High tech conference for Valley

January 12, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Alan November, a technology consultant from Boston, told a gym full of Calexico High School students to be wary of information they might stumble across on the Internet.

He said there are people who want to "play with your mind and have you believe things that aren't true."

After his morning presentation, the man with an Web site touting his consulting services was asked why the students should have believed him.

"Ahh, that's a good question!" November said laughing.

On Friday, November followed the Calexico High assembly with a lecture at a Holtville luncheon, then an evening community presentation in El Centro.

He was invited to the Valley and paid by the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program and Imperial County Office of Education.


The organizations teamed this weekend to put on the second annual Imperial Valley Educational Technology Conference. In addition to November's whirlwind tour of the Valley on Friday, the conference featured a slate of workshops at Southwest High School in El Centro on Saturday.

For $35, $15 for students, conferees could attend 40-minute workshops on computer troubleshooting, Internet projects, software applications and other tech subjects.

At the assembly, November gave Calexico high-schoolers a free preview of highlights from some subjects discussed during the various Saturday workshops.

He talked about upcoming technologies that could have an impact their lives, finding help on the Internet for writing school papers and the importance of learning to build a Web page.

November's strongest comments focused on the accuracy and legitimacy of information found on the Internet.

In addition to his dire warnings, November showed the assembled Bulldogs an example of "bad stuff" on the Internet.

The page he spotlighted is a 1996 Internet posting by Northwestern University engineering professor Arthur Butz.

This page is so infamous Northwestern University's Web site contains an explanation/rationalization of its content.

November read from and showed the students the contents of Butz's page.

Butz is a "holocaust revisionist" who has written papers claiming the piles of bodies that were found by British and U.S. soldiers after the war were the bodies of Germany's political prisoners who died from typhus.

November showed how all of the hyper-linked words on Butz's site led to more of Butz's writings instead of to citations or footnotes.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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