Half The World And Their Telephone Calls Can't Lie

from the careful-what-you-believe dept

A short piece from Clay Shirky just showed up in Wired talking about the myth that half the world hasn’t made a telephone call. Shirky actually has a much longer article on the subject (which has been around for a while) which is worth reading if you find the abbreviated version interesting. The summary, though, is that back in 1994 someone basically made up that statistic by guestimating based on a few different factors. However, over the past eight years, people continually state that half the world hasn’t yet made a phone call, as if it’s a factual statement. Even if it was true in 1994 (as Shirky points out, a big if), it’s no longer true today. Over that period of time more phone lines have been put down than in all the rest of the 20th century. Even if you’ve seen this before, it’s a good reminder not to believe certain “facts” that seem to always get repeated.

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