Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday Statisticz: God vs. JK Rowling

"The revolution will not go down better with coke." - Gil Scott-Heron

A commenter on the Top 10 Christ Figures questioned why The Boy Who Lived was not on my list. This is the way that we would have had the debate, say, 10 years ago.

My first move would have been to claim my credentials on the subject. I have read Harry Potter (especially the earlier books) more times that you can possibly imagine. I used to play a game where I would close my eyes and have my mom read a random line from one of the first three books and I would try to guess what page it was on. I was pretty good at this game. Also, my blog is the tenth result on google when you search for christ figure (I'm coming for you, Wikipedia!). Clearly I have a degree of authority on the matter, which in the old days I would have swung to my advantage.

Although the argument would have probably been over after my credentials were established, I would still have indulged my audience. I would have made flowing statements like, "Potter may be the paragon of religion for some readers, but in a very Orwellian sense he remains a steadfast member of the Austrian school." I would said that if Harry is Christ, then it follows that Hermoine is Eve and Dumbledore's cloak must be the biblical coat of many colors. And I would have made pithy attacks on my opponent, such as "Mr Matt's nonsensical arguments lack form, structure, and are revealing of his lilliputian disregard for scientific vigor." The audience would cheer and applaud me, although my argument would likewise lack empiricism.

But that was then. This is now. I found some data from Belief Net on Harry Potter, where they had a vote on this specific question, and the results render any such discussion useless:

The future is data. The revolution will be charted and regressed.