On Shortcuts, Originality… and Casablanca

Warning: Prose ahead. If you come here for the calculators and graphs, skip this one – it goes in our ‘Offbeat’ section.

Editor: Since this post ran, the blog in question, Finance Fox, has posted an interesting apology which raises additional questions.  It appears that at least some of the plagiarized content may have come from a ghost writer.  A quick Google of “Finance Fox ghost writer” reveals this thread

However, that thread is dated August 20, 2012, and many of the posts in questions go back before that time.  I’ll start with these questions… What were the instructions to the ghost writer?  What about the posts before August?  Perhaps we’ll never know.

Also, see the extensive collection of plagiarism collected by some of the plagiarized and linked in an article on Timeless Finance.

“Integrity”, as C.S. Lewis once noted, “is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”

Wise words in a simpler era – but perhaps the quote needs a revision.

What does integrity mean in a fast-paced era where digital publishing makes it easy to rush to press? An era where the value of the written word has declined precipitously? Or even an era when any blogger with the inclination to fact check your work can quickly figure out if you’re telling the truth?

Not Here, Too…

With the risk that I might appear to you as Captain Renault in Casablanca, while reading Financial Uproar’s accusations of plagiarism at the web site Finance Fox, I was pretty shocked. Now this behavior has allegedly been going on for a while so there still may be cards to be played, but a number of things have already happened in reaction to that piece.  The proprietor of Finance Fox has taken down the offending posts referenced in the article and comments [Ed: This point is in dispute, please see the comments here and the comments on the Financial Uproar post.  It appears not all of the articles were addressed.  Further, as of 3/5/2013 there is a list linked here.].  To my knowledge, the only response or acknowledgement directly from Finance Fox’s creator at this point (allegedly, since it came on a third party site) was a flippant remark on the Financial Uproar post – the first comment on that article, in fact.

Copy machine picture

This Image? From Morgue File.

Honestly, I hope this is some sort of a weird mix-up or coincidence (perhaps a rogue ghost writer or assistant?) and not a case of blatant plagiarism – but at some point optimism yields to overwhelming evidence. Maybe I’m naïve, but it does seem like the end of an era in our corner of the blog world.

Blogging, especially for profit, is a huge pressure-cooker. Once you recognize how fleeting gains are on the internet, you quickly realize that often quantity can defeat quality, at least in the short run. There is an entire industry – Search Engine Optimization – dedicated to exploiting search engine algorithms in order to make posts falsely appear to have quality (at worst – at best, SEO explains how to label legitimate content). There are almost no barriers to entry, as our friend JT at the site Money Mamba once aptly noted. In that model, what happens?

Blogging styles quickly diverge to a few extremes – some bloggers attempt to post daily, hoping that some content will ‘hit’. Others pour effort into each post, attempting to achieve perfection with every press of WordPress’s ‘Publish’ button. Unfortunately, still others attempt to find a shortcut – whether it is lifting copyrighted material from other sites and blogs or participating in some of the shadier of the SEO schemes.

There’s the Messenger, Shoot Him! (Or, Misplace the Blame)

In some cases when someone takes a shortcut and gets caught, there’s a tendency to look at auxiliary factors for why something occurred.  In this particular example, even if we don’t yet have closure, we still have seen some of this. Let me defend the innocent here – people are sniffing the wrong tree.

First off, some of the commenters on the original post on Financial Uproar have literally turned the spotlight on the site owner, Nelson! Folks, somebody has to be the Joe Rogan to the PF world’s Carlos Mencia, (I wrote that before American Debt Project commented on the post, but this notice prevents obvious irony) and I applaud someone for putting the evidence together. You don’t have to be Martin Niemöller to see the slippery slope inherent in not speaking up.  As Edmund Burke put it, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Claiming that his post is somehow self-serving is petty; ad hominem attacks have no part in a serious accusation such as this one. Either the writing is stolen, or it is original – there is no grey area.

Second, a number of commenters have targeted the group where the alleged plagiarizer counted himself a member.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, DQYDJ is also a member of that network, Yakezie.) Let me state, in no uncertain terms – if it ends up that the Finance Fox did lift material from other sites, in no way should that reflect on the remaining hundreds of members of the network. Lady Justice may be blind (and often slow), but she is tireless – and if the allegations bear fruit, I have no doubt that she will also be fair.  But don’t let one bad fruit spoil the whole barrel.

