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.

Author: Vujar Migrel
Country: Belize
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Science
Published (Last): 10 March 2017
Pages: 136
PDF File Size: 14.17 Mb
ePub File Size: 12.90 Mb
ISBN: 801-6-32456-923-5
Downloads: 2773
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Metilar

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. Paulos actually admits that mathematicians have a deserved reputation a,len arrogance, and also that he was attracted to math mainly because it gave him a way of feeling superior to others p.

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. 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.

For example, the danger of getting killed in a car accident is much greater than terrorism and this danger should be reflected in how we allocate johb limited resources. We have a handle on what a thousand really means, but what is the difference between a billion and a trillion?

Innumeracy – The Key Point

The result would be a higher overall batting average for Gehrig than for Ruth: The book starts off by explaining what it means to be innumerate. The answers are surprising. There are insightful illustrations of how mathematics can save money how many tests would you need to run on a room of 50 people to discover the one person with a disease?


I don’t have much more to say beyond the fact that this would make worthwhile reading for just about everyone.

Book Review: Innumeracy, by John Allen Paulos

He also has some ideas for improving the state of mathematica An easy little read about mathematical illiteracy. He’d hate that I alen the adjective ‘cold,’ there For example, the fortune telling psychic’s few correct and general observations are remembered over the many incorrect guesses.

He does propose a few solutions here and there, like getting more non-mathematicians writing about math and highlighting the warmth and passion of the subject to get rid of negative stereotypes But Paulos comes off as a bit disparaging of “innumerates” – this is definitely not a book for them, pauos more for those in the know to tsk-tsk at the state of mathematical literacy. I share Paulos’s love for mathematics, and I agree with the message of “Innumeracy”, but I find his approach glib and pompous.

Aug 11, J. The author explains a survey method which makes it safe for people to answer anonymously.


The book sheds light on the link between innumeracy and pseudoscience. Too many are not mathematically capable nor are they interested in teaching mathematics beyond the basics. There are a lot of mathematical puzzles always fun and real-world examples of the mis application of seemingly abstract concepts. On the other hand, the seventeen Americans killed by terrorists in were among the 28 million of us who traveled abroad that year–that”s one chance in 1.

It innuemracy educational, and I learned a good amount of information. An old married couple in their nineties contact a divorce lawyer, who pleads with them to stay together.

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences – John Allen Paulos – Google Books

Should you read it if you think you hate math and are turned off by math problems? Studies reporting small nonzero correlations are often merely reporting chance fluctuations… Too much research in the social sciences, in fact, is a mindless collection of such meaningless data. The second agrees to the contest, concentrates for a few minutes, and innumerracy announces, “Three.


Retrieved 30 August As often observed, however, the 45, people killed annually on American al,en are approximately equal in number to all American dead in the Vietnam War.

It”s analogous to a sign at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel stating: New York, population more than 6; or McDonald”s proudly announcing that they”ve sold more than hamburgers. I take his point, as a largely alllen person, but the book reads as very dated it is almost 30 years old now and his arrogant indignation at everyone who isn’t a mathematician is off-putting.

But that title, Innumeracy, is about as sexy as an algebraic formula. I like the mental exercise they provide. The word that this book can be described by is innumeracy, and all variations of it. Now, if we reward good performance and punish poor performance, and regression to the mean occurs, we are likely to assume that punishment causes improvement while praise causes a lapse – even if the punishment or reward had no effect on the next day’s performance.

There’s also an interesting comment about “winners” and “losers”. Hey, it’s only pages.

It talks about how people wrongly wear it as a badge of honor. That numbers are utilized, they are automatically ‘mathematical’ and it scares people off.

It’s one thing to continue educating myself with book such as these, and make headway towards being fooled less and less by ridiculous statistics and pseudoscience in general.

Glenn Morgan check this link for a full description on why this is wrong and by how much https: Why not last it out?