Thursday evening WordPress had a glitch — a stray character in code caused the system to overwrite some material, to mess up a lot of blogs. It took a couple of hours to fix.
In the birther world, such things only happen “by design.” Because of a glitch that affected 50,000 blogs (including this one), the birthers feel singled out.
Seriously, at that site where the paranoia runs rampant, My Very Own Point of View, the discussion is on what can be discerned by differences in images from microfiche copies of the newspaper columns announcing births recorded in Honolulu, from the Hawaii Vital Records office, in 1961. In 5,000 words or so, the author determined that there are differences in the images because some of the microfiche is scratched, and some isn’t.
Ergo, the author says, Obama conspired to mess with every microfiche in the world, and he’s therefore an alien (probably from the planet Tralfamador, or maybe a waiter in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe).
I’ve read the piece three times trying to figure out what the point is, other than the author has never thought much about libraries or microfiche or newspapers ever before. Am I wrong?
No wonder there’s an aluminum foil shortage, eh?
I suggested a less ominous meaning behind the scratches on the microfiche, but the blog owner found my comments offensive, and refused to post them. I asked why, and this was the response I got:
Because you are not civil. There is nothing about race in this material or in my posts. There is not a single “conclusion drawn”. If you have an INTELLIGENT debate to advance on the material then do so. If you do not, go post somewhere where your poison is not moderated.
Of course, I made no mention of race. I addressed solely the issues of library archival procedures and how they might make for differences in copies from different libraries. Here is the comment she’s talking about; you decide which of us is crazy, Dear Reader:
Why do you assume that microfilm copies should be the same in all locations? You’re assuming that there were not different editions of the same paper, which is incorrect; you’re assuming there is one source of microfilm copies, which is unlikely (many libraries used to make their own microfilm from paper copies in their collections — it’s unlikely, I think, that the Library of Congress would have used the same microfilm available at the University of Hawaii — in 1961 precedence was given to paper collections, and the microfilming was done later).
You assume that later flaws in the film are not introduced by dust, by reading machines that shred the film.
You assume much that is simply not so in the newspaper industry and in library archiving.
And in the end, what do you claim? A couple of periods disappear in photocopies? A new flyspeck appears?
You need to check the rules of civil procedure, specifically with regard to evidence and contemporary business records. I’ll wager you can figure out why most of what you worry about here is no issue in proving things up in a courtroom.
I don’t think I was uncivil. I think that birthers all fall into that category Euripides described, of those whom the gods destroy, they first make mad.
(And, please, if you can figure out what the complaint is about copies differing in quality at different libraries, please tell us what is going on, in comments.)