Sunday, November 21, 2010

Death by analysis

I missed out on posting last week, mainly because I was too exhausted to come up with another usable thought, but also because, having glanced at the readings I thought: low priority -- I'm not planning an online component for my project. Lo! when I did get down to reading them of course I found much to put through the mental grinder. For one thing, I do a lot of reearch online already, and as Hine suggested somewhere in that dense thicket of concepts, only partially digested as yet, how to evaluate online information is quite an important issue. So; more mulling over these 2 papers needed. So far the Orgad is not making total sense to me yet - though I sense there is sense there to be made.

On to this week's chapters on the analysing of quantitative data. An aspect of the research process that I have always approached with dread and avoided as far as possible. Surprisingly, Laker's exposition of the various options gave me some hope that this might not always be so. I began to dimly feel the beauty of information hidden behind the cryptic face of unreadable numbers; and the potential excitements of gradually seeing that information take shape, like a photograph developing, as the data yield coherence and pictures.

Qualitative information, I see now, can't have that kind of mystery, because something is always readable on the surface, albeit partial or misleading.

But maybe the mystery would pall as I come to understand the techniques well enough to be able, possibly, to anticipate patterns in the choices?

Maybe. But that moment is a long way in the future for now. The thought of quantitative data analysis is still a form of instant soma. Not the pleasant kind. If indeed that existed.

I want also to thank all of you who write so extensively about the readings, your thoughts and reflections on their content, applications and particular uses for you. Much of interest, and really appreciated!

No comments:

Post a Comment