[FoRK] Do You Belong to The Church?

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Thu May 6 13:29:54 PDT 2010

--- On Thu, 5/6/10, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:

> More for JT:
> > Isn't that at the heart of Coase's work on the nature
> of the firm? (incidentally, are the same reasons applicable
> to levels of government too? that is, why we can't just have
> local government?) I still have both Ostrom and Williamson
> on my reading list.
> Good catch, absolutely relevant.  Worth further
> explication.  Ball's in your court... ;-)
> > So as a preliminary to that: any suggestion as to
> whether this should be done as (a) given statement user
> picks the usual strongly agree thru strongly disagree
> choices; (b) given two statements the user picks which they
> agree with more (if at all); (c) some other approach?
> Both / and.  If possible, present the same choices in
> a slightly obfuscated manner given both formulations, then
> see where individual response varies given the
> formulation.  Meta-methodology may help you refine how
> you gather the information in the future, or you might just
> leave it at that permanently, as it may reveal something
> interesting.  (That's the damnable thing about
> gathering information in this way --- i.e., relying on
> people to *say* what they (think that they) think / believe
> / mean rather than inferring it from some larger and less
> artificial data set of actions, statements, etc.)
> On that front, see next post.

Just be sure there is always an option for "don't know/don't give a rat's ass". That's the weakest part of so many "survey" data gathering devices: they force answers that aren't honest/true and therefore skew/bias themselves before a single person has answered a single question.

I learned something a long time ago: The answer you get depends upon the question you ask. 

Unfortunately, too many data gathering devices seem to have been designed around a different maxim: If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question. (Parents of teenagers learn this one quickly.)


More information about the FoRK mailing list