@@@@ When you get surprised, Daividh, do your eyebrows shoot up to your hairline and a comical little cartoon question-mark pops up over your head? :)
"1) There's actually a public database left in Die Vereinigten Staaten (your papuhs, plees!) that doesn't rely on the good ol' SSN ("Not To Be Used For Identification", mine says, but it's JFK era and the world then still equated BIG, INTRUSIVE GOVERNMENT with nasty totalitarianism). Hats off to youse guys!"
@@@@ Thank ye! But, you know, with people hearing more and more on the news these days about the new crime of "identity theft", people are becoming less cooperative about giving out their SSNs. And I don't blame them in the least. I passed up opening a charge account at a store in the mall not too long ago because the clerk insisted that I give her my SSN. I'd never been asked for my SSN when opening charge accounts at other stores, and I wasn't about to start giving it out to shopclerks at this particular store now.
"2) There are two million people in Suffolk County who take out enough time between flipping each other the bird on the L.I.E. to actually read or view something from the Liberry."
@@@@ Well right now at the height of IRS tax form preparer's season, it seems like all two million of them of coming into the library just to use the photocopiers (as well as pick up tax forms).
"As much as I dislike the USE of middle names, I find both these things curiously reassuring. Also, I see your point about distinguishing between the various Maria Velasquezes, but surely better funding of the INS could eliminate much of that problem (joke, Nan)?"
@@@@ Well, I'm no friend of the INS. Personally, I think we need better funding for education in this country -- for a lot our own citizens as well as for newcomers. :)
"Around here there's a tendency to forego the middle initial thing in databases and use date of birth to tell people apart."
@@@@ We'd never get away with asking people for their date of birth when they apply for a library card. They'd all lie about it, anyway! :)
"But I guess in a much larger DB like yours, middle initials are useful. So okay, people, bestow the things if you must, but don't burden others with yours (or its initial) on a day-to-day basis."