Millstones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 8

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Millstones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 8

Post by Tom »

In honor of the Interpreter Foundation's (IF) first birthday, I present this list of IF-related numbers:

$140,805: estimated monetary value of time "donated" to the Interpreter Foundation by supporters from August 3, 2012-June 30, 2013

$16,467.96: IF expenditures from August 3, 2012-June 30, 2013

5: complete volumes of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (IJMS) published since August 3, 2012

212: number of days that Bill Hamblin served as executive editor of IJMS before resigning

1162: pages published in IJMS since August 3, 2012

53: number of consecutive Fridays in which a piece has been published in IJMS

56: number of pieces published in IJMS since August 3, 2012

41: number of pieces authored by individuals who serve on the Interpreter Foundation board

13: number of republished conference papers, articles, and blog posts in IJMS

8: number of pieces authored by Louis Midgley

167: total number of pages in Gregory Smith's two articles devoted to reviewing "Mormon Stories"

0: number of pages of Smith's two articles published in IJMS

7: number of spelling errors each in the originally published versions of John Gee's article, "The Apocryphal Acts of Jesus" and Brant Gardner's article, "From the East to the West: the Problem of Directions in the Book of Mormon"

61: number of Interpreter Foundation board members

8: number of board members who are women

34: number of authors published in IJMS

17: number of authors published in IJMS who serve on the Interpreter Foundation board

1: number of authors published in IJMS who are women

37: number of IF Scripture Roundtables posted since August 3, 2012

15: number of individuals who have participated in the Scripture Roundtables

2: number of participants in the Scripture Roundtables who are women
Last edited by Tom on Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:40 am, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

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Tom wrote:34: number of authors published in IJMS

17: number of authors published in IJMS who serve on the Interpreter Foundation board


50% of IJMS contributors are on the board. That's a high percentage.

I wonder whether 50% of Maxwell Institute's future books will be authored by Maxwell Institute employees.
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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

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Professor Peterson wishes the Interpreter Foundation a happy birthday here.

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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Really fascinating numbers here, Tom. It looks like Greg Smith's "hit pieces" takes up something like 10% of the total pages, which is pretty remarkable. If you add that with the Midgley stuff, the angry rant-letter to Michael Coe, and the Cassandra Hedelius material, the percentage of stuff that is "classic-FARMS"/attack-oriented approaches or exceeds 50%. But, hey: People tend to want high ratings.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

Post by Tom »

Doctor Scratch wrote:Really fascinating numbers here, Tom. It looks like Greg Smith's "hit pieces" takes up something like 10% of the total pages, which is pretty remarkable. If you add that with the Midgley stuff, the angry rant-letter to Michael Coe, and the Cassandra Hedelius material, the percentage of stuff that is "classic-FARMS"/attack-oriented approaches or exceeds 50%. But, hey: People tend to want high ratings.

Actually, Smith's papers aren't counted in the total page count since they were never published in IJMS.

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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

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Tom wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:Really fascinating numbers here, Tom. It looks like Greg Smith's "hit pieces" takes up something like 10% of the total pages, which is pretty remarkable. If you add that with the Midgley stuff, the angry rant-letter to Michael Coe, and the Cassandra Hedelius material, the percentage of stuff that is "classic-FARMS"/attack-oriented approaches or exceeds 50%. But, hey: People tend to want high ratings.

Actually, Smith's papers aren't counted in the total page count since they were never published in IJMS.


Ah, okay--I see what you mean. Nonetheless, the 2 "hit pieces" still apparently constitute quite a large percentage of the total Mormon Interpreter-produced text, eh?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

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Doctor Scratch wrote:Ah, okay--I see what you mean. Nonetheless, the 2 "hit pieces" still apparently constitute quite a large percentage of the total Mormon Interpreter-produced text, eh?

Absolutely. It had to be a bitter pill to swallow for Smith, though. He couldn't include the two pieces in his CV's list of publications.

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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

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Tom wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:Ah, okay--I see what you mean. Nonetheless, the 2 "hit pieces" still apparently constitute quite a large percentage of the total Mormon Interpreter-produced text, eh?

Absolutely. It had to be a bitter pill to swallow for Smith, though. He couldn't include the two pieces in his CV's list of publications.


