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7. TOWARD STATISTICAL LITERACY? 170 Bad statistics aren’t rare. You can probably spot at leastone dubious number in this morning’s newspaper.Recognizing bad statistics is not all that diYcult; ittakes clear thinking more than it requires any advanced mathematical knowledge. And most people will agree that we ought to stamp out bad statistics. Still, bad numbers Xourish. Why? Shouldn’t we be able to teach “statistical literacy”—basic skills for critically interpret- ing the sorts of statistics we encounter in everyday life? Why can’t statistical literacy be part

I Insurgent Literacy First the texts. They conclude the narrative of the rising in Henry Knighton's chronicle: "There were 20,000 men in this crowd of rebels. These were their leaders: Thomas Baker (the first mover and afterwards principal leader of the revolt), Jack Straw, Jack Milner, Jack Carter, Jack Trewman. Jack Milner spoke thus to his fellows":1 jakke mylner asket help to tume hys mylne aright, he hath grounde« smal smal. J)e kynges sone of heuew he schal pay for alle. loke {M mylne go ary3t. wij) Jae foure sayles. and J>e post stande in

building on their way to class and for alumni swinging by to visit. Bev remembers covering the usual topics: what was going on at school, the latest Youth Radio news, that kind of thing. Mindful that class would start in a few minutes, Bev says she was about to end their conversation when Finnegan mentioned, almost as an aside, that he’d been “emailing this girl one Converged Literacy 20 C o n v e r g e d L i t e r a c y in Kosovo.” A huge massacre had just taken place there, and the bloody civil struggle was escalating into full-blown international war. NATO was

4. Language and Literacy In September 1931, an aging collaborator politician, Ho Duy Kien, during an otherwise routine Cochinchina Colonial Council discussion on primary educa- tion, made the mistake of referring to the Vietnamese language as a "patois" similar to those found in Gascogne, Brittany, Normandy, or Provence. For the next few months, from one end of Vietnam to another, the quoc-ngu press de- nounced Ho Duy Kien as rootless (mat goc), unpatriotic, and unrepresentative. Writers pointed out that Vietnamese had no less than 17 million speakers, a very

, Ōhara, Atago, Takao, and Arashiyama. And to blanket the territory, he sets out seventeen walking tours, each meant to take a day and, probably, to follow one upon another in the prescribed se- 185 s ix Cultural Custody, Cultural Literacy Fig. 32. “A Tour Guide to the Famous Places of the Capital,” from Akizato Ritō, Miyako meisho zue (An Illustrated Guide to the Capital, 1787), illustrated by Shunchōsai Takehara Nobushige. Here both a human guide and a guide book instruct the traveler. Courtesy of the East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley. quence.2

2 Bringing Literacy to the Countryside In the eyes of those living in cities, country people are "stupid" (yu). Even those people who advocate rural work regard stupidity, sickness, and poverty as symptoms of everything that is wrong in Chinese rural villages. 1 We can, of course, objectively measure sickness and poverty, but on what grounds can we say that coun- try people are "stupid"? When peasants, walking in the middle of a road, hear a car honking behind them, they become so nervous that they simply do not know which way to jump. Then the drivers of those

past, almost all libraries are now interconnected, essentially making almost all worldwide holdings available through almost any library, even the smallest. The internet further expands information availability, but the internet lacks fi lters. In contrast, information available in libraries, be it in print or in databases, is usually screened by a publisher and then further screened by an information specialist, so it is more likely to be reliable. E I G H T E E N · Igniting Critical Curiosity Fostering Information Literacy through Big History Ethan Annis, Amy

APPENDIX V STATISTICS ON LITERACY AMONG NON-EUROPEANS IN BURMA* Males Total population Illiterate Uterate 'Literate in English Burmese 4,202,079 1,600,881 2,601,198 51,202 Other indigenous races 2,307,725 1,617,377 690,348 16,679 Chinese 127,049 74,876 52,173 5,018 Indian Hindus 425,389 289,864 135,525 21,145 Indian Muslims 271,514 179,238 92,276 9,991 Other Indians 37,008 18,855 18,153 6,800 Indo-Burma races 90,307 60,351 29,956 5,512 Total males (incl. others) 7,480,676 3,844,886 3,635,790 130,976 Females Burmese 4,393,952 3,600,438 793,514 8

SEVEN Literacy, Orality, and Ritual Practice in Highland Colombia Diana Digges and Joanne Rappaport I N T R O D U C T I O N In the native highland community of Cumbal, Colombia, leaders of the ethnic-rights movement use oral and written evidence in their construction of a communal history that is incorporated into their political demands and rhetoric. The nature of the themes that they draw upon from the documentary record is determined in great part by their historical relation- ship with the Colombian state, especially as that relationship is filtered

3 More Thoughts on Bringing Literacy to the Countryside In the last chapter, I said that written language develops when time and space put limits on direct human communication. I only discussed, however, how space influences this development. In rural society, which is a face-to-face society, people can talk di- rectly to one another and do not need to rely on a written lan- guage. But how does separation across time influence the process of human communication? There are two aspects of this question that we need to discuss. First is the spread of time over a