The Strunk and White of statistics team up to help the average person navigate the numbers in the news
Drawing on their hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show More or Less, journalist Michael Blastland and internationally known economist Andrew Dilnot delight, amuse, and convert American mathphobes by showing how our everyday experiences make sense of numbers.
The radical premise of The Numbers Game is to show how much we already know and give practical ways to use our knowledge to become cannier consumers of the media. If you've 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. Blastland and Dilnot show how to survive and thrive on the torrent of numbers that pours through everyday life.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.41(w) x 7.91(h) x 0.60(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Michael Blastland is a writer, broadcaster, and the creator of More or Less, the BBC Radio 4 show.
Andrew Dilnot, the former host of the show, is the principal of St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and was the director of England’s Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Table of Contents
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
Further Reading 199
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.