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The method of the search for truth


Mr. Ratan stated:

"Replying to Sri Kumar's "Why no Indians from India?" on this list and
the comment that someone from "India" got 1/2 hour connection after
trying for 10 hours.

"Pardon my expression, but this is all [excluded]. I am getting and
staying connected very well. Some times are good, some times are bad and
I have to try manytimes. But in general connectivity is very good. Now
why I don't contribute to the list?: Too busy.  This is true in spite of
the fact that I have chosen NOT to have a regular job or occupation."

Funny thing: I was just thinking about this. The issue raised here is
known as 'salience' in the psychological and economics literature (cf.
Kahneman and Tveresky (see obit on Tversky at 


Salience means that we tend to give a hugely disproportionate weight on
what we personally observe than on making studies based on a large

Ratan is a Ph.D. in psychology, Dr. Roy is an expert in economics. Many
others are experts in their own field. Yet we all - invariably - in our
day to day discourse (such as this one) and decision making, rely upon
non-scientific analysis. 

In this case, there is only one way to solve the problem: it needs data
on numbers of internet connections in India (about 110,000 I believe),
the average uptime achieved by a sample of these connections (1/2 hr or
a little more out of 10 hrs by Arvind in Hyderabad: also reported by my
brother-in-law in Delhi, and my close friend from Guwahati, but better
uptimes by Ratan and Dr. Roy), and compare these statistics with those
of developed nations. Clearly the task is simple and the result obvious:

India has a very very poor level of internet connectivity based on any
yardstick. There is relatively NO downtime here, and you can connect
from home to AOL/ your university, etc., virtually the first time, and
AOL itself has 140 lakh subscribers in the USA compared with 1 lakh in
India, and AOL represents only 15% of the total internet traffic in USA.


Let the facts speak. This was a general understanding of facts from a
layman's point of view. Let the experts of the internet speak.


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