Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Correlation and Causation

Coming back after a long time, as I went to visit my uncle place for Diwali's. And I have a few blogs to write.

Let's start from the very beginning. Before going on vaccations, news came around that the IIT Kharagpur authorities are unhappy over a piece of article that came up in the students' newsletter (Scholar's Avenue). The issue concerned contained an explosive article about the sorry state of affairs in IIT Kharagpur's Hospital (I will not link this article now as I might as well be brought into the perview of board if I dare to do so). Apparently an executive took the case as a hint of corruption against him as the article indicated rampant corruption in the hospital. The issue was taken so seriously that there were news of disciplinary actions against the students who were behind that article and even a top student representative. The blog-mirror of the magazine was made offline and the angry officials even took off the gymkhana website, the Kshitij website and Spring Fest website offline.

While the authenticity of the news was investigated, it was found that all the news (by themselves) were though correct, they were not causation of the main event. The news till taking off the blog-mirror was found to be a direct cause of the article, the rest was not a related news. Apparently, during the same time, a hacker broke into a webpage of IIT Kharagpur (maintained by students) exploiting some security vulnerabilities, and posted some anti-pakistani comments. The authorities got alert and decided to take all student managed pages offline until the possible security flaws were patched. So this wasn't a case of causation but just correlation.

P.S.: I know that this isn't correlation but coincidence. Anyway, till the message goes to the audience, I don't mind such errors.

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