I am deeply saddened to read the message posted on
http://www.newartisans.com/johnw/ , which I reproduce below:
Recently, one of my essays—originally an article posted
on Usenet titled “What is philosophy?”—turned up in an eastern
Wisconsin high school. There it was submitted by a student who claimed
it as their own work. After exchanging a few e-mails, the teacher
presented evidence to me, in the form of an electronic log, of the
student having authored the article before me. Since my own proof is
no more substantial, the essay was accepted by the school as the
In light of this, and the possibility of future occurrences, I am
ending my Web-publishing endeavors. I will continue to write, but
through printed outlets, where the role of authorship cannot be
disputed. It is not so much the accusation of plagarism which troubles
me, as the doubt it casts on the very aim of my writing: upholding the
glory of a life lived for the Truth.
My apologies to all who found this site encouraging or inspiring. If
you wish to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would be happy to
continue a private dialog with you on whatever subject interests you
To that student, whoever you are, wherever you are: I hope you’re
proud of yourself. Idiot. You may have taken the easy way out now, but
I hope you wise up before someone out there finds out you’re a fraud.
Even if no one catches you, there’ll always be that nagging feeling
that you haven’t really explored your potential.
John, don’t stop writing. Keep sharing your ideas. Keep thinking out
loud. Live. Dream. Inspire. One person may not believe in what we
value, but there are people in the world who listen to what you say
and who share your thoughts.
UPDATE: 2004.12.03 , from John Wiegley
Hello! to everyone who wrote after my website was taken down: After
thinking about it for a couple of weeks, I decided it was too harsh a
measure. I hope everyone will continue to visit again. I’ll start
posting blog entries again tomorrow.