Library Juice 5:15 - April 18, 2002


  1. Brian Smith gets himself in big trouble; Rory comments
  2. European Parliament votes 460-0 against mandatory censorware
  3. Update: Freedom of Information in Mexico
  4. Bill would nullify Bush executive order on presidential records
  5. Israeli Occupation Forces Ransack Cultural Center
  6. Call for papers: Gender and Technology
  7. The 1999 Library Juice Earth Day Issue
  8. Measure your ecological footprint in 15 minutes
  9. [RRE]pointers, April 17, 2002
  10. What is Information Worth?

Quote for the week:

"Learn to see, listen, and think for yourself."
-Malcolm X

Homepage of the week: Laura Koepfler


1. Brian Smith gets himself in big trouble; Rory comments

Brian Smith, loved by many for his Laughing Librarian website, has always
liked to push people's buttons and see if he can find the limits of
their good humor. It seems to me to be a way of always remaining THE
Laughing Librarian (others having stopped laughing at some point along the
way, only to laugh again later). This has never really bothered me, though
I have used his website's comment form at least once to send him a message
that could be interpreted by the world as humorless.

Now Brian has gotten himself in some hot water over a satirical
bookmark for National Library Week. The text says "Rediscover America,"
and the graphics show a couple of conquistadors shooting an Indian, who has
fallen and is bleeding. A campaign has sprung up, calling Brian racist and
calling for him to be censured for extreme insensitivity. Indian Country

Subject: Killing A Native for National Library Week No Laughing Matter!
This depiction of the murder of an American Indian in support of American
Library week is horrendesous! Some guy is producing these bookmarks to use
in conjunction with National Library week sponsored by the American
Library Association. The people producing this racist bookmarks are the
Laughing Librarian, the artist is Brian Smith.

This is among the most brutal heinous designs on the web I have ever seen.
Please let The American Library Association know this is not amusing,
appropriate or justifiable in the year 2002 and they should publicly
denounce this bookmark.

John W. Berry, ALA President, has called on the ALA Public Information
Office to "quickly address this matter." Brian has clearly touched a

But what does the bookmark actually say? "Rediscover America" sounds like
something we would read on an official bookmark for National Library Week,
or possibly for Columbus Day. Juxtaposed with the image of an invading
European killing an Indian it becomes ironic, and states that this is what
actually happened when Europeans "discovered" America. They slaughtered
Indians. It was heinous and brutal, and it laid the foundation for
what is now "America." Suddenly, reminding Americans of the awful truth of
our history is apparently considered politically incorrect by the group
that would seem to have the greatest interest in reminding us. This
reaction is clearly an echo of the original injury, having been brought
back from collective memory by a crude image. Brian's bookmark is tactless,
minimal in its exposition (to say the least), and not entirely clear, but I
do not think it is heinous or brutal. The history it recalls, however,
IS both heinous and brutal. That remembering it should be most painful for
the descendents of the victims is not surprising, but I think their anger
is badly misplaced in this instance. While its cartoon style might be
interpreted as trivializing the historical victimization of American Indians,
I don't think Brian designed the bookmark with the intention of making fun
of Indians at all, but to lampoon the typical ad-speak phrase, "Rediscover
America" by proposing a more honest meaning for it. Brian is merely the
messenger of an uncomfortable truth about our history. Attack him for being
unpatriotic if you like, but please, not as a racist.

[Some would say that it's not my place, as a white male, to render any kind
of a judgment about what is acceptable in a case like this, that only the
group that feels injured has that authority, since I can never understand
what it is to be, for example, an American Indian. My answer to that,
if you'll allow me to be abstract for a moment, is that a society in which
specially entitled rulemakers (whoever they may be) make up the rules as
they go along provides no opportunity for FOLLOWING the rules. What I mean
is, if you are considered incapable of understanding the law and
accordingly not given access to anything static, there is no way to predict
when you will be found guilty, no way to defend yourself, and no way to
participate in making the law. I am very much in favor of accounting for,
and even compensating for power imbalances, but rational discourse depends
on everyone affected at least having a voice. Pardon me if this
justification for my statement is unnecessary.]

