Richard said, "Why did my name get brought back into this? We already settled this." I looked back at some of the previous comments on Vital Remnants and I see that he sort of/kind of back-tracked on this matter and I should probably just take it as a retraction, although I never did see anything on his blog, where he published it, correcting it. So, oh well, we'll just call it even.
In addition, as to his comment that the Department of Education's Statement of Consideration did in fact, contrary to my previous post, address my argument, he's right. I read through it and either missed it or forgot I saw it when I wrote the post. My bad. I'll take responsibility for it. I don't know how I missed it.
However, the Department says does not offer any argument in response to what I said. As Richard himself quotes from the report:
The agency has determined that comments asserting a heavy weighting toward climate science, to the exclusion of other disciplines, are not supported by a careful examination of the standards themselves.Oookay.
So where did I go wrong? They don't say. They just make an assertion that it ain't so. Anyone can do that. Where is the counter-argument? I realize that they may not be required by law (I'll have to check) for offering one, but, in any case, they don't.
I have asked at least once (maybe twice) for someone to falsify my figures or come up with some other analysis which would render them incorrect. So far, nothing--from Richard or anyone else.
I responded to Cothran’s argument. I objected to his drawing such definitive conclusions on the scant evidence produced by a simple word search methodology. But Cothran carried on the debate by defending his method, claiming that I was wrong to have questioned - what he had now switched to calling - a “text analysis.”
The only problem is that Cothran had not done a “text analysis.” He did a word count.
If he had done a text analysis - which is much more involved research technique and produces much higher quality information, I would have likely had nothing to say about it.
After objecting to my posting a claim made by another author, Cothran finally conceded that his method was not sufficient for the conclusions he drew, writing, “I fully admit it's not "definitive." I admit the possibility that I could be wrong.”"Cothran finally conceded"? This makes it sound like I was holding out on him. If Richard will look back, he will see that I readily said not only that my analysis was not "definitive," but that I had never said it was. Richard makes it sound like I had said it was and reluctantly admitted it wasn't. This is simply a mischaracterization of the facts.
"Definitive" has the sense of being "better than all others" or "final or conclusive." Richard implied that I had said (or implied) that, but I never did and I pointed that out. He needs to drop the pretense, unless he can demonstrate that that's what I said.
And let's address this issue of "text analysis."
Richard says I didn't do a "text analysis"; I did a word count. Okay, first, I should probably explain to Richard that words are, in fact, text. And that analysis is the process of, if I may quote the dictionary (which has authority in most places, although I am uncertain if departments of education are one them) "a process of studying or examining something in detail in order to understand it or explain it." So maybe he would like to explain to me, given the common usage of words, how a word count is not text analysis.
I was using the term "word count" generically, of course. However, I am willing to concede that Richard may have some specialized technique in mind the rules for which I have violated. If so, he should say what it is. To simply keep repeating the expression "text analysis" as if this is a universally agreed-upon technique to analyze documents is getting a little tiresome.
In fact, I took the trouble to do a little investigation on the Internet concerning "text analysis." If you Google the term, you find several interesting things:
- There seems to be no one commonly agreed-upon or universally recognized technique for text analysis. In fact, many of the discussions of text analysis discuss the wide disagreement as to what the term means.
- The term "text analysis" is frequently used synonymously with "content analysis," which, according to most of the definitions, would fit more closely with what I was doing.
- Most definitions of both "text analysis" and "content analysis" would clearly include word counts or analysis of word frequency.
- Both "text analysis" and "content analysis," but particularly content analysis, frequently and explicitly employ word counting or analyses of word frequency as at least part of their methodology.
So maybe Richard would like to enlighten us on this one-and-only true method of text analysis he's trying to hold me accountable to and explain why his definition would seem to differ with the many others one can find easily on an Internet search.
Finally, Richard took offense and told me to go soak my head. This was the most sensible thing he's said so far.
This is what I like about Richard: If you hit him, he hits you right back. You gotta respect that. He fights like a man.
Oops, there I go again.
I'm sure that saying that will offend his Politically Correct sensibilities and he will prescribe some supplementary treatment in addition to the head soaking. But I am so refreshed by his candor that I am even now filling the bucket and awaiting whatever additional prescriptions he might suggest, which I will follow enthusiastically.
It could only help.