Sunday, 28 November 2010

"Mine is Bigger than Yours...": Numeracy among Humanists

Sadly David Gill has lost a subscriber, apparently due to her inability to read numbers.
I've unsubscribed from Looting Matters, as this sort of post by David Gill shows the type of propaganda that goes on in various blogs of it's (sic) ilk. And how frustrating it is trying to deal with people who'd argue black is white with a straight face ...
This is all very curious. I invite readers to check the Google Reader figures for themselves. On my screen they come out exactly the way that David Gill presents them, and in complete contrast to what Dorothy King claims. Having done that, they can then decide for themselves which side in the cultural property preservation debate is "arguing black is white with a straight face" and why that might be.

Some of the inexplicable discrepancies between what Ms King now asserts and the true values given today by Google Reader and what David Gill had stated:


Dorothy King

Google Reader

Looting matters




Blogging Pompeii












While Gill indeed did get the subscriber numbers wrong for one of Lee Rosenbaum (Culture Grrl)'s blogs and Derek Fincham's (it may be that he was mistakenly quoting the figures of the ArtLaw Blog), the general trend is clear; the blogs supporting cultural preservation and institutional measures still, by whatever means one uses to measure that, do seem to be being much more widely read than the blogs promoting the no-questions-asked market in antiquities and sniping at the archaeological establishment etc.

I posted a comment on PhDiva's blog pointing out the differences between what she say the Google Reader figures are and the actual values (which anyone can check for themselves). So far she has not deigned to answer it.

[In passing, she points out with mock modesty that she has 173 subscribers, but I suspect this has more to do with something she fails to point out. As I recall, about two (?) years ago she found it necessary to restrict access to her blog, to read anything on it as I recall one had to register, I could not be bothered, but it seems a hundred or so may well have done, thus producing a satisfying number of subscribers in the Google Reader statistics.]

One can only surmise why Ms King would find it "frustrating" to "deal with" (sic) the arguments against no-questions-asked collecting and for the preservation of the archaeological record, and labels "Looting Matters" propaganda. Still, now she's announced her reasons for unsubscribing from David's blog she'll not have to bother her pretty head over it any more.


David Gill said...

Web 2.0 technologies allow a different type of debate to take place. There is still little agreement over the use of the authority of blogs etc. in the discourse. My post was an attempt to capture some information on readership via a particular (Google) reader.
Best wishes

Paul Barford said...

Well, I really am bemused. When I checked Google Reader against what Ms King had said, it is a total mystery to me where the numbers she quotes come from. Weird.

DO blogs have "authority"? I hope not. I think a certain type of them can be and should be provocative and maybe challenging people's views (or previous lack of views maybe) on the topic.

It is only when people stop questioning (and reflecting on and checking out) what they read that any text would become, as Ms King puts it, "propaganda".

Frankly, I myself am not interested in the latter kind of readership, just the same as i would find face to face conversation on a topic that interests me with sheepish yes-man awfully tiresome. It is the coineys who need the audience of sheep.

I think that you too in your ever-so-much-more-polite blog pose more questions (albeit many times rhetorical) than postulate authoritative answers.

I really do not see how that counts as "propaganda".

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