Relations of specific and general

We might read in an article about two successful e-commerce ventures in Australia (call them x.com.au and y.com.au). Immediately we need to think: are these two specific examples unusual, representative, evidence of a trend? We are seeing if there is a relationship between the specific claim 'x and y are successful e-commerce businesses' and a more general claim that 'there are many successful e-commerce businesses in Australia'. We need to read additional articles/books to find out if there are many more examples or not.

To reverse the example, we might read that, while more men use the Internet in Australia than women, those women who are online spend more time communicating and less time surfing the web. We are trying to determine what kind of computer training needs to be given to a group of elderly women at a nursing home who are all keen to 'get online': can we relate that general information to the specific case we are investigating? Or, perhaps, we need more detailed information on what older women do (not just 'women'). Again, we go to a source looking specifically for this material, based on the tentative information-relationship we have identified.

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