The leader of the Yakezie network, Sam from Financial Samurai, recently penned an insightful article about Journalists and Bloggers coming together to assist each other. Journalism has had no shortage of scandals in the last few years, and once proof was sufficient, justice was swift. For a specific example, recently Fareed Zakaria found himself in hot water for much the same reasons. Integrity doesn’t only apply to plagiarism, of course – journalists have also been harmed by improperly vetted source material, fabricated witness accounts, and shady insider dealings. If bloggers are to be taken serious, we have to police our own – letting ethical breaches stand will only cause blogging to have a seriously negative reputation.

Don’t Be Part of the Problem

Another issue that came up while this whole event has been unfolding is that people really don’t have a good idea of how copyright works (read this with an American frame of mind).  While plagiarizing copyrighted material is an easy example and plagiarization is a part of the honor code in most schools and professional organizations, equally important is that copyright also applies to images.  You might think pictures on a Flickr account are just one flick of a Canon T3i’s shutter… but that’s not the case.  Like any blog post, there are a myriad of ideas and conditions necessary for a shot to come together – everything from travel and location to weather and lighting (to editing, collating, and uploading).  Just because it is easy to find something with Google doesn’t mean you can repost it on your site without question.  Remember – your writing isn’t just the words on your website, but the confluence of the data you collect, the research you read, and the topics you had to decide to write upon.  Do the right thing, and get public domain images or images with other compatible licenses.  (We grab photos from Flickrcc and Morgue File; others have success with stock.xchng)

As writers, we also fall under a different ethical code, one that bloggers wouldn’t have imagined back in 2000.  Our words have weight… when we recommend something, people listen.  When you receive payment for product and service links, affiliate links, giveaways and reviews (or something else that wasn’t organic) you should disclose somewhere (on that page, not hidden on some other page) that something on the page is there due to a sponsorship.  If my word isn’t good enough for you, read the FTC’s endorsement guide.

Also, (and this part has nothing to do with copyright) be original.  There is no copyright on ideas, sure… but if you can’t add to the discussion on a topic, there is no need to toss another cup of water into the ocean.  Blogging and writing is about relationships.  Even if people can’t do anything against you legally, they won’t appreciate it if you quickly re-spin their ideas without adding anything new – even if you ensure there is no plagiarism.  Oh, and if you do respond to a piece?  Link to the original post or report – you’ll find that most bloggers enjoy the back and forth discussions that happen when we publish for the whole world to see – even when we disagree.  Remember, people like being noticed; we like knowing there is someone out there reading the words we agonize over.

Don’t Defend the Indefensible

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffett

If the accusations are true in the Financial Uproar report, it doesn’t matter how nice of a person the accused may be. For all I know, Jonah Lehrer is a great guy… that doesn’t excuse his actions. What’s wrong is wrong, and there is no excuse for plagiarism. Taking material is not a victimless crime… producing original material is a difficult job, between coming up with topics, researching, writing, and (yes…) promoting. Pretending it’s not a big deal is a slippery slope.

Seriously, I hope this turns out to be a whole lot of nothing… but even if it was a misunderstanding, it really marks the end of an era.  Sure, Personal Finance isn’t the most original of topics – but if you’re going to write on a basic concept you should at least be able to bring something new to the table – or at least word your piece differently. There’s no excuse for plagiarism, it is a big deal, and willfully ignoring something or minimizing its importance does no one any favors.


  1. says

    Wow. I had totally missed this happening earlier this week. I wonder if this is a generational thing. I’ve heard that younger people view plagiarism in much looser terms than older generations do. Perhaps the difference between copying and pasting using a touchpad compared to having to copy word for word using pen and ink is enough of a difference that it has widened the grey area to many. *Sigh* Not that that would be an excuse. Just an observation.

    • says

      It could be, but I hesitate to paint a whole generation with that stereotype – I shudder when I see the stereotypes applied to Boomers without challenge, haha.

      However, with that disclaimer out of the way, there’s got to be a reason that the younger generation is “Generation Me”, right?

      • freeby50 says

        The younger generation is known as “Generation Me”? I hadn’t heard that. Seems odd since “The Me Generation” is one of the labels for the Baby Boomers.

