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Blank Textbooks

I just googled “blank textbooks.” I was doing so because I wanted to allude in a presentation to Richard Feynman’s story about reviewing textbooks for use in California schools, being handed blank textbooks and being told to comment on their worthiness anyway. I wanted to do this because it should not ever, ever be forgotten that the textbook marketing and development process is rather like watching sausage get made. It’s an awareness that diminishes appetites, and it’s another reason to never take the quality of the US educational system for granted.

Turns out you have to put “richard feynman” in that string to turn up that article so’s you don’t get a whole bunch of places trying to sell you blank books (for less-horrendous purposes), or stock photos of blank books. So here’s my page’s vote to bump up Feynman’s article as a result for the string “blank textbooks.”

Before I did that, though, I did find a very interesting South African sort of version of The Onion which made some reference to Himmler selling blank textbooks to the Bantu for “educational purposes.” The satire site appears to have shut down. Shame — it was regional jokes I didn’t get, but it’s great to find that kind of thing on the Web.

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