September 22, 2006

Spurious Search Count War On Gore

Geoff Nunberg posts at Language Log regarding how the Al Gore / Internet story history is being subjected to a misleading attempt to minimize its impact via a spuriously low search engine count:

Of course counts of media stories are only a rough indication of how widely diffused a story is, but even if we restrict ourselves to print, the contrast between [Alan] Abramowitz's 19 stories and the actual figure of several thousand is pretty striking. But then anybody who lived through this period knows without having to check that the story was all over the place. Which leads me to ask, How could Abramowitz possibly have believed the number his search returned?

Heck [alert - information you won't find elsewhere here!], let's go the source, from the story's inventor (my emphasis):

Next came the media feeding frenzy. On 11 March, Wired News was the first to report Gore's remarks. Hundreds of articles were quick to appear, many drawing the inevitable comparisons to Gore's other gaffes.

Sigh. Why do I bother?

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google , politics | on September 22, 2006 11:58 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Why do we get up in the morning? Maybe it's nothing more than habit. Maybe it's to prove to ourselves that we matter, what we think matters, what we do matters, who we are matters, if only to ourselves. Then again, maybe it's only boredom. Take a deep breath and go find something that gives you joy. Later, Thanks for your effort Seth. Peace, B.

Posted by: dustnashes at September 23, 2006 05:29 PM

Why do you bother?

Because it matters and you care.

Stop caring about stuff that matters and you may as well get a personality transplant.

Posted by: Ian at September 24, 2006 06:35 PM

dustnashes: Thanks. However, getting up in the morning is generally a postive-return activity (though not always, there's notable exceptions).

Ian: Right. But the implications aren't necessarily good :-(.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at September 27, 2006 01:25 AM