Monday, September 15, 2008

Size Matters

Although Americans are often criticized for their lack of numeracy, statistics have become increasingly important in the age of social media, since they serve as one of the main metrics of worth. The number of views, the number of friends, or the number of members of a given group presents a form of enthymeme that gets taken to be a conclusion about worth. With the candidacy of Sarah Palin for Vice President, the size of her state and city, her years of experience in office, and the number of earmarks that her constituents receive have all become placed in rhetorical context by groups in social network sites. For example, there is a Facebook group for This Group Has a Larger Population than Wasilla, Alaska and one for I Have More Foreign Policy Experience Than Sarah Palin.

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