Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Out of this world

There was an accusation that the congress president spent INR1800 crores = ~$320 million over three years on foreign trips. Let's try to see what $320M can buy for you:

Foreign air-travel (assuming 200 round-trip first class tickets) over three years: $2M;
Assuming $10k/day stay at a hospital for 12 months: $3.65M;
Medicines: $0.5M per year (World's costliest drug)=$1.5M for three years;

Surgery: $1.2M (world's costliest procedure)
Misc expenses $5M (food etc etc)
So far, $13.35Million.

Even if one has to do this ten times (!!) over, it costs about $135M.

I recall an essay by Douglas Hofstadter about use of 'astronomical figures' to exaggerate. (Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern, Basic Books, 1985. Chapter 6, "On Number Numbness," pp. 115- 135).

This is a wonderful example that can be added to numerous [sic] examples quoted there :-)

[I realized I didn't account for the security expenses, but still, no matter what you do (or spend) figures don't add up!

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