Rory Litwin

Oh -

Celebrate National Library Week @ your library

National Library Week April 14-20, 2002

2. European Parliament votes 460-0 against mandatory censorware

Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 16:08:44 -0700
From: Declan McCullagh <declan[at]>
To: politech[at]
Reply to: declan[at]

Politech censorware archive:

Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 16:16:29 +0100
From: David Cantrell <david[at]>
To: declan[at]
Subject: EU doesn't like censorware

There's a couple of stories on The Register today you might find
interesting. The European Parliament voted to not force the use of

The European Commission has also given an Israeli firewall vendor a jolly
stern talking to for anti-competitive practices:

David Cantrell | Member of the Brute Squad

        Willing to accept a lower economic "standard of
        living" in return for higher quality of life

POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list
You may redistribute this message freely if you include this notice.
To subscribe to Politech:
This message is archived at
Declan McCullagh's photographs are at


3. Update: Freedom of Information in Mexico

Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 10:06:07 -0600
From: "Maret, Sue" <Susan.Maret[at]
To: "PLG (E-mail)" <plgnet-l[at]
Reply to: Susan.Maret[at]

 -----Original Message-----
From: NSARCHIVE [mailto:mevans[at]GWU.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 12:04 PM
Subject: Update: Freedom of Information in Mexico

National Security Archive Update, April 11, 2002

Freedom of Information in Mexico

Washington D.C.: Today, the National Security Archive's Mexico Project is
posting the text of two proposals for a Freedom of Information Law that is
currently under debate in the Mexican Congress, and an analysis of the
proposals by project director Kate Doyle.

President Vicente Fox's decision to draft an initiative giving citizens
access to government information is a result of mounting public pressure
for an end to official corruption and authoritarianism, and for advances
in transparency and accountability in Mexican government. Mexico's civil
society has organized aggressively around the issue and united as the
"Grupo Oaxaca," a coalition of academics, members of the press, and
non-governmental organizations committed to creating a new culture of
openness in the country once called by Mario Vargas Llosa "the perfect
dictatorship." The group's own draft proposal for a public access law is
posted today, side-by-side with the Fox administration's. Read them both -
plus background and analysis by the Archive's Mexico Project director - as
the Mexican Congress decides the final text of the law.

*Acceso a la información en México*

Washington D.C.: Hoy, el Proyecto México del Archivo de Seguridad Nacional
pone en línea el texto de dos propuestas para una Ley de Acceso a la
Información, las cuales actualmente se discuten en el Congreso mexicano,
además de un análisis de las propuestas por Kate Doyle, directora del

Cuando el Presidente Vicente Fox tomó la decisión de redactar una
iniciativa para darles a los mexicanos mayor acceso a la información del
gobierno, respondía a la insistencia cada vez mayor del público en que se
acaben la corrupción y el autoritarismo oficiales y se avancen la
transparencia y la responsabilidad del Estado mexicano. La sociedad civil
mexicana se ha organizado enérgicamente para promover sus intereses en
esta materia, unificándose en una coalición, el "Grupo Oaxaca." Este Grupo
está integrado por académicos, respresentantes de la prensa y
organizaciones no-gubernamentales comprometidos con la formación de una
nueva cultura de apertura en el país que Mario Vargas Llosa alguna vez
calificó como "la dictadura perfecta." La iniciativa de ley del Grupo
Oaxaca hoy aparece a la par de la iniciativa de la administración de Fox.
Léa las dos - más sus antecedentes y el análisis de la directora del
Proyecto México - mientras el Congreso mexicano decide el texto final de
la ley.

THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research
institute and library located at The George Washington University in
Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents
acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt
public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its
budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from
foundations and individuals.

4. Bill would nullify Bush executive order on presidential records

Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 11:29:52 -0500
From: "Dickson, Laura" <dickso15[at]MAIL.LIB.MSU.EDU>
Subject: E.O. 13233 Nullification Bill

The Presidential Records Act executive order nullification bill was
introduced yesterday by Representative Horn (R-Calif.)

This bill will "amend chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code,
popularly known as the Presidential Records Act, to establish procedures
for the consideration of claims of constitutionally based privilege
against disclosure of Presidential records"

The co-sponsors of the bill are as follows:

Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. OSE, Mr.

