Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Assault On Knowledge Continues

The Harperites are continuing their assault on any source of data which might get between them and their dogmatic policies.

The most recent chapter in the saga is the dismantling of the DFO's system of reference libraries.

If they were consolidating them, that would be one thing.  For the Harperites, nothing less than destruction is good enough:
"I was sickened," said one prominent research scientist who had worked for the federal government for 30 years, and who did not want to be identified. "All that intellectual capital is now gone. It's like a book burning. It's the destruction of our cultural heritage. It just makes us poorer as a nation.""There are so many willing accomplices to what's going on," the scientist added. "All of our federal libraries and archives are being diminished. It's an ideological thing coming from a right-wing libertarian government." 
Since 2012, the government has closed or consolidated more than a dozen federal libraries at Parks Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Foreign Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration and Canadian Heritage.
These various libraries represent decades or more of data and knowledge.  It is easy to look at them and declare that this or that document is "obsolete", but that doesn't render it "valueless".  Older documents can give us insight into how the situation has changed since that document was written.  Newer data is more relevant in the immediate sense, but often only really has meaning when analyzed against older datasets for comparison.

Like Harper's kneecapping of Statistics Canada - a move which makes it almost impossible for government to make policy decisions based on meaningful population data (which, of course, allows more claims like "Unreported Crime Rates" to be made by the Harperites to justify their more psychotic policies.

Dismantling the DFO libraries enables the Harperites to ignore the problems that their "sell everything" approach to policy is all but guaranteed to create.

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