Saturday, September 11, 2004

Do your own fucking homework.

One of the supposedly "questionable" aspects of the CBS documents was the zip code (77034) and post office box (34567) on one of the memos. Outside the Beltway lists these among the "errors":

4. Consecutive numbers in PO Box address. . . .

Post office boxes can have consecutive numbers. In fact, post office boxes with this exact number exist in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, and Detroit - eight of the ten most populous cities in the United States.

13. Unit ZIP Code is a Houston residential area . . . .

Zip codes change. 77034 may be a residential area now, but that doesn't mean it was a residential area then. To determine whether it was a residential area then, you should consult a contemporary zip code map, which is available at the Georgia Tech library, at least, and probably in other libraries, too.

But did any of the righties bother to look? No. Now, they might be excused for not being willing to consult a thirty-year-old zip code map, but how lazy do you have to be not to consult the zip code lookup? Pretty fucking lazy.

Yet they are that fucking lazy. You know why? Because they can be. They aren't required to prove their case. They know if they make an assertion that is even slightly difficult to disprove, it's as good as proof. Hence the above. Hence the assertion that Times New Roman did not exist when the document was written. Hence the assertion that proportional fonts were not available when the document was written. Hence the assertion that a supsercript "th" key was not available when the document was written. And so on. They know they don't have to do their homework. So they don't.

Well, that's bullshit. Next time, the proper response should not be, "Times New Roman has been available since 1931." Or, "Proportional fonts were available on the IBM Selectric Composer." Or, "Unquestioned contemporary documents include a superscript 'th' key." It should be "Do your own fucking homework."

But until then, look here: