Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News,in Politics, and in Life

Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News,in Politics, and in Life

4.3 3
by Michael Blastland
     
 

ISBN-10: 1592404855

ISBN-13: 2901592404857

Pub. Date: 01/05/2010

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Numbers saturate the news, politics, and life. For good or ill, they are today's preeminent public language-and those who speak it rule. Journalist Michael Blastland and internationally known economist Andrew Dilnot delight, entertain, and convert math-phobes by showing us how everyday experiences make sense of numbers. Their premise is a simple one. The average

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Overview

Numbers saturate the news, politics, and life. For good or ill, they are today's preeminent public language-and those who speak it rule. Journalist Michael Blastland and internationally known economist Andrew Dilnot delight, entertain, and convert math-phobes by showing us how everyday experiences make sense of numbers. Their premise is a simple one. The average person can use basic knowledge and common sense to put the never-ending onslaught of facts and figures in their proper place.

If you have ever wondered what "average" really means, whether the scare stories about cancer risk should convince you to change your behavior, or whether a story you read in the paper is biased (and how), you need this book.

Wherever numbers are used, or abused, there are simple tricks and techniques to cut through the bad and turn the good to our advantage. With a wealth of examples, from tax and spending, crime and climate, to the duration of a pregnancy or counting fish, you'll be amused, inspired, and empowered.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2901592404857
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/05/2010
Edition description:
NE
Pages:
224

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Counting: Use Strawberry Jam 1

2 Size: It's Personal 12

3 Chance: The Tiger That Isn't 31

4 Up and Down: A Man and His Dog 41

5 Averages: The White Rainbow

6 Performance: The Whole Elephant 78

7 Risk: Bring Home the Bacon 96

8 Sampling: Drinking from a Fire Hose 111

9 Data: Know the Unknowns 132

10 Shock Figures: Wayward Tee Shots 150

11 Comparison: Mind the Gap 161

12 Causation: Think Twice 182

Last Word 193

Acknowledgments 195

Further Reading 199

Index 203

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The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the British version of this book ("The Tiger That Isn't"); this version has been refitted to make it more intelligible for American audiences. Setting aside the implied slight (Americans can't understand numbers unless they are written in dollars and baseball stats?), the original version of this book was a wonderful, accessible review of basic statistical analysis using real life data to illuminate each point. Assuming all they've changed for the US edition are the examples, you will find it a good reminder to constantly question the number-based claims that are so casually thrown about in the media and politics. People who wish to make more intelligent judgments about policies and alarmist stories would benefit from this read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago