The Pie Chart In The Face


I am daunted by statistics. I have always been – my dear wife used to work for the Australian Bureau of Statistics…and it started so long ago that they counted on their fingers. I found myself the testing-ground for a number of survey forms and official enquiries. My wife would sit me down with a draft copy of a form and have me fill it out – and as I found the foolish or unanswerable questions she would note them down and the department would alter the form.

I was at sea as soon as I started to read. Or rather…I was abandoned out on the dry plains of the wheat belt – many of the forms were designed to be answered by farmers. I have never been a farmer so I had no idea if the questions were logical in a farming sense or whether I was seeing them with the eye of urban ignorance. At least I could detect errors of syntax and dodgy punctuation. On a number of occasions I found myself pitying their lives and as I read further I wanted to stab them all.

The same reaction has just occurred when I incautiously poked a portion of the control mechanism for this WordPress site. It vomited forth a series of statistics about who read the previous posts, and when. Why, it discretely left out, but that is probably only because you – as the readers – have not disgorged your inner souls to the statistics-takers. If you ask my advice….don’t tell them anything.

You have probably started some sort of intrusive account in someone’s hard drive by clicking on this little blog and reading this far. DO NOT tell any of the surveyors any more about you. Preserve your anonymity if you can but if this must be sacrificed at least keep your dignity at a high level. DO NOT sign up for anything. Nothing good can come of it. By all means check back to monitor my progress in causing havoc and do feel free to make those about you nervous…but do not give them a stick to beat you with.


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