Yeah, I'm convinced that we haven't heard the full story on this issue. I recall reading something on the MDD board about how Smith had been told by a General Authority that he *should not* publish the article--in fact, as I recall, it was Dr. Peterson who related this anecdote. I bet that this affected the Editor-in-Chief's decision to not publish. In other words, the Mopologists do take orders from the GAs.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation's 2nd Birth

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In honor of the Interpreter Foundation's (IF) second birthday, I present this list of IF-related numbers for its second year, August 3, 2013-August 3, 2014 (first-year numbers in parentheses):

5 (5): complete volumes of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (IJMS) published

1525 (1162): pages published in IJMS

55 (56): number of pieces published in IJMS

30 (41): number of pieces published by individuals who serve as Interpreter Foundation board members/consultants/volunteers

4: number of pieces each published by Neal Rappleye and Royal Skousen

36 (34): number of authors published in IJMS

16 (17): number of authors published in IJMS who serve as Interpreter Foundation board members/consultants/volunteers

3 (1): number of authors published in IJMS who are women

80: approximate number of editing errors I noted in Kevin Christensen's article on Jeremy Runnells' Letter to a CES Director

66 (61): number of Interpreter Foundation board members/consultants/volunteers

13 (8): number of board members/consultants/volunteers who are women

1: number of women who serve on the twelve-member Executive Board

46: number of IF Scripture Roundtables posted

17 (15): number of individuals who participated in the Scripture Roundtables

1 (2): number of female participants in the Scripture Roundtables

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Re: The Interpreter Foundation's First Birthday, By the Numb

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Number of people outside Mopologetic Mormonistic Circles that care - 0

(About the Interpreter, not your thread Tom!)
That said, with the Book of Mormon, we are not dealing with a civilization with no written record. What we are dealing with is a written record with no civilization. (Runtu, Feb 2015)

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Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 3

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In honor of the Interpreter Foundation's (IF) third birthday, I present this list of IF-related numbers for its third year, August 4, 2014-August 3, 2015 (second-year numbers in parentheses):

57 (55): number of articles published in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (IJMS)

32 (30): number of articles authored or coauthored by individuals who serve as Interpreter Foundation board members/consultants/volunteers=56% of total number of articles

5: number of articles published by Matthew Bowen=9% of total number of articles published

35 (36): number of authors published in IJMS

14 (16): number of authors published in IJMS who serve as Interpreter board members/consultants/volunteers=40% of authors published

5 (3): number of authors published in IJMS who are women=14% of total number of authors

75 (66) number of Interpreter Foundation board members/consultants/volunteers

16 (13): number of board members/consultants/volunteers who are women=21%

1 (1): number of women who serve on the Executive Board

5 (40): number of blog posts published on the Interpreter website

0 (0): number of podcasts published

Notes:

1. A substantial portion of the content published in IJMS in the past year was authored by Interpreter board members/consultants/volunteers. This was also the case in the journal's first two years.

2. The size of Interpreter's board (board members, consultants, and volunteers) continues to grow (75 at the moment).

3. Interpreter's blog was largely inactive in the past year.

4. Interpreter appears to have given up on podcasting.

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Re: Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 3

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Tom:

This is absolutely fascinating stuff, as always. I was wondering: have you paid a visit over to Guidestar recently, though? I was perusing the free and publicly-available forms over there, and was intrigued by the columns showing that tens of thousands of dollars have been paid out for "publishing fees" and "editing" and things of that nature. Whose pockets did all this money wind up in, I wonder?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 3

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Doctor Scratch wrote:Tom:

This is absolutely fascinating stuff, as always. I was wondering: have you paid a visit over to Guidestar recently, though? I was perusing the free and publicly-available forms over there, and was intrigued by the columns showing that tens of thousands of dollars have been paid out for "publishing fees" and "editing" and things of that nature. Whose pockets did all this money wind up in, I wonder?

It's difficult to tell. Interpreter has not been transparent with its finances.

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Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 4

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In honor of the Interpreter Foundation's fourth birthday, I present this list of numbers for 2015-2016 (third-year numbers in parentheses):

74 (57): number of pieces published in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (IJMS)

42 (32): number of pieces authored or coauthored by individuals who serve as Interpreter Foundation board members, consultants, or volunteers=57% (56%) of total number of pieces

11 (5): number of pieces published by Matthew Bowen=14.9% (9%) of total number of pieces published

5 (5): number of pieces published or co-published by women=6.8% (8.8%) of total number of pieces

47 (35): number of authors published in IJMS

16 (14): number of authors published in IJMS who serve as Interpreter board members, consultants, or volunteers=34% (40%) of authors published

5 (5): number of authors published in IJMS who are women=10.6% (14%) of total number of authors

79 (75): number of Interpreter Foundation board members, consultants, or volunteers

16 (16): number of board members, consultants, or volunteers who are women=20.3% (21%) of board members, consultants, and volunteers

1 (1): number of women who serve on the Foundation's executive board=7.1% (7.1%) of board

17 (5): number of blog posts published on the Interpreter website in the past year

0 (0): number of podcasts published in the past year

Comments:

This past year saw IJMS publish a record-high number of articles and reviews, although the quality of the published pieces was decidedly mixed. Several articles suffered from editorial lapses, including Daniel Peterson's "Cloud Illusions and the Perfect Day" and K. Tolley's "To See and Hear."