A Washington Post article concerning the bill can be found at:
Laura W. Dickson
U.S. Documents Librarian
Michigan State University
100 Library
East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1048
Phone: 517/432-8045
Fax: 517/432-1191

5. Israeli Occupation Forces Ransack Cultural Center

[SRRTAC-L:7837] Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 09:04:14 -0500
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
Reply to: srrtac-l[at]

I would like to suggest that the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and
International Relations Committee consider taking some action on the
destruction of Palestinian archives and culture at the Atlanta meeting.
The following message describes the destruction of one important cultural
center on the West Bank. I have appended text from the webiste given
describing the Center. See the following message for an overall view by
the Minister of Culture and Information.

Delivered-To: akagan[at]
From: "PMC" <pmc[at]>
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;[at]>
Subject: URGENT - Israeli Occupation Forces Ransack Cultural Center
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 13:02:48 +0200
X-Priority: 3

Israeli Occupation Forces Ransack Cultural Center

13 April 2002
Palestine Media Center - PMC

During the morning hours, Israeli occupation forces raided one of
Palestine's most important cultural center, the Khalil Sakakini Cultural
Center (KSCC). After detonating explosives to storm through the the Center,
Israeli occupation forces are now searching the building and ransacking its
valuable archives, documents, and art collection. At least six large
explosions have been heard from the Center's direction.

Also in the building is an office for the renowned Palestinian poet,
Mahmoud Darwish, who uses the KSCC room as his personal office.

Among the Center's declared goal are; "Enriching local cultural life:
Through the nurturing of new talents, and the development of artists'
creative skills". Raiding such a center raises many questions as to the
Israeli army's mission, which is declared as an operation "to root out

Situated in the heart of Ramallah, the KSCC was renowned for its important
work in the visual arts, literature, and other cultural events. The
Center's own building is one of historical importance, having been built in
1927 as a family home for Khalil Salem Salah, who became Ramallah's Mayor
in 1947. The Center housed some of Palestine's most important artifacts and
historical documents.

In the past few days, Israeli occupation forces have raided, destroyed and
looted a number of official and private Palestinian buildings. Most
notably, Israeli occupation forces raided and looted the Ministry of
Culture, which had an invaluable library and art gallery, with artifacts of
great historical importance. The invading forces had also demolished the
second floor in the Ramallah Municipality building, which housed the
archives for property registers and other documents of vital importance.

For more information on the Center and its historical importance, please

The Sakakini Building

Colour photos: Issa Freij. B&W photos: Martin Sugarman

Situated in a quiet area of the booming city of Ramallah -16 Klm. north of
Jerusalem-, the building housing the KSCC is a model of traditional
Palestinian architecture. Built in 1927 with massive pink stone, floors
tiled with traditional Palestinian tiles, it is surrounded by a large
garden and orchard. It was built for Khalil Salem Salah as a family home
for an approximate cost of 20,000 Palestinian pounds. Salah was mayor of
Ramallah from 1947 to 1951.

In 1995, the house was sold to the Palestinian Ministry of Culture.
Renovated by the architectural conservation firm Riwaq with the financial
support of the Japanese government, it was converted into a cultural center
inaugurated in May 1996. The Centre's renovation was part of an ongoing
trend of surveying, renovating, and finding new uses for abandoned or
decayed traditional buildings throughout Palestine.

The ground floor of the Centre is made up of a reception area and four
rooms used as exhibit space.The first floor houses the Centre's
administration and the offices of the Al Karmel literary quarterly, edited
by the poet Mahmoud Darwish. The top floor is made up of a large
multipurpose room hosting most of the Centre's activities.

The building underwent a second round of renovation in the summer and fall
of 1998, when Riwaq oversaw the installation of central heating, landscaped
the garden, converted the garage into a larger space to be used as a
bookstore, built additional storage space, and a new outer wall and gate.
The works were made possible through a grant from the Arab League Education
Science and Culture Organization. --


[SRRTAC-L:7838] Fwd: Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo: Israel Cleansing
Palestinian Culture, Life

Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 09:28:54 -0500
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
Cc: mlcrist[at]
Reply to: srrtac-l[at]

Here is the 2nd message from the Palestinian Minister of Culture and
Information. Note that the records of the Palestinian ministries have been
systematically destroyed. For those who were not around in 1992, I would
like to inform you that the Social Responsibilities Round Table moved a
resolution through ALA Council that year decrying Israeli censorship in the
Occupied Territories. Unfortunately, the Council rescinded the resolution
at its next meeting. The Council's initial action in 1992 has not only
stood the test of time, but now seems much too mild in the light of the
current situation described below. The Council will have a chance to make
up for caving in to political pressure ten years ago. I urge the IFC and
the IRC will take the lead.

