Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Oh, wait! Republicans do want to fund education!
As the US election campaign wound up, Republicans apparently made a last-minute bid to get an Oxford academic to help scupper Barack Obama's chances. Peter Millican, a philosophy don, was contacted about using software he had devised to "prove" that Obama's autobiography had been ghostwritten by a former terrorist. Dr Millican's computer program compares words and phrases to try to detect when two works are written by the same author. The Sunday Times reported he was offered $10,000 (£6,200) to compare Obama's book and one written by William Ayers, a co-founder of a radical group that bombed government buildings in the 1960s who is now a US academic. The offer was allegedly made by a Republican congressman's brother-in-law; but interest waned when Dr Millican warned that the results of any comparison would have to be made public, whether or not a link was found.