Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

My work lives on, except where censors block it

I sometimes think back to my time at Britannica, and wonder if my most-read commission will turn out to be the Quaker Oats dino facts. This despite the fact that I was lucky enough to be involved in lots of stuff: the regular article commissioning process, of course, but also timelines, Britannica CD, Britannica Online, and numerous Web sites.

Turns out that in Saudi Arabia, the odds are pretty good that the dino facts will have a bigger audience than at least one of those sites. In an article on online censorship, the Guardian reports that

Saudi Arabia’s theocratic royals and their Wahhabi allies block access to sites promoting Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and gay and women’s rights. Such is their misogyny, they have also banned the “Women in American History” section of the online Encyclopaedia Britannica.

For some reason I’m strangely proud. And my wife– who contributed some of the articles for that feature– can now add “writings banned in Saudi Arabia” to her resume.

[To the tune of Eddie Palmieri, “Just A Little Dream,” from the album “Sueño“.]

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2 Comments

  1. I am so proud!

  2. Is it wrong that, when we buy the bulk oatmeal from Costco, I carefully open and save all the Apple & Cinnamon packets with the dino facts on them? It’s nearly a decade since that project was undertaken.

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