Saturday, February 24, 2007

plucked from thin air - sanjana hattotuwa's stats

"lies, damned lies, and statistics" reportedly exclaimed benjamin disraeli twice prime minister of united kingdom at the height of empire, and author (i liked his novel coningsby when i was in my teens for some reason).

i was reminded of the saying after reading the following.

groundviews admin wrote on february 12, 2007 @ 12:21 pm
"Groundviews gets around 47 unique visitors a day. The highest number of unique visitors to date was 261 on 1st February"
this was said when i pointed out that pageviews (claimed to be over 500+ by sanjana hattotuwa on februaray 8th) and unique visitors at any blog were not the same thing.

sanjana hattotuwa wrote on 21.02.2007 (you have to click on history link to see the date)
"I don’t have the stats for Moju, but what Groundviews does have is around 40 return visitors (and around 300+ unique visitors) who visit the site daily"
while it may be theoretically possible that unique visitors went up by around 600%+ in 9 days, i doubt it.

it seems that like his excuses for censorship (in addition to ever changing earlier ones detailed here, see this comment posted on my blog with several more subjective ones), his peacenik justifications for appeasement of terrorists, his assessments of sri lankan political situation, etc. he would simply invent the statistics and 'facts' out of thin air (given he has no facts or even statistics, he probably has no choice).

no wonder, he always fails to give verifiable evidence for any one of his contentions and prefers concealment, deletion, and censorship (esp. when validity of his allegations are questioned) to transparency and openness. all this is symptomatic of general peacenik mindset, though others are probably more intelligent and better at avoiding these kinds of indefensible situations.

why am i publishing this?

well sanjana hattotuwa wrote on february 2, 2007 @ 7:25 am addressing me
" continue to visit and comment, perhaps realising that your tedious rhetoric invariably gains more visibility in a site that attracts more visitors in a week than your blog does in a year."
he expressed similar sentiments when he tried to "cover up his naked censorship using fig leaf of some troll's expletives".

my reply where i explained that i have not entered any sort of blog popularity contest (esp. given my self admitted boring, long, and non capitalized posts), was also censored. you may read it here. fact is, to my genuine surprise, i do seem to get more unique visitors than groundviews but since i do not intend to open the logs i will not boast about unverifiable statistics.

but will sanjana hattotuwa open the stats at groundviews and let us know whether his boasting was based in lies, damned lies, or statistics? or will he live in his self constructed imaginary world made of thin air?


btw i did answer indi's specific question to me in the above linked post about online rudeness in a comment -
"given what happened ( which can be proved with evidence ) i would say the same to the ppl concerned on or offline. evidence of gross 'civility' of sanjana is there for anyone to see in cache sites even after he deleted moju."
it was not published (along with several other comments elsewhere). i also submitted another non published comment when my answer was not published -
"what is the point in asking a question if you do not publish the answer (as you didn't)? some 'civility' huh? :-)"
however since he, unlike groundviews did not make (as far as i know) any public claims about "citizen journalism" etc. and as i have said i consider blogs to be private property completely at owner's discretion, i do not have any problems with his actions. this note is here merely to make it clear that i did in fact answer the question asked.


Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah ...
You are an idiot.

Deane AKA ~CC~ said...

I’d be pretty flattered if I was sanjana, you seem to think of him day and night.

But seriously, this is hilarious. chill. I think groundviews is a commendable initiative, and comment moderation is justified given the failure of Moju and the anarchist experiment there.

Sanjana Hattotuwa said...

Dear Sittingnut,

Thank you for your continued interest in the health of Groundviews. You are clearly a fan.

In promoting the work of Groundviews as best you can through your blog, you are doing us a great service of promoting the website, and content therein is sui generis in the Sri Lankan blogosphere.

Let me assure you that with a monicker such as yours, augmented by the incessant drivel that you push, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, into the blogosphere, augmented by your anonymity, prevent us from taking you seriously.

You will remain symptomatic of a lunatic fringe, that in peace processes are called spoilers - best left marginalised, to promote to dust mites their own self-indulgent critiques.

In all your allegations of misdemeanor and gross misconduct, including egregious grief caused to you by my alleged spoofing of you on Moju that continued for a few weeks last year, you fail to realise the extremely comical nature of your posts, which simply cannot be taken seriously except by a small posse of like-minded persons who will, necessarily, remain a minority.

