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

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

by Michael Blastland, Andrew Dilnot

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Overview

The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News,in Politics, and in Life by Michael Blastland, Andrew Dilnot

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592404858
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/05/2010
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 826,483
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

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