(Update and big deletion and purge, December 2, 3009.) After discussions with the person who created the chart, I’ve decided to take it down and the rest of my commentary as well. He tells me that he has had a chance to re-think the whole thing, and thinks it was a big mistake to try and quantify with a graph things – in this case, what constitutes private sector experience- that are inherently subjective. I raised that question a number of times in commenting on the chart, as did numbers of commenters. In addition, numbers of commenters made that same point, that this is trying to quantify subjectivity. He tells me that he thinks the qualitative observation is reasonable, though subject to disagreement and interpretation, but that it is unsuited for graphing as though it were objective in that way.
It was my offer and decision to take down the graph, and here’s why I offered to do so. I do regard blogging as something more than just shouting mindlessly, but it is also something less than a full on academically thought out and justified piece. I regard it, myself anyway, as inherently rough and first draft, and subject to revision. This chart, in its original setting, has a number of qualifications that, among other things, make it clear that while there is a serious point at issue, it is also a bit of whimsy, and constructed as such. This doesn’t really come across in the graph alone, and very few people, apparently, go on to read the full piece. So I both think it not actually representative of the full piece, and not representative of the author’s current thinking.
Ordinarily I would just post an update like this, and leave it at that – but in the case of jpeg charts, they achieve a life of their own in the web. I don’t think that’s accurate or fair to the author. So I’ve decided to take it down instead. But of course I do not want the MSM “memory hole” effect, either, so I am leaving up this comment to let people know that I amended this, on my own decision. And also, I suppose I’ll add, one of the problems of Google is that nothing is ever gone or forgotten. That’s an extraordinarily good thing for some things, but not for others. The graph does not reflect the creator’s re-thinking of this, but it takes on a circulatory web life of its own. I don’t think that’s a good idea or a fair one. So if you type in “Private sector experience cabinet secretaries” I’d prefer that you wind up here, reading this. Not a perfect solution, I’m sure, but what I’m opting for in this case. I’m leaving comments up but closed, as I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the many people who thought I should never have put it up in the first place, even with all my questions and doubts about how much weight to put on it, have been banished to Anti-Alpha-Memory.