Books. Bikes. Boomsticks.
Government is simply the word for those things we choose to do badly together.
This is a classic example of why it is important to do adequate qualitative research before attempting to do quantitative research. First, you go in and ask your population of interest wide-open questions about what is going on and what they are experiencing. That way you get some level of gestalt understanding before you go trying to measure things and generate numbers. Because as the study LabRat is complaining about, and thousands of others as well, so thoroughly demonstrate is that it is utterly pointless to go out and measure stuff if you don't have at least a basic common sense understanding of what is happening.This reminds me of a researcher who found out I was in to guns and (at that time) NRA high power rifle competition. She thought it would be really interesting to measure how angry we High Power shooters get when we're shooting, and why we'd be choose a hobby that's all about indulging fits of uncontrolled murderous rage. I was just speechless, gawking at her like a space alien. Who knows, she probably could have gotten a grant and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars doing PET scans at Camp Perry chasing down a ludicrous hypothesis, when just spending a few hours listening to shooters talk about their sport would have led her quickly to the realization that the rifle shooter mind set is more like Zen Peace and Stillness than Seething Violent Rage.
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