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Today, or rather yesterday to be more precise, we were 212 days out from the commencement of what this blog has termed the Stealth Sex Synod 0f 2015. (see here) A busy day caused me to miss publishing the “one per day” post that is allotted to your humble blogger by a “higher power”, in this case by the Mrs. Please accept a big Mea Culpa from my side, since I, unlike these two motivated clerics from this Rorate Caeli post (see here), did not meet yesterday’s editor’s deadline.
Getting back to business, today we will tie up the “alternative reality” theme that has been the subject of our analysis over the last few posts and try to gauge the “scale of the forces” that the evil one has deployed on the field of battle in an attempt to slow down the advance of the forces of the Holy Spirit that are presently “restoring all things in Christ”. And that work is progressing nicely. (see here) Or to put it another way, we will try to get behind the “curtain” and get a peek at the Wizard, hence the video at the top of this post.
But before we do that, one side issue needs to be mentioned. Yesterday a Pew poll came out that shows Francis as being “very popular” in these here United States. Upon closer scrutiny, I found a tidbit of information claiming that JPII is still more popular than Francis, giving me a good chuckle. As I see it, for any Modernist who takes heart from this popularity, please keep in mind that JP II is still more popular than Francis, and this is after Francis has been taking the “promotion of
material and formal heresy populism” of the last two years to an entirely new and unprecedented level. As to how the popularity of JPII translated into the spiritual and material state of the Roman Catholic Church in the US, this is visible for all to see. So as I sit here reflecting on his “data point”, the conclusion that I draw is the following: Francis’ popularity will not translate into a commensurate level of mayhem and destruction within the church to that brought on by JPII simply because there really isn’t a whole lot left to destroy. To be more precise and frankly speaking, and to use a business expression, the US Catholic church is in “wind down” mode, where the liquidators “administrator bishops” are just disposing of the company church’s fixed (tangible) assets and living off the proceeds. But this is a theme for a different post for a different day.
Gauging Enemy Strength
So let’s get back to today’s theme; the “peek behind the curtain” that I promised. The reason that I picked this subject matter was due to a passage that appeared in the post titled Losing Control of the Narrative – Crucify Him!, (see here) in a citation written by the cleric author over at the… let’s call it the “offensive NYT/BG” website, a website that I shall not name:
PewSitter is small fry. It’s a tempest in a teapot!” you might protest, but what the furor over the PewSitter headline reveals is that American Catholicism is divided as never before. Some conservatives who feel threatened by Pope Francis have retreated into a right-wing, paranoid enclave from which they broadcast panicked videos, sarcastic blog posts, and uber-orthodox traditionalist jeremiads.
Seeing as how this quote was published on the website of the subsidiary of the HUGE New York Times/Boston Globe MEDIA conglomerate, at first glance it would appear to be a reasonable ascertain.
However, after an exchange in the comment box with “Steveesq” of the excellent EX MAGNA SILENTIUM blog (see here) about blog viewership and visitor numbers at the respective websites, i.e. Pew Sitter website and the “offensive NYT/BG” website, I felt that putting some numbers on the above “small fry” ascertain was more than called for.
However, a problem soon became apparent that whereas the Pew Sitter website has a visitors counter, the “offensive NYT/BG”website does not.
Odd, wouldn’t you say?
So in a situation like this, what is a “quantitatively inclined” blogger to do?
But like the old saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way. And the “way” came by way of another blog, this time the Father Z blog. To be more precise, your humble blogger remembered a post about a poll that appeared on the “offensive NYT/BG”website regarding the “femization of the Catholic Church”. Digging through the Fr. Z archives, the post was located (see here), screen shots and all.
However another problem arose. It would also appear that not only does the “offensive NYT/BG” website not have visitors counters on it’s pages, it also does not have vote counters of how many of its visitors actually vote in their polls. So it was just another issue that needed to be overcome.
But more odd, wouldn’t you say?
It is as if this “offensive NYT/BG” Huge media conglomerate does not want to provide any information as to how HUGE in fact this media conglomerate is?
Or for that matter, IS NOT?
