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back to article 'Dirty' Hari defends radical interview mashup technique

Just last week I had the rare opportunity to catch up with Bill Gates. He's a busy man, of course, with the Foundation's medical research and investments consuming most of his time. Being so engaged with development issues, I wondered, did Gates have time to look at the spread of technology into developing countries? Gates said …

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Anonymous Coward

dwugs

@But in 2003, Private Eye found something much more damning. In 2001, Hari wrote of celebrating his Cambridge graduation "with a few tabs of Ecstasy" and praising "the Ecstasy I know and love".

Whether he took "E" or not I have no idea, however I have taken plenty in my earlier 20's and generally I would call them tabs too, despite them being pills and tabs being more relevant to Acid.

"Hey dude what did you do last night?"

"Took a couple tabs of E man, dayum they were good"

Nothing unusual there, perhaps being a little to demonic in your evaluations of drug terminology?

Anon for obvious reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Read the linked article

Hari somehow forgot his period as an E-fiend later on, when it was no longer of use to him.

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Happy

You're making it up

Maybe it's a Cambridge student affectation. I have never heard ANYONE talk about a "tab of E".

"Sorted for E's and Whizz" <--- maybe there's a clue there.

** Acid smiley for obvious reasons! **

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"forgot his period as an E-fiend later on"

Well, I suppose if you remember it, you probably weren't really there.

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Bronze badge
Meh

Own up.

Who else thought tabs (abbreviation of tablets? - I suppose I could be wrong here too) and pills were the same thing up until now?

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Happy

The word you're looking for is...

"Discobiscuits"

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Stop

Nomenclature.

Acid comes in "tabs" -- little bits of paper that have been steeped in the drug. These tabs are produced in sheets, and so individual doses are marked out with a little design. Strawberries are a traditional favourite -- Strawberry Fields Forever is thought to refer to a sheet with a grid of strawberries on it. Imagination not required. The "acid man" smiley was a favourite during the acid house movement, but while people often claim the symbol means acid, that's usually denied by the people who were there, saying that the design only ended up on tabs *after* it became popular.

So no, "tab" is not short for "tablet".

But actually, in traditional pharmacology, "pills" and "tablets" were different. A pill is a ball of sugar and an active ingredient, and the pharmacist would roll it on a slab. A tablet was made by placing a similar mixture in a tray and then punching out oblong lozenges. This I learned on the Antiques Roadshow -- I kid you not! Someone brought in a fully-equipped "apothecary's bureau" and got given the full history.

Modern drugs are generally produced by squirting stuff into little molds, so the distinction is irrelevant now

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Anonymous Coward

Me too...

...and everyone I knew back then too (in Oxford, rather than Cambridge). Hardly an informed group of people either. Au contraire.

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Holmes

our local colloquialism was

"calf nuts". Tho disco biscuits was also used quite a bit. Causes no end of mirth to see these on sale in Lidl in the here-and-now.

<-- well I suppose you could insufflate them

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Anonymous Coward

fwiw, Hari's defence is here

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-my-journalism-is-at-the-centre-of-a-storm-this-is-what-i-have-learned-2304199.html

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from that article

Hari should not be writing interviews, he should be a feature writer, peppering his features with quotes from the subject.

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WTF?

Isn't 'tab' short for 'tablet'?

I always thought it was.

Of course, I never swallowed.

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Trollface

What an odious little tick

So glad I abandoned dead tree gossip-mongers many many years ago.

may the hairs on his arse turn into drumsticks and beat the shit out of him!

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FAIL

Them darn kids

The internet really does make things different - Hari's past works appear to getting combed-through on a scale that past plagiarists would probably not have experienced.

But so many of his stories - like the one where he claims to have laid both an "Islamist" and a "Nazi" - are so resistant to fact-checking, it seems doubtful he'll ever have the credibility to write on such a trust-me basis ever again.

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Devil

That one was a spoof ...

Johann Hari is finished as a writer, because the number of spoof stories mean that no-one will ever be sure that anything they find under his name is something he actually said.

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Big Brother

But he had access to Platonic Truth [tm]

That must be worth something, right?

In fact, it's not really different from what happens when a politician goes on air, except in the latter case it's supposed to be common knowledge that you get Serious Signal Enhancement.

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Silver badge

But then again ...

is what he did any worse than newspapers and magazines photoshopping their photographs to the point of fantasy?

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difficult

Any journo who has every transcribed an audio interview will know what made perfect sense whilst being heard, can actually look completely incomprehensible in written form. Obviously some editing goes on to remove the self interruptions, tangents, stutters, nonsensical sentence construction etc but it looks very much like Hari went a lot further than this.

Who was it recently that got rumbled for pretending to be a life long friend of an ex president and writing lots of books with entirely fictitious quotes in it?

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Well ...

The sheer extent of his modifications makes it hard to call his output "interviews". He goes way beyond clarifying unclear statements.

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Pint

mid way through the first paragraph

I remembered why I love El Reg.

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Linux

Tab is not short for tablet

You need next to nothing for a LSD trip (90's trips were typically 80-100 micrograms if I recall). Rather than bother with making it into pills, the labs used to mix it with a solvent and paint it on to a sheet of paper, once it had dried off it was cut it up into little squares (or perforated).