Delivered-To: akagan[at]
From: "PMC" <pmc[at]>
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;[at]>
Subject: Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo: Israel Cleansing Palestinian Culture,
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 03:02:46 +0200
X-Priority: 3

Mr. Yasser Abed Rabbo, the Ministr of Culture and Information called on
the international community to put an end to Israel's cultural cleansing
efforts against the Palestinian People. In a letter he addressed to Consuls
and representatives to the Palestine National Authority, Mr. Abed Rabbo
detailed Israel's systematic assault on the very fabric of Palestinian

Below is a transcript of his letter:

14 April 2002

Your Excellency,

The past fifteen days have been perhaps Palestine's most traumatizing in
decades for they have wrought unspeakable death, destruction, sorrow, and
helplessness to the Palestinian People. Needless to say, Palestinian
civilians have suffered the brunt of Israel's on-going war on the very
fabric of Palestinian life, in its physical and metaphorical aspects.

It will take our nation years to overcome the pain and loss that the
massacres, which the Israeli occupation army, has left us to mourn.
Hundreds of our children, women, and young men have been killed with utmost
savagery and their story remains obscured because of Israel's persistent
efforts to literally bury the proof of its unspeakable crimes.

Adding to this devastation is a loss that the Palestinian society, with
all its sectors, will be rebuilding for years to come. Ariel Sharon is now
crowing the aggression, which has already caused hundreds of innocent
lives, with what can only be described as an attempt to obliterate any
Palestinian presence in the land, whether physically or culturally. It is
"cultural cleansing" in its ugliest forms.

The Israeli occupation army has invaded, ransacked, and destroyed every
Palestinian Ministry and official building. Today alone, they raided the
Ministries of Health, Social Affairs, and Supplies, and the Standards
Institution. They also raided and destroyed the Khalil Sakakini Cultural
Center in Ramallah, one of Palestine's most important cultural centers.

During these attacks, Israeli soldiers detonated explosives to enter
through the gates, exploded safes, and destroyed the buildings. However,
what is far more important than this physical aggression is their
systematic assault on official records, archives, historical art crafts,
and other important possessions.

For example, the Ministry of Health's entire records on births, deaths,
and immunizations was either looted or destroyed. The Ministry's crucially
important medicine warehouses was also looted and destroyed. In the
Standards Institution, Israeli soldiers exploded each safe in the office in
charge of gold authentication and imprinting. These safes housed the
country's goldsmiths' life earnings in gold, awaiting certificates that
would permit their products entry into the market.

The Ministry of Education, the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry
of Finance, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry
of Civil Affairs, and the General Personnel Council have also been earlier
victims of this rampage.

Now, the files and archives pertaining to 1 million Palestinian students
no longer exist, which threatens with great confusion. Additionally,
Ramallah's Municipality has also been looted and destroyed; Israeli
occupation soldiers destroyed the Municipality's lands claim and
registration files, thus exposing the entire society to unthinkable and
possibly dangerous problems. This also applies to the Chamber of Commerce
and the General Personnel Council, which has been completely destroyed.
Money, gold, computers, and archives have all been either smashed to bits
or hauled away.

We believe that this is a systematic process aimed at spreading chaos in
the Palestinian society for this destruction is not limited to Ramallah but
is rather evident in every reoccupied Palestinian town, village, and city.

It is apparent that the Israeli government intends to make of us a society
without a history or memory; but we assure you it will not succeed. This is
Ariel Sharon's true intention behind this vicious war, which is effectively
cleansing us physically and culturally.