Consistent with prior years, a high percentage of the content published in IJMS in 2015-2016 was authored or coauthored by Interpreter board members, consultants, and volunteers. Only a handful of published pieces (5) were written or co-written by women.

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Re: Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 4

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Useful insights as always, Tom, and a hearty "Happy Birthday" to the blog site known as Mormon Interpreter!
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 4

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Peterson recounts...

Weeks since founding: 212.5
Consecutive Fridays on which at least one journal article has been published: 211
Scripture roundtables posted: 174
Books published: 7
Website pageviews in the last 30 days: 48,000
Website pageviews in the last year: 566,000
YouTube views over last 30 days: 5,843
YouTube minutes viewed over last 30 days: 112,000
YouTube views over last year: 58,000
YouTube minutes viewed over last year: 1,264,000

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterso ... thday.html

I notice he doesn't provide measurements against Interpreters stated objectives...
Our goal is to increase understanding of scripture through careful scholarly investigation and analysis of the insights provided by a wide range of ancillary disciplines, including language, history, archaeology, literature, culture, ethnohistory, art, geography, law, politics, philosophy, etc. Interpreter will also publish articles advocating the authenticity and historicity of LDS scripture and the Restoration, along with scholarly responses to critics of the LDS faith. We hope to illuminate, by study and faith, the eternal spiritual message of the scriptures—that Jesus is the Christ.

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/mission-statement/
“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')

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Re: Milestones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 4

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I have a question wrote:Peterson recounts...

Weeks since founding: 212.5
Consecutive Fridays on which at least one journal article has been published: 211
Scripture roundtables posted: 174
Books published: 7
Website pageviews in the last 30 days: 48,000
Website pageviews in the last year: 566,000
YouTube views over last 30 days: 5,843
YouTube minutes viewed over last 30 days: 112,000
YouTube views over last year: 58,000
YouTube minutes viewed over last year: 1,264,000

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterso ... thday.html

I notice he doesn't provide measurements against Interpreters stated objectives...
Our goal is to increase understanding of scripture through careful scholarly investigation and analysis of the insights provided by a wide range of ancillary disciplines, including language, history, archaeology, literature, culture, ethnohistory, art, geography, law, politics, philosophy, etc. Interpreter will also publish articles advocating the authenticity and historicity of LDS scripture and the Restoration, along with scholarly responses to critics of the LDS faith. We hope to illuminate, by study and faith, the eternal spiritual message of the scriptures—that Jesus is the Christ.

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/mission-statement/

I must confess, IHAQ, that Dr. Peterson's report is deeply troubling. First, I express my concern about the cost of these annual birthday parties. Was the widow's mite used to provide "smoked meats" for 75 people to feast on? (This scripture comes to mind.) Second, I sense a weakening focus at the Interpreter Foundation. How does a "24-minute film devoted to the life and musical testimony of [a] late composer and Tabernacle organist," as worthy a project as it may be, "increase understanding of scripture through careful scholarly investigation and analysis of the insights provided by a wide range of ancillary disciplines, including language, history, archaeology, literature, culture, ethnohistory, art, geography, law, politics, philosophy, etc."? How much did this project cost? How much more will be spent to perpetuate this "major new initiative"? I must caution the Foundation, even raise a voice of warning, about what is sometimes termed "mission creep" that too often appears to infect organizations. (Elder Maxwell's prophetic warning about this danger echoes in my mind.) The Foundation must be vigilant to avoid falling victim to this ever-present threat. If the Foundation fails to reorient itself, I fear there will continue to be plenty of "uncontested slam dunks" and the Relief Society sister in Parowan will be lost.

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Millstones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 5

Post by Tom »

Let me be the first person in the world to wish the Interpreter Foundation a happy fifth birthday.

As a long-time friend of the Foundation, I look forward to this weekend's Interpreter Foundation soiree on the shores of Utah Lake to celebrate the momentous occasion. I anticipate lively conversation, swimming (guests should simply swim around the toxic algae), much laughter, and a sumptuous and sensuous feast featuring more than 50 pounds of imitation (caffeine-free Coke-flavored) Café Rio sweet pork plus an open cash bar.