Now this really piqued my interest. So what is a middle-age, highly motivated, quantitatively inclined blogger to do when faced with this type of a situation?
The answer is simple.
A solution MUST be found.
In other words, a methodology had to be found to overcome this hurdle. 🙂
And here it is.
Fortunately for this blogger and by extension you dear reader, Fr. Z has many useful “widgets” (functionality) on his blog that allow for the assessment of visitor (readership) numbers for his blog. Among these are a counter of total page views (40,307,036 page views as of this writing) and an archive where one can extrapolate the time period over which this total page views number was achieved.
Using a linear extrapolation based on these two data points, i.e. total page views (≈40,000,000) divided by number of days since the beginning of the blog (blog started in Jan 2005 ≈ 3650 days) we get a figure of roughly 11,000 average visits per day over the life of the blog.
Before we go further, it needs to be stated that the above figures should not be understood as exact figures, i.e. “the number of page views that Fr. Z is attaining daily. These figures are linear extrapolations, extrapolations that will provide us with an “objective level” for comparison purposes. In other words, the absolute figures are less important, the relative values are the key.
Back to defining our methodology.
Given that we are now able to establish a “figure” that represents an average number of page views (i.e. visitors) on Fr. Z’s blog, the second critical piece of information (data point) that Fr. Z’s blog provides us with is an objective measure (correlation coefficient, if you will) of the number of his visitors relative to the number of visitors of the “offensive NYT/BG” website. Here is how we derived this relative value.
On the 18th of January 2015, the “offensive NYT/BG” website ran the above mentioned poll. Fr. Z in turn re-produced a screen shot of this poll, and asked the visitors of his blog to go over to the “offensive NYT/BG” website and vote. Here is the screenshot:
And here is what Fr. Z wrote:
Looks like a “broader base for their poll” provided to the “offensive”website by Fr. Z was able to completely reverse the findings of the poll. What’s more, it was just the ticket that we needed to extrapolate the number of visitors to the “offensive NYT/BG website based on the “functionality” present on Fr. Z’s blog.
Here is a table that I mocked up from the screenshots:
What we can easily observe in the above table is that within a span of a day ( actually, it was only a few hours), the Fr. Z visitors that he directed to the “offensive NYT/BG” website were able of “completely reverse the voting outcome” of the poll at the targeted website.
Let this sink in for a minute or two.
If you think about it for a minute or two, what should become clearly evident is that we are dealing with two websites whose visitor numbers are of completely different orders of magnitude. When one website can instruct its readers to go to another website and completely “invert” the results of their poll in a matter of hours, if not minutes, it necessarily follows that we are dealing with an initial small sample size at the website doing the poll. But more on this below.
Next, we need to establish the number of visitors that went over from the Fr. Z blog and voted in the “offensive NYT/BG” website. If we can get an idea of this figure, we should be able to extract how may visitors of the “offensive NYT/BG” website voted in the original poll.
This piece of information, i.e. how many visitors could have gone over from Fr. Z’s blog to the targeted website, is also provided to us by another post on Fr.Z blog. If we go to the post from the 17 of February 2015, (see here) we see a poll that Fr. Z ran asking which Eucharistic Prayer his visitors hear when they attend the liturgical service commonly referred to as the Novus Ordo of Paul VI. In this poll, we see that the number of respondents (participants) is ≈2900. Here is the screen shot.
Also notice that Fr. Z provides the voter totals to allow the viewer to get an idea about the veracity of the poll. The larger the sample size, the more accurate the results. And ≈2900 is a nice sample size. But I digress…
Given that we have a firm figure that is representative of the number of voters that Fr. Z can muster in a given 24 hour time period, we can easily make the very safe assumption that this is the number that went over to the “offensive” NYT/BG website and cast their vote at Fr. Z’s request.
And lastly, we are provided with the difference of the distribution of voting between the initial results and the post intervention results, as per above table.
Given these two data points, we can try to solve for the figurative “X” as the old algebraic expression goes. The table below shows my first iteration.
