Monday, 22 September 2014

Milliongate: PAS Gone Numbers -Crazy

Over on the PAS public database, here on the front page, we read 1,023,953 objects within 633,481 records (that should be 633,481 records, mentioning 1,023,953 objects).

Or according to the 'overall statistics' search today:
It is bad enough that two sources of information about the PAS both available from the same page do not correlate with each other. There is no surprise in that for those of us who've been trying to follow the progress of outreach through PAS "statistics", they tend to be very mutable. Yet there is now an even more puzzling development: the PAS spin doctors are now telling the public that pays for all their number games:
Stay tuned for the millionth object this week!
What new trickery is this? So, if they are ignoring the "22000" Treasure items Dr Drost entered on the database on 8th September, why not all the other Treasure items, which brings their total down considerably? Why are the PAS so insistent on representing their figures as something other than what they are? The database says one thing, the PAS says those figures are not correct and are trying to promote other ones. What is going on? How can anyone take the PAS at all seriously when it engages in these games?

* * *

For the record, the search of results from 9th September to the evening of 22nd September reads
The total up to 9th September 2014 minus the estimated 22000 from the unnamed hoard is (on 9th September there were 167 records of 179 objects added):
Adding the two we get:
1,001,674 objects....
which shows that even with Dr Drost's hoard cut out, but not the other extraneous data, the PAS have already over a "million objects" on the database. So what are they playing about at trying to convince us that with a flourish and fanfare they are later going to produce a pre-selected "millionth find" ("but in the meanwhile here are some of our FLOs' favourite objects"). This is very redolent of the apparent rigging of the dumbass competition of "viewers' finds" on "Britain's Secret treasures" that tweets and the weather reports of the day concerned showed had been  filmed prior to the pretended date of selection. 

Let me guess the reputed "millionth find" is going to be something at first sight nondescript, which their narrativisation turns into something more significant. My money is on a "Roman grot" which they've been trying to get their "partners" to report for years.

Maybe instead of these pointless and embarrassing attempts at media manipulation, we can at last see some real transparency, detail and openness from the PAS. Seventeen million quid of public money deserve no less. 

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