He reads this and hates all men. Frivolous as it seems, I am tempted to ask, why not just Pakistani men?
The problem is, of course, central to all of inductive reasoning. How strong is the inductive link in your generalization? The solutions are very context-specific. And the interpretation of context is very experience-specific. One of the main irritants with life is that statistical inference is not readily obtainable. Hence, one's experience becomes one's truth. And we all have different versions of the truth - each one, a priori, as true as the others. Post-modernism suddenly seems attractive.
Given the sentence "Rand is popular in the girls' hostels", how do you interpret it? Does the speaker want to suggest that Rand is more popular than unpopular in the girls' hostels? Or does he want to say that Rand is more popular in the girls' hostels than in the boys' hostels.
Mathematically, let's define a threshold of popularity, say x% readership, and denote the reader base of Rand (expressed as a percentage) among hostelite girls as P(h-girls), among hostelite boys as P(h-boys), and among non-hostelite girls as P(nh-girls). What does the speaker want to say by "Rand is popular in the girls' hostels" ?
A) P(h-girls) > X : Rand is popular on an absolute scale, the dictator's interpretation)
B) P(h-girls) > P(h-boys) : Rand is more popular among hostelite girls than among among hostelite boys
C) P(h-girls) > P(nh-girls) : rand is more popular among hostelite girls than among non-hostelite girls.
The above question is not rhetoric - all readers are encouraged to answer A, B or C in the comments, along with reasons if they have any. The results, as we shall see in the next post, will probably have some insight for Statistical Natural Language Processing, which, incidentally, is roughly the field I worked on in my undergraduate final year project.
p.s. : Of course I was kidding about postmodernism. It's a pile of garbage, worth only our collective contempt and ridicule.