Thursday, November 12, 2015

What Counts in a Numbers Game?

What does it mean when a government subsidized magazine declares itself to be "in the numbers game"? What does it mean when its editor starts taking search engine robots at their word?

"The aftermath of this in art criticism is plain"?

Benjamin Disraeli said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics?" Jaron Lanier and his kind would have us believe there is a fourth -- the internet -- and that we are in trouble if we start to believe its "analytics," its robots' "unsettling precision."

All this, and more, because an editor is trying to justify a call for (capital?) "investment" to protect the interests ("entitlement") of the few who write and read art reviews? Not since the days of Brian Mulroney have I heard such a sad case of reasoning.

That's the signpost up ahead. Your next stop: the slippery slope.

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