A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos

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Synopsis

John 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 fun-filled, user-friendly, and quirkily insightful approach that put Innumeracy on best-seller 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 self-reference 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.
 

About John Allen Paulos

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John Allen Paulos is a professor of mathematics at Temple University. His books include the bestseller "Innumeracy: Mathematical" "Illiteracy and Its Consequences "(H&W, 1988), "A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market," and "A Mathematician Reads the Newspapers,
 
Published April 6, 1995 by Basic Books. 224 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

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In this short primer (“just the gist with an occasional jest”), Paulos tackles 12 of the most common arguments for God, including the argument from design, the idea that a “moral universality” points to a creator God, the notion of first causes and the argument from coincidence, among others.

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""This book is not concerned with the history of great theorems, but with bridging, or at least clarifying, some of the gaps between formal mathematics and its applications."" This statement of purpose, more clearly than the book's title, best sums up Paulos's goals in his latest work.

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The efficient-market theorists—many of whom believe the stock market is so inherently efficient that everything one needs to know about a company is reflected in its stock price—get the most thorough joshing from Paulos: never able to resist a joke, he tells one about how many efficient market th...

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QPB, Library of Science, Natural Science Book Club, Astronomy Book Club, Reader's Subscription and Newbridge Executive Program alternates.

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Math professor Paulos's irreverent investigation of the often faulty use of statistics and fact in newspaper articles.

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Los Angeles Times

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the left wing says the press is conservative.) This is press criticism of the sort that George Orwell had in mind when he observed that what's important isn't news, and what's news isn't important.

Mar 28 1995 | Read Full Review of A Mathematician Reads the New...

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