Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (Google eBook)Why do even welleducated 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. 
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Review: Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
User Review  Kat Dornian  GoodreadsInnumeracy is a pretty quick and easy read with a casual tone. It's short but gives some decent, and fun, arguments for why people should seek to be "numerate", as Paulos calls it. The greatest ... Read full review
Review: Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
User Review  Patrick  GoodreadsI didn't learn anything new about mathematics, but I did learn some things about how to convey mathematics to the public. In some ways he does this well; in some ways he does it quite badly. I found ... Read full review
Contents
FORBES 400  
THE MULTIPLICATION PRINCIPLE  
JULIUS CAESAR AND  
Pseudoscience  
Whence Innumeracy?  
Statistics TradeOffs and Society  
Common terms and phrases
algebra American answer approximately assume assumptions astrology average Babe Ruth believe binomial probability distribution birthday calculation cancer choice choose claims coin coin flips coincidences conditional probability confidence intervals Consider correct predictions correlation couple course cubic deaths determine disease dream drug Dukakis equally estimate event example fact five flips given heads high school hundred hypothesis innumeracy innumerate John Allen Paulos large numbers least less letters lightyears logarithm Lou Gehrig mathematicians mathematics million misconceptions multiplication principle number of possible numerology one’s outcome people’s percentage person poll preferences press the button prisoner’s dilemma probabilistic probability theory problems pseudoscience quantity question random randomly selected Reagan reason relatively result risk rolling safety index sample sequence significance six numbers someone statistics tails tendency theoretical There’s thousand three dice total number toy block tradeoffs trillion Type II errors what’s who’s women