Monday, 4 February 2008

Doing something or nothing...

From Library Journal 1/25/2008: Internet Porn Statistics at Dallas Central Library Prompt City Concern.

Another example of public officials and newspaper folk thinking that filters are the answer to all our problems with inappropriate content showing up on library computer screens... I'm not going to show concern once again over the rather simplistic view too many people show when faced with this problem. Instead, what caught my eye this afternoon was one of the last details in this news item, saying that some columnist saying that "...filtering or more intense monitoring are not ideal solutions, but argued that 'doing nothing is worse than not ideal.'"

Well, one, the library is certainly not doing nothing. They do have policies and procedures in place, which, in most libraries are more than enough to handle the problem. But, after getting over the unusual wording of this concept, the statement really began to get to me on a logical level. Technically what she is saying is not possible. Since "ideal" basically means the best, and everything not ideal is worse, there's nothing left to be worse than "not ideal"! What's she's basically saying is that these options are better than doing nothing, which, although I don't agree, is a much more reasonable statement to make, and one that can be meaningfully argued for or against.

(Sorry. Sometimes the philosopher in me has to be heard! lol)

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