Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences

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The 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. Why do even well-educated people understand so little about mathematics? And what are the costs of our innumeracy? These are the questions that deeply concern the author of this book.


John Allen Paulos takes a mathematical view of very different aspects of our lives: from contested elections to sports stats, from stock scams and newspaper psychics to diet and medical claims, insurance, lotteries, and drug testing — all without overusing complex calculations or stinting on amusing stories that vividly illustrate the reasoning behind numbers an probabilities.


The book helps readers recognize their mistakes and teaches them to avoid pitfalls to which the uncritical mind is prone. It is intended for anyone who appreciates common sense and aspires for a rational view of the world.


The book is published with reviews by Alexey Savvateev, a Russian mathematician, doctor of physics and mathematics and popularizer of mathematics, and Mikhail Bochkarev, teacher of mathematics in specialized physics and mathematics classes.

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