Connect the dots: Last week, I blogged a story about the Medill School of Journalism considering dropping its statistics course requirement. In the story, the following quote appeared:
A common problem among many Medill students is that because they often don’t understand how statistics relates to their field of choice, they put off taking the course. Michelle Edgar, a fifth-year Medill and School of Music double major, left her statistics requirement until her second-to-last quarter at NU and calls her Introduction to Statistics class a “complete waste of time.” “I don’t see how any of the information is relevant to journalism or how it could be applied to writing a story,” she said.
I hope that the way in which bloggers and reporters almost celebrated their statistical ignorance (ignoring methodology, usage or context of research, for example) yesterday will help Medill and all other j-schools to stop dumbing-down the requirements for the Michelle Edgars (and Jack Shafers and Matt Drudges and the almost Dr. Ana Marie Coxes) of the world.
Okay. One last thing: David Gergen keeps going on and on about how awful it is that those who supported Kerry will feel so alienated. I am sorry about that, but look at the map: It is so very difficult for those who live 100 miles from the Atlantic or Pacific to understand those who don’t. But that’s been the case since colonial days (a longer explanation for another day).
I am glad that all Americans — including those who would have been happy if Kerry were elected — will be spared the street celebrations of our enemies that we’d be seeing on CNN if this had ended with Kerry winning. I do not believe in any way that vote for Kerry was a vote for our enemies, indeed I don’t believe Kerry’s approach to the war (despite his rhetoric) would have been that different from Bush’s. However, that nuanced view would not have been understood by our enemies who be cheering for the TV cameras and taking credit for Bush’s defeat.
I am now finished with saying anything even remotely controversial.
The ironic whys: One of the most ironic results of the election will be that by “outsourcing” their get out the vote effort, the Kerry campaign came up short against the in-house get out the vote effort of the Bush campaign. I guess Kerry should not have depended on those war lords at moveon.org. Okay, that’s the last of my snide remarks. I’m officiall signing off. Thank god it’s over.