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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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The number 4 is not exactly commonplace, but numbers like ten thousand, one million, and a trillion are. That leaves people who answered yes out of the who replied to the question honestly pauols whose coins landed heads. Standard notation forthese numbers is: It”s analogous innumeracy a sign at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel stating: It impacts the tone by making it sound more scholarly, more intelligent.

Slipping between millions and billions or between billions and trillions should in this sense be equally funny, but it isn”t, because we too often lack an intuitive feeling for these numbers.

Views Read Edit View history. Quali sono i costi sociali dell’analfabetismo matematico?

What distinguishes this from other such literature is that Paulos attempts top diagnose the root cause. I don’t have much more to say beyond the fact that thi Quick, essential reading. For example, the fortune pzulos psychic’s few correct and general observations are remembered over the many incorrect guesses.

Without some appreciation of common large numbers, it”s impossible to react with the proper skepticism to terrifying reports that more than a million American kids are kidnapped each year, or with the proper sobriety to a warhead carrying a megaton of explosive power–the equivalent of a million tons or two billion pounds of TNT. I hoped the book would be an in-depth look at where innumeracy stems from and how to prevent it.

Retrieved 30 August But I must admit I was looking for a bit more on what causes innumeracy and what could be done to stem this continual loss because these lacks are a drain on society. Compare that with these annual rates in the United States: The author’s anger at the popularity of pseudosciences astrology, mediums, fortune-telling, etc.

Dec 01, Kevin rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Paulos talks about mathematical incompetence when looking at probability, scientific notation, polls and surveys, pseudoscience, games of chance, coincidence, logic, word problems, statistics, how questions and word problems are framed. Victor Nabila coincidence and absolute certainty are two very different concepts. There are also things he misses.

As often observed, however, the 45, people paulox annually on American roads are approximately equal in number to all American dead in the Vietnam War. But my highest value-added proposition, in terms of a personal finance book, is for the non-expert reader.

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

I do appreciate the author’s clear love of math, and there are several good examples. And at each level of math education, the lack of an adequate background and foundation increases leaving more and more people disenchanted.

I like the mental exercise they provide.

He also explains the capture-recapture method for estimating the number of fish in a lake. He reasons that the probability of two bombs being innymeracy board would be infinitesimal… Isolated but vivid kohn involving a few people should not blind us to the fact that myriad prosaic activities may involve a much higher degree of risk. For very big or very small numbers, so-called scientific notation is often clearer and easier to work with than standard notation and I”ll therefore sometimes use it.

He also stresses the problem between the actual number of occurrences of various risks and popular perceptions of those risks happening.

Real systems of thought, however powerful, are open to criticism from the outside. Why not last it out?


He’s playing with the numbers and making a killing financially. It explained the math that I needed to understand the concepts in the book. For instance, I think we can all agree that math education has been biased towards the rote memorization of formulas and terms at the expense of fluency and “playful” exploration of numerical and geometrical concepts.

He mentions standard things like poor math education, psychological blocks like “math anxiety”, and popular misconceptions that math is just cold spiritless arithmetic. August 30,8: Many educated people have little grasp for xllen numbers and are even unaware that a innumreacy is 1,; a billion is 1,,; innumefacy a trillion, 1,, That’s true to a point, but there are many factors that can affect that besides normal ups and downs – amount of practice, sore muscles, more aggressive guarding.

Obviously I want both kinds, or rather all kinds, of readers. He defines “innumeracy” as “an inability to deal comfortably with the fundamental notions of number and chance”, and it seems as popular as ever. It barely scratches the surface. Still as relevant in as it was in Innumeracy is a great book for the era of Ebola panic paulks if it is quite dated. But Paulos comes off as a bit disparaging of “innumerates” – this is definitely not a book for them, but more for those in the know to tsk-tsk at the state of mathematical literacy.

Studies reporting small nonzero correlations are often merely reporting chance fluctuations… Too much research in the social sciences, pzulos fact, is innumefacy mindless collection of such meaningless data. Finally, a few careless and condescending comments about women in science with merely the “required” mention of the underlying sexism behind the reduced ratio of women in STEM left a sour taste in my mouth and makes me hesitant to google the author for fear of another Hitchin’s style character take down.

For that matter, how mathematically literate is your doctor? Paulos is aware of some of the problems “I have a difficult time writing at innumeraxy length about anything” and he is probably right when he writes: Jan 11, Mark rated it it was ok Shelves: There is a chapter about this, but it’s not the meat of the book. An accessible, interesting read about the difficulty many people have truly innumeracyy the difference between very large numbers.

Thanks for telling us about the problem.

He jonh trying to segue into other reasons for innumeracy, but fumbles, because to make the strongest logical statement, he should have said, “Still, it’s not the whole story, since there are many quite numerate people who have had such poor mathematical education.