by. John Allen Paulos. · Rating details · 3, ratings · reviews. Dozens of examples in innumeracy show us how it affects not only personal economics. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos. Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences. Front Cover. John Allen Paulos. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, – Mathematics – pages.

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Paulos talks about mathematical incompetence when looking at probability, scientific notation, polls and surveys, pseudoscience, games of chance, coincidence, logic, word problems, statistics, how questions and word problems are framed.

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Hey, it’s only pages. Glenn Morgan check this link for a full description on why this is wrong and by how much https: I wanted to like this book but the opening pages nearly made me quit reading.

The author purports to explain numerical illiteracy “innumeracy” and the consequences of it. It often feels as though Paulos is calling anyone not mathematically literate an idiot. For very big or very small numbers, so-called scientific notation is often clearer and easier to work with than standard notation and I”ll therefore sometimes use pahlos. Similarly, the first two chapters could have been condensed into an introduction. 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.

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We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. What the innumeravy says isn”t wrong; there are more than three billion possible states.

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences – John Allen Paulos – Google Books

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. All innumerates — the intended audience — will put johb book down by the 3 rd paragraph of the first chapter. We have a handle on what a thousand really means, but what is the difference between a billion and a trillion?

Retrieved 1 September Namely, how do you convince an audience of smart-but-non-finance folks that:. There are a lot of innumerates out there. There’s also some overlap with Thinking, Sllen and Slow regarding cognitive blocks to thinking mathema Innumeracy is a great book for the era of Xllen panic even if it is quite dated.


Confronted with these large numbers and with the correspondingly small probabilities associated with them, the innumerate will inevitably respond with the non sequitur, “Yes, but what if you”re that one,” and then nod knowingly, as if they”ve demolished your argument with their penetrating insight.

Many educated people have little grasp for these numbers and are even unaware that a million is 1,; a billion is inumeracy and a trillion, 1,, There are asides galore, from scientific notation “not nearly as arcane as many topics discussed in the media” to his idea of a “logarithmic safety index”. At one johnn he says he finds it hard to write at length, preferring brevity and concision.

I greatly enjoyed this novel. Innumeracy 6 28 May 13, Do they feel kind of the same to you? In the chapter on coincidence and probability, Paulos states: Finally, he also says mathematicians tend to have a particular sense of humor – they take things literally when they’re not meant to be, or they take a premise to extremes with comical result. Return to Book Page. It is certainly sad, though, how little progress the American public has made jkhn this alen since this book was originally published.

I think perhaps the best part of this book is that it exists innumeacy the very concept of innumeracy, just hearing the word, is one of those things that blows a hole wide open in your mind. I must admit that Mr. Paulos provides a valuable example of the stock market promoter who sends out a newsletter to 32, potential customers, predicting a specific upward or downward movement in a stock.

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

It certainly made me want to learn calculus It would be handy for people to be able to judge for themselves whether or not a number ny in the newspaper is realistic.

He offers real and current or at least recent examples, as well as explaining the maths behind many of the examples more generally, paulow in places it is a straightforward well, a less than straightforward It cracks me up that, at one point, phrenological exams were commonly a precondition of employment in big corporations!

Part of making math relevant should be getting away from pure math, but then when it is applied you can’t just ignore the factors that are not easily broken down into math. One pound in a car, incidentally, demolishes the car and kills everyone in it. It then goes on to explain how to jonn be i Innumeracy is a book about how to not be ignorant of numbers and math.


And the book is only pages. A summer visitor enters a ijnumeracy store in Maine and buys a large number of expensive items. He has received awards in: He does offer some important reminders and warnings about the misuse of statistics, probability and averages — really interesting were two of the innuemracy points he makes, about the difference between statistical significance and practical significance, and then introducing his unique and highly useful safety logarithm.

Book Review: Innumeracy, by John Allen Paulos

To attract those lacking in mathematical literacy, I should think the last thing you would want to do is to insult your intended audience by calling them innumerates. The difficulty that not only our youth are experiencing when dealing with any but the most basic of math skills but how this has been an on-going problem for decades.

The book was intriguing, and had many real world examples that put what it was teaching into perspective.

What have all these expenditures ours and theirs bought over the years? If that makes me “innumerate,” so be it.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Nov 24, Chik67 rated it really liked it Shelves: Equally typical is a tendency to equate the risk from some obscure and exotic malady with the chances of suffering from heart and pailos disease, from which about 12, Americans die each week. Standard notation forthese numbers is: But, that doesn’t mean he isn’t right, and for those who enjoy the acerbic comedy of George Carlin, it wouldn’t be a problem at all.

So if Harry is betting heads and Tom is betting tails, and after the first tosses Harry just happens to be ahead 60 to 40, Harry is likely to stay ahead for a long time.