One step forward, two steps back

March 4th, 2007 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

Today I spent about 9 hours working hard… so that I can now be 18 hours behind where I was when I started.  I spent the whole afternoon trying to fix an anomaly in my dataset – I did all kinds of fancy analysis, read a bunch of related papers, hunted for corroborating or better datasets.  Then at about dinner time I found the problem and it was frustratingly simple: I had switched “Thailand” and “Tanzania” by mistake. 

*gargh*

But after correcting that substantial error I then discovered that all my previous analyses and empirical results (for/from which I had produced all kinds of fancy figures, tables and discursive text) were completely wrong.  Which was horrifying, to say the least.  So in an attempt to save this key quantitative section, I went back through the literature and reconstructed a new independent variable measure to correct for the other systematic error I knew was in the dataset. 

By midnight this new, improved dataset revealed….  exactly the same results I had from before, virtually.  Except now I have to completely re-write the accompanying substantive sections as well as make new tables and figures.

Which is how I’m now 18 hours behind where I was when I started, 9 hours ago.

Haha, from the Chicago Manual of Style online:

“16.36  Avoiding overlong footnotes:  Lengthy, discursive notes should be reduced or integrated into the text.”

Ha!

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