I have earlier, on your own blog & on Groundviews, invited you to engage with the authors / content on Groundviews in a manner that is akin to the others who have commented on the site. That invite still stands. I doubt very much, however, that you have the wit and humility to accept it with grace.

Best wishes,


mdk said...

S'nut - your drivel is tiresome and reminded me again why I stopped visiting this site. But now that I mistakenly landed here, let me ask you: If you have such a prob with groundviews why don't you stop reading it? instead clogging up kottu with idoitic "defenses" with "could be proved with evidence" links that sounds like a 5 year old intent on "i'm gonna be a lawyer someday". Give me groundviews/ Sanjana over ur blog anyday - I may not agree with their views, but at least they argue coherently.

dude, you seriously need to chill and GET A LIFE!!

Voice in Colombo said...

I'm not trying to answer on behalf of sittingnut, but I can't keep my mouth shut to answer below comment and, a comment made by Indi, in one of his posts about "comment moderations". (There Indi said, "If you don't like groundviews, stop reading it and start your own groundviews" or some thing similar)

///If you have such a prob with groundviews why don't you stop reading it? \\ Quoted from mdk.

Talking about "constructive criticism" huh?

Now, our good old fox, late ex president JRJ told once, "If you are to attack/criticize Marxism, first you have to read and understand Das Capitas"

This is what groundviews & people like sanjana & mdk fail to do. They attack/criticize things they don't know, because they only read/learn what they believe is true and what they are programmed to learn. On the other hand, they expect us to be the same.

Reading/learning opposite opinions is not in the scope of groundviews & it's fans. And they expect others to do the same.

I read ground views regularly, and I don't agree with them at all in most of the cases. In fact they are maintaining that site for a clear economic and political agenda. But no one can ask me to "stop reading it" or "start your own groundviews if you don't like it".

Because I want to know what the "traitors” (Or the "lily boys on Sudda's bed", as some one mentioned) of this country are doing online. I want to know how they try to brainwash the budding internet community of this country, with one sided information flow on blog posts. And I want to criticize them, them and open the eyes of other readers.

Being online, blogging and commenting on Kottu for nearly one year now, I realize "Constructive Criticism" is not a phrase in the vocabulary of some of the well "English educated" bloggers. They simply hate criticism!

That's why they delete comments with constructive criticisms and justify it with answers like above (MDK & Indi's)

I'm 100% agree on deleting/moderating nonsense comments with abusive language or not relevant to the discussion at all (Like the first comment on this post by an Anon). But, I'm totally against the moderation of constructive criticism by opposite opinions, because in the long run, the blogosphere and Kottu would be totally a one sided philosophy. And that side would be always funded my NGO dollars.

Just Mal said...

as i've told you earlier, there's no point in trying to question the motives and the credibility of the people behind groundviews because that'll only give them undue attention.

i think you should come into terms with the reality that cpa and sanjana will always be what they are, and that you couldn't possibly change their behaviour by antagonising them.

you're an eloquent and charismatic writer with a wide reader base and recognition in the sri lankan blogosphere, and don't you think it'd be more productive if you use your talents for more sensible purposes and leave the flaming and trolling to me and ryan? the anti-peacenik camp needs people who could appeal to the moderate majority, not just the nationalist fringe. instead of trying to discredit individuals and organisations, why not engage with them in their own territory, ie groundviews, and take apart their frivolous, fragile and often unfounded arguments in a more intelligent and civilised manner with the surgical precision you're known for.

sittingnut said...

anon at 2/24/2007 9:26 am
thanks for your very enlightening contribution :-)

deane aka ~cc~
thanks for parroting sanjana (though it is a pity that you too fail to defend him against the charge that he lied about stats, not being him you may have come up with some half credible explanation for his disparate statements with some dignity) so my reply to him will do for you too.
may be you should think for yourself in the future. just a suggestion, if you cannot do that, feel free to parrot some more. i don't mind since i don't have to reply separately.

sanjana hattotuwa
i see that you avoid the question about your lies about the stats. typical. :-)
but then it is impossible to the disclaim that you lied, so i can see your predicament.

