I have never been a fan of statistics... or maths... or numbers for that matter. So, I am more of a word-of-mouth believer.
Probably because I try most things once to find out the truth behind advertisements, or because I once worked with a marketing award-giving company (I guess it was even listed as a non-profit organization!) but the company gives about 12 awards monthly of which process starts with a congratulatory letter stating that the person, company, product, service, etc topped the survey for a certain category (the company must have a gazillion of categories!) and that they shall be provided an award on a certain date with the signatories and officials, and a (former) celebrity as guest. If the person/company will be willing to accept the plaque, they are required to commit to a sponsorship package (provided by the congratulatory note) and confirm immediately (or after thousands of follow-up calls later).
What is not told to the recipient of the letter is that there were only one respondents in the survey - the marketing person also doing the follow-up call and the category. This is of course a scam. And if DTI will hire me to provide all the evidences they need, I'd take the job for the right fee.
Anyway, back to the numbers and statistics topic - the latest Facebook brouhaha. What went wrong? Because many who join networking sites from the various customer service outsourcing countries of the world are scammers themselves with probably tens of accounts. They would soon post links to products, virus programs and links to lure members...
So, reality behind numbers is entirely a different matter. And besides, consumption is actually slowing down in many "emerging" economies due to the growing knowledge and wisdom of consumers (oh, and my fingers are crossed!). Not half of their population have credit cards, nor will order online any time soon. No.
A sign of the second dotcom bubble burst?
But never rely on numbers. Experience is still the best teacher.
And don't consume too much. Especially on credit. Or better yet, cancel your credit card.