Here is one “iteration” of “solving for the proverbial X” given the above data points and using 2000 to represent the total number of visitors who voted in the “offensive NYT/BG” website poll before Fr. Z’s intervention:
1. I assumed that the original number of votes cast on the “offensive NYT/BG” website was 2000. I then distributed those votes according to the percentages given in the voting results page before Fr. Z mobilized his visitors to cross over and vote.
2. I then made the assumption that Fr. Z was able to mobilize the same number of visitors to those he had voting in the EP poll, and all those went across to the “offensive NYT/BG” website and votes. (≈2900)
3. The third assumption that I made was that all those voters that came across from Fr. Z’s blog, voted exclusively “YES”
And as far as the results are concerned, the line that should be of interest is the one labeled 1st Iteration. We see that just by adding the 2900 votes to the original totals in the YES column, we obtained a result that is almost an ideal fit in percentage terms to the results of the actual results post the Fr. Z intervention. Once again, here is the relevant cross section of the above table:
By far the largest implication is that we have discerned, with a high degree of probability, the number of visitors to the “offensive NYT/BG” website that cast a vote in their poll. That number is roughly approximately 2000 lost… make that very, very lost voting souls.
Now obviously the accuracy of this figure rests on the assumption that it was 2900 votes that went across from the Fr. Z blog to vote. But it looks very very likely that this was in fact the case. It also fits very nicely with the “objective voting totals” from Fr. Z’s other polls (the EP II poll). Furthermore, it would also fit nicely with the implicit assumption that Fr. Z has a steady number of visitors daily to his blog, and that the number of those visitors that then go on to cast votes in his polls is likewise steady. I think that these are very safe assumption to make.
I don’t want to belabor this point since the above is by no mean an exhaustive analysis, however, for the reasons given above, I feel very confident that the above number is very close to the actual number that voted at the “offensive NYT/BG” website, i.e. ≈2000
Given the above extrapolated figure of 2000 voters at the “offensive NYT/BG” website, a further assumption can be made, i.e. that the number of visitors to the website that cast a vote in their polls is roughly the same proportion that visit Fr. Z’s blog ( ≈11 000 page views) and cast a vote in his polls ( ≈2900). If this is the case, than we can solve for the total number of unique visitors to the “offensive NYT/BG” website as follows:
(2000/2900) x 11,000 ≈7586
In other words, it would appear that the “offensive NYT/BG) website has approximately 7586 unique visitors per day. Therefore, the largest number of visitors that can cast a vote on this website which is operated by a subsidiary of the New York Times and the Boston Globe is ≈7586.
The reason that your humble blogger went through this process was to ascertain the accuracy of the statement made by the cleric author as cited above. Once again, here is a reminder of the statement in question:
PewSitter is small fry. It’s a tempest in a teapot!” you might protest,
This statement implies that the author cleric should not even be bothering to address the issue of what appears on the Pew Sitter website. He is also making a suggestion that the website that he writes on is much larger in terms of visits and importance. After all, he is writing on a website whose ultimate owner is the “self billed newspaper of record’. So reading the above, one could naturally assume that this “offensive website” would have a much larger readership (unique visitors and page views) than the other website that the cleric author labeled as “small fry”.
Which leaves us with just one more comparison. Here is the screen shot of the Visitor Statistics on the Pew Sitter website as of this writing:
Looks like the visitor levels that the Pew Sitter website attains are at least two and one half that which we extrapolated for the “offensive NYT/BG” owned website.
Now this is very, very odd.
And the reason it is very odd is because of this one observation and this one observation alone, namely:
If the above calculations are a true reflection of the daily readership of this website that is owned by the New York Times and Boston Globe HUGE media conglomerate, and if this website is generating the above extrapolated level of traffic, than we are not dealing here with an artificially created “alternative reality” but rather with an entirely different animal; what we are dealing with in this case is nothing short of a…
Let his sink in dear reader.
This is an issue that we will be revisiting in an upcoming post.
But before we sing off, the following question needs to be asked for the record: “who you calling a “small fry”, father?”
On a P.S., isn’t it a good idea to peek behind the curtain every now and then?