i am glad you welcome my interest in groundviews. so you will be glad to know that i will continue with the interest in the future too.

why do i continue with my interest ? for the same reason i read the tamilnet. same reason i believe in freedom of expression and oppose any curbs on it. unlike you who seems to shut out any opposing viewpoint through censoring, deletion, spoofing, invention of false stats etc,. i believe in giving and listening to all viewpoints and if required pointing out out and exposing errors, false propaganda etc. through evidence. i have done that long before groundviews came in to existence.

but as you say groundviews is unique ( or to use your expression "sui generis") in publishing a huge amount of false information and ltte propaganda based on 'facts' plucked from thin air. so yes i do and will write posts pointing out such inventions with evidence esp. when my comments there pointing out the same are censored.

"Let me assure you that with a monicker such as yours, augmented by the incessant drivel that you push, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, into the blogosphere, augmented by your anonymity, prevent us from taking you seriously."
i see that you are reduced to objecting to my online name and expressing your own subjective assessments. you are free to not take my evidence and arguments seriously bc i call myself "sittingnut" regardless of whether they are valid or not ( that says lot about you too). you are also free to believe your subjective assessments of my comments to be the only valid assessments ( and even prevent the others from reading and forming their own assessments through censorship when you have the power).i personally prefer to let the readers judge.

as for my supposed anonymity; my real name and details ( which are not hard to find anyway with out any help from me if you are intelligent) are provided to anyone who requests them. i have done so to your colleagues the moju admins when some ppl there ( including you specifically) mistook me for some one else and started attacking him. that you should bring the same argument now says a lot about your mindset i commented about above. 'sittingnut' existed long time before blogs and i always use that name online mainly bc there are several persons who are relatively well known with the same real name as me (the two name combination which is rather popular as a name). btw how many ppl use 'monickers' on groundviews and how many will provide their real name as i do when asked?
You will remain symptomatic of a lunatic fringe, that in peace processes are called spoilers - best left marginalised, to promote to dust mites their own self-indulgent critiques.
:-) i see you are borrowing some phrases from me after criticizing my english earlier.
as for who reflect the actually marginalized terrorist appeasement ideas in the real peace process and real fight against terrorism, is easy for the readers to decide. same goes about who reflects a fringe that cannot muster any kind of popular support for their ideas. their attitude to democracy says a lot about their current status ( whether it is fringe, minority etc) in sri lankan one.

as for facts about what happened at moju; you are free to deny and delete ( and if they are comical even laugh ), but they wont go away ( they will be available in archives and cache sites for a long time as with everything in internet). btw are you still blaming me for demise of moju, as you said in your previous comment here ? after all i did not make any comments there for months before you deleted it. on the other hand i did link to your actions there from elsewhere just before you deleted it . is that why you blame me for it? as i said it was your decision and your responsibility don't blame me for it. take some responsibility for once.

i published the censored comments at groudviews and will do so periodically. whether they are censored bc thy fail the ever changing, arbitrary, and subjective 'reasons' you put forward or bc they question the veracity of 'facts' put forward there with evidence, and give a different perspective on the posts there, is for the readers to judge. you are free to continue with the censorship if you want to even when it is contradictory to your own claims made in the media regarding the groundviews.

you say you stopped visiting ( after 'mistakenly' landing and commenting here now, lol )though i don't remember seeing you before, but as you wish.

"If you have such a prob with groundviews why don't you stop reading it? "
i don't know about you, but when someone makes statements and posts about something i care about i intentionally ( as opposed 'mistakenly') read it ( whatever the source whether it be tamilnet, groudviews etc) and comment about it if required. that include pointing out the errors and 'plucked from thin air' facts, exposing of hypocritical self interested statements, as well as praise if called for. and groundviews as sanjana claimed is unique in the number of errors etc. it contains.

as you can observe ( even by 'mistake ') i post about 2 times a week ( three at most) with long silences while groundviews ( and others) average much more than that, so if you can count you can decide who is 'clogging up kottu' ( if that is what you want to call it, i don't). but then as you say you do not care about 'evidence'.