        • says

          Haha, yeah – “Generation ‘Me'” and the “‘Me’ Generation”. Pretty funny stuff. I think I first saw it in the NYT, but I’ve seen it a few times since then.

    • freeby50 says

      Its certainly easier to cheat nowadays with all the technology. That may be part of it. But people have always cheated to some degree and it was easier to copy the encyclopedia entry in the library back in 1950 than it was to write your own essay as well. But yes there are some generational changes. This study compared surveys of cheating among students from 1964 (Bower ) to 1997 (Trevino) and they said :


      “Although no significant increases were observed in the most explicit forms of cheating on written assignments, this may be due to a changing definition among students of what constitutes plagiarism. In general, student understanding of appropriate citation techniques seems to have changed, and selected behaviors that students may have classified as plagiarism in Bowers’s (1964) study do not appear to be considered plagiarism by many students today. For example, although most students understand that quoting someone’s work word for word demands a citation, they seem to be less clear on the need to cite the presentation of someone else’s ideas when the students present them in their own words.”

      Other sites also say that cheating in school has gone up 4x since the 1940’s.
      ref : http://www.stanford.edu/class/engr110/cheating.html

      So it seems to me that what we’re looking at is more cheating coupled with less understanding of what really constitutes plagiarism. Its not that people don’t realize that simply copy/pasting out of a source isn’t plagiarism. But they might consider loosely paraphrasing not to be plagiarism.

      • says

        In my long rambling comment on F.U.’s original post, I made a comment that the definition of ‘Fair Use’ was ephemeral. How much of the change in plagiarism do you think is related to the fact that the definition of that term is also changing?

        Plagiarism is, of course, an Academic and Ethical dispute as opposed to a legal one. If I put up the work of, say, Jonathan Swift word for word, no one could sue me on his behalf… my only punishment could come in the court of popular opinion.

  2. Jose says

    Nice post, I’m new to this world and studiously avoid anything that even closely resembles somebody else’s work. I’ve even gone to the extreme of putting a concept for an article aside for later because someone else has written something similar. It seems that having guests posts adds an additional layer of responsibility to whoever owns the site. One that can be extremely difficult to carry out. If your guest poster has blatantly plagiarized someone else’s work, ultimately it will be your problem since it’s your site that it appeared on. Certainly not a good position to be in. As far as commenting on other posts, I definitely want to promote ,y site, but I rapidly came to the conclusion tha tif I have nothing useful to say I won’t say anything at all. Why contaminate someone’s site with inane and useless babble?

    • says

      Haha @ “inane and useless babble”. Pretty funny, since what I’ve seen of your work, I didn’t know you could write fluff.

      The issue, perhaps, is some writers are more interested in the promotional aspect than the intellectual part. No, I’m no saint (I check my Analytics daily, I won’t lie!), but I enjoy the back and forth a ton. I hope you never hesitate to tell me I’m an idiot if you think so, whether in my comments section or on your site.

  3. Joe says

    “The proprietor of Finance Fox has taken down the offending posts referenced in the article and a number of additional posts called out in the comments.” Untrue. The main post on his website “No Spend Days” has paragraphs pretty much lifted straight from “Give Me Back My Five Bucks”. The “Why are Americans Clueless about Canada?” post was stolen and it’s still live. And I see Nelson points out he (and others although not me) had their IPs banned from FinanceFox. So his response has not been to fix it and, worse, he’s trying to hide it from his accusers. Plus his comment on Nelson’s post was what again?

    I like most of this article, and then the conclusions drawn make it seem like some kind of a hackjob to say “It’s serious but he’s fixing the problem!” when he’s done nothing of the sort.

    • says

      You’re right – I think I’m assuming too much. What I did was click through the links in the Tweet and which Nelson specifically called out, and saw the “Article not found” message. My mistake, I’ll note that it’s in dispute.

      I hope you don’t think I’m endorsing the behavior – the ridiculously immature comment was a dumb move, but I’d rather hear something from the horse’s (Fox’s?) mouth about how he is going to fix this. Sticking to “I will remove articles if you prove they are plagiarized” isn’t sufficient for me. Maybe my conclusion isn’t worded well enough? What I mean by “There’s no excuse for plagiarism, it is a big deal, and willfully ignoring something or minimizing its importance does no one any favors.” is that people who are defending the plagiarism, or deflecting it, or comparing potentially criminal behavior to civil issues (images vs commercial links in plagiarized material).

