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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More common sources of such large numbers are the trillion-dollar federal budget and our burgeoning weapons stockpiles. How much Weighing in at pages, ijnumeracy interesting-things-learned-per-page of this title is exceedingly high.

But the media isn’t much interested in combatting innumeracy think of how many people got fired after all the networks prematurely declared first Gore then Bush the winner in Florida in the American presidential election — none: For example, the fortune telling psychic’s few correct and general observations are remembered over the many incorrect guesses.

Paulos actually admits that mathematicians jihn a deserved reputation for arrogance, and also that he was attracted to math mainly because it gave him a way of feeling superior to others p. Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences Hardcover of Innumeracy: So if I do poorly today I’m likely to do better tomorrow; and if I do well today I’m likely to do worse tomorrow.

Review of a book on mathematical illiteracy | Bankers Anonymous

Other editions – View all Innumeracy: Namely, how do you convince an audience of smart-but-non-finance folks that:. There”s nothing very tricky about it: The next tosses are likely to split aboutso he’d end up aheadand so on; at tosses Harry’s still most likely to be ahead His arrogance is particularly off-putting when casually insulting educators a population to which I belong and also when dismissing dreams; though I accept his point about their predictability, I respect the human mind enough to acknowledge we probably don’t understand exactly how they work yet.

I wanted to like this book but the opening pages nearly made me quit reading. Nov 24, Chik67 rated it really liked it Shelves: And since innumeracy still plagues the nation more than ever, it often seems the lesson has apparently not been learnt and it may still be a necessary book.


Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

Paulos does give the interesting idea of having those retired from those professions possibly providing some classes but in turn, it would require them to return to college for a teaching certificate which innumeeacy are unwilling to do. Innumeracy is a great book for the era of Ny panic even if it is quite dated.

Standard notation forthese numbers is: The focus pau,os Core knnumeracy be more productive. Many educated people have little grasp for these numbers and are even unaware that a million is 1,; a billion is 1,,; and a trillion, 1,, Calculations show that there are more than 4 possible states, 4 with 19 zeroes after it. His assessments are reasonable taught as an abstract not applicable subject, the teachers don’t understand it, kids don’t learn it as puzzlesand I’ve made similar observations over my lifetime.

It explained the math that I needed to understand the concepts in the book. 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. I must admit that Mr. For example, knowing that it takes only about eleven and a half days for a million seconds to tick away, whereas almost thirty-two years are required for a billion seconds to pass, gives one a better grasp of the relative magnitudes of these two common numbers.

Paulos talks about mathematical incompetence when looking at probability, scientific notation, polls and surveys, pseudoscience, games of chance, coincidence, logic, word problems, ppaulos, how questions and word problems are framed. There”s a joke I like that”s marginally relevant.

The visitor finally asks if he”s given him the right amount of money, to which the Mainer grudgingly responds, “Just barely. It barely scratches the surface. In the end though, it’s hard to say just who this book is for. For very big or very small numbers, so-called scientific notation innuumeracy often clearer and easier to work with than standard notation and I”ll therefore sometimes use it.


It is a very uohn number.

That’s all well and good, but it can lead to being condescending and dismissive, to grumpy ranting instead of a full and detailed argument. It’s difficult to follow him in certain passages if you’re not taking notes or have a calculator handy, but for the most part he uses tight, compressed, powerful writing, boiling everything down to the essence.

While many people would be ashamed to admit they are illiterate, there is very little pau,os in saying “I’m a people person, not a numbers person. There’s also an interesting comment about “winners” and “losers”.

Book Review: Innumeracy, by John Allen Paulos

Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc. So the fact that this has occasionally happened innuemracy you or someone you know should not be surprising in the least. My puns and bad jokes aren’t pathological – I’m just alllen The author does a great job of explaining how and why math is important and how we can suffer without a good understanding of it. And each area is liberally doses with some bizarre examples – how to figure how many miles per hour does human hair grow?

The north wall of a garage near my house contains almost exactly ten thousand narrow bricks. He has received awards in: Just as coin tosses of a completely fair coin frequently run in hot streaks in seemingly improbable ways, many of the patterns we think we see in financial markets are more noise than signal.

But he already shows part of the weakness of the book here as well. Return to Book Page. And if you don”t have some feeling for probabilities, automobile accidents might seem a relatively minor problem of local travel, whereas being killed by terrorists might seem to be a major risk when going overseas.

Highly unlikely events become highly likely — given enough chances.