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Librarian Blog

Now I see ...

Sometimes I get so busy I just skim the news and then find myself not thinking very deeply about what I've read or heard.

So it is that I've been afloat on the battle between Apple and the FBI over access to data on an iPhone that might help solve a crime.

Richard Clarke, former czar for antiterrorism in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, clarified the point on NPR this morning.

The main issue for Clarke is freedom of speech, in the case freedom from not having to speak. See, Clarke said, the government is trying to get Apple employees to write code that does not exist. That is forcing speech, the courts have found.

But, the bigger issue is that the NSA, already suspect after the Snowden revelations, wants to push this case to set a precedent so that they can make other tech companies do their bidding in the name of national security. That way lies totalitarianism.

Let's tread lightly.

Maybe they're onto something

A new study by Harvard researchers shows that people who read fiction are more sociable than people who don't read or people who read nonfiction.

Maybe that helps explain some of the political campaigns this spring: basically, the candidates with the most anti-social message appeal to people who don't read.

Makes sense to me.



Our event yesterday to launch sales of the book about the Memorial Day flood of May 23, 2015, was a huge success.

We sold about 350 books at the community center.

We have sold about another 50 so far today, and, of course, we have more available. We printed 1,000 copies.

The Old Mill Store has a large number for sale at that downtown premises. And if you notice on our website front page, you can order the book online through a secure gateway operated by the Old Mill Store.

Thanks to all who have bought their books!

Wrong again


Today, the national polling organizations must be repeating that famous line from presidential candidate Rick Perry.

They flubbed it again.

Alan Stamm, a columnist for Deadline Detroit, posted a column this morning about the Democratic Party's primary win yesterday by Bernie Sanders:

"To call political surveys an inexact science is like saying astrologers' forecasts are unreliable."


Pollsters have been pretty miserably wrong this political season.

And they will continue to be wrong. They don't have the technology to keep up with how voters and possible voters are able to be contacted to give them polling results.

You didn't need to poll anyone to come up with the prediction that we would be where we are in polling. But, we continue to see pundits and reporters cite lame poll results because they have to, after all, report something very news cycle, and polls make for good copy even if they are wrong.


A big thank-you!

We're getting ready for the kickoff of sales of the Wimberley flood book about the events of May 23-24, 2015.

The event is at 3 p.m. Sunday at the community center.

Now, it's time to say a big THANK-YOU to all of those who came in to be interviewed or allowed us into their homes for interviews, plus all those who wrote out their stories and emailed them to us for the book.

We have about 100 stories in the 350-page volume, and each of them is compelling and moving.

I think readers will be particularly touched by the accounts about folks who came to Wimberley to help in the aftermath and those who live here but were not affected who also pitched in to help.

Thanks, particularly, to Nancy Williams and Steve Klepfer, partners in production, and to the City Council of Wimberley and City Administrator Don Ferguson and the library district board for underwriting the cost of this first print run.


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