      • Joe says

        At some point people have to stop being willfully dumb and realize his only response has been “HAHA catch me if you can” because the “allegations” are true.

        He had my benefit of the doubt for a week on Twitter and 48 hours on Nelson’s blog. Now he is a dirty plagiarizer plain and simple. He’s not releasing some eloquent apology or taking his site down for a month to fix the problems. If Eddie does, it’s too little, too late.

        • says

          Let me state up front that it does look overwhelming to me, but let me drop an analogy anyway.

          I had the (mis)fortune of serving on the jury of a first degree murder case in California where the defendant confessed on camera to the crime. However, (to avoid rehashing the entire case) we eventually convicted him of only second degree murder.

          Now, it’s a tortured analogy – obviously plagiarism doesn’t end a life. However, I believe that the community needs to hear some sort of a reaction from Mr. Finance Fox. Since this news broke, he’s gone off the grid – he discontinued Twitter, removed a few posts, and the only response was a ridiculous comment in Nelson’s comment section. He also, it appears, to the owner of LifeInsuranceCanada. This is what we know for sure.

          I certainly don’t think those are the actions of an innocent man. However, I do think he owes it to the community to let us know how deep the rabbit hole is. Hopefully we’ll know soon.

  4. financialuproar says

    First of all, terrific post PK.

    When I first became aware of FF’s plagiarism, I was angry. Yes, I was not directly affected, but it came to my attention that the people who were had fears that there’d be repercussions if they brought their allegations forward. While the tone in my comment section was overwhelmingly negative toward’s FF, there were two vocal defendants of his character. I’m a big boy, I can handle people getting heated in a comment section. Most bloggers avoid stirring the pot. It’s not usually good for business.

    It’s been approximately 60 hours since I broke the story, and Eddie was made aware of the allegations two days before that on Twitter. He’s had an ample amount of time to respond. As the time goes on, it’s becoming more and more obvious that silence will be maintained. And as time goes on, my anger turns more towards sadness. Screw the “allegedly” qualifier, there is zero doubt that he intentionally and willfully stole content for years, from bloggers who he called friends. In our (admittedly small) world, that’s about as low as you can go. It tells me a great deal about his character.

    PK is absolutely right that FF’s actions should not reflect on the Yakezie network. He was a rouge soldier, operating alone. I don’t believe that anyone in the network told him to engage in this behaviour, nor do I believe that any of the other network participants would ever intentionally plagiarize. I have my issues with the network, but blatant plagiarism isn’t one of them.

    So while the network as a whole isn’t collectively guilty of plagiarism just because one member decided it was a good idea, the network’s silence on this matter makes them guilty in a different way. Their silence implies that they’re okay with his actions. Their silence implies that they think plagiarism isn’t a big deal. Their silence is deafening.

    To quote Jon Stewart when he interviewed Jim Cramer in 2009, “(this is) not a fu**ing game.” This is people’s hard work that someone stole – not just once – but many, many, different times. So once again, I call on the network to do the right thing and put pressure on Eddie to come clean and apologize to those who he stole from. I also call on the individual members of the network to press your leaders to do the right thing. And if FF doesn’t cooperate, expulsion from the network should be a given.

    From the Yakezie about page (http://yakezie.com/about/) they are a “thriving community eager to help others and to help each other” and “to optimize reader’s personal finances and to allow people to live better lives.” I don’t think standing by and doing nothing while a plagiarist gets away with stealing content is helping anyone, do you? (Well, maybe the plagiarist.)

    To the members of Yakezie: is this what you want your network to stand for? Because if they continue to stay quiet about this, they stand with the plagiarist, not with the victims. If it was me, I’d strongly reconsider my membership.

    • Glenn Cooke says

      Nelson, why don’t you cut the bullshit, and name names? I’m left to assume you’re publicly calling me a vocal defendant. If it’s me you’re referring to, you can publicly kiss my ass. I mentioned numerous times I was not defending Eddie or his actions, yet here you are underhandedly saying I did. That makes you a lying scumbag. It’s also a complete deflection from people questioning your motives – which is a perfectly valid question to be asking. And let me paint it clearly – you and Cait are doing this for the self promotion, and for the juvenile glee of leading a mob. Neither of you are some sort of defender of the public justice, as much as you’re playing that part right now. What you really are is trying to better yourself at other’s expense, first Eddie’s and now mine and Ross’s.

