In the last few years, there has been a revolution so profound that it’s sometimes hard to miss its significance. We are awash in numbers. Data is everywhere. Old-fashioned things like words are in retreat; numbers are on the rise. Unquantifiable arenas like history, literature, religion and the arts are receding from public life, replaced by technology, statistics, science and math. Even the most elemental form of communication, the story, is being pushed aside by the list.
Bruce Feiler, The United States of Metrics
The binarism between quantitative versus qualitative is irksome. We pit words and numbers against each other in some strange structuralist fashion to create an exaggerated war on words. Numbers are strictly pragmatic, never theoretical, hogging all the shine and the arts is a high-minded underappreciated pasttime on the verge of extinction. It’s so camp and over the top. Sure, Buzzfeed’s listicles are becoming a joke. They get clicks but don’t qualify its “This is getting kind of silly, bye now” web traffic in a concrete manner. But then we got sentiment analysis tools, right? Well, sort of. Continue reading