Liars, propaganda, Steinbeck and stats

Lying at the presidential level is a matter of style as you'll learn in the account posted by Don in "Us and the World."

I'm off on another Steinbeck tear,this time quoting heavily from his WWII propaganda novel, "The Moon is Down." It is stunning how much this novel has to say about our present situation in Iraq. Check it out in "Peace Passion." Oh, and there are plenty of new pictures and stuff in "Family" and lots of new stuff in the news section of "Quo Vadis."

However, I really do wonder, sometimes, if I'm talking to myself here. I finally decided to take a serious look at the web stats provided by the hosting service. I don't have a whole lot of faith in such stats. They mean many different things depending on exactly how they are gathered. But essentially, with the stats below a "visit" means a person who arrives at the site and looks at one or more pages. If they go for 30 minutes without changing pages, then go on to another page, they are counted as a second visitor. On the other hand, if they come back the next day the page might still be stored in their machine and so they won't count as a visitor at all until they go to a page they haven't seen before. See what I mean? What looks like hard data is very squishy.

So how many people visit this site? I don't know. The stats below show close to 5,000 for August. But then, undoubtedly many of them are repeat visitors and I personally must count for close to 100 of those hits. Given all that, the only meaningful thing I see in these stats is that over the three months in which they have been collected the numbers are increasing steadily. Since this is at least comparing apples with apples, even though I'm still not really sure what's an apple and what's an orange, that is encouraging. ;-)

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Posted by Greg Stone at September 3, 2003 09:59 PM