While the Palestinian People's memory is live and thriving, we appeal to
you to put an end to this barbaric assault. Attacking the Palestinian
society's very fabric of life and the essential components of a modern,
orderly, and dignified society will only lead to absolute chaos and
confusion. This assault, which has equally targeted our society's thriving
non-governmental organizations, will have devastating effects on the entire

It is incumbent upon the international community to take decisive actions
that would save what little is left. This cultural cleansing must be
brought to an immediate halt. We trust that your help and commitment to
international law and relevant Covenants will ensure a quick and decisive
international action.

Destroying a society's cultural heritage and history is a shameful crime
against human heritage. We appeal to you to ensure that Israel brings it to
an immediate end.


Yasser Abed Rabbo
Minister of Culture and Information
Palestine National Authority
Ramallah, Palestine

Al Kagan
African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration
Africana Unit, Room 328
University of Illinois Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801, USA

tel. 217-333-6519
fax. 217-333-2214
e-mail. akagan[at]

6. Call for papers: Gender and Technology

TechTrends, a refereed journal published by the Association for
Educational Communications and Technology seeks authoritative articles
dealing with Gender and Technology that focus on the practical
applications of technology in education and training. This issue will be
edited by Dolores Fidishun, Ed.D., Head Librarian at Penn State Great
Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies.

Deadline for submission of papers: June 20, 2002.

Author Guidelines

Write in a clear, conversational style. TechTrends patterns itself after
popular magazines, not academic journals. The magazine is a peer-reviewed
publication. All articles submitted are read by a panel of consulting
editors and other professionals whose expertise is in the topic presented
by the author. We want to know what you are thinking and doing. This means
you should not be afraid to write in the first person (if you are
personally involved in an exciting project) or in the second person (if
you want to tell someone how to do something). Most important, write in
the active voice, not passive. Text and references should conform to APA
style as set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association (5th ed.)


Your article should be approximately 1000 to 4000 words in length (3-16
pages typed double- spaced). Articles must be accompanied by a brief (1 to
2 lines) biographical description plus a short abstract to summarize the
article. Because articles are reviewed without bias, submit three copies
without author identification, plus a cover letter with author names and
your contact information. TechTrends assumes no responsibility for
unsolicited manuscripts or materials. If TechTrends publishes your
article, you will be asked to furnish it as a "text" and MS Word file on a
3.5" diskette. Do not embed graphics in your text file; include them
separately as EPS, TIFF, or BMP files. You are strongly encouraged to
include photos or diagrams to help illustrate your article (copies are
fine for submission; originals may be sent after acceptance). Digital
camera images should be taken at a minimum of 300 dpi. A short bio and
photo of the author(s) is strongly recommended. After publication, we will
send you two complimentary copies of the issue in which your article
appears. Additional copies are available to authors from AECT at discount
prices. If TechTrends accepts your manuscript for publication, you will be
asked to sign a form that permits us to edit your article according to our
style and format. This form also assigns TechTrends the copyright to your
article. You also confirm that the manuscript is original and has not been
accepted or published elsewhere.

Send submissions for this issue only to:

Dolores Fidishun, Ed.D.
Head Librarian
Penn State Great Valley
30 E. Swedesford Rd.
Malvern, Pa 19355
Email: dxf19[at]

7. The 1999 Library Juice Earth Day Issue

Library Juice 2:15 - April 14, 1999

Green Issue!


  1. A short list of Earth Day resources
  2. Earthline - An Ecological Directory
  3. Some Sustainable Development-Related Resources
  4. Sustainable Development/Economics Homepage
  5. The Institute for Ecological Economics (IEE)
  6. Sustainability Web Ring
  7. Tuscon-Pima Public Library - Proposed Seven Generations Project
  8. GREENLines - Daily news and events
  9. New Society Publishers
  10. Feminist Economics
  11. Communities: Journal of Cooperative Living
  12. Clean Products and Processes
  13. World Resources Institute
  14. Sustainable Energy Coalition's "Weekly Update"
  15. TFOE - Task Force On The Environment (ALA/SRRT)
  18. Ecological version of the free market economy
  19. SHIFTING DIRECTION: From Global Dependence to Local Interdependence
  20. The Ten Commandments of Globalization
  21. Ecology, Ethics, Power - by Tom Green


8. Measure your ecological footprint in 15 minutes




DATE: April 10, 2002

Richard Hoppe (Earth Day Network: 202-518-0044)
Craig Cheslog (Redefining Progress: 510-444-3041, ext. 305)
Janet Graesser (Redefining Progress: 510-444-3041, ext. 322)

Washington D.C. -- Cars, cows, sprawl, and oil are just a few of the
factors that account for the gigantic size of the "footprint" Americans
make on the global environment, according to a new online yardstick
unveiled today by Earth Day Network and Redefining Progress.

