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A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos. He is trying to reach out to the otherwise educated, literate individual who perceives himself or herself functioning well in society despite innumeracy. Paulos. Paulos (mathematics, Temple U.) examines many aspects of popular culture, from stock scams and newspaper psychics to diet and medical claims to.
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The complete review ‘s Review:. This book speaks for itself. VII, April,p. I enjoyed the book, and some Bankers Anonymous readers would as well. Want to Read saving…. It’s difficult to follow him in certain passages if you’re not taking notes or have a calculator handy, but for the most part he uses tight, compressed, powerful writing, boiling everything down to the essence.
He also does a great job pointing out the negative impact of innumeracy on society in general – how misunderstandings about things like coincidence and cause and effect can lead to harmful beliefs and behaviors paklos things like the pseudosciences, gambling, and healthcare. What have all these expenditures ours and theirs bought over the years? In the end though, it’s hard to say just who this book is for. Paulos speaks mainly innumdracy the common misconceptions in regard to numbers.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. All innumerates — the intended audience — will put the book down by the 3 rd paragraph of the first chapter. It isn’t quite as much fun as it could be, and the mathematics is probably largely too familiar and the theoretical examples unnecessary to the numerate and too daunting for the innumerate.
But I do really like his idea of placing more emphasis on estimation in schools, and especially that people should build personal mental libraries of collections of things for every power of 10 up to at least a trillion.
Similar to Charles Seife’s Proofiness, Innumerach Paulos discuss the devasting consequences of how innumeracy – people’s inability to comprehend very large numbers – could be. Jun 18, Boosh rated it really liked it Shelves: He is trying to reach out to the otherwise educated, literate individual who perceives himself or herself functioning well in society despite innumeracy. Similarly, the first two chapters could have been condensed into an introduction.
And the book is only pages.
This book is one my favorites for addressing this subject and simply demonstrating very useful ma Innumeracy is the norm rather than the exception, especially so in countries with a crappy educational system, the average person even the highly educated ones is literally scared of mathematics. If each of them has different birthday one for each day of the yearthen the th person must have the same birthday as another person because there is no th day.
For one, the author is a bit soap-boxy, and despite his expressed hope in the beginning that his tone is not scolding, he does come off as a bit condescending, much like he is a contemporary of Dawkins. An accessible, interesting read about the difficulty many people have truly understanding the difference between very large numbers. Compare that with these annual rates in the United States: The author does a great job of explaining how and why math is important and how we can suffer without a good understanding of it.
Kronlund and Phillips of the University of Washington showed that most doctors” assessments of the risks of various operations, procedures, and medications even in their own specialties were way off the mark, often by several orders of magnitude.
For instance, I think we can all agree that math education has been biased towards the rote memorization of formulas and terms at the expense of fluency and “playful” exploration of numerical and geometrical concepts. He then methodically recounts the money once, twice, three times. Design by Sweb Development. Modern Homo sapiens is probably less than 10 trillion seconds old; and the subsequentcomplete disappearance of the Neanderthal version of early Homo sapiens occurred only a trillion or so seconds ago.
There are insightful illustrations of how mathematics can save money how many tests would you need to run on a room of 50 people to discover the one person with a disease? More seriously, innumerates are frequently victims of medical fraud. Jan 11, Mark rated it it was ok Shelves: For example, one of the sections focuses on normal fluctuations, like how one shooter in a basketball game may have a good streak and then a bad streak without either having a lot of significance.
In other words, you should be able to visualize how many is a thousand of something vs a million of something vs a trillion of something.
An old married couple in their nineties contact a divorce lawyer, who pleads with them to stay together. Not understanding what the probability would be of a certain event, these individuals are often greatly impressed by a coincidence which is mathematically highly probable.
See 2 questions about Innumeracy…. It’s one thing to continue educating myself with book such as these, and make headway towards being fooled less and less by ridiculous statistics and pseudoscience in general. We have a handle on what a ;aulos really means, but what is the difference between a billion and a trillion? Of course, it is also possible that more than two people have the same birthday.
Additionally, I will never pick up any book by Paulos again, nor will I read anything he recommends. One pound in a car, incidentally, demolishes the car and kills everyone in it.
What the package says isn”t wrong; there are more innumeracy three billion possible states. The author purports to explain numerical illiteracy “innumeracy” and the consequences of it.
Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences 3. But my highest value-added proposition, in terms of a personal finance book, is for the non-expert reader. If newspapers and TV started to use this kind of scale, it would be an easier way for people to compare the relative risk of various activities.
Yes, you may even get turned on. How much weight should you put into getting back a positive reading on a test at the doctor’s office? Pauls certainly made me want to learn calculus Paulso think perhaps the best part of this book is that it exists – the very concept of innumeracy, just innumetacy the word, is one of those things that blows a hole wide open in your mind.
Selected pages Title Page. A useful book — but who will read it?
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