iPhone 6 review: The little things make it a real star (InfoWorld)
The larger design is very welcome, but there’s much more to the iPhone 6 than a bigger screen.
First Impressions: The Pocketbook 640 Ultra is a Prime Candidate for Worst eReader of 2014 (The Digital Reader)
Alas, the actual device does not come even close to meeting the expectations engendered by its price tag, nor is it capable of fulfilling all of the features listed on the product page. I’ve only had mine out of the box for a couple days now, and I deeply regret spending so much on a device that can do so little.
Snowflakes United (Hugh Howey)
I guess that would make them snowballs?
Please Stop “Celebrating” Banned Books Week (Book Riot)
We “celebrate” Banned Books Week.
While it may seem like it’s a small quibble, it’s not. The way we use and apply language is important, and when it comes to talking about the issue of censorship, the way we focus our attention matters significantly.
Kindle Daily Deals: Above Suspicion (and others)
I should start my own national Book Indoctrination Week, timed to coincide with the ALA one. Each year, I keep repeating the same warning, but nothing, it seems, can penetrate the closed minds of the ALA. Here’s my attempt for 2014. Will in make a difference. Probably not. There’s no folly quite like self-righteous folly.
Imagine for a moment you’re Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels in 1935 Germany. Which would you find most important.
1. Censorship, that is preventing certain books from being printed or sold.
2. Indoctrination, meaning the state and its officials deciding what books kids will read at school over the objections of their parents.
If you picked #1, you’re numbered among those foolish champions of Banned Books Week. Goebbels knew quite well that #2 mattered far more and battled with parents, mostly religious parents.
#1 hardly mattered. The Germans were a literate people. Millions of copies of already-printed books Nazism didn’t like were scattered around. Other than a few burnings for show, Nazism did little to destroy them. What mattered wasn’t what people could read if they wanted. What mattered was what they could be forced to read, particularly children and teens in school.
The debate even took on modern terms. Nazism excluded mention of religion from school textbooks. The official, five-page guideline about how history was to be taught only mentioned Christianity in a passing reference to pre-Christian tribes. Parents also loudly objected to the Nazi use of pornography, particularly in Der Strummer’s vile mix of anti-Semitism and porn.
What mattered to Goebbels and his kin was what the schools could force children and teens to read and in that both Goebbels and the American Library Association come down on the same side. It is the state at some level that dictates that with parents having little or no say. Germany still has that attitude, by the way. It bans homeschooling because what goes in a child’s head, German officials believe, should be dictated by the state.
What’s really disturbing isn’t the ALA’s loudly spoken POV. What’re really disturbing is that, from end to end the librarian profession and the champions of Banned Book Week have done so little thinking on this topic, that they’re not even aware of this censorship versus indoctrination distinction. They’re remarkably ignorant of topic in which they claim expertise.
They’re not only on the wrong side, they hold one of the most dangerous positions anyone can hold. Every state-sanctioned evil requires at its heart the ability of that state to dictate what children read in their schools. Establish that principle as a matter of law or conventional behavior and you’re doing a great evil, whatever you may claim your intentions are.
–Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to Nazism and World War II