeanor. Most likely it was the fact that Lobachevsky rhymed with Stanislavsky, and Lehrer was trying to parody the American comedian Danny Kaye’s song about Stanislavsky.

Via Chuckles:


In reverse chronological order, I had mentioned to haiku and him that a Russian mate [one of those whiz kids with a brain the size of a planet and with a gorgeous wife to boot], had written a dissertation and gained his Doctorate [an earned one by the way], which I’d had a miniscule proofreading role in … and his professors had then gone ahead over here, plagiarizing his work, unattributed of course by definition, plus getting it wrong, for a journal here.

Clearly they’d thought no one in Russia would notice.

He is in the middle of correspondence right now and the reaction has been predictable [see May’s minders and the Democrats for the model of how to proceed]. There may one day be a need to publicise this here.

2 comments for “Plagiarize!

  1. October 24, 2018 at 06:26

    Hmmm. My tale is not about plagiarism as such but of a chap dining-out on my work. My Master’s thesis was a doozy, military, hi-tech and cognitive. I selected a ‘supervisor’ who knew nothing about my subject, and as my research was carried out in a military intallation, he was unable to see it in situ. ( He could not get a security clearance as he had previously stood as the Communist candidate for an election: and his field was ‘sleep’, not aircraft and accidents). It went very well and a paper was published in ‘Ergonomics’, with him as co-author.

    I left the Uni and the UK and it was only some years later that I found that the military and the EU Air traffic Control system found a great deal of use for my study and results. But my Uni didn’t know where I was when they came a calling. My supervisor took rather too much credit and spent several weeks, annually, for several years, being feted at the NATO Workshops in fine cities around Europe, along with fine dinners, expert company and lots of wine.

    Heck, I couldabeen famous! 🙂

  2. Toodles McGhee
    October 24, 2018 at 20:24

    You are doing just fine in my estimation, where things really count, Amfortas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.