This post is mostly a note to myself, although it may interest others. I routinely use the publications from the late great Loompanics Press as examples in classes on free speech, and I've been meaning to collect more internet resources for the class for some time now. Right now on the Angel page for my ethics course, I only have some badly formatted and probably now dead links to old Loompanics books. I want to get a fixed batch of links in this post.
Loompanics was an independent publisher that specialized in how to books for various criminal acts, from lock picking and counterfeiting to assassination. Their staple, though was books on drug manufacturing. Sifu Tweety, at Unfogged just informed me that one Loompanics author, Steve Preisler ("Uncle Fester"), became a widely used resource in the crystal meth boom, and was subject to some media attention. (It was Tweety's comment that inspired me to try to fix some of this old info.)
The company went out of business in 2006, but its website continues to exist in a semi functional ghost form, no doubt generating ad revenue. My original discussion forum had links to the pages for their books on lock picking, counterfitting, assassination, faking your own death, and gaslighting. It looks like I can recreate all those links, except faking your own death, which was a fun one. I also had lots and lots of drug links, but I can substitute the category link and a link to Uncle Fester's more influential work. These new links will probably die soon also, so I should find a more stable way to refer to these books, but I'm not going to now.
Wow, browsing the Loompanics site, I see they once carried How to Lie with Statistics, which is a book used in real stats classes sometimes, and I've considered using in critical thinking courses.
The other reference I want to find is to a review (I swear it was by Frank Rich, but nytimes.com disagrees with me) which described the incredible voyeuristic appeal of these books, and hypothesized that most of this advice is never acted on, but read for entertainment purposes.
Ok, enough for now. I'll revisit this before I teach free speech issues again.