all this plagiarism stuff, and I ask you to bear with me as I process some of my thoughts...
My dad was one of the most generous people I've ever met. He gave of himself, his possessions, his money, his knowledge. He never sold things or held garage sales; our family donated what we didn't need or want to those who might or to a local agency, like the Salvation Army.
The thing that angered him the most was theft. If you wanted something, all you had to do was ask. You didn't need to steal from someone who gave so joyously and so copiously...but people did. They took advantage of his good nature time and time again, but still he gave. When we moved to Chilliwack, we met a lovely family down the road who accepted so graciously what my mom and dad had to offer, and they gave so much to us in return. In the years since, the members of this family have shared what they learned with so many others, keeping my parents' spirits alive. In the end, he found people who would appreciate what he gave, and it made all of us so happy.
My dad wasn't all hearts and flowers, though. He also used to say that all it takes is one bugger to spoil it for the rest of us, and last week I found myself a bugger (or three). When I saw how many people were enriching themselves through my hard work, my first thought was to shut all this down, to hide everything I've ever shared so no one could steal from me again.
I'm not an idiot: I know when I release something on-line, it takes on a life of its own. Horrible and unscrupulous people will abuse it, but so many more good, kind, and wonderful people could do amazing things with it, and it makes my heart so happy to hear your stories about what you've made or learned. Maybe you were inspired to learn a bit of chemistry or share something you made with someone you love. Maybe you discovered a shampoo that didn't make your hair feel awful or a lotion that made your skin feel nice. Maybe I gave you a laugh. Maybe you made some money. In the end, it's why I do what I do, and I'm still here, sharing what I know.
If you know so little about a topic that you have to steal recipes, writing, and research from someone else, you will be found out soon enough. It'll be obvious to your students pretty darn soon as they ask you questions and you can't answer them. Perhaps they'll notice that your writing voice changes every few paragraphs or pages. I've read that it takes about three years for someone's incompetence to catch up with them, so maybe your time is almost up?
My dad used to say that we don't need to get back at people who hurt us because karma will bite them in the end, and he was (almost always) right. If you can steal from other people, enrich yourself unjustly in a field about which you know nothing, and aren't terrified of being found out as a fraud every minute of the day, I say kudos to you, my friend. You are made of stronger stuff than I am.