you 'ability' to make a 'coherent' argument is apparent from your comment . you are just the sort of person sanjana's subjective assessments will approve so by all means read and comment at groundviews and while you are free to 'stop reading' this blog if you have ( as you say ) 'a prob' with it you are free to 'mistakenly' drop by anytime.( and comment too). :-) i don't have 'a prob' with your 'mistakenly' made comments and have no intention to censor them

voice in colombo:
thanks for the comment
you are right that the particular mindset represented by groundviews is intolerant of criticism. that is why they and their like have so far been unable to connect with general public ( a requirement in a democracy if they want to implement their ideas) and are increasingly marginalized to a certain class of ppl ( even that only bc they get some funds from some naive foreign donors they mislead). their ideas have no more chance of being successful in the real democratic political world than an animal brought up in a quarantined lab environment which has not developed anti bodies in their immune system through contact with outside world.

just mal
thanks for the advice.
you are right about "cpa and sanjana will always be what they are, ... couldn't possibly change their behaviour" by whatever methods. however i did not intend to change their behavior.
let them behave they want, i will behave the way i consistent with my beliefs and principles. let readers, if anyone is so kind as to read me, judge for themselves whether i have anything valid to say. i am so far satisfied.

anyway thanks again for the advice, i will take it in to consideration.

btw i take all advice and criticisms into consideration whatever the attitude of the giver towards me.

Aruna said...

Thank you sittingnut for that writer up. I, however, urge you to continue to expose Sanjana Hattotuwa and his shenanigans along with the CPA and "that crowd." As you can see, you have been targetted for hate attacks by members of the "that crowd" for exposing their hypocrisy and bad behaviour. Sanjana butt-lickers like Deane who post at groundviews will obviously try and defend a place that gives space to their biased views but I urge you to continue to provide the Sri Lankan blogosphere with insight into the workings of turds like Sanjana.

Anonymous said...

please Keep up the good work Sitting nut. It is good to have someone speak the truth on some of these issues (as opposed to the mutual masterbation by ngo bloggers).

One day maybe they will close groundviews with some excuse (just like moju) and run to funders for thousands of more dollars so he can making new blog. Maybe it can be called Seaviews? Or skyviews?

Anonymous said...

is funny that groundviews are having so few visitors. maybe they are just sanjana's family a few of his employees, cpa staffs, and of course his 2 friends?

niro said...

thanks for the encouraging words.

yes, i checked the article in wikipedia, sure it's not enough. i'll try to develop that, though i haven't done such thing as yet and i still don't have a wiki account.

however if u have a little spare time, can u please answer the following. i'm fairly new to this whole blogging thing so i'd much appreciate if u can give me some insight to some of the things that's been baffling me.

first of all, where should i reply for the comments i get? is it on my own page under the current comments or should i visit the commenters blog and publish my reply there. i'm not quite sure about this, so i've published this comment here as well. sorry for the inconvenience. and how do i keep track of the comments for my older posts? what i do now is i add a feed reader page to every post i publish so that i know when someone has published a comment. but this is becoming a little tiresome now.

anyway, without any flattering, i must say that i admire your thoughts and ur views on the matters u write. "Libertarian", the definite word for u.

finally, if u have the time please check these posts i've written. i got into some heated arguments with some guys over this issue.

Thanx again for ur support.

sittingnut said...

thanks for the comment

anons 2/26/2007 1:47 am and 2/26/2007 1:53 am:
thanks for your comments

you are welcome

sorry for this very delayed response.

you are doing well with regard to blogging as far as i can see.
i am not an expert but here are some answers to the questions you asked

where should i reply for the comments i get?
in the same thread

how do i keep track of the comments for my older posts?
here are easier methods than the one you employ
since you are using 'blogger', in the backend go to the 'settings' and 'comment settings'. among other options you can set 'comment notification address'. you will receive an email for each comment to the address you enter there

i would be happy to answer any question you have

i did check your link and you are doing fine as i said.

Anonymous said...


I admire you for taking a stance that may not necessarily be popular, but is the right one. In a world that considers the peacenik and ponsi rhetoric fashionable, bigger issues such as terrorism that plague our society always get left behind to be cleaned up by someone else. And those who take a stance against the miscellaneous pansies who let little problems become big ones, usually get branded as hard core.
That's how life is. But we do have a choice and you have my respect for the stances you've taken.