The Ecological Footprint Quiz, created by Redefining Progress, is a
scientifically based tool that allows individuals to calculate the amount
of biologically productive land and sea area needed to produce the
resources they use and absorb the wastes they produce. The Ecological
Footprint measurement is also used to assess the impact communities,
nations, and the world as a whole.

The quick and easy 15-question Footprint Quiz can be found at

Currently, the Footprint Quiz is available for 58 countries, ranging from
the U.S. to Nigeria, and can be accessed in English, French, Spanish and
German. It will soon be available in additional languages.

The average American uses 24 global acres to support his or her current
lifestyle. This corresponds to the size of 24 football fields (without
their end zones) put together. In comparison, the average Canadian lives on
a Footprint 30 percent less, and the average Italian on a Footprint 60
percent less than the average American.

"If everyone lived like the average American, we would need 5.3 planets to
support us," noted Michel Gelobter, executive director of Redefining

According to Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, "this is
rock solid evidence of what I call the 'six and 60' problem we must tackle.
The United States has just six percent of the world's population yet
consumes 60 percent of its resources. This is a formula for disaster. The
answer is actually startling simple: when millions of people take a small
action to improve the Earth, we get a very large solution.

Earth Day Network and Redefining Progress are launching a worldwide
campaign to have individuals take the Ecological Footprint Quiz. The
submitted results will be compiled and the findings will be presented to
world leaders at the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in
Johannesburg, South Africa. Earth Day Network is coordinating with its
5,000 affiliates in 184 countries to incorporate the Footprint Quiz into
Earth Day activities and events.

"For the first time, world leaders will have a crystal clear picture of
the immense imbalance between what we take from the earth and what's
available to support us," said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day
Network. The Johannesburg Summit "will be the place and time for past
promises to become tomorrows actions and the Footprints of millions can
lead the way for world leaders," she added.

Footprint results are calculated in "global acres." Each of those acres
corresponds to one acre of biologically productive space with world average
productivity. Today, there are 4.5 global acres of biologically productive
space available per person on the Earth. In contrast, the global average
Footprint size is 5.6 global acres per person, a figure over 25 percent
higher than the Earth's ecological capacity. Click here to learn more about
the Ecological Footprint measurement.

"We are eroding the planet's natural capital on which we depend" Gelobter
said. "In business, drawing down assets to finance ongoing operations is
recognized as a strategy that ultimately weakens an enterprise. The same is
true for the planet."

Redefining Progress is a nonprofit public policy organization based in
Oakland, California. Redefining Progress develops policies and tools to
internalize the economy's hidden social and environmental costs (the
Accurate Prices Program), to transform the human use and distribution of
the Earth's natural resources (the Sustainability Program), and to restore
the value of shared social and natural assets (the Common Assets Program).
These three goals come together in Redefining Progress's advocacy of fair
and low-cost policies to reverse climate change (the Climate Change

Earth Day Network was founded to carry on the spirit and actions of the
very first Earth Day in 1970. Today, Earth Day Network includes more than
5,000 organizations in 184 nations and more than 90,000 K-12 educators in
the United States. Our mission is to promote a healthy environment and a
peaceful, just, sustainable world by spreading environmental awareness
through educational materials and publications, and by organizing events,
activities, and annual campaigns. Our goal is to build broad-based citizen
support for sound, workable, and effective environmental policies.