      Unfortunately for you – and why I tried to defuse this lynching initally – that when the dust on all this settles, one of the things that people are going to remember is that you were right at the forefront of this maliciousness. Nobody’s going to remember if you were right or wrong, they’re just going to remember the nasty taste left in everyone’s mouth over this, and you playing your part to fan the flames.

      And what’s worse and the primary reason you should be ashamed of yourself, is that this is a small community and your self-promotion at other’s expense is going to polarize it. All so you can dance around in glee at other’s misfortune.

      • says

        Glenn, in the spirit of full disclosure I amended your comment to edit out the language. I’m also on the fence with your usage of the word ‘lynching’ – I recognize that things are different in Canada, but that’s a word which has gotten commenters in the United States in a lot of trouble. (That’s a link – I’m not sure if the links in Disqus properly show in my css. I’ll look into it.)

    • says

      Thank you, Nelson. As bad as it looks to have a member of the Yakezie network plagiarize material, note that at least then there is potential punishment which can come from the network. A network can’t, for example, punish someone who doesn’t belong to said network.

      With that in mind, in the immediate term, bloggers who have had content lifted can report the malfeasance to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Search engine traffic is pretty much the lifeblood of any blog, and that would certainly send a clear message that copyright infringement isn’t okay.

  5. Ross Taylor says

    Hi Nelson (financial uproar) , I presume you consider me one of the “two
    vocal defendants” of Eddie’s character. To be clear (which is usually one of
    your strong suits) I prefaced my remarks about the issue by saying I had had
    business dealings with FF and had also guest posted on his site and those had
    both gone very well. I call this full disclosure; including my real name; unlike
    the majority of commentators on your post.

    I smiled when someone later said AHA Ross you are an advertiser on his site so you are a f*******g sellout Ross; or words to that effect. If the Cro-Magnon who calls himself “Hey Ross” had read more carefully, he’d understand I had not tried to hide anything – including my identity.

    For all I know Nelson, you could have written some of the profane anonymous
    comments – you probably didn’t; I hope you didn’t – not because of their content; but rather because you seem to be a man of integrity who has no problem calling things as you see them.

    My main point though was (and is) more to bring a Christian perspective to the matter, in which (and I paraphrase liberally) I tried to say assuming he is guilty, maybe we should be prepared to give him a mulligan (or second chance).

    I went on to quote ‘to forgive us human, to err is divine.’ I was also troubled by the pack mentality which pervaded the comments – surely we’ve all crossed a line at some point in our lives?

    For sure I minimized the actual plagiarism issue, as more and more instances have come out through your blog, and the evidence seems damning. I also understand that my philosophy about my stuff being copied may be seen as flippant; and that the PF community takes it far more seriously.

    Personally I have no desire to produce anything other than original material; or cite when otherwise the case. I just accept the reality that someone, somewhere may be ripping off some of my good stuff.

    So in sum, I reiterate, my main point is to consider giving rascals a second chance in life. In this particular instance, I agree that to earn this chance, FF should fess up; clean up his blog and remove or rewrite all dubious content; and stay in the bloggers’ penalty box for a good year or two.

    That may prove to be indefinite, since it is not something that can be legislated. But if he cleans up his act completely, and is repentant, and pays whatever price is appropriate in the internet content world, I’d sleep at night.

    • financialuproar says

      Ross, I assure you that my name is behind every statement I make.

      I would love to hear Eddie’s take on this issue. I desperately want him to speak up, and to do the right thing by apologizing to his victims, as well as taking down the offending content. If he does that it’s a good start.

      • Glenn Cooke says

        If you desperately wanted to hear Eddie’s take on this issue, you could have called him. If you wanted to act all self-righteous and indignant, you could have written a post and fanned the flames.

        We can all see which of those two things you chose.

    • says

      Ross, I for one can back you up on that point. You very clearly stated that you were in a business relationship with Mr. Finance Fox directly; the anonymous comment was out of line (and superfluous).

      However, I also don’t think Nelson would stoop to anonymous throwaway comments – I mean, he knew he was going to take some heat for posting the article, yet did so anyway. I don’t see why that would change in the comments section.

