John Farrier's Liked Comments

A student approached me and asked for a stamp. He said that his professor, whom I know is not, shall we say, computer literate, insisted on receiving a self-addressed stamped envelope if he wanted the grade mailed in. The professor does not use email.
It took a bit of effort, but I found a stamp. I then had to teach the student how to address an envelope, as he apparently was unfamiliar with the task.
It was an astonishing meeting of two extreme ends of technological competence.
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My father, a petrochemical engineer, advised always buying premium gas. He said that impurities in crude oil are disposed of by refineries in proportions relative to the grade of gas, so premium has has less stray carbon in the mixture to adhere to the engine. Premium gas is cleaner and so prolongs the life of the engine.
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I have never done this kind of display (more of a public library thing, and it's been many years since I've worked in public library), but I've seen it done.
I remember when in library school, I once asked a librarian to help me find a rare book that I knew only by a description of the cover. She found it for me and ordered it through interlibrary loan. I was deeply impressed.
Personally, I rarely get challenges like this and love them. We librarians act out of our prehistoric hunting instincts. Our prey is unusual sources of information.
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When I teach media literacy at my college library, I directly teach that there's no such thing as objectivity (including in my own instruction on the subject) and that one should not be overly-concerned about bias. It's concealed bias that is hazardous. If you know the agenda or bias, you can take it into account when using the information source.
Anecdata: lately, I've noticed students using the adjective "biased" to refer to sources of information that are defective for other reasons. If a source is out of date, confusing, irrelevant, or unverifiable, it's "biased".
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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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