On tap will be many of Utah's dirty soda favorites, including Nehi and His Masherah, Canada (Polyan)Dry, Hugh Nipley, METI Mai Tai, Chattanooga Cheapshot (or the Gall of Bitterness), Counterfeit and Alternative Lifestyles, Parable of the Dew Pickle, Arsen Sic et Non, For Young Men Only, Alternative Vices, Cruise Lady Bender, and Yoo-Hoo Unto Juices.

Celebrants will have a rare opportunity to watch the classic satirical Super-8 home movie Oedipus Wrecked (starring Dr. Peterson as Teiresias, Dr. Midgley as Jocasta, and Dr. Hamblin in a delightful cameo role as Dr. Sigmund Freud). In addition, we can expect to catch a sneak preview of the long-awaited forthcoming film Bill and Dan's Excellent Adventure in Anti-Mormon Zombie Hell, the production of which was made possible by generous supporters of the Foundation. A wonderful time should be had by all.

To commemorate the Interpreter Foundation's fifth birthday, I present the Interpreter Foundation's statistics for 2016-2017, freshly calculated by the inestimable Relief Society sister in Parowan who works at the home office (fourth-year numbers in parentheses):

54 (74): number of articles published in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (IJMS) in the past 12 months.

28 (42): number of articles written by individuals who serve as Interpreter Foundation board members, consultants, or volunteers. These 28 articles represent 52% (57%) of the total number of published articles in IJMS in the past 12 months.

5 (11): number of articles published in IJMS by Matthew Bowen in the past 12 months. Bowen's articles represent 9.3% (14.9%) of the total number of articles published in the past 12 months.

4 (5): number of articles published in IJMS by women in the past 12 months. These articles represent 7.4% (6.8%) of the total number of articles published in the past 12 months.

35 (47): number of different authors published in IJMS in the past 12 months.

14 (16): number of authors published in IJMS in the past 12 months who serve as Interpreter board members, consultants, or volunteers. These authors represent 40% (34%) of the authors published in the past 12 months.

4 (5): number of authors published in IJMS in the past 12 months who are women. This number represents 11.4% (10.6%) of the total number of authors published in the past 12 months.

82 (79): number of Interpreter Foundation board members, consultants, or volunteers at year's end.

14 (16): number of board members, consultants, or volunteers who are women. This number represents 17.1% (20.3%) of the total number of board members, consultants, and volunteers.

1 (1): number of women who serve on the Foundation's executive board. This number represents 6.7% (7.1%) of the total number of executive board members.

5 (17): number of blog posts published on the Interpreter website in the past year (counting four posts linking to LDS Perspectives podcasts).

In the last few weeks, IJMS has published more than 90 pages of writings from Dr. Duane Boyce on whether quality of thought in LDS scholarly discourse regarding prophets and revelation is deteriorating. We can expect an additional 40-50 pages on the subject from Dr. Boyce today. (Side note: if readers are able to access the links in footnotes 79, 82, 83, 86, 87, 92, and 93 in Part One, let me know.) The more relevant question to ask, I think, is whether discourse in IJMS is deteriorating. The answer seems to be yes.
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Re: Millstones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 5

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I would say that the most interesting development is the reversion to polemics/boundary maintenance in the Boyce pieces. It's like reliving the days of Greg Smith, MD (hey, he is a doctor!) hit pieces.

By the way, I love the thread title. Maybe next year it will be "Millstones 'Round Their Necks."
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Re: Millstones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 5

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Has the Interpreter given anything worthy of note to the subject of Mormon Studies as a scholarly venue? Just curious. One rarely reads about what it says from others anywhere else on the internet other than here to note its rather blase kind of thinking and repeating of wornout apologetic interpretations which have been given out for decades and is decidedly not convincing much.
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Re: Millstones Along the Way: Interpreter Foundation Turns 5

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Philo Sofee wrote:Has the Interpreter given anything worthy of note to the subject of Mormon Studies as a scholarly venue? Just curious. One rarely reads about what it says from others anywhere else on the internet other than here to note its rather blase kind of thinking and repeating of wornout apologetic interpretations which have been given out for decades and is decidedly not convincing much.


OK, so, if we move past our understandable conflict with DCP, which you and I indulge in, as does he, I think it is a little unfair of us to pile on the entire Interpreter indiscriminately. I know that Don Bradley, one of the best living Mormon historians, reads the writings of LDS apologists, Interpreter folk, etc. Even if you and I completely disagree with their methodology, there can be something of value in a thoughtful and close reading of a text. Something an author says may inspire something completely different in you.

My principal objection about the classic-FARMS legacy is not its imaginative scholarship but its polemics against fellow LDS people, and unfair polemics against others.

I'm just not supportive of LDS polemics.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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