Saturday, January 30, 2010

the dangers of surveys

Sudarshan has a new post up in which he gives it (Tehelka's survey of Indian readers of English writing) those ones (justifiable barbs and objections). The post only goes to show us the familiar danger of any kind of survey. Your two problems are the sample set (the people you survey) and the questions you ask (if you ask questions like all those moronic reporters on India's numerous channels, the respondent often just has a boolean reply for you). Tehelka's survey seems to have suffered from both problems.

There are a few interesting things in the result. The appearance of Chetan Bhagat is not surprising, but the absence of Shobha Dé (whose ouevre clogged several rows of shelves in places like Crossword) is strange. "Indians" supposedly spend 360 post-colonial rupees on books every month. This means that Penguin is probably not doing so well, because you'd only get a book and a sixth from their catalogue. Most readers, according to the survey, read for learning; the most popular books are those with action and adventure, the thrillers and mysteries. Combine these two and you have to wonder what people learn. I sign off by remaining stumped at how frequently the Bard figures in this survey. Do you really expect me to believe that the unabridged Shakespeare is so popular? This is the stuff that dreams are made on. Oh, and please get a new keyboard and someone who understands why turning on CAPS LOCK IS SUCH A BAD IDEA!

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.