What’s happening now…and why I’m not writing much – reading, teaching, librarying, parenting…
An Open Letter on Statistical Analysis
I used to shy away from Statistical Analysis as a means to meaning.
Now different thoughts occur.
Last night my daughter was struggling with 5th-grade division problems that involved endless remainders…
I used to be really uncomfortable with the “why?” of mathematics…
…last night I found it fascinating, as if it were opening entirely new sets of mysteries and unknowns to me trailing off as it did, like endless reflection and inquiry.
QUERY 1: “WHY?”
Common enough thought for a philosopher.
Seems to me the “good philosopher” (effective, useful, usable, relevant) consistently ponders and inquires into the Affect and Effect of whatever is under observation or scrutiny. What / How / Why / Where / & for Whom does it “mean” that we’re Doing / Being / Knowing this or that or what-not. Anything, really. Anything at all.
Which got me to thinking…
what/how/why/where/when/for-whom do all these infographics, demographics, assessments, quizzes, ticked responses, reviews, # of views, feedbacks, “likes,” “unlikes,” and so forth “mean” for our Doing/Being/Knowing?
(what’s it all mean, Big Data [pronounced “Big Dadda”?)
QUERY 2: “Huh?”
WHAT MATTERS TO YOU?
The question that drives, allows, enables any help a “philosopher” might be able to foster…
AND HERE COMES STATISTICAL ANALYSIS!
(the philosopher asks)…
For the moment, just…just-now, here, this-when…
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY MATTERS MOST TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE?
Let’s check out your personal statistics (YOU’LL have to do this part of the work – observation, comparison & contrast, open inquiry & interpretation)
for instance…WHAT things do you nudge toward qualitative analysis or quantitative analysis?
A few simple questions regarding:
- time with children/partner/self/nature/friends/world (in relation to) time at work?
- time scrolling Facebook / browsing internet (in relation to) time gazing at / listening to / caressing / doing-being-knowing-with your loved-ones?
- time realizing time-tested wishes or longings (in relation to) accepted responsibilities?
- time reading/moving/resting (in relation to) time watching/viewing/receiving
- pleasurable time (in relation to) suffering time
and so on….
[or how well do such things mesh up / converge / resolve, etc?)
(finding ways statistical analysis might mean)
and then, of course, there’s the more totalizing EXPERIENCING of such analysis / account / record / actuality [REALITY]…
…at least ONE way a statistical analysis might MEAN?
(and a humane use of philosophy?)
(science & mathematics?)
(humanities & arts?)
WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU?
(maybe think of 3-5…rank them?)
HOW DOES THAT RELATE TO A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF YOURSELF?
(keep track of your minutes / hours for 3-5 days)
WHAT DOES YOUR ACTUAL BEING / DOING / KNOWING REPORT ABOUT WHAT MATTERS TO YOU?
(compare. contrast. assemble. interpret. reflect.)
[RESEARCH: it all depends on context]
and it’s all immersive EXPERIENCE
(…used my lunch break for grocery-shopping to alleviate evening stress after work when I need to get the kids to multiple locations and events, and prepare dinner while hopefully interacting with them, witnessing their goings-on in the ONE place I can be at a time, while finishing up that revised CV I need for perhaps continuing employment in a position I actually feel suited to, find challenging, and organizing an upcoming theater production, parceling energy with hopes I might have some left for my prime concern: my partner, or maybe myself – isn’t that part of all of it too? – and the reading/writing/reflecting I’d love to do, acquiring plane tickets and maps for upcoming family journeys, counting breaths to relax, aiming for meta-cognition and emotional awareness so that I don’t miss, ignore, injure, need to exercise, plus the laundry and housework, and…)