Either way, the end result was lots of little squares of paper, they look like tabs. Usually they would have a simple graphic on each one. Penguins were favourite back in the early 90's....... Apparently, according to a bloke I met in a pub, cant remember what he looked like, er

Coat? Mines the one that looks like a dragon coming out of the wall.

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Linux

Depends if your a northerner

Drink Beer and Smoke Tabs....they're ciggies. Go read your Viz young man.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/3612493/Drink-beer-smoke-tabs.html

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WTF?

Make believe...

Journalists use this technique all the time...

My mate who writes for a city newspaper and interviews celebrities often adds phrases from other interviews that others have done to spice up an article and as he gets paid per word, it's worth a lot of money to him.

The newspaper even have a database of interviews so their staff can just make one up as need be.

Who would have thought it?

Been going on for decades....

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Headmaster

I also wouldn't call it plagiarism

[As he/they is/are are correct in the attribution] --- but it definitely is fraudulent misrepresentation [as if the interviewer has the skill to elicit a memorable quote].

And another good reason not to allow is, as with the [alleged] Bill Gates quote, it may be a viewpoint which the interviewee now disagree with or would not put in the same context.

But for a "city newspaper"... yes. Like the free [London] commuter's papers, which are anyway clearly & openly glued together from ANP/Reuters/ etc press releases --- there nobody expects original work.

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Coat

Does an interview actually need to have taken place?

Does the interviewee need to be still living? Next week Dirty Hari could 'interview ' Adolf Hitler with a few quotes from Mein Kampf and it appears the Indy would have no issues with that.

Wow what an exclusive.

Come to that does the interviewee even have to have once existed? Maybe Hari could interview the third gunman from the grassy knoll (Dallas 1963 a certain Mr Corleone ) using quotes from a copy of Hello he found in a bus station.

Just where do you draw the line Dirty Hari?

I think the man has zero integrity and should just clear off. Never to claim to be a journalist ever again. Maybe he could get a job at the Grauniad.....

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Gold badge
Thumb Up

"Maybe he could get a job at the Grauniad....."

Since he currently writes for the Independant, presumably he's already tried that and been told to sod off.........

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Bronze badge

It's a valid technique for comedy.

Chris Morris: "Serbs tie 500 monkeys to David Owen's Volvo"

David Owen: "that does make it very difficult to reverse."

Journalism? Not so much.

It does happen, and articles should be read with this in mind, and with regard to the source - a reputable organ of record shouldn't do it. But in the likes of [Metro] you often see an "interview", maybe cosy and confiding, where in fact the interviewee is someone who wouldn't let a Metro writer clean their shoes. That it's compiled this way from actual statements not misused is the best you can hope for.

And then again, [The Daily Show] in particular has a nice and scrupulous line in using politicians and other people's ringing declarations of principle from the recent past against what they're saying now about subsequent events. One time they had an extended debate between two George W. Bushes from a few years apart.

They also apparently make the screen flash white when they cut-edit what someone is saying, which is more than [Doctor Who Confidential] does.

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Tabs and caps

Tabs of acid were indeed tablets - or certainly in the 70's, when colleagues of mine (later busted by Operation Julie) in the trade dreamed of obtaining a 'tabbing machine' (to make tablets). They stole one from a museum, so the story goes, and it now lies somewhere at the bottom of the Thames.

In the early 70's tabs or caps (capsules) were the most common form of LSD distribution in the UK. i never heard the term 'tab' used for blotter acid.

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Headmaster

I'm sceptical

Capules: Stanley Owsley's acid was painted on the inside of regular capsules. LSD is so active that it appears that the capsules have nothing except air in them.

Tablets: LSD was never distributed in tablet form as far as I know.

Tabs: seems to definitely derive from the idea of a tab of paper, and never a tablet. The other way to distribute acid is in liquid form. The local dealer can then print up his own tabs and use a dropper to dose each square as they're needed.

"stealing a tabbing machine": sounds like just the sort of misinformed clap-trap that a lot of drug-heads spout. It leads zero credence to the idea that "tabs" is short for "tablets", and based on the simplicity of the delivery mechanisms described above, anyone who would bother making LSD tablets is probably an idiot.

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Anonymous Coward

'Dirty' Hari defends radical interview mashup technique

This punk is feeling lucky.

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Windows

We all do it

When he said: "with a few tabs of Ecstasy", he might have quite easily meant: a few "Tablets".

Journo shorthand or something. Innocent mistake. We should not hoist him yet.

Now, if he had said: "I am going down the pub for a few bots of beer", then alarm bells would ring. Especially if he had followed it with: "And I might pick up a chin on the way home".

No one talks like that.

It's all a big innocent mistake, and Joy-boy is NOT a filthy plagiarizing, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, two-faced, never-to-be-taken-seriously-again bastard! No, he's not.

I like him a lot. Can you tell?

We all do it.

Just some of us get caught!

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Pint

nice subtitle

but you totally wasted it.

I think Robert M. Pirsig has something for you to try.

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