book and lamp
Tips & News for the Info-Literati

Critical Thinking

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" (Aristotle)

[U. of N. Carolina, students are suing the university because in a course on Islam they were actually forced to read the Koran... they feel the religion is being forced on them.]


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"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" (W.C. Fields).

Nigerian Fraud

Online fraud is one of the top 5 industries in Nigeria (Geek Press.

2002 Censorship in Texas

Report by ACLU and Texas Library Associate found that statewide, 218 challenges were issued to 134 books. Results of challenges have been categorized as follows:

Note: Banned books are those physically removed from a library. Restricted books remain in the library but can't be accessed by all students. Some restrictions are so severe as to be tantamount to banning.

  • Banned (38) (18%)
  • Restricted Use or Access (57) (27%)
  • Alternative Allowed in Curriculum or Reading List (22) (11%)
  • Final Decision Pending (16) (8%)
  • Retained/No Restriction on Use (85) (37%)

This year the number of challenges because of "Mysticism/ Paganism", due to the high number of complaints about Harry Potter books, surpassed the "Profanity/Inappropriate language" category and led in number of challenges. Since children's books have always been rife with stories about magic, witches, etc. (Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, e.g.), objection to books containing this material seems new and unusual. However, the trend has been in place for several years and seems to be based on religious fundamentalism, and associated with the increased activism of these groups. It would appear that some religious activists consider that any description of supernatural events outside the context of their own preferred religious beliefs are sacrilegious or blasphemous. The increasing trend to oppose books for this reason is disturbing and could be in contradiction with constitutional values.


Guerilla Marketing Tactics

Users could be induced into spamming all their contacts after a greeting card site decided to apply highly questionable social engineering tricks to its latest marketing campaign.

Users following the link [to] are invited to install an ActiveX control in order to view their e-card. Two lengthy end user licence agreements (EULAs) are displayed stating that by running the application the user is giving permission for a similar email to be sent to all addresses found in a users's Outlook address book.


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Colby Glass, MLIS