9. [RRE]pointers, April 17, 2002

Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 19:07:50 -0700
From: Phil Agre <pagre[at]>
To: "Red Rock Eater News Service" <rre[at]>

Here are some more URL's. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

RRE home page:

Pick Hit: Orlando Cachaito Lopez


UN Aid Reaches Jenin, Where Relief Workers Report Widespread Devastation

West Bank Commuter Odyssey

more fallout from the failed coup in Venezuela
(including some items whose credibility I can't evaluate),3604,685531,00.html

US Cooking Up a Coup in Venezeula? (December 2001)

William Bennett Chases His Tail
("moral clarity" for him is an unclear way of saying "I'm right, you're wrong")

US Considers Renewing Military Ties to Indonesia
(no no no -- the Indonesian Army's record of terrorism is world-class)

prospective coup at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,3604,685123,00.html

Dutch Cabinet Quits Over Srebrenica Massacre
(it's hard to imagine governments in many other countries doing the same)

A Texas Tale Exposes Drug War Abuses

Rich Firms, Poor Ideas on Towers Site

civil liberties and security

Proposal Sets National Rules For State IDs

Police Use Cameras to Protect Cameras

eBay Toughens Up on Discussion Boards


Stunning Depths of Government Collaboration With Enron Revealed

"Enron has been behaving abominably around the world for nearly a decade"

How Microsoft Conquered Washington
("money of course, but lots of creative lobbying you don't know about")

America's Dangerous Economic Mythologies
(e.g., that Social Security is endangered)

Professor: Florida Legislature May Not Have Solved State's Election Problems

White House Learns the Hard Way That Oprah Winfrey Is Nobody's Fool
(they constantly spread nasty stories about their opponents, e.g., Krugman)

more budget trickery

jargon watch: check the quote starting "I'm very proud of my service ..."
(standard technique for defocusing the issue and reaching for abstract symbols)

jargon watch: flash -- conservatives not nasty enough

jargon watch: Rush Limbaugh mocks the death of an environmental protester
(I'm not sure it's even possible to be nastier than this)

everything else

Wireless Data Blaster

Microsoft Anti-GPL Fine Print Threatens Competition

escalating war between Google and the link bombers

"player-created additions to computer games"

New York's Natural History Museum Pioneers Use of Internet 2

the presentation for Glenn Murcutt's Pritzker prize

Industrial Instrumentalization of Theories of Practice

Social Studies of Science, Milwaukee, 7-10 November 2002

Some Companies Profit When Workers Die Using Secret Life Insurance Policies

Ants Create United Europe

Argentine Ants in California Linked to Decline in Coastal Horned Lizards

Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster
(manically researched, wildly entertaining, and now very cheap)

The Arctic Meltdown: Quick Thaw Alarms Natives and Scientists

Huge Hydrogen Stores Found Below Earth's Crust


10. What is Information Worth?

"Placing value on Information," by Audrey Fenner. Library Philosophy and
Practice Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring 2002)

There are various frameworks in which we try to view and define
information, various attempts to measure it, decide what kind of value it
has, and determine how much it is worth. For example, disciplines such as
economics, accounting, sociology and behavioral science regard information
in very different ways. Economists define information as phenomena that
reduce uncertainty, and measure it in terms of exchange rates based on
supply and demand. Accountants think of costs and benefits (debits and
credits), while sociologists concern themselves with the net public good of
information. Behaviorists study cognitive and behavioral change brought
about by information. Clearly, placing value on information is not a
straightforward, single-step process.

Information passes through many stages before it has value to anyone. It
exists first in a latent state, waiting for the right paradigm or
perspective, long before anyone recognizes it to be information. Then we
realize that raw, unorganized data may be of some use. We collect it,
organize it, analyze it and draw conclusions from it. Both the information
and our conclusions can be communicated. Only when information has been
comprehended, can we value it and respond to it.

A determination of the actual value of information can be made only at
this final stage. Information has no value in itself; its value is derived
from its understanding and subsequent application. Before this last stage
we can do no more than estimate the value we expect it to have. Society
values only the product, or result, of information


Society regards information as a commodity and the possession of it as an
asset. Economists would like to account for information in the same way as
physical assets, but no discipline has given us an accepted model for such
treatment. Disciplines regard information differently, and it is more
difficult to develop systems to measure information than physical
commodities. The price system has been used to assign value to information,
but does it provide the best means? Can librarians plan for the future,
justifying increasing expenditures to their funding agencies, in the
absence of a meaningful information measurement scheme?


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