13 July 2008

magic by numbers

This fascinating article, via Bookforum, lays out in sufficient detail the inexorable desecration of supposedly impartial statistics gathering and dissemination in the US. We know a little of similar activities here - eg the usual one cited that if you work for an hour a week, you're deemed to be employed.

But it's reasonable to suppose that there are many more similar changes that have been made to our system of statistical reporting over the years. The death of a thousand cuts, you could say. Given that people put their hard-earned on the line to make investment decisions, both personal and business, on the basis of these figures you'd like to think they were reliable. However, public servants on contracts, the rise of a view that the public should support the government of the day, not be impartial, frank and fearless have put paid to all of that. It's all about the program, yes?

Maybe one of my fellow bloggers with access to the numbers and the intelligence could do the research?

Speaking of fellow bloggers, a random investigation this arvo revealed that Club Troppo - surely one of the more sane, serious yet readable blogs about - has not only redefined Chateau VVB from leftish to centrist, but I'm now a "long time blogger" as well. I feel all kind of...funky.
The centrist tag sits well. Since I first heard the term - in 1983 - I've considered myself "wishy-washy left" but my views were perhaps polarised by John Howard's unique view of how government should work, and what his in particular should do to Australians. Without a doubt the nastiest cabal of immoral arseholes you could imagine, they did their very best for over a decade.

Kevin 07 was a very good year. The machine might be looking a little brittle at the moment - and could certainly do without the daily help of the Milnes and other idiot commentators who never miss a chance to examine, or more likely concoct, some imaginary fault - but they'll come good and they certainly won't be worse than what we just disposed. Of.

But I believe, Howard and Co aside, that the Chateau reserves a slightly more sceptical view of what is (a) desirable and (b) achievable, and neither 'side' of politics has a mortgage on it here in Godzone.

And, gven that we are now a "great southern land of the Holy Spirit" - well, except for here in Squat VVB, I must say - we seem to be Godzone.

Look out.

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