A Mathematician Reads the NewspaperJohn Allen Paulos is a master at shedding mathematical lights on our everyday world:What exactly did Lani Guinier say about quotas?What is the probability of identifying a murderer through DNA testing?Which are the real risks to our health and which the phony ones?Employing the same funfilled, userfriendly, and quirkily insightful approach that put Innumeracy on bestseller lists, Paulos now leads us through the pages of the daily newspaper, revealing the hidden mathematical angles of countless articles. From the Senate, the SATs, and sex to crime, celebrities, and cults, Paulos takes stories that may not seem to involve mathematics at all and demonstrates how mathematical naïveté can put readers at a distinct disadvantage.Whether he’s using chaos theory to puncture economic and environmental predictions, applying logic and selfreference to clarify the hazards of spin doctoring and news compression, or employing arithmetic and common sense to give us a novel perspective on greed and relationships, Paulos never fails to entertain and enlighten.Even if you hated math in school, you’ll love the numerical vignettes in this book. 
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LibraryThing Review
User Review  setnahkt  LibraryThingSadly dated; what we need now is A Mathematician Surfs the Web. Paulos is reasonably nondoctrinaire, with examples that should annoy or outrage any political persuasion – although he’s careful not to ... Read full review
LibraryThing Review
User Review  Razinha  LibraryThingPaulos is a witty mathematician and makes excellent points in his analyses of newspapers focusing on the numbers, statistics, ignorance and misrepresentations. Arranged as newspaper content, with ... Read full review
Contents
Introduction  1 
Is It Vietnam or World War  14 
Afta Nafta Lafta Free Traders Exult  27 
Copyright  
12 other sections not shown
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70 percent 95 percent American ana Mathematical answer approximately argument asked assume average baseball batting average Butterfly Effect calories cancer candidate cent chaos chaos theory Clinton coin flips complexity horizon conditional probability course coverage cube curve determine dyscalculia economy effect estimate example fact fast balls firstplace votes flips given headline Imagine increase issues journalistic Kerrey Laffer curve less linked math mathematical mathematician million multiplication principle newspaper nonlinear normal normal distribution paper paradox percentage perfect game person Philadelphia Inquirer pint political poll population positive possible predictions prefer problem question random readers reasons reported result risk Rubik's Cube sample scores segment selfreferential Senate sequence significant social someone sometimes sort Stanislaw Lem statements statistics stories tax rate television theorem tion tive truthteller Tsongas