      You make a fair point about you personally having a philosophy that some of your material may be copied. I clicked through to your site and noted that you also have a copyright notice on the bottom of your blog. I’m a huge proponent of open source software and data (check out this one project I released)… have you considered perhaps removing the copyright notice and moving to a more permissive license, a so-called ‘copyleft’? Creative Commons has a few you can browse.

      • Ross Taylor says

        Thank you PK. I didn’t really think Nelson had made the anonymous comments; problem is no one knows who is saying what – it’s fine in the spirit of freedom of speech; but when characters are being slurred, and libel abounds; it is unfortunate people don’t have the guts to identify themselves.

        I’m not ready to ‘copyleft’ or give total access to my stuff – it’s just that I am never surprised if people do “borrow”. I actually am working on a business initiative where I develop and maintain blogs for mortgage brokers and realtors – and my currency is my content.

  6. says

    Thanks for the shout out :). This is a crazy issue to be sure. As always, I’m generally very slow to judge people for their mistakes because I’m all too aware of my own mistakes. What bothers me about this situation is that Finance Fox is blaming all instances of plagiarism on a ghostwriter…who we don’t know and who can’t defend his or her actions. Plus, it was most insulting that he said we ALL borrow from each other when we write, and refer to past blogs written about a topic as we write to get some ideas about what to write about. Actually, a good writer doesn’t do that. I know I have a long road to becoming a stronger writer, but I have never found that someone ELSE’s words could better describe MY ideas, so that’s why it would never occur to me to plagiarize, much less even look to other blogs for inspiration. Sure, in general spirit and themes, I get inspired by other bloggers, I don’t take that to the next level, and say “Oh f*** it, Andrea already said what I was going to say over at So Over This, I’ll just go over there and copy what she wrote!” In fact, I remember a time when both Andrea and I wrote posts (on almost the exact same day) about how to be less impulsive. She made some fancy flow chart, I quoted Gandhi. We’re two different people! We have different original thoughts! Just because we both wanted to talk about being impulsive, doesn’t mean we’ll most likely end up down the same, narrow, beaten path. And I’ve never written a post called “5 ways to save for retirement” and I never will. I’m with you PK, if all you’re writing is some really boring, couldn’t-even-make-it-on-Yahoo! Finance generic advice articles with a prototypical headline, it’s time to evolve. Let’s keep things interesting. And honest.

    • says

      It’s hard to understand how a Ghostwriter who was hired in August explains the instances of plagiarism from before that date (unless, of course, that thread was just winking at the GW and he had one long before). Even so, it’s still shady to write the About Page with the strong “On Voice” theme. Weird, weird, and also… weird.

      You and me both – I’m the worst writer on the internet; I’m glad I know how to code or no one would ever visit me.

      Devil’s advocate – I wouldn’t mind a Yahoo! gig, and isn’t a quote using someone else’s words to emote?

      Haha, I kid – I know what you mean, and I do recognize that a fair amount of my material isn’t ‘generic’ enough to go to a mass audience at one of the mainstream sites. Fair enough; but hey, I’m having fun! (And I think you are, too).

  7. franny says

    It seems to me this is a fight between general lazy losers AND rejects from the workplace. Everyone who can’t hold down a job or failed at acquiring qualifications for a field decides to blog (‘write’) about PF, simple living, or a hobby OR set up a site to criticise those who blogs.

    Eddie at Finance Fox is a plagiarising ass. Nelson at .. Uproar is a totally pointless ass. Losers!

    Pathetic! Get a life, people.

    • says

      So your message is “Don’t Quit Your Day Job”?

      You don’t find it interesting, at all, even the social aspect? Bloggers, as opposed to journalists, don’t really answer to people other than their readers. From that point of view, how does a community discourage this sort of behavior? We now have our answer.


  1. […] It felt like the internet was full of flame wars this past month. Most relevant was that Financial Uproar took the time to expose many, many, instances of Finance Fox being a dirty plagiarizer. As I commented on the post, it looks like we have a Carlos Mencia on our hands. And in true “Menstealia” fashion, Finance Fox is blaming the whole thing on a ghost writer, which I gave my two cents on in DQYDJ’s excellent piece On Shortcuts, Originality…and Casablanca. […]