Thursday, 2 September 2010

Freedom of Information and Online "Education" American Style

1) Wayne Sayles has a new post on his blog about the ACCG's faltering Freedom of Information request about intergovernmental negotiations on cultural property movement across trands-national borders. Mr Sayles seems however not really to be aware that there is another (real) world outside the frontiers of his own country. He writes that:
The Freedom of Information Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, was born from the notion that "the people" (as in each individual citizen) have a constitutional right to know how the government acts in their behalf. This is of course a democratic notion that nationalist governments do not share.
Well, two mouse clicks away on Wikipedia (a resource not unknown to Mr Sayles I wist), we find an article listing all those other (62) non-nationalist governments that have passed Freedom of Information legislation. Apart from the European Union and the United States itself, they are (alphabetically) Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman, Chile, People's Republic of China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Republic of China, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Three of them, Colombia, Paraguay and Finland had such legislation before the US. (The same source asserts that equivalent legislation is "pending" in another sixteen countries.) Such a list really casts some doubt on what the coin dealer lobbyist means by the term "nationalist". What nonsense is this?

2) Sayles' blog now has a logo indicating that an organization called "online schooling" has selected it (and Dave Welsh's blog) as among the "top 40 coin collecting blogs" ["these experts can tell you everything tyou need to know"]. I was going to congratulate him, but then began trying to find out what this award was and who "online schooling" were. When I did it all looked a bit pathetic.
"Awards candidates are found by one method: Anonymous nominations that are open to the internet community. This allows us to generate a candidate list that is based upon what the internet determines as being good, original content. We stay away from a voting system because the only information that gives us is how well a site's readership can click a button.

So a pal can nominate any site they like and the judges look at it. As for the "educational resources" claim, the Sayles blog is up there alongside: Top Alcohol Blogs, Top Marijuana Blogs, Top Perfume Blogs, Top Piercing Blogs, Top Disney Blogs, Top Skateboarding Blogs, Top Surfing Blogs, Top Extreme Sports Blogs, Top Baseball Card Collecting Blogs, Top Mom & Dad Blogs, Top Comic Blogs, Top Clubbing Blogs, Top Star Wars Blogs... you get the idea. Have a look at the "infographics" it offers and calls education.

Mr Sayles attacked my credibility the other day, his advertisement of the inclusion of his blog as an educational resource in such company is an interesting comment on his own idea of credibility.

Scotus capitus is in the list too. But quite a few coin collector's sites that are indeed educational are missing.

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