Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Social Consequences

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Social Consequences

by John Allen Paulos


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Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Social Consequences by John Allen Paulos

Why do even well-educated people understand so little about mathematics? And what are the costs of our innumeracy? John Allen Paulos, in his celebrated bestseller first published in 1988, argues that our inability to deal rationally with very large numbers and the probabilities associated with them results in misinformed governmental policies, confused personal decisions, and an increased susceptibility to pseudoscience of all kinds. Innumeracy lets us know what we're missing, and how we can do something about it.

Sprinkling his discussion of numbers and probabilities with quirky stories and anecdotes, Paulos ranges freely over many aspects of modern life, from contested elections to sports stats, from stock scams and newspaper psychics to diet and medical claims, sex discrimination, insurance, lotteries, and drug testing. Readers of Innumeracy will be rewarded with scores of astonishing facts, a fistful of powerful ideas, and, most important, a clearer, more quantitative way of looking at their world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679726012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/16/1990
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 5.24(w) x 7.91(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University and the author of several other popular books on mathematics, is a regular contributor to national publications, including The New York Times and Newsweek. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2001 Editionix
1Examples and Principles7
2Probability and Coincidence33
4Whence Innumeracy?97
5Statistics, Trade-Offs, and Society133

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