Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ajay Shah confounds me

He links to this site, and claims that by one measure, the usage of IE and hence MS browsers has dropped below 50%. Then, on top of that he adds that the measure under-represents mobile phones and hence over-represents Microsoft.

Immediately below the statistics (which seemed to me to be fishy because they showed Chrome to have a 3% usage!), the developers of the website explicitly mention

W3Schools is a website for people with an interest for web technologies. These people are more interested in using alternative browsers than the average user. The average user tends to use Internet Explorer, since it comes preinstalled with Windows. Most do not seek out other browsers.

These facts indicate that the browser figures above are not 100% realistic. Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users.

And yet, what Dr Shah infers from the site is that IE's usage may even be lesser than 49%. This absolutely confuses me. I am not even sure what the point of such selective representation could be. (I call it selective representation because I am ruling out incompetence and oversight) Is he cheer-leading for Mozilla? Is he anti-Microsoft? Or is he, in some perverse way, trying to argue that Microsoft's monopoly is not as much of a monopoly as it seems to be; that the web and hence the new information economy are wonderfully competitive and informative places and thus the relevance of free markets to the modern world is established.

There have been other such missteps in the past, which seem like subtle nuances at first but are quite shocking mistakes when evaluated to any depth. Using the SJTU ranking to rubbish IITs and thus establish the relevance of GARP- FRM is one such shocker in recent memory.

Dr Shah is a respected professor and wrote large chunks of what is one of the definitive studies and policy recommendations for the Indian financial landscape (Percy MIstry Report). Stuff like this just causes dissonance then.



7 comments:

Abi said...

GARP- FRM? WTF is *that*?

avataram said...

Why cant you find your own people to puke on? To puke on people Nilu or I have already puked on is too easy.

Chetan said...

@avataram:

Sorry about the unasked for intervention but somebody had to tell you this.

First of all you haven't puked on anyone. Even though you might think you have, your pukes were so innocuous that it is a leap even to classify them as criticism. You are masterful at conveying drama, weaving tales and writing about literature. You should stick to that.

Only Nilu does puking masterfully.
The others on Maanga should not indulge in this activity.

You negate the intent of puking when you explain why you puke. OtherNilu's pukes contain anger. In your case you debate with commenters when they disagree with your pukes. Even worse, you acknowledge that you were wrong when someone points out discrepancies in your logic behind the pukes. You are destroying the essence of puking with your lame ass attempts.

Pukes should be devoid of explanation. They should be as logical or illogical as the posts being puked upon. Pukes sit several levels above condescension. They should not be directed towards obvious examples of stupidity. And most important of all there should be no anger/hatred in them. See one cannot be angry at something one is indifferent towards.

Please ask Nilu to conduct a Puking 101 class for you before you go about characterising Ritwik's posts as pukes.

Ritwik, like many others, genuinely gets agitated at Varma and his inability to take into consideration anything that does not fit his ideological bias. He seems genuinely distressed when the author of the most important policy paper displays a moronic bias. His posts provide an explanation for his irritability. They can never be classified as pukes.



@Ritwik: Do blog frequently!

tanuj solanki said...

ON all the posts on this page, you have criticized someone or the other...

everybody is shit...and I couldnt agree more :)

I like the puke guy also... oh...infact both of them...

they create good drama!

"puke should be as logical or illogical as the post puked on"...hehe

the concept of contextual puke looks like modern art!

I am amazed...truly...

God bless u....

the puker, the puke-washer (for lack of a better phrase), and ritwik priya!

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